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A political economy of the senses : neoliberalism, by Anita Chari

By Anita Chari

Anita Chari revives the idea that of reification from Marx and the Frankfurt institution to focus on the resistance to neoliberal capitalism now forming on the point of political economic climate and on the extra sensate, experiential point of subjective transformation. examining paintings by way of Oliver Ressler, Zanny Begg, Claire Fontaine, Jason Lazarus, and Mika Rottenberg, in addition to the politics of Occupy Wall road, Chari identifies practices in which artists and activists have challenged neoliberalism's social and political logics, exposing its inherent tensions and contradictions.

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Extra resources for A political economy of the senses : neoliberalism, reification, critique

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This central feature is the state’s ambivalence toward the economy—which works in tandem with features of neoliberalization, including flexibilization, deregulation, and financialization—and distinguishes the neoliberal relationship between politics and economics from that of earlier phases of capitalism. N EO LI B ER AL SY M P TO M S 21 Recent scholarship has focused on three facets of neoliberalism. ” This new conjunction of the state and economy theorized by the early neoliberals was one in which the state takes an active role in creating the conditions for free markets to flourish, both through specific kinds of economic policies, as well as through a particular kind of regulation of society and human behavior.

71 In that light, what is needed to navigate this N EO LI B ER AL SY M P TO M S 41 impasse theoretically is a synthesis of radical democratic and Marxist genres of critique. What hinders this synthesis, on the one hand, is the attachment of radical democratic theory to a formalist mode of critique that ultimately is based upon a liberal framework. On the other hand, Marxist theory has paid insufficient attention to the experiential, aesthetic, and perceptual dimensions of neoliberal domination. A synthesis of these two modes of critique can be useful for navigating the theoretical impasse of the transitional present.

Economic democracy is narrowed by the fiscal priorities of the postcrisis neoliberal state. Finally, it is important to consider the role of corporations in the transformation of the relationship between economy and state in neoliberal society. As Colin Crouch underscores, corporations are not merely a powerful lobby within Euro-Atlantic governments, they are in fact major insider participants in government policy-making processes. Corporate lobbying, of course, is itself a tremendous source of influence within public life.

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