By Anita Chari
Anita Chari revives the concept that of reification from Marx and the Frankfurt tuition to highlight the resistance to neoliberal capitalism now forming on the point of political economic system and on the extra sensate, experiential point of subjective transformation. examining paintings through Oliver Ressler, Zanny Begg, Claire Fontaine, Jason Lazarus, and Mika Rottenberg, in addition to the politics of Occupy Wall road, Chari identifies practices wherein 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
However, I would suggest that focusing on intellectual discourses of neoliberalism alone, as Foucault does, has limitations. While I take from Foucault the key observation that neoliberalism must be distinguished from classical liberalism in how it ﬁgures the relationship between economics and politics, the problem with Foucault’s discussion of the relationship of neoliberal ideas with the principle of laissez-faire is that the relationship between neoliberal theory and practice becomes unclear in his analysis.
In what follows I highlight, moreover, the problems that the neoliberal shift in the relationship between economics and politics generates for theory. As I’ve shown, neoliberal depoliticization functions by shifting the boundary between economics and politics, while obfuscating that shift. Yet I would argue that many inﬂuential strands of contemporary political theory are indebted to critical procedures that are insuﬃciently attentive to the shifting boundary 34 N EO LI B ER AL SY M P TO M S between economics and politics that generates neoliberal depoliticization.
Through the ascendance of “new public management” systems, a branch of neoliberal policy theory that seeks to remedy supposed ineﬃciencies in government institutions by modeling them along the pattern of corporations; 4. 46 In line with new public management ideology, governments have increasingly hired private-sector consultants and appointed senior managers from private ﬁrms. ”48 The key for the purposes of my argument is also to see that the triangulation between citizens, government, and corporations, the latter of which are increasingly embedded within government institutions themselves, create an opaque relationship between economics and politics, one that is as such less amenable to democratic contestation or perception.