By Anita Chari
Anita Chari revives the concept that of reification from Marx and the Frankfurt college 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. interpreting paintings by means of Oliver Ressler, Zanny Begg, Claire Fontaine, Jason Lazarus, and Mika Rottenberg, in addition to the politics of Occupy Wall road, Chari identifies practices by which artists and activists have challenged neoliberalism's social and political logics, exposing its inherent tensions and contradictions.
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Additional info for A political economy of the senses : neoliberalism, reification, critique
Habermas’s answer illuminates the historical speciﬁcity of liberalism as an emancipatory discourse, and he argues that in the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries the liberal model of citizenship, which made property a requirement of citizenship, depended on the economic conditions stipulated by classical economics regarding free markets, perfect competition, and commodity exchange.
Formalistic and ahistorical theories of politics that see the categories of economics and politics as fundamentally bounded will be unable to account for the ﬂuidity of the relationship between economics and politics in neoliberalism or the neoliberal state’s ambivalent relationship to the economy. Jürgen Habermas’s The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere is a crucial source for demonstrating the historical speciﬁcity of liberal formalism as an emancipatory discourse. 75 Habermas discusses the historical basis of the distinction between the economy and politics in the development of liberal capitalism from the eighteenth to the twentieth centuries and details the rise of the bourgeois public sphere, which arose amid the shift from monarchies to constitutional states in Western Europe in the eighteenth century.
The key point I want to highlight here is the way in which this shift from the welfare state to the neoliberal competition state aﬀected the relationship between economics and politics. It is crucially important to see that deregulation does not actually remove the state’s inﬂuence on the economy, it simply changes the form in which the state impacts the economy and renders the relationship between the state and economy increasingly opaque. As Cerny argues, “Deregulation must not be seen just as the lifting of old regulations, but also as the formulation of new regulatory structures which are designed to cope with, and even to anticipate, shifts in competitive advantage.
A political economy of the senses : neoliberalism, reification, critique by Anita Chari