the n-word

Storing this one away here against the next time some wise-arse starts going on about how some people bandy the term around without anyone being able to define it: ganked from yer man Phil Burton-Cartledge, here’s Wendy Brown’s (2015) definition of neoliberalism from Undoing the Demos: Neoliberalism’s Stealth Revolution:

… as a normative order of reason … neoliberalism transmogrifies every human domain and endeavour, along with humans themselves, according to a specific image of the economic. All conduct is economic conduct; all spheres of existence are framed and measured by economic terms and metrics, even when these spheres are not directly monetised. In neoliberal reason and in domains governed by it, we are only and everywhere homo oeconomicus, which itself has a historically specific form. Far from Adam Smith’s creature propelled by the natural urge to ‘truck, barter, and exchange’, today’s homo oeconomicus is an intensely constructed and governed bit of human capital tasked with improving and leveraging its competitive positioning and with enhancing its (monetary and nonmonetary) portfolio value across all of its endeavours and venues.


That’ll do.

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