In a recent interview in El País, Noelia Ramírez speaks with Michel Feher, founding editor of Zone and author of Rated Agency: Investee Politics in a Speculative Age. Click here to read the full interview. An excerpt appears below:
“Q: You argue that the rise of the extreme right is a consequence of neoliberalism and not, as has been argued, a reaction against the economic elites.
A: You have to put it into context to understand it. In the 1990s, governments developed credit policies: the most developed countries dismantled the welfare state and took power away from unions because they wanted to attract investors by offering them the most favorable conditions. As those governments had to be re-elected, they opted for model promises: ‘We cannot offer you more benefits than social security, but we will improve you and make you employable. We do not promise more public aid, but we will press for the markets to give you money, to mortgage you with houses and studios, and thus you will be solvent. ’ Citizens became active. That generated more precariousness. Then, with the 2008 financial crisis, governments saved banks and not people.”