In a new interview with Eurozine, Wendy Brown, author of Undoing the Demos discusses Trump and ‘libertarian authoritarianism’, #MeToo and neoliberal feminism. Click here to learn more about her award winning book Click here to read the full article. An extended version is available by clicking the button to the left. An excerpt appears below.
“JOE LITTLER: In Undoing the Demos, you examine how neoliberalism’s rationalities ‘disembowel active citizenship’, or the rule of the people by the people. How have these rationalities extended and mutated since you wrote the book, in the era of Trump?
WENDY BROWN: One of the things I paid too little attention to in Undoing the Demos was the disintegration of the social, something Britons have been very familiar with ever since Thatcher declared that ‘there’s no such thing as society’. In the American case that disintegration has had two important effects. First, this process literally takes apart social bonds and social welfare – not simply by promoting a libertarian notion of freedom and dismantling the welfare state, but also by reducing legitimate political claims only to those advanced by and for families and individuals, not social groups generated by social powers. Second, something I didn’t emphasize adequately in 2015 but would now stress, is the extent to which neoliberalism could generate a political formation that combined libertarianism with a very strong statism that works to secure, essentially, the deregulated public sphere that neoliberalism itself generated.”