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Spring 2024


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Issuev39 n5
New in American Book Review
From the Secular City to the Regime of Neoliberalism

In this review in the American Book Review, Carl Raschke discusses Wendy Brown’s Undoing the Demos: Neoliberalism’s Stealth Revolution. Click here to learn more about the book. Click here to read the review. An excerpt appears below:

“What exactly is the stealth revolution of neoliberalism? The stealth factor has been the appeal to progressive or humane (as opposed to acquisitive) impulses, the laying of the egg of an exploitative cowbird in the nurturing nest of an indigenous progressivism among the educated elites that purports politically to instantiate on a global scale what Nietzsche dubbed the ‘Christian-moral view of the world.’ Think the creation of failed states in Libya and Iraq under the banner of promoting human rights. Think galloping income inequality and wage immiseration under the unfurling moral banner of borderless economies and the perpetuation of subsistence labor through unrestricted immigration by bringing down the moral hammer against ‘xenophobia.’

In what Brown identifies as the ‘changing morphology of homo oeconomicus and homo politicus,’ she underscores how neoliberalism seeks with its superior, cosmopolitan authority to put to rout the foundational Rousseauian inspiration for the sources of democratic politics, where ‘we are free, sovereign, and self-legislating only when we join with others to set the terms by which we live together.'”