In this new review in Hyperallergic, Jonathan T. D. Neil discusses Michel Feher’s Rated Agency and its “subtle but important conceptual shift of emphasis from ‘value’ to ‘credit'” as a potentially enduring contribution to political economy. Click here to learn more about the book. Click here to read the full review. An excerpt appears below:
“Today, in the decade that has followed the Great Recession, finance capitalism has continued its ascendency unchecked. For many, following the money means a capitulation to the market, an acceptance that there is no alternative means to organize society, nor even some imagined horizon beyond which things could be otherwise. The energy of leftist resistance, once aimed at economic redistribution, is now consumed in large part by fights for the equal distribution, recognition and protection of human dignity both amongst and within special interest movements, such as Times Up or Decolonize This Place. Alternatives to capitalism remain unimaginable.
Such is the source of the Left’s 'melancholy,’ according to Michel Feher, the Belgian philosopher whose recent foray into political philosophy, Rated Agency: Investee Politics in a Speculative Age (Zone Books, 2018), clearly and systematically lays out how following the money may not be the grand capitulation that the Left considers it to be. Though Feher never uses the phrase “follow the money” explicitly, it applies to his argument that neoliberalism’s mixture of deregulation and privatization means we all must be entrepreneurs of our own lives, and tolerant of all the risk that goes with that condition. No matter who you are, and whether you like it or not, you’ve bought in. What this makes you, according to Feher, is an ‘investee.'”