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The melancholy of post-Marxism

In the excellent “Neoliberalism and the End of Liberal Democracy,” Wendy Brown writes:

Put simply, what liberal democracy has provided over the last two centuries is a modest ethical gap between economy and polity. Even as liberal democracy converges with many capitalist values (property rights, individualism, Hobbesian assumptions underneath all contract, etc.) the formal distinction it establishes between moral and political principles on the one hand and the economic order on the other has also served as insulation against the ghastliness of life exhaustively ordered by the market and measured by market values. It is this gap that a neo-liberal political rationality closes as it submits every aspect of political and social life to economic calculation.

This is right, but phrased this way it risks idealizing liberal democracy in just the way Brown wants to avoid. Read more↴