August 17, 2012

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Sanford Schram: Now Time for Neoliberalism: Resisting Plan B From Below Excerpted from an essay available here. Read the whole thing. Neoliberalism is the corporate Plan B for the state. Neoliberalism is, for me and my collaborators, not simply an ideology that prizes market fundamentalism and seeks a return to laissez-faire economics. That would be plan A. Yet, Plan A has run afoul of Keynesian Economics and its insistence that only the state is big enough to counteract market failure. Though often repudiated by the right, Keynesianism has remained a point of contention since the Great Depression of the 1930s until now in the time of the Great Recession. As result, there remains a belief in the welfare state to counter the capriciousness of the market and the adversity it creates for those who get marginalized. As a result, the proponents of neoliberalism cannot just sweep the welfare state away and return to a system of laissez-faire economics such as that which reigned in the 19th Century and the age of the robber barons. Instead, the right must resort to Plan B: If you cannot eradicate the welfare state, the next best thing is to marketize it. Plan B involves remaking welfare state programs operate consonant with market principles in service of more efficiently buttressing the market. From education vouchers to medical insurance vouchers, from welfareto-work programs grounded in incentivizing taking low-wage work to the penalties and rewards in drug treatment programs, the programs of the welfare state are increasingly run like business operations so as to get clients to be...
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Austrian Cultural Forum New York: WOCHENKLAUSUR FEATURES | PANEL DISCUSSION | NOT AN ALTERNATIVE | OCCUPY THEIR DESIRE NOT AN ALTERNATIVE | OCCUPY THEIR DESIRE TUESDAY AUG 21, 06:30 PM OUR HAUS focuses on contemporary positions and practices on the topic of housing and public space. For the duration of the exhibition (which runs through August 26), nine New York-based organizations, associations, interest groups, and activists who deal with issues of housing and the urban built environment were chosen to use the ACFNY Gallery space for one week each. From August 20 to August 26, Not An Alternative will be the WochenKlausur "NPO-in-residence"at the ACFNY. For this event, the art/activism collective Not an Alternative will be hosting a research discussion centering on Occupy Wall Street, the movement that occupied mainstream media headlines via a question: what do they want, what are their demands? Philosopher Slavoj Zizek, pushed the question further when he enjoined occupiers not to be afraid to want what they desire - suggesting a gap between conscious want and unconscious desire. In effect, his injunction was for occupiers to occupy their desire; for us to occupy our desire. Inspired by this, Occupy Their Desire is a research discussion with art/activism collective Not An Alternative, political theorist Jodi Dean, and OWS organizer Matthew Smucker that investigates and inquires into the desires expressed by and repressed in Occupy Wall Street. The discussion will explore questions such as: How is the expression of desire a necessary element in building a movement? Where has Occupy succeeded and failed in this task? How might we contrast the movement’s expression of desire...

Jodi Dean

Jodi Dean is a political theorist.

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