Drama in Public Worlds
This chapter addresses the displacement of public acts shaped by commitments to life-in-common by performative ‘life-in-public’ acts in the neo-liberalisation of everyday life. The goal is to expose both the primacy, in neo-liberal thought-worlds, of homo œconomicus, and the central role played by narrative consistency and social performance in establishing and sustaining that primacy by means of the trope of TINA (There Is No Alternative). Examples of related performance tropes functional to neo-liberal narratives are offered, in a critical overview of contemporary political communication as performance, with attention to issues of gender, race, and class embedded therein. A post-polity undergoing neo-liberalisation is identified as the ground on which new polities, new public imaginaries, must be wrought.