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Warren Buffett’s Celebrity, Epideictic Ethos, and Neoliberal Humanitarianism

  • Mark Meister
  • Carrie Anne Platt
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Part of the Rhetoric, Politics and Society book series (RPS)

Abstract

Billionaire Warren Buffett’s rhetorical agency seemingly challenges neoliberalism. His public statements supporting tax increases on the rich and carrying for the poor seemingly denounce free-market capitalism. But Meister and Platt convincingly argue that Buffett’s rhetorical agency bolsters neoliberalism rather than opposing it. Grounding their analysis in epideictic ethos and celebrity status, Meister and Platt argue that Buffett symbolizes both wealth earned and the self-restraint to retain it, exemplifying neoliberalism as a system that maintains wealth among the wealthy. Buffett’s rhetorical agency fuses epideictic ethos with philanthropic celebrity; a type of neoliberal humanitarianism that ultimately protects wealth, fosters elitism, and champions wider social and economic distinctions.

Keywords

Civic Virtue Melinda Gate Foundation Discursive Formation Celebrity Status Consumer Sovereignty 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mark Meister
    • 1
  • Carrie Anne Platt
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of CommunicationNorth Dakota State UniversityFargoUSA

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