The Facticities of Neoliberalism: Demanding Existential Freedom

  • Peter Bloom
Chapter

Abstract

This chapter explores how the “facts” of neoliberalism must be transformed into “facticities”, conditions that are currently holding us back from realizing our existential freedom. It first counterposes supposed neoliberal “facts”—such as the need to be “fiscally responsible” or the idea that massive “inequality” is acceptable and even desirable—with Satre’s interpretation of “facticities”, the events, conditions, and capabilities that impact on what one can and cannot do. This reading allows for an understanding of how these dogmatic “facts” represent an ideological hegemony that forecloses the opportunity to conceive and practically explore alternative modes of freedom. This insight will be critically investigated, in particular, though using the theories of discursive hegemony first introduced by Laclau and Mouffe. The relabeling of neoliberal “facts” as “facticities” thus opens the potential for constructing a counter-hegemonic politics aimed at expanding a dominant social horizon of freedom, in this case away from the narrow limits of the free market.

References

  1. Anders, G. (2010). In the Shadow of Good Governance: An Ethnography of Civil Service Reform in Africa (Afrika-Studiecentrum Series, v. 16). Brill Academic Publishers.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Barry, A. (2004). Ethical Capitalism. In W. Larner & W. Walters (Eds.), Global Governmentality: Governing International (p. 195). London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  3. Beckett, A. (2017). How Britain Fell Out of Love with the Free Market. The Guardian.Google Scholar
  4. Bloom, P. (2016). Authoritarian Capitalism in the Age of Globalization. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Butler, J., Laclau, E., & Žižek, S. (2000). Contingency, Hegemony, Universality: Contemporary Dialogues on the Left. London, New York: Verso.Google Scholar
  6. Cho, A. (2006). Politics, Values and Social Entrepreneurship: A Critical Appraisal. In J. Mahair (Ed.), Social Entrepreneurship (pp. 34–56). London: Palgrave Macmillan.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. De Angelis, M. (1997). The Autonomy of the Economy and Globalisation. Common Sense, 21, 41–59.Google Scholar
  8. Deci, E., Nezlek, J., & Sheinman, L. (1981). Characteristics of the Rewarder and Intrinsic Motivation of the Rewardee. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 40(1), 1–10.  https://doi.org/10.1037//0022-3514.40.1.1.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Demmers, J., Fernandez, A., Jilberto, E., & Hogenboom, B. (2004). Good Governance in the Era of Global Neoliberalism: Conflict and Depolitisation in Latin America, Eastern Europe, Asia, and Africa. London: Taylor and Francis.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Elliott, L., & Stewart, H. (2017). IMF: Higher Taxes for Rich Will Cut Inequality Without Hitting Growth. The Guardian.Google Scholar
  11. Engelen, E., Konings, M., & Fernandez, R. (2008). The Rise of Activist Investors and Patterns of Political Responses: Lessons on Agency. Socio-Economic Review, 6(4), 611–636.  https://doi.org/10.1093/ser/mwn012.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Fisher, M. (2010). Capitalist Realism. Winchester: Zero Books.Google Scholar
  13. Franken, R., & Brown, D. (1995). Why Do People Like Competition? The Motivation for Winning, Putting Forth Effort, Improving One’s Performance, Performing Well, Being Instrumental, and Expressing Forceful/Aggressive Behavior. Personality and Individual Differences, 19(2), 175–184.  https://doi.org/10.1016/0191-8869(95)00035-5.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Gilbert, J. (2013). What Kind of Thing Is ‘Neoliberalism’? New Formations, 80(80), 7–22.  https://doi.org/10.3898/newf.80/81.introduction.2013.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Glynos, J., & Howarth, D. (2008). Logics of Critical Explanation in Social and Political Theory. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  16. Hall, T. (2011). The Triple Bottom Line: What Is It and How Does It Work. Indiana Business Review, 86(1), 4–8.Google Scholar
  17. Harvey, D. (2005). A Brief History of Neoliberalism. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  18. Hawkins, M. (1997). Social Darwinism in European and American Thought, 1860–1945: Nature as Model and Nature as Threat. New York: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Hofstadter, R. (1944). Social Darwinism in American Thought. Boston: Beacon Press.Google Scholar
  20. Holzmann, R., & Jorgensen, S. (1999). Social Protection as Social Risk Management: Conceptual Underpinnings for the Social Protection Sector Strategy Paper. Journal of International Development, 11(7), 1005–1027.  https://doi.org/10.1002/(sici)1099-1328(199911/12)11:7<1005::aid-jid643>3.0.co;2-b.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Howarth, D. (2010). Discourse. Buckingham, UK: Open University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Kalinowski, T. (2012). Regulating International Finance and the Diversity of Capitalism. Socio-Economic Review, 11(3), 471–496.  https://doi.org/10.1093/ser/mws023.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Kaul, I., Conceicao, P., Le Goulven, K., & Mendoza, R. (2003). Providing Global Public Goods: Managing Globalization. New York: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Krippner, G. (2012). Capitalizing on Crisis. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  25. Laclau, E. (1991). New Reflections on the Revolution of our Time. London: Verso.Google Scholar
  26. Laclau, E. (2001). New Reflections on the Revolution of Our Time. London: Verso.Google Scholar
  27. Laclau, E. (2005). On Populist Reason. London: Verso.Google Scholar
  28. Laclau, E., & Mouffe, C. (1986). Hegemony and Socialist Strategy. London: Verso.Google Scholar
  29. Laclau, E., & Mouffe, C. (1987). Post-Marxism Without Apologies. The New Left Review, November–December, 166, 79–106.Google Scholar
  30. Lazzarato, M. (2009). Neoliberalism in Action. Theory, Culture & Society, 26(6), 109–133.  https://doi.org/10.1177/0263276409350283.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Lipset, S., & Schneider, W. (1983). The Confidence Gap. Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press.Google Scholar
  32. Livne, R., & Yonay, Y. (2015). Performing Neoliberal Governmentality: An Ethnography of Financialized Sovereign Debt Management Practices. Socio-Economic Review, 14(2), 339–362.  https://doi.org/10.1093/ser/mwv019.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Massey, D. (2013). We Need to Challenge the Hegemonic ‘Common Sense’ of Market Relations, of Competitive Individualism, of Private Gain, the Denigration of ‘the Public’, and Much Else Besides. LSE Blog.Google Scholar
  34. Monbiot, G. (2016). Neoliberalism – The Ideology at the Root of All Our Problems. The Guardian.Google Scholar
  35. Moscovici, S., Sherrard, C., & Heinz, G. (1976). Social Influence and Social Change [engl.]. New York: Published in cooperation with European Association of Experimental Social Psychology by Academic Press.Google Scholar
  36. Mosley, P., Hudson, J., & Verschoor, A. (2004). Aid, Poverty Reduction and the ‘New Conditionality’. The Economic Journal, 114(496), F217–F243.  https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1468-0297.2004.00220.x.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Mudge, S. (2008). What Is Neoliberalism. Socio-Economic Review, 6(4), 703–731.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Muehlebach, A. (2012). The Moral Neoliberal: Welfare and Citizenship in Italy. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Peredo, A., & McLean, M. (2006). Social Entrepreneurship: A Critical Review of the Concept. Journal of World Business, 41(1), 56–65.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jwb.2005.10.007.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Piekema, C. (2014). Does Money Really Motivate People? BBC.Google Scholar
  41. Porter, E. (2017). Tax Cuts, Sold as Fuel for Growth, Widen Gap Between Rich and Poor. The New York Times.Google Scholar
  42. Roy, R., Denzau, A., & Willett, T. (2006). Neo-Liberalism: National and Regional Experiments with Global Ideas. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  43. Salsman, R. (2012, May 17). Fiscal Austerity and Rational Morality. Forbes.Google Scholar
  44. Sartre, J. (1956). Being and Nothingness. New York: Gallimard.Google Scholar
  45. Seelos, C., & Mair, J. (2005). Social Entrepreneurship: Creating New Business Models to Serve the Poor. Business Horizons, 48(3), 241–246.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bushor.2004.11.006.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Smith, J. (2018). Green Capitalism: The God that Failed. Real World Economics Review, 56, 112–144.Google Scholar
  47. Stein, J. (2011). Pivotal Decade: How the United States Traded Factories for Finance in the Seventies. New Haven: Yale University Press.Google Scholar
  48. Subhedar, V. (2017). Waiting for Wage Growth: An Eye on Corporate Margins. Reuters.Google Scholar
  49. Thomassen, L. (2005). From Antagonisms to Heterogeneity: Discourse Analytical Strategies. Essex Papers in Politics and Government, Sub-Series in Ideology and Discourse Analysis, 21, 1–37.Google Scholar
  50. Tienhaara, K. (2013). Varieties of Green Capitalism: Economy and Environment in the Wake of the Global Financial Crisis. Environmental Politics, 23(2), 187–204.  https://doi.org/10.1080/09644016.2013.821828.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Witt, M., & Redding, G. (2011). The Spirits of Corporate Social Responsibility: Senior Executive Perceptions of the Role of the Firm in Society in Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea and the USA. Socio-Economic Review, 10(1), 109–134.  https://doi.org/10.1093/ser/mwr026.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Woody, J. (1998). Freedom’s Embrace. Pennsylvania: Pennsylvania State University.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Peter Bloom
    • 1
  1. 1.Open UniversityMilton KeynesUK

Personalised recommendations