Neoliberal Subjectivity: A Checklist

1. The neoliberal subjectivity is completely rooted in right now. The past doesn’t exist. It’s evil, it’s wrong, it should go off and die in shame somewhere in a dark corner. Everything that’s good is bright, shiny and new. Everything that existed before is bad. [As a practice exercise, think of examples of this mentality you see every day and think of the economic consequences of this way of thinking.]

2. Everybody is competing with everybody else for dwindling resources. Even if the resources are not dwindling, they are perceived as such. Competition is at the center of every human relationship. [Think about how the concept of privilege arises directly out of this mentality. Or think about the Twitter mob that descended on that kid who won the Heisman Trophy.]

3. Everything is an object of consumption and there’s nothing worse than being prevented from consuming as much as you want. [Think Caitlin Jenner’s joy at finally being able to buy nail polish.]

4. Biological limitations are an affront and should be conjured out of existence. The alienation of humanity beings from their bodies is a great good and should be aggressively promoted. [This is too obvious to need examples.]

5. Coming straight out of the neoliberal obsession with competition and individualism is the belief that all human beings represent a horrible threat and are out to hurt you. [Think microaggressions, safe spaces, etc.]

6. The past should be forgotten (see point 1) and the future doesn’t exist. So consume as much as you can right now. The apocalyptic mentality is as natural to neoliberalism as the rejection of the past. [Again, too many examples.]

7. The function of the state is to facilitate the consumption that these alienated, lonely neoliberal subjects value above all else and help them visit upon each other the anger arising from their competitive resentment. The state also should facilitate the individuals’ alienation from their bodies and minds as much as possible.

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4 thoughts on “Neoliberal Subjectivity: A Checklist”

    1. Wow, that’s really the kind of person I can respect. She has rare insight, maturity and self-awareness. And isn’t it really great to see yourself as being in control of your own inner life, of your own reactions, of your mental space? I never saw the allure of imagining oneself as completely fragile and open to immediate destruction because of every minimal adversity and every unkind word. How is that a good place to be? This writer is clearly a happier person than the powerless snowflakes who fall apart at every provocation.

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