Deleuze, Guattari and the Inquiry into Post- neoliberalism

deadline for submissions: 
March 1, 2022
full name / name of organization: 
Dr. Saswat S. Das, Associate Professor, Humanities and Social Science, Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur India

 

For those inspired bypromises aired by Chilean politician and the student leader Gabriel Boric duringhis presidential election campaign his electoral victory may seem like a step in the direction of effecting a potentially decisive rupture with the overarching operationality of neoliberalism. This is because Boric’s promisesweretransgressivelydirected towards pulverizingwhat stood as the core supplemental agencies of neoliberalism in the form of rightwing macro-political stratas of authoritarian populism, intolerance and discrimination. However,the question is whether such narrow range of nomadic political victoriesdevastate the mutually empowering interplay between neoliberalism andright-wing politics or stand appropriated by this interplay?

In their book Dead Again? Mutant Neoliberalism and Crisis Reinvention,Callison and Manfrediclaim that Neoliberalism continues to exist across globe in different avatars—"neoliberalism wasn’t going to vanish, but it was changing – and it will change again.” For them the constant rise of new political forces and the steady escalation of global crises were not the antidotal agencies thatwent on to comatose Neoliberalism, rather they made way for Neoliberalism’svirological mutations.

Further, these thinkers argue that such mutations started with the financial crises of 2008, enjoyed a kind of parasitical relation with theambivalent political ruptures of mid-2010—evident in the form of Thailand military crackdown and Jasmine revolution of Tunisia—and reached its auto-telic nadir with the arrival of the global pandemic in the form of covid 19. With the steady rise in the demand for greater marketization of abstract ideas and ideologies even the public health catastrophe and economic fall out that the pandemic triggered off stood as processes that the neoliberal capitalist apparatusalchemized or better displaced into sites of profit making. It is an irony that though the current crises bore proximal affinity with Gramsci’s depiction of historical interregnum—where the old was dying and the new was yet to be born—this scenario opened up spaces for the inexorable rise of neo-liberal forces. However,Davies William and Nicholas Gane in their recent edited collection of Theory, Culture and Societyview such persistent mutations as leading to an ambivalent phase in the working of neoliberalism, a phase they represent as post-neoliberalism. This happens to be phase that while situating the faceless anonymity of the market as the yardstick for calibrating development in politics, society and economy produces “countervailing tendencies within and against neoliberalism.” These are tendenciesthat do not so much terminate the cycles of reasons, critiques, movements and reforms toroot out neoliberal societies as much as they transform “the tenets of neoliberal reason and politics.”  (William, Gane, 2021) The form of interplay between neoliberal capitalism and right-wing powers that best reflectssuch mutations in the operationality of neoliberalism, which makes way for arrival of post-neoliberal phase, is neo-liberal capitalist’s greedy facilitation of right-wing powers’ aggressive bio-politicization. This form of facilitation stands reflected in the marketization of right wing’sbiopoliticization that neoliberal capitalism enables.

What the post-neoliberal phase reflects is the waybiopoliticization opens up floodgates for the neoliberal capitalist powers to commodify the infinite expanse of bio by exploiting the modes of biopoliticization through which the current governance yields polycolonial political assemblages. So, the interplay betweenbiopolitical governance and right-wing powers in the post-neoliberal condition work towards perfecting exercises in what Arendt calls anti-politics. This is a climate where neoliberal operationality colonizes every facets of our lives: from religion to farming, from medicine to education, from production to leisure, from gender to nature, from media to arts.Moreover, these continuous (trans) formations in the dynamics of biopolitics not only enables an undesirable shift towards yielding new grammatology or technics of control in the form of necropolitics, energopolitics and patipolitics,but rather insidiously transforms thesocieties of control (Deleuze, 1992) to societies of enmity which works with exercises in incessant borderization (Mbembe, 2016). Undoubtedly, it is due to profit drivenneoliberal capitalist validation of rightwing governance that latter, according to Fischer, has beenable to transform the conservative and reactionary populist sentiments into powerful political projects that helps manufacturing“nativist notions of ‘community’ as well as ideologies and practices of social order based on segregation, exclusion and subordination” (Fischer, 2020). This is something that we get to encounter in post colonies such as India in the shape of anti-productive contradictions.

The rise of right-wingpowers in post colonies promotes a very superficial and anti-intellectual understanding of decoloniality. This is an understanding that stands reflected in the processes of unreflective withdrawal from the European scientific modernity, a phenomenon that creates an undesirable scope to re-territorialize around religio-centric regressive trends and work by uncritical populist sensibility, turning it into an agency of ethico-political reconstruction (Gudavarthy, 2018). Further, if the operationality of right-wing governance has been able to able to transform the conservative and reactionary populist sentiments into prescriptive constituents of emergent political projects it is dueto neoliberal marketization of such sensibility. This form of marketization treats populist sensibility as a kind of pocketable intellect committed to breeding blocs and stratassheltering unreflective political ideology in the form of religious fundamentalism and technologically governed micro fascist milieu of control.Theongoing populist endorsement of Hindutva or Talibanizationof Afghanistan that work towards building up bordered anti-human theocratic states is a case in point.

It is even argued that alongside legitimizing the culture industries neoliberalism sets up factories of producing dissent. Perhaps this is the reason due to which some of the major populist revolutions like the Arab Spring failed to make any impact. Some argue that instead of identifying with and getting inspired by what constituted the very substance of the movement the protestors were drawn to the stylization and the pompous marketization of revolution and resistance in the current times. Alongside, we encounter a more rigid subsumption in Eurocentrism evident in the form of right-wing political nexus with corporate capitalism, given that the dynamics of large-scale privatization that the current right wing governance initiates and sustains has always been perceived as the Western phenomena.However, by marketizingand popularizing expressions of protest against and unproblematic subsumption in the society of control or what Mbembe calls the society of enmity—that reflects the conspiratorial interplay between the biopolitical and necropolitical trajectories of democracy—post neoliberalism creates a state of deadlock.

Progress based on this post neoliberalism eventually brings expansion of history to a moribund state. Rather than working with modes of enquiry, interventions and parallax views that both constitutes and sustains history, post-neoliberalism works by archiving or bettermuseumizing the naturalprocessual expansion of history, a phenomenonMbembeelucidates in hisNecropolitics.Politicalspindoctors argue that neoliberalism works by meritocracy(Litter J. 2013, 2017, Hearn 2021), but meritocracy stands as a futile mechanism in a condition of deep economic inconsistencies and divides that the former generates. Moreover, the neoliberalism of 21st century works by falsely appropriating Western and non-western epistemological structures. By creating a networked society wedded to multiple divergent processes one feels it makes an attempt to bring about a kind of simulated kinetic replication ofprocessual philosophy’s or Deleuzean conceptual grammatology.

However, what the neoliberal mechanism reflects is its failure to replicate the workings of what Deleuze calls a desiring machine. This becomes sharply evident because ‘the neoliberal apparatus of capture’ is limited to making profit centered connections. Instead of disconnecting freely from what it connects with and creating a plane of consistency it creates a rigid network of dialectical divides, stratifications and hierarchization of all kinds. Thus,the parallax positionalities ofDeleuze- Guattarian philosophy and the equally divergent or minor stereoscopic lenses could be usedcreatively to lay down possibilities of a new earth free from neoliberal manipulations. In a scenario where thepost neoliberal operationscontinually capture and misappropriate strands of contemporary western epistemologies only to create distortions of liberation and progressivism (Bourdieu, 2000)one needs new weapons to stultify the workings of post neoliberalism.

What we witness today happens to be multiple forms of colonization by neoliberalism. For instance, on the one hand, we get to experience colonization of epistemology in the form of neo-liberal capitalism’s inexorable teleological misappropriation of the radical alterity of ‘the nomad sciences’, we experience a kind of corporate colonization of ecology in the form of corporate engineering of assemblages such as ‘green capitalism’—an assemblage that brings about an ironic transversal wedding between immanent dynamics of bio-sphere or what Serres calls biogea and the narrow capitalist agendas.

In the current times thinkers such as Nancy Fraser claim that we need to actualize a tentacular post Marxist manifesto to defeat the formidable monstrosity of neoliberal workings. On the other hand, thinkers such as Mignolo, Mbembe andAditya Nigam position the critical grammatology ofde-colonialism as a minor war machinemeant to effectively liberate epistemology from staging dangerous weddings with residues of Eurocentrism. For him the processes of neoliberal colonization of the life world stands as an exclusive phenomenon that effects a disjunctive relationality with the workings of the erstwhile colonial Empire (Nigam, 2020). However,if we go by the claim that neoliberalism constitutes the overarching narrative or the grand colonial machine of our times relentlessly colonizing all aspects of our life understood not only in terms of systems, subjects and strategies, but even in terms of diverse ecological realms, decolonial enquiry would mean spearheading planetary concerns and must necessitate working towards creation of a new earth rather than representing narrower cultural phenomena or right wing agenda of actualizing forms of ‘racial purity’. So, attempts could be madeto create anew kind of manifesto which might stand as a synthesis ofDeleuzo-Guattarianphilosophy and other transversal inquiries into the post-neoliberal era to arrive at a novel combinatory ethics.

Thus, this global call for the book project entitled “Deleuze, Guattari and Inquiry into Post-Neoliberalism” invites the scholars to contribute to a broader discussion of this ambiguous transition process by responding, speculatingand critiquing the antagonisms, discontents and tensions of the current post-neoliberal becoming via their contributions on a diverse range of topics listed below and more. The collection which shall be brought out by BLOOMSBURYPUBLICATION aims to bring together provocative critiques andethico-political interventions from Deleuzo-Guattarian perspective that might work as an ally of existing modes of enquiries into the strata of post-neoliberal conditions while acting as a milestone in the trajectory of ongoing debates on mutations of neoliberalism:

  • Nature and Climate Change/Ecological Crisis (this can also move through a broader topic of crises)
  • Farming and food security
  • Health and Medicine technology / Biotechnologies and Well-being
  • Economy and production
  • Leisure and Gaming
  • Digitalization / Computation
  • Democracy and Public Realm
  • Power and Resistance
  • Gender and subjectivity
  • Biopolitics and Decolonialization
  • Necropolitics, Social, Political and Bio power
  • Hostility and Violence
  • Shifting policies of governing, citizenship, ownership (since medieval era)
  • Media, propaganda, accessibility
  • Culture studies
  • Migration and mobility
  • Conflict and Resolution
  • Trauma and Relief
  • Affective Turn and Neuroscience
  • Materiality and New Materialism (?)
  • Pedagogy
  • Childhood

Editors’ Bionotes:

Dr.EmineGörgül is an associate professor and former vice-chair at Istanbul Technical University, School of Architecture, Turkey. She has authored numerous articles and book chapters both in Turkish and in English, on design theory and criticism as well as design education and innovative interventions.She has been the chair of ‘Deleuze Studies Conference Istanbul 2014’, and also keynote presenters and camp tutors of many Deleuze Studies Conferences. She has been nominated and included in Who’s Who in the World Index for 2016 volume.

Dr.Ananya Roy Pratihar is assistant Professor in Communication Studies at the Institute of Management and Information Science, Bhubaneswar, India. She is the co-editor of Technology, Urban Space and Networked Community, (forthcoming, Palgrave Macmillan) Deleuze, Guattari and the Global Pandemics (forthcoming, Bloomsbury Publishing). Her book reviews and articles are published in Philosophy in Review and Exchanges

Dr.Saswat S. Das is an associate professor in the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur, India. He is the co-author of Taking Place of Language (Peter Lang AG, 2013) and the co-editor of Deleuze, Guattari and Global Terror (forthcoming, Edinburg University Press), Technology, Urban Space and Networked Community, (forthcoming, Palgrave Macmillan) Deleuze, Guattari and the Global Pandemics (forthcoming, Bloomsbury Publishing). His book reviews are regularly published in Postcolonial StudiesSouth Central ReviewCultural PoliticsFrench Studies, and Philosophy in Review.

Interested scholars and academicians may send their abstracts (approx.300 words) and a brief bio-sketch or any inquiries regarding the CFP to dgneoneoliberalism@gmail.com

Deadline for Abstract submission: March 01, 2022