Deux notes de recueil critique : figures du néolibéralisme – Solomon, Davies

  • Jon Solomon, écrit beaucoup sur Facebook ces jours-ci dans la guerre. Une note que je recueille : le couple qu’il évoque, dynamique systémique, hégémonie même, entre néolibéralisme et identitarisme. Que la situation ne laisse actif que ce couple.

je copie ici le paragraphe, posté je crois hier dimanche 6 mars :

From Yuliya Yurchenko, “Ukraine and the Empire of Capital: From Marketisation to Armed Conflict” (2018).

Yurchenko’s analysis shows how the neoliberal transition pushed by the EU and taken up by oligarchic interests inside Ukraine (who cynically appropriated the Maidan movement for their own benefit) has devastated popular sovereignty in Ukraine and sown the seeds for literally generations of animosity.

Reading this book, it is impossible not to come away with the sense that here is yet another example of how the European Left’s inability to articulate a comprehensive, coherent border politics ultimately leaves the Left utterly complicit with the dialectic between neoliberalism and identitarianism.


  • William Davies writes a long and illuminating essay in the London Review of Books, 24th February 2022, “How many words does it take to make a mistake?”, “on the mechanization of learning” – coauthor of Unprecedented? How Covid-19 Revealed the Politics of our Economy, Goldsmith’s Press.
    Davies : “Professor in Political Economy at Goldsmiths, where he is Director of the Political Economy Research Centre. He is author of This is Not Normal: The Collapse of Liberal Britain, Nervous States: How Feeling Took over the World, The Happiness Industry: How the Government and Big Business Sold Us Wellbeing, and The Limits of Neoliberalism: Authority, Sovereignty and the Logic of Competition. He writes regularly for The Guardian and London Review of Books.”

This is appraising the situation left by lockdown EdTech development, and working out its longer genesis. With effects in “plagiarism” issues, but taken from its reverse face, in the evaluative, HR politics of literacy for the neoliberal workplace (“the ideology of measureable literacy”, PISA etc.), and its generation of anxiety and alienation (in correction and incorrection) in students. One critical fulcrum nicely identified, by a political economist moreover, remarkably attentive to the hotspot, exact targeting, of the structural attack on the Humanities:

Moral pains about ‘political correctness‘ date back to the 1970s and early 1980s, when there was no mandated national curriculum, and conservatives could entertain paranoid fantasies of ‘loony left‘ councils busying themselves with the policing of language. It’s true that teachers then exercised considerable discretion over  what children learned, and central government had little power or influence in the matter. The current panic over ‘wokism‘ on the part of Tory politicians and some newspaper ps has an entirely different pedagogical and political context. As the academies programme expands, more and more schools have been brought under the direct supervision of the Department of Education, while all live under the gaze of Ofsted. Local authorities have been stripped of their powers or – in the case of the GLC – abolished altogether. Universities are forced to compete with one another, their performance assessed by means of financial metrics, league tables and burdensome audits. Teachers, in both schools and universities, are alienated and exhausted by the routinisation and sheer volume of work, and a worrying number want to leave the profession altogether. Despite all this, humanities teachers remain the focus in the culture war waged by the right. (8)

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