Our economic selves; the real enemy?

A question for any reader: does the argument below [introductory paragraph] make sense to you – as proposition, obviously, not fully reasoned essay… 

 

Naomi Klein argues in her 2017 No is not enough—among other things— that the Trump presidency is ‘a naked corporate takeover’ of the democratic process; corporations are ‘doing what all top dogs do when they want something done right; they are doing it themselves.’ (And, we might add, doing unto others what they won’t do to themselves.) It follows then that if we are participants in said democratic process—and we are, even if we do not vote—then it is perhaps not a stretch to suggest that we are all complicit in the malaise of our times; the rise of the new neo-liberal populist democratic revival; a kind of folk fest for wanton exploitation of others on the altar of economic ascendancy. We have become Homo economicus [1] and this is our harvest. Our economic self has become our worst enemy.

[1] Homo economicus is the human reduced to an isolate, a competitive individual. This has occurred via a seduction regarding how we think about how to live.  In The Birth of Biopolitics, Foucault (2008, cited in Kagan, 2016) argues that our way of life has become something based on “the rules of competitive market capitalism; no longer rights, laws, ethical considerations, and kinship loyalties, but interest, investment, and competition”. In short, we have become a fundamentally economic entity; entrepreneurs of self.

 

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