Retrieving Chance: Neoliberalism, Finance Capitalism, and the Antinomies of Governmental Reason

Robyn Marasco

in The Intellectual Origins of the Global Financial Crisis

Published by Fordham University Press

Published in print September 2012 | ISBN: 9780823249602
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780823250752 | DOI:
Retrieving Chance: Neoliberalism, Finance Capitalism, and the Antinomies of Governmental Reason

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Greed is often demonized as a cause of the recent crisis. Marasco views this modern “value” not as a cause of the crash, but as a consequence endemic to our society. It is not greed for money and wealth that produces socioeconomic inequalities. Rather, it is a society structured by the principle of socioeconomic inequality that unleashes a particular form of greed that chases after money. The author argues that what is needed in analyzing the “intellectual foundations” of the financial crisis is the vexed term: neoliberalism. The essay dissects neoliberalism into five related theses, contextualized by the Great Recession. At the root of her analysis is the insight that neoliberalism is, at root, a mode of political rationality that is antithetical to chance. On the one hand, neoliberalism refuses chance. On the other hand, it imagines crises as unpredictable chance occurrences that are simply part of the capitalist system. Marasco argues that neoliberalism both refuses and needs the idea of chance in ways that reveal its desire to be seen as a necessary and unquestionable mode of political organization.

Keywords: Gordon Gekko; Greed is Good; Oliver Stone, Wall Street 1897; Money Never Sleeps; homo oeconomicus; John Stuart Mill; Niall Ferguson; Virgina Tech; The Black Swan Event; John Maynard Keynes; financial capitalism

Chapter.  5433 words. 

Subjects: Social and Political Philosophy

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