This panel is the keynote session of a conference on neoliberalism that asks whether ours is a moment of unprecedented political consolidation, in which capital has fully subsumed and subordinated the state, or rather a juncture where the crisis-prone nature of capitalism is most fully on display. If the state is reduced to just another site of accumulation (an indemnifier of financial institutions and other market actors), what becomes of the enterprise of governance and the work of securing the forms and institutions of social reproduction? Does the decomposition of the social body so palpably occurring in the U.S. and elsewhere across the globe – the defacto state of domestic antagonism verging on simmering civil war – signal that capitalism has finally cannibalized its own social and political life support system? And what do our answers to these and allied questions suggest about the practices and imaginaries of opposition?
The event is sponsored by the Simpson Center for the Humanities, with the generous co-sponsorship of American Ethnic Studies, Anthropology, CHID, English, Geography, Political Science, the Jackson School of International Studies, and the Harry Bridges Labor Center.