Adam Kotsko

Nov 25, 2020

Neoliberalism's Demons

On the Political Theology of Late Capital

Stanford University Press 2018

It’s hard to avoid conversations about ‘neoliberalism’ these days. The meaning of the term—indeed its very existence—is hotly contested. Adam Kotsko argues in Neoliberalism’s Demons: On the Political Theology of Late Capital (Stanford University Press, 2018) that self-denial is part of the mystifying agenda of neoliberalism itself. Not only is neoliberalism real, it’s the defining ethos of modernity.

Neoliberalism’s Demons posits we can best understand neoliberalism through the lens of political theology. Kotsko challenges the dichotomy of economics and politics, suggesting that neoliberalism permeates and unites these two. It does so by importing the moral schema of Christianity which creates the conditions for failure for the express purpose of assigning blame to those who fail. Neoliberalism’s Demons is a concise and persuasive account of the political, economic, and moral universe we inhabit, and is therefore essential reading for anyone who seeks to understand their own condition.

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Jonathan Megerian is an educational consultant. He pursued a doctorate in history at Johns Hopkins University, but left with his MA to work outside academia. He works to stay connected to the field of history through reading and, of course, interviewing for the New Books Network.

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