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Managerialism as Will to Power: Technologies of Capital

Research output: Contribution in Book/Report/Proceedings - With ISBN/ISSNChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review

Publication date11/09/2018
Host publicationThe Triumph of Managerialism?: New Technologies of Government and their Implications for Value
EditorsAnna Yeatman, Bogdan Costea
Place of PublicationLondon
PublisherRowman & Littlefield International
Number of pages19
ISBN (Electronic)9781786604897
ISBN (Print)9781786604880, 1786604884
<mark>Original language</mark>English


This chapter asks how we are to understand the “economic rationalism” that marks the present ordering of political economy. It analyses this through the phrase, originating in the politics of the first part of the twentieth century, “total mobilisation” as the underlying metaphysical effect of “managerialism”, and as an effect of a will to power. The chapter then seeks to show how responses to managerialism have the effect, not of resolving, but of intensifying the same will to power, even within the context of liberal democracies. It does so by drawing attention to two “solutions” which appear to overcome the managerialism in which we are all enmeshed: (1) Thomas Picketty’s claims about equalisation of the distribution of wealth and value, and (2) Robert Shiller’s suggested goal that modern “financial technologies” should “expand, correct, and realign finance” by “democratising and humanising and expanding the scope of financial capitalism”, with the aim of “mak[ing] it possible for everyone to participate intelligently in the financial system” (Robert J. Shiller, Finance and the Good Society, Princeton University Press, Princeton, 2012).