Never Ending Nightmare

The Neoliberal Assault on Democracy

Pierre Dardot author Christian Laval author

Format: Hardback

Publisher: Verso Books

Published: 16th Apr '19



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Neoliberalism's war against democracy and how to resist it

How do we explain the strange survival of the forcesresponsible for the 2008 economic crisis, one of the worst since 1929? How do we explain the fact that neoliberalism has emerged from the crisis strengthened? When it broke, a number of the most prominent economists hastened to announce the 'death' of neoliberalism. They regarded the pursuit of neoliberal policy as the fruit of dogmatism.

For Pierre Dardot and Christian Laval, neoliberalism is no mere dogma. Supported by powerful oligarchies, it is a veritable politico-institutional system that obeys a logic of self-reinforcement. Far from representing a break, crisis has become a formidably effective mode of government.

In showing how this system crystallized and solidified, the book explains that the neoliberal straitjacket has succeeded in preventing any course correction by progressively deactivating democracy. Increasing the disarray and demobilization, the so-called 'governmental' Left has actively helped strengthen this oligarchical logic. The latter could lead to a definitive exit from democracy in favour of expertocratic governance, free of any control.

However, nothing has been decided yet. The revival of democratic activity, which we see emerging in the political movements and experiments of recent years, is a sign that the political confrontation with the neoliberal system and the oligarchical bloc has already begun.

Never Ending Nightmare: How Neoliberalism Defeats Democracy comprehensively deconstructs the strategies of a global instrumental rationality that seeks to bring about the end of democracy. -- Cynthia Fleury * L’Humanité *
This essay has a singular resonance at the contemporary moment; it echoes with urgency and immediacy. -- Céline Mouzon * Alternatives Économiques *
Praise for The New Way of the World:

The New Way of the World is the best modern realization of Foucault's pioneering approach to the history of neoliberalism. It wonderfully explores the European roots and branches of the neoliberal thought collective over the twentieth century, and warns that unthinking misrepresentations of its political project as espousing 'laissez-faire' has had the effect of allowing the Left to submit to its siren song. -- Philip Mirowski
Praise for The New Way of the World:

To understand these debates on neoliberalism, the book by Christian Laval and Pierre Dardot on the 'neoliberal society' offers us analytical keys. This monument of scholarship draws on the history of ideas, philosophy and sociology. -- Le Monde
Praise for The New Way of the World:

Extremely scholarly, this book is an insistent invitation to push theoretical and social critique of the present order beyond the standard analyses. * Le Monde diplomatique *
Praise for The New Way of the World:

This book represents much-needed commentary to the lectures delivered by Michel Foucault at the Collège de France in 1978/1979, entitled Birth of Biopolitics, and a compelling analysis of neoliberal governmentality in the era of capitalist financialization. -- Emanuele Leonardi * Theory, Culture & Society *
Praise for The New Way of the World:

Erudite and provocative. -- Bruce Robbins * Los Angeles Review of Books *
For the most maximalist theorists of neoliberalism in thought and practice, look no further. -- Quinn Slobodian, author of Globalists : The End of Empire and the Birth of Neoliberalism
Dardot and Laval present the post-2008 radicalization of neoliberalism as a nightmare and an opportunity. The nightmare is the stranglehold of a system of norms and treaties that benefit the oligarchy while immiserating the rest of us. The opportunity stems from the complete break between the elites and everybody else; neoliberalism has lost even the veneer of legitimacy. The challenge facing the Left is whether we can develop the political vision - and capacity - that will make this an opportunity for us. -- Jodi Dean, author of The Communist Horizon and Crowds and Party
Building on their previous historical analysis of neoliberal rationality, Dardot and Laval now paint a much starker, more terrifying portrait of neoliberalism, that is alert to its violence and unyielding political logic. Never Ending Nightmare presents us with a bleak but compelling account of how neoliberal government has abandoned all pretence of democratic legitimacy. -- William Davies, author of Nervous States: How feeling took over the world
Dardot and Laval's provocative study offers important insights with regard to the current state of radicalization of neoliberalism. Although the interpretation of the EU as a quintessential ordoliberal project will surely trigger objections, their emphasis on legal norms as social technology to advance neoliberal transformations is very well taken. Critical examination of forms of neoliberal oligarchy goes beyond staples of post-democracy. Aficionados of both national populism and traditional party organizations will dislike their message for those on the left who are keen to develop an alternative imaginary of the future. -- Dieter Plehwe, co-editor of The Road from Mont Pèlerin: The Making of the Neoliberal Thought Collective

ISBN: 9781786634740

Dimensions: 210mm x 140mm x 21mm

Weight: 368g

208 pages