Philip Mirowski keynote for ‘Life and Debt’ conference (2012)

Excellent lecture by Mirowski who wrote a couple great works on the neoliberal agenda: The Road from Mont Pelerin: The Making of the Neoliberal Thought Collective; and, Machine Dreams: Economics becomes a Cyborg Science.

I’ve been reading the latter for a while now. In this lecture he takes on the Climate agenda of the Neoliberals. Along the way discusses Foucault, Neoclassical economics, Naomi Kliein, etc. toward a nuanced discussion on what is on the plate with CO2 emissions and the carbon reduction schemes. What he terms the Neoliberal prescription: a threefold scheme to boondoggle the public in short term, medium term, and long term schemes of propaganda leading to vast markets of geoengineering of the climate. All of these schemes purporting to solve not the actual problem of carbon emissions, but to actually set that initiative to naught. He also details his reason of what the Left needs to do to counter this neoliberal vision. And, also, accuses the Left of having little or no intellectual vision at this moment to counter much of anything, much less the crisis of climate warming coming at us.

Foucault News

Comments on Foucault at around the 14 minute mark

Published on Aug 18, 2013

Life and Debt: Living through the Financialisation of the Biosphere
Philip Mirowski keynote for ‘Life and Debt’ conference

How can it be that the climate crisis, the biodiversity crisis and the deepest financial crisis since 1930s have done so little to undermine the supremacy of orthodox economics?

The lecture will preview material from Mirowski’s new book: Never Let a Serious Crisis Go to Waste: How Neoliberalism Survived the Financial Meltdown (Verso, 2013).

In this lecture, Professor Mirowski responds to the question of how it is that science came to be subordinate to economics and the very future of nature to be contingent upon the market. Charting the contradictions of the contemporary political landscape, he notes that science denialism, markets for pollution permits and proposals for geo-engineering can all be understood as political strategies designed to neutralize…

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