Edited with an introduction by Jeffrey R. Di Leo and Uppinder Mehan

Capital at the Brink: Overcoming the Destructive Legacies of Neoliberalism

    II. Literature, Culture, and the Self II. Literature, Culture, and the Self > 10. Neoliberalism, Post-Scarcity, and the Entrepreneurial Self

    10. Neoliberalism, Post-Scarcity, and the Entrepreneurial Self

    The main character of the first part of Charles Stross’ novel Accelerando, Manfred Macx, makes his living by “essentially coming up with whacky but workable ideas and giving them to people who will make fortunes with them. He does this for free, gratis. In return, he has virtual immunity from the tyranny of cash; money is a symptom of poverty, after all, and Manfred never has to pay for anything.” [1] Near the beginning of the novel Manfred receives a plea from an AI looking for asylum. “If survival is what you’re after,” he tells it, “‘you could post your state vector on one of the p2p nets: then nobody could delete you __’. ‘Nyet!’ The artificial intelligence sounds as alarmed as it’s possible to sound over a VoiP link. ‘Am not open source! Not want lose autonomy!’” [2]

    Manfred’s desires to be free from the bonds of cash and attempt to move to a high tech version of a gift-economy ends up employing the convenient fiction of the production of knowledge as the equivalent of the production of physical goods and services via the notion of intellectual property. As a good entrepreneur, or a large corporation that headquarters in tax-sheltered locales, Manfred is a hero in IP geek circles because “he’s the guy who patented the business practice of moving your e-business somewhere with a slack intellectual property regime in order to evade licensing encumbrances.” [3] Yet this is the same character who finds a gulf between himself and his parents who are “still locked in the boringly bourgeois twen-cen paradigm of college-career-kids.” [4] His parents are of a generation doomed in the new economics because they follow the thought of “Marxist dialectic and Austrian School economics: they’re so thoroughly hypnotized by the short-term victory of global capitalism that they can’t surf the new paradigm, look to the longer term.” [5] To be fair to Manfred’s parents, and to Manfred and Charlie Stross, the last bit about Austrian School economics is directed toward an uploaded lobster neuronal network that has gained AI through a meshing with older Expert Systems.

    On the one hand, Manfred fits the neoliberal ideal of the autonomous, entrepreneur who is constantly exploring business opportunities; on the other hand, Manfred sees himself as a different creature than those whose lives were lived under neoliberalism. The difference between the two may be that Manfred’s parents lived as the objects of neoliberalist practice or as incomplete subjects whereas Manfred has so completely internalized neoliberal ideals that he is no longer aware of them. But such speculation leads me to step outside the formative processes of the unproblematized self constructed by neoliberal idealism and toward the complete identification between work and self that is as much a part of the capitalist, religious utopian conception of being in the world as it is the Marxist ideal of the unalienated worker.

    It may also be that Manfred is in a confused state in the world of the novel because he himself is caught in a transitional state between Stross’ extrapolation of the current economic and political shape of this world and the next. Most futurologists at the beginning of the 21st century give computing and technology a central role in their forecasts. They typically call for greater interconnectedness leading to greater efficiencies of all sorts. The future for most of them is only quantitatively different from the present. There are, however, those who think our scientific and technological progress is leading us to a qualitatively different future. A small number of science fiction writers have begun to explore the contours of life after the singularity. No one is quite sure what life will be like after the singularity but all are certain that we will finally have moved into a post-scarcity world. The singularity, according to Ray Kurzweil, is a “future period during which the pace of technological change will be so rapid, its impact so deep, that human life will be irreversibly transformed.” [6] The sciences and technologies which will bring this about are already here and getting us closer every year. The speed and capacity of computing power is growing exponentially so that soon Kurzweil hopes to be able to convert his brain into software; nanotechnology is on the verge of realizing the dreams of alchemy; and the recasting of biology into a branch of information technology will lead to the complete control over our bodies and our environments. Implicit in such a vision is the understanding that each one of us will never have to suffer from any physical want. The populating of the “us” has given some science fiction writers pause as they see little reason for the dynamics of technology transfer to change in the foreseeable future. The response to the worry of the unequal distribution of resources is that one, technology always produces cheaper iterations of itself; two, since much of the new technology is information-based attempts at controlling its spread will fail; and three, the nature of information will force us to abandon the iniquities of classical economics which struggles with the allocation of resources under conditions of scarcity.

    In the post-singularity world we may be able to full realize the self promised by neoliberal rhetoric: an autonomous, entrepreneurial self, free to make rational choices about every aspect of life. While Manfred in Stross’ Accelarando may be struggling to be born into a new world, his daughter is fully a creature of a post-singularty and post-scarcity world. Manfred’s daughter begins as the flesh and blood product of the union on Manfred and his ex-wife but quickly becomes something other than a daughter in our contemporary conventional sense of the word. Amber describes herself thus to another character in the novel: “I ran away from home. Mom owned me—that is, she had parental rights and Dad had none. So Dad, via a proxy, helped me sell myself into slavery to a company. The company was owned by a trust fund, and I’m the main beneficiary when I reach the age of majority. As a chattel, the company tells me what to do—legally—but the shell company is set to take my orders. So I’m autonomous.” [7]

    In her examination of the move from analog to digital culture N. Katherine Hayles proclaims at one point, “I certainly am not the autonomous liberal self that located identity in consciousness and rooted it in my ability, first and foremost, to possess my own body…. I am a distributed cognitive system composed of multiple agents that are running the programs from which consciousness emerges, even though consciousness remain blissfully unaware of them.” [8] In blithely dismissing the liberal notion of the self-possession of the body she elides monumental struggles that are still with us in securing that very right to self-possession. As damaging to her position is the reductionist core of her emergent self, for there is once again the I, the I that says, thinks “I am a distributed cognitive system.” If Hayles really is a distributed cognitive system, then she should be addressing herself in the royal We; we am a distributed cognitive system.

    I do find myself in general agreement with Hayles with her fervent wish that soon “Operating in the economy of information, one can dream that social position and economic class will cease to matter, dream even of loosening the constraints of living in a single body located at a single position in space and time.” [9] Such a wish though is what post-scarcity after the singularity promises.

    On the one side the dream of freely flowing information strains to escape scarcity, restricted phusical space, class, gender, embodiment, time, and mortality; on the other side the claims of corporate profit, stratified social structures, physical confinement, gender inequalities, marked and failing bodies re-assert their inevitability. [10]

    Hayles correctly points out the two sides of the dream, although I find it curious that on the nightmare side of the dream she places the “problem” of gender inequality, “marked” and “failing bodies” as being inevitable as corporate profit. She probably does not mean that gender, being marked, and having a failing body are the same sort of problem as corporate profit. What she may mean is that when it comes to the dream of being free of the body (disembodiment) gender could be as much a problem as being marked or feeble. So the question arises, whose body is it that is the subject of the “dream” of disembodiment? Which body is it that one can be free of in the utopia of space and time unbound? What kind of body is it that can best take advantage of life in the post-scarcity world? Obviously, one that is free of gender inequality, read “male”; a body that is not marked, read “white”, a body that is not failing, read “young.” In the final analysis the utopia of unlimited information and goods is threatened by corporate greed, women, non-white people, and the elderly.

    What is wrong with autonomy? Who does not want to be free from the influences of others, especially others who would hold us back from activities and projects that enable us to spend our social and cultural and monetary capital as we would see fit? The individual autonomy that is important to classic liberalism is not the same autonomy we find under neoliberalism according to Baez and Talburt. [11] They argue, following Foucault, that neoliberal autonomy is a technique of governmentality. Subjects, parents of schoolchildren in the case of Baez and Talburt’s analysis, are empowered to act responsibly, to choose to act responsibly, by extending the life of the school into the life of the house and thereby ensuring success for their children. “Neoliberal rationality positions subjects as actors who are “free to” and “responsible for” the administration of their own lives. Parents and children as lifelong learners are “free” to continually recreate the self through a life that “becomes a continuous course of personal responsibility and self-management of one’s risks and destiny—the autonomous learners who are continuously involved in self-improvement.” [12]

    Self-improvement and lifelong learning are transformed under neoliberalism from an active exploration of fields of knowledge to a necessary re-calibration of skills attuned to the shifting demands of the marketplace.

    The autonomous self under Neoliberalism is also being burdened with responsibility when it comes to health care. The discourse of making the delivery of health care efficient is centered on cutting costs. A number of aspects of the health care equation are available for furthering the reduction of costs, various expensive tests requiring exotic machinery and specialized labor, newer medication invented by Big Pharma, fees charged by physicians, and administrative costs of insurance companies, among others; however, the emphasis in neoliberal critiques falls most heavily on reducing the services available to the patient.

    A more insidious neoliberal approach echoes the personal responsibility trope offered above in Baez and Talburt’s application of the notion of governmentality to schoolchildren and their parents. The patient is “empowered” in neoliberalist ideology to manage his or her health, choose the best insurance plan, and select the best physician. As Evans et al. point out no other aspect of health care responsibility has been shifted to patients in contemporary culture more completely than obesity. [13] It falls on the patient to manage his or her obesity not only for a better quality of life but also to aid in the effort to rein in national healthcare costs. The focus is less on the delivery of healthcare and more on the regimen required to be an ideal patient. I’m not arguing that it is not in the best interest of the individual to manage weight within reason but the onus on the responsible individual self ignores the market and structural dimensions of inexpensive, high-caloric food made readily available through heavy subsidies to large agriculture corporations.

    Should the neoliberal self either not be interested in managing his or her weight then there is the option of surgery. Currently, lap band surgery at $12,000 is covered by health insurance plans, including Medicare, if the patient has a BMI of at least 35 (80 to 100 pounds over the recommended weight), a history of related health problems (diabetes, joint-pain, and heart disease), and repeated attempts at dieting. [14] If the patient has difficulty qualifying under the above conditions, then one website for a Bariatric Surgery center advises that “there may be a way to have some of the tests covered, or perhaps have another (approved) abdominal surgery done simultaneously thereby covering some of the anesthesia and hospital fees.” [15] The FDA is under pressure, as of mid-January 2011, by a maker of lap band devices to approve the surgery for people who are only slightly obese.

    A number of meanings overlap from almost the beginning of the uses of the word autonomy. According to the OED, the earliest uses of the word come to us from its political usage. So H. Cockeram in 1623 defines autonomy as the “liberty to live after one’s own law,” but just a few years later More is cited using it in a more inclusive sense, making the move from the individual to a collective. In a biblical history More, in 1681, says that the Jews were granted autonomy, “viz. liberty of living according to their own laws.” The editors of the OED choose an interesting example in their attempt to illustrate the fuller meaning of autonomy as the “liberty to follow one’s will, personal freedom.” Here is the example in full: “1803 W. Taylor in Ann. Rev. 1 384 The customers of a banker can desert to a rival at will, and thus retain an autonomy of conduct.” Given such an entangled beginning it is less surprising that we have such conflicting meanings today. The conflicting meanings also carry into conflicting and contradictory values given to autonomy.

    Autonomy, of course, has a much longer philosophical history and it is beyond the scope of this essay (and my expertise) to give other than a brief caricature of sorts. Both Plato and Aristotle hold that personal autonomy as self-determination is an ideal for humanity and for both this ideal is associated with rationality. The Stoics continue this preference and autonomy develops in the Enlightenment into Rousseau’s concept of autonomy as moral liberty undergirded by the twin notions of mastery over oneself and civil liberty. For Kant moral autonomy resides in having one’s will determine its own guiding principles rather than having them dictated by external figures such as religious authorities and imposed legislation. Rationality still serves as a keystone in Enlightenment ideals and acts as a break on autonomy as the fulfillment of idiosyncratic desires.

    But what Rousseau and Kant see as the workings of universal reason and the rational in the human the Romantics see as the stultifying of the emotional truth of the self. Particularity and individuality drive the emphasis placed upon the passions over reason in search of the complete self rather than the incomplete wizened rational self. John Stuart Mill agrees with the Romantics that the “person whose desires and impulses are his own—are the expression of his own nature, as it has been developed and modified by his own culture—is said to have a character. One whose desires and impulses are not his own has no character, no more than a steam engine has a character.” [16] And it is with Mill that autonomy can be said to be associated with liberalism. Would Mill, however, associate “impulses and desires” with the wildness of the Romantics? A careful reading suggests he would not. “Desires and impulses” are for Mill nature modified by the person’s own culture by which I take him to mean a kind of comprehension, discernment and control developed by experience. The autonomous self for Mill is an expression of individuality and diversity in a social setting.

    It is this linking between liberalism and autonomy, and its extension into neoliberalism, that is of interest to me in this paper and Bhiku Parekh’s criticism of Mill serves as a turn in the criticism of autonomy that has gained ground over the second half of the twentieth century. Parekh holds that “since Mill’s theory of diversity was embedded in an individualist vision of life, he cherished individual but not cultural diversity, that is diversity of views and lifestyles within a shared individualist culture but not diversity of cultures including the nonindividualist.” [17] While Parekh’s point is well taken from a multiculturalist perspective, feminist scholars such as Carol Gilligan wonder whether autonomy may be a gendered value, and contemporary philosophers such as Levinas recommend heteronomy over autonomy.

    The criticism of autonomy that I want to take up in its neoliberal iteration is that offered by communitarians who argue that the liberal emphasis on the autonomy of the self inadequately recognizes the self in its social and political embeddedness. Communitarians, according to Cha, argue that “neo-liberalism is simply revived old-fashioned, economic liberalism, and it means unbridled individualism in the market place, and in the political arena where unfettered individualism allows the economically elite to effectively maintain a position of power.” [18]

    Cha’s dismissive phrase equating Neoliberalism with economic liberalism has some merit in that it underscores the linkage between the two forms. But the qualifying “simply revived” is too facile. To begin with there is an older European Neoliberalism and a more recent American Neoliberalism from the 1980s. The earlier continental Neoliberalism is the one associated with the Austrian School of Economics and then later with the Chicago School and Pinochet’s Chile. This is also the Neoliberalism of David Harvey’s A Brief History of Neoliberalism, who extends it include Thatcher’s England and Reagan’s America. The American Neoliberalism of Charles Peters, Gary Hart, and Robert Reich begins with Reagan’s term.

    In the May 1983 issue of The Washington Monthly Charles Peters published “A Neoliberal’s Manifesto” as a call to liberals in America to re-examine closely held ideas of governance. As he relates in an interview on the Washington Monthly website in 2007, “In the late seventies, there was this stagnation, and you desperately needed a rebirth of entrepreneurship. The neoliberals can’t take complete credit for this rebirth, because it was happening right as we were calling for it. It began to happen with people like Bill Gates and the Apple guy in their garages. Things were ready to explode. But as in so many revolutions that are desirable, it went too far.” [19] A measure of the distance between European and American Neoliberalism is that Charlie Peters supports a nationalized health care system.

    In addition to the writers at The Washington Monthly, Peters’ introduction to his manifesto names reporters from The Atlantic, Texas Monthly, and Newsweek, along with academics such as Robert Reich and Lester Thurow, and politicians such as Gary Hart, Paul Tsongas and Bill Bradley as fellow travelers. The opening move of the manifesto is to frame Neoliberalism as an attempt to start thinking again rather than responding automatically to the problems of the country. So neoliberals do not want to automatically “favor unions and big government or oppose the military and big business.” [20] In addition to economic stagnation, neoliberals see a crumbling infrastructure, inefficient public agencies, a top-heavy military, and selfish politicians beholden to special interest groups. The liberals lack of solutions come from having fallen prey to four principles: Don’t Say Anything Bad about the Good Guy, Pull up the Ladder, The More the Merrier, and lastly Politics is Bad and Politicians are even Worse. All of which necessarily lead to the unquestioning acceptance of the status quo: public schools, the civil service and unions are not to be alienated, the more beneficiaries a program has the more likely it is to survive politically, and public institutions such as the Post Office are to be free of government control and influence. American neoliberals focus, instead, on “encouraging entrepreneurship” not by adopting “Reaganite policies that make the rich richer” but by providing a more inviting environment for investors and customers and by increasing competition. But such actions are to take place with the understanding that “on the matters of health and safety … there must be vigorous regulation, because the same capitalism that can give us economic vitality can also sell us Pintos, maim employees, and pollute our skies and streams.” [21]

    The more details Peters provides in his manifesto the less certain I am there is that much difference between American Neoliberalism and the European Neoliberalism which sees its ideas turned into policies that are most significantly first put into effect in Latin and South America. Perhaps, there is one significant difference between the two neoliberalisms, Peters’ manifesto is silent on the issue of free trade. The importance of free trade to the Neoliberalism inflicted on southern countries makes it central to most of its other positions on the economy, government, and understanding of the individual self; perhaps, it is that missing piece in American Neoliberalism that makes it possible for Democrats in the 1980s (some would say including the Clinton and Obama administrations) to view their actions as corrections rather than capitulations.

    Hayek and Friedman’s Neoliberalism (European Neoliberalism) believes that “the individual is generally the best judge of his or her interests, and that economic ends are generally best pursued through a market system involving private ownership and contractual exchange.” [22] Economic ends may have been the beginning of Neoliberalist concerns but the ends have multiplied and now seem to reach into every aspect of human (and non-human) life: or as David Harvey puts it, “the commodification of everything.” [23] The ethics of neoliberalism frame the free market transaction as both duty and consequence. Neoliberal thinking is manifest in higher education primarily through the on-going attempt to turn universities into enterprise systems in which the student/consumer is sold a quantifiable good by the entrepreneur/teacher and the whole process can be assessed for its accuracy, validity, and efficiency. The student and the teacher are partners in an exchange in which both of them are tasked with making choices. The capacity to make rational choices figures as highly in education as it does in health care where the onus is on the individual to become the shaper of his or her body. The discourse of health care increasingly mimics the discourse of management. The rational self assesses the performance needs of the body, purchases the products and knowledge necessary to maintain the body in good working order, and adopts the required pharmaceutical and “lifestyle” regimes. Such a perspective on health is not new with neoliberalism but it has certainly acquired a greater market share than ever before.

    The student, the teacher, the health consumer, the worker are all entrepreneurs in neoliberal thought. Each individual a company of one that enters into contractual engagements with other companies. An entrepreneur, by definition, responds to market forces by assessing the needs of the marketplace and supplying those needs. As the market forces change so too does the entrepreneur in response. The original capitalist understanding of the entrepreneur is the individual as investor. According to BusinessDictionary.com, an entrepreneur is a “Person who exercises initiative by organizing a venture to take benefit of an opportunity and, as the decision maker, decides what, how, and how much of a good or service will be produced. He or she supplies risk capital as a risk taker, and monitors and controls the business‘ activities as a manager. The entrepreneur is usually a sole-proprietor, a partner, or the one who owns the majority of shares in an incorporated venture.” BusinessDictionary.com is owned by Web Finance Inc., “an internet company that strives to provide educational tools in a wide range of subject areas.” The site informs us that the company’s “goal is to help as many people as possible, and for this reason everything [they] provide is free.” In case you are wondering Walden University and Chase Bank were the two advertisers on the webpage offering me easy credit and the opportunity to make a difference in my community (I leave it to you to match advertiser and offer).

    At the heart of the vision of the entrepreneur is the necessity of contracts, and the arguments Plato gives to Socrates for the necessity of contracts with their basis in enlightened self-interest have been echoed throughout history. People come together and are ruled by giving consent to the state. Alongside such an understanding, however, is also an awareness that, at root, the consent is based on force. Hume’s thoughts on the original contract lead him to pronounce that “Almost all the governments which exist at present, or of which there remains any record in story, have been founded originally, either on usurpation or conquest, or both, without any presence of a fair consent or voluntary subjection of the people.” The promoters of neoliberalism would respond by pointing out that that inequality is exactly the problem that entrepreneurship, that contracts entered into freely, are best at combating. As Hart and Holmstrom point out, however, contracts always spell out enforcement issues. They do sketch a case of the parties to a contract behaving responsibly toward each other, honoring the terms of their contract without recourse to legally binding penalties: “a party may behave “reasonably” even if he is not obliged to do so in order to develop a reputation as a decent and reliable trader” (102). But Hart and Holmstrom emphasize that such behavior depends on a shared understanding of the terms of the contract, shared norms of behavior, and equally shared information. The free exchange between parties that freely enter into an agreement is the utopian dream of contemporary capitalists from Adam Smith’s liberals to Milton Friedman’s neoliberals. However, “Adam Smith’s economic agents are not just isolated individuals, they are property owners, and it is because they are the owners of property that some have the power, embodied in legal right, to profit from the labor of others” (Clarke 52).

    I began this essay with a brief look at Charles Stross’ Accelerando and ended with the main character of the second half of the story, Amber, the daughter born in a post-singular, post-scarcity world. At a key point in her psychological development she rebuffs a “traditional” understanding of family and relationships when she interrupts a homily about “a mother’s love,” “Fuck love … she wants power.” [24] The rest of the novel in which she and her band of explorers upload versions of themselves into a tin can of a spaceship, heading out to meet alien info-traders, follows the same trajectory that Hayles’ points out in her analysis of three fictions covering a span from the end of the nineteenth century to the 1970s. New information first allows the protagonist to escape from her known limitations but then a realization sets in that the escape is actually a new “arena in which the dynamics of domination and control can be played out in new ways.” [25]

    I’ll end with making use of Appiah’s useful distinction between strong autonomy and weak autonomy. Neoliberal idealists value strong autonomy which sees the individual as fully capable of making rational decisions about all aspects of his or her life. Communitarians recognize all the ways in which the self is both a problematic on-going construction pulled in various directions by internal and external forces to such an extent that the boundary between external and internal ceases to register. Appiah’s suggestion is that weak autonomy, “an availability of options, an endowment with minimum rationality, an absence of coercion” [26] may actually be what those who think of autonomy as a value may be advocating. Such a sense of autonomy seems to me something most of us can work with.

    Works Cited

    • Appiah, Kwame Anthony. The Ethics of Identity. Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 2005.
    • Baez, Benjamin and Susan Talburt. “Governing for Responsibility and with Love: Parents and Children between Home and School.” Educational Theory 58.1 (2008): 25-43.
    • Cha, In-Suk. “Reform Liberalism Reconsidered.” Diogenes 48.192 (Winter 2000): 97-103.
    • Evans, John, Emma Rich, Brian Davies, and Rachel Allwood. Education, Disordered Eating and Obesity Discourse: Fat Fabrications. London, England: Routledge, 2008.
    • Hart, Oliver and Bengt Holmstrom. The Theory of Contracts. 1985. Internet Archive. 2011. Web. 25 June 2012.
    • Harvey, David. A Brief History of Neoliberalism. New York: Oxford University Press, 2005.
    • Hayles, N. Katherine. My Mother was a Computer: Digital Subjects and Literary Texts. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2005.
    • Hodgson, Geoffrey M. “Knowledge at Work: Some Neoliberal Anachronisms.” Review of Social Economy LXIII.4 (December 2005): 547-565.
    • Hume, David. “Of the Original Contract.” Essays, Moral, Political, and Literary. Ed. Eugene F. Miller. Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, Inc., 1987. First Published Part I: 1742. Part II (Political Discourses): 1752. Combined: 1777. http://www.econlib.org/cgi-bin/cite.pl Web. 26 June 2012.
    • “Insurance Coverage for the Lap Band Procedure.” Bariatric Surgery Specialists. n.d. http://lapband.obeseinfo.com/
    • Klein, Ezra. “A Neoliberal Education: David Brooks thinks neoliberalism is dead. Charles Peters begs to differ.” The Washington Monthly (May 2007). http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/features/2007/0705.klein.html
    • Kurzweil, Ray. The Singularity is Near. New York: Viking, 2005.
    • Mill, John Stuart. On Liberty. Indianapolis and New York: The Liberal Arts Press, 1956.
    • Peters, Charles. “A Neoliberal’s Manifesto.” The Washington Monthly (May 2007; originally published May 1983). www.washingtonmonthly.com/features/1983/8305_Neoliberalism.pdf
    • Stross, Charles. Accelerando. New York: Penguin, 2005.
    • Zuckerman, Diana. “Playing With the Band.” The New York Times (11 January 2011). http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/12/opinion/12zuckerman.html?_r=0

    Notes

    1. Charles Stross, Accelerando (New York: Penguin, 2005), Chapter 1, 10/59.return to text
    2. Ibid., Chapter 1, 7/59.return to text
    3. Ibid., Chapter 1, 9/59.return to text
    4. Ibid., Chapter 1, 8/59.return to text
    5. Ibid.return to text
    6. Ray Kurzweil, The Singularity is Near (New York: Viking, 2005), p. 7.return to text
    7. Charles Stross, Accelerando, Part 2, Chapter 1, 44/77.return to text
    8. N. Katherine Hayles, My Mother was a Computer: Digital Subjects and Literary Texts (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2005), p. 213. return to text
    9. N. Katherine Hayles, My Mother was a Computer, p. 63return to text
    10. Ibid., p. 64.return to text
    11. Benjamin Baez and Susan Talburt, “Governing for Responsibility and with Love: Parents and Children between Home and School,” Educational Theory 58.1 (2008): 25-43.return to text
    12. Baez, Benjamin and Susan Talburt. “Governing for Responsibility and with Love,” p. 16.return to text
    13. John Evans, Emma Rich, Brian Davies, and Rachel Allwood, Education, Disordered Eating and Obesity Discourse: Fat Fabrications (London, England: Routledge, 2008). return to text
    14. Diana Zuckerman, “Playing With the Band,” The New York Times (11 January 2011). http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/12/opinion/12zuckerman.html?_r=0 return to text
    15. “Insurance Coverage for the Lap Band Procedure,” Bariatric Surgery Specialists, n.d. http://lapband.obeseinfo.com/ return to text
    16. John Stuart Mill, On Liberty (Indianapolis and New York: The Liberal Arts Press, 1956), p. 73.return to text
    17. Kwame Anthony Appiah, The Ethics of Identity (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2005), p. 42.return to text
    18. In-Suk Cha, “Reform Liberalism Reconsidered,” Diogenes 48.192 (Winter 2000): 97-103, p. 98.return to text
    19. Ezra Klein, “A Neoliberal Education: David Brooks thinks neoliberalism is dead. Charles Peters begs to differ,” The Washington Monthly (May 2007). http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/features/2007/0705.klein.html return to text
    20. Charles Peters, “A Neoliberal’s Manifesto,” The Washington Monthly (May 2007; originally published May 1983), p. 9. www.washingtonmonthly.com/features/1983/8305_Neoliberalism.pdf return to text
    21. Charles Peters, “A Neoliberal’s Manifesto,” p. 11.return to text
    22. Geoffrey M. Hodgson, “Knowledge at Work: Some Neoliberal Anachronisms,” Review of Social Economy LXIII.4 (December 2005): 547-565, p. 547.return to text
    23. David Harvey, A Brief History of Neoliberalism (New York: Oxford University Press, 2005), p. 165.return to text
    24. Charles Stross, Accelerando, Part 2, Chapter 1, 54/77.return to text
    25. N. Katherine Hayles, My Mother was a Computer, p. 65.return to text
    26. Kwame Anthony Appiah, The Ethics of Identity, p. 40.return to text