A political economy for yacht owners
in Neoliberal lives
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This introduction proposes the argument that what appear today as fragmented social, economic, environmental, and political problems are actually manifestations of the structurally conditioned logic or “reason,” of capitalism. The argument builds on previous scholarship that understands neoliberalism not as a narrow economic triumph of “free markets,” nor as a meaningless “conceptual trash heap” in which anything might be thrown. Rather, it presents neoliberalism as a class-based political project undertaken in the context of downward pressures on the profit rate to position capital more favourably in its struggle to preserve the conditions for accumulation – a project that reaches deeply into the weave of biological, ecological, and social life. It involves both the increasing role of money and markets in the determination of life chances, and the systematic push of corporations – as bearers of neoliberal reason and as beneficiaries of neoliberal transformations – into previously protected spheres of life. The introduction elaborates on this argument, provides the theoretical framework for the book, and introduces the topics covered in the subsequent chapters.

Neoliberal lives

Work, politics, nature, and health in the contemporary United States

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