My Review of Brown and Lazzarato on Neoliberalism at LARB

The essay, Company of One: The Fate of Democracy in an Age of Neoliberalism, takes up Brown’s Undoing the Demos: Neoliberalism’s Stealth Revolution (2015) and Lazarrato’s Governing by Debt (2015, but first published in Italian in 2013). Both books are anchored in readings and responses to Foucault’s 1978-9 lecture course The Birth of Biopolitics as well as the shift (oddly Lazzarato, despite long discussions of Foucault, kept conflating liberalism and neoliberalism, using the terms interchangeably) that Foucault was attempting to mark. Their analyses are in many ways congruent, though their last chapters reveal divergent projects for the left, with Brown arguing for bolstering “liberal” forms of politics being lost to neoliberalism and Lazzarato saying all forms of politics need to be rendered inoperative.