By Elizabeth A. Povinelli
In Economies of Abandonment, Elizabeth A. Povinelli explores how overdue liberal imaginaries of annoying, eventfulness, and moral substance make the worldwide distribution of existence and demise, wish and damage, and persistence and exhaustion no longer simply good but in addition simply. She provides new methods of conceptualizing formations of strength in overdue liberalism—the form that liberal governmentality has taken because it has answered to a sequence of legitimacy crises within the wake of anticolonial and new social events and, extra lately, the “clash of civilizations” after September eleven. in response to longstanding ethnographic paintings in Australia and the USA, in addition to serious readings of felony, educational, and activist texts, Povinelli examines how replacement social worlds and initiatives generate new probabilities of existence within the context of normal and striking acts of forget and surveillance. She focuses rather on social initiatives that experience no longer but completed a concrete life yet persist on the threshold of attainable lifestyles. through addressing the query of the persistence, not to mention the survival, of other sorts of existence, Povinelli opens new moral and political questions.
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Additional info for Economies of Abandonment: Social Belonging and Endurance in Late Liberalism
35 But rather than dwell on the question of critical theory’s proper stance toward the subject that it posits as the engine of history, in this introduction I want to examine a slightly different set of concerns. First, I should note that I am myself aligned with the general project of immanent critique to find a source of a social otherwise outside a gesture of transcendental consciousness. My alignment with immanent critique is no doubt due to a certain aesthetic and theoretical predisposition to this framework.
44 What has changed, Harvey argues, is the location of accumulation by dispossession, not the process. 47 Rather The Child in the Broom Closet than the doors of various broom closets being swung open, the occupants of these closets were shuffled around while new justifications for belonging and abandonment emerged. Some continental disparities continued. 48 Other continents emerged as major economic and social forces. China and India of course—but also South America—emerged as major centers for a renewed revolutionary Left fueled by such means as petrol pesos (Venezuela) and production centers (Brazil) even while the material benefits of the revolution remains unclear.
Approaching ethical substance from the perspective of belonging and abandonment can—tends to— figure substance as a secondary condition. On the one hand, we have the social logics of belonging and abandonment and, on the other hand, the how or to what material condition one belongs or is abandoned; for example, the child is abandoned and the material conditions of this abandonment are such and such. These second-order questions are often not sufficiently probed, leading to some questionable conflations of various states of so-called bare life.