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The Aesthetics of the Sovereign Self in Conditions of Post-Scarcity

The Aesthetics of the Sovereign Self in Conditions of Post-Scarcity uppiNDeR mehaN I look at two notions of the self here in a discussion of the aesthetics of sovereignty: a sovereign self expressing and constituting itself through an aesthetic of control, and a communitarian self with its attendant aesthetic of play. In an attempt to reduce the discussion to manageable proportions, I will associate control with the issue of individualist autonomy, and play with the issue of collaboration. My main interest in the paper is to examine the notion of the sovereign individual self that is associated with the economic ideology of capitalism. Although there are a number of important distinctions between the various kinds and stages of capitalist ideology, I will focus on the portrait of the self produced by the semantic field that terms such as capitalism, late-capitalism, and neo-liberalism all generally connote. A useful sketch of such a self is provided by Foucault in one of his Collège de France lectures: "the economic model of supply and demand and of investmentcosts-profit [is extended] so as to make it a model of social relations and of existence itself, a form of relationship of the individual to himself, time, those around him, the group, and the family" http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png The Comparatist University of North Carolina Press

The Aesthetics of the Sovereign Self in Conditions of Post-Scarcity

The Comparatist , Volume 36 (1) – May 19, 2012

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Publisher
University of North Carolina Press
Copyright
Copyright © Southern Comparative Literature Association.
ISSN
1559-0887
Publisher site
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Abstract

uppiNDeR mehaN I look at two notions of the self here in a discussion of the aesthetics of sovereignty: a sovereign self expressing and constituting itself through an aesthetic of control, and a communitarian self with its attendant aesthetic of play. In an attempt to reduce the discussion to manageable proportions, I will associate control with the issue of individualist autonomy, and play with the issue of collaboration. My main interest in the paper is to examine the notion of the sovereign individual self that is associated with the economic ideology of capitalism. Although there are a number of important distinctions between the various kinds and stages of capitalist ideology, I will focus on the portrait of the self produced by the semantic field that terms such as capitalism, late-capitalism, and neo-liberalism all generally connote. A useful sketch of such a self is provided by Foucault in one of his Collège de France lectures: "the economic model of supply and demand and of investmentcosts-profit [is extended] so as to make it a model of social relations and of existence itself, a form of relationship of the individual to himself, time, those around him, the group, and the family"

Journal

The ComparatistUniversity of North Carolina Press

Published: May 19, 2012

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