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Politics of divination. Neoliberalism as theology of chance


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Since the 2008 financial crisis, the neoliberal ideas that arguably caused the damage have been triumphant in presenting themselves as the only possible solution for it. How can we account for the persistence of neoliberal hegemony, in spite of its obviously disastrous effects upon labor, capital, ecology, and society? With Joshua Ramey, Joyce Goggin, Amir Vudka and Patricia Pisters.

In his new book The Politics of Divination Joshua Ramey argues that part of the persistence of neoliberalism has to do with the archaic and obscure political theology upon which of much of its discourse trades. This is a political theology of chance that both underwrites and obscures sacrificial devotion to market outcomes. Joshua Ramey structures this political theology around hidden homologies between modern markets, as non-rational randomizing ‘meta-information processors’, and archaic divination tools, which are used in public acts of tradition-bound attempts to interpret the deliverances of chance.

Ramey argues that only by recognizing the persistently sacred character of chance within putatively secularized discourses of risk and randomness can the investments of neoliberal power be exposed at their sacred source, and an alternative political theology be constructed.

Joshua Ramey will be present to introduce his book, followed by two responses by Amir Vudka and Joyce Goggin. The evening will be moderated by Patricia Pisters, whose short film “Follow the Gold” will be shown as an intermezzo to start the discussion with the audience.

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