Automated Neoliberalism? The Digital Organisation of Markets in Technoscientific Capitalism

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10.3898/NEWF:100-101.02.2020

The core contradiction in neoliberalism (studies) is that markets are organised and require significant bureaucratic coordination and governance. In light of the increasingly technoscientific nature of contemporary capitalism, it is important to examine exactly how markets are organised and their governance configured by digital processes. In this article, I argue that the entanglement of digital technoscience and capitalism has led to an ‘automated neoliberalism’ in which markets are configured by digital platforms, personal lives are transformed through the accumulation of personal data, and social relations are automated through algorithms, distributed electronic ledgers, and rating systems. Two issues arise as a result of these changes: first, are markets being automated away, in that market exchange no longer underpins social organisation? And second, does individual and social reflexivity problematise techno-economic automation, in that new platforms, data assets, ranking algorithms, etc. are all dependent on individuals telling the ‘truth’? My aim in this article is to answer these questions and to consider the political implications of automated neoliberalism and our reflexive enrolment in it.

100 - 101: Bureaucracy