The November 2020 "Critical Conversation" will focus on Carl Raschke's 2019 book Neoliberalism and Political Theology as a lens through which to view the current planetary crisis of both economy and governance as manifested in the ongoing political struggle between those forces rallying ethno-nationalism and populism against the global hegemony of transnational capital. The near deadlock of the 2020 U.S. Presidential Election drives home how fierce, but equally counterpoised, these contending force are.
According to the book jacket, Neoliberalism and Political Theology "shatters the common academic myth that neoliberalism is simply free market fundamentalism plus political conservatism. Neoliberalism in recent years has become the operative buzzword among pundits and academics to characterise an increasingly dysfunctional global political economy. It is often--wrongly--identified exclusively with free market fundamentalism and illiberal types of cultural conservatism. Combining penetrating argument and broad-ranging scholarship...Raschke shows what the term really means, how it evolved and why it has been so misunderstood." Blanton and Wurts will react to the thesis and argument of the book as well as join with other seminar participants in a free-ranging discussion, especially in the aftermath of the US Presidential election and in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic, about the future of neoliberalism, which Raschke argues has reached the stage of "catastrophe". It is not necessary to have read the book in advance to contribute productively to the conversation, as the aim of this "conversation" is not to profile its contents so much as to stimulate penetrating discussion of what is happening in the world at this moment.