Feminist Theory Supplemental Questions–Black Feminism & Neoliberalism
These are supplemental questions regarding Stephen Dillon’s “Possessed By Death.” Members of my feminist theory seminar ought to discuss them below in the comments.
Dillon argues that “antiblack technologies…live on in the operation of the market” (114). How do antiblack technologies/ideals/strategies manifest as operations of the neoliberal/deregulated market? As operations of big data?
In what ways does white feminism present itself as a front for neoliberal capitalism? And what are the anti-black implications/foundations of that?
Dillon argues that “for the slave, economic rationality possessed every moment of life’s terror and death’s release. Liberal distinctions between the public and the private, and the economic, political, and social were fabrications for the slave, illusions that depended on their erasure from the realm of the human…This process is the unthought genealogy of neoliberalism’s biopolitics and its commodification of life” (119). If neoliberalism is an “economic rationality” that understands everything in terms of entrepreneurship and a deregulated market (cf Foucault BoB), to what extent can we see neoliberalism as extending its control of slaves to the general population? How does white supremacy work, then, if even whites are subject to the kind of economic rationality once reserved for black slaves?
Feminists have talked about the role of “constitutive exclusion” in systems of oppression: the exclusion of a group constitutes the norm/privileged group as such (e.g., masculine is whatever is not feminine). Dillon suggests, however, a technique of “constitutively haunting…global capitalism. The imprisoned women of color compose the ‘detritus’ of neoliberalism–the human waste necessary to its success” (116). How is constitutive haunting different from constitutive exclusion? And how is this difference related to broader shifts to neoliberalism?