Real Virtuality: Power and Simulation in the Age of Neoliberal Crisis
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionCulture Unbound. Journal of Current Cultural Research. 2012, 4 (3), 637-659. 10.3384/cu.2000.1525.124637
Departing from a discussion of transformations in the premises of managerial rationality and “managementality” as a pacemaker of the (post)modern social order, as it is steeped in economic crisis, the paper critiques and extends Baudrillard’s constructs of “simulation” and “hyperreality” to illuminate significant developments in the global culture complex of neoliberalization. With empirical illustrations of superfinancialization, transparency and surveillance, the paper explores converging patterns of how models of “neo-management” are created by and constructs new post-political and simulated social worlds. The paper concludes that a key feature of the contemporary “managementalities” that orchestrate and give rise to major models of the neoliberal culture complex, is their capacity for constructing new simulated, yet ontologically distinct, spaces that lie beyond the power of representation. We conceptualize this ontological space as “real virtuality”. The templates of neo-management not only constantly “conquer new land” and subsume it under simulated hyperrealities, they actively “create new lands” with differential ontological statuses of varying gravity.