Chapter 7: From entrepreneurship to rentiership in neoliberalism
This chapter introduces the second contradiction of neoliberalism and critical understandings of it, namely the emphasis on entrepreneurship as the defining feature of modern subjectivity. Both neoliberals and their critics emphasize the idea that everyone is or has become an entrepreneur in contemporary capitalism. Despite these claims, there is limited evidence that people are actually more entrepreneurial in their actions and behaviours; most critical perspectives that propound this view, for example, do not present substantive empirical support for their arguments. In fact, it is possible to argue that contemporary capitalism is underpinned more by forms of rent-seeking or rentiership in which ownership and control of various assets (e.g. housing) enables individuals to capture and appropriate (rather than create) value. This is evident across the economy from house ownership through social media platforms.
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