When culture reproduces state-market control

The turn to "culture" as a legitimate tool for measurement, evaluation, prescription, and implementation is intertwined with the incorporation of culture into sites of state-market control.

Culture, as the handmaiden of the neoliberal transformation of societies, is incorporated into the logics imposed by the state toward the transformation of human lives under the overarching logic of the market.

The cultural subject is an individualized self-interested consumer, participating through the state-controlled techniques of hyper-engagement to generate revenues for the market.

The authoritarian techniques deployed by the state mechanize the terms, textures, techniques, and possibilities for cultural participation.

The message, "the market rules," is incorporated into a wide range of cultural artefacts that consistently sings the song of the market. Cultural consumption, mediated through the market logics, is turned into points of profiteering, simultaneously "place branding" cultural spaces as destinations for transnational capital. 

Narrowly and monotonously captured into metrics of cultural capital, culture is turned into an instrument of accounting. Heritage sites, trails, museums, art houses, performances, theaters are accounted for by the overarching rules of cultural capital, incorporated into the techniques of the state for drawing foreign direct investments and positioning itself as an investment hub.

As an instrument of accounting, culture is assigned an economic value, and commoditized into the overarching logics of the global free market.

Cultural value is the economic value, circulated in the exchange logics of the free market.

Cultural products and artifacts, thus constituted in the logics of the market, are strictly controlled within the authoritarian techniques of the state, stripped of the dynamism, fluidity and resistive possibilities.

What will attract capital investments is culture. What will enable the branding of the state as a hub for global financial investments is culture. What will narrowly contribute to the neoliberal logics of market fundamentalism is culture.

Simultaneously, the authoritarian state deploys a wide range of techniques of control to erase the critical, contested, and tensile sites of culture.


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