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The Government of DesireA Genealogy of the Liberal Subject$
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Miguel de Beistegui

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780226547374

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: May 2019

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226547404.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CHICAGO SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Chicago Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CHSO for personal use.date: 19 September 2021

Desire, Again …

Desire, Again …

(p.209) Conclusion Desire, Again …
The Government of Desire

Miguel de Beistegui

University of Chicago Press

The conclusion provides a critical summary of the argument and trajectory of the book. It calls into question the idea of liberalism (and especially neoliberalism) as a system of freedom, and argues that we should see it as a highly normative enterprise, which defines and shapes subjectivity according to the axioms and rationality of the market. Similarly, it emphasises that sexuality is a construction of desire, irreducibly bound up with its own normativity, and founded on naturalistic principles: whilst sexuality is no longer policed in the same way, or at least to the same extent, it remains the object of a constant and endlessly evolving self-discovery, a privileged access to who we really are, and an essential mechanism in understanding our true, innermost self. Finally, regarding the symbolic regime of desire, the conclusion agrees with Saul Newman's claim that "nothing could be less challenging to the neoliberal order than the desire for recognition on the part of particular identities, whether cultural, sexual or otherwise." The conclusion also explores different strategies of resistance to the liberal, that is, normative processes of subjectivation, and argues for anarchism as "the art of being less governed" (Foucault) and of escaping the traps of power.

Keywords:   critique, freedom, resistance, counter-conduct, desubjugation, anarchism, power, Foucault

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