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Maurizio Lazzarato

Maurizio Lazzarato is a sociologist and philosopher in Paris. He is the author of The Making of the Indebted Man: An Essay on the Neoliberal Condition and Signs and Machines: Capitalism and the Production of Subjectivity, both published by Semiotext(e)/The MIT Press.

Titles by This Author

Work, Welfare, and Creativity in the Neoliberal Age

In Experimental Politics, Maurizio Lazzarato examines the conditions of work, employment, and unemployment in neoliberalism’s flexible and precarious labor market.

Experts, pundits, and politicians agree: public debt is hindering growth and increasing unemployment. Governments must reduce debt at all cost if they want to restore confidence and get back on a path to prosperity. Maurizio Lazzarato’s diagnosis, however, is completely different: under capitalism, debt is not primarily a question of budget and economic concerns but a political relation of subjection and enslavement. Debt has become infinite and unpayable.

Capitalism and the Production of Subjectivity

“Capital is a semiotic operator”: this assertion by Félix Guattari is at the heart of Maurizio Lazzarato’s Signs and Machines, which asks us to leave behind the logocentrism that still informs so many critical theories. Lazzarato calls instead for a new theory capable of explaining how signs function in the economy, in power apparatuses, and in the production of subjectivity.

An Essay on the Neoliberal Condition

The debtor-creditor relation, which is at the heart of this book, sharpens mechanisms of exploitation and domination indiscriminately, since, in it, there is no distinction between workers and the unemployed, consumers and producers, working and non-working populations, between retirees and welfare recipients. They are all “debtors,” guilty and responsible in the eyes of capital, which has become the Great, the Universal, Creditor.
--from The Making of the Indebted Man