Maurizio Lazzarato

The work of Maurizio Lazzarato who is an Italian philosopher and socialist who lives in France. He has an array of involvement in contributing to theories and activism as well as defending the workers around the globe. He has vast interest in economic theories of countries around the world and tries to explain them in a scholarly manner to bring his in depth perspective in the scholarly universe. His involvement in reflects on the vast theorization of the rise in precariousness, leftist mobilization, mutation of labor, and neo-liberal governances expressed around the global economies. Lazzarato came to limelight when his essential book on debt was translated into English. This vital book is called, “La Fabrique de l’homme endette” which translated to “the making of indebted man.”

I will, however, primarily focus on Governing by Debt where his view on neo-liberal governance and his scholarly thought as well as his dialogue with Foucault relating to neo-liberalism when lecturing in College de France. His forthright disagreement with both heterodox and orthodox economist in his book governing by Debt depicts an author who does not mince his words and stands firm with is scholarly arguments. The direct approach method he uses in laying down his arguments and contributing to the question of neo-liberalization says much about the character of Lazzarato. With a great mastery of English language he articulates his opinions with profound conviction. Lazzarato on reading the contemporary crisis that economies faces, he seeks that the thoughts of Guattari and Deleuze need to be adjust and insists that capitalism remains that of the state only. In addition, Foucault’s ideas require modification so as to answer the current crisis in the world. He persuades in his arguments the reason for holding such opinion.

Lazzarato on reading the crisis in the modern time, suggest that Foucault for instance, appreciate with vigor the opposition of state by liberals. He maintains that countries like Greece have come under great pressure from institutions like International Monetary Fund, the European Central Bank and the European Union to put guidelines that would ensure that financial institutions like banks are saved from the economic turmoil while the population pays. The two logics are essentially heterogeneous and if they come together there could be an assemblage in trying to stabilize the state from being in debt.

It is vital to note that, neo-liberalism intensified reterritorialization in terms of labor, capital goods and communication as well as decoding violently of the containment, discipline and protection of Fordism. Lazzarato on agrees with Foucault on mutual existence and engagement of the two logics since neo-liberalism frees the capitalists theorists from Fordists institutions by releasing deterritorializing and destructive power of capitalism. In addition, the analysis of capitalists financing and that of neo-liberalism are not close regarding their concepts.

Despite the sanguine analysis of neo-liberalism by some scholars, the main question to where neo-liberalism fit in the debt mobilization remains unanswered. I would agree with him that the mandate and responsibility of the government institution to take direct action in dealing with the issue of debt. In accepting the liberal reason variables in dealing with debt are considered in trying to normalize the facilitation of the process of moving out of the situation.

Lazzarato refers to the profound outstanding student debt in the United States of America which is more than the public debt of either Italy or France and also much more that what Greece owes the International Monetary Fund or the European Union. Lazzarato observes various issues relating to this matter of student and try to differ with neo-liberalists on dealing with this debt. Contrary to what he holds, I equate the market exchange to the liberation from social and traditional obligations which are framed as debt despite it (debt) being free and is extended overtime to the students. The open- ended approach of giving loans to the student and acquiring loan divert from financial capitalism and a debt should in fact lead to the collapse of capitalism at large. Viewing of institution, states or governments that are owed as gods is ahistorical and hypocritical. In contextualization of debt in Governing by Debt and giving broader view of the essentiality of neo-liberalism in the current crisis relating to debt.

The failing of Lazzrato’s persuasive account of the nature of capitalism goes in tandem with the object of study. As he tries to drill notes by unleashing creativity on representing the logic behind cognitive capitalism impoverishes the public. The reasoning destroys cultures, knowledge, and understanding which is embodied by other ideologies or the capitalist logic. However, Lazzarato is aware of the domination of neo-liberalism, knowing that capitalism is in crisis from the profound neo-liberalism.

In conclusion, a room for debate and further scholarly reason still exists in the wake of trying to explain how neo-liberalism and capitalism affect the governing of debt in the modern world. Criticizing of different literally works will still continue in the efforts of trying to merge the two logics. However, I admire the persuasiveness of Lazzarato in making his point clear in Governing by Debt.