1. Research Congresses
        2. 1st FORMER WEST Congress
        3. Video

        Death of Money: Anxiety in Late Capitalism

        Renata Salecl

        5 November 2009

      1. Today’s capitalist ideology is constantly encouraging individuals that everything in their lives is a matter of choice, that they are free to make out of themselves what they desire and that there are limitless ways to find enjoyment in life. After the collapse of socialism, the idea that the individual is able to make numerous choices about the direction of his or her life has opened new forms of anxiety, feelings of guilt, and inadequacy. Psychoanalysts have also observed new types of symptoms that emerged with the idea that the individual is capable of mastering his or her life to perfection. Some of these symptoms show that the free individual often ends up on a path to self-destruction when he or she strongly identifies with the ideology of choice. This keynote questions what kind of changes we can observe at the level of subjectivity now that we are going through a serious economic crisis. With the collapse of the financial markets in 2008 some people experienced a deep depression and have pointed out that they are “mourning death of money.” Which ideology contributed to the perception that money is something that can die and did something change in the individual’s self-perception when the crisis undermined previous perceptions about progress and success of capitalism?