How Prisoners Of Reason Reveals the Hidden Logic of Neoliberalism (PDF)
Prisoners of Reason: Game Theory and Neoliberal Political Economy Book Pdf
If you are interested in understanding the origins and implications of neoliberalism, a political and economic ideology that has dominated the world since the end of the Cold War, you should read Prisoners of Reason: Game Theory and Neoliberal Political Economy by S. M. Amadae. This book is a comprehensive and critical analysis of how game theory, a mathematical tool for studying strategic interaction, has shaped the neoliberal worldview and agenda.
Prisoners Of Reason: Game Theory And Neoliberal Political Economy Book Pdf
What is game theory?
Game theory is a branch of mathematics that studies situations where rational agents (such as individuals, firms, or countries) have to make decisions based on their preferences, beliefs, and expectations about the actions and reactions of other agents. Game theory models these situations as games, where each agent has a set of possible strategies and payoffs that depend on the strategies chosen by all agents. The goal of game theory is to find the optimal or equilibrium strategies for each agent, given their assumptions and constraints.
What is neoliberalism?
Neoliberalism is a political and economic ideology that advocates for free markets, free trade, deregulation, privatization, individualism, and minimal state intervention. Neoliberalism emerged in the late 20th century as a response to the perceived failures of Keynesianism, socialism, and communism. Neoliberalism claims that markets are the most efficient and fair way of allocating resources and distributing wealth, and that individuals are rational and self-interested actors who can pursue their own happiness and welfare through market competition.
How are game theory and neoliberalism related?
According to Amadae, game theory and neoliberalism are intimately related in both historical and conceptual ways. Historically, game theory was developed and applied by economists, mathematicians, and political scientists who were influenced by or sympathetic to neoliberal ideas. For example, John von Neumann and Oskar Morgenstern, the founders of game theory, were anti-communist and pro-capitalist thinkers who saw game theory as a way of rationalizing market behavior and defending democracy against totalitarianism. Similarly, John Nash, the Nobel laureate who invented the concept of Nash equilibrium, was a libertarian who believed in individual freedom and self-reliance.
Conceptually, game theory provides a formal framework for modeling and justifying neoliberal assumptions and policies. Game theory assumes that agents are rational, self-interested, and utility-maximizing, which are also the core tenets of neoliberalism. Game theory also supports the idea that markets are efficient and stable mechanisms for coordinating social interaction, as long as there is perfect information, complete contracts, and no externalities. Moreover, game theory implies that state intervention is unnecessary or harmful, as it distorts incentives, creates moral hazards, or leads to collective action problems.
What are the problems with game theory and neoliberalism?
Amadae argues that game theory and neoliberalism are problematic on both normative and empirical grounds. Normatively, game theory and neoliberalism neglect or undermine important values such as democracy, justice, equality, solidarity, cooperation, trust, altruism, empathy, and morality. Game theory and neoliberalism reduce human beings to selfish calculators who only care about their own payoffs and have no regard for the common good or the rights and interests of others. Game theory and neoliberalism also ignore or justify the power imbalances, exploitation
In this article, we have discussed the main arguments and insights of Prisoners of Reason: Game Theory and Neoliberal Political Economy by S. M. Amadae. We have seen how game theory, a mathematical tool for studying strategic interaction, has influenced and supported the neoliberal ideology that advocates for free markets, free trade, deregulation, privatization, individualism, and minimal state intervention. We have also seen how game theory and neoliberalism are problematic on both normative and empirical grounds, as they neglect or undermine important values and realities of human behavior and social interaction. We have also seen how we need to develop alternative frameworks that can overcome the limitations and problems of game theory and neoliberalism, and that can promote democratic values and practices. We hope that this article has stimulated your interest and curiosity in this fascinating and important topic, and that you will read the book pdf online or purchase the book to learn more. b99f773239