Analysis: Vulnerability as Ideology

In a series of three articles, Peter Ramsay argues that the concept of vulnerability provides an organising ideology for contemporary capitalist society, serving to present the interests of the powerful in maintaining the political and economic status quo as the interests of all. 

In Part One, below, he sets out how vulnerability and identification with the vulnerable form the content of contemporary middle class virtue, and how that works as an official ideology to legitimise the status quo with its politics of permanent emergency. 

In Part Two, he explains why vulnerability became a key aspect of the ruling ideology of authoritarian liberalism in recent times notwithstanding its evident irrationality, and how this ideology has frustrated the development of any political alternative to it by converting politics into culture war. 

In Part Three, he argues that the new ideology is the consequence of liberalism’s historic decay and that only an assertion of democracy against liberalism can reverse the dystopian implications of this decay.

Part One: The Virtue of Permanent Emergency

Part Two: Why Is There No Alternative?

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