Dysfunctional Cultures and the Making of Homo Economicus: Expert Personas and Liberal Consent in Austerity Regimes
Since the early years of the debt crisis in 2010, a large part of liberal intellectuals and public commentators in Greece has argued for an interpretative framework with the notion of ‘national identity’ as the root of all troubles. Their narrative presents the crisis as an opportunity for Greeks to rediscover themselves and acquire a more ‘Western’ and market-friendly outlook while austerity is realized. Here, the crisis is read as an outcome of a ‘deviant culture’ that now has the opportunity to recover. In this article we focus on how thуe discourse of media personas who are ‘non-political actors’ -a philosophers and a marketing gurus- popularized this framework especially between the years 2010 to 2012. We argue that these discourses, working to shape new social identities of flexibility, mobility and competition, compatible with the requirements of neoliberalism to overcome the crisis, work more effectively when voiced by supposedly ‘neutral’ agents.