The Neoliberal Self in a Post-Scarcity World
A buyer and seller do not a marketplace make according to neoliberal ideals. The true marketplace requires at least three entities, two sellers and one buyer, with the sellers in competition with each other for the custom of the buyer. This marketplace when expanded ultimately delivers not only a product or service for the best price but it makes every person into an entrepreneur always in competition with every other person. Underlying this model is the understanding of the individual as a rational agent able to apply a cost-benefit analysis to all transactions whether economic or social and make the right judgment. This paper will examine how the fiction of Charles Stross, Rudy Rucker, Vernor Vinge, and James P. Hogan reconfigures the neoliberal self in a world where there is no competition for resources, and national sovereignty is entirely voluntarian and contractarian.