The Illusion of Transparency: Neoliberalism, Depoliticisation and Information As Commodity
27 Pages Posted: 2 Dec 2018
Date Written: November 8, 2018
In this article I explore the idea of transparency as a function of neoliberalism. More critically, I examine how the global concept of transparency (broadly understood as a call for the greater liberalization of information) is engendering the commodification of information as the good to be produced and exchanged, by putting information into circulation through public disclosures. By drawing on Debord’s account of the society of the spectacle produced through the maximization of commodification, I argue and show that transparency produces the illusion of a society that can be seen, known, understood and trusted. I explore the effects of this illusion of transparency as depoliticizing through a reading of Žižek’s notion of the post-modern permissive society, Lefebvre’s critique of the depoliticisation caused by transparent spaces, and a critical reflection on transparency’s claim of promoting trust.
Keywords: Transparency; Neoliberalism; Commodification; Information; Debord; Žižek; Lefebvre
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