chapter  6
25 Pages

The Confidence State

The Limits of Capitalism’s Imagination
ByEric Cheyfitz

Ideology can inspire confidence (belief-hope) precisely, because it supplies the populace with an internally coherent narrative of promise that however idealized bears a relationship to reality. This chapter focuses on the term "confidence", which since the Great Recession of 2008 appears ubiquitously in discussions of the state of the union. Confidence is clearly a function of ideology, so that when confidence fails, a sign that the national narrative has failed to hold the imagination of the majority, all that remains is the state, the naked apparatus of force, to follow Louis Althusser's logic. It proposes that the key sign in which the state recognizes the weakening or indeed failure of confidence is an intensification of the militarization of the state both in its domestic and foreign dealings. The biggest confidence game is that capitalism can regulate itself in order to restore effective democracy to the United States, that "inclusive capitalism" is not an oxymoron.