chapter  16
17 Pages

Encoding the law of the household and the standardisation of uncertainty

ByAngela Mitropoulos

This chapter theorises the link between the phenomenological concept of precariousness and the statistical category of précarité in the context of a broader, partial turn to theories of "spontaneous order". It does so by critically reading Hayekian theories of 'spontaneous order' not as arguments for deregulation but, on the contrary, as normative claims for the endogenous regulation of uncertainty by means of encoding rules of selective conservation. Those rules pertain to methods for handling 'life' according to universal standards and the managerial gain of 'investment' in categorical forms, and investment in categorical forms is weighted in policy and scripted through rules so as to guide the strategic calculations of risk-bearing subjects. The form of value (or value-form) of the classical scientific paradigm — that is, the valid form of reasoning that infers norms or rules from the common properties of classes — has been supplanted by an emphasis on the endogenous regulation of properties through selective conservation.