Elections as Market Competition & Consumer Choice

Essays on technology, psycho­analysis, philosophy, design, ideology & Slavoj Žižek


June 9, 2011

Elections as Market Competition & Consumer Choice

Slavoj Žižek in Capitalism and the assault on reason

In the organization and legitimization of power, the electoral system is increasingly understood on the model of market competition. Elections are themselves like a supermarket where the voters “buy” the option that offers to do the most efficient the job of maintaining social order, prosecuting crime, and so on. Guided by the same formula of “lower costs, higher efficiency,” even some functions which should be the exclusive domain of state power (such as the running of prisons) can be privatized - and armies need no longer be based on universal conscription, but can be composed of hired mercenaries.