‘Economic Science’ does not exist! Says Bifo

by helenefrichot

In his recent book, The Uprising: On Poetry and Finance (2012), Franco ‘Bifo’ Berardi argues that economic science does not exist, as it does not correspond to the definition of science as a dogma free discipline that extrapolates “general laws from the observation of empirical phenomena” (72). Instead, Bifo argues, economics imposes itself on society as a kind of technology, a set of tools, procedures and pragmatic protocols that aim to mould social reality according to a logics of profit, accumulation, power. Economic reality does not exist, but is rather produced, or forced onto a socius via processes of technical modelling, submission and exploitation.

In his final chapter Bifo makes reference to Félix Guattari’s Chaosmosis, as a way of developing an environmental consciousness adequate to the “technological complexity of hypermodernity” (145). It is about reimagining a complex universe composed of intricate relations between embodied entities, an “organic and inorganic continuum, animal and machinic, mental and electronic” where embodied minds are apt to hook onto each other, and were ideas travel wildly with both wondrous, but also detrimental effects.

While it seems Bifo wants to reject economy as a discipline – or rather as a dominate rationality- altogether, could it be that alternative, less destructive economic logics can be imagined? Alternative economies? Other ethical, even caring modes of exchange?