The subprime object of ideology
This investigation combines contemporary Marxian political economy with Lacanian psychoanalysis to understand the discourse of finance capitalism, and to understand the dialectical seeds of the industry’s eventual destruction that were inherent within the hegemonic commodities of the era. These commodities, which include derivatives, futures, collateralized debt obligations, credit default swaps and subprime mortgage loans, were ideological and communicative as well as profitable, and thus do a double duty under finance capitalism’s dominance. Lacan’s concepts of metaphor, fantasy, the quilting point, and the master signifier are extended in order to understand how subjects come to know themselves and their world through the terms given to them by capital. In addition, the rhetorical interventions of two chief ideologists for finance capitalism in the 1990s, Thomas Friedman and Alan Greenspan, are interrogated as exemplifications of the fantastical nature of late capitalism.