Destituent entrepreneurship: disobeying sovereign rule, prefiguring post-capitalist reality
Entrepreneurship & Regional Development
This article introduces ‘destituent entrepreneurship’ as a way of imagining the political thrust of entrepreneurship under conditions of crisis. Taking its cues from Giorgio Agamben’s work on destituent power, and from theories of prefigurative praxis by other thinkers, this analysis uses the occupied-enterprise movement in Argentina as an illustrative case to cultivate sensitivity for the more radical possibilities of entrepreneurship as they emanate from the free-floating conflictual energy at the heart of society. Specifically, refracting destituent entrepreneurship into its essential components, we highlight, first, how laid-off workers redefined themselves as resistant entrepreneurs who counter-acted the fraudulent close-down of their enterprises by reclaiming their right to work. Second, we point out how the reclaimed enterprises created new opportunities not only for creating income, but for prefiguring post-capitalist realities rooted in self-organized and dignified work, democratic decision-making and the creation of a common people. The key contribution this article makes is to alert us to how entrepreneurship under conditions of crisis is less a matter of necessity alone, i.e. making a living in hard times, but an opportunity to redefine the realm of economic practice by one’s own rules.
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SHSS - Kulturen, Institutionen, Maerkte (KIM)