The European Central Bank, machinic enslavement, and the Greek public sector

Radman Selmic
Finance and Society, 2016, 2(1): 45-61


This article investigates the role of the European Central Bank (ECB) in transferring financial and moral responsibility for the Eurozone crisis from the private to the public sector. Focusing on Greece, I argue that the ECB constructed the morality of the public debtor in such a way as to make this transfer of responsibility easier and the imposition of austerity measures justifiable. This in part relied on a shift in the ECB’s discourse, which came to define the crisis exclusively in terms of public sector responsibility. However, the ECB also employed a range of non-linguistic policy measures aimed at intervening in the crisis. To interpret these measures I draw on Deleuze and Guattari’s concept of ‘machinic enslavement’, arguing that the ECB contributed to the Greek crisis not only by defining it discursively but also by reshaping the country’s financial infrastructure in crucial ways.

Research articles