For most contemporary theorists, the death of postmodern thought as a theoretical impulse and critical divide has become a given. Yet, since the end of the 1990s a variety of important strands of social and political thought—queer theory, feminism, and postcolonialism to name but a few—have taken up and advanced poststructuralist emphases on language and discourse that are derivative of postmodern theory. In this context, the article considers two of the most central and original postmodern thinkers, Jean-François Lyotard and Jean Baudrillard, to illustrate the political entanglements of postmodern and liberal thought. Through this investigation the article illuminates the way these authors’ works on the political potencies of language raise important questions for the relevancy of poststructuralist political thought for contemporary critical thinking in the context of the global expanse of neoliberal capital. The article initiates an original dialogue between two poststructuralist authors and raises this to a second engagement with current debates over the crises of critical thought and, by extension, carries contemporary relevance as well.

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