Tag: Capitalism

Zombie Capitalism and the Grinning Void

Please would you tell me,’ said Alice … ‘why your cat grins like that?’ ‘It’s a Cheshire-Cat,’ said the Duchess, and that’s why. Pig!’ She said the last word with such sudden violence that Alice quite jumped… ‘I didn’t know that Cheshire-Cats always grinned; in fact, I didn’t know that cats could grin.’ ‘They all…

Law and Coloniality: An Interview with Brenna Bhandar

English version of interview with Brenna Bhandar* by Olivier Chassaing, translated by Chayma Drira for Période, the French online journal of Marxist theory, available here. Olivier Chassaing (‘OC’): By studying law, one can explore how capitalist societies rest upon and strengthen different social hierarchies: class, gender, race dominations, as well as persisting colonial structures and…

The sharing economy blues

Tom Slee on Silicon Valley’s anti-regulation revolution It seems like politicians, journalists and pundits are lining up to praise the “innovative” promise of the so-called “sharing economy.” But is there something sinister lurking behind the collaborative facade that so often accompanies rosy assessments of the peer-to-peer online sector? To consider this question, we connected with…

The Rise of Luxury Communism

In a post-capitalist world how will we establish a system which provides for the needs of all? The solution to this in a world with mechanized labor is clear: luxury communism The failing of the American liberal lies not in his or her message, which purports to be one that is anti-oppression and anti-capitalism. The…

Capitalism and the Production of Difference

The defence of capitalism as a system of economic organization often takes the form of strangely pious declarations about how we have strayed from the path. This could involve over taxation, limiting incentives, government takeovers of industry. Crises, it is claimed, emerge from our failure to allow the market to work its miraculous power divorced…

Barbarism: Notes on the Thought of Theodor W. Adorno

Key ConceptThe whole thing is truly barbarism, and triumphs as such even over its own barbaric spirit. — Theodor W. Adorno Adorno’s use of the term “barbarism” has probably been most often referred to in the context of his much-cited dictum that “to write poetry after Auschwitz is barbaric” (Adorno 1983: 34). While, nowadays, the…

A Taste for the Secret: Interview with Mark Neocleous

Mark Neocelous is Professor of the Critique of Political Economy at Brunel University, UK. Author of several books incl. most recently ‘War Power, Police Power’ (2014 EUP), ‘Anti-Security’ (2011 Red Quill Books) and ‘Critique of Security’ (2008 EUP/McGill). Many of his articles can be freely accessed here.This interview was originally conducted in March 2014 for Kampfplatz (a…

The Black Atlantic: Notes on the Thought of Paul Gilroy

Key ConceptPaul Gilroy’s The Black Atlantic, which was first published in 1993, remains remarkable for its introduction of the validity of ‘race’ as an analytical category in presenting the ‘Atlantic’ as a discrete geo-political unit in the modern capitalist world-system.1 The book elaborates a richly provocative critique of cultural nationalism, against which Gilroy posits black…

Wealth inequality denial

While trying to poke holes in Piketty’s inequality thesis, the FT has engaged in all the classical tactics of climate change denial but in turbocharged form.In the week a report established that 97.1% of scientists publishing on the subject have concluded that man-made climate change exists, it seems the right have re-opened an old front in…

The Slave Ship Embodies the Whole Story of Slavery

Nirit Ben-Ari interviews Marcus Rediker, author of “The Slave Ship: A Human History”The man refused to eat. He had been sick, reduced to a ‘mere skeleton.’ He had apparently made a decision to die. Captain Timothy Tucker was outraged, and probably fearful that his example might spread to the other 200-plus captives aboard his ship,…

Dense Struggle (IV): The Ghostly Real

As I mentioned in the last post, one of the most perplexing circumstances that surrounded the appearance of the ghost in the refuge was that it occurred at the precise moment at which the group of IDPs formally entered into the realm of the official. It could have easily occurred earlier, when they were protesting,…

Dense Struggle (III): The Modern Uncanny

<< Read Part IIIn the last two posts I have argued that the longue durée of capitalist modernity has implied an expansion of a material and social global ordering, and that this process is far from being free of emotional forces, even of an uncanny dimension. In my account, this expansion of capitalist modernity —…

Dense Struggle (II): Oh yes, that, our world

In the preamble of the Communist Manifesto (1848), Marx and Engels made the famous dictum: A spectre is haunting Europe — the spectre of communism. All the powers of old Europe have entered into a holy alliance to exorcise this spectre: Pope and Tsar, Metternich and Guizot, French Radicals and German police-spies. History has proven…

Dense Struggle (I): Violence and the otherworldly

How can we make sense of popular struggles in this period of late capitalist modernity? What do the experiences, voices, and visions of groups involved in such struggles tell us about the actual functioning of our world — a world mined with growing inequalities, ever more intrusive levels of governance and managerial techniques, all of…

Six Theses on Anxiety & the Prevention of Militancy

Today’s public secret is that everyone is anxious. Anxiety has spread from its previous localised locations (such as sexuality) to the whole of the social field. All forms of intensity, self-expression, emotional connection, immediacy, and enjoyment are now laced with anxiety. It has become the linchpin of subordination. One major part of the social underpinning of anxiety is the multi-faceted omnipresent web of surveillance. The NSA, CCTV, performance management reviews, the Job Centre, the privileges system in the prisons, the constant examination and classification of the youngest schoolchildren. But this obvious web is only the outer carapace. We need to think about the ways in which a neoliberal idea of success inculcates these surveillance mechanisms inside the subjectivities and life-stories of most of the population.

Five Theses on Financialisation

Financialisation constitutes an impersonal system. Its aim is not to destroy the communities and ecosystems of the world, but rather to increase their dependency on finance. 1 The dual nature of contemporary capitalism resides in the separation of  ‘politics’ and ‘economics’ on one side, and ‘finance’ and ‘production’ on the other. However, in financialisation ‘politics’…