Filed under book | Tags: · architecture, city, modernism, neoliberalism, united kingdom, urbanism
The urban state of the nation—from Olympic dreams to broken Britain.
This is what austerity looks like: a nation surviving on the results of what conservatives privately call “the progressive nonsense” of the Big Society agenda.
In a journey that begins and ends in the capital, but takes in Belfast, Aberdeen, Plymouth and Brighton, Hatherley explores modern Britain’s urban landscape and finds a short-sighted disarray of empty buildings, malls and glass towers. Yet while A New Kind of Bleak anatomizes “broken Britain,” Hatherley also looks to a hopeful future and discovers fragments of what it might look like.
Illustrated by Laura Oldfield Ford, author and artist of Savage Messiah.
Publisher Verso Books, 2012
ISBN 1844679098, 9781844679096
Filed under book | Tags: · china, confucianism, economy, modernity, neoliberalism, new left, politics
A compelling examination of the future of Chinese modernity by the leading member of China’s “New Left.”
Challenging both the bureaucratic one-party regime and the Western neoliberal paradigm, China’s leading critic shatters the myth of progress and reflects upon the inheritance of a revolutionary past. In this original and wide-ranging study, Wang Hui examines the roots of China’s social and political problems, and traces the reforms and struggles that have led to the current state of mass depoliticization.
Arguing that China’s revolutionary history and its current liberalization are part of the same discourse of modernity, Wang Hui calls for alternatives to both its capitalist trajectory and its authoritarian past.
From the May Fourth Movement to Tiananmen Square, The End of the Revolution offers a broad discussion of Chinese intellectual history and society, in the hope of forging a new path for China’s future.
Publisher Verso Books, 2011
ISBN 1844673790, 9781844673797
review (Jeffrey Wasserstrom, Los Angeles Times)Comment (0)
Maurizio Lazzarato: The Making of the Indebted Man: An Essay on the Neoliberal Condition (2011/2012) [French/English]
Filed under book | Tags: · capitalism, debt, economics, money, neoliberalism, philosophy
Debt—both public debt and private debt—has become a major concern of economic and political leaders. In The Making of the Indebted Man, Maurizio Lazzarato shows that, far from being a threat to the capitalist economy, debt lies at the very core of the neoliberal project. Through a reading of Karl Marx’s lesser-known youthful writings on John Mill, and a rereading of writings by Friedrich Nietzsche, Gilles Deleuze, Félix Guattari, and Michel Foucault, Lazzarato demonstrates that debt is above all a political construction, and that the creditor/debtor relation is the fundamental social relation of Western societies.
Debt cannot be reduced to a simple economic mechanism, for it is also a technique of “public safety” through which individual and collective subjectivities are governed and controlled. Its aim is to minimize the uncertainty of the time and behavior of the governed. We are forever sinking further into debt to the State, to private insurance, and, on a more general level, to corporations. To insure that we honor our debts, we are at once encouraged and compelled to become the “entrepreneurs” of our lives, of our “human capital.” In this way, our entire material, psychological, and affective horizon is upended and reconfigured.
How do we extricate ourselves from this impossible situation? How do we escape the neoliberal condition of the indebted man? Lazzarato argues that we will have to recognize that there is no simple technical, economic, or financial solution. We must instead radically challenge the fundamental social relation structuring capitalism: the system of debt.
French edition: La Fabrique de l’homme endetté. Essai sur la condition néolibérale
Publisher Éditions Amsterdam, 2011
Translated by Joshua David Jordan
Publisher Semiotext(e), 2012
Volume 13 of Intervention Series
ISBN 1584351152, 9781584351153
review (Nikolay Karkov, Canadian Society for Continental Philosophy)Comments (4)
Filed under book | Tags: · arpanet, capitalism, computing, history of computing, history of technology, internet, neoliberalism, technology
This book about America’s romance with computer communication looks at the internet, not as harbinger of the future or the next big thing, but as an expression of the times. Streeter demonstrates that our ideas about what connected computers are for have been in constant flux since their invention. In the 1950s they were imagined as the means for fighting nuclear wars, in the 1960s as systems for bringing mathematical certainty to the messy complexity of social life, in the 1970s as countercultural playgrounds, in the 1980s as an icon for what’s good about free markets, in the 1990s as a new frontier to be conquered and, by the late 1990s, as the transcendence of markets in an anarchist open source utopia.
The Net Effect teases out how culture has influenced the construction of the internet and how the structure of the internet has played a role in cultures of social and political thought. It argues that the internet’s real and imagined anarchic qualities are not a product of the technology alone, but of the historical peculiarities of how it emerged and was embraced. Finding several different traditions at work in the development of the internet—most uniquely, romanticism—Streeter demonstrates how the creation of technology is shot through with profoundly cultural forces—with the deep weight of the remembered past, and the pressures of shared passions made articulate.
Outstanding Academic Title from 2011 by Choice Magazine.
Publisher NYU Press, 2011
Critical Cultural Communication series
ISBN 0814741169, 9780814741160
review (Yuenmei Wong, International Journal of Communication)Comment (0)
Filed under book | Tags: · aesthetics, africa, art, cinema, film, neoliberalism, nollywood, politics, postcolonialism
What happens when social and political processes such as globalization shape cultural production? Drawing on a range of writers and filmmakers from Africa and elsewhere, Akin Adesokan explores the forces at work in the production and circulation of culture in a globalized world. He tackles problems such as artistic representation in the era of decolonization, the uneven development of aesthetics across the world, and the impact of location and commodity culture on genres, with a distinctive approach that exposes the global processes transforming cultural forms.
Publisher Indiana University Press, 2011
African Expressive Cultures Series
ISBN 0253356792, 9780253356796
Filed under book | Tags: · capitalism, communicative capitalism, communism, melancholia, neoliberalism, occupy movement, politics, proletariat, technology
Rising thinker on the resurgence of the communist idea.
In this new title in Verso’s Pocket Communism series, Jodi Dean unshackles the communist ideal from the failures of the Soviet Union. In an age when the malfeasance of international banking has alerted exploited populations the world over to the unsustainability of an economic system predicated on perpetual growth, it is time the left ended its melancholic accommodation with capitalism.
In the new capitalism of networked information technologies, our very ability to communicate is exploited, but revolution is still possible if we organize on the basis of our common and collective desires. Examining the experience of the Occupy movement, Dean argues that such spontaneity can’t develop into a revolution and it needs to constitute itself as a party.
An innovative work of pressing relevance, The Communist Horizon offers nothing less than a manifesto for a new collective politics.
Publisher Verso Books, 2012
Pocket Communism series
ISBN 1844679543, 9781844679546
Patricia Ticineto Clough, Craig Willse (eds.): Beyond Biopolitics: Essays on the Governance of Life and Death (2011)
Filed under book | Tags: · assemblage, biopolitics, governance, life, neoliberalism, politics, terrorism
Under the auspices of neoliberalism, technical systems of compliance and efficiency have come to underwrite the relations among the state, the economy, and a biopolitics of war, terror, and surveillance. In Beyond Biopolitics, prominent theorists seek to account for and critically engage the tendencies that have informed neoliberal governance in the past and are expressed in its reformulation today. As studies of military occupation, the policing of migration, blood trades, financial markets, the war on terror, media ecologies, and consumer branding, the essays explore the governance of life and death in a near-future, a present emptied of future potentialities. The contributors delve into political and theoretical matters central to projects of neoliberal governance, including states of exception that are not exceptional but foundational; risk analysis applied to the adjudication of “ethical” forms of war, terror, and occupation; racism and the management of the life capacities of populations; the production and circulation of death as political and economic currency; and the potential for critical and aesthetic response. Together, the essays offer ways to conceptualize biopolitics as the ground for today’s reformulation of governance.
Contributors: Ann Anagnost, Una Chung, Patricia Ticineto Clough, Steve Goodman, Sora Y. Han, Stefano Harney, May Joseph, Randy Martin, Brian Massumi, Luciana Parisi, Jasbir Puar, Amit S. Rai, Eugene Thacker, Çağatay Topal, and Craig Willse.
Publisher Duke University Press, 2011
ISBN 0822350173, 9780822350170