Annie McClanahan: Dead Pledges: Debt, Crisis, and Twenty-First-Century Culture (2016)

24 April 2018, dusan

Dead Pledges is the first book to explore the ways that U.S. culture—from novels and poems to photojournalism and horror movies—has responded to the collapse of the financialized consumer credit economy in 2008. Connecting debt theory to questions of cultural form, this book argues that artists, filmmakers, and writers have re-imagined what it means to owe and to own in a period when debt is what makes our economic lives possible. Encompassing both popular entertainment and avant-garde art, the post-crisis productions examined here help to map the landscape of contemporary debt: from foreclosure to credit scoring, student debt to securitized risk, microeconomic theory to anti-eviction activism. A searing critique of the ideology of debt, Dead Pledges dismantles the discourse of moral obligation so often invoked to make us repay. Debt is no longer a source of economic credibility, it contends, but a system of dispossession that threatens the basic fabric of social life.”

Publisher Stanford University Press, 2016
Post ’45 series
ISBN 9780804799058, 0804799059
ix+235 pages

Reviews: Brian Whitener (The New Inquiry, 2017), Sofia Cutler (LA Review of Books, 2017), Julian Murphet (Affirmations, 2017), Davis Smith-Brecheisen (Mediations, 2017), Arne De Boever (boundary2, 2017), Laura Finch (Journal of Cultural Economy, 2018).

Publisher
WorldCat

HTML

Stefano Harney, Fred Moten: The Undercommons: Fugitive Planning & Black Study (2013–) [EN, DE]

20 October 2017, dusan

“In this series of essays Fred Moten and Stefano Harney draw on the theory and practice of the black radical tradition as it supports, inspires, and extends contemporary social and political thought and aesthetic critique. Today the general wealth of social life finds itself confronted by mutations in the mechanisms of control: the proliferation of capitalist logistics, governance by credit, and the management of pedagogy. Working from and within the social poesis of life in the undercommons Moten and Harney develop and expand an array of concepts: study, debt, surround, planning, and the shipped. On the fugitive path of an historical and global blackness, the essays in this volume unsettle and invite the reader to the self-organised ensembles of social life that are launched every day and every night amid the general antagonism of the undercommons.”

Introduction by Jack Halberstam
Publisher Minor Compositions, Wivenhoe, 2013
Open access
ISBN 9781570272677, 1570272670
165 pages

Interview with authors (Transversal, 2016)

Publisher (EN)
Publisher (DE)
WorldCat (EN)

The Undercommons (English, 2013, PDF)
Die Undercommons (German, trans. Birgit Mennel und Gerald Raunig, 2016, EPUB)

Maurizio Lazzarato: The Making of the Indebted Man: An Essay on the Neoliberal Condition (2011–) [French, English]

10 February 2013, dusan

“‘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
Publisher Éditions Amsterdam, 2011
125 pages

English edition
Translated by Joshua David Jordan
Publisher Semiotext(e), 2012
Intervention series, 13
ISBN 1584351152, 9781584351153
199 pages

Review: Nikolay Karkov (Canadian Society for Continental Philosophy, 2012).

Publisher (EN)

La Fabrique de l’homme endetté. Essai sur la condition néolibérale (French, 2011, updated on 2016-12-23)
The Making of the Indebted Man: An Essay on the Neoliberal Condition (English, 2012, updated on 2017-6-26)