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Capitalist Sorcery
 
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Capitalist Sorcery
Breaking the Spell
 
 
Palgrave Macmillan
 
 
 
 
 
01 Mar 2011
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£58.00
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9780230237629
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DescriptionReviewsContentsAuthors


If denunciation were effective, capitalism would have disappeared a long time ago. But denunciation is never enough. Capitalism is a system that reinvents itself permanently, through the creation of infernal alternatives, alternatives which take us all hostage: 'if we don't cut the deficit, we'll never regain our competitiveness'.

In other traditions than that of the moderns, this sort of paralysis would be described as sorcery. Capitalist Sorcery takes this idea seriously – literally - and explores the consequences of our vulnerability to a system which daily recruits the minions that it needs to cast its spells.

Proposing a pragmatic reading of Marx, a reading which seeks to ward off the thoughtlessness encouraged by the theme of progress and the resignation that arises from accepting that capitalism is the 'only game in town', the authors look at how we can protect ourselves from the logic which - from financial collapse through GM foods to oil spills and climate catastrophe - runs scared of the cry 'another world is possible'.


Description


If denunciation were effective, capitalism would have disappeared a long time ago. But denunciation is never enough. Capitalism is a system that reinvents itself permanently, through the creation of infernal alternatives, alternatives which take us all hostage: 'if we don't cut the deficit, we'll never regain our competitiveness'.

In other traditions than that of the moderns, this sort of paralysis would be described as sorcery. Capitalist Sorcery takes this idea seriously – literally - and explores the consequences of our vulnerability to a system which daily recruits the minions that it needs to cast its spells.

Proposing a pragmatic reading of Marx, a reading which seeks to ward off the thoughtlessness encouraged by the theme of progress and the resignation that arises from accepting that capitalism is the 'only game in town', the authors look at how we can protect ourselves from the logic which - from financial collapse through GM foods to oil spills and climate catastrophe - runs scared of the cry 'another world is possible'.


Reviews

'Stengers and Pignarre launch call to invention, against the spell of the infernal alternatives that bind us to the capitalist 'realist' logic of choosing between the lesser of unliveable evils. To counter this capture, they propose a political 'magic' capable of creating new possibilities. But do not be misled: the 'magic' is all in the technique, and the technique is all in relation. Capitalist Sorcery is a veritable toolbox for an anticapitalist politics of collective empowerment, essential reading for all those interested in movement politics post-Seattle.' - Brian Massumi, Communication Department, University of Montreal, Canada.
 
'...a detailed and thought-provoking pragmatics of resistance...' - Culture Machine


Contents

Acknowledgements
Introduction: On the Witch's Broomstick; Andrew Goffey
PART I: WHAT HAPPENED?
Inheriting from Seattle
What Are We Dealing With?
Daring to be Pragmatic
Infernal Alternatives
Minions
PART II: LEARNING TO PROTECT ONESELF
Do You Believe in Sorcery?
Leaving Safe Ground
Marx Again...
To Believe in Progress No Longer?
Learning Fright
PART III: HOW TO GET A HOLD?
Thanks to Seattle?
The Trajectory of an Apprenticeship
Fostering New Connections
Sorry, but we have to…
Reactivating History
PART IV: NEEDING PEOPLE TO THINK
A Cry
Interstices
Ecosophy
Political Creation
Empowerment
Reclaim
Above All, Not to Conclude
Notes
Index


Authors

PHILIPPE PIGNARRE writer, activist and the director of Les Empêcheurs de penser en rond, at La Découverte in Paris. He has written extensively on the pharmaceutical industry, on psychotherapy and more recently on Olivier Besancenot and the NPA (Nouvelle Parti Anticapitaliste) in France.

ISABELLE STENGERS philosopher of science and the author of more than two dozen books on the philosophy of science and the politics of knowledge. Once a student of Ilya Prigogine, with whom she wrote Order out of Chaos, Stengers has written book length studies of hypnosis and the history of chemistry. Her more recent work – on cosmopolitics and on Alfred North Whitehead – is currently in press in translation.

ANDREW GOFFEY Senior Lecturer in Media, Culture and Communication at Middlesex University, UK. A writer and a translator he researches on the links between philosophy, science and culture and is the author (with Matthew Fuller) of Evil Media. He has translated numerous articles in the field of philosophy by Isabelle Stengers, Barbara Cassin and Eric Alliez, amongst others.