BOOK TALK – ‘Negative Capitalism: Cynicism in the Neoliberal Era’ with J.D. Taylor and Mark Fisher

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Date(s) - 11/09/2013
7:00 pm - 8:30 pm

Housmans Radical Bookshop


Entry £3, redeemable against any purchase

J.D. Taylor and Mark Fisher will argue that capitalism’s dominance cultivates a debilitating cynicism, and will consider positive strategies to enable a new optimism.

J.D. Taylor’s ‘Negative Capitalism: Cynicism in the Neoliberal Era’ offers a new conceptual framework for understanding the current economic crisis. It argues that cynicism has become culturally embedded in the UK and US as an effect of a broad disempowerment fostered by neoliberal capitalism.

Despite the deprivation and collapse of key social infrastructure such as representative democracy, welfare, workers’ rights and equal access to resources, there has so far been no collective, effective and sustained overthrow of capitalism. Why is this? The book’s central call is for new strategies that unravel this narcissistic cynicism, embracing social democracy, constitutional rights, mass bankruptcies and animate sabotage.

Kafka, Foucault, Ballard and de Sade are clashed with the X-Factor, ruinporn, London, and the artwork of Laura Oldfield Ford. Negative Capitalism’s polemic is written to incite responses against the cynical malaise of the neoliberal era.

J.D. Taylor is a writer and community worker from south London. His experiences come from three years’ frontline working in various charities and community support services, as well as a Cultural Studies MA from Goldsmiths. Working under various pseudonyms as an active participant in the contemporary anti-cuts movement, he was also taught by Mark Fisher in the FE college which provides much of the empirical basis of his ‘Capitalist Realism’.

Negative Capitalism represents a new generation of critique by what I’ve termed graduates without a future. Taylor brings together incisive and provocative analysis alongside personal experience to explore how debt, cynicism, smartphones, psychopharmacology, underemployment and neoliberalism all represent a new era of negation. In a time of economic meltdown and mass struggle, this book offers one way out of the current crisis.” –Paul Mason, BBC Newsnight Economics Editor and author of Why It’s Kicking Off Everywhere, and Meltdown

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