Todd McGowan's Capitalism and Desire: The Psychic Cost of Free Markets PDF

By Todd McGowan

Despite developing colossal inequalities and propping up reactionary international regimes, capitalism has many passionate defenders―but now not due to what it withholds from a few and provides to others. Capitalism dominates, Todd McGowan argues, since it mimics the constitution of our wish whereas hiding the trauma that the procedure inflicts upon it. humans from all backgrounds get pleasure from what capitalism presents, yet whilst are advised extra and higher is but to return. Capitalism traps us via an incomplete pride that compels us after the recent, the higher, and the more.

Capitalism's parasitic courting to our wants supplies it the appearance of equivalent to our normal impulses, that is how capitalism's defenders signify it. by way of realizing this psychic process, McGowan hopes to divest us of our dependancy to capitalist enrichment and aid us rediscover amusement as we really skilled it. by way of finding it within the current, McGowan frees us from our attachment to a greater destiny and the idea that capitalism is an important outgrowth of human nature. From this attitude, our financial, social, and political worlds confide in genuine political swap. Eloquent and enlivened by way of examples from movie, tv, patron tradition, and lifestyle, Capitalism and Desire brings a brand new, psychoanalytically grounded method of political and social theory.

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Additional resources for Capitalism and Desire: The Psychic Cost of Free Markets

Example text

The promise of the better future is the foundation of the capitalist structure, the basis for all three economic areas—production, distribution, and consumption. If we examine only the field of consumption, universal commodification seems to hold the key, whereas if we confine ourselves to the field of production, the imperative to accumulate appears foundational. In the field of distribution, it is the idea of speed: one must move commodities to market in the least amount of time possible. If we look at what these three fields have in common, however, the answer is the promise of the future.

And yet, this revolutionary act is far more difficult than storming the Bastille or the Winter Palace. In the latter instances, all that is required is sufficient political force. But the break from the promise of a better future seems theoretically untenable alongside a position of critique. Critique appears to imply a future ideal from which one launches the attack on the capitalist present. The task is thus that of freeing critique from the promise of a better future. Why would one be critical at all without such a promise?

There are thus no prototypical capitalist structures in the animal world. It is language that gives birth to the possibility of this economic form. The exploration of capitalism must first and foremost be an exploration of what occurs with the introduction of the signifier. 4 Rather than simply feeling hunger and eating the nearest apple in the manner of a human animal, the subject will seek a satisfaction that transcends the apple through the apple. For the subject of the signifier, unlike for the human animal, an apple is never enough.

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