Volume 9, Number 3 (October 2012)
Forget Neoliberalism? Baudrillard, Foucault, and the Fate of Political Critique
Dr. Benjamin Noys
(University of Chichester, West Sussex, United Kingdom)
The story of the failed seduction or provocation that is Jean Baudrillard’s Forget Foucault (1977) has often been told. Originally submitted in 1976 to the journal Critique, on whose editorial board Foucault served, it was not published there and emerged as a separate book a few months later. Foucault never replied to Baudrillard’s hyperbolic outbidding of the stakes of the analysis of power contained in the first volume of the History of Sexuality, and this seemed to confirm Baudrillard’s marginal position in the domain of what came to be known as ‘theory’. The bad taste of the title simply reiterated the childish nature of Baudrillard’s provocation, and so the book remained as a misfiring novelty rather than an incisive intervention.
My aim here is neither simply to return to a reading of Forget Foucault, nor is it to reconstruct the absent debate between Baudrillard and Foucault, although both of these tasks will be part of this essay. Instead, I wish to excavate the terms and structures of the political thinking that underpinned the post-’68 moment in French theory – and particularly around the emergent signs of what would become known as neo-liberalism. Gerry Coulter has remarked that Baudrillard’s thinking of the ’70s is dominated by ‘the abandonment of transcendence’ (Coulter, 2008), and so the acceptance of the horizon of capitalism as the only framing. This entails the abandonment of critique, Marxist or otherwise, which is taken as assuming a position of exteriority to the ‘system’. It also involves an implicit critique of his own earlier recourse to an ‘external’ form of Symbolic exchange, which had been roundly mocked by Jean-François Lyotard for resting on the putative existence of ‘good hippies’ (1993:104-08). Instead, thought could only be radically immanent to the tendencies of capitalism, could only outbid the extremity of capitalism, which had no exteriority.
It was on these grounds that Baudrillard would launch his critique of Foucault, claiming that Foucault remained at the extreme point of theoretical critique. While Foucault retained the position of critical analyst – able to subject systems of power to analysis and assessment, even if immanently and historically – Baudrillard noted that such a modelling was highly problematic. What was forgotten by Foucault was the subsumptive power of capitalism, which rendered his analytics of power a merely quaint concern. The very spirals Foucault traced were, according to Baudrillard, becoming accelerated and exacerbated by the new forms of financial and neo-liberal capital. What goes missing, and here is where I wish to step in, is further reflection on Foucault’s 1978-9 lecture series at the Collège de France The Birth of Biopolitics (2008). Here Foucault proposed an historical genealogy of the forms of neoliberalism, suggesting that far from a global ‘system’ they incarnated an unstable plurality of practices that produced the new ‘enterprise subjectivity’ of the present. What I want to do is to place this intervention by Foucault in dialogue with Baudrillard’s provocation. This is not only to reflect on their characterisations of neoliberalism, but also on their common abandonment of critique (especially Marxist critique). In the current moment of on-going global financial crisis I want to recast the historical terms of this ‘debate’, which never happened, to reconsider the fate of political critique today.
II. Negative Accelerationism
Forget Foucault belongs to the same moment of Baudrillard’s thinking that resulted in The Mirror of Production (1973) and Symbolic Exchange and Death (1976); that’s to say the moment Baudrillard departed from the terms of critique, especially Marxist critique, and before he would outline in detail his own new analysis of simulacra and implosion found in Simulacra and Simulation (1981) and In the Shadow of the Silent Majorities (1982). In fact, one way in which to grasp Forget Foucault is as an extension of the kind of arguments Baudrillard had already directed against what he regarded as the residues of naturalism still present in Marx, and in particular in the concept of use-value. Marx’s ‘mirror of production’ remained mired in the categories of the capitalism it aimed to critique. Of course, Foucault had also displayed little sympathy for Marx, and for similar reasons to Baudrillard; in The Order of Things he infamously remarked that: ‘Marxism exists in nineteenth-century thought like a fish in water: that is, it is unable to breathe anywhere else’ (1974:262).Now, Baudrillard would return the compliment to Foucault, accusing his text of remaining within the ‘mirror of power’ (1987:10), as Marx’s has remained mimetically within the ‘mirror of production’. If Marx believed in use-value, Foucault still believed in power as ‘a notion which cannot be surpassed in spite of a sort of latent denunciation, a notion which is whole in each of its points or microscopic dots’ (Baudrillard, 1987:39).
The guiding thread of Baudrillard’s discussion is that Foucault’s analysis fails due to its success. The ability it displays to grasp and analyse power in all its capillary intrusions and modulations is a result of Foucault grasping a regime that is waning. His analysis is a retrospective projection, and this is a discourse that can only be uttered because it is outdated; exactly as Foucault had claimed in The Order of Things that the episteme of the subject could only be traced because it now encountered its historical closure. In fact, Baudrillard constantly deploys his own mimesis of Foucault precisely to avoid the position of critique. This text is not simply critical of Foucault, but aims to exacerbate or exceed Foucault by replicating and exceeding his own procedures. The ‘critical’ impulse is then contained or restrained to pointing out how Foucault mistakes the status of his own discourse as a truthful analytic of power, when it is merely another myth. Foucault’s own conception of power as positive, actual and immanent – which mimics the theories of desire proposed by Lyotard and Deleuze and Guattari – stages its own disappearance. Power is everywhere, and hence nowhere.
And yet Baudrillard also remains within what appears as a quite classical Marxist critique. Foucault is chided for not realising that his analysis merely replicates the forms of contemporary capitalism without being able to account for these forms:
This compulsion toward liquidity, flow, and an accelerated circulation of what is psychic, sexual, or pertaining to the body is the exact replica of the force which rules market value: capital must circulate; gravity and any fixed point must disappear; the chain of investments and reinvestments must never stop; value must radiate endlessly in every direction (Baudrillard, 1987:25).
What is missed by Foucault is that the spiral that is most positive, actual, and immanent: the productive spiral of accumulating capital. It is this spiral that seems to contain and exceed Foucault’s own spirals of power and sex. This point allows Baudrillard to make some astute criticisms. Tracing Foucault’s theorisation of power as the inverse mirror of Lyotard’s, and Deleuze and Guattari’s, theorisations of desire, he notes how both mirror capitalist discourses of control and domination. These discourses repeat cybernetic and genetic discourses of control in the guise of liberation and resistance: ‘It is a spiral of power, of desire, and of the molecule which is now bringing us openly toward the final peripeteia of absolute control. Beware of the molecular!’ (Baudrillard, 1987:35-6). Libidinal economy can only unearth ‘the psychic metaphor of capital’ (ibid.:26). Foucault’s attribution of positivity, immanence, and molecularity to power simply reveals this state of affairs, and implies an ‘iron cage’ modelling. Baudrillard’s critical point is that post-’68 attempts to refound liberation on molecular flows, away from the molar forms of the State and Capital, unwittingly replicate the new molecular forms of capitalist power.
In this way Baudrillard already indicates the impasse of Foucault’s analytics of power that would later be noted by Gilles Deleuze. In his Foucault (1986) Deleuze reflected that the new ‘molecular’ forms of power were the result of the crisis of the regime of State-centred Fordism in the early 1970s. In trying to escape these forms the relations of resistance which Foucault traced actually risked continuing to reinforce and restratify relations of power (Deleuze, 1988:94). Whereas Deleuze tries to rescue Foucault from this impasse by tracing new possibilities of subjectivation that might challenge these regimes, Baudrillard suggests a departure from the very terms of the debate. Rather than remaining within a critical discourse that would suppose another standpoint for critique immune to the problems Foucault confronted, Baudrillard suggests a deeper immersion into the destructive element of the spiral of capitalist power.
It is this manoeuvre that leads Baudrillard to his final departure from critique. His choice is to inhabit the emergent centrifugal regime of capitalist financialisation as the means to accelerate the spiral. Therefore, and in this he remains faithful to Marx, Baudrillard does not simply step back to some pre-Marxist category, as his invocations of ‘primitive’ symbolic exchange might suggest, but instead embeds himself within the ‘molecular’ speeds of capitalism itself. In this way he can answer Lyotard’s critique that: ‘[t]here is as much libidinal intensity in capitalist exchange as in the alleged “symbolic” exchange’ (1993:109). In his later work Baudrillard will argue that: ‘The challenge posed to us by the delirium of capital … must be taken up in a way that insanely outstrips it’ (Baudrillard  1994:100). This is what I have previously called ‘negative accelerationism’ (Noys, 2012:6), in which Baudrillard takes up the ‘delirial’ forms of capitalist acceleration and exacerbates them, but without the sense of a positive transcendence of capital. Unlike the mid-70s work of Lyotard and Deleuze and Guattari, Baudrillard does not expect that we can exceed capitalism to a new communism by speeding its deterritorialisation, its lines of flight, or libidinal intensities. Instead, as will become evident in his work of the 1980s, he aims to nudge or push capitalism to a ‘cold’ implosion, in which the energy it unleashes collapses back upon it.
This accounts for something of the paradox of Baudrillard’s ‘position’. In one sense he stays quite faithful to the Marxist analysis of the immense productive forces unleashed by capital, and he is uncannily prescient in noting the signs of the regime of financialised capitalism emerging during the 1970s and 1980s. The ‘global horizon’ of capitalism frames Baudrillard’s account and this, I think, accounts for the resonance of his analyses in the present moment, a point to which I will return. This fidelity to Marx is combined with a fidelity to Nietzsche, and especially the Nietzsche of the diagnosis of European nihilism. The result is that Baudrillard takes seriously the nihilism of capital, which destroys and levels all values.1 It is for this reason that he can position Foucault, and the other radical theories of the 1970s, as inadvertent moralisms or reactive critiques. They still try to save value from this movement of ruination, whereas Baudrillard ruthlessly pursues the negative evacuation of value. This is why he has little time for the invocations of positivity and affirmation that structured, and continue to structure, much contemporary theory.
III. Enterprise Machines
It would be bad intellectual history to view Foucault’s lecture series of 1978-9, published as The Birth of Biopolitics, as any kind of response to Baudrillard’s provocation. That said, I want to force them into a dialogue with Forget Foucault to reconstruct how both of these interventions respond to the ‘birth’ (or re-birth) of neoliberalism in the 1970s. I also want to take the measure of the necessary equivocations that surround both Baudrillard and Foucault in response to neoliberalism and to capitalism. We have seen how Baudrillard endeavours to inhabit the nihilism of capital as a strategy of catastrophe, what I now wish to trace is how Foucault draws a balance-sheet of neoliberalism that leads to some striking points of similarity. In both cases, and this is what I will return to at the end of this essay, we find that the difficult and tense relation to capitalism is bound-up with the fate of critique.
Foucault’s lectures focus on two sites of the emergence of neo-liberalism: Germany, first in the 1920s and 1930s, and then at the centre of post-World War II German policy, and American anarcho-capitalism. What Foucault stresses is the novelty of neo-liberalism compared to classical liberalism; whereas classical liberalism tried to restrict the state’s interference to open up a space for the market, under the schema of laissez-faire, neo-liberalism operates a re-organisation of the state itself which is superimposed by the market. We move to, in Foucault’s words: ‘a state under the supervision of the market rather than a market supervised by the state’ (2008:115). This does not, as we will see, involve a simple abandonment of the power of the State – as neoliberal ideologues suppose – but a certain operation of the State to subject all forms of social life to the form of the market.
In the case of Germany it was the extinction of the Nazi state that made post-war West Germany the ideal experimental laboratory for the reformatting of social life in terms of the market and economy. The promise of economic growth was of a legitimation that was, seemingly, ‘non-political’ and hence useful in the case of anxieties about a resurgent German nationalism. It also solidified a doxa of ‘state-phobia’ that served a wider Cold War consensus, by arguing that intervention of a state-controlled and planned economy would lead to totalitarianism, either of the Nazi or Stalinist type. In this way West Germany could distinguish itself from its Nazi past and from its neighbour and rival in the Soviet sphere of influence. In a deliberately provocative series of formulations Foucault linked the state-phobia at the heart of neoliberalism with the various attacks on the State coming from left, ultra-left and anarchist positions. He would link the critique of the spectacle by Guy Debord and the critique of one-dimensionality proposed by Herbert Marcuse to the proto-Nazi critiques of capitalism proposed by Werner Sombart (Foucault, 2008:113-14).
Foucault’s point was that these thinkers mistook their target and so, inadvertently, took aim at State forms that neoliberalism was in the process of surpassing. The similarity to Baudrillard’s critique of Foucault is already noticeable, although we will see how Foucault goes in a very different direction. In his sarcastic formulation Foucault states:
All those who share in the great state phobia should know that they are following the direction of the wind and that in fact, for years and years, an effective reduction of the state has been on the way, a reduction of both the growth of state control and of a ‘statifying’ and ‘statified’governmentality (2008:191-92).
Left or radical critiques are not disputing the terms of neoliberal governmentality, but endorsing them. To use Baudrillard’s own metaphor we could speak of the ‘mirror of neoliberalism’.
What is the precise nature, then, of neo-liberalism? Of course, the obvious objection to the ‘anti-state’ vision of neo-liberalism is that neo-liberalism itself is a continual form of state intervention, usually summarised in the phrase ‘socialism for the rich, capitalism for the poor’. Foucault notes that neo-liberalism concedes this: ‘neo-liberal government intervention is no less dense, frequent, active, and continuous than in any other system’ (2008:105). The difference, however, is the point of application. It intervenes on society ‘so that competitive mechanisms can play a regulatory role at every moment and every point in society and by intervening in this way its objective will become possible, that is to say, a general regulation of society by the market.’ (ibid.). Therefore, we miss the point if we simply leave a critique of neo-liberalism at the point of saying ‘neo-liberalism is as statist as other governmental forms’. Instead, the necessity is to analyse how neo-liberalism creates a new form of governmentality in which the state performs a different function: permeating society to subject it to the economic.
Foucault traces the mode of intervention that neoliberalism undertakes to particular philosophical forms, resting on the intellectual formation of its key thinkers. First, the state intervention of neo-liberalism is Kantian; it is designed to act on the conditions of the social to create the possibility of competition and enterprise. Neo-liberalism is opposed to the spectre of the passive consumer just as much as various forms of leftism and anarchism, instead it what to bring forth is the person of enterprise and production. Second, the philosophical roots of neoliberal intervention can be traced to the roots of German neo-liberalism in the followers of Husserl. In this case competition does not emerge ‘naturally’ but only as an essence that has to be constructed and formalised: neo-liberalism is Husserlian. Unlike in classical liberalism, we cannot ‘free’ market from the state and expect competition to emerge ‘naturally’. Instead, the state constantly intervenes to construct competition at all levels, so that the market economy is the ‘general index’ for all governmental action (Foucault, 2008:121).
As I have remarked, Foucault is insistent that what neoliberalism attempts to create does not match the usual critiques of capitalism from the left. Critics of ‘standardizing, mass society of consumption and spectacle, etcetera, are mistaken when they think they are criticizing the current objective of government policy’ (ibid.:149). Neo-liberal governmentality is not Keynesian, and contemporary society ‘is not orientated towards the commodity and the uniformity of the commodity, but towards the multiplicity and differentiation of enterprises’ (ibid.). Rather than the inert stasis of capital accumulation, what Sartre called the ‘practico-inert’, neoliberalism aims at generating engagement and activity. In particular what is central is the enterprise; with individuals, groups, and institutions all being cast as mini-firms: ‘this multiplication of the “enterprise” form within the social body is what is at stake in neo-liberal policy. It is a matter of making the market, competition, and so the enterprise, into what could be called the formative power of society’ (Foucault, 2008:148).
For these reasons Foucault launches what might be oblique criticism of Deleuze and Guattari by referring to the ‘machinic’ nature of neoliberalism. In neoliberal governmentality the worker is viewed as a ‘machine/stream complex’, which forms an ‘enterprise-unit’ (ibid.:225). This invocation of machinic integration, pursued through an analysis of human capital, suggests a certain troubling of the radical implications of machinic connections and flows drawn by Deleuze and Guattari in Anti-Oedipus (1972). This reiterates one of the points of Foucault’s lectures: to unsettle the orthodoxies of radicalism, particularly as he is writing in the period of the ending of the political hopes of the left and the re-birth of neoliberalism in the UK and US. What we might say, echoing Baudrillard’s criticisms, is the same is true of Foucault’s own radicalism.
In the lectures Foucault inhabits a tone of neutrality with regard to the forms of neoliberal governmentality. This may not be merely an analytic device. Foucault’s stress that neoliberalism offers a plural view of the social and dethrones any centrality of ‘capitalism’ as master category certainly seems close to elements of his own analysis of power/knowledge. Foucault remarks that according to Marxism there can only be ‘one capitalism’ with only ‘one logic’, contrasting this with the historical-institutional argument that capitalism is a ‘singularity’ with different possibilities (2008:164-65). Neoliberals then try to invent a new logic for capitalism, the one we have just traced. Foucault summarises:
If we accept that we are not dealing with an essential Capitalism deriving from the logic of Capital, but rather with a singular capitalism formed by an economic-institutional ensemble, then we must be able to act on this ensemble and intervene in such a way as to invent a different capitalism (ibid.: 167).
Foucault does not, of course, signal an agreement with this analysis, and I am far from saying Foucault was in agreement with neoliberalism’s ambition to invent a new capitalism. Instead, I am noting that this historical pluralisation of capitalism does lie in close proximity to similar arguments made by Foucault concerning power.
What is striking is that Foucault’s analysis of an emergent neoliberal capitalism takes almost exactly the opposite path to that of Baudrillard’s. Whereas Baudrillard chides Foucault for not recognising the nihilist power of a singular capitalism, the global spiral that incorporates all other spirals, Foucault insists on the more local, piecemeal construction of neoliberalism as a particular form of capitalist rationality. The nature of Foucault’s lectures, which demure from comment and critique, make it very difficult to place his own theoretical analysis within the context of his wider work. This brief foray into the contemporary could be regarded as a mere hiatus. Yet, I am suggesting that it responds to a similar query present in Baudrillard’s work: the exhaustion of particular forms of critique and activism in the wake of ’68 and the development of financialised and neoliberal capitalism. As I have suggested the way in which it responds is profoundly different. While both Foucault and Baudrillard share a certain departure from Marx, Baudrillard moves in the direction of a hyperbolically totalising analysis, wracked by sudden and catastrophic reversals, while Foucault moves in the direction of pluralisation, the displacement of ‘Capitalism’ with a capital ‘C’, and a historico-institutional analysis.
The general movement of contemporary theory has been away from critique, treated as what is reactive, limited, and ‘negative’. We could cite many contemporary instances of such arguments from across the theoretical field. To choose just one emblematic instance I want to consider the case of Jacques Rancière. In his collection The Emancipated Spectator (2009) Rancière lambasts the failures of critique for taking a totalising, and so melancholic, position. In terms of the debate we have been tracing, and Rancière’s own intellectual formation, he unequivocally takes the side of Foucault. Critique has failed because it has been too totalising, and in doing so it treats the object of critique – capitalism – as a seamless totality (Rancière, 2009). The alternative is the micro-historical and pluralising attention Foucault brings, which distrusts the reification of such explanatory entities as capitalism.
The target that Rancière singles out in this instance is Guy Debord, for his over-totalising (it is claimed) analysis of capitalism as the society of the spectacle. The power of spectacular capitalism to recuperate every instance of radical activity leads, in Rancière’s analysis, to the smug superiority of the melancholy artist or theorist reduced to pointing out we are all dupes. It is not hard to imagine what opinion Rancière has of Baudrillard’s work, which is singled out as an example of melancholia [reiterating Rancière’s previous critique] (Rancière, 1999). Baudrillard would be a hyperbolic instance of critique, rather than an escape from it, inflating Debord’s concept of the spectacle even further into simulation. The advantage of Foucault-style analysis is, for Rancière, that it breaks with this emphasis on totality to emphasise constant possibilities of disruption and resistance, what he parses in terms of reconfigurations of the sensible.
As I have suggested this kind of analysis is not at all uncommon. The pluralisation of configurations of power, and the pluralisation of capitalism, is often invoked today as liberating us to possibilities of political contestation and construction that are affirmative and not bound by the reactive limits of critique(for example see: Holland, 2011 and Gibson-Graham, 2006). What is striking is that although the current crisis of global capitalism reveals it as a unity – now the call goes out to save capitalism, whereas previously its existence had been denied – the disintegrated forms of this ‘unity’ continue to feed the argument of plural forms; capitalism in ‘success’ appears as plural and capitalism in crisis appears as disintegrated plurality (Lukacs, 2007:32). Either way, global critique is abandoned exactly with the emergence in actuality of capitalism as global social and political form.
What I want to suggest is that Baudrillard’s more hyperbolic formulations gain an odd kind of social truth or actuality in this moment (not, of course, concepts Baudrillard would find himself in much sympathy with). The reason for this lies in his slightly strange fidelity to Marx. The analysis that Baudrillard developed in the 1970s can be seen as in congruence with those analyses of the ultra-left in the same period that saw capitalism as developing modes of real subsumption – the integration of forms of labour within the capitalist mode of production – that signalled the end of the ‘traditional’ forms of contestatory identity based on the identity of the worker. In the work of the group Theorié Communiste (TC), for example, this would be developed as the crisis of ‘programmatism’, the crisis of the identity of the worker as the figure of capital’s internal opposition.2 Capitalism unleashed in neoliberal form broke the social compact of Fordism that bound the worker in antagonistic relation to capital. Instead, the new forms of ‘flexible’ capitalist integration of struggle led to a pluralised capital that displaced, violently, the centrality of the worker. In the work of TC this leads to new forms of struggle that indicate the possibility of ‘communization’ – revolution as the abandonment and self-abolishing of proletarian identity.
We might take Baudrillard as the negative side of this kind of thesis. In Baudrillard the implosion of the masses signals the destruction of class identity, but with no compensatory dynamic of the recomposition of new modes of struggle. Rather Baudrillard’s work functions as a seismograph of the tendencies of financialisation, registering the strategies and forms of abstraction in absolute and irrevocable form. In this way Baudrillard gives the lie to the ‘optimistic’ dismissals of the necessity of critique – which suppose that the fragmentation of capitalism unleashes centrifugal forces of disruption that open affirmative contestation and reconfiguration – and questions the necessary recomposition of a ‘negative dialectic’ of proletarian self-abolishing proposed by TC. He emerges then, in paradoxical and anomalous ways, as the signal figure of the capitalist tendencies of the last forty years.
While not endorsing Baudrillard’s own variations of the strategy of catastrophe that he repetitively explored, I do want to suggest that his own hyperbolic model of anti-critique poses acutely the problem that we confront in the present moment. The prefigurative qualities of Baudrillard’s writing are, now, self-evident. They still leave us with the same problems they always posed. While there was always a sense of political critique operant within Baudrillard’s writing his choice to displace that through ‘transpolitical’ strategies of excess, the deliberate extermination of any forms of agency, and the invocation of intra-systemic forms of overloading, left any congruent activity hanging. Like many others Baudrillard seemed to have broken the dialectic of theory and practice implied by Marxist critique, or launched such a refined and tenuous sense of theory as practice that its impact seemed limited at best. In some ways the attraction of Baudrillard’s writing in the ‘polar night’ of the 1980s in particular was precisely the way its tone captured this sense of an etiolated ‘theoretical practice’ coupled to a sense of horror or doom (Noys, 2007).
At the present moment I regard this turn to Baudrillard as a useful means to gain again a sense of the stakes of critique. While Baudrillard was dismissive, declaring critique passé, his own writing indicated more of a retention of faith than the prophets of difference, reconfiguration, and micropolitics evince today. It is the negative path of Baudrillard, which he no doubt takes to extremes, that still indicates a necessity of a reworking of critique that is not so much attentive to the accelerative dynamics of financialisation, but to the inertia that Baudrillard explored as its necessary corollary. It is in this implosion of finance, in the shrunken and collapsed ‘bubbles’ of the present, that we might re-find critical resources.
Benjamin Noys is Reader in English at the University of Chichester. He is the author of Georges Bataille: A Critical Introduction (2000), The Culture of Death (2005), and The Persistence of the Negative (2010). He is editor of Communization and Its Discontents (2011).
Jean Baudrillard ( 1994). Simulacra and Simulation, trans. S. F. Glaser. Ann Arbor: The University of Michigan Press.
Jean Baudrillard (1987). Forget Foucault / Forget Baudrillard. New York: Semiotext(e).
Massimo Cacciari (2009). The Unpolitical (Edited by Alessandro Carrera), trans. Massimo Verdicchio. New York: Fordham University Press.
Gerry Coulter (2004). ‘Reversibility: Baudrillard’s “One Great Thought”’, International Journal of Baudrillard Studies Volume 1, Number 2: http://www.ubishops.ca/baudrillardstudies/vol1_2/coulter.htm.
Gilles Deleuze (1988). Foucault, trans. Séan Hand. London: Athlone.
Michel Foucault (1974). The Order of Things. London: Tavistock/Routledge.
Michel Foucault (2008). The Birth of Biopolitics: Lectures at the Collège de France, 1978-79, trans. Graham Burchell. Basingstoke: Palgrave.
J. K. Gibson-Graham (2006). A Postcapitalist Politics Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.
Eugene W. Holland (2011). Nomad Citizenship: Free-Market Communism and the Slow-Motion General Strike. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.
Georg Lukács (2007). ‘Realism in the Balance’ in Adorno et al., Aesthetics and Politics. London: Verso.
Jean-François Lyotard (1993). Libidinal Economy, trans. Iain Hamilton Grant. London: The Athlone Press.
Benjamin Noys (2007). ‘Can we fight DNA?’. International Journal of Baudrillard Studies Volume 4, Number 3 (October): http://www.ubishops.ca/baudrillardstudies/vol4_3/v4-3-article26a-noys.html
Benjamin Noys (Editor, 2011). Communization and its Discontents: Contestation, Critique, and Contemporary Struggles. Brooklyn, NY: Autonomedia / Minor Compositions: http://www.minorcompositions.info/?p=299
Benjamin Noys (2012). The Persistence of the Negative: A Critique of Contemporary Continental Theory. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.
Jacques Rancière (1999). Disagreement: Politics and Philosophy, trans. Julie Rose. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.
Jacques Rancière (2009). The Emancipated Spectator, trans. Gregory Elliot. London: Verso.
Theorié Communiste, Gilles Dauvé and Karl Nesic (2008). Endnotes 1: http://endnotes.org.uk/issues/1.
1. A parallel could be drawn to the work of the Italian thinker Massimo Cacciari (see Cacciari, 2009). Like Baudrillard, Cacciari is a Germanist drawn to the analysis of the nihilism of capital. In the case of Cacciari this led to very different ends, as he joined the Italian Communist Party (PCI) as the only means to counter capital’s manipulation of values with a more disabused and negative manipulation.
2. The thesis of ‘communization’ and the concept of programmatism is best approached through the debate between Theorié Communiste and Gilles Dauvé and Karl Nesic (2008).For a collection of critical reflections on communization see Noys (Editor, 2011).