Tucker Carlson’s Capitalist Realism?

I haven’t actually finished working on this piece yet but I thought I’d publish an early draft whilst I continue to refine it. You might also find it useful to watch the clip that inspired this piece. I’ll also preface this by saying I’m not by any stretch a fan of Tucker Carlson’s, his deeply xenophobic rhetoric couched in “conservative” concern is of really no interest to me at all. What does interest me is a particular point he made during a recent interview he had on the Ben Shapiro Show, which whilst covered his new book, highlighted a particular contradiction in...

Brexit, Exit and The Unthinkable

In 2010, Eugene Thacker of New York’s The New School, published the first instalment of his Horror of Philosophy series entitled In The Dust Of This Planet. By using the theme of horror as a starting point, Thacker intended to examine and explore the idea of a world becoming increasingly unthinkable, one regularly confronted with emerging pandemics, planetary disasters and looming above everything the eschaton. Whilst it would be somewhat hyperbolic to place Brexit within this category, I believe there might be something to be gained by examining how these themes might still have some relevance to the current conversation.  In polls taken almost immediately after...

Questioning the Work Doctrine

With the recent protests at the government shutdown effect on employment gaining increasing coverage, it seems like an increasingly salient time to question the nature of work in our lives.  I should caveat this with whilst I am aware there’s a fairly clear connection between these protests seemingly organic nature and large dark money corporate networks however the fact that this can seemingly go unremarked on in many instances, is in itself is quite an interesting fact and I would suggest more broadly indicative of how work functions in advanced capitalist economies. With 22 million out of work in the United States...

The Production of Plagues

A recent discussion on the intersection between pandemics and industrialization brought on by the Chinese collective Chuang’s excellent piece ‘Social Contagion: Microbiological Class Warfare’ encouraged me to look further into the circumstances in which COVID-19 and other resilient pathogens, arose from and the correlation with large scale agribusiness, high intensity industrialization and the capitalist mode of production. Similar to Chuang I’m not so much interested in engaging in the kind of vulgar Marxism which places the blame for all the worlds ills at the feet of capitalism, rather given the seemingly random nature of pandemics I’m more interested as to...

Neomalthusianism and Question Time

Once again the ugly spectre of Malthusianism slithered its way into the mainstream on an episode of the BBC show, Question Time, which over the last few months has shown itself rapidly losing any illusion it might have had of speaking to, or representing, the needs of the public writ large and instead has rapidly been transitioning into a bizarrely hyperreal circus and a conduit for an ever more divisive and populist message. From the rumours of Fiona Bruce prepping the crowd with information to unfairly bias them against certain members of the panel, to the continued inclusion of political...

Refusing Wage-Labour: From Practicality To Necessity

Historically there have been many reasons why the reduction of labour time and even the abolition of wage labour itself has been seen not only in a positive light but as an achievable concrete goal. In 1930 John Maynard Keynes in his famous paper ‘Economic Possibilities For Our Grandchildren’, wrote: I draw the conclusion that, assuming no important wars and no important increase in population, the economic problem may be solved, or be at least within sight of solution, within a hundred years. This means that the economic problem is not-if we look into the future-the permanent problem of the human race....

Recent Reflections On Value

In a recent television spot the economist, Mariana Mazzucato briefly touched on something which whilst hugely important is often left out of the public debate on economics. Whilst, unfortunately, she was unable to create the space to expound on it fully at 31:00 the following exchange takes place Jo Coburn: What don’t we value enough? Mariana Mazzucato: Well, first of all, we confuse price with value, it used to be that there were big debates about value and that turned into the theory of price, we only put into GDP things that have a price, if you marry your cleaner GDP will go down,...