Capitalism and Desire: The Psychic Cost of Free Markets by Todd McGowan

By Todd McGowan

Despite growing big inequalities and propping up reactionary global regimes, capitalism has many passionate defenders―but no longer as a result of what it withholds from a few and offers to others. Capitalism dominates, Todd McGowan argues, since it mimics the constitution of our wish whereas hiding the trauma that the approach inflicts upon it. humans from all backgrounds get pleasure from what capitalism offers, yet while are advised extra and higher is but to come back. Capitalism traps us via an incomplete pride that compels us after the recent, the higher, and the more.

Capitalism's parasitic dating to our wishes supplies it the appearance of equivalent to our typical impulses, that is how capitalism's defenders symbolize it. by way of figuring out this psychic method, McGowan hopes to divest us of our dependancy to capitalist enrichment and aid us rediscover leisure as we really skilled it. by means of finding it within the current, McGowan frees us from our attachment to a greater destiny and the idea that capitalism is a necessary outgrowth of human nature. From this angle, our fiscal, social, and political worlds speak in confidence genuine political swap. Eloquent and enlivened by way of examples from movie, tv, client tradition, and lifestyle, Capitalism and Desire brings a brand new, psychoanalytically grounded method of political and social theory.

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

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The psyche satisfies itself through the failure to realize its desire, and capitalism allows the subject to perpetuate this failure, all the while believing in the idea that it pursues success. The link between capitalism and the psyche provides the key to understanding the appeal of capitalism. It is a system that enables us to envision the possibility of a satisfaction that is structurally unattainable for us while, at the same time, it allows the real traumatic source of our satisfaction to remain unconscious.

The title of his essay “Zur funktionellen Geistesbildung des Revolutionärs” (On the Functional Intellectual Formation of the Revolutionary) makes evident his political aspirations. There the link between these aspirations and his investment in psychoanalysis comes to the fore. ”7 Contra Freud, Gross sees neurosis as the result not of the fundamental antagonisms of human sexuality but of the repressive force of the bourgeois family and the restrictions that it places on the free expression of sexuality.

Whereas Marx targets surplus value as the embodiment of the problem with capitalism, Marcuse places surplus repression in this role. This turn tells us everything we need to know about the transformation of the critique of capitalism. Now, we can demand a socialist alternative on the grounds of this additional repression in capitalism that a socialist society would eliminate. 11 Even when capitalist society seems to allow for the fulfillment of desire, the repressive regime continues to function.

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