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Tag Archives: Benjamin Noys




OUT NOW: Heroes: Mass Murder and Suicide


What is the relationship between capitalism and mental health?





Wednesday February 25th 2015, 7.00pm – 8.30pm

At Foyles, 107 Charing Cross Road, London, WC2H 0DT

Franco Berardi in conversation with Paul Mason and Emma Dowling. For more information and to book:


Friday February 27th 2015, 1pm-2pm

At Institute of Contemporary Art, The Mall, London, SW1Y 5AH

Culture Now: Franco “Bifo” Berardi will discuss HEROES with Professor Benjamin Noys. For more information and to book:


What is the relationship between capitalism and mental health? In his most unsettling book to date, Franco “Bifo” Berardi embarks on an exhilarating journey through philosophy, psychoanalysis and current events, searching for the social roots of the mental malaise of our age.

Spanning an array of horrors – the Aurora “Joker” killer; Anders Breivik; American school massacres; the suicide epidemic in Korea and Japan; and the recent spate of “austerity” suicides in Europe – Heroes dares to explore the darkest shadow cast by the contemporary obsession with relentless competition and hyper-connectivity. In a volume that crowns four decades of radical intellectual work, Berardi develops the psychoanalytical insights of his friend Felix Guattari and proposes dystopian irony as a strategy to disentangle ourselves from the deadly embrace of absolute capitalism.


HEROES: MASS MURDER AND SUICIDE is part of our new FUTURES series.

VERSO FUTURES is a brand-new series of essay-length philosophical and political interventions by both emerging and established writers and thinkers from around the world. Each title in the series addresses the outer limits of political and social possibility. Other books in the series include ISABELL LOREY, MARC AUGE and PAOLO VIRNO:

“The law of the innermost form of the essay is heresy”—Theodor Adorno


FRANCO “BIFO” BERARDI, founder of the famous Radio Alice in 1976 and one of the most prominent members of Autonomia, is a theorist and media activist. His recent books in English include The Soul at Work: From Alienation to Autonomy; The Uprising: On Poetry and Finance; and After the Future.


“As a diagnostician, Berardi is among the sharpest.” – Slate

“Bifo is a master of global activism in the age of depression. His mission is to understand real existing capitalism. Sense the despair of the revolt, enjoy this brilliant ‘labour of the negative’!” – Geert Lovink, Founding Director of the Institute of Network Cultures


PAPERBACK: FEBRUARY 2015 / 240 pages / ISBN: 9781781685785 / £7.99 / $12.95 / $15.95 (Canada)

HARDBACK: FEBRAURY 2015 / 240 pages / ISBN: 9781781685778 / £55 / $95 / $108 (Canada)

HEROES is available at a 40% discount (30% hardback) on our website, with free shipping and bundled ebook. Purchasing details here:


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Edited by Acheronta Movebo

EDITORS Agon Hamza Frank Ruda


CRISIS & CRITIQUE Editorial Board is:

Henrik Jøker Bjerre, Aaron Schuster, Adrian Johnston, Joan Copjec, Robert Pfaller, Frank Ruda, Gabriel Tupinambá, Sead Zimeri, Fabio Vighi, Benjamin Noys, Roland Boer


ACHERONTA MOVEBO Editorial Board is:

Sina Badiei, Srdjan Cvjetićanin, Oguz Erdin, Chrysantho Figueiredo, Agon Hamza, Martin López, Fernando Marcelino, Duane Rousselle, Ehren Stuff, Gabriel Tupinambá, Daniel Tutt, Bree Wooten, Yuan Yao



Editorial note (p.4)

Toward a New Thinking of the Absolute (p.6)

Politics, Subjectivity and Cosmological Antinomy: Kant, Badiou and Žižek (p.14)

Discontent, Suffering and Symptom: Reading Lacanian Diagnostics through Amerindian Perspectivism (p.33)

Psychoanalysisas labor: an impossible profession and the Marxist conception of labor (p.49)

The 21st Century Dawns with a Chance (p.61)

Entlassen. Remarks on Hegel, Sacrifice and Liberation (p.71)

Real Abstraction and the Autonomization of Value (p.84)

Serialism as Simulacrum (p.95)

What is missing / what is coming  (p.101)

The Analysis and the Presentation of Marc Lachièze-Rey’s ‘Travelling in the Time: The Modern Physics and the Temporality’ (p.109)




Editorial Note

The texts comprise a special edition of Crisis and Critique, created by the editors of a different journal project, entitled Acheronta Movebo which is still in its infancy. This latter project, which began about 7 months ago, is comprised of a few students and researchers whose aim was to construct a Freudian journal which was not strictly psychoanalytic, but makes use of the Freudian categories in politics and philosophy as well. As we began to receive submissions from various authors, we decided that Acheronta had not sufficiently distinguished itself from other journals with similar commitments, most notably this one, to warrant its own existence. Although the topics covered in this issue are perhaps of a more variegated nature, we believe that they essentially fit into the structure and platform of Crisis and Critique better than our own project.

In this sense, our decision to move our first issue under the banner of a different journal is very practical – we simply think that one good journal devoted to Marxist critique is good enough, and that there is no need to further divide an already fragile field. By consolidating with Crisis and Critique, we are also motivating a question regarding our future plans – how should Acheronta Movebo move forward? The present letter from the editor is an inquiry into this situation – we hope that by outlin ing the facts of our project, what we aimed to do, and why we thought our end product did not fit the idea, we can engage ourselves and others to re think our mode of work.

The texts offered here were to be divided into two “camps” – Rings (which are modeled after Zizek’s productive engagement with the borromean knotting of psychoanalysis, philosophy, and ideology) and Conditions (which are further divided into Badiou’s “main” truth procedures – politics, art, science and love). Our thesis (and if you affirm this, we consider you one of us) is that this split between the two thinkers orients the entirety of philosophy today. Their differing perspectives on the same issues is well documented, but it is not enough to simply “choose” one or the other – it is not a matter of dividing their readers into the same two camps as the thinkers themselves. Rather, we conceive of their disagree ment as an example of what the Left should be capable of today – internal dissension (about the role of the State, about the nature of the New, and about the unconscious) which supports, rather than detracts from, our solidarity.

We have also come to realize that the primary marker of distinction for our project should be the novelty maintained in the way we work with our authors, which unfortunately was not upheld this time around. A platform that supports the “contradictions among the people” requires that we engage the authors by confronting their texts with certain naïve questions about their positions. Namely, we want to ask our authors those questions which would make their point clear for ourselves – and ᆳself. The current texts are the product of intelligent thinkers, and for that reason, they ought to be met with the incomprehension of an engaged student.

Our first attempt was that of a standard Call for Papers – but we soon found that there were certain obstacles inherent to the openness of this request – first and foremost, the lack of submissions, but also the vagueness of the criteria we used to judge whether a text was properly “Zizekian” or “Badiouian”.

In that vein, here is an excerpt from the original editorial note which was planned:

“The goal of this journal is to establish, by means of a self-referring movement, a field of study which can be properly named as Badiouian and Zizekian. This effort requires us to go beyond the work of the thinkers themselves, to expand it in as many dimensions as possible. It is not our job to dissect and disseminate their work, but rather to begin new projects that inherit the problems they’ve posed to us. The first problem ᆳtending a thinker’s work actually betray it most fully? It is a sure sign that one is among the left when the charge of “revisionism” is raised, but as the masters have shown us, it is only in rendering this charge undecidable that we make progress. What we need is to acquire the capacity to betray with honesty, to make use of what we grasp as the real contradictions of previous thought. In that sense, the division of the journal into two sections – Rings and Conditions – is a perfect fit for the task. If Badiou ’s thesis that truth is always the outcome of certain procedures (and that philosophy must maintain itself upon those procedures) is true, then we can only go as far as our grasp of these procedures (e.g. love, politics, art and science). If Zizek’s thesis that one must close the internal gap of cynicism before one can subvert the existing ideology is true, then we must train ourselves to take the Freudian unconscious seriously. In short, we must confront the contradictions posed by Badiou and Zizek’s respective edifices by establishing our own practice of them. This means to question, as they do, the ontological and ethical premises of the various situations which constitute our time – not simply to satisfy a vain understanding, but so that we may intervene in these situations with boldness.“

We essentially failed in our first attempt to actualize the above points, for reasons that were mostly based on our own inexperience, but also on the inherent problems of the field we are involved in. Our failure confirms for us that this project (Acheronta Movebo) cannot do without the close proximity between the editorial team and the authors of the journal. We rarely contacted the authors to make major changes to their texts or to ask for clarifications – a task which is quite difficult when faced with authors of such erudition – and we didn’t ask ourselves what sort of new criteria would be required to authorize any such changes in the first place. We think that our project should be more devoted to establishing the Zizekian and Badiouian field of study rather than being a format for celebrating already established figures.

Additionally, we found that good contributions to the “Conditions” section were especially sparse. Though there is a relatively large community of thinkers who engage with Badiou’s work, we could not find many who would write with enough proximity on the truth procedures. Thus, we are today lacking a platform to engage with what is new, and – following Badiou – this contributes to an overall degradation of philosophy. Certain questions, then, have to be confronted. What would be the proper text on love, for example? How would our texts on science be distinguished from those of other formats, and what would compel a scientist to publish with us given other options?

The reasons for “transplanting” our first texts to C&C became clear when we realized that it is genetically identical with AM (in the sense of having similar authors, political and philosophical positions), but without the extraneous structure we are imposing on ourselves. We hope that this decision stands as one of those few examples of the Left “unionizing” rather than dividing in the face of common obstacles, and we affirm our commitment to a new presentation of AM’s idea, one that has learned from the concrete experience of its first attempt.


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Karl & Jenny Marx


Now Out:




Economics and Political Economy Today: Introduction to the Symposium on Fine and Milonakis

Author:  Sam Ashman

pp. 3–8 (6)


From Fetishism to ‘Shocked Disbelief ’: Economics, Dialectics and Value Theory

Author:  David McNally

pp. 9–23 (15)


Political Economy: History with the Politics Left Out?

Author:  Roger Backhouse

pp. 24–38 (15)


Sixteen Questions for Fine and Milonakis

Author:  J.E. King

pp. 39–60 (22)


‘From Political Economy to Economics’ and Beyond

Author:  Steve Fleetwood

pp. 61–80 (20)


From Freakonomics to Political Economy

Authors:  Ben Fine; Dimitris Milonakis

pp. 81–96 (16)


Why We Need to Understand Derivatives in Relation to Money: A Reply to Tony Norfield

Authors:  Dick Bryan; Michael Rafferty

pp. 97–109 (13)


David Craven (1951–2012): Marxist Historian of Art from las Américas *

Author:  Steve Edwards

pp. 111–112 (2)


David Craven – In Memoriam

Author:  Stephen F. Eisenman

pp. 113–115 (3)


Marxism, Art and the Histories of Latin America: An Interview with David Craven*

Author:  Angela Dimitrakaki

pp. 116–134 (19)


David Craven: A Select Bibliography

pp. 135–136 (2)


Dialectical Passions: Negation in Postwar Art Theory, Gail Day, New York: Columbia University Press, 2010

Author: Benjamin Noys

pp. 137–144 (8)


Bolivia’s Radical Tradition: Permanent Revolution in the Andes, S. Sándor John, Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 2009 ‘I Sweat the Flavor of Tin’: Labor Activism in Early Twentieth-Century Bolivia, Robert L. Smale, Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, 2010

Author:  Joseph Choonara

pp. 145–158 (14)


Zionism: The Real Enemy of the Jews, Volume 1: The False Messiah, Alan Hart, Atlanta: Clarity Press, 2009; Zionism: The Real Enemy of the Jews, Volume 2: David Becomes Goliath, Alan Hart, Atlanta: Clarity Press, 2009; Zionism: The Real Enemy of the Jews, Volume 3: Conflict Without End, Alan Hart, Atlanta: Clarity Press, 2010

Author:  Max Ajl

pp. 159–180 (22)


Islam’s Marriage with Neoliberalism: State Transformation in Turkey, Yıldız Atasoy, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2009

Author:  Eren Duzgun

pp. 181–200 (20)


Everyday Life and the State, Peter Bratsis, Boulder: Paradigm Publishers, 2006

Author:  Elmar Flatschart

pp. 201–212 (12)



pp. 213–218 (6)


Notes on Contributors

pp. 219–222 (4)


Back Issues

pp. 223–224 (2)


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New Titles


Revolutions in Reverse: Essays on Politics, Violence, Art, and Imagination

David Graeber

Capitalism as we know it appears to be coming apart. But as financial institutions stagger and crumble, there is no obvious alternative. There is good reason to believe that, in a generation or so, capitalism will no longer exist: for the simple reason that it’s impossible to maintain an engine of perpetual growth forever on a finite planet. Yet faced with this prospect, the knee-jerk reaction is often to cling to what exists because they simply can’t imagine an alternative that wouldn’t be even more oppressive and destructive. The political imagination seems to have reached an impasse. Or has it?

In this collection of essays David Graeber explores a wide-ranging set of topics including political strategy, global trade, debt, imagination, violence, aesthetics, alienation, and creativity. Written in the wake of the anti-globalization movement and the rise of the war on terror, these essays survey the political landscape for signs of hope in unexpected places.

At a moment when the old assumption about politics and power have been irrefutably broken the only real choice is to begin again: to create a new language, a new common sense, about what people basically are and what it is reasonable for them to expect from the world, and from each other. In this volume Graeber draws from the realms of politics, art, and the imagination to start this conversation and to suggest that that the task might not be nearly so daunting as we’d be given to imagine.

More information

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Communization and its Discontents: Contestation, Critique, and Contemporary Struggles

Edited by Benjamin Noys

Can we find alternatives to the failed radical projects of the twentieth century? What are the possible forms of struggle today? How do we fight back against the misery of our crisis-ridden present? ‘Communization’ is the spectre of the immediate struggle to abolish capitalism and the state, which haunts Europe,Northern Californiaand wherever the real abstractions of value that shape our lives are contested. Evolving on the terrain of capitalism new practices of the ‘human strike’, autonomous communes, occupation and insurrection have attacked the alienations of our times. These signs of resistance are scattered and have yet to coalesce, and their future is deliberately precarious and insecure.

Bringing together voices from inside and outside of these currents Communization and Its Discontents treats communization as a problem to be explored rather than a solution. Taking in the new theorizations of communization proposed by Tiqqun and The Invisible Committee, Théorie Communiste, post-autonomists, and others, it offers critical reflections on the possibilities and the limits of these contemporary forms, strategies, and tactics of struggle.

More information

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19 & 20: Notes for a New Social Protagonism

Colectivo Situaciones, with introductions by Michael Hardt & Antonio Negri

New book from Colectivo Situaciones… an 18th Brumaire for the 21st Century: militant research on the December 19th and 20th, 2001 uprisings inArgentina… In the heat of an economic and political crisis, people inArgentinatook to the streets on December 19th, 2001, shouting “¡Qué se vayan todos!” These words – “All of them out!” – hurled by thousands banging pots and pans, struck at every politician, economist, and journalist. These events opened a period of intense social unrest and political creativity that led to the collapse of government after government. Neighborhoods organized themselves into hundreds of popular assemblies across the country, the unemployed workers movement acquired a new visibility, workers took over factories and businesses. These events marked a sea change, a before and an after forArgentinathat resonated around the world.

Colectivo Situaciones wrote this book in the heat of that December’s aftermath. As radicals immersed within the long process of reflection and experimentation with forms of counterpower that Argentines practiced in shadow of neoliberal rule, Colectivo Situaciones knew that the novelty of the events of December 19th and 20th demanded new forms of thinking and research. This book attempts to read those struggles from within. Ten years have passed, yet the book remains as relevant and as fresh as the day it came out. Multitudes of citizens from different countries have learned their own ways to chant ¡Qué se vayan todos!, fromIcelandtoTunisia, fromSpaintoGreece, fromTahrir SquaretoZuccottiPark. Colectivo Situactiones’ practice of engaging with movements’ own thought processes resonates with everyone seeking to think current events and movements, and through that to build a new world in the shell of the old.

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Undressing the Academy, or The Student Handjob

University of Strategic Optimism

The weary student handbook genre is in need of a belligerent mauling. This is our crack at the job. We don’t want to talk down to anyone, but neither do we want to chat them up, so this is an attempt at thinking out the university from our own perspective, that of students. Here we air our dirty snapshot of the academy, at least semi-naked, just as we come across it. This potted guide is our pot shot at undressing and dressing down this place, the university, and understanding our place within it: its problems and potential, its power-relations and its possibilities for politicization. This is our attempt to share some of the knowledge to be gleaned in the university, but a knowledge that is rarely measured on any certificate come graduation day.

Written collectively by the University for Strategic Optimism, in the queasy come-down afterglow of the recent wave of student activism in the UK (but looking forward to cracking-off another round), this guide attempts to contextualize our struggle and to bring it closer to home. Just what is the university that we are fighting for anyway? And what perhaps could it be?

More information

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Crisis Sublime




ISSUE 4 ‘CRISIS’ (2011)

The Idea of Crisis, Editorial by Amin Samman (pp. 4-9)


International Political Economy and the Crises of the 1970s: The Real ‘Transatlantic Divide’, by Julian Germann (pp. 10-22)

Everyday Neoliberalism and the Subjectvity of Crisis: Post-Political Control in the Era of Financial Turmoil, by Nicholas Kiersey (pp. 23-44)

‘Grey in Grey’: Crisis, Critique, Change, by Benjamin Noys (pp. 45-60)


Value and Crisis: Bichler and Nitzan versus Marx, by Andrew Kliman (pp. 61-92)

Kliman on Systemic Fear: A Rejoinder, by Shimshon Bichler and Jonathan Nitzan (pp. 93-118)

Marx, Systemic Fear and Capitalists’ Convictions: A Reply to Bichler and Nitzan, by Andrew Kliman (pp. 119-126)


Egyptand the Failure of Realism, by Joe Hoover (pp. 127-137)

Political Semantics of the Arab Revolts/Uprisings/Riots/Insurrections/Revolutions, by Nathan Coombs (pp. 138-146)


Pathologies of Capital: David Harvey’s ‘The Enigma of Capital’, by Matthew Morgan (pp. 147-150)

Analogies of Crisis: Harold James’ ‘The Creation and Destruction of Value’, by Liam Stanley (pp. 150-151)

Timing the Event: Antonio Calcagno’s ‘Badiou and Derrida: Politics, Events and their Time’, by Hannah Proctor (pp. 152-154)


Nathan Coombs

Co-editor of the Journal of Critical Globalisation Studies

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Smoke Monster


The Persistence of the Negative: A Critique of Contemporary Continental Theory
Benjamin Noys

Benjamin Noys’ brilliant and wide-ranging new book is a timely  reminder that no revolutionary and egalitarian approach to politics and philosophy can afford to overlook the disruptive labour of the negative, or to neglect the active contribution that contradiction and antagonism make to a critique of actually-existing forms of domination on the one hand and a renewal of emancipatory agency on the other.– Peter Hallward, Professor of Modern European Philosophy, Middlesex University

In this bold and highly original book, Benjamin Noys rethinks the role of the negative in both ontology and political practice. His critical revaluations of familiar figures in recent European thought move in surprising new directions; they have forced me to reconsider much that I thought I knew.– Steven Shaviro, DeRoy Professor of English, Wayne State University

In this original critique of contemporary continental theory, Noys uses a series of incisive readings of leading theoretical figures of affirmationism – Jacques Derrida, Gilles Deleuze, Bruno Latour, Antonio Negri, and Alain Badiou – to reveal a profound current of negativity that allows theory to return to its political calling. It is essential reading for anyone concerned with continental theory and its relation to left politics.

‘I believe in the afterlife.

It starts tomorrow,

When I go to work’

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A Political Moment



Utrecht & Rotterdam, June 17-19, 2010

‘Hamm: What’s happening?
Clov: Something is taking its course.’
Beckett, Endgame

Over the last decades, several political and cultural theorists have argued that the domain of politics, and even the very idea of the political, has been hollowed out. Politics today appears to have lost its proper status or has been submerged in the more powerful and encompassing infrastructures of late capitalism. Instead of frantically affirming or denying the emptying-out of the political, this conference traces the appropriation of the political by apparatuses of state, church, capitalism and media in modernity to look for ways to reinvigorate it. To do so, the conference focuses on a key concept: the political moment – the moment in which political agency becomes possible, as well as the formative role of the moment in politics.

To get to grips with the political moment we not only need to understand our current moment; we need to have an idea of how it developed over time. Not considering the political moment from an exclusively contemporary point of view, this conference also calls for proposals that focus on the formation of the political in relation to its emptying-out from the late Middle Ages to the present.

Contributions in the form of a 4000 words positioning paper distributed in advance and to be discussed in a seminar setting could address (but are not limited to) the following issues: what is a political moment? What does the emptying-out of the political imply? How has the appropriation of the political by state, religion or media shaped the conditions of possibility of the political? What is the role of the moment in politics?

Confirmed speakers include: Mieke Bal, Bruno Bosteels, Rosi Braidotti, Simon Critchley, Martin van Gelderen, Olivier Marchart, Patchen Markell, Benjamin Noys, and Alberto Toscano.

If you are interested in participating, please send in a 300-words paper proposal and a short résumé of your current research by January 15 2010 to Frans-Willem Korsten, Professor of Literature and Society, Erasmus University Rotterdam, email:; and/or to Bram Ieven, lecturer in comparative literature at Utrecht University, email:

For more information see:

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