Idiotism : Capitalism and the Privatisation of Life

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Idiotism examines society in late capitalism where the market logic of neoliberalism has become the new `common sense'.

Using the Greek word idios, meaning 'private', Neal Curtis calls this privatisation of the world `idiotism'. Through constructing a new vocabulary with which to understand our society, Curtis examines 'idiotism' across the spheres of economics, politics and culture, drawing on the philosophy and political theories of Martin Heidegger, Louis Althusser, Franco Berardi, Jacques Ranciere and Cornelius Castoriadis.

This book recasts our conception of the new privatised world's 'common sense', presenting it as not simply a case of false consciousness, but an problem related to our own existence.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 184 pages
  • 134 x 214 x 14mm | 222.26g
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 0745331556
  • 9780745331553
  • 708,658

About Neal Curtis

Neal Curtis is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Film, Television and Media Studies at the University of Auckland. He is the author of War and Social Theory: World, Value, Identity (2006), Against Autonomy: Lyotard, Action and Judgement (2001) and editor of The Pictorial Turn (2010).
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Review quote

'The best way to persuade people that "there is no alternative" is to isolate, divide and atomise them. This valuable book offers a systematic and wide-ranging study of the far-reaching privatisation and marketisation of modern life, and counters the ruthless exclusion of meaningful references to the public good' -- Peter Hallward, Professor of Modern European Philosophy at Kingston University, UK. 'Describes how the spread of privatised stupidity, economic fanaticism and the cuts in education are provoking a rise of barbarianism and laying the foundations for a dictatorship of ignorance' -- Franco Berardi, author of The Soul at Work: From Alienation to Autonomy (2009). 'Boldly confronts the disturbing trap of contemporary democracy: its promises of diversity and plurality are undone by capitalist enclosure. Those brave enough to acknowledge not just capitalism's idiocy but the way it makes idiots of us will be grateful for this provocative, unyielding, and immensely readable book' -- Jodi Dean, Professor of Political Science at Hobart and William Smith Colleges, and author of Democracy and Other Neoliberal Fantasies (2009). 'One of the most lucid and acute critiques of neoliberal culture to date' -- Jeremy Gilbert, Reader in Cultural Studies at the University of East London.
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Table of contents

1. Enclosing the World, or Idiotism

2. The Ideology of Idiotism

3. Idiotism and Economics

4. Idiotism and Politics

5. Idiotism and Culture

6. Opening the World, or Democracy



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