The Universal Adversary

The Universal Adversary : Security, Capital and 'The Enemies of All Mankind'

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The history of bourgeois modernity is a history of the Enemy. This book is a radical exploration of an Enemy that has recently emerged from within security documents released by the US security state: the Universal Adversary. The Universal Adversary is now central to emergency planning in general and, more specifically, to security preparations for future attacks. But an attack from who, or what? This book - the first to appear on the topic - showsã howã the concept of the Universal Adversaryã draws onã several keyã figuresã in the history of ideas, said to poseã a threatã to state power and capital accumulation. Within the Universal Adversary there lies the problemã not justã ofã the `terrorist' but, more generally, ofã theã `subversive', and what the emergency planning documents refer to as the `disgruntled worker'. Thisã referenceã reveals the conjoined power of the contemporary mobilisation of security and the defence of capital. But it also reveals much more. Taking the figure of the disgruntled worker as its starting point,ã the bookã introduces some of this worker's close cousinsã -ã figures often regarded not simply as a threat to security and capital but as nothing less than the Enemy of all Mankind: the Zombie, the Devil and the Pirate. In situating these figures of enmity withinã debates about security and capital, the bookã engages an extraordinaryã variety ofã issuesã that now comprise aã contemporary politics of security. From crowd control to contagion, from the witch-hunt to the apocalypse, from pigs to intellectual property, this book provides a compelling analysis of the ways in which security and capital are organized against nothing less than the `Enemies of all Mankind'.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 180 pages
  • 159 x 235 x 12.7mm | 295g
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 14 Illustrations, black and white
  • 1138955167
  • 9781138955165
  • 1,308,795

Table of contents

Introduction 1. `The perpetrator has been named, the Universal Adversary': On the disgruntled Worker 2. `They work faithfully; they're not afraid of long hours': On the Zombie 3. `The ringleader of Rebellion': On the Devil 4. `An offence against the universal law of society': On the Pirate
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About Mark Neocleous

Mark Neocleous is Professor of the Critique of Political Economy at Brunel University, UK.
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