Capital is Dead: Is This Something Worse? (Hardcover)
Wark argues that Marxism desperately needs to update its language and framework to accurately critique today's global economic system, which has evolved beyond capitalism entirely into something even more abstract and extractive. — From Sam's Picks
It’s not capitalism, it’s not neoliberalism—what if it’s something worse?
In this radical and visionary new book, McKenzie Wark argues that information has empowered a new kind of ruling class. Through the ownership and control of information, this emergent class dominates not only labour but capital as traditionally understood as well. And it’s not just tech companies like Amazon and Google. Even Walmart and Nike can now dominate the entire production chain through the ownership of not much more than brands, patents, copyrights, and logistical systems.
While techno-utopian apologists still celebrate these innovations as an improvement on capitalism, for workers—and the planet—it’s worse. The new ruling class uses the powers of information to route around any obstacle labor and social movements put up. So how do we find a way out? Capital Is Dead offers not only the theoretical tools to analyze this new world, but ways to change it. Drawing on the writings of a surprising range of classic and contemporary theorists, Wark offers an illuminating overview of the contemporary condition and the emerging class forces that control—and contest—it.
About the Author
McKenzie Wark is the author of A Hacker Manifesto, Gamer Theory, 50 Years of Recuperation of the Situationist International, and The Beach Beneath the Street, among other books. They teach at the New School for Social Research and Eugene Lang College in New York City.
“A provocative and compelling exploration of our digital world as it crashes towards ecological disaster. Counterintuitive, insightful, and imaginative, Capital is Dead is a timely reminder that there are things worse than capitalism—and we may just be living through them.”
—Nick Srnicek, author of Platform Capitalism
“A feral form of commodification walks among us. Whether it is feasting on the remains of capital or hunting on its behalf is a question McKenzie Wark is perfectly equipped to investigate. Consider this your exploratory field guide to a new mode of production.”
—Kate Crawford, Distinguished Research Professor and cofounder of the AI Now Institute, New York University
“McKenzie Wark’s call for an experimental, vulgar form of revolutionary approach to digital commodification is a challenging read, full of provocative observation.”
—Andy Hedgecock, Morning Star
“Wark has long been a brilliant scholar of Marxism, Situationism and Poststructuralism, rewriting the canon of critical theory.”
—Dave Beech, Art Monthly
“Thoughtful and compelling.”
—Garrett Pierman, Marx & Philosophy
“Wark takes a flamethrower to these ideas through a reading of Marx that burns away the metaphors of phantasmagorical fetishes, such as the commodity form, the spectacle, and false consciousness, that have occupied much critical theory to date.”
—Vince Carducci, Popmatters