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To Live and Think Like Pigs: The Incitement of Envy and Boredom in Market Democracies
Gilles Châtelet’s scathing polemical tract opens at the end of the 70s, when the liberatory dreams of ‘68 are beginning to putrefy, giving rise to conditions more favourable to a new breed of self-deluding ‘nomads’ and voguish ‘gardeners of the creative’. Gulled by a ‘realism’ that reassures them that political struggle is for anachronistic losers, their allegiances began ...more
Paperback, 190 pages
Published November 2014 by Urbanomic and Sequence Press
(first published 1998)
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Nov 16, 2015 6655321 rated it really liked it
OK, like *this* is a legitimately good and interesting book that is horrifyingly bad in it's localization. That is, cultural references that are decidedly French popular culture are not footnoted for explanation (or are for some reason chapters after the term is introduced) and it really hurts the ability of the reader to enjoy what is a complex and engaging book that is littered with pop culture references. And this is sort of *why* people talk about theory books is being hyper inaccessible, li ...more
A fierce attack on neoliberal societies. As Châtelet said in an interview somewhere, he intended to piss his readers off. The essay's main instrument is rhetoric, so there's plenty of quotable lines but sadly not that much substance. I'd love to hear more about the misuse of mathematics in contemporary economics. That's something one would expect from a philosopher of mathematics like the author, but I guess it wasn't the main idea for this essay. And it's true, some of the subtle references to ...more
A difficult, but at times rewarding, critique of neoliberal markets. What I appreciated most were the connections made between market structures and mathematic disciplines. For example, the structure of oil markets is an iteration of fluidics (or microfluidics), and the structure of futures markets is an iteration of what we can know concretely about chaos. Chatelet argues that the mathematic bases, however rigorous, are not enough to make economics a science, and that keen observers can see/env ...more
“Resplendent in the Sunday best of human rights and free will, our tapeworm-citizens flatter themselves with having driven out ‘barbarism’, with having finally attained the ideal of the weak, the slave morality of which Nietzsche says that it ‘first has to have an opposing, external world, it needs, physiologically speaking, external stimuli in order to act at all,—its action is basically a reaction’.”
“It is not quite correct that a higher rate of participation is always favourable for democracy…. A growth in the rate of participation can indicate a weakening of social cohesion which will lead democracy to its death; inversely, the widespread opinion that ‘voting can’t change much’, by diminishing participation, can contribute to the stability of the regime.”More quotes…