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From Bataille to BadiouLignes, the Preservation of Radical French Thought, 1987-2017$
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Adrian May

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9781786940438

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: May 2019

DOI: 10.3828/liverpool/9781786940438.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM LIVERPOOL SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.liverpool.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Liverpool University Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in LSO for personal use.date: 27 June 2022

Power without Politics

Power without Politics

Domination Theory and the Crises of Capitalism

(p.159) Chapter Five Power without Politics
From Bataille to Badiou

Adrian May

Liverpool University Press

Around 1996, the review re-orientated its political critique to examine how the globalisation of financial capitalism had hamstrung the progressive left. Michel Surya’s De la domination described capitalism as a form of domination that exercised a form of power without politics, and decried the moralisation of economics which suggested that as long as businesses behaved well, the global financial system itself was unimpeachable. The chapter demonstrates that Surya’s work was influenced by Jean Baudrillard, but that this latter thinker’s account of a now entirely virtual financial economy increasingly seemed inadequate, and the review turned back to Guy Debord for a more Marxist critique of the alienation produced by contemporary capitalism. After exploring this historical genealogy, the chapter explores the Lignes contributions of Groupe Krisis to see how this Frankfurt School-inspired group both predicted the 2008 financial crisis and provided an apocalyptic account of capitalism’s inevitable demise. Yet this account is also seen to be inherently de-politicising and foreclosing political action, and the chapter closes by contrasting it to the analyses of other Lignes contributors, such as Daniel Bensaïd, especially when discussing the EU treatment of Greece after the financial crisis.

Keywords:   Domination Theory, 2008 financial crisis, Michel Surya, Guy Debord, Jean Baudrillard, Anselm Jappe, Groupe Krisis, Alienation, Frankfurt School, Globalised capitalism

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