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Carceral Capitalism (Semiotext(e) / Intervention Series #21) (Paperback)

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Staff Reviews


I’ve been pushing this book on everyone I know since its publication; some who have acquiesced have said it was nothing short of life-changing. Wang, who primarily writes poetry, summons a ferocious synthesis of radical analytical frameworks and applies them to the present moment. Embodying Gramsci’s pessimism of the intellect/optimism of the will, this book is a tour de force about carcerality outside of the prison; every chapter is explosive. A great read for the radical in your life.

— From Gleb

Description


Essays on the contemporary continuum of incarceration: the biopolitics of juvenile delinquency, predatory policing, the political economy of fees and fines, and algorithmic policing.

What we see happening in Ferguson and other cities around the country is not the creation of livable spaces, but the creation of living hells. When people are trapped in a cycle of debt it also can affect their subjectivity and how they temporally inhabit the world by making it difficult for them to imagine and plan for the future. What psychic toll does this have on residents? How does it feel to be routinely dehumanized and exploited by the police?
—from Carceral Capitalism

In this collection of essays in Semiotext(e)'s Intervention series, Jackie Wang examines the contemporary incarceration techniques that have emerged since the 1990s. The essays illustrate various aspects of the carceral continuum, including the biopolitics of juvenile delinquency, predatory policing, the political economy of fees and fines, cybernetic governance, and algorithmic policing. Included in this volume is Wang's influential critique of liberal anti-racist politics, “Against Innocence,” as well as essays on RoboCop, techno-policing, and the aesthetic problem of making invisible forms of power legible.

Wang shows that the new racial capitalism begins with parasitic governance and predatory lending that extends credit only to dispossess later. Predatory lending has a decidedly spatial character and exists in many forms, including subprime mortgage loans, student loans for sham for-profit colleges, car loans, rent-to-own scams, payday loans, and bail bond loans. Parasitic governance, Wang argues, operates through five primary techniques: financial states of exception, automation, extraction and looting, confinement, and gratuitous violence. While these techniques of governance often involve physical confinement and the state-sanctioned execution of black Americans, new carceral modes have blurred the distinction between the inside and outside of prison. As technologies of control are perfected, carcerality tends to bleed into society.

About the Author


Jackie Wang is a student of the dream state, black studies scholar, prison abolitionist, poet, performer, library rat, trauma monster and PhD student at Harvard University. She is the author of a number of punk zines including On Being Hard Femme, as well as a collection of dream poems titled Tiny Spelunker of the Oneiro-Womb.

Praise For…


Jackie Wang's Carceral Capitalism is arguably one of the most wide-ranging, critical, and theoretically nuanced examinations of the political economy of the carceral state in the USA to date.—Socialist Project

Jackie Wang's sharp and deeply felt account of US capitalism's reliance on predatory extraction from its poorest communities was partly inspired by her brother's incarceration, and is one of the most convincing attempts to thread together the multiple analytical strands of race, class, and finance capitalism I've read.

Hannah Black, Bookforum


Product Details
ISBN: 9781635900026
ISBN-10: 1635900026
Publisher: Semiotext(e)
Publication Date: February 23rd, 2018
Pages: 360
Language: English
Series: Semiotext(e) / Intervention Series