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The Present: After the Future
Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. After the Future by Franco Bifo Berardi ,. After the Future explores our century-long obsession with the concept of "the future. Marinetti's "Futurist Manifesto" and the worldwide race toward a new and highly mechanized society that defined the "Century of Progress," highly respected media activist Franco Berardi traces the genesis of future-oriented thought through the punk movement of the ea After the Future explores our century-long obsession with the concept of "the future.
Marinetti's "Futurist Manifesto" and the worldwide race toward a new and highly mechanized society that defined the "Century of Progress," highly respected media activist Franco Berardi traces the genesis of future-oriented thought through the punk movement of the early '70s and into the media revolution of the '90s. Cyberculture, the last truly utopian vision of the future, has ended in a clash, and left behind an ever-growing system of virtual life and actual death, of virtual knowledge and actual war.
Our future, Berardi argues, has come and gone; the concept has lost its usefulness.
Now it's our responsibility to decide what comes next. Franco Berardi , better known in the United States as "Bifo," is an Italian autonomist philosopher and media activist.
reviewed by Veronica Simmonds
One of the founders of the notorious Radio Alice, a pirate radio station that became the voice of the autonomous youth movement of Bologna in the late s, Bifo is the author of multiple works of theory, including the recently published The Soul at Work and "The Post-Futurist Manifesto. Paperback , pages. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.
To ask other readers questions about After the Future , please sign up. Lists with This Book. Oct 21, Jonathan Norton rated it it was ok. Franco Berardi is an Italian cultural theorist and activist who has been busy since in the various developments of the autonomist anarchist movements from the 60s to the present day. This is a compilation of his writings from the last ten years, reviewing the 90s and the "zero zero decade" and the economic and politic shifts that occurred under the increasing influence of neoliberalism since the 80s. The first thing to notice is that the compiled nature of the material does lead to some wobb Franco Berardi is an Italian cultural theorist and activist who has been busy since in the various developments of the autonomist anarchist movements from the 60s to the present day.
The first thing to notice is that the compiled nature of the material does lead to some wobbles: As usual when theorists engage with electronic culture there is little technical understanding or direct engagement, with the result that they end up merely repeating the same old piffle that the tech-propagandists would like you to believe, simply putting a pessimistic spin on it instead of picking away at the material details and showing what a lot of waffle and wishful-thinking pervades the world of start-ups and the TED circuit and the consultancy vampires.
He does also get caught out claiming pg. There is also an obscurity in whether he wants to tell a trad Marxist story about monopolies emerging to dominate capitalist markets that's the lesson he draws from the Dot Com crash at the start of the decade, when the entrepeneurs were dissolving away and getting absorbed back in to corporate wage slavery , or if he sees a contrary pattern of corporates going bust and decoposing away in the new disconnected economy in the later chapters at the end of the decade.
Which one is it, Bifo?
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Or did the former process go in to reverse in the middle years? The first chapter reviews the ambitions of Marinetti's Futurist manifesto from years ago and this is a fascinating and crisply-written introduction to a complex net of ideas shared across a variety of political philosophies, not just Italian fascism but also aspects of Leninism and modern tech-capitalism.
However we then get a lot of Michael Moore-level stale comment about Bush, the election and so on.
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The Iraq invasion is seen as having an economic imperative yet there is little or no examination of the acknowledged ideological basis for it in the various thinktanks like the Heritage Foundation or PNAC. Bifo also engages in a bit of speculative psychology about the causes of male depression and suicide, which I don't find particularly convincing or helpful for anyone.
With regard to the digital economy itself, Bifo has a list of complaints that will familiar to any reader of conservative critics of modernity. Present day urban capitalism breaks down traditional ties and the sense of connection to history and tradition; it produces alienated individuals anonymous and remote from each other, devoid of sensitivity and poetry and lost in the crassness of materialism. Bifo repeats this yarn but skips the bits where the conservatives would decry the selfishness of the workers who want a better standard of living for shorter hours.
He writes as if he thinks that the modern economy only produces symbols and signs - that isn't true of Western economies, but even if it were it would be overlooking the fact that old-fashioned industry is still in existence, and flourishing, in the rest of the world, and in fact that's how the globalised system is feasible, in accordance to liberal theory. But never mind that, more pressing is that he thinks that the "immaterial labour" in the new "semiocapitalism" breaks the "law of value" - ie.
Marx's analysis of the nature of use-value in a capitalist economy. I have to admit I simply do not understand why exactly Bifo thinks this kind of brain-labour isn't equally amenable to chapter 1 of "Capital". What occurs to me is that he is really offering without realising it, it seems is really a critique of Marx's analysis of value, which would apply just as well to the 19th century as it would to post-modern times.
That's actually the intellectual starting-point of neoliberal theory, which then gallops off in the direction of unfettered markets and the minimal state, driven by the spurious assumption that the only alternative must be 5-Year Plans and Stalinism.
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Bifo is good at talking about Italian politics and the "anomaly" that it was the scene of a radical left politics not seen anywhere else in Europe. He is wonderfully scornful of "Berlusconi and his perky banqueters in government" pg. But all this is submerged in some terribly broad-brush stuff about Protestant and Counter-Reformation cultures, which is precisely the same guff esteemed by the Samuel Huntingdon fanclub with their drumbeating for "the clash of civilisations".
When he talks about real politics, with its concrete problems and the lived experiences that animate reactions, Bifo is an engaging and interesting writer. When he veers off in to theory it all goes blurry and tiresome. The final sections of the book descend in to Deleuzian sludge, and I cannot make anything meaningful out of the Baudrillard text he quotes so reverently. The book ends with a "Manifesto Of Post-Futurism" and an interview with the old boy.
Jun 25, Scriptor Ignotus rated it really liked it Shelves: Berardi is in a rare class of Marxist-left theorists who are able to think and write movingly about the relationship between the overarching system of late capitalism and the everyday lives of individuals. The twentieth century was obsessed with the future—evidenced by the fact that the first major intellectual movement of the century was actually called Futurism.
The future, of course, is not just the time that lies ahead of us; the days, weeks, and years that we know will continue to pass by. For the human intellect, the future is the realm of possibility; the spaces unexplored and undeveloped; the promise of forthcoming happiness and prosperity.
Berardi believes that this way of thinking about the future is not natural, but is rather a product of modern capitalist culture. Workers rent out their labor time in anticipation of receiving wages and having time off to actually experience life. Modernity is about expanding the limits of nature as an exploitable resource, producing an ever-greater accumulation of wealth and knowledge.
The Futurist fascination with machines was rooted in their capacity for speed; which amounts, under capitalist absolutism, to their acceleration of labor time and the productive process.
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Late in the twentieth century, however, the progressive, utopian vision of the future gave way to the dystopias that have come to dominate twenty-first century art and literature. This change coincides with the advent of Neoliberalism; the Reagan-Thatcher era of deregulation and privatization. Situating Ourselves in Displacement Murmurae. Time and Time Again John Zerzan. Precarious Rhapsody Franco "Bifo" Berardi.
Ethereal Shadows Franco "Bifo" Berardi. Goodreads reviews for After the Future. You have no items in your cart.
After the Future
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