Futurability. The age of impotence and the horizon of possibility
Author: Franco Berardi
Verso Books, USA, 2017
Since Franco Berardi was a part of the anarchist society in Bologna’s Radio Alice in the 1960’s, he has worked tirelessly to understand the relationship between working life, culture and capitalism – searching for new outlets for those liberating impulses that were expressed in the cultural revolutions of Italiy. When the anarchist movement was thrown down with brute force, it only reinforced the impression that the enemy was indeed real, and that the anarchists were part of a battle against a society that was truly oppressive.
A state of powerlessness
Berardi has followed various activist movements up until the resigned demise of the Occupy movement, he ends up in a time that he describes as impotent. The reference to the male, bodily and sexual is more than a metaphor: At the centre of the frustrated situation of the West, stands the white, male worker – it is exactly this segment of the society that is entrenched into new reactionary movements. The root of impotence – or a depressive state of powerlessness – is oppression, not exercised through violence, but rather through the almost invisible forms of fraud, extortion and theft of late capitalism. The fact that we do not notice how society empowers us is, according to Berardi, both the condition and the effect of the modus operandi of capitalism. Precisely because we let ourselves be convinced that there is no alternative to the forms of life we are being …
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