- Format: Hardcover
- ISBN: 978-1-5261-6816-0
- Pages: 256
- Price: £85.00
- Published Date: September 2023
The notion of 'clickbait' speaks to the intersection of money, technology, and desire, suggesting a cunning ruse to profit from unsavoury inclinations of one kind or another. Clickbait capitalism pursues the idea that the entire contemporary economy is just such a ruse; an elaborate exercise in psychological capture and release.
Pushing beyond rationalist accounts of economic life, this volume puts psychoanalysis and political economy into conversation with the cutting edges of capitalist development. Perennial questions of death, sex, aggression, enjoyment, despair, hope, and revenge are followed onto the terrain of the contemporary, with chapters devoted to social media, online dating apps, cryptocurrencies, NFTs, and meme stocks. The result is a unique and compelling portrait of the latest institutions to stage, channel, or reconfigure the psychic energies of political and economic life.
As the pursuit of profit becomes increasingly surreal, virtual, and exotic by the day, the symbiosis between libidinal and financial flows demands to be reframed and rethought. Indeed, the timing could not be better for this vital and important collection of essays, which do precisely that. Clickbait capitalism offers a stimulating and game-changing introduction to how the current confluence of economy and desire pre-empts our behaviour, structures our identity, influences our decisions, and tugs at our wallets.
Dominic Pettman, Professor of Media and New Humanities, The New School, author of Peak Libido
Lie back on the couch with this book and let it analyse your triggers and traumas about student debt and intergenerational inequity. Ramble down the royal road of the unconscious, interpreting the collective delirium from Cryptokitties to cryogenics, Squid Game to GameStop. These bracing chapters, invoking theorists from Adorno to Zizek, fuse psychology and economics to diagnose the neuroses of our moment. The results are electric!
Susan Zieger, Professor of English Literature, University of California, Riverside, co-editor of The Aesthetic Life of Infrastructure
A compelling and much-needed volume at the forefront of new research on libidinal political economy. It brilliantly illuminates the pivotal role of unconscious desire in multiple contemporary contexts, from social media and cryptocurrencies to job markets and racial capitalism.
Ilan Kapoor, Professor of Critical Development Studies, York University, Canada, co-author of Global Libidinal Economy
Introduction: The desire called libidinal economy - Amin Samman
1 Narcissism, rage, avocado toast - Earl Gammon
2 Capital as death denial - Sandy Brian Hager
3 The eroticism of technology and finance - Noam Yuran
4 Digital paranoia in a post-truth world - Jernej Markelj
5 Social networks and serendipitous desire - Emily Rosamond
6 Desiring-infrastructures in the crypto economy - Ludovico Rella
7 Normative unconscious processes and US racial capitalism - Lynne Layton
8 Enjoying inequality - Japhy Wilson
9 Despair and hope among young Korean investors - Cheolung Choi
10 Financialising the eschaton - Amin Samman and Stefano Sgambati
11 Anxiety and self-sabotage in the neoliberal university - Aris Komporozos-Athanasiou and Max Haiven
Conclusion: Click here to end capitalism - Amin Samman
Amin Samman is Senior Lecturer in International Political Economy at City, University of London
Earl Gammon is Senior Lecturer in Global Political Economy at the University of Sussex