Decadence of Industrial Democracies

Written by Bernard Stiegler | Translated by Daniel Ross | September 2011
Decadence of Industrial Democracies
by Bernard Stiegler
translated by Daniel Ross
(Polity Press, 2011)

Bernard Stiegler is one of the most original philosophers writing today about new technologies and their implications for social, political and personal life. Drawing on sources ranging from Plato and Marx to Freud, Heidegger and Derrida, he develops a highly original account of technology as grammatology, as a technics of writing that constitutes our experience of time, memory and desire, even of life itself. Society and our place within it are shaped by technical reproduction which can both expand and restrict the horizons and possibilities of human agency and experience.

In the three volumes of Disbelief and Discredit Stiegler argues that this process of technical reproduction has become dangerously divorced from its role in the constitution of human experience. Radically challenging the optimistic view of new technologies as facilitators of learning and progress, he argues new marketing techniques shortcircuit thought and disenfranchise consumers, programming them to seek short-term gratification. These practices of ‘libidinal economics’ have profound consequences for nature of human desire and they underpin the social and psychological malaise of contemporaty industrial society.

In this opening volume Stiegler argues that the industrial model implemented since the beginning of the twentieth century has become obsolete, leading capitalist democracies to an impasse. A sign of this impasse and of the decadence to which it leads is the banalization of consumers who become ensnared in a perpetual cycle of consumption. This is the new proletarianization of the technologically infused, hyper-industrial capitalism of today. It produces a society cut off from its past and its future, stultifying human development and turning democracy into a farce in which disbelief and discredit inevitably arise.

More Info : Polity Press

Comments are moderated and generally will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive.
Sign in or register to post comments.

More new titles

new titles

The Burdens of Brotherhood Jews and Muslims from North Africa to France

Headlines from France suggest that Muslims have renewed an age-old struggle against Jews and that the two groups are once more inevitably at odds. But the past tells a different story. The Burdens of Brotherhood is a sweeping history of Jews and Muslims in France from World War I to the present. Here Ethan Katz introduces a richer and more complex world that offers fresh perspective for understanding the opportunities and challenges in France today.
new titles

The Critique of Everyday Life: The One-Volume Edition

Henri Lefebvre's classic analysis of daily life under capitalism in one complete volume
new titles

French Love Poems

Filled with devotion and lust, sensuality and eroticism, fever and overture, these poems showcase some of the most passionate verses in the French language.