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Heroes: Mass Murder and Suicide

What is the relationship between capitalism and mental health?
What is the relationship between capitalism and mental health? In his most unsettling book to date, Franco “Bifo” Berardi embarks on an exhilarating journey through philosophy, psychoanalysis and current events, searching for the social roots of the mental malaise of our age.

Spanning an array of horrors – the Aurora “Joker” killer; Anders Breivik; American school massacres; the suicide epidemic in Korea and Japan; and the recent spate of “austerity” suicides in Europe – Heroes dares to explore the darkest shadow cast by the contemporary obsession with relentless competition and hyper-connectivity. In a volume that crowns four decades of radical intellectual work, Berardi develops the psychoanalytical insights of his friend Félix Guattari and proposes dystopian irony as a strategy to disentangle ourselves from the deadly embrace of absolute capitalism.

Reviews

  • “As a diagnostician, Berardi is among the sharpest.”
  • “Bifo is a master of global activism in the age of depression. His mission is to understand real existing capitalism. Sense the despair of the revolt, enjoy this brilliant ‘labour of the negative’!”
  • “Does more than merely scratch the surface...ultimately, Bifo advocates for the limitless power of imagination and irony as the only antidotes in a world urging to be rebuilt from scratch”
  • “An exquisite reading of our historical situation.”

Blog

  • After the European Union

    In this piece originally published in Effimera, and translated from Italian by David Broder Franco Bifo Berardi grapples with how to disentangle ourselves from a global order that shapes our politics as well as our imagination.
     



    The tangled thread of the possible

    Is it possible to reduce the infinite complexity of chaotically evolving social forms to one central tendency, a universal attractor for the becoming of the world? To do so would not be legitimate from a philosophical point of view, because we have to hold firm to the principle that the becoming of the world infinitely – and thus irreducibly – exceeds what is known. 

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  • The Year in Review: Verso authors reflect on 2016

    From the explosion in border walls to the rise of Donald Trump to the books that they've read along the way, Verso authors reflect on one of the most shocking years in recent history in this 2016 review.

    With contributions from: Franco Bifo Berardi, Christine Delphy, Keller Easterling, Nick Estes, Liz Fekete, Amber A'Lee Frost, Andrea Gibbons, Owen Hatherley, Eric Hazan, Helen Hester, Karen L. Ishizuka, Reece Jones, Costas Lapavitsas, Andreas Malm, Geoff Mann, Jane McAlevey, Ed Morales, David Roediger Nick Srnicek and Wolfgang Streeck.


    Franco ‘Bifo’ Berardi
    , author of Heroes

    Ninety-nine years after the Soviet Revolution the stage is set for precipitation into global civil war. While the financial class exacerbates its agenda fuelling  unemployment and social devastation, the dynamics that led to Nazism are deploying worldwide. Nationalists are repeating what Hitler said to the impoverished workers of Germany: rather than as defeated workers, think of yourself as white warriors so you’ll win. They did not win, but they destroyed Europe. They will not win this time neither, but they are poised to destroy the world.

    After two centuries of colonial violence, we are now facing the final showdown. As worker’s internationalism has been destroyed by capital globalisation, a planetary bloodbath is getting almost unavoidable. 

    After centuries of colonial domination and violence, the dominators of the world are now facing a final showdown: the dispossessed of the world are reclaiming a moral and economic reward that the West is unwilling and unable to pay. The concrete historical debt towards those people that we have exploited cannot be paid because we are forced to pay the abstract financial debt.

    The collapse of capitalism is going to be interminable and enormously destructive, as long as a conscious subjectivity does not emerge.


    Christine Delphy, author of Separate and Dominate 

    The year now coming to an end has abounded with bad news on the political front. After a foul and very long debate on how we could ‘strip’ French citizens of their nationality – ultimately reaching the conclusion that this was impossible with regard to both French laws and international conventions – the government abandoned the bill. Immediately after that, a fresh bill was presented to ‘reform’ the labour code, largely getting rid of the majority of the guarantees enjoyed by workers. There was a mass mobilisation against this plan, lasting across the whole spring and part of summer. It opposed demonstrators in all France’s towns and cities to a police which, as the prime minister Manuel Valls put it, ‘had not been given any orders to show restraint’.

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  • Emanuele Severino: There Will Be No Third World War

    Ahead of tomorrow's start of the three day conference on the work of Emanuele Severino, entitled A Third World War? The management of death, between the new social emergencies and their solution’, Severino spoke to Daniela Monti of Corriere Della Sera about his work, the impact of technology, and the possibility of a third world war between the US and Russia.

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Other books by Franco “Bifo” Berardi