The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism by the Canadian author and social activist Naomi Klein. Klein argues that neoliberal free market policies (as advocated by the economist Milton Friedman) have risen to prominence in some developed countries because of a deliberate strategy of “shock therapy”. This centers on the exploitation of national crises to push through controversial policies while citizens are too emotionally & physically distracted by disasters or upheavals to mount an effective resistance.

Exposing these global profiteers, Naomi Klein discovered information and connections that shocked even her about how comprehensively the shock doctors’ … More

Born OTD in 1928, American linguist, philosopher, historian & social critic, Noam Chomsky. Chomsky has been a huge influence on my life since I first discovered his work back in the mid-90’s and how, sadly, little has changed in terms of manufacturing consent and the so-called left adopting neoliberalism in the, ‘There Is No Alternative’ narrative.

In “Profit Over People,” Noam Chomsky takes on neoliberalism: the pro-corporate system of economic and political policies presently waging a … More

Costas Lapavitsas contends that the EU’s response to the Eurozone crisis represents the ultimate transformation of the union into a neoliberal citadel, which institutionally embeds austerity, privatisation and wage cuts. Concurrently, the rise of German hegemony has divided the EU into an unstable mixture of wealthy core and dependent peripheries.

These related developments make the EU impervious to meaningful reform, particularly as its institutions are fundamentally designed to uphold the … More

The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics was a place that really existed, but it is long dead. By now, the word “Soviet” should be as meaningless as “Hapsburg”. Yet it endures, as in the wave of “de-communisation” in Ukraine or the strange idea that the capitalist government in Russia is “Communist”. But does the Soviet experience have anything to teach us today, or was it just an enormous cul-de-sac, a nuclear-armed reincarnation of the Russian Empire?

This book tries to find out, through walking the towns and great cities of the USSR, in an itinerary that … More

At the onset of the Great Recession, as house prices sank and joblessness soared, many commentators concluded that the economic convictions behind the disaster would now be consigned to history. And yet, in the harsh light of a new day, we’ve awoken to a second nightmare more ghastly than the first: a political class still blaming government intervention, a global drive for austerity, stagflation, and an international sovereign debt crisis..

Philip Mirowski finds an apt comparison to this situation in classic studies of cognitive dissonance. He concludes that neoliberal thought … More

Much has been written about Britain’s trailblazing post-1970s privatization program, but the biggest privatization of them all has until now escaped scrutiny: the privatization of land. Since Margaret Thatcher took power in 1979, and hidden from the public eye, about 10 per cent of the entire British land mass, including some of its most valuable real estate, has passed from public to private hands. Forest land, defence land, health service land and above all else local authority land for farming and school sports, for recreation and housing has been sold off en masse.

Why? How? And with what social, economic and political consequences? The New Enclosure provides the first ever study of this … More

Focusing upon the production of post-punk art, film, music, & publishing, this book offers new perspectives on an overlooked period of cultural activity, & probes the lessons that might be learnt from history for artists & musicians working under 21st century conditions of austerity.

Full list of contributors: Gavin Butt, Sue Clayton, Kodwo Eshun, Mark Fisher, Green Gartside, Dominic Johnson, Lydia Lunch, Eliete Mejorado, … More

Shocks, from natural disasters to military catastrophes, have been exploited for years by the state to impose privatisation, cuts and rampant free markets on us. This book argues that the Left can turn this on its head by using those same moments of chaos — and some of our own — to achieve emancipation.

Graham Jones, ‘the radical hairdresser of Deptford’, combines his experience of grassroots activism with ideas from complex systems theory to … More