The Apocalyptic Politics of Collapse and Rebirth
by Sasha Lilley, David McNally, Eddie Yuen and James Davis
With a foreword by Doug Henwood
The world is reeling from the deepest economic crisis since the Depression of the 1930's. Further meltdowns, global warming, dire ecological disasters threaten.
Governments warn that no alternative exists: 'take the bitter medicine we prescribe, or risk devastating financial or social collapse'. The right, whether religious or secular, views the present as catastrophic and wants to turn the clock back. The left fears for the worst, but hopes some good will emerge. Across the political spectrum, a culture of fear reigns.
Catastrophism explores this apocalypse - on the left and right, from capital and the state, and in the environmental movement, and examines why the lens of catastrophe can distort our understanding - and impede our ability to make change happen. Lilley, McNally, Yuen, and Davis probe the reasons why catastrophic thinking is so prevalent, and challenge the belief that it is only out of the ashes that a better society may be born. The authors argue that those who care about social justice and the environment should eschew the Pandora's box of fear - even as it relates to indisputably apocalyptic climate change. Far from calling people to arms, they suggest, catastrophic fear often results in passivity and paralysis - and, at worst, reactionary politics.
"This groundbreaking book examines a deep current-on both the left and right-of apocalyptical thought and action. Catastrophism is a crucial guide to understanding our tumultuous times, while steering us away from the pitfalls of the past."
-Barbara Epstein, author of Political Protest and Cultural Revolution.
"provides a badly needed boost to our political immunity systems against the apocalyptic claims bombarding us in this purported terminal year for our planet." - George Caffentzis author of In Letters of Blood and Fire
Contents: Foreword by Doug Henwood; Introduction by Sasha Lilley; 1: Land of the Living Dead: Capitalism and the Catastrophes of Everyday Life by David McNally; 2: Apocalypse and the Right by James Davis; 3: Heightening the Contradictions: Catastrophism and the Left by Sasha Lilley; 4: The Politics of Failure Have Failed: The Environmental Movement and Catastrophism by Eddie Yuen. Acknowledgments, Bibliography. Biographies. Index.