Positive affect as coercive strategy: conditionality, activation and the role of psychology in UK government workfare programmes
A journal article on the use of psychology in workfare to erase the experience and effects of social and economic inequalities and to construct a psychological ideal that links unemployment primarily to psychological deficit. This, in turn the authors argue, authorises the extension of state — and state-contracted — surveillance to psychological characteristics.
Classic 1950 essay on the criminology of government by Dr Alex Comfort, republished in 1988 with a new preface. Originally written in the wake of WWII, the book was concerned with illustrating that deviant behaviour - unacceptable in the public at large - had become the norm in the political and military arena.
In this book first published in France in 2006, Michel Bounan recounts the history of the world according to a developmental schema defined not by modes of production, but by modes of “collective mental disorders”, specifically “socio-neuroses” corresponding to particular stages of human history (sedentary agricultural imperial civilization/phobia, classical capitalism/obsession, and the “society of the spectacle”/hysteria), and speculates that the catastrophic collapse of industrial society will result in a “true catharsis in which all particular neuroses are dissolved” and humanity will rediscover the lost “unitary consciousness” of our primitive ancestors.
The Self-Liberation of the Proletariat Is the Collapse of Capitalism! – Revolutionary Communists (Grupo de Comunistas de Consejos de Galiza)
A 2004 programmatic statement by a Galician council communist group, which observes that “social change and self-transformation proceed in tandem in real revolutionary practice”—for which purpose certain “useful elements” of “western psychology and the currents of eastern spirituality” can help us confront the challenges of life in capitalism—and “the spiritual transformation of life and the material transformation of life [are] indissolubly linked, as parallel and interacting processes and realities”, but that only “class struggle” enables the proletariat to “become capable of advancing its own self-transformation”, which is presently of an “experimental nature”.
A short 2002 article by Robert Kurz on the hype about the information society, with its “knowledge degraded into ‘information’”, its dystopian implications with regard to culture and individual integrity, and its disappointingly meager impact on the economy (Marx: knowledge has “no exchange value”), which it was supposed to rejuvenate (“the New Economy … began to collapse as soon as it was proclaimed”).