JBSP Online: Andrea Hurst – ‘Capitalism and the Banality of Desire’

journal update

Andrea Hurst’s essay for the Journal of the British Society for Phenomenology, published online in advance of the paper edition.

Andrea Hurst – ‘Capitalism and the Banality of Desire’: JBSP Special Edition Capital, Sex and Africa (Originally published online: 26 February 2020).

Abstract: This paper elaborates on Todd McGowan’s perspicacious, psychoanalytic explanation of capitalism’s resilience, due to its formidable ideological insinuation into the banal micro-desires of consumers. I outline his contention that capitalism’s false promise of future satisfaction is subverted by the psychical change indicated by Freud’s re-evaluation of the desire/satisfaction relationship. This is elaborated on via Lacan’s claim, somewhat underplayed in McGowan’s reflections, that desire is essentially narcissistic. Lacan’s claim raises the stakes of capitalism’s psychic appeal, but also indicates how Lacanian psychoanalysis offers a point of intervention. I briefly point to the consistency between Lacan’s conception of the actualized subject and Deleuze’s and Guattari’s articulation of desire in terms of “the process” and the complex metaphor of “desiring machines”. I finally turn to Žižek’s conception of the developing world as “the place of rupture” and a major fault line internal to capitalism that threatens to disrupt its operation.

Full article: https://doi.org/10.1080/00071773.2020.1732576

Andrea Hurst, SARChI Chair in Identities and Social Cohesion in Africa, Nelson Mandela University, Port Elizabeth, South Africa

Accessing the JBSP Online: The online version of the Journal of the British Society for Phenomenology publishes articles in advance of the paper edition. Articles can be accessed via our publisher’s website: JBSP at Taylor & Francis Online. Access to the JBSP is free to all members of the society, who also receive the quarterly paper copy of the journal as part of their subscription. You can find out more about becoming a member and supporting the BSP on the membership webpage. If you are not a member of the BSP, you can purchase articles from the site, or log in using institutional or personal access via Shibboleth and OpenAthens.

Reminder: The call for papers is now open for the British Society for Phenomenology’s 2020 Annual Conference: ‘Engaged Phenomenology’, co-sponsored with Egenis at the University of Exeter and the Wellcome Centre for Cultures and Environments of Health. The conference is to be held in Exeter, UK, from Thursday 3 – Saturday 5 September 2020.  For more details – including keynote speakers – see the BSP 2020 annual conference homepage.