Monsters of the Market: Zombies, Vampires and Global Capitalism

Overview


Winner of the 2011 Isaac and Tamara Deutscher Memorial Prize

Drawing on folklore, literature and popular culture, this book links tales of monstrosity from England to recent vampire- and zombie-fables from sub-Saharan Africa, and it connects these to Marx?s persistent use of monster-metaphors in his descriptions of capitalism. Reading across these tales of the grotesque, McNally offers a novel account of the cultural economy of the global ...

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Overview


Winner of the 2011 Isaac and Tamara Deutscher Memorial Prize

Drawing on folklore, literature and popular culture, this book links tales of monstrosity from England to recent vampire- and zombie-fables from sub-Saharan Africa, and it connects these to Marx’s persistent use of monster-metaphors in his descriptions of capitalism. Reading across these tales of the grotesque, McNally offers a novel account of the cultural economy of the global market-system.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

“This outstanding new work from David McNally is indispensable for serious monster fans and radicals both – and almost giddyingly so for those of us who are both.”
—China Miéville, author of Embassytown

"McNally delivers a tour de force analysis of global capital from the upper registers of derivatives trading down to popular fables of African monsters … Monsters of the Market is one of the best books I’ve read in years and it will definitely stimulate thinking about the nature of globalization, the labor theory of value and the relationship between commodities and speculative objects, collective fantasy, and other nebulous problems confronting historical materialism in the future."
—Mark Worrell, Marx and Philosophy Review of Books

"The most vicious of monsters are those with human faces. Monsters of the Market: Zombies, Vampires, and Global Capitalism explores Marx's consistent use of folklore and monster as metaphor in his criticism of capitalism. From Frankenstein and the dissection of the market, vampires that feed off the misery of others, among other ideas ... Monsters of the Market is an intriguing way of explorig economics, very much recommended reading."
Midwest Book Review

"David McNally ... has written an excellent book. [He] approaches the topic from a more comprehensive framework. Unlike other works of "monsterology," he links the production of meaning with the economic mode of production while also researching its manifestations across the world ... Monsters of the Market is well worth reading: it demonstrates that the marginalized—those who inevitably become the misshapen—have a long history across different cultures of articulating narratives of resistance to the various modes of night thrown up by a pitiless global system."
—Thomas Ponniah, rabble.ca

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781608462339
  • Publisher: Haymarket Books
  • Publication date: 8/21/2012
  • Series: Historical Materialism Book Series
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 296
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author


David McNally Ph.D (1983) is Professor of Political Science at York University, Toronto. He is the author of five previous books and has published widely on political economy, Marxism, and contemporary social justice movements
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Table of Contents

Acknowledgements ix

List of Figures xi

Introduction 1

Chapter 1 Dissecting the Labouring Body: Frankenstein, Political Anatomy and the Rise of Capitalism 17

'Save my body from the surgeons' 20

The culture of dissection: anatomy, colonisation and social order 23

Political anatomy, wage-labour and destruction of the English commons 37

Anatomy and the corpse-economy 51

Monsters of rebellion 59

Jacobins, Irishmen and Luddites: Rebel-monsters in the age of Frankenstein 77

The rights of monsters: horror and the split society 88

Chapter 2 Marx's Monsters: Vampire-Capital and the Nightmare-World of Late Capitalism 113

Dialectics and the doubled life of the commodity 117

The spectre of value and the fetishism of commodities 126

'As if by love possessed': vampire-capital and the labouring body 132

Zombie-labour and the 'monstrous outrages' of capital 141

Money: capitalism's second nature 148

'Self-birthing' capital and the alchemy of money 151

Wild money: the occult economies of late-capitalism globalisation 156

Enron: case-study in the occult economy of late capitalism 163

'Capital comes into the world dripping in blood from every pore' 171

Chapter 3 African Vampires in the Age of Globalisation 175

Kinship and accumulation: from the old witchcraft to the new 186

Zombies, vampires, and spectres of capital: the new occult economies of globalising capitalism 193

African fetishes and the fetishism of commodities 201

The living dead: zombie-labourers in the age of globalisation 210

Vampire-capitalism in Sub-Saharan Africa 213

Bewitched accumulation, famished roads, and the endless toilers of the Earth 228

Conclusion: Ugly Beauty: Monstrous Dreams of Utopia 253

References 271

Index 291

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