Sovereignty, Inc.: Three Inquiries in Politics and Enjoyment

Sovereignty, Inc.: Three Inquiries in Politics and Enjoyment

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What does the name Trump stand for? If branding now rules over the production of value, as the coauthors of Sovereignty, Inc. argue, then Trump assumes the status of a master brand whose primary activity is the compulsive work of self-branding—such is the new sovereignty business in which, whether one belongs to his base or not, we are all “incorporated.”
Drawing on anthropology, political theory, philosophy, psychoanalysis, and theater, William Mazzarella, Eric L. Santner, and Aaron Schuster show how politics in the age of Trump functions by mobilizing a contradictory and convoluted enjoyment, an explosive mixture of drives and fantasies that eludes existing portraits of our era. The current political moment turns out to be not so much exceptional as exceptionally revealing of the constitutive tension between enjoyment and economy that has always been a key component of the social order. Santner analyzes the collective dream-work that sustains a new sort of authoritarian charisma or mana, a mana-facturing process that keeps us riveted to an excessively carnal incorporation of sovereignty. Mazzarella examines the contemporary merger of consumer brand and political brand and the cross-contamination of politics and economics, warning against all too easy laments about the corruption of politics by marketing. Schuster, focusing on the extreme theatricality and self-satirical comedy of the present, shows how authority reasserts itself at the very moment of distrust and disillusionment in the system, profiting off its supposed decline. A dazzling diagnostic of our present, Sovereignty, Inc., forces us to come to terms with our complicity in Trump’s political presence and will immediately take its place in discussions of contemporary politics.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780226668550
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
Publication date: 12/16/2019
Series: TRIOS
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 224
File size: 381 KB

About the Author

William Mazzarella is the Neukom Family Professor of Anthropology at the University of Chicago. Eric L. Santner is the Philip and Ida Romberg Distinguished Service Professor in Modern Germanic Studies at the University of Chicago. Aaron Schuster is a senior research advisor at the V-A-C Foundation, Moscow.

Table of Contents

Introduction: In the Beginning Was the Brand Name William Mazzarella, Eric L. Santner, and Aaron Schuster
The Rebranding of Sovereignty in the Age of Trump: Toward a Critique of Manatheism Eric L. Santner
Brand(ish)ing the Name; or, Why Is Trump So Enjoyable? William Mazzarella
Beyond Satire: The Political Comedy of the Present and the Paradoxes of Authority Aaron Schuster

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