Conversation with Dr. Todd McGowan on Capitalism and Desire

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Capitalism, human impulse, global ideology, something new, social change


In Capitalism and Desire, McGowan applies the thinking derived from psychoanalysis to understand how capitalism has come to be viewed not only as a dominant global ideology but also as a reflection of natural human impulses. He maintains that this psychic relationship between capitalism and desire is best understood as an addiction and as a "parasitic relationship" that has come to be viewed falsely as a natural condition. Capitalism sells us the illusion of the promise that is about to be fulfilled, and then, when it is finally fulfilled, if at all, there is always something else, something new, something better still awaiting us in the future. As an alternative, McGowan argues for an approach that stresses the value of living in the present and that steps away from the normalization of capitalism as a critical step for global political and social change.

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