Crack-Up Capitalism: Market Radicals and the Dream of a World Without Democracy
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"Slobodian has done us a great service, identifying a phenomenon that needs unmasking...Crack-up capitalism, for all its spread and the enthusiasm of its advocates, is ultimately a blind alley."
--Adam Tooze, author of Crashed "In Crack-Up Capitalism, Quinn Slobodian takes us on a wild ride through the fenced-in compounds and failed states of today's capitalist world, and invites us to imagine a future where the rich have privatized safety, turned working people into a disposable servant class, and bought entire countries outright. This sharp and wickedly entertaining book is a necessary field guide to the LARPers, bloggers, and grifters of the libertarian and anarcho-capitalist world, a warning that they are closer to fulfilling their fantasies than we might think, and a clarion call for collective action to preserve--and greatly expand--democracy as we know it."
--Sarah Jaffe, author of Work Won't Love You Back "Revelatory. In this head-spinner of a book, Quinn Slobodian shows how zones, islands, micronations, gated communities, and cyber realms are remaking our planet. The capitalist future they portend isn't a borderless utopia but a jurisdictional shatter belt, where democracy is a distant dream."
--Daniel Immerwahr, author of How to Hide an Empire "Quinn Slobodian's eye-catching case studies warn against the powerful movement seeking a radical capitalist future...The story is told over the course of 11 lively and engaging chapters...[a] unique and highly entertaining collection of case studies of the logic of capitalist Exit."
--Financial Times "So many debates about contemporary capitalism get bogged down in false dichotomies: markets versus states, empires versus nations, global economy versus local sovereignty. With a bracing argument and a brisk style, Quinn Slobodian cuts through those thickets, disclosing some 5,400 interconnected zones, across the world, of capitalism without democracy. From London to Hong Kong, Singapore to South Africa, the governors of these zones haven't done away with cops or rules, bureaucrats or borders. They've dispensed with elections and popular control. They've created a feudalism of the future. Thank God we have Slobodian to think our way through it."
--Corey Robin, author of The Reactionary Mind "An instant political classic. Quinn Slobodian has produced an extraordinary book, showing how capitalists have been punching holes in national governance to enrich themselves and marginalize democratic self-determination. Filled with characters too strange for fiction and written with engaging brio, Crack-Up Capitalism confirms Slobodian's reputation as our leading historian of neoliberalism."
--Samuel Moyn, author of Humane "A fascinating and important book, which brings to the surface some of the deepest political undercurrents of our times. Crack-Up Capitalism is an exemplary use of history to illuminate the present, forcing us to reassess what we thought we knew about the contemporary world."
-- Hari Kunzru, author of White Tears and Red Pill "Slobodian has written a fascinating account of the sheer hubris of the market radicals who have sought to free capitalism from democracy first by transforming the world's political geography and now by abandoning the material world. He tells this important story with verve and considerable insight."
--Helen Thompson, author of Disorder "With each new book, Quinn Slobodian adds extraordinary new detail to his ongoing account of 21st-century political and economic arrangements. Crack-up Capitalism is concerned with the 'zones' of global space: the micro-divisions and gradations from which the real atomic force of our system derives. It's very convincing: get ready to throw out all previous maps."
--Rana Dasgupta, author of Capital "Brilliant. A vital contribution to the 'whither democracy' debate."
--Wendy Brown, author of In the Ruins of Neoliberalism "Compelling...Quinn Slobodian's vivid description of zones shows us why our political system can no longer be said to be democratic...Slobodian wakes us up to democracy's underthrow: decentralization is a strategy for its unraveling, not its salvation."
--Los Angeles Review of Books "After reading historian Quinn Slobodian's new book, you are not likely to think about capitalism the same way...Crack-Up Capitalism is an important guide to the current struggle over how the ruling class rules. And Slobodian ultimately raises the question of whether there are cracks in the system, or whether the cracks are the system."