Hegemony Now: How Big Tech and Wall Street Won the World (And How We Win it Back) (Hardcover)
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How did we come to live in a world dominated by big tech and finance?
Today power is in the hands of Wall Street and Silicon Valley. How do we understand this transformation in power? And what can we do about it?
We cannot change anything until we have a better understanding of how power works, who holds it, and why that matters. Through upgrading the concept of hegemony—understanding the importance of passive consent; the complexity of political interests; and the structural force of technology—Jeremy Gilbert and Alex Williams offer us an updated theory of power for the twenty-first century.
Hegemony Now explores how these forces came to control our world. The authors show how they have shaped the direction of politics and government as well as the neoliberal economy to benefit their own interests. However, this dominance is under threat. Following the 2008 financial crisis, a new order emerged in which the digital platform is the central new technology of both production and power. This offers new opportunities for counter hegemonic strategies to win back power. Hegemony Now outlines a dynamic socialist strategy for the twenty-first century.
About the Author
Jeremy Gilbert is Professor of Cultural & Political Theory at the University of East London. He is the author of Common Ground: Democracy and Collectivity in an Age of Individualism, Anticapitalism and Culture: Radical Theory and Popular Politics and Twenty-First Century Socialism. He writes regularly in the British press, is the current editor of the journal New Formations, and hosts three regular podcasts: #ACFM (on Novara Media); Love is the Message; Culture, Power, Politics.
Alex Williams is a political theorist and lecturer in digital media and society currently based at the University of East Anglia. His writings include Political Hegemony and Social Complexity, Inventing the Future: Postcapitalism and a World Without Work (with Nick Srnicek), as well as numerous articles on the future of left politics and contemporary formations of digital power.
“A landmark piece of work combining theoretical rigour and innovation with a magisterial mapping of the landscape of contemporary power. Gilbert and Williams have produced an essential guide to socialist strategy today.”
“Gilbert and Williams offer practical and hopeful strategies for changing the ‘directions of travel’ of the contemporary conjuncture—especially in the US and UK. But what makes Hegemony Now uniquely impressive is how seamlessly their politics emerges from their sophisticated analysis of the conditions and actualities of the present. Grounded in rich theorizing and a strong commitment to historical specificity, they pull post-Marxism back from the brink by taking up the under-theorized concept of material interests. Mapping the relations among economics, politics, and culture, they refuse to give in to the seductions of simplicity, choosing instead to make visible some of the complexities and contradictions that have produced a distinct set of interconnected crises. This is a book that crosses the divide between political economy and cultural studies, but it is a must-read for anyone trying to make sense of the apparent chaos of contemporary life and the possibilities for a better future.”
“In engaging and accessible prose, Gilbert and Williams provide an astute political analysis of our current conjuncture an important provocation for the left.”
“In the process of clarifying and updating the often misunderstood (and occasionally maligned) concept of hegemony, Gilbert and Williams also provide us with a valuable analysis of the ‘long 1990s’: an account of its constitution, a diagnosis of its crisis and a map for its overcoming. Anyone committed to the latter must engage with this book.”
—Rodrigo Nunes, author of Neither Vertical Nor Horizontal: A Theory of Political Organisation
“The task for socialists is to live without illusions without becoming disillusioned. Gilbert and Williams have written a timely contribution in how the left acts strategically—learning from the successes and failures of the last decade.”