17. Disimagination Machines and Punishing Factories in the Age of Zombie Capitalism
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Disimagination Machines and Punishing Factories in the Age of Zombie Capitalism
In the United States of zombieland, zones of social and civic abandonment proliferate, dominated by neoliberal realities of austerity and intertwined with a culture of cruelty and economic and political pressures that reduce more and more people to what Joao Biehl calls “domestic inscriptions of invisibility.”1 The hard reality of state repression and violence is now matched by a pedagogical assault on all forms of subjectivity capable of self-reflection, autonomy, critique, and collective struggle. Dominant cultural apparatuses extending from schools to print, audio, and screen cultures now constitute pedagogical war zones attacking any critical notion of politics that claims to be educative in producing those conditions that might help change “the way in which people might think critically.”2
Aesthetics now serves the forces of ethical tranquilization as it produces and legitimates endless degrading and humiliating images of the poor, youthful protesters, and others considered disposable. Viewed as unworthy of civic inclusion, immigrants, youth, protesters and others deemed alien or hostile to the mechanizations of privatization, consumption, and commodification are erased from any viable historical and political context. These are the new walking dead, and they now fill the landscape of neoliberalism’s dream world, subject to a disimagination machine that criminalizes their behavior and relegates ← 177 | 178 → them to those public spaces that accelerate their invisibility while exposing them to the harsh machinery of social death. Catherine...
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