A speculative exploration of value, emphasizing practical experimentation in its future forms
How can we begin to envision a postcapitalist economy without first engineering a radically new concept of value? And with a renewed sense of how and what we collectively value, what would the transition to new social forms look like? According to Brian Massumi, it is time to reclaim value from the capitalist market and the neoliberal reduction of life to “human capital.” It is time to occupy surplus-value for a postcapitalist future.
99 Theses on the Revaluation of Value is both a theoretical and practical manifesto. Massumi reexamines ideas about money, exchange, and finance, with special attention to how what we value in experience for quality is economically translated into quantity. He proposes new conceptual tools for understanding value in directly qualitative terms, speculating on how this revaluation of value might practically form the basis of an alter-economy. A promising path, he suggests, might involve emerging blockchain technologies beyond bitcoin. But these must be uprooted from their libertarian origins and redesigned to serve not individual choice but collective creativity, not calculations of self-interest but collaborative speculations on the future to be shared. It is necessary to grasp the specificity of our contemporary neoliberal condition and the ultimately destructive forms of power it mobilizes to better resist their claim on the future.
99 Theses on the Revaluation of Value is written to galvanize a radical redefinition of value for a livable postcapitalist future.
Brian Massumi is author of Parables for the Virtual: Movement, Affect, Sensation and Semblance and Event: Activist Philosophy and the Occurrent Arts.
"Brian Massumi has brought a rich perspective to bear on the deepest problem linking capitalism, ethics, and calculation: the problem of quality. This book offers many good reasons to see that the emphasis on number, quantity, and countability is the ruling fiction of the empire of capital and the main obstacle to the revaluation of value in both theory and practice."—Arjun Appadurai, author of Banking on Words: The Failure of Language in the Age of Derivative Finance
"Brian Massumi's latest philosophical tour de force continues to debunk mainstream economic thinking to make space for postcapitalist alternatives. Reclaiming value as qualitative intensity within an ethical ecology of powers, Massumi pushes the Marxist concepts of capital and surplus value to the limit. He thus shows how the radical task of reverse engineering financial capitalism exceeds both the contemporary cryptocurrencies and cryptoeconomics scene, opening up onto a postcapitalist future."—Tiziana Terranova, author of Network Culture: Politics for the Information Age