Carceral Capitalism

Carceral Capitalism

Essays on the contemporary continuum of incarceration: the biopolitics of juvenile delinquency, predatory policing, the political economy of fees and fines, and algorithmic policing.

What we see happening in Ferguson and other cities around the country is not the creation of livable spaces, but the creation of living hells. When people are trapped in a cycle of debt it also can affect their subjectivity and how they temporally inhabit the world by making it difficult for them to imagine and plan for the future. What psychic toll does this have on residents? How does it feel to be routinely dehumanized and exploited by the police?—from Carceral Capitalism

In this collection of essays in Semiotext(e)'s Intervention series, Jackie Wang examines the contemporary incarceration techniques that have emerged since the 1990s. The essays illustrate various aspects of the carceral continuum, including the biopolitics of juvenile delinquency, predatory policing, the political economy of fees and fines, cybernetic governance, and algorithmic policing. Included in this volume is Wang's influential critique of liberal anti-racist politics, “Against Innocence,” as well as essays on RoboCop, techno-policing, and the aesthetic problem of making invisible forms of power legible.

Wang shows that the new racial capitalism begins with parasitic governance and predatory lending that extends credit only to dispossess later. Predatory lending has a decidedly spatial character and exists in many forms, including subprime mortgage loans, student loans for sham for-profit colleges, car loans, rent-to-own scams, payday loans, and bail bond loans. Parasitic governance, Wang argues, operates through five primary techniques: financial states of exception, automation, extraction and looting, confinement, and gratuitous violence. While these techniques of governance often involve physical confinement and the state-sanctioned execution of black Americans, new carceral modes have blurred the distinction between the inside and outside of prison. As technologies of control are perfected, carcerality tends to bleed into society.

Title:Carceral Capitalism
Edition Language:English
ISBN:9781635900026
Format Type:

    Carceral Capitalism Reviews

  • K

    "Our bodies are not closed loops. We hold each other and keep each other in time by marching, singing, embracing, breathing. We synchronize our tempos so we can find a rhythm through which the urge to...

  • chantel nouseforaname

    Right up there with Michelle Alexander's The New Jim Crow. Jackie Wang dropped bomb after bomb in this detailed look into the way that America has been using mass incarceration, fucked-up policing and...

  • Raia

    i learned a lot from these essays about incarceration, financialization and debt, policing and automation, and the pitfalls of innocence vs. guilt discourse. while there are a lot of smart books on co...

  • David

    this book was an absolute banger from start to finish. a gripping synthesis of racial capitalism that is steeped in both theory and personal understanding. in particular, I was struck by the discussio...

  • Anna Marie

    everyone should read this!especiallyRipples in Time: an updateAgainst innocence: race, gender and the politics of safetyand the prison abolitionist imagination: a conversation...

  • Sophie

    Incredibly important book to read on the reality of incarceration and racism in America.... should be required reading for everyone.... disturbing saddening information but so concisely written and no...

  • Eileen Ying

    brilliant book, quite possibly the best piece of "academic" writing i've read this year. jackie wang approaches the U.S. criminal justice system with a keenly variegated critical lens. in my experienc...

  • Ruth

    I had a lot of strong reactions to this book, and I want to save them for the discussion in my book group and not spoil them. To summarize, this is a book about how predatory lending and financializat...

  • Edmond Duong

    Having begun the book just before the Minneapolis protests erupted, this book serves as an extremely clear guide to the economic reasons for the disenfranchisement of black people in America. Wang pre...

  • Anna

    "Militancy is not just tactically necessary; its dual objective is to transform people and "fundamentally alter" their being by emboldening them, removing their passivity, and cleansing them of the "c...