The Uprising: On Poetry and Finance

December 1, 2020
The Uprising: On Poetry and Finance

"The Uprising" is an Autonomist manifesto for today's precarioustimes, and a rallying cry in the face of the catastrophic andirreversible crisis that neoliberalism and the financial spherehave established over the globe. In his newest book, Franco "Bifo"Berardi argues that the notion of economic recovery is completemythology. The coming years will inevitably see new surges ofprotest and violence, but the old models of resistance no longerapply. Society can either stick with the prescriptions and"rescues" that the economic and financial sectors have demanded atthe expense of social happiness, culture, and the public good; orit can formulate an alternative. For Berardi, this alternative liesin understanding the current crisis as something more fundamentalthan an economic crisis: it is a crisis of the social imagination,and demands a new language by which to address it.This is a manifesto against the idea of growth, and against theconcept of debt, the financial sector's two primary linguisticmeans of manipulating society. It is a call for exhaustion, and forresistance to the cult of energy on which today's economicfree-floating market depends. To this end, Berardi introduces anunexpected linguistic political weapon--poetry: poetry as theinsolvency of language, as the sensuous birth of meaning anddesire, as that which cannot be reduced to information andexchanged like currency. If the protests now stirring about theworld are to take shape and direction, then the revolution will beneither peaceful nor violent--it will be linguistic, or will not beat all.