Samo Tomšič, "The Labour of Enjoyment: Towards a Critique of Libidinal Economy" (Walther Konig Verlag, 2019)


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Enjoyment appears as purely private matter, but this is by far not the case. Ever since Aristotle the philosophical social critique is tormented by the question, whether the libidinal tendencies of human subjects allow the construction of a just political-economic order. It seemed at first that in modernity this problem had been overcome. Economic liberalism and utilitarianism argued that egoistic private interests and social justice were directly linked and that capitalism united libidinal and political economy in the best possible manner. But the political-economic panorama soon turned out significantly more complex and contradictory. Tomšič’s book The Labour of Enjoyment: Towards a Critique of Libidinal Economy (Walther Konig Verlag, 2020) recalls central Marxian and Freudian insights and circumscribes the political stakes of psychoanalysis under the general banner of a Critique of Libidinal Economy.

Samo Tomšič is interim professor of philosophy in Hamburg at the University of Fine Arts.

Reuben Niewenhuis is interested in philosophy, theory, technology, and interdisciplinary topics. Subscribe to his interviews here.

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