Max Haiven is an Assistant Professor in the Division of Art History and Critical Studies at the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, Canada. He is author of Crises of Imagination, Crises of Power (2014), The Radical Imagination (with Alex Khasnabish, 2014) and Cultures of Financialization (2014).
The struggle against hopelessness is in some ways very personal and in some ways very common. The idea that the global capitalist system as it is today cannot be changed is almost universal. Indeed, this fatalism — at least at the level of individual motivations — is ironically one of the driving forces behind the system’s perpetuation. The vast majority of those whose labors reproduce capitalism (from CEOs and politicians to lawyers and professors; to journalists and software engineers; to store clerks and strip miners) do not do so out of any particular love of the system or economic sadomasochism. Indeed, it is widely recognized that the present order is tremendously destructive, both to the world at large and to our own lives.