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The Uprising: On Poetry and Finance (Semiotext(e) / Intervention Series) Paperback – October 19, 2012


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The Uprising: On Poetry and Finance (Semiotext(e) / Intervention Series) + The Making of the Indebted Man: An Essay on the Neoliberal Condition (Semiotext(e) / Intervention Series) + The Soul at Work: From Alienation to Autonomy (Semiotext(e) / Foreign Agents)
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Product Details

  • Series: Semiotext(e) / Intervention Series (Book 14)
  • Paperback: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Semiotext(e); 1 edition (October 19, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1584351128
  • ISBN-13: 978-1584351122
  • Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 4.7 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #187,854 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Franco Berardi, aka "Bifo," founder of the famous "Radio Alice" in Bologna and an important figure of the Italian Autonomia Movement, is a writer, media theorist, and media activist. He currently teaches Social History of the Media at the Accademia di Brera, Milan.

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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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His insight is as helpful as anything I've yet read.
Blayney Colmore
It's a neat little book, something to carry around in one's back pocket and dip into from time to time amidst the world's craziness.
Christopher M. Moylan
Berardi urges a re-enchantment of language to awaken our collective psyche, so that we can "shift from one paradigm to another."
Ruth Henriquez Lyon

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Blayney Colmore on January 24, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This small, dense book reads like a (very complicated) primer for what Barardi believes is the coming worldwide economic (and likely political) revolution.

I would have given it a fifth star if I hadn't found his use of language so complex and challenging that I suspect only those of us fascinated by the complexities of the recent global financial collapse, would stay with.

I had to look up, and then struggle with, semiotext (which this spell check doesn't recognize). Not only is it part of the book's title, but is central to the book's thesis. It refers to how invented language and concepts – that refer to other concepts rather than any actual event or thing – have become the basis for international finance.

If you are as eager as I am to make some sense of what happened when everything fell apart in 2008, and where we now are, and liable to go from here, maybe you will have the patience to stay with what I think is a brave and insightful effort by Berardi.

I am not a fast reader, but I have now spent hours and weeks with this short book, reading a paragraph, then going back to reread it. His insight is as helpful as anything I've yet read. I don't know yet whether – besides his prediction of major upheaval and unrest – he has much helpful to say about how to navigate the way from here.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Ruth Henriquez Lyon VINE VOICE on June 19, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
In "The Uprising" Franco Berardi examines the social and political context of the European uprising, whose American counterpart was the Occupy movement. The book's subtitle, "On Poetry and Finance," refers to the sickness of which the uprising was a symptom and to the author's remedy.

The sickness, which is still upon us, is the disempowerment of human beings caused by what Berardi calls "semio-capitalism." Unlike early capitalism which grew up around networks of people trading material objects (wool, salt, copper, textiles), semio-capitalism trades in information. As we saw in 2008, it damages entire economies while enriching a few members of the financial class.

As traded assets become ever more abstract (derivatives of derivatives), the profits that befall the manipulators of these assets increase exponentially. (This is still going on unchecked throughout the globe in a high-risk manner - see Michael Sivy's recent article in "Time.") What happens to ordinary people when a privileged few create value by herding bytes through the infosphere via "chaotic flows of financial microtrading?" This book explores that question.

Aside from the financial sphere, information in general (news, technological discoveries, gossip, political scandal) has become a huge economic driver. The toilers in the media and cyber vineyards (what Berardi calls "the cognitariat") endure precarious terms of employment--for instance, being hired as contractors rather than employees. And those with other work lead lives increasingly severed from nature, meaning, and human contact due to our culture's increasing immersion in the infosphere.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Zak Shareef on November 16, 2012
Format: Paperback
If reading this doesn't impact your life, your life might need changing the way a light's bulb sometimes does. Hopeful, insightful, clearly written yet plenty of fun to be found in the style. Read it. Please.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Christopher M. Moylan on December 23, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If you have had enough of the idiocy that passes for political analysis in the States then I'd recommend this book. It's incisive, passionate and clear-eyed, remarkably so for something produced out of the convoluted tangles of European theory. The analysis is influenced by the sense of world-wide crisis in the worst days of the Great Recession. Nonetheless, the underlying social and cultural ills he identifies are, I believe, as worrying as ever. It's a neat little book, something to carry around in one's back pocket and dip into from time to time amidst the world's craziness.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Anthony W. Lowman on September 29, 2013
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Berardi's The Uprising is a powerful explanation of the predicament most of us face each day. He suggests the way out lies in our taking back control of our language, re-invigorating its poetic use, and refusing the techno-machinic manipulation of our social lives. While most contemporary European critical thought can sometimes feel like trying to find a milion needles in a billion haystacks, Berardi's writing is clear, almost as if he's making damn sure we get the message. He lines up ideas leading to his conclusion effectively and never lets us get lost by using a repetition that comfortably reinforces his direction and conclusion.

According to Berardi, we need take back our language, take it back from the forces that have framed it to their advantage, their economic advantage and our spiritual damage. Anyone stuck in the morass we know as today's economy, the unending debt and the desperation it creates will find hope in this short but powerful text.
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