The Shock Doctrine of the Left
The Shock Doctrine of the Left

Shocks, from natural disasters to military catastrophes, have been exploited for years by the state to impose privatisation, cuts and rampant free markets on us. This book argues that the Left can turn this on its head by using those same moments of chaos – and some of our own – to achieve emancipation.

Graham Jones, ‘the radical hairdresser of Deptford’, combines his experience of grassroots activism with ideas from complex systems theory to illustrate how everyone can help to exploit these shocks and bring about a new world of compassion and care. He examines how understanding and controlling chaos and complexity in social movements, and combining mutually reinforcing strategies of ‘smashing, building, healing and taming’, can become the basis of a unified left. Using vivid personal experience to bring his argument to life, he outlines a practical vision for activism, from the scale of the individual body to the global social movement, that is neither timidly reformist nor scattergun and ineffective.

Rooted in the latest debates over accelerationism, Universal Basic Income and ‘Fully Automated Luxury Communism’, this bold book is a toolkit for revolution for activists and radical millennials everywhere.

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  • July 2018 (hb)
    September 2018 (pb)
  • 140 pages
  • 124 x 190 mm / 5 x 7 in
Available Formats
  • Hardback $45.00
  • 9781509528547
  • Paperback $12.95
  • 9781509528554
  • Open eBook $12.95
  • 9781509528585
Table of Contents



1. The Body Model

2. Smashing

3. Buildling

4. Healing

5. Taming

6. The Meta-strategy


About the Author

Graham Jones is a social movement activist who has been involved in a range of grassroots campaigns and educational initiatives, such as the Radical Think Tank, the Future Society Forum, and Radical Housing Network. He is a hairdresser by profession.

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‘Through a series of personal expositions and structural analyses, The Shock Doctrine of the Left presents a captivating and disarmingly accessible reflection on strategy for the left today. With a unique ability to synthesise what are often divisively opposed positions, this illuminating book is a must-read for anyone wondering how to build power.’
Nick Srnicek, City, University of London

'The Shock Doctrine of the Left is a forceful, concise, and accessible guide to multi-scalar organising. It balances original theoretical insights with practical political acumen, and deserves the widest possible audience.'
Helen Hester, The University of West London

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