DreadFacing Futureless Futures
Facing Futureless Futures

A pervasive sense has taken hold that any and all of us are under suspicion and surveillance, walking on a tightrope, a step away from erasure of rights or security. Nothing new for many long-targeted populations, it is now surfacing as a broad social sensibility, ramped up by environmental crisis and pandemic wreckage. We have come to live in proliferating dread, even of dread itself.

In this brilliant analysis of the nature, origins, and implications of this gnawing feeling, David Theo Goldberg exposes tracking-capitalism as the operating system at the root of dread. In contrast to surveillance, which requires labor-intensive analysis of people's actions and communications, tracking strips back to the fundamental mapping of our movements, networks, and all traces of our digitally mediated lives. A simultaneous tearing of the social fabric – festering culture wars, the erosion of truth, even "civil war" itself – frays the seams of the sociality and solidarity needed to thwart this transformation of people into harvestable, expendable data.

This searing commentary offers a critical apparatus for interrogating the politics of our time, arguing that we need not just a politics of refusal and resistance, but a creative politics to counter the social life of dread.

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  • July 2021
  • 172 pages
  • 145 x 219 mm / 6 x 9 in
Available Formats
  • Hardback $64.95
  • 9781509544448
  • Paperback $22.95
  • 9781509544455
  • Open eBook $18.00
  • 9781509544462
Table of Contents

1. A World of Dread

2. Sensing Dread

3. Dread’s Operating System

4. Tracking-Capitalism: The Political Economy of Dread

5. Viral Dread

6. Ecoforming Dread

7. Civil War

8. De-Dreading

About the Author
David Theo Goldberg is Director of the University of California Humanities Research Institute.
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“In this compelling new book, Goldberg brilliantly shows that the technologies we now require to live are depriving us of the social lives required for survival. This searing impasse is at once revealed and countered in this incisive book.”
Judith Butler, author of The Force of Nonviolence

“Incisive, well informed, and theoretically rich, this most illuminating critique of our present enriches, stretches, and challenges our understanding of our potential futures.”
Achille Mbembe, author of Necropolitics

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