The Spectre of Austerity

“What a mistake it was to recognize austerity. In 2009 [David Cameron], avatar of the old empire, declared an ‘Age of Austerity’ as fact. Before long, the term achieved conceptual status, a maggot deposited in the ear of everyone who bothered to listen, or listened to those who listened. A brain worm producing lesions on the mind of the mainstream left in the imperialist metropoles.” (9)

With these blistering words, Moufawad-Paul begins his incisive polemic, Austerity Apparatus, a text that cuts at the heart of leftist politics. Alongside The Communist Necessity (Kersplebedeb, 2014) and Continuity and Rupture: Philosophy in the Maoist Terrain (Zero Books, 2016), Austerity Apparatus completes a theoretical trilogy that explores the political possibilities of communism in political activism, particularly as it manifests in Canada. Positioning himself as a Marxist theorist with experience in Left organizing in Toronto, Moufawad-Paul illustrates how austerity isn’t wholly new, but merely a different face of capitalism designed and maintained to reproletarianize the working class.

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