IN A WORLD of unappeased, unabated, capitalism, it is time to manufacture, promote and embrace failure, queerly.
Failure, of course, goes hand in hand with capitalism. A market economy must have winners and losers, gamblers and risk-takers, con-men and dupes; capitalism, requires that everyone live within a system that equates success with profit and failure with the inability to accumulate wealth.
But this boom/bust economy leads everyone to expect that they will win and so in the wake of the realization that in actual fact, no one wins from such a market except the bankers and investors, losing has become a way of life, a new reality and failure is something with which we must reckon existentially, economically and politically.
As the collective who published The Coming Insurrection put it following the 2005 French riots in the banlieux, the economy is not in crisis, the economy is the crisis. They suggest we get dis-organized, that we find each other and that we help to push the system into collapse and bring the bankers down with it. In short, they propose wide-spread failure! This is very much what my book argues for in The Queer Art of Failure.
Over the course of writing this book, people have sometimes misunderstood me to be saying that people need to learn how to fail (we all actually already know how to fail well!) and they want tips, so consider this a crash course in failure, a self-help guide to failing well and failing better; this is 5 steps to being a complete loser: and why should we learn how to fail? Because winning has become the byword for greed, arrogance, profiting from others, conformity; winning means gloating, hoarding, condescending. And losing? Failing? Failure can become a potent form of critique, a repudiation of capitalism and profit margins, a refusal of the norm, an indifference to assimilation and a route to other ways of being in the world.