Zero Squared #96: The Busybody State

Josie Appleton is the guest this week and we discuss her book Officious: Rise of the Busy Body State. The book argues that the Busy Body State is defined by an attachment to bureaucratic procedures for their own sake: the rule for the sake of a rule; the form for the sake of a form.

James Heartfield author of The European Union and the End of Politics blurbed the book this way:

An intellectually gripping analysis of what its author Josie Appleton characterises as a new kind of state power, one that is arbitrary and encroaching on what is left of our unregulated lives. Overall this is a subtle and intelligently argued essay. Its reconstruction of the essential trajectory of the officious state will be a valuable weapon for those keen to argue for greater freedom in everyday life.

Thanks goes out to our Zero Book Club members. Zero Books club members gain access to the Inside Zero Books Podcast and are invited to participate in online workshops in critical theory. Now is always a good time to join.

In the last episode with Slavoj Zizek we claimed that Against the Double Blackmail was his latest book. That was an error. Zizek also published a book entitled Disparities and a book entitled Antigone in 2016.

Soap Zero 2: Enlightenment Interrupted

German Idealism and the Enlightenment are the subjects this week as Michael Steinberg discuss his book “Enlightenment Interrupted.” Steinberg is an independent scholar and practicing attorney with a PhD in intellectual history from the University of Rochester. His book “Enlightenment Interrupted (The Lost Moment of German Idealism and the Reactionary Present)” came out from Zero Books in July of this year.

Previous books from Mr. Steinberg include The Fiction of a Thinkable World and A New Biology of Religion.

Professor Andrew Nash at the University of Cape Town praised the book. He wrote, “Michael Steinberg’s “Enlightenment Interrupted” is a master class and a rollercoaster ride, all at once. The pitfalls of abstract individualism have been pointed out since Hegel, and explaining them has been central to radical political thought for fifty years by now. But it’s never been easy to grasp concretely how that separation of self and world came about, and what the alternative to it could have been.”