After picking apart, Foucault, Naomi Klein, and everybody in between, Byung-Chul Han proceeds to eviscerate Eva Illouz’s Cold Intimacies and the entirety of the “affective turn” in academia. I liked Illouz’s book, bit it’s great to see somebody point out the weaknesses I didn’t notice.
Han explains why Illouz’s conflation of the terms feeling, emotion and affect is a mistake. (Those of you who are into affective studies, I highly recommend looking up this part of the book). Even more crucial than this is Illouz’s incapacity to notice that emotions only started to have real value for capitalism once the production moved to the immaterial sphere. It is only right now that emotions have turned into the means of production.
By the way, our socialist friends, what are you going to nationalize now when there’s neither a nation nor a means of production?