In the fifth episode of Derek Larson’s Très Mall, neolib consumer culture explodes into a dark and anxious continuum spanning brand obsession to recreational warfare. As the characters dive deeper, the so-called social contract reveals itself as an unsteady, even mythic, thing. War, individualism, and white supremacy; the law’s limit on meaningful politics; intellectualism in service of the status quo—where can one find hope in all these hopelessness?
“Violence Entrepreneurs” illuminates the fragility of prevailing social order with the help of a cast of animal and botanic visitors including literary theorist Emily S. Apter, postcolonial theorist Priyamvada Gopal, political scientist Nicole Sunday Grove, sociologist Steven Osuna, and media scholar McKenzie Wark. Together against the backdrop of the youthful malaise of a vaguely artistic petit bourgeoisie, these thinkers work through the violent and banal manifestations of the neoliberal political order to hint at how it might be superseded.