Preface vii Part One: Powers 1. The Primacy of Preemption: The Operative Logic of Threat 3 2. National Enterprise Emergency: Steps toward an Ecology of Powers 21 Part Two: Powers of Perception 3. Perception Attack: The Force to Own Time 63 4. Power to the Edge: Making Information Pointy 93 5. Embodiments and History 153 Part Three: The Power to Affect 6. Fear (The Spectrum Said) 171 7. The Future Birth of the Affective Fact 189 Afterword: After the Long Past: A Retrospective Introduction to the History of the Present 207 Notes 247 References 275 Index 287
Brian Massumi is Professor of Communication at the University of Montreal. He is the author of The Power at the End of the Economy, What Animals Teach Us about Politics, and Parables for the Virtual: Movement, Affect, Sensation, all also published by Duke University Press.
"Ontopower is clearly a well-researched and well-argued text. Whether or not one agrees with the principles of this new theory of power, it is undeniable that Massumi has presented a thorough and rigorous examination of power and the logic of preemption.... It offers excellent insight into the importance of perception in modern politics, and thus warfare, which is essential knowledge for students and practitioners of governance and security." -- Courteney J O'Connor * Political Studies Review * "Ontopower is an impressively dense and insightful inquiry into the global consequences of contemporary United States security policy and practice. . . . [The] immense analytical depth alone will make Ontopower impossible to ignore for scholars on the field of critical theory interested in the 'war on terror.'" -- Philipp Kender * Society and Space * "Ontopower is a significant book that deals with contemporary problems without losing its intellectual allure and philosophical perspicacity. Its captivating commentaries on the reconfiguration of power, as well as the proposal of its own vocabulary to deal with this new phenomena of power, will certainly appeal to readers interested in understanding the intermingling of politics, power, and today's society." -- Samuel Mateus * International Journal of Communication * "Brian Massumi is a gifted writer with the intellectual heft to bring . . . questions together and make the metaphysical visible and intelligible. The writing achieves a lightning strike of insight regularly enough to reward commitment. The prose is spiced and leavened with sentences that hit the bull's eye on complex concepts." -- Jude McCulloch * Left History * "Without making a moral argument, Massumi effectively describes the moral limitations of the power to preempt, the rewriting of history through the actions of the present, and the confirmation of what could have been into what was. This book should be studied by practitioners of power-professionals who owe it to the country to have discussions now, so as to have answers when policy demands action." -- Philip W. Reynolds * Parameters * "Brian Massumi's latest addition to our understanding of power may be the most important addition to grand strategy since On War. ... Ontopower is less a guidebook than a warning against assuming we will be right. Without making a moral argument, Brian Massumi effectively describes the moral limitations of the power to preempt, the rewriting of history through the actions of the present, the confirmation of what could have been into what was. It should be studied by practitioners of power-professionals who owe it to the country to have discussions now, so as to have answers when policy demands action." -- Phil Reynolds * Air Force Research Institute *