Todd McGowan, "Capitalism and Desire: The Psychic Cost of Free Markets" (Columbia UP, 2016)


If you have ever gotten excited over buying a new object only to feel let down once you acquire it, then today’s discussion will be relevant to you. My guest is Todd McGowan, author of the book Capitalism and Desire: The Psychic Cost of Free Markets (2016, Columbia University Press). We discuss his critique of capitalism as a system that encourages us to forever chase satisfactions that never come. And we explore his suggestion that true satisfaction lies in the wanting, not the acquiring. It’s a fascinating conversation that will radically change the way you approach everyday consumption and how you think about your own satisfaction.

Todd McGowan is professor of film studies at the University of Vermont. He is the author of several other books, including Enjoying What We Don’t Have: The Political Project of Psychoanalysis (2013, University of Nebraska Press), Only a Joke Can Save Us: A Theory of Comedy (2017, Northwestern University Press), and Universality and Identity Politics (2020, Columbia University Press). He is also co-host, along with Ryan Engley, of the podcast Why Theory.

Eugenio Duarte, Ph.D. is a psychoanalyst and clinical psychologist practicing in Miami. He treats individuals and couples, with specialties in gender and sexuality, eating and body image problems, and relationship issues. He is a graduate and faculty of William Alanson White Institute in Psychiatry, Psychoanalysis, and Psychology in New York City and former chair of their LGBTQ Study Group; and faculty at Florida Psychoanalytic Institute in Miami. He is a contributing author to the books Introduction to Contemporary Psychoanalysis: Defining Terms and Building Bridges (2018, Routledge) and Patriarchy and its Discontents: Psychoanalytic Perspectives (2023, Routledge) and has published on issues of gender, sexuality, and sexual abuse.

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Eugenio Duarte

Eugenio Duarte, Ph.D. is a psychologist and psychoanalyst practicing in Miami.

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