Radiation and Revolution

Book Pages: 216 Illustrations: Published: October 2020

Author: Sabu Kohso

Activism, Asian Studies > East Asia, Theory and Philosophy > Marxism

In Radiation and Revolution political theorist and anticapitalist activist Sabu Kohso uses the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster to illuminate the relationship between nuclear power, capitalism, and the nation-state. Combining an activist's commitment to changing the world with a theorist's determination to grasp the world in its complexity, Kohso outlines how the disaster is not just a pivotal event in postwar Japan; it represents the epitome of the capitalist-state mode of development that continues to devastate the planet's environment. Throughout, he captures the lived experiences of the disaster's victims, shows how the Japanese government's insistence on nuclear power embodies the constitution of its regime under the influence of US global strategy, and considers the future of a radioactive planet driven by nuclearized capitalism. As Kohso demonstrates, nuclear power is not a mere source of energy—it has become the organizing principle of the global order and the most effective way to simultaneously accumulate profit and govern the populace. For those who aspire to a world free from domination by capitalist nation-states, Kohso argues, the abolition of nuclear energy and weaponry is imperative.


“Writer, political activist, and translator Sabu Kohso provides a timely intervention into discussions of the catastrophic event that overwhelmed Japan's Fukushima Prefecture on March 11, 2011. Kohso has brilliantly captured both the sad singularity and complex generality of the event and the unyielding process of its global consequences. At the heart of Kohso's account lies a nuclear industry now worryingly indistinguishable from global capitalism's new lease on life.” — Harry Harootunian, author of The Unspoken as Heritage: The Armenian Genocide and Its Unaccounted Lives

“Turning the discussion of the Fukushima disaster and its ecological and social consequences into a reflection on the history of Japanese society and government from World War II to the present, Radiation and Revolution is a powerful, imaginative, and much-needed book.” — Silvia Federici, author of Beyond the Periphery of the Skin

“With regards to the creativity both of its content and its form, Radiation and Revolution constitutes a unique work, fulfilling Deleuze’s call for philosophy to invent ready-made concepts which could seize the singularity of reality. Kohso’s notions of ‘life-in-struggle’, ‘transmutations’ and his opposition between the ‘World’ and the ‘Earth’, will assuredly find echoes in other contexts, all marked by the radiation-like planetarization of politics.” — Philippe Blouin, Marx and Philosophy Review of Books


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Author/Editor Bios Back to Top

Sabu Kohso is a writer, editor, translator, and activist and the author of several books in Japanese.

Table of Contents Back to Top
Prologue. Writing through Fukushima  ix
Introduction. Disaster/Catastrophe/Apocalypse  1
1. Transmutation of Powers  17
2. Catastrophic Nation  55
3. Apocalyptic Capitalism  87
4. Climate Change of the Struggle  113
Epilogue. Forget Japan  161
Notes  167
Bibliography  183
Index  191
Sales/Territorial Rights: World

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Additional InformationBack to Top
Paper ISBN: 978-1-4780-1100-2 / Cloth ISBN: 978-1-4780-0994-8