[Book Release] Prison As Power: Being & State Contra Negativity & Notion / Prison Abolitionist Philosophy From A Former Prisoner

“Inside An Abandoned Panopticon Prison in Cuba” / Fidel Castro spent two years at Presidio Modelo in 1952 / 2017 / Image Courtesy: Atlas Obscura / https://www.atlasobscura.com/articles/panopticon-prison-cuba

Tony Cochran’s book Prison as Power: Being & State Contra Negativity & Notion is a call for further critique of the prison-industrial complex, racism, the State and Capitalism. Prison as Power is an intimate, personal, political and philosophical investigation and searing indictment of the prison-industrial complex. Building on Michel Foucault’s (1975) Discipline and Punish: The Birth of the Prison  and Hannah Arendt’s  (1951) The Origins of Totalitarianism, Cochran’s debut book introduces Negative Nihilist Ontology, or NNO, as a philosophical weapon against the racist, classist powers of the State. As a former prisoner, held for 10 months in three prisons within the United Kingdom, Cochran elucidates his experience via psychoanalysis, prison journals, experiences organizing fellow prisoners and an extensive ethnography. The central thesis of Prison as Power is that no one is prison because of what they have done, but rather because of who they are.

While weapons dealers, Western war criminals (including US presidents) and corrupt financial oligarchs get away with – literally – murder, the vast majority of the population is submitted and sutured into the disciplinary possibilities the Law. These disciplinary mechanisms intensify for Black, Brown, Indigenous and Latinx peoples in Western nations and previously colonized nations.

The Law is not parametrically, or equally applied, and if it were, it would dismantle the entire system.

The Kindle version is available: in the United States here; in the United Kingdom here; in Germany here; in France here; in Spain here; in Italy here; in The Netherlands here; in Japan here; in Brazil here; in Canada here; in Mexico here; in Australia here; and in India here.

The paperback is available: in the United States here; in the United Kingdom here; in Germany here; in France here; in Italy here; and in Japan here.

Dear readers who are outside these service zones, it is my understanding that the Kindle version can be purchased via your Amazon accounts in Ireland, Norway, Sweden and Finland. Reader feedback will help me determine how to negotiate with Amazon on improving access.

Thank you.


This book is dedicated to

Alexander Verney-Elliott




Ursula K. Le Guin

(1929 – 2018)


& in support of those incarcerated, everywhere.


. . .


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