The Politics of Preemption featuring Randy Martin

Randy Martin Pop Copy



Schedule coming soon!

If you would like to book a screening, please contact gelmer (at)


In this documentary short intended for academic and activist audiences, former NYU Professor Randy Martin offers a sweeping historical, financial, and cultural argument for a counter-intuitive form of preemptive politics. Unlike most interpretations of the logic of pre-emption that highlight its essential anti-democratic character, particularly in the post 9-11 military context, Martin suggests that social movements such as Occupy and many others have also engaged in a form of preemptive politics, where alternative futures are imagined and enacted. Lucid and provocative, ‘The Politics of Preemption’ features a scholar who’s interdisciplinary and political commitments offer important avenues outside of established doctrines of political economy and activism.

Professor Randy Martin passed away in 2015. This film is dedicated to his legacy, his colleagues, students, and family.

About the Director

Greg Elmer is an award winning media producer, scholar and documentary film maker, whose previous films ‘Preempting Dissent’ (2014, co-directed with Andy Opel) and ‘The Canadian Delegation’ (2018) continue to be screened at universities, community halls, and film festivals around the world. Greg is currently working with South African film makers and ANC cadres to produce a documentary film about struggles for recognition by ANC war veterans. He is also currently completing a book entitled “Prospectus: the Financialization of New Media”


  • Randy Martin’s books and bio
  • Randy Martin on the ‘Financialization of Everyday Life’ (video at People’s University, New York)
  • Randy Martin: ‘Thinking Finance Otherwise’ (video at USSC Humanities Institute)
  • Michelle Murphy: The Economization of Life (book)
  • Louise Amoore: The Politics of Possibility (book)
  • Max Haiven: Cultures of Financialization (book)
  • Edward LiPuma & Benjamin Lee: Financial Derivatives and the Globalization of Risk (book)
  • Mary Poovey: A History of the Modern Fact (book)
  • Greg Elmer & Andy Opel: Preempting Dissent (book)
  • Brian Massumi: Ontopower (book)