Piranesi by Suzanna Clarke; Bloomsbury Publishing, 2020. I always feel a little bit guilty when I fall in love with the first book by a relatively new author because I know that I’ll inevitably wait for their next work with anticipation and think of it in terms of the first book. “Ah, yes,” I’ll say, … Continue reading Review: Piranesi by Susanna Clarke
I’ve been excitedly awaiting Jairus Banaji’s A Brief History of Commercial Capitalism for some time. His book Theory as History is one of the most interesting works of Marxist scholarship concerning modes of production, divisions of labour, and agrarian studies to date. I find his work particularly interesting because he stresses both the importance of … Continue reading Reading “A Brief History of Commercial Capitalism”
It seems common practice nowadays to fit Marx into one kind of triad or another. Marx-Lenin-Mao, for instance. Or Marx-Freud-Nietzsche - Ricoeur’s three “masters of suspicion.” Henri Lefebvre, eclectic and imaginative as ever, gives us his own triad of Continental giants in his aptly titled, newly translated, Hegel, Marx, Nietzsche (or, The Realm of Shadows). … Continue reading Henri Lefebvre’s “Hegel, Marx, Nietzsche”
On the question of the state, what Negro, particularly below the Mason-Dixon line, believes that the bourgeois state is a state above all classes, serving the needs of all the people? They may not formulate their belief in Marxist terms, but their experience drives them to reject this shibboleth of bourgeois democracy. On the question … Continue reading NOTES BEFORE AN INEVITABLE COLLAPSE
The attempt to turn back to theory such that the Marxist approach to knowledge itself can be explained is commendable. The (re)introduction of certain levels of abstraction - particularly the separation of the "mode of production" and the "social formation" - are important and remain influential, impressively they have become important in some forms of anthropological practice itself. But many the most important features of Althusser's work are themselves marred by the entire "problematic" or theory of theory that they are integrated within. There’s a circularity to Althusser’s claim of at once maintaining fidelity to Marx’s word while stating that Marx’s words couldn’t be Marxist enough. The autonomous theory still has to try and connect to reality, but it simultaneously wants to refute the “empiricist” subject/object relationship. Althusser’s solution is unclear, and perhaps contradictory.
"Abolition of wages," "abolition of town and country," "abolition of family," "abolition of religion," "abolition of labor..." What does it mean to "abolish?" In the most simple sense it means to simply get rid of, to end, to be done with. And yet it seems more complicated than that. The use of the term "abolish" … Continue reading Notes on “Abolition” and “Revolution”
The excellent Red Wedge Magazine has just dropped their latest digital issue Partially Automated Dystopias + Utopias. I had the pleasure of having my essay "Portions of the Day: Screen-Time and Time Discipline" featured alongside many other great essays, poems, and stories. All the pieces are worth looking at. Some of my favorites so far … Continue reading New Essay in Red Wedge
Among the works of literature dealing with Fascism or authoritarianism, it is often the dystopias that take center stage; both classics like Brave New World, and newer works such as Ready Player One - not to mention the burgeoning genre of Young Adult Dystopian literature - have gripped the imagination in troubling times and been utilized as … Continue reading Literature and Social Reflection (or: Yet Another Essay on Thomas Mann)
Mandatory New Year’s reflections This was my first full year post-college. For most of it I had my first full-time job, I’ve also been truly unemployed and trying to find more work with debt payment for the first time for the last four months. I’ve also branched out with my writing and had my first … Continue reading Brief 2019 Reflections
I’ve had the pleasure of having a weird essay “Disruptive Foundations: Bataille, History, and the Grundrisse” in the journal Acéphale. It’s got a bunch of interesting weird essays, collages, drawings and other things. You can find it on the journal’s website.