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”
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)
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.
I recently read the piece “What Is It Like to Be A Man?” by Phil Christman, which I found to be insightful and, even if somewhat caught in a cul-de-sac of questions (not unusual for any piece trying to figure out these problems), thankfully shorter and less circular than many. One of the main points … Continue reading Speech, Power, Masculinity
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IV - DEMEDIATIZATION “Because of the demediatization of communication, journalists - elite ‘opinion makers,’indeed, the erstwhile priests of opinion - now seem increasingly anachronistic and superflous. The digital medium is in the course of abolishing an end to the era of representation. Instead, everyone wants to be present personally and directly - to present his … Continue reading Critique of Swarm – Part 4
III. IN THE SWARM Part 1; Part 2 "Hardt and Negri base their theory on historically antiquated categories such as class and class struggle. Accordingly, they define multitude as being capable of communal action […] It is meaningful to speak of class only when a plurality of classes exists. 'Multitude,' however, signifies the sole class. All … Continue reading Critique of Swarm – Part 3