Some Thoughts from Reading Althusser

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.

Radical Thoughts Premier Episode: Culture & Materialism

Things have been getting busy for me recently. On the one hand that includes the drudgery of making money, on the other hand it's also because I've been working on several creative projects. One of those projects just dropped its first little bit of content: the premier episode of the Radical Thoughts Podcast. Radical Thoughts … Continue reading Radical Thoughts Premier Episode: Culture & Materialism

Totalitarianism as a Material Fear

Material interest includes more general needs (food, water, shelter) but is also always particular and has integrated particular desires and forms of needs (not just food proper, people conceive of food in particular). Material fears are their fears that come from social situations and the material conditions. Many people have a general fear of invasive control into their personal lives. The particular form of that fear is contingent on what could enable that. The (Western) totalitarian fear as it exists today involves fears that are particularized through the relationship to mass media, surveillance, and the party-centered nation-state.

New Published Article: “More Acid than Communism” and post-script

Last week I had the pleasure of being published by Cosmonaut magazine. You can read the piece, “More Acid than Communism” here. Now that the piece has been out for a while I wanted to write a little bit from a more personal perspective about my concerns with Acid Communism and the opportunities and roadblocks … Continue reading New Published Article: “More Acid than Communism” and post-script

Recreation as a Subject of Production: Video Games & Material Analysis

I. New Production, New Technique? *** On April 23rd, 1934, Walter Benjamin gave an address to the Institute for the Study of Fascism, Paris, titled "The Author as Producer." In it, Benjamin gives a singular summation of the issue he is most known for addressing, what would later become the foundation of his famous "The … Continue reading Recreation as a Subject of Production: Video Games & Material Analysis