Skip to main content


Showing posts from January, 2014

Understanding "Sex Positivism" as Retrograde Ideology

I first realized that the "sex positive" turn in feminism––with its treatment of pornography, "sex work", and sexual practice in general as emancipatory––represented a rightward drift in mainstream left activism in 2005.  Before then I found it disagreeable but could, at the very least, countenance some of its arguments: I might have been uncomfortable, for example, with its pro-pornography position but I understood that there were indeed problems with the way in which some anti-pornography radical feminists agitated within the bourgeois legal system; I might have been annoyed with how it framed all radical feminists as "sex negative" due to misreadings of Dworkin's Intercourse but I also recognized that Dworkin's analysis––as masterful as it was––was not without its problems.  But it was in 2005, when the film Sin City was released, when I decided this "sex positive" brand of feminism was intrinsically liberal if not implicitly reaction…

Promotion: Third National Conference of the Revolutionary Student Movement

The Revolutionary Student Movement (RSM) has just released a call-out for its third organizational conference, to be held in Montreal on March 1-2 of this year, and I have been asked to post the call-out here.  Between the first (which was in Toronto) and the second (which was in Ottawa) conference the RSM expanded significantly and, if the rate of growth is any indication the conference in Montreal will be larger and expansive than the previous conference.

As with the other conferences, this RSM conference is aimed at expanding the organization and the politics (which are sympathetic to, because this is a mass organization initially sponsored by, the PCR-RCP), breaking from the tired student leftism of the past, and assessing whether or not the previous goals and commitments have been met by all of the RSM affiliated groups across Canada since the fall conference.

In any case, if anyone who reads this blog and lives in Canada is interested, please go to the Conference Call-out page w…

Successful Capitalists "Get" Real Capitalism

Any capitalist that is successfully a capitalist must, at some level, grasp Marx's scientific analysis of capitalism.  This is not to say that these capitalists will necessarily read Capital but only that they will understand, as Marx did, the core logic of the system in which they are the ruling class.  And though sometimes we will encounter capitalists who study Capital and other marxists (i.e. at one point it was a fad for committed capitalists to read and appreciate Gramsci, but from an opposing position), the average capitalist who is actually successful is only successful because s/he gets the basic logic described by Marx.  It is important to recognize this fact, and find instances where it is demonstrated, because it proves that Marx's understanding of this mode of production was correct but from the other side––the ruling class, when it is most successful, understands with eerie precision precisely the logic of its success and what it must do to persist in its hegemon…

"Toddler Curates Library" [on tumblr]

For those interested in all things my daughter, I have started a non-serious, and possibly overly "cute", tumblr entitled Toddler Curates Library.  Starting a tumblr account was interesting; in fact I've always been interested in the whole tumblr thing (that somewhere between twitter and wordpress feeling it gives me) ever since quotes from some of my articles were posted and reposted on innumerable tumblr sites.  Indeed, I've chosen to follow on my tumblr account (because you have to) at least one of the tumblr bloggers, pomeranian privilege, who has recently quoted me.

Anyhow, the theme of my blog-lite is simply to take pictures of the books my daughter takes from the adult bookshelves (she does this a lot) and what she does with them.  Since the combined library of my partner and myself is pretty large (and in our cramped living space results in bookshelves all over the place), and also somewhat eclectic (we can't say no to used books given to us and have a ha…

MLM Mayhem Year in Review [2013 Edition]

Since it is the beginning of 2014, it is once again time for the annual MLM Mayhem year in review––that is, the article where I list the posts with the most traffic in the preceding year in a shameless attempt to rekindle interest in now stale writing.  (Also, it prevents me from having to write an original post!) So, from least to most popular, I have linked and summarized the ten most read (or, at least page-viewed) articles of 2013.

10. Obituary: Nelson Mandela
Although it was written in December 2013, this piece has already become the tenth most popular post of 2013.  My obituary articles are usually enjoyable to write because they give me time to reflect on the contribution (or in other cases the lack of contribution) of certain people to history.  2013 was interesting insofar as two world historical figures, whatever their problems, died: Mandela and Giap, and I regret missing the opportunity to reflect on the life of the former.

9. The Masses are Not Ready?
This hastily article…

Childcare and Counter-hegemony

For my first post of 2014, and because my collective blog on leftist parenting didn't succeed in getting off the ground, I'm going to reflect on some of my most recent thoughts about being a father of a girl who is now over fifteen months old.  Since she is a significant part of my life, and parenting takes up a significant chunk of my time, I obviously spend more time thinking about raising her than I do about my academic life.  And aside from the logistical thoughts regarding how to organize everything else in my life around her schedule, and how to share childcare equitably with my partner, I also find myself ruminating quite a bit about the larger ideological problems I will be forced to encounter as she grows up in a capitalist world.

Particularly, I have thinking a lot about a certain poem by Caitlyn Siehl (it is not your job), that has been circulating on innumerable tumblr sites, which succinctly explains some of my fears regarding my daughter's future.  Maybe I…