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Showing posts from January, 2015

Ten Interesting Reads During 2014

Due to a lack of blogging energy to engage with anything significant, I've decided to spend a post talking about some of my favourite books of 2014 (not necessarily published in 2014, but definitely read in 2014)––mainly so that January does not pass with only a single (though notable) post.  I want to write something on the recent SYRIZA victory, and how we should assess it as communists, but that will take more energy and time.  Until then here is a list of my most favourite reads of 2014…


1. On the Reproduction of Capitalism (Louis Althusser)


Finally published in english in 2014, this was the book from which Althusser's famous "ISA" essay was culled.  In many ways it is brilliant, and fills in a lot of holes of Althusser's thought, but in other ways is rather disappointing: it is a conflicted text.  On the one hand Althusser critiques economism, on the other hand he embraces it; on the one hand he attacks revisionism, on the other hand there are entire passages…

"Tankyism" and Competing Imperialisms

The entire discourse around "tankyism" is about as scientific as a first year philosophy student making grand proclamations about physics and biology: it's a narrative that possesses no real explanatory power, cannot demystify phenomena, and exists only for rhetorical purposes.  More significantly, those who throw out the charge of "tankyism"––who see this supposed error everywhere––often end up endorsing another form of tankyism that is just as reprehensible, if not more so.


1: the mimetic binary of tanky/anti-tanky

What we end up, particularly in online debates about international politics amongst marxists, is a polarized discussion where one side endorses one type of tankyism (i.e. the right of supposed socialist states to role out the tanks and military suppression to protect their socialism, or the ghost of socialism), and where another side names this "tanky" but might even go so far as to endorse the right of imperialists to do the same in the …