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Showing posts from July, 2016

On Reading Your Former Supervisor's Work: Beginning "Gramci's Historicism"

I'm finally reading my doctoral supervisor's seminal work on Antonio Gramsci: Gramsci's Historicism by Esteve Morera. Originally published in 1990 but rereleased in 2011 as a "Routledge Revival", Gramsci's Historicism was influential for a whole generation of Gramsci scholars (many of whom are now seen as Gramsci "authorities") who broke from post-modern and post-colonial appropriation of Gramsci in order to return to this thinker's Marxist roots.



Although my doctoral work was not on Gramsci (it was a philosophical engagement with anticolonial theory in the present conjuncture of ongoing settler-colonialism), Morera was the departmental Marxist who was happy to work with anyone doing radical philosophical work in this tradition. Since his brilliance was quiet and humble, he never tried to force his own work on me, or demand that I put more Gramsci in my project, but instead encouraged my thought in an organic manner. [My second reader, Lorraine …

Reflections on the concept of "vanguard party" – first part of essay available on Medium.

With Continuity and Rupture about to be released I have decided to edit and release an extended essay I started working on a month after the manuscript was accepted by Zero Books. This essay was the result of reading Jodi Dean's recent Crowds and Party: part of me wished it had been released earlier so I could engage with it before I finished the manuscript of my upcoming book, especially since it echoed some of the concerns in The Communist Necessity, made up for some of the short-comings of her The Communist Horizon, and dovetailed with some sections of Continuity and Rupture. Hence the essay in question was written as a kind of tangental exploration of an area adjacent to the territory delineated by the boundaries of my two books.

Really, what Dean's recent book encouraged me to write was a meditation on the concept of the vanguard party in the face of the normative anti-party ideology that underlies the ideology of a good portion of the first world establishment left. The …

Review: The Silicon Ideology

Usually I review books and not essays but Josephine Armistead's The Silicon Ideology was such a clear, timely, and engaging twenty pages that I believe it deserves a review post. Indeed, I think it is best understood as an extended abstract to a book that needs to be written [or might have already been written if the soon-to-be published Neoreaction A Basilisk by Phil Sandifer is anything like an expanded version of Armistead's essay] particularly since the centres of global capitalism are witnessing the rise of various fascisms and ur-fascisms.

Ostensibly about neo-reaction and the alt-right, The Silicon Ideology also attempts to provide a "unified theory" of fascism so as to demonstrate that the neo-reaction/alt-right ideological milieu is united around an emergent fascism that is connected to the old fascisms and multiple contemporary fascisms. Rather than focus on the more seemingly popular fascist movements (fascist political parties in Europe, the Trump politic…

"We Are The Left" vs. Identity Politics "Fascism"

Once in a while some truly terrible pieces of left anaylsis come along that confirm each other's intellectual vapidness: two articles that read as if they were written for each other by two frienemies on different sides of a poorly understood debate, justifying their respective analysis in their hermetically sealed echo chamber they believe is reality. When this happens the temptation is to believe in poetic fate or synchronicity: what a weird coincidence! This was my instinct when I read that self-important "We Are The Left" article around the same time that I read another eye-roll inducing Identity Politics is Shit article: they must have been written for each other, they both take the analysis of their opposite as the straw-person of their object of critique and in doing so become caricatures of themselves.

First, the article by "We Are The Left" that is entitled, with the same self-importance, "An Open Letter on Identity Politics To and From the Left.&…