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Showing posts from October, 2017

Class Struggle in the Terrain of Theory (or good lord why am I always writing posts on the limitations of the liberal doctrine of free speech?)

Drexel University's recent decision to penalize George Ciccariello-Maher because of pressure from multiple right-wing campaigns demonstrates why reactionaries understand how to fight a war of position, and thus pursue hegemony, better than most progressives. As Ciccariello-Maher himself pointed out in an article regarding these campaigns and his discipline, there have been more successful campaigns to silence leftists than the much publicized leftist activism aimed at shutting down Nazi rallies and alt-right speakers, and the former have received little if any attention from those liberals who are already hand-wringing over free speech.



In fact, one would think that it would be quite telling that white supremacists such as Philippe Rushton and Jordan Peterson have been able to retain their tenure whereas anti-racists such as Ciccariello-Maher, Tommy Curry, and Johnny Eric Williams have been slated for academic removal. The liberal self-righteous adage of "I will defend your r…

Semiotext(e) Plays the "Sun City" of Los Angeles

I have a certain fondness for Semiotext(e) since it was the press that introduced me to a lot of radical theory which was instrumental in pushing me towards Marxism. Even after I abandoned autonomism and gravitated towards Maoism I still enjoyed some of the work in its "Interventions" series, though much of this I treated as a foil for my own work (i.e. Tiqqun and the Invisible Committee vis-a-vis The Communist Necessity and Austerity Apparatus), at the very least I found it thought provoking. Hence, I was rather disappointed when I learned that one of its founding authors, Chris Kraus, was planning to break the Boyle Heights community boycott in Los Angeles and that, when she was critiqued, Semiotext(e) defended the decision.

For those who are unaware the Defend Boyle Heights coalition has been fighting against the ongoing gentrification of Boyle Heights, an historic racialized working class neighbourhood in LA. Part of this struggle has been waged against art galleries tha…