Filed under book | Tags: · capitalism, communicative capitalism, communism, melancholia, neoliberalism, occupy movement, politics, proletariat, technology
Rising thinker on the resurgence of the communist idea.
In this new title in Verso’s Pocket Communism series, Jodi Dean unshackles the communist ideal from the failures of the Soviet Union. In an age when the malfeasance of international banking has alerted exploited populations the world over to the unsustainability of an economic system predicated on perpetual growth, it is time the left ended its melancholic accommodation with capitalism.
In the new capitalism of networked information technologies, our very ability to communicate is exploited, but revolution is still possible if we organize on the basis of our common and collective desires. Examining the experience of the Occupy movement, Dean argues that such spontaneity can’t develop into a revolution and it needs to constitute itself as a party.
An innovative work of pressing relevance, The Communist Horizon offers nothing less than a manifesto for a new collective politics.
Publisher Verso Books, 2012
Pocket Communism series
ISBN 1844679543, 9781844679546
Filed under book | Tags: · capitalism, communism, democracy, fascism, journalism, left, marxism, mass media, migration, neoliberalism, politics, television, wikileaks
Attacking the cherished assumptions of liberal media criticism, Beyond the Left updates and recharges the Marxist critique of the media.
The ideological distortions of the conservative media, from Fox News to the Daily Mail, are widely acknowledged and often denounced among contemporary critics and commentators. But what if The Guardian newspaper and BBC news, in fact, constitute the most insidious forms of capitalist propaganda? In a wide-ranging and erudite polemic, Beyond the Left analyses capitalist news and current affairs media from a radical perspective. The book rejects the liberal and pluralist paradigms that often underpin critiques of the media, showing how media texts reflect and reinforce the material interests of the ruling class and arguing that the principal ideological menace today is posed not by the right wing, but by the left-liberal media, as it co-opts and obscures radical political positions and reinforces a range of mystifications, from anti-fascism and humanitarian war to green politics. Drawing on the work of radical media critics as well as the writings of revolutionary communist groups and considering the recent reporting of war, industrial action, immigration and the environment, Beyond the Left updates and recharges the Marxist critique of the media.
Publisher Zero Books, an imprint of John Hunt Publishing, 2012
ISBN 1846949769, 9781846949760
review (Laura Cooke, Socialist Review)Comment (0)
Filed under journal | Tags: · communism, feminism, marxism, materialism, politics, queer theory, sex, theory, women
“LIES is a new journal spearheaded by a feminist collective based in Oakland, Baltimore, Los Angeles and New York City.
LIES is a communist journal against communists.
LIES is a platform for certain conversations and critiques that are difficult, impossible or dangerous if cis men are in the room.
LIES attacks the legacy of racism and transphobia that has plagued feminist organizing and strives to develop new ways of making autonomous feminist practices today that take pointed and militant attacks on white supremacy and transphobia as essential parts of feminist struggle.
LIES came out of our experience within struggles. It seeks to embody and develop in print the practice of autonomy that we needed to save ourselves in the midst of movements squared on patriarchy and fueled by the subordination of everyone but white cis men.
LIES draws its purpose and support from networks and circles of feminist, queer, and trans people, our friends and comrades to whom this journal is devoted.”
Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial License
Filed under book | Tags: · christianity, communism, fanaticism, fascism, islam, national socialism, participation, protestantism, religion, social movements, sociology
The famous bestseller with “concise insight into what drives the mind of the fanatic and the dynamics of a mass movement” (Wall St. Journal) by Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient Eric Hoffer, The True Believer is a landmark in the field of social psychology, and even more relevant today than ever before in history. Called a “brilliant and original inquiry” and “a genuine contribution to our social thought” by Arthur Schlesinger, Jr., The True Believer is mandatory reading for anyone interested in the machinations by which an individual becomes a fanatic.
A stevedore on the San Francisco docks in the 1940s, Eric Hoffer wrote philosophical treatises in his spare time while living in the railroad yards. The True Believer — the first and most famous of his books — was made into a bestseller when President Eisenhower cited it during one of the earliest television press conferences. Completely relevant and essential for understanding the world today, The True Believer is a visionary, highly provocative look into the mind of the fanatic and a penetrating study of how an individual becomes one.
Originally published by Harper & Row, Publishers, 1951
Publisher HarperCollins, 2002
Perennial Modern Classics series
ISBN 0060505915, 9780060505912
Download (removed on 2013-1-15 upon request of the publisher)Comment (0)
Filed under book | Tags: · art, biography, communism, humanism, poetry, politics
“The dominant question arising from the unparalleled inhumanity of the mid-twentieth century, André Malraux has suggested “Is man dead?” Yet, for him, to pose the question is to answer it, for man proves his greatness, not by affirming it, but by questioning. It is by a mise en question of the universe that man rises above it.
This interpretation, long central to Malraux’s thinking, brings with it a number of difficulties. Previous concepts of man have produced an image, an ideal, toward which man could orient himself, and have presupposed a culture that had a role in the scheme of things. With a vision of man based on questioning rather than affirmation, it becomes impossible to preconceive an image of him or to visualize a form for human culture, and traditional humanism passes from the picture.
For Malraux, however, man has something that is greater than a preconceived image of himself: consciousness or awareness. To replace the images of man that have been destroyed or invalidated, Malraux calls for the will to grasp the greatest possible consciousness of what it is to be a man, coupled with the will to absolutely free discovery. Combining these values, Malraux suggests, produces a culture that is a human adventure, an advehture in freedom. Humanism is still possible, but it is a tragic humanism—humanism, because man knows his will and his starting point; tragic, because he can never know where he is going. Man can lead a dignified and fruitful existence given the will to struggle endlessly with the unknown.”
Publisher Ohio State University Press, 1963
Richard Wolin: The Wind from the East: French Intellectuals, the Cultural Revolution, and the Legacy of the 1960s (2010)
Filed under book | Tags: · 1960s, communism, cultural revolution, france, history, left, literature, maoism, marxism, philosophy, politics, resistance, situationists, structuralism
Michel Foucault, Jean-Paul Sartre, Julia Kristeva, Phillipe Sollers, and Jean-Luc Godard. During the 1960s, a who’s who of French thinkers, writers, and artists, spurred by China’s Cultural Revolution, were seized with a fascination for Maoism. Combining a merciless exposé of left-wing political folly and cross-cultural misunderstanding with a spirited defense of the 1960s, The Wind from the East tells the colorful story of this legendary period in France. Richard Wolin shows how French students and intellectuals, inspired by their perceptions of the Cultural Revolution, and motivated by utopian hopes, incited grassroots social movements and reinvigorated French civic and cultural life.
Wolin’s riveting narrative reveals that Maoism’s allure among France’s best and brightest actually had little to do with a real understanding of Chinese politics. Instead, it paradoxically served as a vehicle for an emancipatory transformation of French society. French student leftists took up the trope of “cultural revolution,” applying it to their criticisms of everyday life. Wolin examines how Maoism captured the imaginations of France’s leading cultural figures, influencing Sartre’s “perfect Maoist moment”; Foucault’s conception of power; Sollers’s chic, leftist intellectual journal Tel Quel; as well as Kristeva’s book on Chinese women–which included a vigorous defense of foot-binding.
Recounting the cultural and political odyssey of French students and intellectuals in the 1960s, The Wind from the East illustrates how the Maoist phenomenon unexpectedly sparked a democratic political sea change in France.
Publisher Princeton University Press, 2010
ISBN 0691129983, 9780691129983
video interview with the author (Platypus)Comment (0)
Filed under book | Tags: · cold war, communism, history, italy, left, politics
A fascinating analysis and account of the decline and fall of Western communism by a participant observer.
Twenty years have passed since the Italian Communists’ last Congress in 1991, in which the death of their party was decreed. It was a deliberate death, accelerated by the desire for a “new beginning.” That new beginning never came, and the world lost an invaluable, complex political, organizational and theoretical heritage.
In this detailed and probing work, Lucio Magri, one of the towering intellectual figures of the Italian Left, assesses the causes for the demise of what was once one of the most powerful and vibrant communist parties of the West. The PCI marked almost a century of Italian history, from its founding in 1921 to the partisan resistance, the turning point of Salerno in 1944 to the de-Stalinization of 1956, the long ’68 to the “historic compromise,” and to the opportunity—missed forever—of democratic transformation.
With rigor and passion, The Tailor of Ulm merges an original and enlightening interpretation of Italian communism with the experience of a militant “heretic” into a riveting read—capable of broadening our insights into contemporary Italy, and the twentieth-century communist experience.
First published as Il Sarto di Ulm, il Saggiatore SPA, Milan, 2009
Translated by Patrick Camiller
Publisher Verso, 2011
ISBN 1844676986, 9781844676989