Thursday, March 24, 2011

Still Anomalous After All These Years: Negri’s Latest Book on Spinoza

Perhaps one of the most striking aspects of the French and Italian turn to Spinoza over the past forty years is the sheer volume of the texts produced. A volume in terms of the massive tomes, such as Matheron, Moreau, and Macherey’s studies, but also in terms of the repeated returns to Spinoza’s thought, returns that attest to what Macherey referred to as its infinite productive nature, its capacity to produce new readings, new effects. Negri’s latest book on Spinoza, Spinoza et nous (Translated into French by Judith Revel, although I could not find a corresponding Italian text) is his third book on Spinoza.

Monday, March 07, 2011

Teachers are the New Welfare Queens

I am sure that you have seen the bumper stickers before. They say things like “Keep Working Millions on Welfare Depend on You” and, more recently, “Spread My Work Ethic, Not My Wealth.” They reflect a cornerstone of conservative ideology, the distinction between those hard working real Americans and the lazy people on welfare. 

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

The General Intellect Personified: More Notes on Capitalism as a Social Relation

This is a continuation of the reading of Capital I begun earlier, and a return to a passage in Capital that I have written on several times, Chapter Thirteen on Cooperation. Whereas I wrote a previous post on Cooperation in terms of Marx’s theory of social relations, my concern now is what this passage has to say about surplus value. (This is not to say that the two are separate, far from it actually: what I want to argue is that these two questions, social relations and surplus, are never separable from Marx).