Sunday, June 21, 2015

The Stories We Tell: Event and Mythocracy

Let me begin with an observation that is perhaps obvious and an analysis that is a bit pedestrian (even more so than usual). The current political moment, what could be called the #blacklivesmatter moment in the US, is punctuated by particular events, the killing of black men by white police officers or other individuals: Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, Eric Garner, Tamir Rice., etc.. Immediately after the event there is a struggle, waged in the media and in conversations, to make sense of and situate the event. 

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Naturally Historical: On Paolo Virno's When the Word Becomes Flesh and Déjà Vu and the End of History

Paolo Virno's philosophical trajectory is an interesting and strange one. He first became known to the English speaking world through The Grammar of the Multitude. This book's particular grammar, or rather vocabulary, defines  the central terms of post-autonomist thought, multitude, general intellect, Post-Fordism, etc., in a somewhat idiosyncratic manner. Marx and Spinoza are cited, but so are Aristotle, Sohn-Rethel, Heidegger, and Simondon. Virno has been drawn as much to the philosophical presuppositions and effect of these terms, of this new grammar, than to their economic basis or political implications.