Saturday, April 24, 2021

Woke Capital and Twilight of the Bourgeoisie (How is that for a title?).


For anyone who has any historical memory whatsoever the controversies around woke seem like just a remake, or possible a reboot, of the panic around political correctness a generation before. It is a matter of the same fears, the same threats, and the same bad guys and good guys. College campuses and postmodernism are once again to blame, and the same hallowed traditions are threatened. On one reading, and it is a fairly plausible one, is that this is just a repetition. The only reason that the names have been changed, the only reason terms like "woke" have replaced "political correctness" is that repeating the old name would be admitting that this new threat is quite old. Political correctness came and went, but the skies did not darken and the rivers did not run red with blood. New logo, same package. There are, however, some differences and these differences have something to say about the changing nature of culture and power.

Thursday, April 08, 2021

Go Figure: On Lordon's Figures du Communisme


Frédéric Lordon has published four books since Capitalisme, désire, et Servitude in 2010, not counting collections of essays, edited volumes and even a play. I have reviewed them all here, and continued to use Lordon's writing in my research on the intersection of affect, imagination, and work in capitalism. I remain profoundly influenced by his interventions. However, I will be honest, prolific authors make me skeptical, even nervous. Sometimes publishing overtakes thinking and one ends up with a kind of diminishing returns as later books only put finishing touches on earlier innovations.