Tuesday, April 30, 2024

Two Thesis on the Limits of Philosophy: Marx and Spinoza


I once contemplated getting my favorite Spinoza proposition 
as a Vanity Plate 

In the past few months, longer even, but before the recent wave of student occupations (more on that later), I have found myself in the grips of a kind of depression that stems in part from what can only be described as a gap between theory and practice. How this works is like this, all day, or at least part of it, I read books, and get into discussions understanding how the world works, and what could be done to change it and yet the world goes on unchanged, or, more to the point, it just seems to get worse and worse. (I will let the reader fill this in with whatever ecological, political, or economic calamity that comes to mind) The disconnect between the classroom and the world creates not just division but despair.

Wednesday, April 24, 2024

One, Two, Many Spinozist-Marxisms: A Postscript to The Double Shift


This post is illustrated by some of the promo work 
I have done for the book

I have commented before, more than once even, that the intersection of Spinoza and Marx is less a position, something like Spinozist Marxism, than a field of intersecting problems and questions. In some sense it is possible to even map out the way in which different Marxists draw from different elements of Marx (and Spinoza) creating different articulations of the relations which intersect with different problems in the critique of capitalism. 

Thursday, April 04, 2024

Leave What World Behind: On Leave the World Behind

Something has changed in watching post-apocalyptic films in recent years. It is hard to pinpoint exactly when, and what exactly the cause might be, but at some point in the last few years the post-apocalypse has gone from an escapist fantasy to a figure of dread. The increasing rate of global warming leading to fires, droughts, and hurricanes; the ongoing Covid pandemic; and the rise of right wing nationalism has transformed the apocalypse from a subgenre of science fiction to a barometer of fears and anxieties. As Robert Tally argues the sense of the future has changed dramatically over the last decade: utopia has been replaced by dystopia in contemporary fiction and film and post-apocalypse has replaced predictions of a miraculous world of tomorrow. This is another way of addressing Fredric Jameson’s old adage that it is easier to imagine the end of the world than the end of capitalism. To which we could add that this imagination is no longer an idle speculation about the future, but immediately lived, as apocalypse seems to inch closer, moving from the distant horizon to the lived present.