Tuesday, June 21, 2022
Saturday, June 11, 2022
Saturday, June 04, 2022
The conclusion of Franck Fishbach's La Production des Hommes: Marx Avec Spinoza ends with a discussion of Heidegger's understanding of production in contrast to its focus on the intersection of Marx and Spinoza. A Fischbach argues the contrast could not be more clear, whereas Marx and Spinoza posited a thought of production that broke with idealism, with much of philosophy, Heidegger saw production as the basis and culmination of metaphysics. Our conceptions of substance, being, and actuality all stem from humanity's productive comportment and this understanding of being culminates in the idea of a world in which what exists exists to be manipulated, produced, transformed, exists as an object for a subject. Production is the metaphysics of subjectivity.
Tuesday, May 10, 2022
Sunday, May 01, 2022
Thursday, April 21, 2022
One of Althusser's fundamental lessons, and one that remains beyond the controversies about epistemic breaks, the young Marx, and the real Marx, is that Marx's philosophy and politics must be located not at this or that isolated quote or passage, but as traversing the entirety of his work. The condition of immanent causality is a reading of philosophy itself as the immanent unfolding of ideas that are all the more important because they are pervasive, located not in this or that passage, but in the entirety of the work. To some extent Juan Domingo Sánchez Estop's Althusser et Spinoza: Détours et Retours does a similar work on Althusser, searching for Althusser's Spinozism not just in the few well known passages in the ISA essay, Lire Le Capital, and Elements of Self-Criticism where Spinoza is cited by name, but also in the way that Spinoza's thought or practice of philosophy traverses Althusser's work.
Tuesday, April 19, 2022
I was slow to get to Severance. Partly this has to do with conditions of contemporary cultural consumption. The shift from movies to television and from television to streaming, accelerated by the pandemic, has raised particular hurdles to watching new television shows even as everything can be viewed from one's home. Every new show comes with the subscription to a new service (or a way to work around it) and the proliferation of these services with their own branding and marketing enough to make me miss the catholic nature of movie theaters. Of the different services I had particular disdain for Apple TV, mostly due to the cross brand marketing and the lingering aftertaste of itunes as an app. Anything that could immediately disseminate a U2 album should not only be shunned but the people who made it should be banished.
Wednesday, March 30, 2022
Recently in a bit of odd exhaustion and insomnia I watched, or rather rewatched, the movie Blue Thunder. In case you have not seen it I will tell you the plot. It stars Roy Scheider as a Los Angeles helicopter pilot and Vietnam vet. He is introduced to a helicopter with the code named "Blue Thunder" which is introduced as part of an increased security preparations for the 1984 Olympics. The helicopter is an armored attack and surveillance helicopter complete with a machine gun, powerful directional microphones, and infrared cameras. Over the course of the movie, and I am hazy on the details or may have fallen asleep, Scheider comes to the realization the helicopter is not only an unacceptable militarization of the police but would function as the basis of an expansion of powers of surveillance. After the requisite helicopter dog fights and car chases he parks the helicopter in front of a freight train and destroys it.
Thursday, March 24, 2022
Sunday, March 06, 2022
Imagination, Fiction, Knowledge: Towards a Spinozist Theory of Cultural Production Part II (This Time it is Mythical)