Skip to main content

Posts

Straw Personing Maoism

 I was unaware of the existence of Renato Flores' article, Disarming the Magic Bullet , until recently, despite the fact that it was written over a year ago. This article purports to be a rejection of Marxism-Leninism-Maoism's status as the current stage of the science of revolution, being a response to a previous article by Cam W., and has a lot to say about what I've supposedly written about Maoism. I write "supposedly", here, because my biggest problem with this article is that, despite referencing my name and work at various points, it does not at any moment actually engage with what I have written. Rather, it seems to engage with an imaginary version of my work––what the author thinks I have written––and due to this kind of engagement ends up mobilizing a number of counter-arguments that either have nothing to do with what I have argued or were in fact counter-arguments I already considered. Flores' article also does the same with Ajith's work––though
Recent posts

Yet Again the Weight of Mount Tai: Farewell Comrade Mateo

After a long struggle with cancer my friend and comrade, Mateo Andante, has passed. Mateo was a Maoist organizer in LA with a long history of class struggle work. He was also the creator of the Bourgeois Philosophy website and, among many other things, one of my co-authors of  On Necrocapitalism . Although I knew him only through his online presence, long message and email exchanges about politics and philosophy, a blurb he wrote for Demarcation and Demystification , collaboration on the aforementioned necrocapitalism book project, and a joint interview on a podcast resulted in a closer relationship than the relationship I share with some people I know in the offline world.  Months before learning of his passing, I had in fact resigned myself to Mateo's death. At the beginning of December he announced that things were bleak and that his current wave of chemo treatments might not succeed. I did not hear from him for months after this announcement and, having received no replies to

Outrage Projection

Several months ago one of my best friends showed me an episode of the comedy show Letterkenny where a tiki-torch wielding reactionary, "Hard Right Jay" (played by Jay Baruchel), arrives at the eponymous town and attempts to convince the denizens to be outraged over the fact that a local soccer team is planning to change its racist name ("Chiefs") to something that is more "politically correct." Not only does Hard Right Jay discover that most of the town doesn't give a shit about his cause, and largely has no problem with the reasons for the name change, but the episode ends with the Indigenous characters of the show confronting the attempted racist protest and uniting with other members of the town to punch the nazis. Aside from the awesomeness of celebrating punching nazis in a popular comedy show right after Richard Spencer was punched on camera and liberals got upset about violence directed towards fascists, the depiction of the way in which today&#

Reflections on the so-called "Freedom Convoy"

Whenever there is a political movement our job as anti-capitalists––as communists––is to analyze the class content of the movement. Such an analysis does not mean to examine it according to its appearance but according to its substance: the politics it mobilizes, and thus its dominant political line, and thus its proximity to state power and the ruling class. Moreover, this analysis always needs to take into account the way in which class contradictions are articulated in the social formation in question and the conjuncture of that social formation. If we fail to examine a movement according to its substance (the content as articulated through the class politics it expresses, state proximity, the social formation of the current moment) then we fail to grasp its essential meaning. At best we end up with a poor analysis of what is taking place, and thus a failure to conceptualize a proper response to events; at worst we end up with a mechanical workerist analysis that, taking "class

Obituary: Chairman Gonzalo

On the same date as the 1973 coup in Chile, one of the great revolutionaries of the 21st Century, Abimael Guzmán ("Gonzalo"), has passed away at 86 after having spent nearly three decades incarcerated. As the Chair of the Communist Party of Peru's (PCP) Central Committee, Gonzalo was responsible for leading the People's War in Peru and initiating the theorization of Maoism as a third stage of revolutionary science. Moreover, the now defunct Revolutionary Internationalist Movement responsible for crystallizing Marxism-Leninism-Maoism (as opposed to "Mao Zedong Thought") was only able to reach the ideological and organizational heights it once had due to the participation and influence of the Gonzalo-led PCP. For those of us who all ourselves "Maoists" because we recognize Maoism as a development in the same sense that Leninism was (however we position ourselves in the international debate about the meaning of MLM now) there is no avoiding or denyi

Liberal Academia and Free Speech Absolutism in the Shadow of Imperialism

In the wake of the recent violence in Palestine, of the ongoing ethnic cleansing that is yet again patently evident, I cannot help but reflect on the state of academia and the discourse of free speech that normalizes this ethnic cleansing while at the same time demonizing anyone who names it for what it is. Especially in the discipline of philosophy which, for so long, has pretended that it is the guardian of truth and critical thinking. Why is it that scholars who challenge dominant politics––who, to cite the old adage, “speak truth to power”––are maligned as being political whereas scholars who either explicitly support ethnic cleansing or implicitly support it with liberal “both sides are wrong” discourses are treated as rational? And why do scholars who are critical of this ethnic cleansing also defend their liberal and conservative colleagues who are not? The free speech absolutism of the liberal university not only stands in the way of rigorously thinking thought and challenging