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Reflections on MLM Mayhem Nearly a Decade After its Establishment.

Thinking back on this blog from my current perspective and concrete circumstances is difficult. Nearly a decade has transpired since, out of boredom and in the midst of graduate student frustration, I created MLM Mayhem. The name was an afterthought and the the URL ill-considered, the product of someone who wasn't interested in social media savvy and who believed that nobody would read whatever ill-considered thoughts he sent out into the void. (Also the choice of Blogger rather than Wordpress was a poorly reasoned decisioned. To be fair, however, in 2009 Blogger [or, rather, Blogspot] was the dominant blogging platform.) It was months after my union local's bitter strike of 2008/2009, right when I was engaged in finishing my dissertation, and was conceived of as little more than a space to post random thoughts and frustrations. Hell, my first post was entitled I Hate Nietzsche and was far from rigorous.

Successive posts were either asinine comics made from GPCR clip art or my…
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Every Instance of Post-Marxist Theory is More Eurocentric Than Marxism

In reading Sayak Valencia's Gore Capitalism I was again struck by the way in which the Marxist theoretical tradition is deleted according to opportunistic identity politics. Theoretically, this deletion is quite strange, though practically not so much: we should not forget that the editors of the Semiotext(e) "interventions" series (of which Gore Capitalism is a recent publication) have no problem breaking political boycotts and justifying their actions by appealing to liberal ideology. Valencia and her book had nothing to do with the behaviour of the Semiotext(e) editors, however, though her inclusion in the series is symptomatic of what perspectives are allowed to circulate as "radical".

Gore Capitalism follows intentionally Marxist interventions that have drawn upon genre violence to explain the state of affairs, such as Mark Steven's Splatter Capital. And yet Valencia's analysis rejects Marxist analyses because Valencia does "not need First Worl…

On Marxist Philosophy Yet Again

With Methods Devour Themselves nearing its release date, and thoughts of Continuity & Rupture on my my mind due to another manuscript (about philosophy) I recently prepared for submission, I felt it might be worthwhile to talk a bit about what I do as a philosopher. Specifically, what I do as a philosopher of Marxism and how I generally understand the meaning of philosophy within the boundaries of historical materialism. Such reflections will, at the very least, prevent my blog from languishing in stasis.

Since the manuscript I recently submitted for publication concerns this question (what it means to practice philosophy as a Marxist, what philosophy means under the shadow of the 11th Thesis on Feuerbach) I am not going to get into the meaning of Marxist philosophy in any real depth. I wrote that book because in order to deal with this question in depth it required, in my mind, an entire book.  In fact I've already written three posts that serve as entry points into that proj…

Still Waiting For Some Honest Critiques of Continuity and Rupture

So far, all the critiques of Continuity and Rupture, when they have been expressed, have been little more than straw-person representations of that book's arguments. Nearly a year ago I posted The Argument of Continuity and Rupture that clarified and reasserted the book's argument, pointing out how nobody outside of the Maoist camp who took issue with my claim that Maoism was the accomplishment of historical materialism had succeeded in providing a counter-argument. I summarized the book's main argument in this regard, demanding that it be engaged with, and received no response aside from outright dismissal. Such is the state of thought amongst the non-Maoist "Marxist" tendencies. Since then, however, there has been some buzz within the Maoist camp about the book's claims, most of which seem to be throwaway comments on social media, that reinforce the reasons why I wrote the book to begin with: there is the need for philosophical consensus within the terrain …

Thoughts on Eric Wilson's *The Republic of Cthulhu*

1 An intriguing concept: to use the work of H.P. Lovecraft to map the aesthetics or poetics of the "parapolitical". Assuming that there is a subterranean political order (i.e. clandestine agencies, criminal enterprises that intersect with deep state functions, the tendency to imagine conspiracy), Lovecraft's fiction is supposed to provide the aesthetics of this order due to its obsession with eldritch conspiracies that lurk below the level of appearance. Lovecraft's "cosmic horror" thus becomes a useful "mytho-poetics" for explaining the meaning of the parapolitical.

*



The conception of the parapolitical is not, to my mind, the most meaningful problematic. While it is indeed the case that the appearance of a given state is mirrored by the reality of multiple levels of clandestinity (intelligence agencies with their intrigues, criminal enterprises sometimes drawn upon by these clandestine institutions), the assumption that this constitutes a &quo…

Shit I've Published In the Past Several Months

Although I have been posting here with less and less frequency, I have been writing and publishing elsewhere. Aside from my upcoming co-authored book, Methods Devour Themselves, in the past several months I have written and published a few articles. In lieu of writing a proper post, here is what I have published since January.

1. Benjanun Sriduangkaew's Winterglass and Necropolitics

My first (and maybe only?) officially published review of a work of fiction. As regular readers are probably aware, one of my favourite contemporary SFF authors is Sriduangkaew. Indeed, she guest posted on this blog about the book I reviewed just before it was released. Winterglass is a phenomenal novella, tightly plotted and beautifully written, and my review focused on the philosophical notions it evoked. Thankfully, minor literature[s], the literary journal that published my review, promotes the kind of book reviews that a philosopher would write. I hope the review, despite at least one flaw I notice…

A Thesaurus of the Revolutionary Concept

I have long argued that we have a duty to reclaim and preserve the revolutionary concepts and terminology that have been won through class struggle. Core concepts of the science from Marx to Mao are scientific notions, key to building and operationalizing a revolutionary movement. To give up on these concepts because they have been rendered insensible to various strata of the masses due to decades of anti-communist propaganda, or to dismiss them as old-fashioned because they are out of step with academic fads, would be a mistake. Their meaning has been proven by class struggle, which makes them correct, and we cannot build a sustainable movement based on incorrect conceptions.

At the same time, and following Mao's criticisms in documents such as Oppose Stereotyped Party Writing, I am well aware that there are ways in which the terminology surrounding these concepts can be rendered sterile, their dynamic meaning locked in static formal patterns. We only need to look at the ways in …