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Upcoming Projects

Due to the onslaught of work, organizational commitments/responsibilities, spotty internet access resulting from my housing situation, and my book launches in Toronto and Montreal (which both went very well, thank-you very much), I haven't had the time or energy to post anything substantial for quite some time.  Although I briefly considered responding to Don Hamerquist's critical review of my book (which I felt was something of a straw-person critique that misrepresented aspects of The Communist Necessity but still made some good points), since I didn't respond to Gabriel Kuhn's critical review (which I felt was actually a very measured and precise review that also made some good points) I decided that it probably wasn't a good idea.  There are always going to be negative reviews regardless of what you write, because not everyone agrees with your position, and it is probably unprofessional to engage in a back-and-forth; better to fix the problems of your book that led to these critiques in your next manuscript.  Least that was what I have been told by more experienced authors, and let's be honest: I'm quite happy with any review because it means people are taking the time to read the book, even if they disagree with its argument, and more time to write up their thoughts/disagreements––some people, due to the amount of books circulating these days, don't even get a single review!

In any case, in accordance with the notion of fixing a book's problems in future manuscripts, as well as the fact that I haven't posted anything for a while, I thought it might be worth providing curious readers with a description and summary of the future non-fiction manuscripts I have been working on––some of which are close to completion, some of which require significant edits.  People have asked me about some of the draft manuscripts I've mentioned before on here––some even thought The Communist Necessity [TCN] was supposed to be one of these––as well as, after the release of TCN, asking about whether I would explain and expand on some of my assumptions in that treatise.  The critical reviews produced a similar demand.  Besides, if someone connected to the publishing world who is already aware of my first published book is looking for something else of mine to publish, then such a list will hopefully encourage them to keep me in mind if and when I submit to various other leftist publishing places.  (Although I love Kersplebedeb and would be happy if they agreed to put out everything below, I also know that some of this stuff is not really appropriate to Kersplebedeb nor would I expect them to keep publishing me––heck, who knows how that first book is doing!)  So here is the list, all of the working titles excluded so as to prevent people from stealing at least one of them that I think is pretty bloody awesome.

There's too many books out there, so why should these matter?

1)  A philosophical intervention on the terrain of Marxism-Leninism-Maoism that attempts to explain its meaning and deal with the philosophical problematics it produces.  If TCN was my prolegomena (a la Kant but without the metaphysics) then this book will be my critique (also without the metaphysics and not as rigorous, I know I'm not a Kant who spends his day living in a library and walking around the block and nothing else), which means it will hopefully address a lot of the questions TCN only raised.  My plan was to include Maoism or Trotskyism as an appendix and, at this point, the manuscript is about 300 pages, in need of serious editing.

2) A small book about the problem of economism that, in some ways, is an expansion of the section in TCN entitled "the union trap".  Examining the way in which the subjective instance of economism is connected to the objective instance, I also discuss what this means for class struggle and its links with the theory of the labour aristocracy.  One of my arguments, here, is that the phenomenon of economism is conflated with the concept of the labour aristocracy and that this conflation, although a result of the fact that the two problematics are interrelated, leads to some philosophical confusion.

3) A book about marxist philosophy––what philosophy is in general, and what it means particularly for marxists, beginning with a unique way in which to view the 11th thesis on Feuerbach.  In many ways this book, which I have been working on for some time and even before I wrote TCN, influences how I approach things in the other books: the language I use about "theoretical terrains" and "philosophical intervention", the relationship between philosophy and science, and my claim that philosophy should not be misunderstood as theory since in fact it tails theory.  Probably the closest to completion of all these manuscripts, the problem with this book is that it might be difficult to publish: on one hand it is immersed in language and categories I learned through my training in philosophy; on the other hand it also undermines the importance of these categories because of its rejection of any speculative turn in philosophy post-Marx.  That is, it claims that all new attempts to systematize and ontology are ultimately idealist and yet, in order to make this claim, has to engage with speculative language, even though it is clear that the language and categories it uses should be treated as analogies rather than metaphysical concepts.  Not sure who would publish this!

4) A small book about dialectical materialism that was formed from the edited sections of the previous book.  Not really a "marxist dialectics" for beginners, but also not some Marxist version of Hegel's Logic (we already got the drafts of that in Marx's Grundrisse and, though Marx apparently planned to write a book called Dialectics, I'm not interested in trying to suss out that project).  If this book ever sees the light of day, it would have to be published after the previous book since it is something of a "part two" of my examination of marxist philosophy: the prior book is the what of marxist philosophy; this one is (kind of) the how of marxist philosophy.

5) My doctoral dissertation that examined the philosophical problematic(s) of anti-colonial theory in the context of modern settler-colonialism (and ended up being about a lot of other vague philosophy stuff as well).  This one was proposed to Brill over a year ago, and they asked to see some sample chapters after reading the proposal, but I haven't heard back from them.  Might have to yank it from Brill and try somewhere else (trying for an academic press with this one because, you know, getting jobs and stuff) but it's not that much of a priority.  The crushing weight of having to revise a doctoral dissertation for publication will only remind me of the crushing weight of having written it according to PhD program guidelines and discipline that took up a good chunk of my recent life.

Hope this answers some of the questions and confusions about my projects.  I know more than one person thought TCN was supposed to be either project (1) or project (2) and was disappointed.  I hope that if and when the books you wanted to read are published you won't remain disappointed! Also, if you liked TCN and have access to journals, blogs, and online forums, please write a nice review.  There is a tendency for people to be more inclined to write reviews of things they don't like (a tendency I discovered in academia, one that I have also been guilty of) and being silent about the things they do like because, well, what people like doesn't often provide the kind of writing energy that ire can provide.  (Which is why I sometimes write "meta-reviews", reviewing bad reviews of books I like, because then I can provide a good review of the book with the irate energy of trashing the bad review.  Got one of those half-written, actually, and will put it up soon.) But yeah, those of you who promised to write nice reviews after telling me you liked the book please hurry up and get them out there!

Comments

  1. Just dropped by to say I'm about half-way through TCN and I've found it very interesting (convincing, even). I look forward to this other work.

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  2. You have a quite positive review here, at a Swedish m-l-m page: http://kommak.org/?p=1761

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