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My First Real Book Will Be Out Soon!

Finally, after all my complaints about looking for publishers, my first book is being published by the good folks at Kersplebedeb, the press that brought us the RAF books, Sakai's Settlers (the second edition of which will be out soon), Butch Lee's Night Vision, Cope's Divided World Divided Class, Yaki-Sayles' Meditations, and many other amazing radical texts.  Although this book will be released in August, pre-orders are already being taken at the Kersplebedeb online store.

The book in question is not the manuscript (which I'm still working on) about the role of philosophy in the shadow of Marx's 11th thesis––a project that I have mentioned at various points on this blog––but a small treatise entitled The Communist Necessity that is a book length expansion of the essay of the same name that I placed on this blog nearly two years ago.  Since that essay was only 15 pages, and the book version is around 150 pages, the expansion was clearly substantial.  Moreover, since the content- and copy-edits have changed the parts of the book that came from that essay, it is probably accurate to say that the former haunts the latter.

Look at this awesome cover!
The trim size is 4.5" x 7", the same size as the semiotext(e) interventions series… which is appropriate considering that parts of The Communist Necessity critique some of the books in that series––the Invisible Committee's The Coming Insurrection, Tiqqun's books, and Berardi's The Uprising.  Design irony?  Perhaps.  But I have to say that I have always enjoyed the aesthetics of the interventions books and, despite not always agreeing with the content of these books (with the exception of The Femicide Machine), I have still enjoyed reading them.

Moreover, The Communist Necessity is part of Kersplebedeb's "Kalikot Book Series" of which Zak Cope's Divided World Divided Class was the first and of which the second edition of Robert Biel's Eurocentrism in the Communist Movement will be the third (hopefully to be released in the fall).  I am delighted that my small book will be part of this august company.  Unlike these other books, and straying from my training, The Communist Necessity is not academic in style and composition: it is strident and pointed in tone, closer to a treatise or polemic, and is a philosophical intervention rather than a piece of political economy or critical historiography.

Since this post is intended to be a shameless act of self-promotion, an attempt to get all of my readers to buy The Communist Necessity from Kersplebedeb rather than pirate it––so as to convince the publisher that they did not make a mistake––I should probably say a few words about its subject matter rather than hoping that all of my readers remember the aforelinked essay from which it was developed. (That being said, I understand that a lack of money necessitates pirating.  My hope is that those who do have the means would be honest and respectful enough to support me.  Hell, even if you hate me and have the means you have no business pirating––either don't read the bloody thing or buy it just so you can write a "fuck-you-JMP" review on some website or other.)

The Communist Necessity is primarily a philosophical intervention on the terrain of movementism.  Specifically, it is about the normative status that a "social movementist" practice enjoys at the centres of global capitalism and how, despite the resurgence of books about reclaiming "communism", this way of understanding social praxis persists, its commitments treated as a priori.  Being more of an intervention than a historiography or political economy (though it does briefly dip its toes into these zones of investigation) it is more concerned with raising questions and forcing the outline of some answers that may be uncomfortable for those who are still devoted, particularly if they code themselves as some sort of "marxist", to movementist praxis.  Those of you who have been reading my blog for the past four years will probably anticipate many of the things I say as well as being aware of the general problematic.

There will be an Ottawa launch, coinciding with the People's Social Forum, at the end of August, as well as launches in Toronto and Montreal in the Fall.  Details of these launches will be posted when further information becomes available.

Prior to the external editing process, when I was cleaning up the manuscript myself (which can never replace external editing because, as I've learned even as someone who often works as a copy-editor, you can never properly content- or copy-edit your own work), I redacted a large section that was originally intended to serve as an Author's Note.  This section was a discussion of the personal and philosophical justifications that lurked behind the book and was subtitled, "on philosophical interventions."  The reason I removed it (rightly anticipating that those doing the external editing would make the same demand) was that, once the entire manuscript was restructured, it jarred with the tone and style of the project as a whole.  Imagining myself as a reader, I realized that either my eyes would glaze over and I would close the book or that I would become annoyed by the type of voice that the rest of the manuscript intentionally avoided.  It was more of a summation of the reasons behind the book, the logic of which was better to be treated as implicit rather than made explicit by an authoritative pre-introduction.  Since there are things in that redacted section that I still consider worthwhile, however, I have chosen to turn it into a promotional addendum to the book, available for free in this post.  It's only eleven pages and describes the general vicissitudes of the project––hopefully it will convince you to buy a copy!

Anyhow, as I concluded in the aforementioned (and redacted) document:
"The entire point of [The Communist Necessity] was […] driven by the concerns of philosophy. Philosophy, in its simplest form, is not theory but a practice of drawing, to borrow from Althusser, "lines of demarcation"––a practice that "however 'wild'… produces results." My intention was to draw a line of demarcation between the name and the concept of communism so as to force these questions: simply because we use the same name, does that mean that the same concept is preserved; if the concept attached to the name has not been preserved, and has been transformed into something else, is it better (or even newer) than the previous concept(s) attached to the name; and, based on this demarcation, by what standard can we judge those manifestos that adopt the name of communism? In my "wild" thrashing about […] I hope that I have contributed something to this problematic."
Interestingly enough, part of the reasoning about the role of philosophy in this passage connects to that other manuscript about philosophy and the philosophy of marxism I've been labouring on for years, and have mentioned at various points on this blog.  Indeed, other unpublished manuscripts are also affected by that messy root manuscript.  Hopefully The Communist Necessity will be successful enough to open doors to future publications and my more troublesome and erudite manuscript about philosophy in general will see the light of day.  And you can help with that, dear reader, by pre-ordering my new book from Kersplebedeb.


  1. awwwwww yeah

  2. Right about when will it ship? I'm relocating in late August.

    1. Then you should probably wait until you're relocated to order. Best to contact the publisher with this question as well since I have no idea except that it went to the printer last week so should start shipping soon. It definitely has to be available by late August since there's a launch.

    2. Is there going to be an ebook version?


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