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Showing posts from September, 2014

Short Reflection on Teaching Feuerbach

For the fall semester I am teaching a 4th year seminar on 19th century continental philosophy.  The focus I chose for this seminar is Ludwig Feuerbach, a philosopher whose influence in the 19th century was immense but who ended up being overshadowed by his two most famous students, Marx and Engels, and remembered only according to this shadow.  Despite his marginalization, we can still find traces of Feuerbach's influence in later philosophers such as Nietzsche, Heidegger, and Merleau-Ponty. The first time I encountered Feuerbach outside of references made by Marx and Engels was during a PhD level course where we were reading a manuscript by Robert Brandom on Hegel's Phenomenology .  There was something about Brandom's reading of Hegel that, though coming from the analytic tradition, reminded me of critiques Marx and Engels had made about Feuerbach's philosophy.  Thus, for my paper in that class, I read some Feuerbach so as to make the comparison directly.  I always w

Reflections on the New Edition of Sakai's "Settlers"

I recently got ahold of the new edition of J. Sakai's Settlers , repackaged and given a new typesetting by Kersplebedeb and PM Press.  For those unaware of the importance of this book, I refer interested readers to my "meta-review" of the earlier edition of the book where I engage with what I took to be dishonest and unfair criticisms of Sakai's position.  Generally speaking, Settlers  is a significant radical text, possessing subterranean seminal status, for a variety of reasons, the most important of which is its creative use of the concept of the labour aristocracy in order to explain the particular contradictions that emerge in a capitalist mode of production that emerged through the process of settler-colonialism.  Although some readers have taken issue with Sakai's historiography (one important Marxist online group complained that it was "cherry-picking" but without, for all that, really providing a sustained criticism to demonstrate how this was

From 9/11 to 9/12: Memories of the Origin of the "War on Terror"

Today, after reading Kersplebedeb's repost of Emmanuel Ortiz's seminal poem A Moment of Silence  and Zak Brown's reflections on his childhood experience of September 11th 2001, I also found myself reflecting on this event. (More accurately a date that became an event because it was forced into significance by US imperialism––in some ways the only event , as Ortiz pointed out, that is allowed to count as a contemporary event according to imperialist discourse.)  Due to this date's significance in initiating the so-called "War in Terror" I cannot help but reflect on it from time to time, particularly whenever I am faced with the fact that the majority of my students were children when it happened and that t his is often their cultural reference point .  Brown's article was salient in this regard; he reflects on a childhood dominated by this event and the ideology to which he was subjected in the following years. The fact that the event of "9-11"

Review of "Turning Money Into Rebellion"

Kersplebedeb and PM Press recently released Turning Money Into Rebellion , edited by Gabriel Kuhn, a book that tells the story of the so-called "Blekingegade Group", an assemblage of "undercover revolutionaries" within a broader Marxist organization.  From the 1960s to the 1980s this group robbed the Danish state so as to send funds to third world revolutionary organizations.  They did so because of their theory about the non-revolutionary status of the first world working-class, a theoretical position that prefigures what is often called "Third Worldism", and so their experience is significant insofar as it details the ways in which this view of revolution and class composition can be implemented in practice. My f ull review of the book is at Marx & Philosophy Review of Books  and I urge interested readers to check it out and, if the review sounds interesting, read Turning Money Into Rebellion .  I didn't have the space to mention it in the r