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Early Book Plug & Contest Announcement

As I've mentioned before I'm in the process of releasing my next book with Zero Books––the contract has been signed and the latest draft is with the editor––which is both unexpected and exciting. This particular book is one that I've been working on for over three years (off and on alongside other manuscripts, such as the abandoned one I've been serializing on this blog). The Communist Necessity actually came about because, while I was working on this longer manuscript, I was thinking about the need for a longer introduction about movementism, a polemical settling of accounts: hence the subtitle of TCN indicating it was a prolegomena.

So the book in question is entitled Continuity and Rupture: Philosophy in the Maoist Terrain and will hopefully be printed and available for purchase in the fall. I've even managed to obtain the endorsements of some pretty cool people, but I'll save the surprise of who read the drafts and agreed to write blurbs for the book's release. Unlike TCN, C&R will be longer (around 300 pages) and a little more rigorous but it is intentionally not overly-academic; it will be less polemic, though it will contain the Maoism or Trotskyism essay as an appendix. Like TCN, though, it will probably end up raising more questions about related things than it solves because, as usual, I was writing it alongside other manuscripts where I was dealing specifically with these questions (i.e. particularly the definition of Marxist philosophy that I am operating with is something I've been working on for even longer than C&R in a draft that keeps changing all the time, but is at least close to a first draft) but this is a good thing. C&R is particularly concerned with the meaning of Maoism. Here's the abstract I wrote for the submission to Zero:
"Beginning with the controversial premise that Maoism did not emerge as a coherent political theory until the end of the 1980s, Continuity and Rupture clarifies the meaning of the ideology expressed by contemporary Maoist organizations engaged, or recently engaged, in people's wars.  My argument, here, is that there is an important distinction to be drawn between the name and the concept of Maoism: although the name might be shared by past theoretical articulations, the conceptual meaning of Maoism now is different than what it was prior to the end of the 1980s where it was simply a semi-coherent variant of "anti-revisionist" Marxism-Leninism.  Therefore, by focusing on the notion of "continuity and rupture"––whereby a theoretical development of Marxism is both in continuity with and a rupture from a previous "stage" of revolutionary science––this book attempts to lay the groundwork for the kind of philosophical intervention that is currently lacking in Maoist circles.  In doing so, Continuity and Rupture will hopefully encourage honest and fruitful engagement with Maoist theory amongst mainstream Marxist intellectuals."
Faithful readers of this blog will of course notice my long-standing concerns, many of which I've blogged about before, but rest assured that this is not recycled blog material; it's a book I wrote from the ground up… though of course the ways in which I say things, and phrases I repeat, have necessarily found their way into the manuscript.


Okay with the description of the book out of the way––along with my first plug of many plugs––I want to announce a contest. Although I have very little say on the book's design I am allowed to submit a few pictures for consideration, for the designer to potentially use in the layout: either from Adobe Stock (that Zero pays to access I guess) or something else that has been copyright cleared. But Adobe Stock really doesn't have anything that works for the book, and internet images/photographs that are Maoish and that I would be interested in using are ones that have either been copyrighted or it's unclear whether they are or not. This copyright stuff is generally bullshit, of course, since by what right does some US company get to secure the patent of a Shining Path poster that was never copyrighted by the original designer who is most probably dead anyhow? It's not bullshit, though, in material practice when people get sued for this kind of thing.

Ideally something like this would be the cover but I have a sneaking suspicion some asshole capitalist owns the image rights.

So here's the deal: Submit your photographs and original images to [easier to manage if they don't get lost in my main email] and I will choose my favourites to submit to Zero for consideration. If your design is lucky enough to find its way unto the cover you will receive, aside from a credit in the book, a free dead tree copy of Continuity and Rupture

[Yeah, I know a $25 dollar (or whatever it's priced at) book plus shipping and handling is not equivalent to the labour you put into the image but I'm not sitting on a lot of money and I'm definitely not going to make much on a book about Maoism and philosophy. So just as I have donated hours of copy-editing to others for nothing other than a free copy of the book because I think it's important, I'm hoping someone will be kind enough to donate their labour for the same. If you don't think it's worth it, then feel free not to submit a photograph.]

Make sure when you submit the image make sure that: i) you include your name (or whatever name you wish to use) for the image credit in the book; ii) the image is your intellectual property (I am going to have to check for image plagiarism, since there are tools for this); iii) you provide a mailing address where, if you win, I will be able to send the book. The image must be 300 dpi and, if possible, 5.5 x 3.5 inches [landscape]. It must contain no text; it is not a cover design but an image the designer will consider.

Contest closes on April 20, 2016 so get cracking!


  1. I think only CPP (Shining Path) could own the image rights.

    1. You would think, but that's not how image patents work. This is one of the problems with private property: someone can take a photo of something (say a Shining Path poster) and because said poster itself is not copyrighted (for obvious anti-capitalist reasons) then the person who took the image owns the rights to its circulation. (Think of how private property functions in general.) So, for example, if you go to Shutterstock, where you have to buy the rights to use an image, you'll find they have a shit load of GPCR posters that obviously they didn't make, and the original producers probably have no say in the matter, but charge for the use… And if you use them without permission you can get sued.

      So while obviously the PCP should "own the image rights" workers should also own the means of production.

  2. The image has to be a landscape photo? Isn't it on a portrait cover though?

    1. The standard Zero Books design is such that, though with variation, the pictures function as landscape strips around bars of solid colour with the title and author name. Take, for example, the Heavy Radicals layout:

      But if you look at all the other books Zero puts out, and the variation of picture sizes, feel free to craft one that fits that aspect ratio.


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