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The day after the insurrection

On First Revolutionary Measures
by / RP 189 (Jan/Feb 2015) / Article

It’s been seven years since the cratering of the global economy began in late 2007. While the concerted efforts of the dominant classes and their various client states have enabled, for the time being, the blowing of more bubbles on financial and other markets, a real recovery remains elusive: considerably more than half …


The Neue Marx-Lektüre

Putting the critique of political economy back into the critique of society
by and / RP 189 (Jan/Feb 2015) / Article

The project to re-examine Marx’s critique of political economy at the end of the 1960s by pupils of Horkheimer and Adorno is nowadays known as the Neue Marx-Lektüre (hereafter NML). This ‘new reading of Marx’, initiated principally by Alfred Schmidt, Hans-Georg Backhaus and Helmut Reichelt, attempted to free Marx from the petrified schemes of Marxist orthodoxy. In this …


Culture and technics (1965)

by / RP 189 (Jan/Feb 2015) / Article

The word culture entails a value judgement, and to a certain extent it relates to an axiological type of content. [*]When used with reference to human culture, its primary meaning is metaphorical, since it looks to the techniques of grain production and gardening for a paradigm of improvement and transformation, a paradigm that might …


Introduction to Simondon

by and / RP 189 (Jan/Feb 2015) / Article

Gilbert Simondon was at the height of his philosophical creativity when, at the end of the 1950s, he wrote his two doctoral theses: ‘Individuation in the Light of the Notions of Form and Information’ and the complementary ‘On the Mode of Existence of Technical Objects’. The 1965 essay ‘Culture and Technics’ represents the …


Freud against Oedipus?

by / RP 188 (Nov/Dec 2014) / Article

There is a popular story, even among scholars, that tells us that Freudian psychoanalysis was founded at the very moment that Freud wrote to Fliess (in 1897) that he no longer believed in his Neurotica: ‘Ich glaube an meine Neurotica nicht mehr.’ [1] This story reads this declaration as follows: I …


‘Use-value’

Ontology and semiotics
by / RP 188 (Nov/Dec 2014) / Article

The only objective forms of commodities are their use forms, their natural forms.

Karl Marx, Capital, Volume 1 (1867)

Does Marx’s discourse have something to say to the current problematization of the foundations of a new practice of politics? [*] Certainly not, if Marx’s dispute with political economy, which forms …


Introduction to Bolívar Echeverría

by and / RP 188 (Nov/Dec 2014) / Article

Although largely unknown to anglophone readers, Bolívar Echeverría (1941–2010) is one of the most important representatives of Latin American Marxism and critical theory to have emerged in recent decades. [1] He was born in Ecuador, but his main intellectual formation took place in Berlin during the 1960s, where he became involved …


The persistence of patriarchy

Operation Yewtree and the return to 1970s feminism
by / RP 188 (Nov/Dec 2014) / Article

On 30 May 2014 a conference was held in London to discuss the work and legacy of Kate Millett, an American feminist who rose to prominence following the publication of Sexual Politics in 1970, and her appearance on the cover of Time magazine later that year. [1] Elsewhere in London, on …


Helen Macfarlane

Independent object
by and / RP 187 (Sept/Oct 2014) / Article

Talking of the destructive nature of egoistic desire, its satisfaction that the other is nothing, Hegel made room for further development, an empirical moment which might surprise those who think German Idealism only ever allowed for abstraction: ‘In this satisfaction, however, experience makes it [the simple ‘I’] aware that the object has its own independence.’ …


The contingency of cheese

On Fredric Jameson’s The Antinomies of Realism
by / RP 187 (Sept/Oct 2014) / Article

Fredric Jameson has been a busy man over the last decade. As well as two massive tomes on science fiction and modernism, combining republished essays with extensive new material, there has been a trilogy of books on Hegel and Marx which have sought to defend dialectical thinking from its discontents both internal and external to …


‘For all that gives rise to an inscription in general’

by / RP 187 (Sept/Oct 2014) / Article

Of Grammatology, which history seems likely to confirm as Jacques Derrida’s most influential book, was published almost four decades ago.* This book marked the beginning of my pathway into philosophy and it has accompanied me throughout my investigations of science and the history of science. I shall therefore begin these remarks with quite a long …


A metaphysical turn?

Bruno Latour’s An Inquiry into Modes of Existence
by / RP 187 (Sept/Oct 2014) / Article

A book bearing the title An Inquiry into Modes of Existence, but with the subtitle An Anthropology of the Moderns,* will immediately prompt the question: is this a work of metaphysics, as suggested by the title (which was lifted from the philosopher Étienne Souriau’s 1943 work [1]), or a work of …


Rhetorics of populism

Ernesto Laclau, 1935–2014
by / RP 186 (Jul/Aug 2014) / Article, Obituary

The publication of Ernesto Laclau’s The Rhetorical Foundations of Society, only weeks after his death in April 2014, confirms his status as one of the foremost contemporary political theorists of the Left.* Since the 1980s, his influence has been extraordinary, particularly in the UK and Latin America: rethinking democratic leftist politics during and after the …


Bankocracy

Greek money and the ‘new idea’ of Europe
by and / RP 186 (Jul/Aug 2014) / Article

July Monarchy–November Democracy

On the contrary, the faction of the bourgeoisie that ruled and legislated through the Chambers had a direct interest in the indebtedness of the state. The state deficit was really the main object of its speculation and the chief source of its enrichment. At the end of each year a new …


Translatorial hexis

The politics of Pinkard’s translation of Hegel’s Phenomenology
by / RP 186 (Jul/Aug 2014) / Article

Most branches of philosophy and many other disciplines in the humanities and social sciences studied in the anglophone academy draw on texts written in languages other than English and therefore rely on the products of translation, especially translations of historical, European philosophy. However, surprisingly little philosophical attention has been paid to the role of individual …


Blanqui’s bifurcations

Dossier: Blanqui's Eternal Gap
by / RP 185 (May/Jun 2014) / Article, Blanqui's Eternal Gap, Dossier

Auguste Blanqui’s Eternity by the Stars (1872) is perhaps the only text, across the scattered fragments of his œuvre, that poses a genuine problem of interpretation. [1] How could this ultra-voluntarist revolutionary come to embrace a vision of the cosmos based on endless repetition and the eternal recycling of monotonous variation? …


The monster and the police

Dexter to Hobbes
by / RP 185 (May/Jun 2014) / Article

On 25 February 2002, Rafael Perez, a former officer of the LAPD’s Community Resources Against Street Hoodlums unit (CRASH), appeared in court accused of various crimes: covering up a bank robbery, shooting and framing an innocent citizen, stealing and selling cocaine from evidence lockers, being a member of the Los Angeles gang called the Bloods, …


The radical gap

A preface to Auguste Blanqui, Eternity by the Stars Dossier: Blanqui's Eternal Gap
by / RP 185 (May/Jun 2014) / Article, Blanqui's Eternal Gap, Dossier

I leaf through the programme and learn that the very stars themselves – which, I am firmly convinced, should be but rarely disturbed, and even then only for high reasons of meditative gravity … – the very stars are present! [1]

Mallarmé penned these ironic lines about a ballet performance …


Auguste Blanqui, heretical communist

Dossier: Blanqui's Eternal Gap
by and / RP 185 (May/Jun 2014) / Article, Blanqui's Eternal Gap, Dossier

Within the history of French socialism there is an invisible, heretical, marginalized and suppressed current. It constitutes an orientation obscured by the dominant tendencies on the left from the end of the nineteenth century until today – tendencies represented by the rival and complementary pairings of Jaurès and Guesde, Blum and Cachin, Mollet and Thorez, …


Kojève’s letter to Stalin

by / RP 184 (Mar/Apr 2014) / Article