All power to the soviets: Marx meets Hobbes

Dossier: On the 1917 commemorations

‘[M]en have no pleasure, but on the contrary a great deal of grief, in keeping company, where there is no power to over-awe them all.’ Thomas Hobbes, Leviathan 1 The way we think about revolution is deeply involved with the great traditions of political theory, and conversely, our understanding of these traditions is strongly influenced […]

Marx in Algiers

The following text is the last chapter of a book on Marx that will be published later this year in English under the title In the Marxian Workshops: Producing Subjects. Articulated in ten short chapters, the book combines a close reading of some of Marx’s texts with a concern for the ways in which his […]

Must do better

Reivew of William MacAskill, Doing Good Better ; Peter Singer, The Most Good You Can Do
William MacAskill, Doing Good Better: Effective Altruism and a Radical New Way to Make a Difference (London: Faber and Faber, 2015). 336pp., £8.99 pb., 978 1 78335 051 3 Peter Singer, The Most Good You Can Do: How Effective Altruism Is Changing Ideas About Living Ethically (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2015). 272pp., £14.99 hb., […]

Proletarianisation isn’t working

Reivew of Bernard Stiegler, Automatic Society
Bernard Stiegler, Automatic Society: The Future of Work, Volume 1, trans, Daniel Ross (Cambridge: Polity, 2016). 341pp., £55.00 hb., £17.99 pb., 978 1 50950 630 9 hb., 978 1 50950 631 6 pb. Despairing over the conditions of living and working in Foxconn’s ‘factory city’ in China, a total of 14 workers leapt to their […]

Crimes of solidarity: Migration and containment through rescue

‘Solidarity is not a crime.’ This is a slogan that has circulated widely across Europe in response to legal prosecutions and municipal decrees, which, especially in Italy and France, have been intended to act against citizens who provide logistical and humanitarian support to transiting migrants. Such criminalisation of individual acts of solidarity and coordinated platforms […]

Revolutionary commemoration

Dossier: On the 1917 commemorations

No more anniversaries! Vsevolod Meyerhold 1 Fire and ice On 18th March 1921 the fiftieth anniversary of the foundation of the Paris Commune was marked in the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic (RSFSR). Newspapers were emblazoned with headlines decrying the brutal suppression of the heroic Communards by bourgeois reactionary forces just seventy-two days after its […]

Gender without identities

Reivew of Judith Roof, What Gender Is, What Gender Does
Judith Roof, What Gender Is, What Gender Does (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2016). 280 pp., £78.00 hb., £21.99 pb., 978 0 81669 857 8 hb., 978 0 81669 858 5 pb. In queer theorist Annamarie Jagose’s book, Orgasmology (2012), she argues that orgasm has been an overlooked aspect of queer critique. Part of a […]

Smart writing

Reivew of Sarah Kember, iMedia: The Gendering of Objects, Environments and Smart Materials
Sarah Kember, iMedia: The Gendering of Objects, Environments and Smart Materials (London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2016). vi+122pp., £45.00 hb., 978 1 13737 484 4 Sarah Kember’s new book positions itself in a field of theory dominated by an often masculinist discourse that privileges conceptualisations of its research objects as things or environments in-themselves, instead of as […]

Postmodernity, not yet: Toward a new periodisation

To take an attitude of partisanship towards key struggles of the past does not mean either choosing sides, or seeking to harmonise irreconcilable differences. In such extinct yet still virulent intellectual conflicts, the fundamental contradiction is between history itself and the conceptual apparatus which, seeking to grasp its realities, only succeeds in reproducing their discord […]

Unlikely hegemons

Reivew of Angela Nagle, Kill All Normies
Angela Nagle, Kill All Normies: Online Culture Wars From 4Chan and Tumblr to Trump and the Alt-Right (Alresford: Zero Books, 2017). 136pp., £9.99 pb., 978 1 78535 543 1 Kill All Normies sets out to provide an anatomy of the internet spaces in which contemporary ‘culture wars’ are being fought out, and an account of […]

Paper trails

Reivew of Kate Eichhorn, Adjusted Margin
Kate Eichhorn, Adjusted Margin: Xerography, Art and Activism in the Late Twentieth Century (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2016). 216pp., £21.95 hb., 978 0 26203 396 1 The punning title of Kate Eichhorn’s book refers to the ‘somewhat audacious argument’ at its core: that the xerographic (or dry photocopying) machine played an overlooked but decisive role […]

French philosophy today

Reivew of Christopher Watkin, French Philosophy Today
Christopher Watkin, French Philosophy Today: New Figures of the Human in Badiou, Meillassoux, Malabou, Serres and Latour (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2016). 272pp., £24.99 pb., 978 1 47441 473 9 Following an earlier study of ‘post-theological thinking’ in the work of Alain Badiou, Quentin Meillassoux and Jean-Luc Nancy (2011), Christopher Watkin’s new book on several […]

Move it

Reivew of Bojana Cvejić, Choreographing Problems
Bojana Cvejić, Choreographing Problems: Expressive Concepts in European Contemporary Dance and Performance (Houndmills: Palgrave Macmillan, 2015). 280pp., £58.00 hb., £22.50 pb., 978 1 13743 738 9 hb., 978 1 34955 610 6 pb. A generation of recent artists have shared the conviction that choreography and dance think. Bojana Cvejić’s book seeks both to theorise and […]

Blinded by surveillance

Reivew of Simone Browne, Dark Matters
Simone Browne, Dark Matters: On the Surveillance of Blackness (Durham, NC and London: Duke University Press, 2015). ix+213pp., £70.00 hb., £19.99 pb., 978 0 82235 919 7 hb., 978 0 82235 938 8 pb. Surveillance is not blind. Massive, generalised and indiscriminate surveillance might nowadays be pervasive, but the blanket nature of some surveillance practices […]

Remain in light

Reivew of Finn Brunton and Helen Nissenbaum, Obfuscation: A User’s Guide
Finn Brunton and Helen Nissenbaum, Obfuscation: A User’s Guide for Privacy and Protest (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2015). 136pp., £16.95 hb., 978 0 26202 973 5 Since the beginnings of Enlightenment era struggles against absolutism, one of the most prominent concerns of progressive politics has been to tear away the veils concealing the operation of […]


Critical projects that seek to sustain themselves over a long stretch of time have to change if they are to avoid becoming part of an establishment. And if they are prepared to change, they have to change more than once. Radical Philosophy emerged out of the long 1960s, framed politically by the student movement and […]

Order in disorder: Revolution against the state becomes but a page in its history

Dossier: On the 1917 commemorations

It would seem that the centenary of the Russian Revolution could not have come at a more inopportune moment for Russia. The colossal scale and universalist ambitions of that event are at odds with the apathetic state of Russian society today. Indeed, efforts to dispense with this inconvenient ghost appear to provide the sole point […]


Reivew of Rosie Warren, ed., The Debate on Postcolonial Theory and the Specter of Capital
Rosie Warren, ed., The Debate on Postcolonial Theory and the Specter of Capital (London and New York: Verso, 2016). 304pp., £60.00 hb., £19.99 pb., 978 1 78478 696 0 hb., 978 1 78478 695 3 pb. ‘To leave error unrefuted is to encourage intellectual immorality.’ Attributed to Karl Marx, this dictum prefaced E.P. Thompson’s infamous […]