The Red Pill: Breaking out of The Class Matrix

Rare is the book that provokes in me both frequent agreement and teeth-clenching, head-shaking, wincing frustration. But such is Vivek Chibber’s The Class Matrix. 1 Chibber is his generation’s foremost advocate of analytical Marxism, a program of articulating and defending socialist politics using the tools of contemporary social science. The journal he helms, Catalyst, has […]
Paper pasted to wall which says, "Money forgives you"

‘Everything can be made better, except man’: On Frédéric Lordon’s Communist Realism

Over the past decade or so, Frédéric Lordon has morphed from Spinozist social philosopher and canny heterodox critic of political economy with a formation in Regulation Theory to one of the most prominent intellectual voices of the radical Left on the French scene1 – a shift crystallised by his protagonism during the Nuit Debout protests […]
Diagrams of various parliaments from around the world

Estranging capitalist estrangement

Reivew of Mattin, Social Dissonance
Mattin, Social Dissonance (Falmouth: Urbanomic/Mono, 2022). 256pp., £14.99 hb., 978 1 91302 981 4 Both a reconstruction of the notion of alienation and a partisan reflection on the relationship between experimental art and a social world, Social Dissonance could be considered the first work of ‘Brassierian Marxism’. If the study of Wilfrid Sellars led Ray […]
Sign with 'Laption + LCD Repairs' in gaudy blue on pink with coils of wire below

Neil Davidson, 1957-2020

Neil Davidson – the most significant Scottish intellectual of the radical left – died at the beginning of May 2020 from a brain tumour. He was 62. Davidson was a prolific writer of historical sociology and a critical analyst of contemporary politics, particularly the Scottish scene. His learning was immense, his reading power prodigious and […]

Pandemic suspension

The Lisbon earthquake of November 1755 was the most devastating natural disaster of the eighteenth century, and probably the first disaster on such a scale in modernity. It was an event that profoundly disturbed many Enlightenment philosophers. 1 Kant wrote three scientific studies that attempted to explain it from the standpoint of natural history, and […]

Beware: Medical Police

Cops forcibly removing someone from a bus for not wearing a face mask, arresting people for failure to socially distance on a crowded subway platform, moving people on if they look like they are socialising in excessive numbers, determining who can attend a public event. This is the new reality of policing the virus. The […]

Planetary Utopias

This conversation was recorded on Sunday 24 June 2018 as part of the closing plenary of the symposium ‘Planetary Utopias: Hope, Desire and Imaginaries in a Postcolonial World’ (curated by Nikita Dhawan) in the ‘Colonial Repercussions’ event series at the Akademie der Künste, Berlin. It was transcribed by Anna Millan and has been revised for […]

Exhausting concepts

Reivew of Pascal Chabot, Global Burnout
Pascal Chabot, Global Burnout, trans. Aliza Krefetz (London: Bloomsbury, 2018). 144 pp., £96 hb., £23.99 pb., £25 eb., 978 1 50133 438 2 hb., 978 1 50133 447 4 pb., 9 781 501 33439 9 eb. Philosophers have often described society as being either physically sick or mentally ill, but the diagnoses differ. Metaphors proliferate […]

A is for apocalypse

A is for apocalypseDavid J. Blacker, The Falling Rate of Learning and the Neoliberal Endgame, Zero Books, Winchester and Washington DC, 2013. 319 pp., £15.99 pb., 978 1 78099 578 6. Amidst the recent flood of lachrymose reports on the neoliberal assault upon education, this book stands out for its unflinching survey of the extent […]

Do the monster mash

Review | RP185 David McNally, Monsters of the Market: Zombies, Vampires and Global Capitalism, Historical Materialism and Haymarket Books, Chicago, 2012. 296 pp., £20.00 pb., 978 1 60846 233 9. It is no longer necessary to begin, as it might have been ten years ago, by pointing out that we live in Gothic times, and going on to detail […]

Resisting Resilience

Commentary Resisting resilience Mark neocleous I’m 24, in a horrible relationship, feeling stuck and alone. I met my boyfriend three years ago while I was struggling to find work after graduating. He was not only charismatic, ambitious and gorgeous, but supportive, too. I became infatuated. By the time I found out about his angry rages […]

Technoreformism

Bernard Stiegler, The Decadence of Industrial Democracies, trans. Daniel Ross, Polity Press, Cambridge, 2011. 200 pp., £55.00 hb., £16.99 pb., 978 0 74564 809 5 hb., 978 0 74564 810 1 pb. Bernard Stiegler’s work addresses the relationship between philosophy, technology and culture. This combination has proved popular, and has been furthered by Stiegler’s impressive output: […]

Inside the factory, and out

Fredric Jameson, Representing ‘Capital’: A Reading of Volume One, Verso, London and New York, 2011. 158pp., £14.99 hb., 978 1 84467 454 1. John Kraniauskas Fredric Jameson’s latest book, published hot on the heels of a monograph on Hegel’s Phenomenology (The Hegel Variations, 2010) and a large collection of essays on the dialectic (Valences of […]

Occupy New York

New YorkEvaluation of a movement is never an easy task. Emphatically not so, when it is ongoing and moving in confrontation with power, going through ups and downs, gains and losses. Historically there are many examples in which the loss of one achievement or a digression led to a gain or advancement elsewhere. Development is […]

Robinson in Ruins: New materialism and the archaeological imagination

Robinson in Ruins New materialism and the archaeological imagination Paul dave Robinson in Ruins (2010) is the third of Patrick Keil er’s fictionalized documentaries featuring the investigations and struggles of his character, the ‘wandering, cracked scholar’ and political visionary, Robinson. [1] The first in the trilogy, London, was released in 1994, and the second, Robinson […]