An American Utopia: Dual Power and the Universal Army


Fredric Jameson - 2016
    Advocated here are—among other things—universal conscription, the full acknowledgment of envy and resentment as a fundamental challenge to any communist society, and the acceptance that the division between work and leisure cannot be overcome. To create a new world, we must first change the way we envision the world. Jameson’s text is ideally placed to trigger a debate on the alternatives to global capitalism. In addition to Jameson’s essay, the volume includes responses from philosophers and political and cultural analysts, as well as an epilogue from Jameson himself.Many will be appalled at what they will encounter in these pages—there will be blood! But perhaps one has to spill such (ideological) blood to give the Left a chance.

Against His-Story, Against Leviathan!


Fredy Perlman - 1983
    It is a personal critical perspective on contemporary civilization and society. The work defined anarcho-primitivism for the first time, and was a major source of inspiration for anti-civilization perspectives in contemporary anarchism, most notably on the thought of philosopher John Zerzan. In 2006 the book was translated into French under the title Contre le Léviathan, contre sa légende and into Turkish as Er-Tarih’e Karşı, Leviathan’a Karşı.

Peace, Power, Righteousness: An Indigenous Manifesto


Taiaiake Alfred - 1999
    It argues that indigenous peoples must return to their political traditions and use these traditions to educate a new generation of leaders committed to values and the preservation of indigenous nationhood.

Riot. Strike. Riot.: The New Era of Uprisings


Joshua Clover - 2016
    Tottenham. Clichy-Sous-Bois. Oakland. Within capital’s core, the riot looms increasingly large within the repertoire of struggles. Rather than inchoate spasms or immiserated absence of the revolutionary idea, this book locates the riot within longue durée of capitalist transformation: facts not failures. Just as the turn to the strike two centuries ago signaled recompositions of class and society, the return of the riot testifies to current possibilities of anticapitalist struggle, featuring radicalized struggle beyond the labor market. Following the post-1600 course “riot-strike-riot,” the book departs from lapsed models of party and revolution, showing how shifting global strategies to restore profitability since the 1970s must inevitably open onto “circulation struggles” which pass through riot, and whose horizon is the commune.

Community: Seeking Safety in an Insecure World


Zygmunt Bauman - 2000
    And 'community' feels good because of the meanings which the word conveys, all of them promising pleasures, and more often than not the kind of pleasures which we would like to experience but seem to miss. 'Community' conveys the image of a warm and comfortable place, like a fireplace at which we warm our hands on a frosty day. Out there, in the street, all sorts of dangers lie in ambush; in here, in the community, we can relax and feel safe. 'Community' stands for the kind of world which we long to inhabit but which is not, regrettably, available to us. Today 'community' is another name for paradise lost - but for a paradise which we still hope to find, as we feverishly search for the roads that may lead us there. But there is a price to be paid for the privilege of being in a community. Community promises security but seems to deprive us of freedom, of the right to be ourselves. Security and freedom are two equally precious and coveted values which could be balanced to some degree, but hardly ever fully reconciled. The tension between security and freedom, and between community and individuality, is unlikely ever to be resolved. We cannot escape the dilemma but we can take stock of the opportunities and the dangers, and at least try to avoid repeating past errors. In this important new book, Zygmunt Bauman takes stock of these opportunities and dangers and, in his distinctive and brilliant fashion, offers a much-needed reappraisal of a concept that has become central to current debates about the nature and future of our societies.

Agonistics: Thinking the World Politically


Chantal Mouffe - 2013
    How then should we deal with the intractable differences arising from complex modern culture?Developing her groundbreaking political philosophy of agonistics – the search for a radical and plural democracy – Chantal Mouffe examines international relations, strategies for radical politics, the future of Europe and the politics of artistic practices. She shows that in many circumstances where no alternatives seem possible, agonistics offers a new road map for change. Engaging with cosmopolitanism, post-operaism, and theories of multiple modernities she argues in favour of a multipolar world with real cultural and political pluralism.From the Trade Paperback edition.

The Political Philosophy of Poststructuralist Anarchism


Todd May - 1994
    What poststructuralists like Michel Foucault, Gilles Deleuze, and Jean-Fran�ois Lyotard offer instead is a political philosophy that can be called tactical: it emphasizes that power emerges from many different sources and operates along many different registers. This approach has roots in traditional anarchist thought, which sees the social and political field as a network of intertwined practices with overlapping political effects. The poststructuralist approach, however, eschews two questionable assumptions of anarchism, that human beings have an (essentially benign) essence and that power is always repressive, never productive.After positioning poststructuralist political thought against the background of Marxism and the traditional anarchism of Bakunin, Kropotkin, and Proudhon, Todd May shows what a tactical political philosophy like anarchism looks like shorn of its humanist commitments--namely, a poststructuralist anarchism. The book concludes with a defense, contra Habermas and Critical Theory, of poststructuralist political thought as having a metaethical structure allowing for positive ethical commitments.

Mistaken Identity: Race and Class in the Age of Trump


Asad Haider - 2018
    The recent experience of the Democratic primaries and the re-emergence of social movements from Occupy to Black Lives Matter has generated a new context for identity politics to become an active force, and new ground to relitigate the frustrating debates between the partisans of "race" and "class" ad infinitum. In Mistaken Identity, Asad Haider reaches for a different approach - one rooted in the rich legacies of the black freedom struggle. Drawing from the words and deeds of black revolutionary theorists, he argues that identity politics is not synonymous with anti-racism, but instead amounts to the neutralization of its movements, a retreat from the crucial passage from identity to solidarity, and from individual recognition to collective struggle against an oppressive social structure. Mistaken Identity is an urgent call for alternative visions, languages, and practices against the white identity politics of right-wing populism. Responding with a contrary, pluralist identity politics has proven successful. The idea of universal emancipation now seems old-fashioned and outmoded. But if we are attentive to the lines of struggle which lie outside the boundaries of the state, we will see that it has been placed on the agenda once again.

Understanding Socialism


Richard D. Wolff - 2019
    "Richard Wolff's book is the best accessible and reliable treatment we have of what socialism is, was, and should be.” - Cornel West“In the same accessible style that has made his programs and lectures such a hit, he explains his subject in a way that's not only smart, but makes the rest of us feel smart. It's actionable intelligence for the every person.” - Laura Flanders“Lucid, brilliant and uncompromising in his dissection of the capitalist system he also provides a sane and just socialist alternative to capitalist exploitation, one we must all fight to achieve.” - Chris Hedges

What's God Got to Do with it? Robert Ingersoll on Free Thought, Honest Talk & the Separation of Church & State


Robert G. Ingersoll - 2005
    An outspoken and unapologetic agnostic, fervent champion of the separation of church and state, and tireless.

The Abuse of Beauty: Aesthetics and the Concept of Art


Arthur C. Danto - 2003
    Beauty then came to be regarded as a serious aesthetic crime, whereas a hundred years ago it was almost unanimously considered the supreme purpose of art. Beauty is not, and should not be, the be-all and end-all of art, but it has an important place, and is not something to be avoided.Danto draws eruditely upon the thoughts of artists and critics such as Rimbaud, Fry, Matisse, the Dadaists, Duchamp, and Greenberg, as well as on that of philosophers like Hume, Kant, and Hegel. Danto agrees with the dethroning of beauty as the essence of art, and maintains with telling examples that most art is not, in fact, beautiful. He argues, however, for the partial rehabilitation of beauty and the removal of any critical taboo against beauty. Beauty is one among the many modes through which thoughts are presented to human sensibility in art: disgust, horror, sublimity, and sexuality being among other such modes.

Notes from Underground


Roger Scruton - 2014
    Roger Scruton evokes a world in which every word and gesture bears a double meaning, as people seek to find truth amid the lies and love in the midst of betrayal. The novel tells the story of Jan Reichl, condemned to a menial life by his father's alleged crime, and of Betka, the girl who offers him education, opportunity and love, but who mysteriously refuses to commit herself.

People without Government: An Anthropology of Anarchy


Harold Barclay - 1996
    In fact it is a very common form of political organisation and one which has characterised much of the human past. People Without Government describes briefly the anarchic political structures of a number of these societies. True they are mainly small-scale hunting, gathering and horticultural groups. However, the social organisation of certain large populations with complex relations is also sometimes anarchic. Thus anarchy applies to a broad spectrum of different kinds of societies. This book seeks to show what anarchy has been like in practice. Special attention is paid to the techniques of leadership, maintaining order and decision-making. The dynamic interplay between freedom and authority is considered, particularly the apparent tendency of anarchic polities to degenerate into states with government and for organisations to become oligarchies, and it is concluded that liberty and individuality are at best very tenuous and fleeting entities. There can be no relenting in the struggle for freedom.

Custom Reality and You


Peter Coffin - 2018
    The effects have manifested in our news, entertainment, and Google searches, we’re finding that a lot of things we thought were objective aren’t automatically so.Reality is not a concept we want to flush down the toilet with yesterday's food, though. However, we must begin to understand how it works in a world where profit is the driving force.

Rogues: Two Essays on Reason


Jacques Derrida - 2003
    The term "État voyou" is the French equivalent of "rogue state," and it is this outlaw designation of certain countries by the leading global powers that Derrida rigorously and exhaustively examines.Derrida examines the history of the concept of sovereignty, engaging with the work of Bodin, Hobbes, Rousseau, Schmitt, and others. Against this background, he delineates his understanding of "democracy to come," which he distinguishes clearly from any kind of regulating ideal or teleological horizon. The idea that democracy will always remain in the future is not a temporal notion. Rather, the phrase would name the coming of the unforeseeable other, the structure of an event beyond calculation and program. Derrida thus aligns this understanding of democracy with the logic he has worked out elsewhere. But it is not just political philosophy that is brought under deconstructive scrutiny here: Derrida provides unflinching and hard-hitting assessments of current political realities, and these essays are highly engaged with events of the post-9/11 world.