capitalism

The Power to Stay: Magical Realism from SF’s Mission

This post originally appeared on my blog, Outside the Circle, with a bunch of photos; see http://cbmilstein.wordpress.com/2014/04/08/the-power-to-stay-magical-realism-from-sfs-mission/. You can also sign up there to always get my latest posts.

Ghost Stories from SF: Art Mirrors Life

This piece was originally posted on my Outside the Circle blog, at http://cbmilstein.wordpress.com/2014/04/30/ghost-stories-from-sf-art-mirrors-life/, where you can find other writings, too, and sign up to receive my latest posts.

The mad history of the world - Michel Bounan

In this book first published in France in 2006, Michel Bounan recounts the history of the world according to a developmental schema defined not by modes of production, but by modes of “collective mental disorders”, specifically “socio-neuroses” corresponding to particular stages of human history (sedentary agricultural imperial civilization/phobia, classical capitalism/obsession, and the “society of the spectacle”/hysteria), and speculates that the catastrophic collapse of industrial society will result in a “true catharsis in which all particular neuroses are dissolved” and humanity will rediscover the lost “unitary consciousness” of our primitive ancestors.

Who's afraid of ruins?

New Orleans under water - wikicommons

Capitalism is locking-in climate change for centuries, but in the process, making radical social change more realistic than tinkering around the edges.

"God didn't die, he was transformed into money" - An interview with Giorgio Agamben - Peppe Savà

A 2012 interview with the Italian philosopher, who expresses his views on the economic crisis, capitalism as a religion (Benjamin), the role of history in European cultural identity, “bio-politics”, the “state of exception”, and the fate of contemporary art (“trapped between the Scylla of the museum and the Charybdis of commodification”).

Reorientation and perspectives - beyond "class consciousness..." - Group of Council Communists of Galicia

In this 2006 programmatic statement, the Group of Council Communists of Galicia offer their assessment of the continuing validity of the principles of council communism and the world-transformative process that leads to communism by way of the simultaneous transformation of humanity, which they describe as “the first revolution in history in which the new economic conditions also presuppose the full development of the human being as the productive force of his material life”.

Parables of big brother - Robert Kurz

Robert Kurz discusses the “implicit” “subtexts” of the great dystopian literature of the 20th century and reveals the “internalized constraints” of “the anonymous, ‘reified’ character of [the] totalitarianism” of our time, in which “the Voice of Big Brother is the voice of the Anonymous World Market”, the “most totalitarian of all systems”, and “the subjective command centers are … the executive organs of an autonomized mechanism” ruled by “the irrational end-in-itself of the ‘interminable valorization of value’” whose “ideal is the self-surveillance and self-control of the individual entrepreneur ‘by way of his capitalist superego’”.

Democracy mystified: a critical review of the book, Against Democracy by Miriam Qarmat (ICG) - Roi Ferreiro

Roi Ferreiro reviews Against Democracy, and subjects its attack on “democracy as a ‘thing in itself’” (“a fantasy of Bordiguist idealism”) and “liberty, equality and fraternity”—an attack that he depicts as abstract, ahistorical, reductionist, and reactionary “sophistry”—to a withering critique, asserting that such all-or-nothing verbal radicalism (“demagogy”) encourages “political indifferentism and passivity”, and he asks the rhetorical question, “is it possible for the ‘affirmation of the collective existence of men’ to be realized in any other than a ‘democratic’ way, and more concretely, in any other form besides that of ‘proletarian, direct and revolutionary democracy’?”.

Selections from Perspectivas Antidesarrollistas – Miguel Amorós

Six short texts from a book published in 2012 (Anti-developmentalist Perspectives) largely based on talks given in 2009-2010 on the topic of the need for a transition from the economically, environmentally and spiritually unviable city-centered system of globalized capitalism to a new territorial dispersal of human society and productive activities, attaining a higher synthesis of the restoration of the liberating aspects of the city (freedom, public space) and the traditional virtues of the “territory” (local production, self-sufficiency) that can only be brought about by an anti-capitalist revolution.

Primitivism in technological society - Miquel Amorós

In these notes for a 2006 talk, Miquel Amorós depicts primitivism as an example of “false consciousness and ideological deviation” whose initial “kernel of truth” in the 1990s (its fervent opposition to development) was annulled in the next decade when the movement “rejected the idea of revolution” and “fell into a paralyzing fatalism” that keeps the primitivist, who identifies “the humanization of the world with … the domestication and artificialization of man”, “in a state of waiting, hedonistically expecting that a catastrophe will resettle a disillusioned humanity in the aboriginal jungle and put rational thought back on the road of instinct, magic and voodoo”.