A guide for those that are interested in philosophy, but are having trouble knowing where to start.
The list is obviously not definitive and opinions as to how reliable some of the texts mentioned are will surely vary. That said, it is suggested that readers read the books in the order presented if they'd like to follow along and understand subsequent books/philosophers.
Note: this is a work in progress.
An essay in which the author claims that “technology is the most highly perfected Materialized Ideology”; “it was not by chance that the Stalinists supported the French nuclear power program that required, for its security and operation, a powerful and centralized power, the political form of power that they have always admired”.
An index of key quotations from the utopian and philosophical predecessors of today's primitivism, from Diogenes to Battaille, via the bagaudae, the Diggers, Bakunin and Morris, featuring passages from Henri Zisly’s Voyage to the Beautiful Country of Naturia (1900) and Pierre Quirole’s The American Anarchist City (1914), with commentary by the author, who concludes that “[t]he hunter-gatherer of the primitivists is nothing but an idealized reflection of the atomized and déclassé individual of mass society produced by late capitalism” and that only social revolution (“the highest form of potlatch”) can make “the reconciliation of man and the world” possible.
Noam Chomsky's political writings are extremely useful for any understanding of the crimes of US imperialism. But his scientific work, whose political implications Chomsky denies, have been coming under increasing criticism from the left.
Recently an academic Marxist author managed to get an interesting critique of Chomsky into The Times Literary Supplement. It raises some interesting concerns.
An abridged 2008 version of a longer work by the Spanish author, Félix Rodrigo Mora, that expresses culturally pessimistic and morally conservative views, yet from an extreme left perspective, which maintains that hedonism and the ideologically sanctified “pursuit of happiness” fostered by the liberal state have degraded human beings and deprived them of the psychological qualities necessary for effective participation in a revolutionary movement and made them “weak”, “hyper-docile”, “vulnerable”, dependent, stupid, addicted to drugs and alcohol, obese and chronically ill, and that the Epicureanism of the left has attracted a “swarm of nullities … without magnanimity or quality….”
For over fifty years, Noam Chomsky has been exposing the crimes of the United States military across the world. Less well known is the fact that throughout this time, he was working in an electronics laboratory funded primarily by that same military. This article investigates the paradox, arguing that the Pentagon’s institutional support for Chomsky’s scientific work explains the special passion driving his political stance.
The “Theses on Feuerbach” are eleven short philosophical notes written by Karl Marx in 1845. They outline a critique of the ideas of Marx’s fellow Young Hegelian philosopher Ludwig Feuerbach. The theses form a basis for the activism emphasised by Marx’s work, and this short text is perhaps best known for its ending – a Eureka for revolutionary socialism. Recorded as an audiobook by LibriVox.
Marco Cuevas-Hewitt outlines an emerging practice amongst radical writers; one entailing an attentiveness to intimations of alternative futures arising in the present. This "futurology of the present", as he calls it, represents a significant break with the hackneyed jeremiads and manifestos of earlier political generations, which limit themselves either to a simple negation of the present or to the authoritarian prescription of an idealised future. Delving into questions around the role of artists and writers in social movements and wider society, Cuevas-Hewitt's goal is a re-imagining of radical politics and a re-tooling of radical writerly practice.