postmodernism

An Ode to Chomsky

A 'personal essay' on dichotomies like decadence vs. health, particularity vs. universality, subjectivity vs. objectivity, and misanthropy vs. 'philanthropy,' which uses Noam Chomsky as a symbol of the 'positive' side of these dichotomies and a device to help us avoid the negative. It's important to reject misanthropy and (generally speaking) decadence. Along the way are thoughts on intellectuals, postmodernism, empiricism, left-wing intolerance, etc.

The significance and shortcomings of Karl Marx

Karl Marx

In honor of the bicentennial of Marx's birth, this essay summarizes some of his contributions and explain in what respects he got his own ideas wrong.

Vanishing points in working class culture – Miguel Amorós

Notes for a 2015 presentation of a book about the “Incontrolados” and The Friends of Durruti, discussing the “cultural genocide of the proletariat” inflicted by capitalist development and its “eternal present”, the suppression of historical memory, the rise of consumer society and mass culture, and the need for a “non-doctrinaire re-appropriation of the past” in order to build a new culture of resistance.

The period of decline – Miguel Amorós

Notes for a presentation delivered in September 2017 at the Gijon Anarchist Book Fair on the social, psychological and moral aspects of the modern crisis of capitalism, and the proliferation of nihilism, mental illness and generalized irrationality, based on the works of Jaime Semprun, particularly his book, L'abîme se repeuple [The Abyss Repopulates Itself], first published in 1997.

At the cutting edge of the French Disease – Miguel Amorós

A scathing critique of postmodernist philosophy (the “French disease”), discussing its academic origins after the defeat of the working class in the post-1968 period, its nefarious role as a policeman of culture and theory for capitalism (“a philosophy of legitimation”), its ideological mirror image of “the nihilism of the market economy”, its promotion of identity politics as a corollary of its obscurantist obsession with “difference”, its disastrous influence on the anarchist milieu, and its inevitable downfall because “the will to liberation in common is stronger than the narcissistic desire for individual success” and “ten minutes of pathetic virtual fame”.

All That Is Solid Melts Into Air: The Experience of Modernity - Marshall Berman

Widely acclaimed as one of the greatest books on modernity. A kaleidoscopic journey into the experience of modernization, it captures the dizzying social changes that swept up and transformed the lives of millions of people. Berman delves into the aesthetic and intellectual controversies of art, literature, and architecture: from the writing of Goethe, Marx and Dostoevsky to the Paris of Baudelaire and Haussmann, the Petersburg of the Tsarist builders and Pushkin, and the New York of devastated wastelands and creative artists.

Gender Nihilism: An Anti-Manifesto - Alyson Escalante

Gender Nihilism: An Anti-Manifesto by Alyson Escalante

Alyson Escalante's critiques of the trans community's reliance on gender essentialism and a proposal for a radical negation as the solution to gendered alienation and oppression. To be included in the upcoming anthology Fuck Your Gender Neutral Prison! A Nihilist Insurrection Against Gender.

Note that this version has been augmented with an excerpt from an addendum by the author which addresses some limitations of the original.

The postmodern left and the success of neoliberalism

The international Left promotes its own image rather than engaging in the bitter reality of resistance against neoliberalism. It does not need to believe in postmodernism because it is postmodernism.

The Rise and Fall of Weak Thought – Miguel Amorós

An essay on philosophy since 1848, its decline after WWI, attempts to salvage its valuable contributions and further its development from the 1920s (Korsch) to the 1960s (Debord), and the rise of postmodernism in the late 20th century from the ruins of the revolt of the 1960s, when academic celebrities influenced by Nietzsche and Heidegger popularized contempt for truth and reason and de facto submission to Power as part of a fashionable doctrine based on “narcissism, existential void, frivolity, consumerism” and “pseudo-identities” whose purpose, according to the author, was not just to destroy the idea of the revolution but also to disintegrate the revolutionary subject.

Vanishing points in working class culture – Miguel Amorós

A brief discussion of the origins, decline, and fall of modern working class culture as a culture of resistance to capitalism, a process that led to our current condition of “perpetual present” “without time or memory”, concluding with some reflections on the possible reemergence of “communities of struggle” that will rediscover history, as the system can only “overcome its contradictions … by plunging into even greater ones”, thus unleashing new conflicts in a society that has become increasingly more unpredictable due to the proliferation of unhinged, “desperate identities” in search of a remedy for their “feeling of uprootedness”.