Finding Our Compass: Reflections on a World in Crisis

An 'experimental' book that touches on a wide range of topics while maintaining a grounding in left-wing philosophies.

Submitted by Marx-lover on December 4, 2019

"There's a time when the operation of the Machine becomes so odious, makes you so sick at heart, that you can't take part, you can't even passively take part." So said Mario Savio in 1964; so say millions of the disenfranchised now. As the apparatus of elite institutions grinds on, pushing society to the brink, protesters across the world are putting their bodies upon its gears and its wheels, to open up space for freedom and creativity unconstrained by institutional strictures. It's time we all followed their lead.

In a series of freewheeling reflections and summaries of historical scholarship, this book reinterprets history and culture along anarchist lines. From a rationalistic and Marxian point of view it illuminates capitalism, economics, U.S. history, popular culture, gender relations, and human psychology, even the nature of the fascinating concepts "genius" and "greatness." Its agenda is that of the seventeenth-century Levellers: deflate the pomposities of elite authority, and bring the world down to the level of democratic reason. In the process, one hopes, we will find our way out of the crisis of the present and into a more just civilization in the future.




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Submitted by Marx-lover on January 5, 2020

NOTE: This is an unusual, not wholly unexceptionable book, which now embarrasses me in some respects. It's possible it takes its iconoclasm a little too far at times. In particular, its skepticism of postmodern "identity politics," such as radical empiricist ideologies of gender, may be too extreme. But readers can judge for themselves.