Political Philosophy

Cupcake Fascism: Gentrification, Infantilisation and Cake

Eliza Koch

The Cupcake as Object The cup­cake is barely a cake. When we think about what “the cake-​like” ideal should be, it is some­thing spongy, moist, char­ac­ter­ized by ex­cess, col­lapsing under its own weight of gooey jam, me­ringue, and cream. It is some­thing sickly and wet that makes your fin­gers sticky. The cup­cake is none of these…

The Market as the Unique Site of Truth: On Foucault & Milk

Foucault

Whom would you ask in order to check if the milk you are drinking is fresh? This trivial ques­tion can be answered in mul­tiple ways. For ex­ample, one could ask a farmer, a bio­lo­gist, a chemist, or even a grand­parent that lives in a rural area. One could even rest upon his or her common sense, saying that prob­ably a…

Some Reflections on the #ACCELERATE MANIFESTO

Xanti Schawinsky, Shakespeare Die beiden Veroneser, Räuberballett, 1925Xanti Schawinsky Estate © Xanti Schawinsky Estate

The Manifesto for an Accelerationist Politics (MAP) opens by noting the depth of the cur­rent crisis – “cataclysm” – and a neg­a­tion of the fu­ture by “coming apo­ca­lypses”. No need for alarm how­ever: there is nothing political-​theological here what­so­ever, so those who came looking for that might as well stop reading now. Absent, too, is the usual re­frain about the…

What’s Going on in Venezuela?

venezuela-uprising-2

It’s dif­fi­cult to briefly ex­plain the situ­ation in Venezuela right now. The dif­fi­culty lies in the fact that it is com­plic­ated, like most things. No matter how various polit­ical prot­ag­on­ists, human rights groups and news media would like to paint things as simple, black and white, they are not. To un­der­stand one has to dig…

For a Theory of Destituent Power

Kelesidi_Bliss_Watercolour-on-paper_40x40-24ddadf7

A re­flec­tion on the des­tiny of demo­cracy today here in Athens is in some way dis­turbing, be­cause it ob­liges to think the end of demo­cracy in the very place where it was born. As a matter of fact, the hy­po­thesis I would like to sug­gest is that the pre­vailing gov­ern­mental paradigm in Europe today is not only…

Badiou’s Jurisprudence II: ‘We Have Become Simulacra’

Untitled

If freedom, as Deleuze claims, is to en­gage in jur­is­pru­dence, do we not en­counter a paradox in the al­li­ance between Alain Badiou and Jacques Vergès? A paradox that strikes at the heart of the co­lo­nial and jur­idical situ­ation of a col­on­ized people? If Vergès in­sti­tutes a rup­ture within jur­idical reason ren­dering the judg­ment of an Algerian National Liberation fighter…

A Generation Gaining its Voice

Yes_we_scan

I ended 2013 listening to Glen Greenwald’s key­note ad­dress at the Chaos Computer Club’s 30c3 con­fer­ence in Hamburg. Though Greenwald was con­vinced that change is pos­sible, he was cer­tain it would not arise through polit­ical de­bate or demo­cratic pro­cesses. Instead his op­timism is vested in the skills of his peers, and in en­cryp­tion tech­no­lo­gies such…

Badiou’s Jurisprudence: The Event of Law and The Law of The Event

Verges 3

In a lec­ture pub­lished in the Cardozo Law Review in 2008, Alain Badiou ar­tic­u­lates his un­der­standing of Being, Event, and Simulacrum in re­la­tion­ship to Logic and Law. With an in­cred­ible power of pre­ci­sion, Badiou re­minds his audi­ence of Aristotle’s three main pil­lars of the pro­cess of thought (Identity, non-​contradiction, and the ex­cluded middle), which he then…

Masculine Subjects: Notes on the Thought of Luce Irigaray

G-1313

Given that Irigaray’s philo­soph­ical pro­ject fo­cuses at large on re­thinking the re­la­tion­ships between women and men, within a cul­ture of sexual dif­fer­ence, as sub­jects in their own terms, it seems there­fore only lo­gical that sexual dif­fer­ence (in Irigaray’s later texts re­worked as sexuate dif­fer­ence) re­veal it­self as a fruitful frame­work for also en­ga­ging with the issue of…

Post-​Modern Absurdities: Chomsky, Post-​Structuralism and Science

No Place Like Noam

I like Noam Chomsky. I like how he can cut through the vagaries and dis­tor­tions of much main­stream thought. I like how he al­ways con­tex­tu­al­ises polit­ical events and has a deep sens­it­ivity to­wards, and know­ledge of, his­tory. I like how he made William Buckley ­— latter day cause célèbre of neo-​cons — look like a gurning im­be­cile by quietly and consistently…

Robert Webb is a Prick

Robert Webb

Last week when I was writing about Russell Brand’s art­icle in the New Statesman, I didn’t want to sub­ject it to too close a reading be­cause there are some things that are written with in­ten­tional pre­ci­sion and de­serve to be read with pre­ci­sion, and there are other things that are more dis­or­gan­ised and im­pres­sion­istic, and you can come…

The Law of the Commons: Climate Change Protest in Buckfastleigh

Buckfastleigh

On Thursday 17 October the com­munity of Buckfastleigh, South Devon, heard the fate of their town, their live­li­hoods, the pro­tec­tion of their im­me­diate en­vir­on­ment and sur­rounding eco­sys­tems, presented to them in the much awaited de­cision of a plan­ning ap­peal in­quiry that took place over the heat of the summer, 25 June – 19 July 2013.1 The plan­ning in­quiry was an…

Against Rebels

che_guevara_coffee

Rebels are not just boring, they are dan­gerous. We’ve had dec­ades of rebel-​worship now and if I see Che Guevara on one more t-​shirt I’m going to start shooting the host­ages. Che Guevara was a dick. I know this be­cause I have the Bolivian Diary in my toilet and every time I pick it up I have the urge to use…

Notes on the Thought of Walter Benjamin: Critique of Violence

violence-solves-everything

“Critique of Violence” (Zur Kritik der Gewalt)1 is no­torious for its ob­scurity, which, at least partly, is due to the im­possib­ility of trans­lating sev­eral of the key terms used by Benjamin into English. The im­me­diate en­cap­su­la­tion of the task of a cri­tique of vi­ol­ence con­veyed in the German title and the first couple of sen­tences is…

What’s “Left” of Communism? Part II of II

Schools for Chiapas

In my last art­icle I was looking at the Left’s cur­rent re­turn to com­munism and that, while the thinkers most often as­so­ci­ated with this re­turn are adamant that this is a new and more fluid com­munism than the com­munist pro­jects of the 20th cen­tury, there are three prob­lem­atic com­mon­al­ities that most of them share that pre­vent me…

What’s “Left” of Communism? Part I of II

Red Star

In his 1980 book The Inoperative Community, Jean-​Luc Nancy fam­ously claimed that com­munism is, “… no longer the un­sur­pass­able ho­rizon of our time.” Three years later Benedict Anderson, in his ground­breaking book Imagined Communities, showed us how al­li­ances based on common iden­tity are much stronger bonds that al­li­ances based on ideo­logy. All of this seemed…

Human Bodies in Material Space: Editorial of the Journal for Human Rights and the Environment

Embodiment by Eric Franklin

This edi­tion of the Journal of Human Rights and the Environment is ded­ic­ated to the greatest struggle of our era – the on­going – and in­creas­ingly ur­gent – struggle to con­front the en­trenched and growing vi­ol­ence (both epi­stemic and phys­ical) of a global order that is rap­idly en­trenching both human and en­vir­on­mental vul­ner­ab­ility. ‘Business as usual’ is still ob­dur­ately com­mitted to the…

Michael Gove: Education, Re-​moralistation and Foreign Policy

Gove-in-bin

“Disgrace, you’re a dis­grace!” jeered Michael Gove to Tory back­benchers after the British government’s de­feat over in­ter­ven­tion in Syria. Those who are aware of the Education Secretary’s thoughts on for­eign policy would have been un­sur­prised by this over-​excited re­sponse. It is widely ac­know­ledged that Gove is the cabinet’s leading neo­con­ser­vative and cham­pion of Bush era doctrines of…

On Agamben’s Politics and Theology

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Colby Dickinson and Adam Kotsko re­cently did an in­ter­view on Agamben for the Brazilian pub­lic­a­tion Unisinos, which was trans­lated into Portuguese and re­cently pub­lished. They de­cided to pub­lish the ori­ginal English tran­script for the be­nefit of non-​Portuguese speakers on An und für sich. 1. What is the pe­cu­li­arity of the link between philo­sophy and theo­logy in…