CRITICAL LEGAL THINKING

LAW AND THE POLITICAL

CRITICAL LEGAL THINKING

LAW AND THE POLITICAL

The uses of Marxist theory of law during a genocide

The uses of Marxist theory of law during a genocide

This was originally a talk, prepared for the Pashukanis @100 conference, with an afterword post-ICJ interim order of 26 January 2024.  In some ways it is ironic and in other ways entirely appropriate that the Pashukanis @100 event falls on the very days that South Africa is challenging Israel in the International Court of Justice on Israel’s ongoing genocide in Gaza. In fact, this legal challenge might be a key test for Pashukanite theory! One of the main contributions of Pashukanis to legal scholarship is to raise the question, the possibility, and indeed the argument for (or even the inevitability of), the abolition of law, and legal systems, with capitalism and the state form, in or after the revolution whatever form that may take, for us to restart organising our communities and societies along entirely different, non-hierarchical lines, with what our anarchist friends might call consensus decision making and transformative justice. Pashukanis, in other words,...

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ARTICLES

What Taylor Swift Taught me about Fascism

What Taylor Swift Taught me about Fascism

Reposted from Unemployed Negativity: Years ago I remember encountering Félix Guattari's little essay, "Everybody Wants to be a Fascist." At the time its title seemed more clever than prescient. (Although it is worth remembering how much fascism, and the...

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Women’s Body Under Secondary Colonialism 

Women’s Body Under Secondary Colonialism 

This is Behnaz Amani, one of the political prisoners of Iran’s recent revolt, “Woman, Life, Freedom”. I’ve been in Gharchak prison for 46 days and have seen things which make me wonder and ponder upon the concept of the female body and capitalism and how the state can...

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Uprisings in Iran and their historical origins

Uprisings in Iran and their historical origins

The world media is once again full of images, stories, discussions, and trending hashtags about ongoing mass protests in Iran. Those who are familiar with Iran’s social-historical context know that this country is the land of popular uprisings, political struggles,...

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The Disaster of the Century

The Disaster of the Century

In Lieu of a Beginning… On February 5, 2023, we experienced two earthquakes in Turkey that were massive and their consequences extremely severe. The government officials called it “the disaster of the century”. The earthquake we experienced was itself destructive but...

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We do this for each other

We do this for each other

It’s a tip, a trickle. I’ve read international law and international relations in three institutions and three countries. In each, I’ve twisted and turned, tripped and fallen willingly into rabbit holes and inexplicable complexities. People wrapped in clothes that...

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OVER A DECADE OF ARCHIVES

On Colonial Universality and other Legal Prerogatives: Reflections on Peter Fitzpatrick’s The Mythology of Modern Law

Following the death of Peter Fitzpatrick this month, we are reposting this series on The Mythology of Modern Law (first published on CLT on 3 August 2018) to mark the 25th anniversary of the book.2017 marked the 25th anniversary of Peter Fitzpatrick’s The Mythology of...

Against Agamben: Is a Democratic Biopolitics Possible?

Giorgio Agamben’s recent intervention which characterizes the measures implemented in response to the Covid-19 pandemic as an exercise in the biopolitics of the ‘state of exception’ has sparked an important debate on how to think of biopolitics. The very...

Law, Reading, and Power: The ‘S’ Joke, Why You Find it Funny and Why I Don’t (with Reply)

A guy walks into a bakery known for making fancy cakes. He says, “I’d like to have a cake shaped like the letter S.” The baker says he can do it, but the cake will be expensive. The man confirms that price is no object. The baker tells him to come back after three...

Law is a Fugue

BWV 895 Law is, metaphorically speaking, a fugue.Desmond Manderson has previously deployed the fugue metaphor to describe the mode with which he would present the aesthetic dimensions of law and justice. Here I am intensifying the metaphor in direct relation to...

Jacques Derrida: Deconstruction

Key Concept Img: Annie Vought | annievought.com Deconstruction by its very nature defies institutionalization in an authoritative definition. The concept was first outlined by Derrida in Of Grammatology where he explored the interplay between language and the...

Cupcake Fascism: Gentrification, Infantilisation and Cake

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...

White Feminist Fatigue Syndrome

In her recent piece in Comment is Free, "How feminism became capitalism's handmaiden - and how to reclaim it” Nancy Fraser draws on her own work in political theory to argue that feminism at best has been co-opted by neoliberalism and at worst has been a...

Decolonizing the Teaching of Human Rights?

According to the new Bolivian constitution, education is "one of the most important functions and primary financial responsibilities of the State”; it is “unitary, public, universal, democratic, participatory, communitarian, decolonizing and of quality” (art. 78, I);...

#ACCELERATE MANIFESTO for an Accelerationist Politics

01. INTRODUCTION: On the Conjuncture 1. At the beginning of the second decade of the Twenty-First Century, global civilization faces a new breed of cataclysm. These coming apocalypses ridicule the norms and organisational structures of the politics which were forged...

Coughing out the Law: Perversity and Sociality around an Eating Table

It was lunchtime at Sydney’s David Jones, Australia’s up-market department store chain. So I headed down to the ‘food floor’. Whenever I have to shop at DJs I try to make sure I go there around midday, precisely so I can go down to the food floor and order the...

Palestinian Resistance: The Political, Social and Human Right of Self-Defense

Once again the bombs are falling on the Gaza Strip, a stretch of territory excised from Palestine proper as a result of continuing illegal and illegitimate actions by Israel. In fact, Gaza has become a closed ghetto, first cut off from Palestine in violation of the...

Punk, Law, Resistance … “I have set my affair on nothing”

1. I, Punk In 1977 I was sixteen. Everything I have to say about punk is coloured by that fact, because sixteen was precisely the right age to be if punk was going to have a decisive impact on you. Because punk was not about your social class, gender or race, it was...

Anonymous & the Discourse of Human Rights

In the last months, we have seen the emergence of ‘Anonymous’. In particular, in the days after the widespread attack on Wikileaks (following their publication of leaked US diplomatic memos) they emerged with a fairly credible threat to take down major global internet...

Power, Violence, Law

Over the last two hundred years, the theory of right, now known as normative jurisprudence, has discovered its vocation in a frantic attempt to legitimise the exercise of power. It carries out this task by declaring that law and power are external to each other...