Yes, Aspirational Fascism Is Still Fascism

When Trump was elected, certain “radical” commentators tried to distinguish themselves from supposedly credulous academics and journalists by insisting, against all evidence, that he was in no way unusual, and far from a budding authoritarian. They soon fell silent, as the Trump administration indulged in an endless series of power grabs, both effective and futile. […]

Truth & Trump, redux

The most astute analysis of the fate of facts under Trump(ism) is offered by Masha Gessen. Simply put, his blatant lies and “alternative facts” are assertions of power over truth itself. This fits neatly into the broader GOP strategy of casting doubt on validity claims by associating them with the interests and motives of political […]

Justice, Efficiency and Neoliberalism

Wendy Brown explains that she regards neoliberalism as a governing rationality through which everything is “economized” and in a very specific way: human beings become market actors and nothing but, every field of activity is seen as a market, and every entity (whether public or private, whether person, business, or state) is governed as a firm. […]

Against Democratization

It’s become common to complain that social media have created “bubbles” and aided political polarization. It has also become common to object that the Internet has fallen short of serving as a public sphere, largely because of the ways commercial interests have shaped it. In this context, various technologies—from apps and online petitions to organizational […]

You Say You Want a Revolution?

Since the latest UN climate report, some friends and acquaintances have been saying (repeating, actually) that https://www.facebook.com/plugins/post.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Fjodi.dean3%2Fposts%2F10156553770399277&width=500“>only a revolution can save us. This strikes me a not just wrongheaded, but dangerously so.   By “revolution,” these people generally mean something like seizing direct collective control of the means of production—of necessity on a global scale. […]

Compromised Terms, or How To Win “The Working Class”

One of the most important insights generated by post-Marxist thought is that “class,” as the name of a structural position/condition within capitalist relations of production, is that which cannot function as a social identity. It emerges there only in displaced form of various proxies. Unfortunately, various critiques of liberalism, the nation-state, procedural democracy, and the like […]