The following originally appeared at Cosmonaut Jean Allen reviews Srnicek & Williams’ ‘Inventing the Future’, which calls for an intellectual counter-hegemony to neoliberalism. Does this proposal for counter-hegemonic institutions really put anything new on the table, or just reflect the prevailing organizational norms of the existing left?
The following originally appeared at Cosmonaut Jean Allen reviews L.A. Kauffman’s Direct Action, a history of the protest movements that filled the gap between the New Left and the modern left that are often ignored and forgotten. Allen argues that these movements cannot be understood strictly in terms of their theory, but by grasping the […]
What is Organizational Materialism?
←Return to index For decades the left has interacted with itself in a way dominated primarily by ideological relations: Trotskyist versus Stalinist, Anarchist vs. Marxist, Maoist versus Social Democrat. But in the wake of the fall of the Soviet Union most of these relationships have persisted despite their signifying no material relationship. Despite the various […]
Cycles of Justification
←Return to index In earlier articles I have referred to the central problem of organizational materialism as “what are you really doing”, and the central project of organizational materialism as disregarding the justifications built around practices to look at real practical activity. But it really isn’t so simple as that. The question ‘what are we […]
←Return to index Amann, Peter H. Revolution and mass democracy; the Paris club movement in 1848. N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1975.
Ideological & Material Differences
←Return to index “…Every new movement, when it first elaborates its theory and policy, begins by finding support in the preceding movement, though it may be in direct contradiction with the latter. It begins by suiting itself to the forms found at hand and by speaking the language spoken hereto. In time the new grain […]
Considerations on Contemporary Leftism
←Return to index The move by many of the Left’s intellectuals towards party building, or party cooption, makes perfect sense in this light. The wall that activist movements have continually hit upon is the fact that no matter how good their tactics, no matter how perfect their organizational chart is, no matter how immaculate their […]
Digital Leftisms, or, the Modern Era
←Return to index The Communist parties failed because, once they had dominated the political field, the flaws inherent in their structure became a general problem for the Left. We now face a similar problem: in our immediate past, the western Left has been dominated by activist organizations and intellectual groups, and the faults inherent in […]
The Era of the Mass Party
←Return to index This grouping of organizations was crushed in a very short time during and after WW1. Whether from internal mistakes or state violence, the failure of revolutionary activities through all of Western & Central Europe and in the United States was also partially the fault of systemic failures in the constellation of leftist organizations that […]
←Return to index The long counter-revolution from the 1810s to the 1870s led to the transformation of old ‘corporate entities’ (essentially special interest groups constituted under the conditions of feudalism) into modern political organizations aimed at resolving the political and economic inequalities of the state they existed in. In Europe this came in the form […]