The Communism of Theory

The Communism of Theory

One of the notable trends within contemporary critical theory is the re-emergence of communism as a political proposition during a time of global financial crisis. Les mer
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The Communism of Theory

One of the notable trends within contemporary critical theory is the re-emergence of communism as a political proposition during a time of global financial crisis. This takes the form of explicit attempts to reformulate a communist project (Badiou), readings of a communist tradition (Zizek), and a reimagining of a communist inheritance (Ranciere, Balibar). Within the field of critical theory these positions have tended to pass relatively unchallenged as other theoretical idioms (psychoanalysis, post-colonialism, feminism, post-structuralism) have been occupied in the last few years with archival and micro-level analysis. The poverty of the Speculative turn in object-oriented philosophy has also allowed the contemporary discourse on communism to run unquestioned.

Through a series of readings of Derrida, Marx, de Man, fiction, film and contemporary politics this book problematizes the idea of political articulation within the public realm with a view to interrogating and enriching the dominant notion of communism at work in theoretical writing today. It sees in theory a difficult yet essential gesture that ties the questioning of truth to a necessary undecidability that guarantees that truth and its relation to democratic engagement. The Communism of Theory is a riff on a phrase used by Blanchot to describe the curious social bond, means of affiliation and thought, that characterizes writing as testimony within a displaced community of critical readers. This book responds to key topics in contemporary thought and also turns the text of deconstruction in a direction that provokes a challenge to its own traditions.

preface
acknowledgements

Introduction: The Communism of Theory
1.Derrida's Communism
2.Shakespeare, Marx, Derrida
3.The Origins of Inequality
4.De Man and the Neo-Cons
5.Intervention: Badiou reading Nancy
6.Hannah Arendt in Palestine
7.Derrida and the Black Panthers
8.Plato, Disney, Enron
9.Post-Carbon Philosophy
10.Does deconstruction imply Vegetarianism?

bibliography
index

A timely assessment of the idea of communism now.

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