Theory and practice reconsidered: the role of ‘critical theory’

by Chris Cutrone Why read Georg Lukács today?[1] Especially when his most famous work, History and Class Consciousness, is so clearly an expression of its specific historical moment, the aborted world revolution of 1917–19 in which he participated, attempting to follow Vladimir Lenin and Rosa Luxemburg. Are there “philosophical” lessons to be learned or principles to be gleaned from Lukács’s work, or is there, rather, the danger, as the Communist Party of Great Britain’s Mike Macnair has put it, of “theoretical overkill,” stymieing of political possibilities, closing up the struggle for socialism in tiny authoritarian and politically sterile sects founded on “theoretical … Continue reading Theory and practice reconsidered: the role of ‘critical theory’

Creating history through unfreezing it from neoliberal totalitarianism

by Angelo J. Letizia What is history?  History is only learned at the end, it is an artificial, man-made construct. It also may be our best hope, our salvation from barbarism. History does not descend from heaven, nor are we duped cogs in some grand scheme outside our consciousness. History is simply a story told by human beings about their origins. It is a record of what we as a species-turned-civilization have learned. History is a story told at the end, but in order for there to be a beginning, there must be education. History did not begin until we … Continue reading Creating history through unfreezing it from neoliberal totalitarianism

An infernal machine: A new reading of Capital

by Fredric Jameson My title promises a preview of my forthcoming book, Representing Capital, a commentary on Volume I of Marx’s Capital, which I read somewhat differently than many of the standard interpretations. So I will tell you something about that and then draw some practical conclusions about Marxism today and its political and intellectual mission. I am anxious that this work of mine not be understood as a “literary” reading of Capital: not only have those few such attempts been either weak generic classifications or fairly obvious notes on style and metaphor: indeed, the very term literary in this … Continue reading An infernal machine: A new reading of Capital