I was honored to be interviewed for this article in Norwegian regarding my recent piece “Foucault: The Faux Radical“: “Foucault was one of these theorists who spearheaded the development of a kind of ‘linguistic pyrotechnics.’ In the deployment of jargon and intricate concepts, an endless theoretical sea of fog arises. Seemingly radical, but without substance, says Rockhill. He goes on to talk about how this tradition has become entrenched in American universities and cites theorists such as Judith Butler and Wendy Brown as examples of academics who have followed in Foucault’s footsteps. And although there are many other well-known theorists in the French intellectual tradition Rockhill criticizes, such as Jacques Derrida and Jean-François Lyotard, there is no doubt why he focuses on Foucault: – ‘As I see it, Foucault is more dangerous than the others. Since he has been cultivated as a radical thinker, it is more difficult to see his reactionary sides.'”
The Critical Theory Workshop / Atelier de Théorie Critique will host its 2021 Summer Program from June 28 to July 16), and it will take place simultaneously in Paris and online (so people can join us in France or from anywhere in the world). Invited guests include Annie Lacroix-Riz, Michael Löwy, Jennifer Ponce de León, Gabriel Rockhill, Loïc Wacquant and Sophie Wahnich.
Description: “Fascism seems to have risen up zombie-like from the past, but philosopher and political theorist Gabriel Rockhill argues that it’s been with us all along.
Today on the show, Allen traces a counter-history of fascism—including its relationships to liberalism, capitalism, and colonialism and how we understand/misunderstand its role in the U.S.—with Gabriel Rockhill.”
I am honored to have been invited by Vilniaus universitetas / Vilnius University as a guest online lecturer. I will be presenting parts of my next book, co-authored with Jennifer Ponce de León, Revolutionizing Aesthetics: Composing a World beyond Art (Columbia University Press, forthcoming). I will also be running two seminars on my earlier book Radical History and the Politics of Art. Click here for more information.
I was invited to discuss my recent articles on fascism (see below) on the podcast “Clearing the FOG” with Margaret Flowers. Click here to listen.
Description: With the presidential election coming up, there is a lot of focus on how the election will go and who will win. One thing is certain, no matter which corporate candidate wins, the people and the planet will lose. To understand where we are and how we got here, I speak with Gabriel Rockhill, a philosopher, author and activist. He explains the connections between our governance structure and capitalism and how both liberal democracy and fascism–in a sort of good cop/bad cop relationship–are used to protect the profits of the few while exploiting the many.
The articles mentioned in the interview are listed here:
My latest article was just published here in Black Agenda Report. It is part four of a four-part series entitled “Fascism: A Counter-History.” The first part is available here, the second here, and the third here.
Excerpt: “Historically, liberalism and fascism, in this broad sense, have functioned as two modes of capitalist governance that operate in conjunction with one another, following the logic of the police interrogation tactic known as good cop / bad cop. Liberalism, as the good cop, promises freedom, the rule of law and the protection of a benefactor state in exchange for acquiescence to capitalist socioeconomic relations and pseudo-democracy. It tends to both serve and attract members of the middle and upper-middle classes, as well as those who aspire to be part of them. The bad cop of fascism has proven particularly useful for governing those populations that are poor, racialized, and discontent, as well as for intervening in various parts of the world to impose capitalist social relations by force. If people are not hoodwinked by the false promises of the good cop, or they are not motivated by other reasons to be acquiescent, then the liberals’ partner in crime is on call to beat them into compliance. Those who rise up from any class in order to contest capitalism should be ready to have the liberals and their supposed regime of rights tap out, ceding the fight to their more vicious ally while looking the other way, and reminding any onlookers of the important differences between the lesser of two evils.”
I’m excited to have the opportunity to discuss this extremely important book with the author, William I. Robinson, and Jennifer Ponce de León at 4 p.m. EST on October 24. The discussion will take place online, via the Critical Theory Workshop, and it is free and open to the public. Click here for all of the details.
My latest article was just published here in CounterPunch. It is part three of a four-part series entitled “Fascism: A Counter-History.” The first part is available here, and the second here. Excerpt: “To establish itself as the global military hegemon and international guard dog of capitalism, the U.S. government and National Security State have relied on the help of the significant number of Nazis and fascists it integrated into its global network of repression, including the 1,600 Nazis brought into the U.S. through Operation Paperclip, the 4,000 or so integrated into the Gehlen organization, the tens or even hundreds of thousands that were reintegrated into the ‘postwar’—or rather transwar—regimes in fascist countries, the large number who were given free passage to Empire’s backyard—Latin America—and elsewhere, as well as the thousands or tens of thousands integrated into NATO’s secret stay-behind armies. This global network of seasoned anti-communist assassins has also been used to train armies of terrorists around the world to participate in dirty wars, coups d’état, destabilization efforts, sabotage, and terror campaigns.” [read more]
My latest article was just published here in CounterPunch. It is part two of a series I’ve written on fascism (the first part is available here). Excerpt: “Given the ways in which the current public debate on fascism tends to be framed in relationship to purported liberal resistance, there could scarcely be a timelier task than that of scrupulously re-examining the historical record of actually existing liberalism and fascism. As we shall see even in this brief overview, far from being enemies, they have been—sometimes subtle, sometimes forthright—partners in capitalist crime.”