I’m pleased to announce that an article I’ve been working on for over a decade, “Critical and Revolutionary Theory,” is now available in an excellent new book edited by Daniel Benson. The book also includes a dialogue between me and Philippe Corcuff on “Domination and Emancipation in the Current Conjuncture,” along with an introduction by Benson and pieces by Luc Boltanski, Nancy Fraser, Rosaura Sánchez, Asad Haider, Françoise Vergès, Ajay Singh Chaudhary and Yves Citton. Click here for more details.
Excerpt from “Critical and Revolutionary Theory”: “This article elucidates the reasons behind the retreat from Marxism in contemporary critical theory, and it offers an account of the revolutionary theory that is born of emancipatory struggles as an antidote to this retreat. It begins by briefly elucidating the explanatory power and transformative force of revolutionary theory, as it has been developed in the Marxist tradition, in order to shake it lose from the straw-person depictions, gormless mantras, anti-communist dogmas, historical tommyrot, and vulgarly reductive accounts that petty-bourgeois intellectuals and many others have used to try and discredit it. After clarifying how historical materialism is a collectively produced, transdisciplinary, systemic, radical and fallibilistic science of history rooted in collective struggle, it deploys this framework of analysis to develop a counter-history of critical theory. In this sense, the critique of the Frankfurt School that it advances is not simply an internal or immanent critique but is rather a materialist analysis of its social and historical function in the international political economy of ideas. As we shall see, the type of research promoted under the label ‘critical’ by the global theory industry—which is driven by capitalist interests and policed by their hegemonic enforcers—is work whose critical appearance belies a conformist core.”
Es un gran honor para mí ver esta traducción al español de una selección de mis escritos, incluidos algunos de mis trabajos sobre estética, contrahistoria, ideología (con Jennifer Ponce de León), fascismo y la CIA. Un enorme agradecimiento a Leandro Martínez Depietri por instigar y encabezar este proyecto, a Diana Wechsler por supervisarlo y a Estudio Curatoriales por publicarlo.
I’m excited to share this translation, which I completed with Maxime Delafosse-Brown and Hope Wilson, of an interview with Thomas Sankara that is now available in English for the first time. It is part of a larger series of translations of previously untranslated material by the great African revolutionary that we are preparing for Liberation School. I’m grateful to Bruno Jaffré, who runs ThomasSankara.net, for providing us with the translation rights and allowing us to initiate this translation series. Stay tuned for more!
Excerpt: “What we achieved here was not what you could call a coup d’etat. There was a thoroughly prepared popular insurrection in which progressives, revolutionaries and democrats came together to end a regime of submission to imperialism. This is what surprised those who don’t want to understand the direction in which the history of the people of Africa is evolving. … If our revolution worries some, it’s primarily because of the example it can set, and not just in our sub-region [read more].
Here is my opening lecture at the Critical Theory Workshop’s 2021 online summer program. Click here for information about the 2022 summer program in Paris and here for the 2022 online summer program (the content will be more or less identical).
I was honored to speak with Jacquie L’uqman and Sean Blackmon about the bourgeois media, its awesome power of mind management, the state and capitalist interests driving it, how it contributes to fascist movements, the all-important fight back, and more…
This two-part interview with Jennifer Ponce de León to discuss our respective work on aesthetics and politics with Leandro Martínez Depietri was just released as part of the Bienalsur podcast (in English). We discuss our past publications, Jennifer’s recent book, and our current book project together, engaging with the following themes: the historical materialist analysis of culture, the bourgeois concept and practice of art, the function of culture in actually existing socialism, the compositional model of ideology, and the overall role of culture as a weapon of class warfare. A special thanks to Leandro for making this happen, and for being such a great interlocutor!
Excerpt: “We have to recognize that fascism takes different forms and different shapes, and that it’s always an element operative under capitalist rule and bourgeois democracy. As much as it [bourgeois democracy] can help us stave off certain fascist elements, it will keep some of them in the wings in case there’s ever a real threat to bourgeois democratic and hence capitalist rule.”
I was thrilled to talk with Jacqueline Luqman on @TheRealNews about my ongoing research on fascism, which has appeared in Liberation School, Black Agenda Report & CounterPunch (click here for the list of articles). The interview is entitled “The History of Postwar Fascism Needs to Be Retold,” and here’s the abstract (click here to listen):
“Popular understandings of what fascism is, where it came from, and how it was ‘defeated’ have hindered our collective ability to identify and fight fascist threats beyond those that existed in Western Europe a century ago. In the latest installment of her ongoing series investigating the contours of fascism in the past and present, Jacqueline Luqman speaks with philosopher, cultural critic, and political theorist Gabriel Rockhill about the need to understand how the political and economic systems that produced European fascism did not disappear after World War II. Rockhill is Professor of Philosophy at Villanova University, founder and director of the Critical Theory Workshop/Atelier de Théorie Critique, former Directeur de programme at the Collège International de Philosophie, and the author/editor of numerous scholarly books in English and French.”