Category Archives: Publications

Article on the Frankfurt School’s Anti-Communism

My article, “The CIA & the Frankfurt School’s Anti-Communism,” was just published in the Los Angeles Review of Books’ “The Philosophical Salon.”

Excerpt: “Adorno and Horkheimer thus ultimately played the role of radical recuperators. Cultivating an appearance of radicality, they recuperated the very activity of critique within a pro-Western, anti-communist ideology. Like other members of the petty-bourgeois intelligentsia in Europe and the United States, which formed the basis of Western Marxism, they publicly expressed their social-chauvinistic disgust with what they described as the savage barbarians in the East, who dared to take up the weapon of Marxist theory à la Lenin and use it to act on the principle that they could rule themselves. From the relative comforts of their capitalist-funded professorial citadel in the West, they defended the superiority of the Euro-American world that promoted them against what they referred to as the levelling project of the bolshevized barbarians in the uncivilized periphery.” [read more]

Book Talk on “Domination & Emancipation”

I was very pleased to participate in this book Launch for Domination & Emancipation with Daniel Benson, Rosaura Sánchez & Antonio Vázquez-Arroyo. This was a collaboration between The People’s Forum, the Critical Theory Workshop and RED – Radical Education Department. One of my essays in this book, entitled “Critical and Revolutionary Theory,” is available for download here.

Article in Liberation News: “Nazis in Ukraine”

My latest article in Liberation News, “Nazis in Ukraine: Seeing through the Fog of the Information War,” examines the history and contemporary presence of Nazism in Ukraine. Excerpt: “Zelenskyy seeks to depict his government as free and democratic – not unlike the Western imperialist powers it is aligned with – while it supports fascist militias, receives funding from reactionary capitalists (who also fund Nazi battalions), glorifies ultranationalists and Nazi collaborators, emboldens a culture of fascism, bans political parties, and tightly controls news and information. [read more]”

Article in CounterPunch: “Lessons from January 6th: An Inside Job”

I just published this deep dive into the real story behind January 6th, which benefited immensely from feedback from so many people.

Excerpt: “Over a year after the harum-scarum storming of the U.S. Capitol, there is ample evidence that it was an inside job. Not only was the security detail intentionally minimized to the extreme, but decisions were made at the highest levels of the chain of command to allow a right-wing mob to rampage through the building. At the forefront of this antidemocratic horde, as we shall see, there were fascist or semi-fascist organizations whose leadership has multiple direct ties to the military and intelligence agencies. All of this raises fundamental questions regarding the true nature of the U.S. government and its relationship to fascism. [read more]”

Two Articles on Critical and Revolutionary Theory

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.

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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.”

Traducción al español de una selección de mis escritos

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.

Translation of Previously Untranslated Interview with Thomas Sankara

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].

Article: Fascist Plots in the US

My most recent article, which is part of a larger book project, is now available here on Liberation School. It is entitled “Fascist Plots in the US: Contemporary Lessons from the 1934 ‘Business Plot.'” A special thanks to all of the comrades who provided insightful feedback on it prior to publication!

Excerpt: “A major segment of the capitalist class thus conspired to use its financial resources, network of elite operators, and control of the media to hire a charismatic leader, raise and arm a fascist militia of poor veterans, overthrow the elected government, and establish a fascist dictatorship in order to roll back the New Deal and thereby increase their profits. If they had succeeded in doing so, it is arguable that the history of the twentieth century would have been remarkably different” […read more].

Interview with Claudia De La Cruz on Culture as a Weapon of Class Warfare

In collaboration with Liberation School, I was thrilled to be able to interview the Director of the People’s Forum, Claudia De La Cruz, about the role of culture in popular education, movement building and revolutionary struggle. Click here to read or watch.

Article on Foucault, Anti-Communism & the Global Theory Industry

Foucault, Anti-Communism & the Global Theory Industry” was just published in “The Philosophical Salon” in the Los Angeles Review of Books. It is a reply to critics regarding my earlier article, on the same platform, entitled “Foucault: The Faux Radical.”

Excerpt: “The widespread promotion of identity politics and French theory within the dominant apparatus of knowledge under global capitalism should serve as a clear indication to anyone who’s paying even scant attention that they are not a threat to the system. On the contrary, they are some of the primary intellectual forces driving what I’ve referred to as radical recuperation. By this I mean the tactic of producing the appearance of radicality—including symbolic systems of signification that are so inordinately intricate that many have trouble seeing how unmoored they are from actual socioeconomic struggles—in order to better recuperate insurgent forces within the extant system. ‘All symbol, no substance’ is their mantra, and they have made an enormous contribution to the intellectual world war against the very idea of communism.”