I had the opportunity to discuss the current French strike and contextualize it in relationship to global class struggle on “Keeping Democracy Alive with Burt Cohen.” Click here to listen (description below). This discussion is partially based on my article in CounterPunch, “Understanding France’s General Strike in the Context of the Yellow Vests and Global Class Warfare.”
Massive French Strike: What You Haven’t Heard
There’s been no coverage in America of the extended turmoil engulfing France since early December. But it is huge, and it is a major intensification of a worldwide struggle against neoliberal globalism. As Macron’s government and so many others aim at privatization of public services protestors are shutting down the French economy. On this show France expert Professor Gabriel Rockhill explains how the current labor action arises from the context of the Yellow Vest movements. And how established labor leaders are being overpowered by the rank and file who demand a genuinely democratic government instead of top down austerity. And how have the police reacted? According to Rockhill, France has greatly increased its police budget and they are now at the cutting edge of advanced militarized police technology. The police regularly attack peaceful crowds, a lot of injuries have occurred. And he explains that this economic and political struggle is part of the global fight against climate change, protecting the bioshphere for humans and other species.
My article, “Understanding France’s General Strike in the Context of the Yellow Vests and Global Class Warfare,” which was workshopped and published here by RED, just came out here in CounterPunch.
Excerpt: “The credibility crisis of the Macron regime is thus connected to a broader legitimacy crisis for the international system of pseudo-representative governments working for the capitalist class. As William I. Robinson has explained in books like Global Capitalism and the Crisis of Humanity, the transnational elite has sought to establish a neoliberal consensus in the era of globalization, which has required the mobilization of a social base that consensually supports it. Although the ruling class has succeeded in integrating the upper-echelons of society and organic intellectuals through ideological and material rewards, the system of global capitalist accumulation has simultaneously undermined the basis for wider hegemonic rule by stripping the popular classes of the material base necessary for their consent. In this regard, the widespread discontent with Macron’s “government of the rich” is indicative of a broader crisis of legitimacy for the global elite technocracy, which is tasked with maintaining or increasing capitalist accumulation while pacifying or subduing all of those who suffer from it.”
Here is my presentation on “Rancière and His Legacy: Contributions and Limitations.” It took place at the Critical Theory Workshop‘s Summer Program at the EHESS in Paris, France, on July 2, 2019. For information on the 2020 summer program click here.
Here is my presentation on “International Critical Theory” at the Critical Theory Workshop‘s Summer Program at the EHESS in Paris, France, on July 1, 2019. For information on the 2020 summer program click here.
CALL FOR APPLICATIONS
CRITICAL THEORY WORKSHOP: SUMMER PROGRAM IN PARIS, JULY 2020
The 2020 summer program, directed by Gabriel Rockhill and Jennifer Ponce de León, will take place from June 29 to July 17 at the EHESS in central Paris. It is open to graduate students and faculty, as well as advanced undergraduates, independent researchers, writers and artists. Invited guests for 2020 thus far include, in addition to the directors, Timothy Bewes, Christine Delphy, Massimiliano Tomba and Antonio Vázquez-Arroyo. Past speakers have included thinkers like Seloua Luste Boulbina, Jacques Rancière and Domenico Losurdo. Continue reading
I was pleased to have the opportunity to present an abbreviated version of one of my forthcoming articles at the University of Shanghai on October 13, 2019. The title and abstract are below.
The Myth of ’68 Thought: Historical Commodity Fetishism and Ideological Rollback
This paper critically examines the widespread assumption that there is such a profound connection between French theory and the political events of 68 that the former merits the title of ‘68 thought.’ It begins by a materialist analysis of the historical relationship between the most prominent representatives of French theory—ranging from Michel Foucault and Jacques Derrida to Pierre Bourdieu and Jacques Lacan—and the actual political events unfolding at the time. After demonstrating their distance from the major political mobilizations, which often included an overt rejection of them, the paper turns to the larger cultural question of the ways in which the myth of 68 thought was produced, as well as to the issue of its social function in the global theory industry. It is in this light that it proposes an analysis of the historical commodity fetichism around 68, before concluding with a critical assessment of how the presumed radicality of “68 thinkers” serves to police the left border of critique.
I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to present my research on a counter-history of liberalism and fascism at this conference at UC Santa Cruz on October 10th and 11th:
I’m excited to have the opportunity to participate in this event organized by Michael Lardner for the Marxist Education Project.