Description The Critical Theory Workshop, in collaboration with the University of the Commons, is proposing an online seminar that will run in parallel to the July workshop in Paris, extending its work into a global virtual network of scholars while facilitating the participation of those who cannot afford to travel. By combining live streams and recordings of select events in Paris with a series of participatory symposia run by the facilitator, the course seeks to put global communications technology in the service of an ecological and widely accessible format for international education. Continue reading →
I was pleased to have the opportunity to contribute to a series in State of Nature on the Yellow Vests. All articles in the series were tasked with responding to the question: “What is the significance of the Gilets Jaunes movement?” Click here to read my reply (also copied below).
The Gilets Jaunes are significant for at least four reasons. First and foremost, they are a grassroots social movement that has arisen in reaction to the ongoing onslaught of global capitalism. The fact that this movement emerged outside of the representational structures that generally serve to support this system – including the professional political parties of parliamentary pseudo-democracy and the bureaucratised unions – indicates the extent to which these structures themselves, with few exceptions, have not been able to successfully mobilise and empower the working classes, but have instead managed their discontent. Continue reading →
I was honored to be invited by C.S. Soong on KPFA’s “Against the Grain” to discuss my publications on the Yellow Vests. Click here to listen to or download the episode, which can also be listened to here:
Here is the description of the interview online:
Yellow Vest Realities and Reactions
The Yellow Vests have shaken the French political establishment to its core. What are the protesters’ grievances, and how has the uprising been viewed by intellectuals on the left? Gabriel Rockhill describes and assesses the Yellow Vests movement, the Macron regime’s reaction to it, and the French intelligentsia’s opinions of it.
I was pleased to be able to contribute to Ty Joplin’s excellent article on the Yellow Vests, which elucidates how the media spectacle around “violence” has obscured class struggle.
Excerpt: “Instead of taking activists seriously and discussing their demands for greater equality, thereby informing the public about what is actually at stake, the media construct an enormous spectacle out of ‘violence’ in order to present the movement as savage, irrational, and intent on destroying the very foundations of society,” Gabriel Rockhill, an Associate Professor of philosophy at Villanova University who also runs the Critical Theory Workshop in Paris, told Al Bawaba.
“Moreover, the production of this spectacle of violence also serves as cover for the greatest purveyor of violence in France today: the capitalist state and its repressive apparatus.”
My latest article in the LA Review of Books is available here. It critically examines the relationship between the professional intelligentsia and the Yellow Vests: “Although France has the reputation of having a leftwing intelligentsia, some of the most visible theorists on the Left—including the self-proclaimed torchbearers of the ‘spirit of ’68’—have positioned themselves firmly against the movement or admonished it from the sidelines. This disconnect between important segments of the professional intelligentsia and one of the most powerful social movements of recent years raises very serious questions regarding the politics of intellectual life and, more generally, the relationship between the literati and uprisings. By exploring the intelligentsia’s response—both in France and beyond—to the Yellow Vests movement, this article seeks to elucidate the broader problematic of the role of intellectuals in the maintenance or transformation of the current socio-economic order […read more].”
A special thanks to all of my RED comrades for their excellent feedback and suggestions on this article, which we’ve also run here on RED’s website.