The Problem of the “Common Man”: Against Dogmatic Certainty (3-Video)

Both classical conservative Edmund Burke and democratic socialist Eduard Bernstein were very skeptical about whether the “common man” of their time was up to the task of real political leadership. Even their reasons for being skeptical are similar. But, the differences are also stark, and they bring back the nature versus nurture debate. Bernstein thinks that the deficiencies of the working class that make them not yet ready for pure socialism have to do with their environment and they can be overcome. Burke is pretty sure that human nature expresses itself in a spectrum of ability and that some people will always be unfit to rule. … More The Problem of the “Common Man”: Against Dogmatic Certainty (3-Video)

Escaping the End of History: Green State v. Desert — Audio (2)

According to the anonymous author of Desert, even anarchists have been caught in the Enlightenment grand narrative of history as progress,and the “end of history” in some ideal future utopia. Though they disagree about the promise and value of state power, Desert and Robyn Eckersley (The Green State) both depart from “ideological possession.” Either explicitly (Desert) or implicitly (Eckersley), they reject the grand narrative and introduce a new openness to a pluralistic “good enough for now” perspective that may be more useful for actually making things better, incrementally. I continue to try to find areas of agreement as well as opposition between these two perspectives, because we need to compromise to survive. Can Desert find a place even within Eckersley’s vision–yes, because for both authors it’s not “all or nothing.” … More Escaping the End of History: Green State v. Desert — Audio (2)

Escaping the End of History: Green State v. Desert (2)

According to the anonymous author of Desert, even anarchists have been caught in the Enlightenment grand narrative of history as progress,and the “end of history” in some ideal future utopia. Though they disagree about the promise and value of state power, Desert and Robyn Eckersley (The Green State) both depart from “ideological possession.” Either explicitly (Desert) or implicitly (Eckersley), they reject the grand narrative and introduce a new openness to a pluralistic “good enough for now” perspective that may be more useful for actually making things better, incrementally. I continue to try to find areas of agreement as well as opposition between these two perspectives, because we need to compromise to survive. Can Desert find a place even within Eckersley’s vision–yes, because for both authors it’s not “all or nothing.” … More Escaping the End of History: Green State v. Desert (2)

Liberal Enlightenment and What Lies Beyond: A Conversation with Spencer Hess (Video)

This is a conversation I recently had with Spencer Hess, a friend of mine and an urban farmer in the Kansas City area. It revolves around topics like Enlightenment liberalism/neoliberalism and its legacy, weaknesses, strengths and future. We discuss Naomi Klein’s critique in “No Logo” of neoliberal commodity fetishization in the form of brand-attachment, McKenzie Wark’s idea that “Capital is Dead,” and also the the idea of seceding from the system and Rod Dreher’s “Benedict Option.” Along the way, Spencer talks about what it’s like to try to start up an urban farm in an economy that doesn’t favor such things, and how the pandemic situation may affect our perceptions of what’s practical when it comes to how we get our food. … More Liberal Enlightenment and What Lies Beyond: A Conversation with Spencer Hess (Video)

Farmers vs. Vectoralists: Takeaways from McKenzie Wark’s Capital is Dead (Audio)

In this final video on McKenzie Wark’s Capital is Dead: Is This Something Worse? I discuss some of the big takeaways I get from the book, and relate Wark’s view of “past masters” and detournement of old ideas to Friedrich Nietzsche’s three types of history in On the Use and Abuse of History for Life. Along the way, we find out why farmers are turning into hackers. … More Farmers vs. Vectoralists: Takeaways from McKenzie Wark’s Capital is Dead (Audio)

Farmers vs. Vectoralists: Takeaways from McKenzie Wark’s Capital is Dead (Video)

In this final video on McKenzie Wark’s Capital is Dead: Is This Something Worse? I discuss some of the big takeaways I get from the book, and relate Wark’s view of “past masters” and detournement of old ideas to Friedrich Nietzsche’s three types of history in On the Use and Abuse of History for Life. Along the way, we find out why farmers are turning into hackers. … More Farmers vs. Vectoralists: Takeaways from McKenzie Wark’s Capital is Dead (Video)