State & Anarchy–Green State v. Desert Introduction (Audio 1)

In the midst of a huge challenge, the Coronavirus pandemic, I’m forcing a dialogue between two seemingly opposite ways of thinking–advocacy for the state as the most useful way to address global challenges such as climate change, and an anarchist view that is skeptical, to say the least, about the possibility of the proper use of state power. I’m drawing from the writings of Robyn Eckersley, a political scientist and author of The Green State, and the anonymous author of Desert, or the Desert Manifesto. … More State & Anarchy–Green State v. Desert Introduction (Audio 1)

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)

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

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 (Audio)

Hackers, Marx and the Tape Guy (Wark 2, Audio)

We move into Chapter 2 of McKenzie Wark’s Capital is Dead: Is This Something Worse. Wark thinks that people on the left as well as the right need to end their love affair with capitalism and summon their inner punk rock goddess and try something new. The something new entails detournement of old ideas–an irreverant use of parts and neglect of other parts in order to account for an economy that Marx would not recognize. There’s a hint that the hacker class should somehow organize by first seeing what they have in common–they do not control the information they manipulate in order to monetize it for the vectoralist class. Wark very clearly explains the connection between the current state of property law and the power of this new class of people, a class responsible for the “disintegrating spectacle” of our world, information, entertainment, commerce and therapy become so intertwined that we are constantly confused, suspicious and mentally exhausted. I comment on that phenomenon and the relative lack of reference to government institutions in this part of the book, but there is the political implication that the hacker class is potentially powerful. Should they take aim at property law? It’s too early to tell, but that’s one possibility. … More Hackers, Marx and the Tape Guy (Wark 2, Audio)

Hackers, Marx and the Tape Guy (Wark 2)

We move into Chapter 2 of McKenzie Wark’s Capital is Dead: Is This Something Worse. Wark thinks that people on the left as well as the right need to end their love affair with capitalism and summon their inner punk rock goddess and try something new. The something new entails detournement of old ideas–an irreverant use of parts and neglect of other parts in order to account for an economy that Marx would not recognize. There’s a hint that the hacker class should somehow organize by first seeing what they have in common–they do not control the information they manipulate in order to monetize it for the vectoralist class. Wark very clearly explains the connection between the current state of property law and the power of this new class of people, a class responsible for the “disintegrating spectacle” of our world, information, entertainment, commerce and therapy become so intertwined that we are constantly confused, suspicious and mentally exhausted. I comment on that phenomenon and the relative lack of reference to government institutions in this part of the book, but there is the political implication that the hacker class is potentially powerful. Should they take aim at property law? It’s too early to tell, but that’s one possibility.
More Hackers, Marx and the Tape Guy (Wark 2)

The Vectoralist Class–Introduction to McKenzie Wark (Audio)

This is first in a series of videos on McKenzie Wark’s book Capital is Dead: Is This Something Worse? I introduce Wark and some of the main ideas in the introduction, setting the stage for the rest of the book. Wark argues that we should break free from our love affair with capitalism, carried on by both the right and left, that thinks of capital as eternal. Further we should break free of old narratives such as a worshipful loyalty to political theories of the past. We learn a little about how we are both consumer and product, and how the ruling class, in Wark’s view, is no longer land-owning or even factory owning, but information owning. And how is information successfully owned and wielded in a world in which it is so prevalent and seemingly hard to control? Wark promises to show us how.
For more from me:
https://lauriemjohnson.com/
https://politicalphilosophy.video.blog/More The Vectoralist Class–Introduction to McKenzie Wark (Audio)