Intersectionality and Identity Politics–Do They Pay? (Mouffe 5-Audio)

Mouffe’s book The Return of the Political puts forward a view of the self and of society that is fractured into many and shifting identities, and she argues that we can find common ground as citizens, not only in an agreement over the rules of the game of democracy, but also in our various experiences of subordination. Mouffe hopes that this possibility will lead to left coalitions that allow citizens in a radical pluralistic democracy to make progress for all (more real liberty and equality). But does this view of the self and of shifting identity groupings actually work at a practical level. Is the focus on even shifting identities as opposed to economic class concerns always a rightward move that has the potential to inspire more conflict rather than cooperation? I evaluate Mouffe’s teaching on intersectionality in light of contemporary Marx-inspired (but not dictated) thinkers like Zizek and Wark. Might we be better off concentrating on all the new ways in which people experience subordination and degradation at the economic level (and the common threat of environmental destruction–a point I hope to bring into upcoming videos)? … More Intersectionality and Identity Politics–Do They Pay? (Mouffe 5-Audio)

Intersectionality and Identity Politics–Do They Pay? (Mouffe 5-Video)

Mouffe’s book The Return of the Political puts forward a view of the self and of society that is fractured into many and shifting identities, and she argues that we can find common ground as citizens, not only in an agreement over the rules of the game of democracy, but also in our various experiences of subordination. Mouffe hopes that this possibility will lead to left coalitions that allow citizens in a radical pluralistic democracy to make progress for all (more real liberty and equality). But does this view of the self and of shifting identity groupings actually work at a practical level. Is the focus on even shifting identities as opposed to economic class concerns always a rightward move that has the potential to inspire more conflict rather than cooperation? I evaluate Mouffe’s teaching on intersectionality in light of contemporary Marx-inspired (but not dictated) thinkers like Zizek and Wark. Might we be better off concentrating on all the new ways in which people experience subordination and degradation at the economic level (and the common threat of environmental destruction–a point I hope to bring into upcoming videos)? … More Intersectionality and Identity Politics–Do They Pay? (Mouffe 5-Video)

Chantal Mouffe, Carl Schmitt, and the Critique of Enlightenment Liberalism (Video-2)

In this second in a series on Chantal Mouffe’s ideas in The Return of the Political, I discuss her use of Carl Schmitt’s critique of liberalism and relate her ideas to authors she draws from, such as Leo Strauss, Isaiah Berlin, Michael Oakeshott, Charles Taylor, Michael Walzer and Hans Georg Gadamer. I try to get an initial handle on her preferred “agonistic pluralism” as an answer to the question–can we respect particular values and traditions enough to compete with them rather than seeking to destroy them? I relate her line of argument to my understanding of Carl Jung’s theory of political ideology as “ideological possession” — the projection of the shadow. … More Chantal Mouffe, Carl Schmitt, and the Critique of Enlightenment Liberalism (Video-2)

Chantal Mouffe, Carl Schmitt, and the Critique of Enlightenment Liberalism (2-Audio)

In this second in a series on Chantal Mouffe’s ideas in The Return of the Political, I discuss her use of Carl Schmitt’s critique of liberalism and relate her ideas to authors she draws from, such as Leo Strauss, Isaiah Berlin, Michael Oakeshott, Charles Taylor, Michael Walzer and Hans Georg Gadamer. I try to get an initial handle on her preferred “agonistic pluralism” as an answer to the question–can we respect particular values and traditions enough to compete with them rather than seeking to destroy them? I relate her line of argument to my understanding of Carl Jung’s theory of political ideology as “ideological possession” — the projection of the shadow. … More Chantal Mouffe, Carl Schmitt, and the Critique of Enlightenment Liberalism (2-Audio)

Dead and Living Labor: Introduction to Core Marxist Ideas

I pause to try to pick apart and better understand some key but often bedeviling Marxist terms that can get in the way of understanding McKenzie Wark and other authors who borrow from Marx’s toolkit. Dead labor, capital, surplus value, commodity fetishization, and the tendency of the rate of profit to fall (and what capitalists tend to do about that) are all touched on in this video. … More Dead and Living Labor: Introduction to Core Marxist Ideas

Dead and Living Labor: Introduction to Core Marxist Ideas (Audio)

I pause to try to pick apart and better understand some key but often bedeviling Marxist terms that can get in the way of understanding McKenzie Wark and other authors who borrow from Marx’s toolkit. Dead labor, capital, surplus value, commodity fetishization, and the tendency of the rate of profit to fall (and what capitalists tend to do about that) are all touched on in this program. … More Dead and Living Labor: Introduction to Core Marxist Ideas (Audio)

Rethinking the Christian Contribution: Walter Brueggemann’s Imagination (Audio)

I introduce some of theologian Walter Brueggemann’s themes in his classic “The Prophetic Imagination,” discussing some of the ways we can avail ourselves of a common narrative to try to gain some freedom against oppression, whether of the old-style Pharoah or the new version of less visible but very powerful economic and political forces that keep people working for an agenda they wouldn’t naturally choose. Through Brueggemann’s eyes, we are living in the imagination of “Royal consciousness” but we could be living in the imagination of God. What does this mean, not just for Christians, but generally for people who are trying to find some way to push back and gain some freedom? … More Rethinking the Christian Contribution: Walter Brueggemann’s Imagination (Audio)

Jordan Peterson, Carl Jung, and the Challenge for Social Ecology (Harbinger)

Harbinger, the journal of the Institute for Social Ecology, has re-launched, and I aimed to be in the inaugural edition, which was recently published. The founder of social ecology was Murray Bookchin, and the Institute for Social Ecology carries on his legacy. While I do not fully agree with the ideas of either Social Ecology or Canadian psychologist and public intellectual Jordan Peterson, I resonate with some of the concerns of both positions. I thought it would be interesting to think about what would happen if the ideas of these two very different thinkers were put into dialogue with each other. Here is the result. … More Jordan Peterson, Carl Jung, and the Challenge for Social Ecology (Harbinger)

Our Bureaucratic Rulers: Creatures of Enlightenment’s Failure (Audio)

MacIntyre’s argument in chapters 6 and 7 of After Virtue moves further into the problems caused by the fact/value distinction, the development of social science, and the managerial/bureaucratic approach to dealing with people. The threat to democracy posed by the social engineering mode of thinking begins to take center stage. Along the way, unicorns and witches are unmasked so that we can see that, in MacIntyre’s view, without adequate grounding for moral reasoning, there is no justification for rule other than the will to power. … More Our Bureaucratic Rulers: Creatures of Enlightenment’s Failure (Audio)

Our Bureaucratic Rulers: Creatures of Enlightenment’s Failure

MacIntyre’s argument in chapters 6 and 7 of After Virtue moves further into the problems caused by the fact/value distinction, the development of social science, and the managerial/bureaucratic approach to dealing with people. The threat to democracy posed by the social engineering mode of thinking begins to take center stage. Along the way, unicorns and witches are unmasked so that we can see that, in MacIntyre’s view, without adequate grounding for moral reasoning, there is no justification for rule other than the will to power. … More Our Bureaucratic Rulers: Creatures of Enlightenment’s Failure