Posts in Marx
What is the "Point de Capiton" of "Leftist Ideology?"

Ideology includes creedal commitments and narrative elements that vary depending on the ideology in question—as well as cognition-framing templates, or if you prefer matrix metaphors, consciousness-structuring codes. Some argue that the sine qua non of ideology is an organizing central element, the kernel around which the elements of ideology coalesce and are assembled into a whole.

In The Supreme Object of Ideology, the Slovenian Marxist and Lacanian psychoanalytic theorist Slavoj Žižek, following the French psychoanalytic theorist Jacques Lacan, makes this claim and calls the central, organizing element le point de capiton, or the “quilting point,” the “anchoring point,” the element that holds an ideology together and around which a consistent perspective can be maintained.

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From Chapter 5: The Seduction of Theory: Excerpt from Springtime for Snowflakes: "Social Justice" and Its Postmodern Parentage

Had my dad understood it, my graduate school enrollment in “Literary and Cultural Theory” would have struck him as tantamount to madness, like self-commitment to an insane asylum. After the Ginsberg apprenticeship, which definitively ended any remaining prospects I had for medical school, he wouldn’t have had tears left to cry…..
So, twelve years after the Ginsberg apprenticeship and after working in broadcast advertising for nine years, by my early thirties, I finally decided to become a literature professor. Read more…

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A Critique of "Social Justice" Ideology: Thinking through Marx and Nietzsche

In an earlier essay, I offered a brief sketch of the genealogy of social justice mechanisms and beliefs. To date, however, I have yet to examine the philosophical premises of the creed, or formally to offer a theoretical framework or set of frameworks for critiquing and refuting it. This essay represents a first effort at doing both.

First, I will briefly trace a Soviet and a few postmodernist contributions to social justice ideology. Then, I will turn my attention to two major thinkers: Karl Marx and Friedrich Nietzsche – in order to find ways that the two thinkers may be adduced to provide resources for understanding and critically assessing the social justice ideology.

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What’s Wrong With Identity Politics (and Intersectionality Theory)? A Response to Mark Fisher’s “Exiting the Vampire Castle” (And Its Critics)

The problem with identity politics, then, is that it is one-sided and undialectical. It treats identities as static entities, and its methods only serve to further reify those categories. It aims to liberate identity groups (o members thereof) qua identity groups (or individuals), rather than aiming to liberate them from identity itself Identity politics fails not because it begins with various subaltern groups and aims at their liberation, but because it ends with them and thus cannot deliver their liberation. It makes identities and their equality with other “privileged” groups the basis of political activity, rather than making the overcoming of the alienate identity, for themselves and all identity groups, the goal. The abolition of the one-sidedness of identity – as worker, woman, man, or what have you – represents real human emancipation. Always failing this, identity politics settles for mere linguistic emancipation, which is offered (and policed so assiduously, as Fisher notes) by the defenders of the sanctuary of identity.

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