“No, what I’ve said in a sense suggests that they’re not, in that you can be a good leftist and thinker of the anti-capitalist movement without being particularly indebted to Marxism. I wouldn’t lean too heavily on the need for Marx to be right, though it’s true I suppose that Marxism has been the mainstream anti-capitalist critique within the left. What strikes me is the dramatic way the situation has changed since, say, the turn of the Millennium. At the turn of the Millennium, history was supposedly over. Capitalism was in a peculiarly confident and arrogant phase. And then, from the fall of the World Trade Centre onwards, there has been the so-called War against Terror, the enormous capitalist crisis, the Arab Spring, societies like Greece teetering on the brink of radical change, a majority of American youth saying they prefer socialism to capitalism. Nobody could have predicted that ten years ago. So I think that what’s brought Marxism or at least socialism back on the agenda is of course the capitalist crisis. It’s not because people have suddenly started reading Marx or a new generation of leftists has spontaneously emerged. It’s that crisis always makes a system visible, it always makes its limits visible, and systems don’t normally like that, and therefore people are able to cast a new critical eye on them.”
Terry Eagleton responding to the question, “Do you think at this point in history “Marxism”, “communism”, “socialism”, “leftism” are basically interchangeable? Would you insist on sharp distinctions?”
Barker, Alexander and Niven, Alex. “An Interview with Terry Eagleton.” The Oxonian Review. 4 June 2012. Web. 4 June 2012. [source] h/t: ayjay)
I’m very fond of the final three sentences.
“If “freedom” can be said to exist in Foucault, it is tied to his conception of life as alterity and biopolitics as inseparable from the productive, “natural” dimension of human existence as the element in which power has to function. So famously, he said power becomes the “power to make live and let die,” but there is a limit here. There is something radically other about life that exceeds the grasp of power. This is because technologies of government/security control the milieu of a population but are unable to completely penetrate its biological processes. Therefore these technologies only function in a regulatory way. The political tendency towards systemization (i.e., “resistance”) is based on the presupposition of the impotence of power. The residual power of life is disclosed not as merely power over life but as power of life. There is an Inherent unpredictability here that serves as the limit that governmental power cannot overcome, but it is also, ironically, the source for power (basically the idea of exponential increase). Life remains resistance to biopolitical calculations then, but it is not because of a willing agent-subject. It is tied rather, to life as force of chance and to the capability for error. Foucault’s challenge to biopolitics was to conceived of a politics of disorganization that affirms life without finality, ends, or goals. Here’s where Deleuze’s conception of life as “ontology of force” becomes a helpful corollary. Anyway, you can see the radically different conception of life/the subject/politics here that only a very deliberate misreading could mistake for “liberalism” or “anarchy.”
Rhizombie on Bio Fooko
To be fair, communities of thinkers create journals and they have to fill the pages of these journals with something. I guess.
For the record, I want a government job where I am allowed unprecedented access to “penetrate” biological processes.
“Let’s give the President credit where credit is due. Obama is a very sophisticated Marxist philosopher, combining the highly advanced social manipulation tactics of Alinsky with careful, long developed insights in how to craft a modern, neo-Marxist message to sell to a majority of modern America. This is what we heard in last night’s State of the Union.”
“Gingrich, who would have made a marvelous Marxist, believes everything is related to everything else and only he understands how.”