Category Archives: Critique

Against Spectacle? “Crises” and the Infographic

So there’s been a lot of interesting infographics published recently that help visually represent a host of contemporary issue and crises: from Euro Debt, U.S. income inequality, and the increasingly consolidated power of corporations and banks, to the Afghan quagmire … Continue reading

Posted in #Occupy, Bandits, Critique, Elites, Everyday Life, Guy Debord, Insurgency/Counterinsurgency, Networks, Political Economy, Power, Spectacle, Violence | 2 Comments

The Country and the City

Williams, Raymond. 1973. The Country and the City. Oxford: Oxford University Press. At the end of The Country and the City, Raymond Williams offers the reader an appendix on the origins of the keyword “country.” The word, he writes, “is … Continue reading

Posted in Agriculture, Boundaries, City, Critique, Land, Marxism, Place | Comments Off on The Country and the City

Street Art and Protest

Like many others around the world, I was appalled by Troy Davis’ execution—along with capital punishment in general. But I was again reminded about the power of street art and its striking potential to politically express the ineffable when I … Continue reading

Posted in City, Critique, Everyday Life | 4 Comments

Violent Entrepreneurs

Volkov, Vadim. 2002. Violent Entrepreneurs: The Use of Force in the Making of Russian Capitalism. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press. Vadim Volkov’s extremely impressive book details how an entire class of “violent entrepreneurs” became the handmaidens of the Soviet transition … Continue reading

Posted in Bandits, Critique, Dialectics, Elites, Everyday Life, Illegality, Law, Networks, Power, Sovereignty, The State, Violence | Comments Off on Violent Entrepreneurs

Primitive Accumulation: A Reinterpretation

De Angelis, Massimo. 1999. “Marx’s Theory of Primitive Accumulation: A Suggested Reinterpretation.” University of East London. Available online. De Angelis makes a distinction between those that view Marx’s “primitive accumulation” as “historical”—a one-off, big-bang of capitalism—and those that understand the … Continue reading

Posted in Agriculture, Critique, Historical Materialism, Historical-Geographies, Illegality, Karl Marx, Land, Law, Marxism, Political Economy, Power, Primitive Accumulation, Scale, Spatiality | Comments Off on Primitive Accumulation: A Reinterpretation

The Trinity Formula

Marx, Karl. 1967. Capital, Vol. III. New York: International Publishers. [Ch. 48] The chapter is simply titled, “The Trinity Formula.” I was interested in this chapter from Volume III of Capital for two reasons. The first reason is its importance … Continue reading

Posted in Agriculture, Critique, Everyday Life, Henri Lefebvre, Karl Marx, Land, Marxism, Political Economy, Spatiality | 1 Comment

The Great Arch

Corrigan, Philip, and Derek Sayer. 1985. The Great Arch: English State Formation as a Cultural Revolution. Oxford: Basil Blackwell. I had high hopes for this book. First, because I’m a big fan of Derek Sayer’s other work and, secondly, because … Continue reading

Posted in Critique, Gender, Historical Materialism, Karl Marx, Law, Max Weber, Nation/Nationalism, Political Economy, Power, The State | Comments Off on The Great Arch

Lefebvre: State, Space, World

Lefebvre, Henri. 2009. State, Space, World: Selected Essays. Edited by Neil Brenner and Stuart Elden. Minneapolis, MN: Minnesota University Press. [Intro, Ch. 1, 2, 3, 11] So far, as this particular reading confirmed, no other thinker seems better equipped than … Continue reading

Posted in Antonio Gramsci, Carl Schmitt, Critique, GWF Hegel, Henri Lefebvre, Historical Materialism, Historical-Geographies, Karl Marx, Law, Marxism, Nation/Nationalism, Political Economy, Power, Scale, Sovereignty, Spatiality, Territory, Violence | 3 Comments

Guha: Dominance Without Hegemony?

Guha, Ranajit. 1997. Dominance Without Hegemony: History and Power in Colonial India. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. [Intro & Ch. 1] Intuitively, it’s odd that the Subaltern Studies crowd has drawn so heavily on Gramsci, since he had surprisingly little to … Continue reading

Posted in Antonio Gramsci, Critique, Hegemony, Historical-Geographies, Law, Nation/Nationalism, Post-Colonial, Power, The State, Violence | 5 Comments

The Poverty of Theory Debate

Thompson, E.P. 1978. “Poverty of Theory or An Orrery of Errors” Anderson, Perry. 1980. Arguments Within English Marxism. London: Verso. Is there any polemic more biting in its wit, rigor and distaste than E.P. Thompson’s (EP) “Poverty of Theory”? Today, … Continue reading

Posted in Critique, Historical Materialism, Marxism, Political Economy, Power, The State | 2 Comments