Postcapitalism: yes, but which one?

Today no-one can in good conscience doubt that we are heading for a postcapitalist future. The question is what form this future will take. The old market-driven dream of competitive private individual entrepreneurialism is dead in the water, but the new tendency has not been towards socialisation but towards massive monopolistic rentism.

Notes on Philosophy of Praxis

The Western philosophical tradition after Descartes firmly separates object and subject and in so doing ties these to the antinomy of necessity and freedom. Objects have nothing to do with subjectivity and are indifferent to its gaze, indeed impose necessary limits upon it; subjects meanwhile are not completely determined by limiting objective factors and therefore

Tabloid Newsstands, or the futur antérieur Museum of Racism

One of the critical skills a historian of art, or indeed historian of anything, acquires is the ability to think cumulatively. This means assessing media and sources for their quotidian ongoing drip-feed effect, which, from the amnesiac day-to-day perspective of a precariously-employed member of the public pre-occupied with performance and meeting targets, comes to appear

The_Court_Jester

What is called ‘joking’?

Rowan Atkinson, whose portrayal of Blackadder in my youth gave me a lot of simple pleasure, is dead wrong to support Boris Johnson. The distinction between a joke and a non-joke is an important one and can only be defined from the standpoint of reception. A joke is something said by a comedian, or one

The bridge broken, the city faint from fear

It is well-known that minister for propaganda Josef Goebbels used lines from the sixteenth century Propheties of Michel de Notre Dame (Nostradamus) to bolster Nazi belief in a coming victory; also that the British reciprocated by plucking their own prophetic writings out of the air. The game of using any suitably elastic corpus of words,

Full of Splendour: more thoughts on Westworld

It seems that what I wrote about season one of Westworld applies even more to season two. There are spoilers ahead. During season one, head of QA Theresa states: ‘Westworld is one thing to the guests, another to the shareholders and something completely different to management’. This statement begins taking on much more significance. The

Hey Cortana, Join a Union

Man, for his part, by automating his objects and rendering them multi-functional instead of striving to structure his practices in a fluid and open-ended manner, reveals in a way what part he himself plays in a technical society: that of the most beautiful all-purpose object, that of an instrumental object.1 When Baudrillard wrote this in

Baudrillard in an age of Gammon

While far from being my favourite theorist, Baudrillard’s time may have come. While he was alive the popular uptake of his work lumped it in with the work of Derrida, Deleuze, Foucault and Lyotard — all misunderstood, all held up as examples of a bad philosophical object called ‘postmodernism’ which no-one in Britain save for

Coming Soon

I’m currently updating the website to better accommodate access from multiple devices.  Entries from the old blogging platform will still be available at the old address for a short while, after which it will be deleted and content will resume here.