Lacan has remarked that modesty is the most important virtue. Lacan thinks modesty as an affect that keeps one’s desire or symptom protected behind a veil. Yet when the veil is lifted through the gaze of the other, the subject undergoes shame. Where there is shame, the extimate part of one’s being, precisely their desire is exposed to the other. Shame thus awakens the subject to being riveted to oneself, to a foreign self inside oneself.
Todd Phillip's Joker is a film about class war in utero. The film sets the stage for a coming political world in which the class war in Gotham has been named and elevated to the undeniable antagonism that situates the injustice of society. The film is also a psychobiography of an antihero's journey into this … Continue reading A Lacanian Reading of Joker
With increasing interest in new forms of Marxism, the philosophical origins of Marx’s thought have been a topic of important debate with many studies locating Marx’s early thought in Christian theology. The early Marx often reads like a quasi-theologian when he discusses ideas of universality and the emancipation of the proletariat. But does Marx’s early … Continue reading On Kołakowski and the Neoplatonist Pre-History of Marxism
I have a long essay up on socialism, liberalism and solidarity for the great working class think tank The Hampton Institute. Please give it a read here. The piece is entitled "Overcoming Liberalism from Within: On American Socialism and Solidarity."
It's time to restore a tradition on this blog: the classic year-end best books list. 2018 has been a fairly significant year for my research and reading. As you will see below, my primary concerns orbit around political economy, psychoanalysis, the history of Marxist thought, the Black Radical Tradition, the theological genealogy of socialist thought, … Continue reading The Best Books of 2018
The following is an interview I conducted with Lacanian psychoanalyst Thomas Svolos for The New Polis where I serve as Contributing Editor.
The great European Marxist saw in American philosophy a form of thinking that refused speculative thought and that presented a form of reason adjusted to exploitation of the status quo. The confluence of American philosophy produced a most insidious form of idealism.
In the 1960’s, capital valuation cycles occurred in an average of three-year cycles. Capital would hang around in one place for an average of three years. But by the 1990’s, capital valuation cycles were reduced to just three months. This hyper financialization of capital produced a highly unstable worker, and with it the rise of … Continue reading The Death of Storytelling and the Rise of Myth
Arne De Boever's book Finance Fictions: Realism and Psychosis in a Time of Economic Crisis is not providing a new psychoanalytic analysis of psychosis, which I immediately thought it might offer. But it is an important contribution to what is now a steadily growing sub-literature within contemporary philosophy and theory on the topic of the market and finance. … Continue reading Is the Stock Market a “Camp”? Towards a Cosmic Politics
Next month, I will teach a class for inmates in the DC jail as part of the JCI Prison Scholars Program. I'll most definitely plan to write about the class. Here is the syllabus for the course. Key Themes in Social and Political Thought JCI Prison Scholars Program, May – July 2018 In this course, … Continue reading Teaching Philosophy in Prison
I'm giving a lecture at St. John Fisher University in Rochester, NY called “Dissolving the I in the We: Love and the Problem of Community.” This lecture is a part of the annual St. Thomas More lecture series in ethics. I plan to address the theme of community and look more specifically at the function and … Continue reading Dissolving the I in the We: Love and the Problem of Community
You can attend a workshop I'm pleased to offer on the topic of "Islam and Psychoanalysis" at Georgetown University. Here are the details and a link to the suggested reading: Daniel Tutt: “Islam and Psychoanalysis” Time:Wednesday, February 28th, 12:30pm Location: Georgetown University, ICC 450 **Open to the public. Food provided The Department of Arabic and Islamic … Continue reading Colloquium Workshop: “Islam and Psychoanalysis”
In my dissertation, I made an argument that the decisionism of Badiou, Zizek, Laclau and other so-called 'post-Marxist' theorists is derived from an intra-theoretical debate amongst left-Heideggerians, specifically against the pervasive authenticity politics and existentialist politics of the time. I argue that Lacan's 'ontology of lack' was the alternative formula that enabled these thinkers to … Continue reading Whither the critique of political economy in post-Marxism?
Derrida famously opens Specters of Marx with a meditation on the motif in Hamlet that "time is out of joint." This reference provokes many implications, but the core condition of time being out of joint is inactivity and passivity in the face of time. Time being out of joint for Hamlet touched both the register … Continue reading Embracing Fragmentation
“a something, a greater than which cannot be conceived.” St. Anselm Amidst the fanfare and excitement over Lady Bird, a lingering debate about the film is whether the family of Lady Bird really "lived in poverty." Some people want to suggest that her position was really just lower middle class striving, a more ordinary American family struggling … Continue reading Something Bigger: Lady Bird and the Divinity of the Name
The European Starling was first introduced to America by a Shakespeare enthusiast who felt that New York city, already a booming theater-going town in the early 1800's, must have every species of bird Shakespeare ever wrote about. Just last year, 1.7 million of these foreign Starlings were poisoned and put to death. It's now legal … Continue reading Vultures and Starlings: Class and Debt Feudalism in Ozark
I have a new blog/essay up at the Critical Theory Research Network called "Obscure Subjects: Myth and Metapolitics on the alt-Right." Here is an overview: In this piece, I consider the syndicalist intellectual Georges Sorel and his influence on early 20th century fascism in France and Italy prior to the rise of the Nazis in … Continue reading Obscure Subjects: Myth and Metapolitics on the alt-Right
You can watch a new short film I directed on the theory of insurrections and resistance. This film project has been a passion of mine for some time, and I am excited to share the story in a series of installments. Below please watch and share Volume 1. Subscribe and follow us on Facebook for … Continue reading Insurrections Vol. 1 (SHORT FILM)
The premise that the economic sphere impacts the moral sphere of society is well accepted. Marxists claim such a separation of these spheres, whether in functional or analytic analysis results in idealism. Thus, the wager that the task of critique is to isolate or show how an autonomy of these spheres is possible is deeply … Continue reading Lukács, labor and the humanization of man
What if Trump's upcoming speech in Saudi Arabia signifies a shift at the level of discourse -- one that effectively propels international relations into a new, post clash of civilizations framework? A post clash framework no longer requires any allusion to the idea that the west has a moral duty to help Islam revive its lost greatness, … Continue reading A post clash of civilizations framework?