Islamophobia and the Coming Trump Era

What we know right now is that the Trump era lies ahead of us. The immediate intervallic period between now and late January when he assumes office will be a time of increasing fear met with protest and resistance against the way things turned out on 11/9 and against the sinking reality that we face four … Continue reading Islamophobia and the Coming Trump Era

Help Fund My Documentary Film on Philosophy and Revolt

Dear Reader, I am writing you a more personal post to ask for your help. If you have enjoyed my writing, if it has been helpful to you in any way, I ask that you consider helping my crowdfunding campaign to bring the world of ideas to film. As you may know, I have been working … Continue reading Help Fund My Documentary Film on Philosophy and Revolt

Is Conversion Possible?

What if we began to view leftist revolutionary thought as inextricably tied up with the problem of religious conversion? After all, a convert to revolutionary positions is far different than the merely philosophical conversionary model of Plato and St. Augustine, which is a cognitive level conversion. For Plato, conversion is when the individual develops a newfound commitment to … Continue reading Is Conversion Possible?

Insurrections and the Role of Philosophy

Here is the abstract of my talk at the upcoming Society for Philosophy in the Contemporary World conference happening July 23rd-27 at McDaniel College in Westminster, Maryland. My talk will include a rough trailer and some clips from the film Insurrections that I am directing. I welcome your feedback on this abstract. “Insurrections and the … Continue reading Insurrections and the Role of Philosophy

The Political Appeal of Ibn Taymiyyah

Ibn Taymiyyah looms large in today's imaginary; he is an untouchable authority in the minds of many Muslims. If you watch Salafi videos on YouTube, you'll notice the hagiography around the man clouds many of his followers from engaging him on a serious or critical level. Some scholars are told to avoid him outright, while … Continue reading The Political Appeal of Ibn Taymiyyah

Philosophy in Saturated Times

Frank Ruda's For Badiou: Idealism Without Idealism probes the question that has driven a number of interventions into Badiou's thought: what is the role of philosophy in non-evental or saturated times? Saturation is a state of atonality, a state in which the exception is not made actual. Saturation implies the end of a process or procedure of … Continue reading Philosophy in Saturated Times

Badiou’s Revision of Sartre’s Fused Group

In his late Marxist work, Critique of Dialectical Reason, Sartre was pessimistic about revolutionary politics. He theorized the subject of history in the figure of the group in revolt, what he termed the 'fused group'. The fused group, through their acts of negation (revolt), develop a new interior, untranscedable position. In a Lacanian sense, Sartre's fused group is … Continue reading Badiou’s Revision of Sartre’s Fused Group

Mehdi Belhaj Kacem: A Catharsis of Pleonexia

Mehdi Belhaj Kacem is a highly enigmatic thinker: an autodidact in the history of philosophy, a well known actor in French cinema and self-proclaimed anti-philosopher who had a major public break with his former mentor Alain Badiou around the same time as the Arab spring was taking off. I just finished his first major work translated into English, … Continue reading Mehdi Belhaj Kacem: A Catharsis of Pleonexia

How to Win an Aesthetic War: On Bernard Stiegler’s Symbolic Misery

How do we think political conflict that impacts all aspects of social life, from the family to public institutions? What domains of private and public life are affected by a form of conflict which is ubiquitous? The Greek term stasis has been invoked to theorize this form of ever-present conflict by a number of contemporary … Continue reading How to Win an Aesthetic War: On Bernard Stiegler’s Symbolic Misery

Time and Voluntarism in Badiou and Lazarus

How do we locate voluntarism in the political thought of Sylvain Lazarus and Alain Badiou? First, what do I mean by voluntarism. Two things mainly: voluntarism posits that consciousness declares antagonism, not that antagonism declares consciousness. Voluntarism posits that the possibility of political decisions and acts occurs from within the sphere of consciousness subtracted from capitalist time. It … Continue reading Time and Voluntarism in Badiou and Lazarus

Riots and Neoliberalism

In Riot. Strike. Riot. The New Era of Uprisings, Joshua Clover argues that riots have taken off and will continue with intensity due in large part to the fact that capital can no longer afford to buy off the social peace. Capital no longer has the need to invest in producing a situation of social stability among its pool of potential labor. … Continue reading Riots and Neoliberalism

Confessions of a Mystical Freudian

Of all the different directions Freudian-Marxism took during the twentieth century, Norman O. Brown, the American philosopher, stands out as presenting a particularly compelling version. The first thing to note about Brown is that his project is distinctively American. His thought falls in line with the transcendentalists and with a certain strand of American idealism. He is widely influenced … Continue reading Confessions of a Mystical Freudian

Affects and Lacanian Theology

One of the more admirable aspects of Colette Soler's work is her allegiance to theological concepts, which we should remember, Lacan himself took very seriously. In Lacanian Affects: The Function of Affect in Lacan's Thought, theological and philosophical concepts such as sin, guilt, God, and the ethics of virtue--all of which were crucial to Lacan's understanding of … Continue reading Affects and Lacanian Theology

Elements of Islamophobia: The State, Class and Capital

I have a new essay up at Heathwood Press as part of their special series on Crisis Capitalism and Creeping Fascism – Bigotry, Racism, and the Rise of the Right in the Age of Neoliberal Barbarism. Please support Heathwood Press, an important new publisher working to revive the project of critical theory for today. Here … Continue reading Elements of Islamophobia: The State, Class and Capital

Identification in Lacanian Psychoanalysis – Audio Lecture

As part of the clinical Wednesday series with the DC Lacanian Forum, I gave my third presentation to the group, this time on the theme of identification. I begin with an analysis of identification in Freud's Group Psychology and the Analysis of the Ego and look at Borch-Jacobsen's critique of Freud in his controversial The … Continue reading Identification in Lacanian Psychoanalysis – Audio Lecture

New essay on Deleuze and Islamic Philosophy

I have a review essay that explores Deleuze and Islamic philosophy. It focuses on the thought of Mulla Sadrā and his theory of the act of being in relation to Deleuze's theory of immanence. The essay is based on a reading of two new books on Deleuze and theology: Daniel Colucciello Barber's, Deleuze and the Naming … Continue reading New essay on Deleuze and Islamic Philosophy

Identification and emancipation: unary trait or unary trace?

Political philosophy has considered its project of thinking to be ‘emancipatory’ since the enlightenment. Emancipation is a term that refers to the idea of a total freedom from ignorance, from animality, or from a state of ‘self-imposed tutelage’ – as Kant would say in What is Enlightenment. Today, the question of emancipation has taken new … Continue reading Identification and emancipation: unary trait or unary trace?

David Foster Wallace and the Politics of Existential Loneliness

The David Foster Wallace movie "The End of the Tour" is generally pretty good. The acting was superb and I like the way the dialogue and the relationship between DFW and the Rolling Stone magazine journalist played out. I read Infinite Jest in my early 20's and funny enough the film noted several times that the prime … Continue reading David Foster Wallace and the Politics of Existential Loneliness