In this new title in Verso’s Pocket Communism series, Jodi Dean unshackles the communist ideal from the failures of the Soviet Union. In an age when the malfeasance of international banking has alerted exploited populations the world over to the unsustainability of an economic system predicated on perpetual growth, it is time the left ended its melancholic accommodation with capitalism.
In the new capitalism of networked information technologies, our very ability to communicate is exploited, but revolution is still possible if we organize on the basis of our common and collective desires. Examining the experience of the Occupy movement, Dean argues that such spontaneity can’t develop into a revolution and it needs to constitute itself as a party.
An innovative work of pressing relevance, The Communist Horizon offers nothing less than a manifesto for a new collective politics.
Since Donald Trump’s electoral defeat of Hillary Clinton for President of the United States, liberal commentary has fixated on the problem of identity politics. Like the incessant tonguing of a sore tooth, this fixation locates a problem but doesn’t address it. It doesn’t even analyze it. It tells us nothing about the appeal of identity, attachments to it, investments in it. At best, liberal commentary (such as has appeared in the New York Times) repeats conservative criticisms of political correctness, glossing them with erudite condescension.
Clinton’s most prominent campaign slogan was “I’m with Her.” The “I” in the slogan is the voter. The “Her” is Clinton. The slogan is the voter’s statement that they are voting not specifically for Clinton but for a woman. The voter is the kind of person to whom gender matters, whose vote is one that is first and foremost a vote for gender justice — it’s her turn. Men have been president; it’s time for a woman. The slogan tells us something about what the voter values, about who the voter is as a person. About the candidate the slogan tells us only her gender. The candidate’s gender is what is most distinctive, most politically salient, about her.
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