By Fredric Jameson
Arguable manifesto by means of acclaimed cultural theorist debated through prime writers
Fredric Jameson's pathbreaking essay An American Utopia significantly questions commonplace leftist notions of what constitutes an emancipated society. encouraged right here are—among different things—universal conscription, the total acknowledgment of envy and resentment as a basic problem to any communist society, and the attractiveness that the department among paintings and relaxation can't be overcome.
To create a brand new international, we needs to first swap the way in which we envision the area. Jameson's textual content is preferably positioned to set off a debate at the choices to worldwide capitalism. as well as Jameson's essay, the amount contains responses from philosophers and political and cultural analysts, in addition to an epilogue from Jameson himself.
Many might be appalled at what they are going to come upon in those pages—there might be blood! yet might be one has to spill such (ideological) blood to offer the Left a chance.
Contributing are Kim Stanley Robinson, Jodi Dean, Saroj Giri, Agon Hamza, Kojin Karatani, Frank Ruda, Alberto Toscano, Kathi Weeks, and Slavoj Žižek.
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Extra resources for American Utopia: Dual Power and the Universal Army
At any rate, these developments in the field of utopias seemed to go hand in hand with the virtual dissolution of practical politics of all kinds on the left. This is the situation in which I want to propose a project about which I can’t be sure whether I am proposing a political program or a utopian vision, neither of which, according to me, ought to be possible any longer. Why not? Well, the left once had a political program called revolution. No one seems to believe in it any longer, partly because the agency supposed to bring it about has disappeared, partly because the system it was supposed to replace has become too omnipresent to begin to imagine replacing it, and partly because the very language associated with revolution has become as old-fashioned and archaic as that of the Founding Fathers.
As for the draft, it is preeminently symbolic that Nixon ended the draft in order to put an end to popular, and in particular student, resistance to the war in Vietnam (Johnson had already modified the draft with hosts of class and racial exemptions in order to limit its political impact). More recently, during the Iraq war or what we may call the Rumsfeld period, this professional army has been further privatized—and I insist on the relevance of this word for the way it underscores the relationship with the variety of other economic or free-market privatizations all over the world inaugurated by the Reagan-Thatcher regimes.
At some such general point the reflection on power acquires its ideological foundations in the work of Michel Foucault and others, reinforced by “revelations” about the gulag, and becomes a dystopian obsession, a quasi-paranoid fear of any form of political or social organization—whether in the formation of political parties of one kind or another or in speculation about the construction of future societies radically different from this one—as well as a desperate brandishing of the terminologies of freedom and democracy by leftists, who ought to know better and to appreciate the quasi-ownership of this language by Western “democracies” or, in other words, by late capitalism.
American Utopia: Dual Power and the Universal Army by Fredric Jameson