American Utopia: Dual Power and the Universal Army by Fredric Jameson

By Fredric Jameson

Debatable manifesto via acclaimed cultural theorist debated via major writers

Fredric Jameson's pathbreaking essay An American Utopia considerably questions commonplace leftist notions of what constitutes an emancipated society. encouraged the following 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 rest 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 international capitalism. as well as Jameson's essay, the quantity comprises responses from philosophers and political and cultural analysts, in addition to an epilogue from Jameson himself.

Many may be appalled at what they're going to come upon in those pages—there may be blood! yet maybe one has to spill such (ideological) blood to provide 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

Sample text

In fact, the possibilities for utopian thinking were always bound up with the fortunes of a more general concern, not to say obsession, with power. The meditation on power was itself an ambiguous project. In the 1960s this project was a utopian one: it was a question of thinking and reimagining societies without power, particularly in the form of societies before power: here Lévi-Strauss’s revival of Rousseau gave rise to the utopian visions of early Baudrillard, of Marshall Sahlins in his Stone Age Economics, of Pierre Clastres, and of that supreme utopian vision, The Forest People by Colin Turnbull.

Obviously, it has been clear that the need for a revolutionary concept of dual power to fill in the gaps left by the disappearance of the older twin Gramscian concepts of revolution had everything to do not just with the end of the Cold War but above all with that globalization which spelled an end to the way global class struggle had hitherto been waged—both in its political-practical and its ideological forms. So from the outset we might well have formulated our quest in this way: What form can a situation of dual power take in the new world of globalization—of the communicationalization of capital, the globalization of finance capital and of a new kind of extractive neo-imperialism, of a post-national world fitfully controlled by a capitalist hegemon?

Discursive struggle—a phrase that originated in the defeat of the Thatcher years and the interrogations around that victory—discursive struggle posited the process whereby slogans, concepts, stereotypes, and accepted wisdoms did battle among each other for preponderance, which is to say, in the quaint language of that day and age, hegemony. Stuart saw that one of the fundamental strategies at work in that victory lay in the deligitimation of the language of its adversaries, in the tireless discrediting of all the slogans, such as nationalization, that were associated with a postwar labor hegemony.

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