The Phallic Burden

"As societies grow decadent, the language grows decadent, too. Words are used to disguise, not to illuminate, action: you liberate a city by destroying it. Words are to confuse, so that at election time people will solemnly vote against their own interests." Gore Vidal "...fear—a particular fear that has composed the very foundation of male selfhood from antiquity to the modern era, from the peasant villages of Afghanistan to the west wing of the American White House. It is the fear of being feminized. For many men, masculinity is a hard-won, yet precarious and brittle psychological achievement that must be constantly proven and defended. While the external factors may appear to be that … [Read more...]

The Grand Inquisitor in the Bedroom

“The ideas of the ruling class are in every epoch the ruling ideas, i.e. the class which is the ruling material force of society, is at the same time its ruling intellectual force. The class which has the means of material production at its disposal, has control at the same time over the means of mental production, so that thereby, generally speaking, the ideas of those who lack the means of mental production are subject to it. The ruling ideas are nothing more than the ideal expression of the dominant material relationships, the dominant material relationships grasped as ideas; hence of the relationships which make the one class the ruling one, therefore, the ideas of its dominance." Karl … [Read more...]

The Shill to Power

"With their marked gift for calculation, the Jews "live" according to the principle of race, and indeed have done so for the longest time, for which reason they themselves most vigorously resist its unrestricted application. The arrangement of racial breeding stems not from "life" itself, but from the hyper-empowerment of life by machination (Machenschaft)." Martin Heidegger (Überlegungen XII, 82. Überlegungen XII-XV, GA. Peter Trawny translation) "Carl Schmitt's polemical discussion of political Romanticism conceals the aestheticizing oscillations of his own political thought. In this respect, too, a kinship of spirit with the fascist intelligentsia reveals itself." Jurgen Habermas … [Read more...]


"In capitalism, all media functions as economic media." Jonathan Beller (Video lecture, Economic Media; the Decolonization of Money. Goethe-Institut San Francisco) "Rampant narcissism surfaces as the final form of individualism; it at once negates the ego and perpetuates its mangled form." Russell Jacoby (Social Amnesia) "As an active partisan of many left-wing causes and movements, I was amazed (as the expansion of radical or revolutionary groupings gathered force in the late sixties and the seventies) to discover that on the left the most popular attitude towards the mental illnesses was to deny their very existence." Peter Sedgwick (Psychopolitics) "While negation, protest and … [Read more...]

Rebuilding Jerusalem

"...what exactly does ‘consent’ mean? This question is worth asking, since by leaving the matter unresolved one risks seeing the facts of ‘consent’ (where they exist) destabilise the concepts of exploitation, alienation, and domination, concepts that Marxist critique in particular relies upon as the trusted foundations of its intellectual toolkit. Each of these concepts is perturbed by the new, ‘motivational’ managerial tendencies that promise ‘fulfilment at work’ and ‘self-realisation’, and that appear at times to be winning the support of employees.” Frederic Lordon (Willing Slaves of Capital) “...capitalism is not a natural and inevitable consequence of human nature, or of the … [Read more...]

Falling Out of Love

“We will continue to be your single source of truth… Unless you hear it from us it is not the truth.” Jacinda Ardern (Speech, 2020) "The limit of photographic knowledge of the world is that, while it can goad conscience, it can, finally, never be ethical or political knowledge. The knowledge gained through still photographs will always be some kind of sentimentalism, whether cynical or humanist." Susan Sontag (On Photography) ”The alleviation of mental distress is only possible “in a society without exploitation and oppression.” Iain Freguson (Politics of the Mind: Marxism and Mental Distress) "And when I feel, fair creature of an hour, That I shall never look upon thee … [Read more...]

Nunc Stans, or The Empty Future

"The tradition of the oppressed teaches us that the "state of emergency" in which we live is not the exception but the rule. We must attain to a conception of history that is in keeping with this insight. Then we shall clearly realize that it is our task to bring about a real state of emergency, and this will improve our position in the struggle against Fascism. One reason why Fascism has a chance is that in the name of progress its opponents treat it as a historical norm." Walter Benjamin (Thesis on the Philosophy of History) “No less than any other religion, science organises and arranges its own structure through different forms and ranks. To its elaboration of a subtle and rigorous … [Read more...]

The Lost Initiate

"First, it should be noted that the death instinct was not introduced to account for the factor of destructiveness, as the later papers on culture and especially 'Civilization and Its Discontents' might lead us to believe, but to account for a set of facts which center around the compulsion to repeat." Paul Ricoeur (Freud & Philosophy) "The unseen suffers precisely from its continued nonappearance in any form and desires only access to a mode of appearance." Jean-Luc Marion (The Visible and the Revealed) "In one sense, the expropriation of experience was implicit in the founding project of modern science." Giorgio Agamben (Infancy and History) "This is why, in the paragraph on … [Read more...]