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

By Fredric Jameson

Debatable manifesto via acclaimed cultural theorist debated by means of top writers

Fredric Jameson's pathbreaking essay An American Utopia notably questions ordinary leftist notions of what constitutes an emancipated society. encouraged right here are—among different things—universal conscription, the entire 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 realm. Jameson's textual content is preferably positioned to set off a debate at the possible choices to international 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 can be appalled at what they are going to stumble upon in those pages—there might be blood! yet probably 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 info for American Utopia: Dual Power and the Universal Army

Example text

Almost all of them have suffered the institutional debilitation endemic to late capitalism. Take, for example, the post office. In Europe it is a kind of savings bank as well; here it offers a parallel to the census and could presumably, along with your motor vehicle agency, secure your voting rights. It distributes retirement, pension, and Social Security checks, and is apparently even developing some kind of institutional relationship with its former mortal enemy, the Internet; it mints money, in the form of stamps; it used to be an important source of employment, particularly for those seeking to drop out of the system as inconspicuously as possible; and, generally on foot, it offers a unique, even utopian, experience of nature as well as of urban space and an equally unique relationship to the community, where that still exists.

Yet they are precious symptoms of the inability of late capitalism to provide even the rudiments of collective life; they are the heart of a heartless world, to use Marx’s old description of religions and churches. It is not to replace such imagined or, better still, imaginary communities and micro-groups of all kinds that the universal army is called upon, but it seems to me there is a better way of putting them in their place (and allowing them to flourish as they will), and this brings us to the substitution of utopian thinking for politics and political theory.

Religion itself, as Cornel West has pointed out, is a fundamental component of American mass culture: it is a place for the organization of small groups and communities and also the pretext for the encouragement of all kinds of manias, fantasies, and wish-fulfillments of an individual as well as collective nature. I will argue in a moment that there is a place for both these things in a different kind of society, but that they should be restricted to the realm of culture as such. 4. But if business, the professions, religion, even the labor unions (let alone the post office or the Mafia) are inadequate vehicles for dual power, what can then be left in late capitalism as an already organized institution capable of assuming the parallel and ultimately revolutionary role on which alone radical social change depends?

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