The Postmodern Prince: Critical Theory, Left Strategy, And The Making Of A New Political Subject

The Postmodern Prince: Critical Theory, Left Strategy, And The Making Of A New Political Subject

by John Sanbonmatsu
     
 

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ISBN-10: 1583670890

ISBN-13: 9781583670897

Pub. Date: 08/01/2003

Publisher: Monthly Review Press

John Sanbonmatsu's Postmodern Prince is a work of political theory with a focus on questions of strategy. At the same time it provides an original and illuminating intellectual history of the Left from the 1960s to the present. It examines the politics of the New Left in the 1960s, showing how its expressivism led to political division and also prepared the

Overview

John Sanbonmatsu's Postmodern Prince is a work of political theory with a focus on questions of strategy. At the same time it provides an original and illuminating intellectual history of the Left from the 1960s to the present. It examines the politics of the New Left in the 1960s, showing how its expressivism led to political division and also prepared the ground for postmodernism. It shows also how the political economy of academic life in an increasingly commodified society strengthened the basis of postmodernism.

The Postmodern Prince provides a historically grounded critique of postmodernism, and a history of how the socialist Left has helped to create its ideas. In the course of this two-sided critique, it develops a brilliant account of a Marxism that sets itself the task of building a collective political subject—a successor to Machiavelli's Prince and Gramsci's Modern Prince—capable of challenging capitalism in its moment of global crisis.

Sanbonmatsu demonstrates the limitations of the work of Foucault, and more recently, Hardt and Negri's much-acclaimed Empire. In the process he validates for Marxism the classical idea of politics as hegemonic in scope, revolutionary in aspiration, and dependent on the capacity of leadership to rise to unforeseen challenges. He draws on an extraordinary range of historical, political, and philosophical analyses to set out the preconditions for a renewal of strategic and theoretical vision for the Left.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781583670897
Publisher:
Monthly Review Press
Publication date:
08/01/2003
Pages:
272
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.92(d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments7
Introduction9
1Romancing the Left21
A Romantic Structure of Feeling23
Faith vs. Works31
The Pentecostal Mysticism of Norman O. Brown37
Morbid Symptoms Appear46
The Expressivist Legacy48
2Speaking in Tongues51
The Cyborg Speaks in Tongues55
"Breaking the Silence": Postmodernist Identity Politics63
La Lingua Continua66
Expressivism as Reification68
3Baroque Theory71
"Use Value" and the Baroque Arsenal of Theory76
Commodity Aesthetics87
Trend Innovation in Theory90
Against the Autonomy of Theory96
Theory as Practice98
4The French Ideology101
Althusser, Foucault, and the Liquidation of Experience103
"Two, Three ... Many Geists": Reification and the Automaton Empire114
The Catechism of Praxis119
5The Prince and the Archaeologist125
Exemplary Lives125
The Virtu of the Modern Prince131
Strategy and the Modern Prince134
Foucault's "Great Refusal" of Strategy137
Teaching Literacies of Power143
Against Pedagogy147
Reversal of Fortune153
6The Postmodern Prince157
Form in Modern Political Thought160
Lenin's Leviathan168
Enter, Stage Left: The Modern Prince172
Unity and Difference: The Challenge of Translation178
The Postmodern Prince182
Totality and Perception191
Toward a New Theory of the Whole199
7Metahumanism203
Empathy and Attentiveness to Others208
Humanism, Suffering, and Love214
New Gnosis218
The Fight for Eros223
Epilogue224
Notes228
Index262

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