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Categotry Archives: Richard Gilman-Opalsky

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Communist Ontologies

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Categories: Bruno Gulli, Richard Gilman-Opalsky

Communist Ontologies

Communist Ontologies. An Inquiry into the Construction of New Forms of Life
Bruno Gullì & Richard Gilman-Opalsky

“To be communist is to be lost, looking for an answer, looking for a way out. Communist Ontologies is an explicit dialogue between Bruno Gullì and Richard Gilman-Opalsky. The book breaks with the monologue form, brings us away too from any monological concept of anti-capitalist politics. It is extraordinarily rich and extraordinarily enriching… A stroll by two communists, immensely rewarding, immensely subversive.” – John Holloway, from the Preface

With all appropriate modesties and heresies, Bruno Gullì and Richard Gilman-Opalsky think together in the ways of other kindred spirits like Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari, bell hooks and Cornel West, Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri, and Stefano Harney and Fred Moten. Gullì and Gilman-Opalsky undertake a philosophical and political inquiry into capitalist forms of life and communist ontologies. From a deep, dialectical study of each other’s work, they aim at a new synthesis of theory about possible and desirable beings-in-the-world. Rejecting capitalist conceptions of labor, politics, sovereignty, economy, (neo)liberalism, community, the individual, art, revolution, social change, and even the human person, Gullì and Gilman-Opalsky propose new ways of thinking and being antagonistic to the existing world (such as it is). They consider the prospects for new forms of life realized by way of the emancipatory dreams and struggles of everyday people.

Bio: Richard Gilman-Opalsky is professor of political theory and philosophy in the School of Politics and International Affairs at the University of Illinois. He is the author of eight books, including Imaginary Power, Real Horizons, The Communism of Love, Specters of Revolt, and Precarious Communism. His work has been translated and published in Greek, Spanish, French, and German.

Bruno Gullì teaches philosophy at Cuny-Kingsborough. He is the author of various articles and four books in the field of political ontology, including Labor of Fire: The Ontology of Labor between Economy and Culture (2005) and Singularities at the Threshold: The Ontology of Unrest (2020).

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Riotous Epistemology. Imaginary Power, Art, and Insurrection

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Categories: Richard Gilman-Opalsky, Stevphen Shukaitis

Riotous Epistemology. Imaginary Power, Art, and Insurrection
Richard Gilman-Opalsky & Stevphen Shukaitis

Riots. Revolts. Revolutions. All flashing moments which throw the world – and our relationship with it – into question. For centuries people have pinned their hopes on radical political change, on turning worlds upside down. But all too often the ever-renewed dream of changing the world for the better has ended either in failure or has been crushed.

Riotous Epistemology explores the significance of taking seriously the intellect of revolt, uprising as thinking, art as upheaval, and other forms of philosophy from below. To theorize revolt and subversive art practices as philosophy from below, it is necessary to refute conventional understandings of art and philosophy.  Continue reading →

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Future Che

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Categories: John Gruntfest, Richard Gilman-Opalsky

Future Che
John Gruntfest

Future Che brings together, for the first time, the art, poetry and music of legendary free jazz saxophonist and composer John Gruntfest. Drawing on a critical theory of waves Future Che incites wave after wave of joyful insurrection.

This book-art-music object includes an introduction by Richard Gilman-Opalsky and a live recording of a performance at the San Francisco Metropolitan Art Center.

Gruntfest draws upon both western and eastern radical artistic and philosophical traditions, from Ives to Coltrane, Buddha to Marx, Goldman to Debord, Whitman to Artaud… embracing all those creative, questioning, and life affirming movements that reject the stultifying, alienating, and deadening culture of capitalist death.

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Precarious Communism

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Categories: Richard Gilman-Opalsky

Precarious Communism

Precarious Communism: Manifest Mutations, Manifesto Detourned
Richard Gilman-Opalsky

How does one demonstrate the enduring relevance of a sacred text but to help it speak to present times? This is what churches do with the Bible and what Marxists do with the writings of Marx. Richard Gilman-Opalsky offers a book-length détournement of The Communist Manifesto as a loving blasphemy, as a grateful revolt, both for and against the original text. Gilman-Opalsky detourns the 1848 manifesto as an exploration of its ongoing applicability, as well as its failures, in relation to capitalism and its evolving crises. Precarious Communism explores long-form détournement as a tool for critical theory. But most importantly, Gilman-Opalsky’s new book is a mutant manifesto of its own that makes the case for an autonomist and millennial Marxism, for the many movements of precarious communism. Continue reading →

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Spectacular Capitalism

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Categories: Richard Gilman-Opalsky

Spectacular Capitalism

Spectacular Capitalism: Guy Debord and the Practice of Radical Philosophy
by Richard Gilman-Opalsky

Despite recent crises in the financial system, uprisings in Greece, France, Tunisia, and Bolivia, worldwide decline of faith in neoliberal trade policies, deepening ecological catastrophes, and global deficits of realized democracy, we still live in an era of “spectacular capitalism.” But what is “spectacular capitalism?” Spectacular capitalism is the dominant mythology of capitalism that disguises its internal logic and denies the macroeconomic reality of the actually existing capitalist world. Taking on this elusive mythology, and those who too easily accept it, Richard Gilman-Opalsky exposes the manipulative and self-serving narrative of spectacular capitalism.

Drawing on the work of Guy Debord, Gilman-Opalsky argues that the theory of practice and practice of theory are superseded by upheavals that do the work of philosophy. One could ask: Who better raises questions about public and private spheres of influence and control, Jürgen Habermas or the water war activists who made a rebellion in Cochabamba, Bolivia in the spring of 2000? Or, has any sociological theorist done better than the Zapatistas to reframe and raise questions about indigenous identity? Spectacular Capitalism makes the case not only for a new philosophy of praxis, but for praxis itself as the delivery mechanism for philosophy – for the field of human action, of contestation and conflict, to raise directly the most irresistible questions about the truth and morality of the existing state of affairs. Continue reading →