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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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Immanent Singularities

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Categories: Bruno Gulli, Stevphen Shukaitis

Immanent Singularities: A Minor Compositions Interview with Bruno Gulli

As a philosopher and academic worker, Bruno Gulli is nothing if not untimely. In an era when the labor of thought, the work that creates new concepts, finds itself squeezed by an ever-increasing array of restrictions (from journal and publisher limitations to lack of time from overwork and precarious employment), Gulli bucks these trends in a spectacular fashion. Rather than composing 8000 word chunks of pabulum, simply recycling tired clichés or niceties, Gulli has embarked on composing a three-volume inquiry into the relation between ethics, labor, and ontology. Such an approach might not have seemed all that remarkable fifty years ago, but today to carry out such a fundamental rethinking of our categories of political thought and discourse is paradoxically no longer appreciated, and therefore all the more necessary. Gulli’s first book, The Labor of Fire (2005, Temple University Press) led Michael Hardt to comment that the work of Gulli, along with others carrying out similar work, will renew the Marxist tradition. This renewal, he claims, will not be of a scientific, structuralist, or humanist Marxism, but rather a philosophical approach to Marx centered on the concept of labor its power of social transformation. High words of praise indeed. This interview was conducted shortly after the publication of his most recent book Earthly Plenitudes: A Study on Sovereignty and Labor(2010, Temple University Press). Continue reading →