Ep. 62 – Rosa Luxemburg, The Accumulation of Capital Part III

In this episode we (finally!) get to the third section of Rosa Luxemburg‘s The Accumulation of Capital“The Historical Conditions of Accumulation.” This juicy–and oft-quoted section–addresses the ongoing nature of primitive accumulation and the violences of capitalism, the non-capitalist markets required for the expanded reproduction, and the ways this reproduction necessitates imperialism and militarism. The team mulls over what, precisely, Luxemburg means by external, non-capitalist markets (can they be internal to capitalist states? Does she necessarily mean colonized states “abroad”?) We parse the difference between Luxemburg’s “political geography” and “social economy”, the implications of her critique for neo-Marxist framings of neoliberalism, and the ways she enlivens, expands, and reinvigorates Marxist thought. And, most importantly, we raise the eternal question of whether Crate & Barrel is part of Marx and Luxemburg’s schematic Department I or Department II of the capitalist economy. Join us for the final episode of the trilogy!
Requests for texts for us to discuss? Dreams for us to interpret? Advice questions for us to answer? Email us at alwaysalreadypodcast AT gmail DOT com. Subscribe on iTunes. Follow us on Twitter. Like our Facebook page. RSS feed here. Thanks to Bad Infinity for the intro music, “Post Digital,” from their album FutureCommonsalways already thanks to B for the outro music. For the mp3 of the episode click here.
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Ep. 61 – Rosa Luxemburg, The Accumulation of Capital Part II

Join Rachel, John, and Sid as they tackle Part II of Rosa Luxemburg’s The Accumulation of Capital. Picking up where Part I left off, the team waste no time in connecting Luxemburg’s analyses of nineteenth-century economic debates to the neoliberal present. Spurred by Luxemburg’s witty inquiry into the ways vulgar economists, classical and Marxist alike, understood capitalist crises (spoiler: they didn’t quite get it), we try to think with Luxemburg about the crises of late capitalism. Should we be hopeful in moments of crisis? What’s the relation between socialist theory and practice? How are the political forms available to us different from Luxemburg’s time? From the Amazon model to Bernie Sanders’s declaration to run in 2020 to the tension between determinism/teleology and contingency in Marxist thought, the team shuttle back-and-forth across two hundred years of history.

In other words, you don’t want to miss the second installment of the first ever AAP podcast mini-series.

Support us on Patreon to help us upgrade our recording equipment, potentially provide episode transcripts, and more – plus, you may have the chance to jump your request to the top of the request queue. Requests for texts for us to discuss? Dreams for us to interpret? Advice questions for us to answer? Email us at alwaysalreadypodcast AT gmail DOT com. Subscribe on iTunes. Follow us on Twitter. Like our Facebook page. RSS feed here. Thanks to Bad Infinity for the intro music, “Post Digital,” from their new album FutureCommonsalways already thanks to B for the outro music. For the mp3 of the episode click here.

 

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Ep. 59 – Rosa Luxemburg, The Accumulation of Capital Part I

Join Rachel, John, and newly-appointed co-host Sid for the first entry in the first ever AAP podcast series, a multi-part exploration of Rosa Luxemburg’s The Accumulation of Capital. In Part I, the team examines Luxemburg’s account of the reproduction of capital, including its relationship to Marx’s Capital, the relation of individual capitalists to capitalism as a whole, the ‘superstructure’s’ role in reproduction, and more. What is particular about accumulation as capitalism’s form of expanded reproduction? What are the political stakes of Luxemburg’s analysis? How could we think through post-Fordism, the gig economy, and neoliberalism from the standpoint of Luxemburg? How many times can we preface a question with jokes about being vulgar Marxists? The (quasi-)answers to these and other riddles lurk in the episode.

Stay turned for the next installation of our Luxemburg series, coming your way in January.

Support us on Patreon to help us upgrade our recording equipment, potentially provide episode transcripts, and more – plus, you may have the chance to jump your request to the top of the request queue. Requests for texts for us to discuss? Dreams for us to interpret? Advice questions for us to answer? Email us at alwaysalreadypodcast AT gmail DOT com. Subscribe on iTunes. Follow us on Twitter. Like our Facebook page. RSS feed here. Thanks to Bad Infinity for the intro music, “Post Digital,” from their new album FutureCommonsalways already thanks to B for the outro music. For the mp3 of the episode click here.

 

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Interview: James Chamberlain on Undoing Work, Rethinking Community – Epistemic Unruliness 23

In this episode, James A. Chamberlain (Political Science, Mississippi State) joins John to discuss his recent book, Undoing Work, Rethinking Community: A Critique of the Social Function of Work. After situating the book in relation to recent political theory literature on work and labor, they delve into the way work society–and even some radical post-work thinkers–define work as the criteria for inclusion into society, and how this implicates specific kinds of social ontologies and notions of community. From there, they discuss Universal Basic Income and job guarantees, the gendering and racialization of labor, rethinking academic work, and how critiques of work interface with questions of borders and migration.

Support us on Patreon to help us upgrade our recording equipment and provide episode transcripts — plus, you may have the chance to jump your request to the top of the request queue. Requests for texts for us to discuss? Dreams for us to interpret? Advice questions for us to answer? Email us at alwaysalreadypodcast AT gmail DOT com. Subscribe on iTunes. Follow us on Twitter. Like our Facebook page. RSS feed here. We are part of the Critical Mediations network. Thanks to Bad Infinity for the intro music, and always already thanks to B for the outro music. For the mp3 of the episode click here.

 

 

Ep. 52 – Geraldine Heng, The Invention of Race in the European Middle Ages

We’re back, and with an episode featuring frequent guest of the show Sid Issar joining Rachel and John! The trio engages with a two-part article (here and here) by Geraldine Heng, “The Invention of Race in the European Middle Ages.” How does Heng’s work reconfigure the temporality of race and racism? What does race-making look like in the Middle Ages, and how does that change our political analyses of the present? In what ways does medieval race-making consolidate whiteness? What genealogies of racialization are lost when we focus on modernity as the exclusive origin of racism? How is Heng’s work related to other investigations into race and racism? How many times can we use Heng’s work to pithily resignify Marxist concepts in just one hour?

Join us for this journey as we come to realize that maybe not EVERYTHING is modernity’s fault.

Support us on Patreon to help us upgrade our recording equipment. Requests for texts for us to discuss? Dreams for us to interpret? Advice questions for us to answer? Email us at alwaysalreadypodcast AT gmail DOT com. Subscribe on iTunes. Follow us on Twitter. Like our Facebook page. RSS feed here. Thanks to Leah Dion for the intro music, and always already to B for the outro music. For the mp3 of the episode click here.

 

The Hereford Mappa Mundi (world map) from c. 1300. Heng uses the map to demonstrate medieval modes of racialization.
By Unknown – unesco.org.uk, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=41201813

 

Ep. 51 – Anna L. Tsing on Capitalism, Mushrooms, and the End of the World

In this episode, Emily and John are joined by a new guest and friend of the podcast Joseph Bookman for a lively discussion of Anna L. Tsing‘s book The Mushroom at the End of the World: On the Possibility of Life in Capitalist Ruins. Join us as we try to unpack Tsing’s conceptualization of “salvage capitalism,” as we think through her use of “precarity,” and as we ruminate on the relationship between form and content in the book. Is there a politics of salvage capitalism and precarity to be drawn out of this work? Does the book’s form – a “riot of short chapters” – change the way we might critically engage with its arguments? Is capitalism always already about ruin and salvage? Plus, a very on-topic dream about a fancy cabin in the woods (capitalism, nature, and Freud – oh my!).

Thanks to listener @conteanth for the request to discuss Tsing.

Support us on Patreon to help us upgrade our recording equipment. Requests for texts for us to discuss? Dreams for us to interpret? Advice questions for us to answer? Email us at alwaysalreadypodcast AT gmail DOT com. Subscribe on iTunes. Follow us on Twitter. Like our Facebook page. RSS feed here. Thanks to Leah Dion for the intro music, to Bad Infinity for the music in between segments, and always already to B for the outro music. For the mp3 of the episode click here.

Links:
Anna L. Tsing
New Republic review of the book.
Interview with Anna Tsing for “Allegra Laboratory”
Anna Tsing keynote on “Landscapes and the Anthropocene”
Epistemic Unruliness 14: Joanna Steinhardt on mushrooms and ecological movements
Matsutake mushrooms

 

 

Interview: Charles Mills on Racial Liberalism

In this very special episode, John talks with Charles W. Mills (Philosophy, The Graduate Center, CUNY) about his new book, Black Rights/White Wrongs: The Critique of Racial Liberalism (Oxford UP, 2017). Mills walks us through some of the main arguments and concepts from the book, including the terminology of racial liberalism, the importance of white supremacy as a concept, his critiques of Kant and Rawls, the prospects for a “black radical liberalism,” and much more. But, the two build out the conversation to also discuss whiteness in the academy, race and ontology, the ongoing importance of historical materialism, whether liberalism can be reconstructed, and race and pedagogy in the political philosophy/theory classroom.

We were thrilled to have the opportunity to speak with Mills – don’t miss out on the dialogue.

Support us on Patreon to help us upgrade our recording equipment. Requests for texts for us to discuss? Dreams for us to interpret? Advice questions for us to answer? Email us at alwaysalreadypodcast AT gmail DOT com. Subscribe on iTunes. Follow us on Twitter. Like our Facebook page. RSS feed here. Thanks to Leah Dion for the intro music, and to Bad Infinity for music during the break and for the outro. Get the mp3 of the episode here.