• Pantagruel
    1.5k
    The Selected Writings of Pierre Hadot: Philosophy As Practice, ed. Keith Ansell Pearson180 Proof

    Nice.
  • Maw
    2.3k
    The Origin of Capitalism by Ellen Meiksins Wood (rereading)
  • Manuel
    315
    Philosophy of Redemption (Spanish edition) - Phillip Mainländer
  • Manuel
    315

    :rofl:

    Yeah! It's hard to read cause' it's so, so dark, but he has interesting things to say in terms of metaphysics and epistemology. :)
  • 180 Proof
    3.1k
    I wish I could find a good, contemporary, translation in English. My German was never good enough, and when my Spanish was far less rough than it is now I hadn't bother to look for a Spanish translation. Are you from / living in Spain?
  • Manuel
    315

    Am currently in Spain, where I am from, is a good philosophical question. Dominican/Spanish/American :)

    Actually, I might be able to help. I would not have discovered the Spanish version (which is sadly just selections from the whole book, some 300 pages out of what 800 to 1000 pages?), if I had not stumbled onto Mainländer through reddit. Long story short, the official translation should be out next year, but, a very enthusiastic person, translated whole portions of the book in English. It's not perfect, but it's quite good. I'll send you the link to the work and, by all means, check out the site, plenty of good Mainländer stuff there.

    Here's the link:
    https://www.reddit.com/r/Mainlander/comments/93778q/pdf_of_the_english_translations_of_mainl%C3%A4nders/

    Enjoy!
  • Maw
    2.3k
    Speaking of which, still hoping for an eventual English translation of Peter Zapffe's On The Tragic
  • Pantagruel
    1.5k
    The Complete Stories by Franz Kafka

    edit: for a really interesting excursion into the social mechanics of epistemology the short story "The Village Schoolmaster" is a really fun read.
  • 180 Proof
    3.1k
    :up:

    March-April readings

    Klara and the Sun, Kazuo Ishiguro
    Last Chance Texaco: Chronicles of an American Troubadour, Rickie Lee Jones
    The Prophets, Robert Jones, Jr
    Holes and Other Superficialities, R. Casati & A.C. Varzi

    Still reading

    The Selected Writings of Pierre Hadot: Philosophy As Practice, ed. Keith Ansell Pearson
    • Marx: A Philosophy of Human Reality, Michel Henry
    • From Communism to Capitalism: Theory of a Catastrophe, Michel Henry

    Rereading

    The Old Guard Book One: Opening Fire, Greg Rucka & Leandro Fernandez
    The Old Guard Book Two: Force Multiplied, Greg Rucka & Leandro Fernandez
  • javi2541997
    595
    The concept of anxiety by Søne Kierkegaard.
  • Maw
    2.3k
    Liberalism: A Counter-History by Domenico Losurdo
  • csalisbury
    2.7k
    The Orchard Keeper - Cormac Mccarthy
    There There- Tommy Orange
    Collected Stories - Chekov
    Leaves of Grass Walt Whitman
    Palm at the End of the Mind - Wallace Stevens (collection of poems edited by his daughter)


    I tend to avoid confrontation and lie, but one vibe you get in Chekhov, is that a bunch of currents, very current then, petered out. Negri & Hardt, for example, analogy. But marx doesnt. something burst forth from him. Synoptic, and omni-literary-voracious. I worry our generations leftists too easily... I mean a marx of our time wouldnt have only read marx and left-sympathetic texts, you know? What you reading from the right?
  • StreetlightX
    6.7k
    Ellen Meiksins Wood - Empire of Capital

    --

    @frank: So I finished reading Hudson's Super Imperialism and like I thought, it really isn't about neoliberalism at all. It is very much a history and account of state action, focusing on international monetary and trade policy (along with the institutions I mentioned). An alternative subtitle to it may have been: how the US has financially bullied the rest of the world - including and especially it's 'allies' - into economic submission from WWI to the 70s and beyond. It's even explicitly written against Marxist accounts (Hudson is a Keynesian) by trying to show how the American state has functioned as an autonomous agency at a remove from (just) class politics in order to effect a world economy oriented around American trade and foreign policy interests (particularly - getting the rest of the world to pay for America's wars and debts). If anything, neoliberalism piggy-backed off this success and developed into its own, subsequent autonomous force. In any case, I don't quite see it as a 'competition' - both state and capitalist power can and do function autonomously and in interaction with one another, at points complimenting, at other points clashing with one another.

    While it's probably fair to say that the state has been progressively subsumed by neoliberal interests, it's also the case that the state worked to incubate and foster those interests in an environment in which the state was very much in the driver's seat. That all said, it's a great book to understand exactly how world finance shaped up post-WWI, and exactly what happened with the gold standard and the legacy that its abandonment left.

    @Maw and @180 Proof - love your recent reads.
  • frank
    6.7k
    If anything, neoliberalism piggy-backed off this success and developed into its own, subsequent autonomous force. In any case, I don't quite see it as a 'competition' - both state and capitalist power can and do function autonomously and in interaction with one another, at points complimenting, at other points clashing with one another.StreetlightX

    True. Since I read David Harvey's book, I've struggled to put the pieces together. I thought we should look at large scale events as fusions of diverse agendas that we later organize by ideas. Harvey and Blyth both emphasize the importance of the idea in the case of neoliberalism. Yes, there's a global class of elites who reinforce the idea, but this class was actually created by the rise of neoliberalism. It wasn't there previously to engineer events.

    As it relates to American military intervention, remember the US was demilitarized prior to WW2. This is one of the reasons the Japanese attacked when they did. They had information that American soldiers practiced with broomsticks because they didn't have rifles. It took two years of war before the American military was capable of contributing substantially. During that time the military-industrial complex was formed.

    So when we look at American interventions post WW2, we're looking at how people the US government decided to use the logistical infrastructure they inherited. The Cold War gave them freedom to experiment with South America. Harvey sees the Chilean experiment as ground zero for the rise of neoliberal values. The US neoliberalized Chile when the US itself still had embedded liberalism. From that point on, success in military adventures was measured by how well any form of social solidarity had been destroyed in favor of the rise of an elite class who could be manipulated. Whether it might have been immoral to do this just wasn't considered in the light of the threat of communism within and without the US.

    So anyway, yes, Harvey says neoliberalism is quasi-independent of states. I've just been trying to understand how. I'm going to read Mark Blyth's book Great Transformations next.
  • Maw
    2.3k
    What you reading from the right?csalisbury

    I read Ayn Rand, Hayek, Milton Friedman, von Mises, Murray Rothbard when I was 20 to around 24 when they enjoyed a resurgence of interest shortly after Obama was elected. I read Locke and Burke not long after that...some Buckley too. Mostly centered on far right-wing economics.

    Culturally, Trump's election in 2016, Bannon's brief role, and some additional individuals and events, changed the trajectory of conservative intellectual interest away from the more economic-focused thinkers and towards more unsavory socio-political ones, such as Evola, Schmitt, etc. whom I don't have much interest engaging with, at least at book-level, at this point. Otherwise, I've read some First Things and Claremont Institute articles, some Yoram Hazony, National Review, Douthat op-eds from time-to-time, but I don't find any of them intellectually serious.
  • Maw
    2.3k
    Harvey says neoliberalism is quasi-independent of states. I've just been trying to understand howfrank

    Quinn Slobodian's Globalists: The End of Empire and the Birth of Neoliberalism might be helpful here
  • frank
    6.7k
    Cool. I bought it.
  • StreetlightX
    6.7k
    So anyway, yes, Harvey says neoliberalism is quasi-independent of states. I've just been trying to understand how. I'm going to read Mark Blyth's book Great Transformations next.frank

    The idea, I imagine, is that neoliberalism - although frankly I would prefer to talk here simply of capitalism - has interests and imperatives that simply do not coincide with states. So like, if you take the primary function of the state to be either say, the consolidation of sovereignty over a territory, or uncharitably, to extract the resources of a territory for the purposes of an exploiting class, the interests of capitalism - endless expansion of accumulation - do not coincide that of states.

    With respect to neoliberalism in particular, you can see how this operates when states enter into commercial agreements with regard to the privatization of public resources. In these cases states cede sovereignty so that private companies take control of public resources - sometimes with 'perks' like reduced tax rates, laws that restrict competition, exceptions for environmental controls etc. And more than half the time these companies are multinationals which end up funnelling money offshore, so your population is left holding the bag of increased living costs while profits leave the country.

    As an aside, Wood's Empire of Capital, which I'm reading now, is working towards making the case that "capitalism is unique it its capacity to detach economic from extra-economic power, and that this, among other things, implies that the economic power of capital can reach far beyond the grasp of any existing or conceivable, political or military power. At the same time, capitalism's extra-economic power cannot exist with the support of extra-economic force; and that extra-economic force is today, as before, primarily supplied by the state". I'm just on the early, historical bits (dealing with the Roman, Spanish, Arab, Dutch empires etc), so I haven't got to the meat of the argument just yet, but I thought it was relevant.

    (If you want to get mad, read this shit: "Virginia’s 2006 contract with two private firms to build toll lanes on the Capital Beltway requires the state to compensate the companies whenever carpools exceed 24 percent of traffic in carpool lanes for the next forty years—“or until the builders make $100 million in profits.”; In 2008, the private consortium that owns the Northwest Parkway in Denver, Colorado, opposed improvements to a nearby public road, pointing to contract language that barred improvements—for 99 years—on city-owned roads that might divert traffic and “hurt the parkway financially.”; The state of Indiana had to reimburse the private company operating the Indiana Toll Road $447,000 in 2008 because the state waived the tolls of people who had to evacuate during severe flooding. The company also refused to allow state troopers to close the toll road during a snowstorm because it would hurt profits.")
  • 180 Proof
    3.1k
    Your summa of Hudson's history of US global economic hegemony in the 20th century, comrade, is spot on with all I've gleaned from decades of study and living through its ongoing, strategic imbalances and neglects here in the states. :clap:
  • StreetlightX
    6.7k
    Thanks! If I have time I might try and write a slightly more in depth review with a bit more meat on it.
  • Pantagruel
    1.5k
    On Feeling, Knowing, and Valuing by Max Scheler
  • Ying
    281
    Does listening to lecture series count? Well, whatever. :razz:

    Currently going through the following:

    -James Hynes, "Writing Great Fiction: Storytelling Tips and Techniques".
    -Richard Spence, "The Real History of Secret Societies".
  • Antilogic
    6
    After Virtue: A Study in Moral Theory by Alasdair MacIntyre
  • frank
    6.7k
    If you want to get mad, read this shit:StreetlightX

    It's insane.

    If I have time I might try and write a slightly more in depth review with a bit more meat on it.StreetlightX

    That would be much appreciated.
  • csalisbury
    2.7k
    I read Ayn Rand, Hayek, Milton Friedman, von Mises, Murray Rothbard when I was 20 to around 24 when they enjoyed a resurgence of interest shortly after Obama was elected. I read Locke and Burke not long after that...some Buckley too. Mostly centered on far right-wing economics.

    Culturally, Trump's election in 2016, Bannon's brief role, and some additional individuals and events, changed the trajectory of conservative intellectual interest away from the more economic-focused thinkers and towards more unsavory socio-political ones, such as Evola, Schmitt, etc. whom I don't have much interest engaging with, at least at book-level, at this point. Otherwise, I've read some First Things and Claremont Institute articles, some Yoram Hazony, National Review, Douthat op-eds from time-to-time, but I don't find any of them intellectually serious.
    Maw

    :up: Challenge presented, and handily taken down, respect. My personal go-tos have been 'rationalist community' adjacent-thinkers. I don't tend to agree with their economic views, but they present their ideas much better than most culture-war people, like the national review or douthat etc. Ideally, to me, the end goal of learning history and economic thought should be (1) fully understanding the present and then (2) something like the serenity prayer - "God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can,
    and the wisdom to know the difference." The danger - and something you often see - is trying to leverage the historical/theoretical stuff in service of sustained, fact-checked, condemnation as endpoint. Not that one shouldn't condemn what is condemnable, of course, just avoid ending there. If we agree there, then we're on the same page.
  • csalisbury
    2.7k
    @frank

    That fits nicely with Harvey's analysis, as I remember it (been a while, & I think I only read the first 3/5 or so) Ideological 'neoliberals' want to reduce the role of the state, officially, but their ideology includes an explicit awareness that the state will have to continue to serve some minimal, order-sustaining role. But when theory becomes reality, the ideologically purity of the economic-eye-from-nowhere theorist is lost - Once the state gives a businessman some special dispensation, that businessman has every incentive to milk that dispensation - and so you have a weird chimera that's part- 'pure'-neoliberal, part-patchwork-of-state-cronies. (I it can also go the other way, the state calling upon its cronies - I vaguely remember something about thatcher and the Falklands War in Harvey's book?)What we call 'neoliberalism' is that chimera - which, as you guys are saying, involves two semi-autonomous, but deeply linked...entities? (hard to find the right word here...it's not 'entities')

    The toll-booth stories are a great example.

    But rather than get mad, maybe it's better to suss out what the current incentive structure is - how it leads, of its own autonomous logic to monstrosities - and then figure out how to break out of it. Not that anger's bad. But there are different types of anger, or, if you like, modes of using anger.

    It's like Marx's contradictions - we have a moral desire to condemn and locate evil in the heart of the evildoer, but we also have a (marx-derived) understanding that we're dealing primarily with systemic issues, extra-personal structures that are like geology meets sociology (Levi-Strauss). This contradiction is as potent as that between use and exchange values. We want to be the prophet righteously denouncing, while at the same time we want to be someone who understands that it's the system that's broken - and a system's insentient, our righteous denunciations can't even fall on deaf ears - there's no ears at all. Which is more effective - the denunciating prophet, or the patient, focused steward of systemic evolution in time? Maybe the steward needs the passion, and the prophet needs the project. Surely the resolution is meaningful action.

    A good historical analysis would resist the urge to denounce, and channel the anger into understanding (1) the conditions of the incentive structure that led to that toll-booth shit & (2) understanding the present, through the past, find a plausible model for how to get out of it then finally (3) act upon that. That's about as marxist as you can get.

    (@StreetlightX if this is clogging up the 'currently reading' i wouldn't be offended at it being split off into a new thread.)
  • frank
    6.7k
    Ideological 'neoliberals' want to reduce the role of the state, officially, but their ideology includes an explicit awareness that the state will have to continue to serve some minimal, order-sustaining role.csalisbury

    Yes, liberals need states to protect property rights.
    Neoliberalism is a doctrine that's very hostile to labor solidarity. Globalization successfully limits the power of labor by making Europeans compete with Chinese, for instance. States help reduce the mobility of labor, which helps keep them weak.
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