My last blogposting was a minor 'funny story' about Adorno (always a tricky genre), and an ecstatic announcement about my readership numbers - back in early November. And then, typically, I posted nothing for the next two months. No good excuses: Christmas, and then I was travelling to Paris and Berlin. And since my return to Dublin: work work work.
But such silence can't go on forever. Having been reading Eric Hazan again, as I looked for the ghosts of past greatness on the rue d'Ulm and meditated on the Metro, I plan a piece on him and his writing. But for now, here is some decently mordant reading, borrowed from the Verso website, for the bad new year!
Some economic gloom:
Wandering the two greatest cities in Europe, I was reading Lenin's What Is To Be Done?, his early Chernyshevskian critique of putatively 'non-political' left movements and thinkers in late-nineteenth century Russia. In the same book, he also works up his idea of a disciplined, centralised revolutionary party. Alas, no matter the power or relevance of his ideas, they were also vulnerable to appropriation by the enemy:
And at least one reason to be cheerful: Verso reissue Luc Boltanski's and Eve Chiapello's bracing and powerful manifesto and thesis for a radical and critical sociology of the bad new days, The New Spirit of Capitalism. Here is Boltanski, explaining the book's project: