Category Archives: Articles

Reinventing Revolutionary Subjects in Venezuela by Sara C. Motta

This article challenges orthodox Marxist conceptualisations of the revolutionary subject by building on the nearly four decade tradition of autonomist Marxist feminism . It argues that by expanding our conceptualisation of capitalist relations to include the sphere of social reproduction, the creation of a gendered division of labour and the construction of alienated subjectivities, we […]

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Climate Change and Gender Analysis: Struggles with Neoconservative Backlash in Australian Politics by Uschi Bay and Deborah Western

Why is Gender Relevant to Climate Change? Thousands of scientists voluntarily contribute to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) by reviewing and assessing the most recent scientific, technical and socio-economic information produced worldwide related to understanding climate change. The IPCC was established in 1988 by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the World […]

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bell hooks, Critical Regionalism, and the Politics of Ecological Returns by Christina Van Houten

This essay addresses the ways in which bell hooks’ thinking turns to a politics of critical regionalism, by tracing a line that discursively connects materialist feminism, antiracist activism, and ecological Marxism. In particular, I argue that hooks’ critical regionalism develops in the 1990s, beginning in Yearning: Race, Gender, and Cultural Politics (1990) as her challenge […]

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Abortion and Choice in the Neoliberal Aftermath by Kate Gleeson

Choice is a key concept in feminist theory that has been coopted by neoliberalism. [1] ‘A woman’s right to choose’ was one of the most effective slogans of second wave feminism, but since the 1990s, choice has been deployed to undermine feminist gains by way of the neoliberal advance of individualism and anti-welfarism. Recently, the […]

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Conspicuous Consumption of the Leisure Class: Veblen’s Critique and Adorno’s Rejoinder in the Twenty First Century

  Thorstein Veblen’s The Theory of the Leisure Class stands as a testament to both insightful social commentary and an unquestioning dogmatism of its contents in everyday academic discourse which verges on the commonsensical. Written at a time when the excesses of so-called late capitalism or postmodernity could scarcely be imagined by even the most […]

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The Hipster Labor of Conspicuous Leisure

Thorstein Veblen’s greatest conceptual achievement was conspicuous consumption, a term that has passed into general common sense. But on my reading, his discussion of conspicuous leisure resonated more with the contemporary moment. These terms are, of course, interrelated: for Veblen, conspicuous consumption serves to indicate one’s conspicuous leisure time, and therefore the absence of any […]

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Leisure, the Sacred Gesture, and Human Dignity: Thorstein Veblen and Josef Pieper’s Understandings of Leisure

  Thorstein Veblen’s The Theory of the Leisure Class sets out very specific definitions of words that we think we understand, use on a regular basis, and for which believe we know the definitions. However, Veblen challenges these assumptions, providing us with a new set of terms such, as “conspicuous consumption” and “vicarious leisure” as […]

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Poor Plenum: Veblen and The Economics of Philosophy

  Thorstein Veblen’s genealogy of leisure, echoing a method perfected by both Friedrich Nietzsche and Sigmund Freud, works to continually pull back into the domain of “vulgar” conditions and impulses–a general economy of bodies, forces and classes–all things high-flown, decent, and untouchable (vi, 1994). The ambit of Veblen’s theory is such that it allows him […]

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Thorstein Veblen and the ‘Spirit’ of Capitalism

  Thorstein Veblen’s analysis of America’s capitalist society in The Theory of the Leisure Class contains one chapter toward the end of his argument on religion, or, as he articulates it, “devout observances” (191).  The substance of Veblen’s critique of religion fits well within his larger treatment of the leisure class—indeed, the forces at work […]

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MICHAEL BERUBE RESPONDS: The Left at Bay

I want to thank Gabriel Brahm and Politics and Culture not only for putting together this remarkable series of responses to The Left at War, but for reading my book in the first place.  This is no pro forma gesture of gratitude on my part: my book has gotten a couple of engaging reviews in […]

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