From essays

Review: Repeating Žižek

In his review of The Parallax View, Fredric Jameson noted that if all of Žižek’s books are read in sequence, “the larger concepts begin to emerge from the mist.” What are these larger concepts? What sort of system might they form?

Marcuse Among the Technocrats

From Schiller’s and Fourier’s reformulation of work as play to Marx’s speculations on postcapitalist production, ideas from the European tradition took on the life of real historical possibilities for Marcuse because he shared the hopes of American Left Technocrats writing about automated production in the opening decades of the twentieth century.

Looking Back at #OscarsSoWhite

When charging an economically unequal system with being racially opposed to equal opportunity becomes a dominant form of protest, then it seems to me quite natural — and disastrous — that various racial minorities will struggle with one another over which gets to be identified as the group to whom equal opportunity is most egregiously denied.

Anti-Anti-Abundance

The age of ecological limits does not necessitate obedience to limits. It is also an invitation to take a utopian leap beyond the world.

The “Balloonhead” in the Early SF Pulps

A curious figure appears again and again in the pages of the early SF pulp magazines: a man with a gigantic head and a small, withered body. He is the man of the far future, the apotheosis of technological and mental evolution. His body has atrophied due to lack of use, for machinery has made muscular…