Not Radical (Affect Theory or the Material Logic of Late Capitalism)

jewish philosophy place


Meet the new boss, same as the old boss. Cynical perhaps, this piece by Jedediah Purdy, which you can read here in the New Republic, is not so much a refutation of the major claims advanced in Affect Theory, Vital Materialism, and Post-Humanism per se as much a critical pushback re: the politics with which these theories are invested. These associated literatures would reflect in an almost perfect way the flux and surge of neoliberal capital dynamics. Purdy’s little argument here represents a liberal reprise of the Marxist position staked out by Frederic Jameson in his now classic Postmodernism, or, The CulturalLogic of Late Capitalism.

According to Purdy:

[The] portrayal of capitalism as sharing the spirit of a diverse, opaque, and not entirely rational nature is not the subversive surprise she seems to imagine. It is, rather, the mirror image of a dominant form of pro-market poetics. Tsing seems only slightly aware…

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