- Series: Pocket Communism
- Hardcover: 256 pages
- Publisher: Verso; 1 edition (October 9, 2012)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1844679543
- ISBN-13: 978-1844679546
- Product Dimensions: 4.7 x 1 x 6.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #878,252 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Communist Horizon (Pocket Communism) 1st Edition
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“One of the most significant books in recent critical theory to theorize a powerful leftist politics. Its spirit and argument are energizing,and Dean’s analysis is likely to intensify desires for transnational solidarity toward ending exploitation. The book’s message is especially important in the present moment, when so many people despair over their political and economic powerlessness.”– Political Theory
“This is what everyone engaged in today’s struggles for emancipation needs: a unique combination of theoretical stringency and a realistic assessment of our predicament. To anyone who continues to dwell in illusions about liberal democracy, one should simply say: read Jodi Dean’s new book!”—Slavoj iek
“Jodi’s sharp analysis of the impasses of the left is also a kind of requiem for much of the 2.0 bluster of the last decade.”—Mark Fisher, author of Capitalist Realism
About the Author
Jodi Dean teaches political and media theory in Geneva, New York. She has written or edited eleven books, including The Communist Horizon and Democracy and Other Neoliberal Fantasies.
Top Customer Reviews
To begin, Professor Dean believes the Left has been paralyzed for too long by a depressingly negative narrative which posits that Communism must inevitably result in Stalinism, decay and collapse. Indeed, the silly reductionist myth that Communism must be a dire threat to democracy serves those who would have us believe there is no alternative to capitalism. In its place, Professor Dean asserts a positive vision where the Communism Horizon is at once a metaphor representing the possibility of an equitable and sustainable future for all; and the rejection of capitalism as the natural order of things.
Few would disagree that the current situation is grim. Professor Dean believes that the kind of identity politics practiced by the Democratic Party to date has merely succeeded in increasing access to an inherently unjust system and as a practical result, has strengthened capitalism. In fact, the corporate culture of selfish individualism has lately unburdened capital from dealing with labor as a collective force, resulting in rising inequality and declining wages. Therefore, the mass of people who have 'a part in no part' (after Jacques Ranciere) in the decisions that affect their lives must assert its power if we wish to improve our material conditions.
I found Professor Dean's analysis of 'communicative capitalism' to be enlightening. Although information networks hold out the false promise of inclusion to end users, Professor Dean argues that mere participation in the social media/infotainment spectacle does not approximate empowerment. In this light, Professor Dean suggests that the media's symbolic representations of the Occupy movement have been all too eagerly and easily swallowed up by an insatiable corporate communications network, with little concrete result to show for those of us who desire meaningful change.
Fortunately, Professor Dean demonstrates how the rhetoric of Occupy has the merit of being congruent with Communist philosophy. The theme of the 99 percent versus the 1 percent poses the problem of class struggle in an accessible, truthful and persuasive manner. The actualization of the 99 percent as a potent political force (the 'negation of the negation') can allow the expropriated to turn the tables on the expropriators in a manner that Marx himself might have recognized. The bottom line, Professor Dean suggests, is that talking is not enough: collective action is urgently needed.
In my opinion, Professor Dean has succeeded in explaining why Occupy must become a Communist (not anarchist) movement. Organization is critical if we wish to alter the reality of elite privilege, working class enslavement and environmental catastrophe. If we are wise enough to heed Professor Dean, a Party guided by Communist principles can have the strength to put people before profits, wrest power from the hands of the one percent and guide us into a more promising future.
I highly recommend this timely and important book to everyone.
to slam shut. Not everyone will agree with Dean's provocative attempt to rehabilitate the party, but
anyone committed to equality will be excited by the new possibilities for radical politics that
arise when we focus our eyes on the communist horizon.