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Spinoza, Modernity, and Intellectual Freedom, part two. In my previous blog post, I (following Negri) included Spinoza in an anti-modern genealogy which included Machiavelli and Marx. Rory Litwin considered my reading of Spinoza odd, especially since Spinoza (who I contrasted with Locke) “believed liberal democracy would be the best form...

In his book Eurocentrism, Samir Amin writes that modernity “is the claim that human beings, individually and collectively, can and must make their own history” (13). It is this claim that underpins a host of thinkers mainly, but not exclusively, forming the hegemonic core of the liberal tradition, such as...

An article by Karen Hao from April 15th described a (long-overdue) trend in the capitalist centres to start taking seriously the idea of regulating artificial intelligence. A bill before Congress, the Algorrithmic Accountability Act, “would require big companies to audit their machine learning systems for bias and discrimination and take...

There are two things I’ve noticed recently in discussion of Marxism on the one hand and political economy on the other, and I think I’ve finally figured out how they’re connected. In the first place, we have an image of Marxism as rigid, deterministic, or “programmatic”, which always strikes me...

The rise of Marx-based Social Democracy among the revolutionaries in Russia depended crucially on the growing conviction that a political revolution had to precede a social revolution. Lars T. Lih, Lenin Rediscovered: What is to be Done in Context. In Lars Lih’s monumental book, he tries to place Lenin and...