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Everyday Utopias

An American Utopia
Political opposition exists in existing institutions and in everyday life, believes Frederick Jameson. 

One of what will be interesting to see now in the future is how the democrats – and even more the left – mobilize against the lies and hate propaganda of right-wing populism. We already see it in New York-based magazine N + 1, which in the last issue fills the gap meters with one long reflection after another, but also The New Yorker, The Atlantic and The Nation turn in the direction left after the political and ethical decay reached its mature stage The Grand Old Party.

There was also such a mobilization Slavoj Zizek put all cards on when he declared earlier this fall that he would give his support to Trump if he had been American. The reason for this, of course, was not that the Slovenian philosopher had such a sense of Trump's rallies, but because the appointment of such an unsympathetic, narcissistic celebrity as president could "make things happen" in the oligarchic party system that has overthrown US politics. Zizek is probably optimistic – and more than populist himself, when he messes with the enemy in this way – but surely it is at least that unless people come on the field with ideas other than those advocated by Trump & Co, the American dream is on very receding front.

Part of the mobilization will also include going back to the classics: Keynes, Smith, Marx – but also the descendants of the latter: Antonio Gramsci, the Frankfurt School's professional thinkers and Frederick Jameson.

Fresh classic. Jameson's essay In American Utopia is a good start in the mobilization work. It's fresh – the text was originally a lecture Jameson gave in 2014 – and it is one of the most central, now-living post-Marxists today behind it, with a theoretical kick that separates layers from the academic scroll (although the text...

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Kjetil Røed
Freelance writer.

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