Marx or Spinoza

Volume 25, No. 2 Winter 2011

Editors' Note


Sean Grattan: The Indignant Multitude: Spinozist Marxism after Empire

The Spinoza invoked by Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri in their work together seems quite distinct from the one encountered in Spinoza’s thought. Sean Grattan asks if a truncated Spinoza can be useful for a liberatory politics.

Peter Hitchcock: Commonism

The injunction to choose — Spinoza or Marx — is a kind of blackmail. To conjoin them — Spinoza and Marx — is easier said than done. How can the friction between them be made productive? Peter Hitchock asks: How can commonism, the Spinozist horizon, be made a precondition of communism, the Marxist one?

Justin Rogers-Cooper: Crowds and Spinoza's Concept of the Political

Spinoza’s multitude is less a universal subject than a localized, contingent phenomenon: a crowd. Justin Rogers-Cooper draws the consequences.

Rachel Greenwald Smith: Materialism, Ecology, Aesthetics

Nature writing might seem among the furthest thing possible from questions of Marxist praxis. Rachel Greenwald Smith argues for their connection.

James Arnett: Sex Love and Sensuous Activity in the Work of Historical Materialism

In recent decades, Marxists have tended to want to preserve the specificity of Marx’s materialism by distinguishing it from competing “new materialisms,” including the materialism of the body. James Arnett, closely reading Marx and Spinoza along with Engels and Samuel Delany, reminds us that things are not nearly so simple.

Phillip E. Wegner: Hegel or Spinoza (or Hegel); Spinoza and Marx

Marx and Spinoza, economics and politics, socialism and communism, utopian program and utopian impulse: what are we to do with these binaries if not to choose? Phillip Wegner plots a dialectical path through the possibilities.

Book Reviews

Peter Hitchcock: The Jameson Variable

How does Fredric Jameson’s Marxism extend his Hegel, and how does his Hegelianism inflect his Marx? Peter Hitchcock reviews The Hegel Variations: On the Phenomenology of Spirit.

Sean Grattan: Spinoza As Imperative

Contemporary theory encounters two Spinozas. Sean Grattan reviews Spinoza Now.