Radical Readings

The readings posted on the Selected Readings page and the Bibliography of Essential Radical Readings represent what are, in my opinion, works that are essential for the growth and development of a new political and spiritual consciousness. Unlike many self-styled “hipster” radicals who play the “I’m more radical than you” game which consists of dismissing and dissociating themselves and their politics with most, if not all of the entire corpus and traditions of both the traditional and new left in favor of their fetishizing of anything  “post-” or “postmodern”, or who for the sake of some ridiculous notion of ideological purity, paranoia of anything systematic or related to the need for revolutionary organization, dismiss the invaluable contributions of the Marxist tradition, and avoid any/all questions relating to ethics, morality, or the need for individual spiritual transformation and it’s relation to social change, I believe these traditions and ideas still have much to tell us regarding how to understand, critique, and ultimately negate and transcend the capitalist system, hierarchy, religion, racism, sexism, homophobia, imperialism, and the cult of consumerism. I say this because at first glance my selections may seem out-of-date, contradictory, or lacking in the sufficient level of novelty or irony that passes itself off as radical thinking these days. Ideally, radical thinking tied to radical action lead to revolutionary praxis, a unity of radical theory and practice aiming at the beginnings of the new society within the shell of the old – nurturing the embryo until such a time that it is ready to be born. If praxis were sex, it would be passionate unbridled physical love consummated with other human beings out in the streets in broad daylight.. It seems to me that the postmodern-drenched hipster radicalism that spends more of its effort trying to destroy all things associated with the broadly defined “left” as opposed to elaborating a total critique of a totalizing system, drawing from any source as long as it’s useful regardless of labels or historical baggage, is a political and spiritual dead-end analogous to auto-erotic asphyxiation – completely self-centered and detached from other human beings, focussed solely on the individual thrill of coming close to self-negation for its own sake, never accepting responsibility for the need to change the world or themselves through seeking praxis, building new relationships (to oneself and with others), in any type of truly meaningful or lasting way. Woody Guthrie used to have a guitar with “This machine kills fascists” written on it. I’d like to think that these selections along with my own modest contributions through maintaining this blog will help “kill” the 1% and their system.

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