Tag Archives: Felix Guattari

Dreaming of post-work utopias with Kathi Weeks on AEWCH 123!

9 Sep

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Friends,
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Want to buy the books mentioned on this ep? Go to my booklist for AEWCH 123 on bookshop.org! It will  help support independent bookstores, and the show gets a small financial kickback, too.

Friends,
As so many people face unemployment and uncertainty, many are also asking: how did it get to be this bad?
Instead of only scrambling for jobs – which many no doubt have to do in this time anyway – can we also take the time to reflect on the role of work and its function in our lives? How did we get entrenched in this insidious wage-labor relationship, where we are servants to that most repulsive of phrases, “making a living.” We have a living, we have lives, how dare tis relationship between wages and labor overlay itself onto life and pretend it is life?
To talk about all of this, I invited political theorist, feminist, author, and philosopher Kathi Weeks onto the show. Kathi is the author of two short but profound books: The Problem with Work: Feminism, Marxism, Antiwork Politics, and Postwork Imaginaries and Constituting Feminist Subjects. The former elucidates the entire anti-work ethos from a Marxist feminist perspective, and uses a tactic to dismantle the crazed attachment we have to a “work ethic”: utopia. What if we employed utopia as a tactic against work to open new ways forward. And the latter shows how we can find solidarity and generate new tactics that we learn from our differing standpoints.
This is a great anti-work, pro-utopia episode, friends.

ON THIS EPISODE

  • The way a “sick day” enforces an identity
  • The problem of “just do what you love”
  • The problem with (sex work is) work
  • Making sure we critique work without dragging everything into class reductionism
  • How post-work politics come from work
  • The uses of utopia (and where Kathi and I limit our ideas of utopia)
  • Why the demand to know the future is counterrevolutionary
  • Living in a time of critique without proposition
  • The promise and pitfalls of universal basic income (UBI)

SHOW NOTES

• For more on Kathi, here’s her great essay, “Down with Love,” on how our views of love inform our views of work; here’s Kathi’s spirited defense of universal basic income as a PDF; and you can watch her on a panel with AEWCH 120 guest Michael Hardt, Peter Frase, and Charles Mudede here.

• For more on postwork and anti-work action/theory, well, I’ve talked a whole lot about it on the show, and from many different angles: including talking about idleness AEWCH 89 with philosopher Brian O’Connor, a solo episode – AEWCH 85 – Abolish Work,” AEWCH 83 with Franco Bifo Berardi, AEWCH 69 with Sovereign Syre and Dr. Heather Berg, and briefly on AEWCH 99 with the late and great David Graeber.

• For some reason, Miya Tokumistu’s book, Do What You Love and Other Lies About Success And Happiness is not on bookshop.org, so I’ve linked to it here for you. And here’s her article, “The United States of Work.”

• For more on lines of flight, check out the work of Felix Guattari (pictured below), particularly the book entitles, aptly for your purposes – Lines of Flight.

• Here’s a short essay on the Wages for Housework campaign in the Nation. And Sylvia Federici’s great (but also for me challenging) quote is, “We want to call work what is work so that eventually we might rediscover what is love.”

• For more on problems with the family, check out AEWCH106 with Sophie Lewis!

• Here’s my essay on anti-work/sex work with Heather Berg, “The Problem with Sex Work is Work.” And here’s my introductory essay to utopianist Charles Fourier.

• I love Kathi’s quote here – “The utopian practice is…a practice of expanding time.”

• A great Wittgenstein quote about the future: “When we think of the world’s future, we always mean the destination it will reach if it keeps going in the direction we can see it going in now; it does not occur to us that its path is not a straight line but a curve, constantly changing direction.”

• For more on prison abolition, you can’t do much better than following Mariame Kaba on twitter and checking into the resources she shares.

Until next time, friends, don’t work too hard!

XO
CH

Talking philosophy, music, and Deleuze with Stephen Malkmus on AEWCH 109.

12 May

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Thank you for your support in this time, friends. This podcast is only possible because listeners like you support it. If the show is keeping you company in isolation, please give what you can. Contribute to my mission by supporting Against Everyone With Conner Habib on Patreon! Thank you so, so much.

Want to buy books mention on this ep? Go to my list for AEWCH 109 at Bookshop.org. It will  help support independent bookstores, and the show gets a small financial kickback, too.

ON THIS EPISODE

  • The clash between artists and philosophers
  • The problem with “fun” music
  • Why we sum up what a song is “about” from its lyrics
  • Characters in music and ideas as characters
  • How songs never end
  • Deleuze, Guattari, the power of Becoming, set free and turned into art
  • The way that most artists and political commentators are merely staying in pre-created logics
  • “Content” vs art
  • The Secret Histories of music and when it breaks through, and being possessive of the underground music that you like
  • Stephen’s role in the coming utopia
  • Bad corona art

SHOW NOTES

• For more on Stephen The documentary on his band Pavement, Slow Century.

• Adorno is a great philosopher, and I talk about him at length on AEWCH 89 with Brian O’Connor. But he sure had a lot of problems with art. And there’s a conspiracy theory/meme (maybe it’s just a joke?) about Adorno being the driving force behind The Beatles.

• My one foray into music writing was a conversation with my friend Chris Leo, who has been in a number of great bands, but here we specifically talk about The Van Pelt.

The Fall, which was basically their frontman, Mark E. Smith, remains one of the greatest bands of all time, and has had a huge influence on both Stephen as a musician and me as a thinker.

• One of my favorite episodes of my show is AEWCH 45 with Ben Chasny of Six Organs Of Admittance. We talk about the occult power of music.

• Stephen’s friend who died is an incredible musician – David Berman of Silver Jews.
They Might Be Giants dialasong brightened up many days for me.

• Here’s a live video of Nina Persson singing her excellent song, “Clip Your Wings” but I’m telling you, you just can’t get it unless you see her.

• Here’s Stephen in the infamous conversation with the infamous Ian Svenonious(who is also a fav musician of mine).

• César Aira is an incredible author, and the best novel of his to start with is The Miracle Cures Of Dr. Aira.

D&G• Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari (pictured) take center stage in this episode. There’s so much to explore with their work, but the best place to start, I think, is the biography by Francois Dosse. In this episode, I draw on concepts in Anti-Oedipus, its sequel, Thousand Plateaus, and What Is Philosophy? , as well as Deleuze’s Difference And Repetition.
Jodorowsky’s Dune is one of the greatest and most truly magical movies ever made.

• “Face the Truth” does sound like “Sex War” by Lungfish! Sort of.
L
• And, as promised, here’s a photo of Lungfish’s Dan Higgs.

• Here’s the trailer for Green Room. It’s a good action/horror movie.

• I talk quite a bit about the fantasies of apocalypse on AEWCH 105 with Mark O’Connell.

William Craddock‘s book is unfortunately not on Bookshop.org, but here’s his wiki, and you can look him and his work up from there.

• Walter Benjamin’s work is more important than ever. I was so happy to hear that Stephen was a fan, too. He mentions a work I haven’t read, the massive (and so exciting to me, even though I haven’t read it yet), The Arcades Project.
Until next time, friends
CH
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Breathing in the end of the world – Franco “Bifo” Berardi on Against Everyone With Conner Habib

17 Sep

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Friends,
I’m so happy to share my conversation with the radical philosopher, Franco “Bifo” Berardi.
I think it is not only a good conversation, but a truly productive one. My deepest hope is that it is helpful for you.
Bifo is one of the most important and creative thinkers of our time; I find many of Bifo’s thoughts in line with the occult philosophies of the Western esoteric traditions I’ve spent so long studying, and for me, that is so enlivening. That is to say, when two people or traditions come up with similar conclusions from totally different angles, we must (as Special Agent Dale Cooper says) pay strict attention.
Bifo is the author of many books, including what I view as his two most important books, Breathing: Chaos and Poetry and Heroes: Mass Murder and Suicide (which is a much easier read, and deeply informed my own thinking on the issue, which I discussed on AEWCH 11: SHOOT TO LIVE). He was the founder of Radio Alice, a radical broadcast station in Italy, as well as the anti-authoritarian activist group, Autonomia.
The discussion is wide ranging and, I think, extremely potent. It’s a commingling of occult, anarchist, socialist, and artistic ideas.
We discuss:
  • How rhythms dissolve political oppression
  • Capitalism as a dynamic of change, acceleration, and expansion that cannot understand limit
  • Why information and possibilities are not enough; we need the ability (“potency”) to transform them into reality
  • Why solidarity is dead and we are trapped in competition
  • Why poetry, sex, and magic matter now more than ever
  • The failure of communism, and why we need it anyway
  • Moving away from politics and towards therapy
  • How poetry is our doorway towards a new world
  • Why the “post-truth” world is an opportunity
  • Reincarnation: the only narrative that can remake the future
  • The shattering of the critical mind
  • Why (and how) we must accept all conspiracy theories
  • The spectating unconscious (and how it wishes for Trump)
  • Why everyone’s suffering belongs to everyone
  • What Trump’s victory gives to us
  • How sex work erodes work
  • Why no one should ever be paid for their labor

Lots of great SHOW NOTES here.

Until next time,

XO

DG

Peterson vs Žižek vs Lacan vs Deleuze & Guattari vs Psychoanalysis vs The Left: AEWCH 70 is the first ever Against Everyone event is me + Peter Rollins & Todd McGowan!

14 May

AGAINST EVERYONE WITH CONNER HABIB 70: TODD McGOWAN & PETER ROLLINS or PSYCHOANALYSIS vs THE LEFT

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Friends,

On my first ever Against Everyone live event, I talk about psychoanalysis, leftism, and identity politics with two of my favorite AEWCH guests, Todd McGowan and Peter Rollins! The event was part of the theology-meets-psychoanalysis conference Wake, in Belfast, in North of Ireland.

Peter Rollins is a philosopher and theologian who’s been on the show before (way back on AEWCH 14, and more recently on AEWCH 55). Todd McGowan is a psychoanalytic theorist and film studies professor; he’s also the host of the great podcast, Why Theory, and author of many amazing books. He originally appeared on AEWCH 47.

We talk about ID politics, Lacan vs Deleuze, Peterson vs Zizek, psychoanalysis and the left, and more!

This episode is very different than others, not the least of which because there’s a Q&A after – which I always long for with my epsiodes! and not just because it was in front of an audience. It’s different because there is some tension and conflict (though not any animosity, of course! I love Peter and Todd). It was even a bit difficult for me, for reasons I lay out in the introduction. That said, I also think it turned out great.

In fact, I’d love to do more live events, as this one was a bit of a test run for me. So if you’d like to organize an AEWCH event in your city (or a city nearby) with a locally-situated guest, give me a shout out, and we’ll see what we can do. Email me: againsteveryonewithconnerhabib[at]gmail[dot]com

(No show notes this week; the ep is pretty self explanatory, but back to them next week!)

Until next time!
XO
CH

Peter Rollins