This podcast is part of Re-Imagine Europe, co-funded by the Creative Europe programme of the European Union.
Music commissioned to Anna Irina Russell. Editing by Antonio Gagliano.
For years, the work of Jodi Dean (b. USA, 1962) has been activating debates in academia and activism, combining tools from the fields of political philosophy, feminism, and psychoanalysis. Dean describes a social landscape mediated by technology in which we vote and share huge amounts of arguments and opinions, but at the same time our capacity to change political structures has come to a grinding halt. Communicative capitalism does in fact thrive on a network of interactions rather than the singularity of the people and contents that comprise it. It does not really matter what is conveyed or who does the conveying: circulation itself produces value. In the face of this paradox, Dean suggests reconstructing the Left, moving away from the demand for more participatory processes, greater consensus and better democracy, and instead placing the antagonism and power of partisan politics back at the centre of common life.
In this podcast we talk to Jodi Dean about communism as a still-latent project, about the Party as a scalable global form, about dystopian municipalism, anamorphic ecologies, and liberal democracies, about Not An Alternative and Liberate Tate as examples of sustainable activism practices at museums, about desires, enthusiasm, and trust, about the emotions captured inside social media, and about how to squash the impulse to constantly make up new names for everything.
00:00 Desire and drive
03:09 Pop culture and politics
06:30 Black Panther: something, not everything
07:14 The left should not argue for democracy
09:59 Cognitive capitalism vs Communicative capitalism
11:28 Semiocapitalism vs Communicative capitalism
11:51 Modes of exploitation in Communicative capitalism
14:15 A new name for everything
15:19 The decline of symbolic efficiency
17:16 Attacking head-on the claim that communism didn't work
18:19 Fully Automated Luxury Gay Space Communism
19:48 A party is a form that scales
21.20 A party is a part, is partisan, is divisive
22:26 Fragmentation and sectarism
24:16 A party does not just mirror the factory
26:22 A party of the proletarianized people
27:17 Populism: trying to be everything to everyone
28:29 Global-financial cities
29:22 Green municipalism
31:17 Not an alternative
35:15 Liberate Tate
35:57 Social achievements of class struggle
38:24 Enthusiasm and circulation value