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Left-Legalism and the Antinomies of Resistance Starts Tomorrow!

In the face of the ongo­ing right­ward shift in pol­i­tics, much of the resis­tance that has arisen on the nom­i­nal left has focused on for­mal and legal­is­tic efforts. From the impeach­ment of Don­ald Trump to the attempts to out­law hate speech and estab­lish hous­ing and health­care as ‘rights’, the efforts to over­come the cur­rent polit­i­cal impasse imag­ine exist­ing polit­i­cal insti­tu­tions and norms as capa­ble of pro­vid­ing a solu­tion to the very same polit­i­cal real­i­ties that char­ac­ter­ize them. This class will review Marx­ist legal and polit­i­cal the­o­ries with a focus on bet­ter under­stand­ing the lim­i­ta­tions and antin­o­mies of cur­rent efforts to resist the right through the lan­guage and insti­tu­tions of law. Does left-legal­ism func­tion to strength­en the very insti­tu­tions and norms that con­sti­tute the cap­i­tal­ist state? What forms of resis­tance would be nec­es­sary for break­ing the exist­ing polit­i­cal hege­mo­ny and cre­at­ing the pos­si­bil­i­ty of a demo­c­ra­t­ic soci­ety? Read­ings will include Louis Althuss­er, Wendy Brown, Karl Marx, Anto­nio Negri, Evge­ny Pashuka­nis and
Jean-Paul Sartre.

Peter Brat­sis is asso­ciate pro­fes­sor of polit­i­cal sci­ence at Bor­ough of Man­hat­tan Com­mu­ni­ty Col­lege and the Grad­u­ate Cen­ter, City Uni­ver­si­ty of New York. His pub­li­ca­tions include the books Every­day Life and the State (Rout­ledge) and, with Stan­ley Aronowitz, Par­a­digm Lost: State The­o­ry Recon­sid­ered (Min­neso­ta), as well as essays in numer­ous jour­nals includ­ing Social TextHis­tor­i­cal Mate­ri­al­ism, and Inter­na­tion­al Jour­nal of Urban and Region­al Research. He is a found­ing mem­ber of the edi­to­r­i­al col­lec­tive for the jour­nal Sit­u­a­tions: Project of the Rad­i­cal Imag­i­na­tion and is cur­rent­ly work­ing on a book, Twen­ty Years of Bore­dom: Veg­an­ism and the Cul­tur­al Log­ic of Late Lib­er­al­ism, which exam­ines the rise of veg­an­ism and the giv­ing of human names to dogs as symp­toms of cap­i­tal­ist alienation.

A four week course with Peter Brat­sis Begin­ning Sat­ur­day, Feb­ru­ary 8th3 ‑5 p.m. at 350 West 31st Street, Suite 404, law offices of Lewis, Clifton and Nico­laidis – $15 per class or $50 for the entire seminar.

Pur­chase all ses­sions of Left-Legal­ism and the Antin­o­mies of Resistance: 

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