Subverting the Present, Imagining the Future

By Jun, Nathan | Anarchist Studies, January 1, 2012 | Go to article overview

Subverting the Present, Imagining the Future


Jun, Nathan, Anarchist Studies


Werner Bonefeld (ed.), Subverting the Present, Imagining the Future New York: Autonomedia, 2008. ISBN 978-1-57027-184-7 (Pbk)

Subverting the Present, Imagining the Future is a coUection of essays - most of which are written from a broadly autonomist Marxist perspective - divided into diree parts entided, respectively, 'Primitive Accumulation: a Debate on History, Social Constitution & Struggle'; 'Subversion in Everyday Life: Movements, Currents, and Class Struggle'; and 'The Question of die Multitude: Argentina, Mexico & the United States'. Although many of the individual essays gathered under diese headings are interesting and thoughtprovoking in their own right, the editor does not bother to explain what 'primitive accumulation', for example, has to do with 'class struggle', or what any of this has to do with 'subversion'. As a result, the volume as a whole comes across a bit like political-theoretical potpourri without a consistent, unifying theme.

I want to reiterate, however, that the incoherent organization of the volume in no way detracts from the general quality of the contributions, several of which are very weU done. As a historian of phdosophy, I particularly enjoyed Massimo De Angelis' and Paul Zarembka's competing interpretations of the role of primitive accumulation in capitalist development. …

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