By Cali Slair While totalitarianism did not first emerge in the twentieth century, the totalitarian states of Nazi Germany under Adolf Hitler (1933-1945) and the Soviet Union under Joseph Stalin (1924-1953) were distinct. In The Origins of Totalitarianism Hannah Arendt (1906-1975), one of the most influential political philosophers of the twentieth century, seeks to explain why […]
Provincializing Europe: Postcolonial Thought and Historical Difference is about recognising the limitations of Western social science in explaining the historical experiences of political modernity in South Asia. Chakhrabarty offers a critique of the Enlightenment concepts of a universal human experience and of secular modernity.
Divine violence, an idea set out in Walter Benjamin’s early essay “Critique of Violence,” is violence undertaken by a sovereign individual, a strike at power, an attempt at the dissolution of the law in favor of justice, a decision that reaffirms the sovereignty of the self against the coercive violence of the law.
The theory that dominance in society is based on a hegemonic culture was initially posited by Antonio Gramsci based on a Marxist analysis of economic and social class.
By Ben Weiss In Violence, popular political theorist, Slavoj Žižek, develops several notions for thinking about the contemporary world. While complex philosophical discussions often appear esoteric to the general reader, Žižek’s work renders new insights into numerous global issues, from politics and trade to social movements and cross-cultural exchanges. Entire books could be written on […]
If I paint a milk bottle red, does this mean I have “deconstructed” it? This is an example of deconstruction provided by Niall Lucy in A Derrida Dictionary and it makes a good starting point for us to discuss deconstruction.
Discipline and Punish, subtitled The Birth of the Prison, is Michel Foucault’s reading of the shift in penal technologies from torture to imprisonment that took place in Europe beginning in the eighteenth century.
by Juan Carlos de Orellana Antonio Gramsci was an Italian Marxist intellectual and politician, who can be seen as the perfect example of the synthesis of theoretician and politician. He was not only a thinker involved in the revision and development of Marxism, who wrote in several socialist and communist Italian journals, but also a […]
Louis Pierre Althusser (1918-1990) was a French Marxist philosopher who wrote in the wake of Stalin’s brutal suppression of the Hungarian revolution of 1956.
The problem for censors, though, is that judging a writer’s tone is more subjective than simply looking for forbidden words or ideas. Authors like Heinrich Heine made a name for themselves by mocking the follies of authorities through sophisticated literary tactics. Moreover, censors—like modern day college administrators—were condemned for allowing their own personal judgments and prejudices to color their decision making.