Emancipations explores the intersection of Marxism, politics and philosophy. Hosted by Daniel Tutt (@DanielTutt).
info_outline What is the Warm-Stream of Marxism? feat. Tijana Okić 09/29/2023
What is the Warm-Stream of Marxism? feat. Tijana Okić We welcome Tijana Okić back to the show for a discussion on the Marxist philosopher Ernst Bloch's idea of the warm and cold stream in Marxism. How are we to understand this distinction and which Marxist thinkers fit into these two streams? Can the cold and the warm streams be synthesized? Tijana Okić is a philosopher, feminist and translator. She completed her Ph.D. in philosophy at the Scuola Normale Superiore in Pisa, Italy. She is one of the editors of the volume The Lost Revolution: AFŽ between Myth and Forgetting (Sarajevo, 2016).
info_outline Understanding Class Politics: Bourdieu with Marx feat. Lisa Mckenzie 09/23/2023
Understanding Class Politics: Bourdieu with Marx feat. Lisa Mckenzie What are the best theoretical frameworks for understanding class politics? Marx offers an understanding of class as tied to relations of productive labor and property ownership in capitalist society. The French sociologist Pierre Bourdieu offers an understanding of class which goes beyond Marx in many ways, offering a richer and more varied idea of class as a cultural formation that generates a field of power. Can Marx and Bourdieu be reconciled? Can they be combined? We are joined by sociologist Lisa Mckenzie to discuss the best ways to theorize class, the working class, class politics and more.
info_outline Daniel Bensaïd and the Renewal of Marxism feat. Darren Roso 09/07/2023
Daniel Bensaïd and the Renewal of Marxism feat. Darren Roso We are joined by socialist author Darren Roso to discuss his forthcoming book which is the first major study of Bensaïd's thought. Daniel Bensaïd completed his Ph.D. on Lenin right as May 68 took off and his work has contributed to contemporary Marxist philosophy and practice in important ways. In this fascinating interview, Roso describes the key ideas and the thrust of Bensaïd's renewal of Marxism starting in the 1980s to his death in 2010.
info_outline In Defense of Žižek? A Discussion with Matthew Flisfeder 08/25/2023
In Defense of Žižek? A Discussion with Matthew Flisfeder Slavoj Žižek is a provocative intellectual, constantly taking positions on social and political issues that upset convention and lead him to face derision from both the right and the left. Given the often erratic stances that he takes, from his support for the Ukraine war, to Donald Trump in 2016, some have wondered whether the Giant of Ljubljana has lost his way in recent times. We are joined by Žižek scholar Matthew Flisfeder for a discussion on how to understand the core of Žižek's thought, and how to remain true to his project and method even when he may waver from it. Matthew Flisfeder is an associate professor of rhetoric and communications at the University of Winnipeg. He is the author of Postmodern Theory and “Blade Runner” and The Symbolic, the Sublime, and Slavoj Žižek’s Theory of Film.
info_outline On the Meaning of Revolution feat. C. Derick Varn (Part II) 07/10/2023
On the Meaning of Revolution feat. C. Derick Varn (Part II) We continue our conversation on the meaning of revolution with C. Derick Varn, by turning to the theoretical basis of "post" Marxist thinkers from the Althusserian school, Laclau and Mouffe, Hardt and Negri and Alain Badiou. We discuss some of the pitfalls of these contemporary Marxist theorists and the basis by which they revise core tenets from Marx. We also discuss new class theories on today's left and how they relate to Marx's class theory and different theories of the intellectual in socialist thought. To download the reading list we have created for this series please go . To get early access and support our work please check out our Patreon (.
info_outline On the Meaning of Revolution feat. C. Derick Varn (Part I) 06/15/2023
On the Meaning of Revolution feat. C. Derick Varn (Part I) Is revolution dead? The left is divided over how to make revolution, and many Marxist and post-Marxist theorists have developed radically new conceptions of revolution that are often highly divergent from how Marx, Engels and Second International Marxists dealt with revolution. Our age is notoriously known as post-revolutionary, and liberal realism has set in so deep that we have seemed to have lost touch with the truths of Marxist insights into revolution. We are experiencing a resurgence of political and cultural radicalism but in the context of the absence of working-class radicalism as expressed through socialist parties, mass parties and labour unions. To help us understand the history and the meaning of revolution, both in its practical and theoretical valences, we are joined by scholar, poet and podcaster C. Derick Varn. C. Derick Varn is the host of the politics and culture podcast Varn Vlog where he probes socialist politics and offers invaluable insights for the left. Please subscribe to his show at . To get access to the reading list that we have created around this two-part series, please join our Patreon at .
info_outline The Story of Agnes Smedley: From Peasant to Socialist Heroine feat. Stephen MacKinnon 06/08/2023
The Story of Agnes Smedley: From Peasant to Socialist Heroine feat. Stephen MacKinnon Agnes Smedley is an American writer and socialist heroine born in 1892 in Missouri. Her family relocated all across the American west including near the Ludlow Massacre of coal mining workers. Smedley managed to escape the conditions of poverty she was born into and went on to become one of the most important personalities of revolutionary socialism in the first part of the 20th century. Smedley's notoriety has been larger in Russia and China than in the United States because her books were banned during the Red Scare in the 1950s - 1970. She was witness to the Chinese Revolution where she spent the longest period of time embedded with the Chinese Red Army, longer than any other western journalist. We are joined by Stephen MacKinnon, a historian of modern China and the author of to discuss the remarkable life of Agnes Smedley. In this interview, host Daniel Tutt and Stephen MacKinnon discuss Smedley's life and legacy and speculate into a number of open questions about her death, her possible status as a Russian spy and more.
info_outline Tragedy, Parody and Psycho-Power feat. Ali Benziane 06/01/2023
Tragedy, Parody and Psycho-Power feat. Ali Benziane We welcome the brilliant poet and thinker Ali Benziane. Dr. Benziane is an autodidactic philosopher currently working closely with friend of the show, the famous French actor and philosopher Mehdi Belhaj Kacem. We discuss some philosophical and metaphysical perspectives on the post-covid world, looking at Ali's notion of a new mechanism of global power that he calls "psychopouvoir" (psycho-power) after the late french philosopher Bernard Stiegler. We discuss his intellectual influences, Phillipe Lacoue-Labarthe, the meaning of tragedy, parody, Deleuze's work, fascism and philosophy, traditionalism, and Ali's love for the French metaphysician René Guénon.
info_outline New Currents in Marxism: From Degrowth Communism to Neo-Kautskyism feat. Richard Seymour 05/24/2023
New Currents in Marxism: From Degrowth Communism to Neo-Kautskyism feat. Richard Seymour We welcome writer and Marxist thinker Richard Seymour back onto the show for a spirited discussion on new currents in Marxist thinking. In this wide-ranging conversation, we discuss the contradictions and tensions between the concept of "degrowth communism", coined by eco-socialist thinker Kohei Saito, to another trend in Marxist and socialist thinking which is encapsulated by the name of "neo-Kautskyism", or the general tendency for a more productivist and working-class organized direction of socialist politics. We also discuss the legacy of Althusserian Marxism, class politics, the PMC debate and quagmire as well as Richard's intellectual trajectory, idealism and materialism and faith and spirituality. If you enjoy this conversation please consider joining us as a Patron for as little at $3 a month
info_outline Sartre's Existential Psychoanalysis feat. Mary L. Edwards 05/03/2023
Sartre's Existential Psychoanalysis feat. Mary L. Edwards We are joined by Mary L. Edwards to discuss her new book Sartre's Existential Psychoanalysis: Knowing Others. We discuss Sartre's concept of bad faith, the in-itself and the for-itself and the challenge that his philosophy poses to psychoanalysis. We also discuss Sartre's psychobiographies on Jean Genet and Gustave Flaubert and what these works have to offer to psychoanalytic practice and theory. Please consider supporting us on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/torsiongroups Link to Mary's book: Mary Louise Edwards is a teacher in philosophy at Cardiff University, School of English, Communication and Philosophy. Mary researches and teaches existentialism, feminist philosophy, phenomenology, psychoanalysis, and philosophy of imagination.
info_outline Lukács, Irrationalism and Marxist Reason 04/26/2023
Lukács, Irrationalism and Marxist Reason In this episode, I expound on Lukács's later work and the meaning of irrationalism. I analyze Marxist reason in contradistinction to neo-Kantian thought and touch on what is most distinctive about philosophy for Marx and Engels and how Marx breaks with both Kant and Hegel. From a Marxist point of view, the practical aim of philosophy is to bring about human freedom and human freedom in capitalist society requires the activation and the organization of the proletariat to realize and overcome class domination. References: Lukács, Georg The Destruction of Reason Verso Books, 2021 Lukács, Georg History and Class Consciousness MIT Press, 1992 Lukács, Georg "Moses Hess and the Problem of Idealist Dialectics" from Tactics and Ethics Verso Books, 2014 Lukács, Georg "Intellectual Workers’ and the Problem of Intellectual Leadership” from Tactics and Ethics Verso Books, 2014 Lenin, Vladimir "What Is to Be Done" https://www.marxists.org/archive/lenin/works/1901/witbd Frederick C. Beiser The Genesis of Neo-Kantianism, 1796–1880 Oxford University Press, 2014 Rockmore, Tom Irrationalism: Lukacs and the Marxist View of Reason Temple University Press, 1991 Check out our symposium on Lukács' The Destruction of Reason ( Supplemental reading: Tutt, Daniel "The Question of Worldview and Class Struggle in Philosophy: On the Relevance of Lukács' The Destruction of Reason" Cosmonaut Magazine February, 2022 To get early access to our interviews and talks please join us on Patreon
info_outline Stalinism and the Dialectics of Saturn feat. Doug Greene 04/23/2023
Stalinism and the Dialectics of Saturn feat. Doug Greene We sit down with Doug Greene to discuss his latest work on Stalinism. In this interview, Greene describes who Stalin was, what his role in the Bolshevik movement was and how he came to power. Greene then provides a compelling analysis of different paradigms of how Stalinism has been conceptualized by intellectuals from Arthur Koestler, Jean-Paul Sartre, Antonio Gramsci, to heads of states such as Winston Churchill and writers such as George Orwell. Doug Greene is a Marxist historian based in the Boston area. Our last interview with Greene was about his book on Michael Harrington, , which is a biography of Harrington, the liberal-socialist founder of the DSA. We conclude our conversation with a discussion about Domenico Losurdo’s book on Stalin and its shortcomings. We also discuss the specter of Stalinism on today's left and whether there is a compelling sort of psychological account as to what draws people to Stalinism to this day. Order .
info_outline The New Irrationalism - A Conversation with John Bellamy Foster 04/18/2023
The New Irrationalism - A Conversation with John Bellamy Foster We are back! And we changed our podcast name to Emancipations Podcast! In this episode, we are pleased to welcome Marxist thinker John Bellamy Foster to discuss his recent article The New Irrationalism in the Monthly Review (. This article started a conversation on the legacy of Lukács's Destruction of Reason and the role of philosophy in times of imperialism and war. You can listen to the video version of this interview where I elaborate on the theme of irrationalism by going here (. Sign up to support our efforts on Patreon at (.
info_outline The Enigma of Christopher Lasch feat. Christian Lorentzen 02/28/2023
The Enigma of Christopher Lasch feat. Christian Lorentzen We are joined by literary critic and actor Christian Lorentzen to discuss the legacy and thought of Christopher Lasch. In this wide-ranging conversation, Lorentzen and host Daniel Tutt discuss Lasch's socialist politics, why he's so often misunderstood by the contemporary left and how he read literature. We assess the reasons why Lasch remains so popular and we touch on the politics of American novelists, the new Dimes Square scene in Manhattan, for which Christian is a central figure and personality, and we touch on the generational politics that seem to return and return ever since Lasch diagnosed them in the 1970s. You can subscribe to Christian's Substack to read his prolific book review essays and other writings:
info_outline Adorno On Ideology feat. Jacob Bard-Rosenberg 01/29/2023
Adorno On Ideology feat. Jacob Bard-Rosenberg In 1954 Adorno wrote, "if one were to condense what the ideology of mass culture comes down to into a single sentence, one would have to represent it with the parodic statement: “become what you are.” Adorno offered a series of important lectures on the concept of ideology with Max Horkheimer in the wake of the Second World War. They argued against the liberal sociologists such as Mannheim and Weber's conceptions of ideology, and they also called for a new Marxist understanding of ideology. In this episode, we discuss the history of the concept of ideology up to Adorno's important intervention. This conversation is based on a newly translated article "Contribution to the Theory of Ideology" by Adorno and . Dr. Rosenberg has recently completed a Ph.D. on Adorno and Benjamin on memory, forgetting and dreams. You can download his dissertation . To read Rosenberg's review of Adorno's article on ideology, please go .
info_outline Lacanian Marxism On Today's Left with Jensen Suther 01/20/2023
Lacanian Marxism On Today's Left with Jensen Suther We sit down with philosopher Jensen Suther for a conversation on Lacanian Marxism on today's left. Jensen Suther earned his PhD in Comparative Literature from Yale University and was recently elected as a Junior Fellow to the Harvard Society of Fellows. His forthcoming book, Spirit Disfigured: The Persistence of Freedom in the Modernist Novel, argues against the “lacanian turn” in Marxist theory and provides a new reading of Hegel’s encyclopedia as the philosophical foundation of emancipatory politics. The host, Daniel Tutt is the host of Study Groups on Psychoanalysis and Politics and has taught philosophy at George Washington University, Marymount University, the Global Center for Advanced Studies and the Washington DC jail.
info_outline Ressentiment: A Liberal Concept? feat. Sjoerd van Tuinen 12/24/2022
Ressentiment: A Liberal Concept? feat. Sjoerd van Tuinen Our final episode for the year! Thank you all for your support this year. In this episode, we sit down with the philosopher Sjoerd van Tuinen to discuss the concept of ressentiment and the politics of resentment. Dr. van Tuinen has many essays on ressentiment and a forthcoming book on the topic. Please pitch in to support us at
info_outline An Introduction to the Philosopher Kojin Karatani 11/10/2022
An Introduction to the Philosopher Kojin Karatani Kojin Karatani is one of the most interesting and important Marxist philosophers working today. Listen to our conversation about his main ideas...featuring Daniel Tutt and Gabriel Tupinambá. The workshop we held on Karatani's The Structure of World History can be found here: Support us by joining our Patreon
info_outline Marxist Class Theory for a Skeptical World feat. Raju Das 09/19/2022
Marxist Class Theory for a Skeptical World feat. Raju Das What is the Marxist theory of class? Did Marx have a mature class theory in Capital or is Marx's theory of class unfinished and ultimately unclear? Many scholars contend that Marx does not have a clear class theory. But too often Marxists do not offer any alternative to the theory of class, so Marxism ends up with very little to say about class. Our guest in this episode, Raju Das, disagrees with many contemporary Marxists who tend to sideline Marx's theory of class. In this conversation, we learn that Marx does have a theory of class and we break it all down and show how central it is to his thought. We begin with a critique of Analytical Marxist and Post-structuralist Marxist theories of class and we learn about a more materialist and dialectical foundation for class theory. Das helps us to theorize class at both the transhistorical level and at the level of capitalism. Raju Das is the author of
info_outline Freud and the Limits of Bourgeois Individualism with Bruno Bosteels 08/18/2022
Freud and the Limits of Bourgeois Individualism with Bruno Bosteels We are joined by writer and Marxist thinker Bruno Bosteels to discuss Léon Rozitchner’s Freud and the Limits of Bourgeois Individualism, which Bosteels has recently translated. In this conversation, we discuss Rozitchner's biography, his place within South American Marxism, the key concepts and approach of the text and we end with a consideration of Alain Badiou's thought. Bosteels is the translator of Freud and the Limits of Bourgeois Individualism, Alain Badiou's Theory of the Subject and he is the author of the forthcoming book Philosophies of Defeat: The Jargon of Finitude (Verso).
info_outline Is Nietzsche compatible with Marxism? feat. Jan Rehmann 08/01/2022
Is Nietzsche compatible with Marxism? feat. Jan Rehmann We continue our investigation into the philosophy of Nietzsche, this time with philosopher Jan Rehmann who teaches critical theories and social analysis at Union Theological Seminary in New York City and philosophy at the Free University in Berlin. We discuss the Marxist reading of Nietzsche and Rehmann's recently translated work . To learn more about what we are doing and support us please become a Patron
info_outline Pleasure: A Political Issue with Anna Kornbluh 07/25/2022
Pleasure: A Political Issue with Anna Kornbluh Fredric Jameson is one of the most important Marxist literary critics. We are joined by Anna Kornbluh to discuss his theory of postmodernism and particularly his work on psychoanalysis and Marxism. We analyze Jameson's incredible essay "Pleasure: A Political Issue" which looks at the relationship between psychoanalysis and Marxism. This conversation gets at the heart of the Marxism-psychoanalysis relationship, what the stakes are, what psychoanalysis offers to Marxist analysis and more. Anna Kornbluh's research and teaching interests center on Victorian literature and Critical Theory, with a special emphasis in formalism, Marxism, psychoanalysis, and theory of the novel. She is the author of The Order of Forms: Realism, Formalism, and Social Space (University of Chicago 2019), Marxist Film Theory and Fight Club (Bloomsbury "Film Theory in Practice” series, 2019), and Realizing Capital: Financial and Psychic Economies in Victorian Form (Fordham UP 2014).
info_outline Too Much Theory on the Left? feat. Catherine Liu 07/15/2022
Too Much Theory on the Left? feat. Catherine Liu We are joined by Catherine Liu to discuss how French Theory grew to such prominence in American culture and academia, and how it has shaped not only the left but many aspects of our everyday life, from how we conceive of power, sex, the figure of the intellectual to the literary canon. French Theory was not merely a fad, it has had deep and long-lasting effects on our culture. After discussing this history, we discuss Deleuzian theory and socialism, whether the libertine & counterculture left can forge solidarity with the working class and more. For a reflection on this conversation, check out my . Support us at Patreon
info_outline Psychoanalysis, Love and Politics feat. Duane Rousselle 06/20/2022
Psychoanalysis, Love and Politics feat. Duane Rousselle We welcome Duane Rousselle to the show for a dialogue with host Daniel Tutt on Lacanian theory and politics. We discuss Duane's latest book Real Love and his work on the later Lacan and politics, as well as the thought of Jacques-Alain Miller. Rousselle is a practicing Lacanian psychoanalyst and Canadian sociological theorist. Support us at
info_outline Is the Vibe Shift Reactionary? 06/18/2022
Is the Vibe Shift Reactionary? Mike comes back on the show after a year long hiatus (!) to discuss the "vibe shift" in the New York literary scene. We analyze the political implications of the "vibe shift" and where things might be headed. Be sure to check out where he investigates these new scenes.
info_outline Why Class Matters with Lillian Cicerchia 05/29/2022
Why Class Matters with Lillian Cicerchia Lillian Cicerchia, co-host of wrote an essay "Why Does Class Matter" which was the first article about class (specifically) in academic philosophy in several decades. Why in the hell would academic philosophy sideline analysis of class? The answer to that question may be quite obvious, or there may be more to it. Listen to find out! Lillian is interested in finding ways to bring an analysis of class back into the conversation that does so in a way that pays attention to the theme of "non-domination" in the labor market. She brings a very interesting mode of analyzing class to the table. To listen to the full interview please go here
info_outline Adieu Lacan - Interview with Filmmaker Richard Ledes 05/21/2022
Adieu Lacan - Interview with Filmmaker Richard Ledes We sit down with filmmaker Richard Ledes to discuss the process of making his film , which depicts a successful psychoanalytic intervention by Lacan. Ledes is a fascinating filmmaker who has been compared to David Lynch and his most well-known film is Fred Won't Move Out. Adieu Lacan is and is definitely a must-watch!
info_outline Circumcision and Psychoanalysis feat. Jordan Osserman 05/13/2022
Circumcision and Psychoanalysis feat. Jordan Osserman We are pleased to welcome writer and thinker Jordan Osserman to the show to discuss circumcision and his new book which has recently been published by Bloomsbury. Join us at Patreon to get access to our seminars, writing and early release of our shows.
info_outline The Lacanian Left, Self-Help, and the Family feat. Richard Seymour 04/30/2022
The Lacanian Left, Self-Help, and the Family feat. Richard Seymour We sit down with the prolific writer and thinker Richard Seymour, Co-Founder of Salvage Magazine and author of The Meaning of David Cameron (2010), Unhitched (2013), Against Austerity (2014) and Corbyn: The Strange Rebirth of Radical Politics (2016). Since 2013, Seymour has turned to Lacanian theory in his . We discuss what he finds valuable in psychoanalytic theory, the recent fractures over the trans movement in the Lacanian field, the patriarchy question, Oedipal politics, family abolition, meritocracy and Richard's next book project The Little Red Self-Help Book. We conclude with a discussion on the future of the far right. If you like this conversation and might be willing to pitch in to support us, please become a member of our Patreon
info_outline Lasch Beyond the Culture War - A Conversation with Elisabeth Lasch-Quinn 04/25/2022
Lasch Beyond the Culture War - A Conversation with Elisabeth Lasch-Quinn We are very pleased to sit down with American historian and cultural critic Elisabeth Lasch-Quinn to discuss her work on the history of race relations in America and the legacy of her father, the historian and critic Christopher Lasch. Christopher Lasch's thought has skyrocketed in popularity in recent years and one of the big questions that surrounds his work is how we understand his political vision and what the core of his critique of liberalism and American elites really amounts to. In this sneak-peak of an interview, we get a bit closer to answering this elusive question and we learn more about the real Lasch. To listen to our full interview with Elisabeth Lasch-Quinn please become a member of our Patreon (). In addition to this clip on the legacy of Christopher Lasch, we also discuss her work and her work which talks about spirituality and new modes of living in our society.