Arguing that the actuality of communism cannot be abstracted from the materiality of politics, this article engages with the works of Bruno Bosteels and Jodi Dean by affirming the radical innovation produced by the qualification of communism as a “real movement.” This entails an examination of past and present communist struggles that accounts for their irreducible differences and multiple modes of organization. We insist that the debate on communism must reckon with three unavoidable issues: property, internationalism, and subjectivity. In considering the mutual implication of these issues, and in discussing the related topics of political representation and the state, the article contends that communist politics today must remain open to the past, translate between different struggles, and construct an autonomy grounded in social being.
Research Article|October 01 2014
The Materiality of Communism: Politics Beyond Representation and the State
South Atlantic Quarterly (2014) 113 (4): 777-790.