21st-century communist theorists
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According to the political theorist Alan Johnson there has been a revival of serious interest in communism in the 21st century led by Slavoj Žižek and Alain Badiou. Other leading theorists are Michael Hardt, Antonio Negri, Gianni Vattimo, Alessandro Russo, Jodi Dean and Judith Balso. Also Alberto Toscano, translator of Alain Badiou, Terry Eagleton, Bruno Bosteels and Peter Hallward. Many of these advocates contributed to the three-day conference, "The Idea of Communism," in London in 2009 that drew a substantial paying audience. Theoretical publications, some published by Verso Books, include The Idea of Communism, edited by Costas Douzinas and Zizek, Badiou's The Communist Hypothesis, and Bosteels's The Actuality of Communism. The defining common ground is the contention that 'the crises of contemporary liberal capitalist societies—ecological degradation, financial turmoil, the loss of trust in the political class, exploding inequality—are systemic; interlinked, not amenable to legislative reform, and requiring "revolutionary" solutions.' In the introduction to The Idea of Communism,(2009) Zizek and Douzinas also identified four common premises among the thinkers in attendance:
- The idea of communism confronts de-politicization through a return to voluntarism.
- Communism as a radical philosophical idea. It must be thought of as taking distance from economism and statism, as well as learning from the experiences of the 21st century.
- Communism combats neoliberalism by returning to the idea of the "common."
- Communism as freedom and equality. Equality cannot exist without freedom and vice versa.
- Costas Douzinas, editor and contributor; Slavoj Zizek, editor; Alain Badiou, contributor; Judith Balso, contributor; Bruno Bosteels, contributor; Susan Buck-Morss, contributor; Terry Eagleton, contributor; Peter Hallward, contributor; Michael Hardt, contributor; Jean-Luc Nancy, contributor; Antonio Negri, contributor; Jacques Rancière, contributor; Mark Russo, contributor; Alberto Toscano, contributor; Gianni Vattimo, contributor; The Idea of Communism (Vol. 1), Verso (December 13, 2010), hardcover, 224 pages, ISBN 184467455X ISBN 978-1844674558; trade paperback, Verso (December 13, 2010), ISBN 1844674592 ISBN 978-1844674596
- book review by Mark Harvey, February 2011 in Socialist Review
- Alain Badiou, The Communist Hypothesis, Verso (July 13, 2010), hardcover, 288 pages, ISBN 1844676005 ISBN 978-1844676002
- Bruno Bosteels, The Actuality of Communism, Verso (June 1, 2011), hardcover, 256 pages, ISBN 1844676951 ISBN 978-1844676958
- Jodi Dean, The Communist Horizon, Verso (October 9, 2012), hardcover, 240 pages, ISBN 1844679543 ISBN 978-1844679546
- Communism, A New Beginning? October 14–16, 2011
- "Full Communism" blog post at versobooks.com by Huw Lemmey May 3, 2012
- Campbell, Duncan (March 12, 2009). "Move over Jacko, Idea of Communism is hottest ticket in town this weekend". The Guardian. Retrieved May 18, 2012.
- Johnson, Alan (May–June 2012). "The New Communism: Resurrecting the Utopian Delusion". World Affairs.
A specter is haunting the academy—the specter of "new communism." A worldview recently the source of immense suffering and misery, and responsible for more deaths than fascism and Nazism, is mounting a comeback; a new form of left-wing totalitarianism that enjoys intellectual celebrity but aspires to political power.
- Douzinas, C., & Žižek, S. (2010). Introduction. In The idea of communism (pp. vii-x). London: Verso.