The Poverty of Theory

Critique in the Age of Trump

Maximillian AlvarezMarch 21, 2017

The world has, in many ways, become exponentially weirder and more unpredictable in the age of Trump. And this core set of derangements demand more imaginative and radical modes of thinking. Nevertheless, the forces of resistance share a natural, troubling impulse to fall back on bland sentiments and rhetoric that stuff political questions into old Manichean divides between good and evil, hypostatized “democracy” and fascism, conventional wisdom and stupidity.

Circulate Now, Mobilize Later

Maximillian AlvarezMarch 08, 2017
Old lefty magazines like New Masses were goal-oriented. / Wikimedia Commons
Old lefty magazines like New Masses were goal-oriented. / Wikimedia Commons

Circulation numbers are steadily rising for key segments of the mainstream and leftist press, and more people are reading, sharing, writing for, and subscribing to a cluster of established and emerging outlets that dominate popular leftist criticism in the United States.

The Accidental Elitist

Maximillian AlvarezFebruary 22, 2017
Blok 70
Blok 70

The left’s battles often involve conditioning popular discourse to unfamiliar material, while the right has been exceptionally good at “framing” popular discourse so that people will support things that are bad for them.