Forwarded from Paul Dillon

Alex LoCascio alexlocascio at
Sun May 18 07:51:08 MDT 2003

Lou Writes:

>I don't think we should fetishize the word science
>either, but I have found Marxism to be a deeply useful
>tool for understanding bourgeois society. Freudian theories,
>on the other hand, are useless. Although I have not read
>any of Zizek's large-scale works, I have read plenty of

I picked up Manuel De Landa's _1,000 Years of Non-Linear History_
after reading the various citations from it in Steven Johnson's

De Landa's book is, to me, one of the most fascinating
attempts at forging a useful synthesis between the natural
sciences and "critical theory" in order to attempt a
"new materialist theory of history."

In doing so, he borrows heavily from sources as diverse
as Fernand Braudel, Deleuze and Guatarri, and copious amounts
of material from the natural sciences.

De Landa's anti-teleological worldview leads him to reject
Marxism, which I think is an uncharitable interpretation given
that people like Michael Loewy and Enzo Traverso have done
excellent work trying to emphasize the non-teleological aspects
of Marxism as a critique of "progress."  Nonetheless, De Landa
is full of fascinating insights, and although I haven't read
Deleuze and Guattari, precisely because of the negative assessments
from "classical" Marxists, I'm definitely tempted to give
it a try.

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