The Blogora: The Rhetoric Society of America


And Speaking of Leo Strauss

Submitted by Jim Aune on July 6, 2011 - 8:49pm

I just received the much-awaited Oxford Handbook of the History of Political Philosophy today. It's mighty expensive, but the first section is worth the price--introductions to the contextual approach (Skinner/Pocock/the Cambridge School) by Mark Bevir, to the Straussian approach, by Catherine Zuckert, postmodern approaches, and so on.


Linguistic Idealism as Ideology

Submitted by Jim Aune on June 30, 2011 - 11:11am

As readers of this blog know, I've been concerned for some time about the relationship between speech and action, and the legal implications of that distinction (as in the spirited discussion of Brown v. EMA we've had this week).


More on Capital

Submitted by Jim Aune on June 20, 2011 - 6:23pm

Anna Kornbluh's fine essay on Marx's Capital as Victorian novel. And Jameson's preview of his new book (more on which, shortly). I'm beginning to think we need a rhetorical studies version of the MLG (perhaps with online journal?).


Jameson, Representing Capital, Introduction

Submitted by Jim Aune on June 8, 2011 - 8:59pm

1: With every adaptation and mutation of capital, Marx's texts come to resonate in new ways, e.g. 1950's alienation and the 1844 Manuscripts, the openendedness of the Grundrisse made it appealing in the 1960's.

2: But against Althusser will argue that the theory of alienation is still very much an active, form-building impulse. We will need to consider the omissions of Vol. 1: politics especially. Scandalous assertion: it is not a book about labor but about UNEMPLOYMENT.


Book Discussion?

Submitted by Jim Aune on June 8, 2011 - 3:26pm

Fredric Jameson's book on Marx's Capital I just came out. In the next few weeks I plan to post some notes and discussion questions on it (it's fairly short), so if you wish to join in and read along, please do. Here's a short first take on the book, by Jason Read.


Theme and Variations on Burke and Marxism: ATH

Submitted by Jim Aune on June 4, 2011 - 6:58pm

I don't know about you, but my computer increasingly resembles an archaeological dig. Having always lacked a consistent way of labeling files, I occasionally find notes I had forgotten about. Here are what appear to be lecture notes from a 20th century rhetorical theory class in 2003 on Attitudes Toward History. I offer them here, hoping they may be of use to someone. I have several other Burke outlines/commentary I could post if anyone's interested:

A Burkefied Introduction to Marxism:

1. A “representative anecdote” of human beings as tool-making, laboring animals:


The End of the Foucault Cult?

Submitted by Jim Aune on May 31, 2011 - 8:52pm

Please read this article. It confirms the suspicion I've held for a long while that, as Sartre said in 1966, Foucault was "the last barrier the bourgeoisie can raise against Marx." Michael C. Behrent, Liberalism without humanism:Michel Foucault and the free-market creed, 1976–1979, Modern Intellectual History, Volume 6, Issue 03, November 2009, pp 539-568.


Legitimation Crisis and Blue Labour

Submitted by Jim Aune on April 4, 2011 - 6:49am

Something has always puzzled me about the field's reception of Habermas--the ideal speech situation/communicative ethic came first, and then his view of the public sphere. Lost in the reception, so far as I can tell, has been the original insight of Legitimation Crisis: that advanced liberal democracies were failing at legitimation--in a way, failing to reproduce themselves culturally--precisely because of the success of top-down social-democratic policies and the welfare state.


Strauss, Neoconservatism, and Fascism

Submitted by Jim Aune on March 26, 2011 - 12:57pm

I somehow missed this translation and commentary on a clearly fascist-sympathizing letter from Leo Strauss to Karl Lowith. The current vogue for Agamben (and Schmitt) needs to be supplemented by an inquiry into Strauss's influence on neocon arguments for a "state of exception."