This essay responds to the generous commentaries on the talks Jodi Dean and I delivered during the 2013 Rethinking Marxism International Conference. It offers further reflections on communism as a political project, on its relation to postcapitalist practices, and on Dean’s desire to “return to the party,” making two distinct interventions. First, while I remain agnostic about the relevance of the party, I express concerns about Dean’s sharp delineation between what is political and what is merely lifestyle choice, postcapitalism being encompassed in the latter. I draw parallels between Dean’s use of parody and Judith Butler’s intervention in the Sokal affair and “left conservatism.” Second, I further explore what counts as political, drawing upon Jonathan Dean’s characterization of widespread depoliticization narratives as “tales of the apolitical”—fantasies in the Lacanian sense. I argue that when the Left is in this fantasy’s “grip,” it misses a politics of communism in the present.
Stephen Healy (2015) Parody, the Party, Politics, and Postcapitalism:
Some Thoughts on a Shared Future, Rethinking Marxism: A Journal of Economics, Culture
& Society, 27:3, 385-395