Hi. So I got word that this new book by Larry Grossberg -“We All Want To Change The World”- is available free.
It is a polemic to talk about the shape of “the left” between its “pessimistic intellect” and “optimistic will”:
“There is no litmus test, no inclusionary or exclusionary principles that constitute the left for all times in all places. For the moment, it is enough to say that I mean by “the left” all those (theories, groups, opinions, actions) which fundamentally oppose, at the very least, the obscene growth (if not the very fact) of profound inequalities in the distributions of the resources (wealth, power, knowledge, meanings, emotions, bodies, time, etc.) necessary to live a reasonably secure and dignified life, which oppose the absence of justice and freedom (and these too are productive terms), manifested in different ways, in different populations and places, which stand against the full range of technologies of othering, including subordination, subjugation, exploitation and violence, by which society transforms differences into relations of domination, etc. That means people who, whether in general or in specific issues—and in spite of whatever specific disagreements they may have—are opposed to the trajectories and directions of historical change over the past fifty years (although for many, the time frame can be longer). The left names a collective project to articulate and perform opposition, resistance, discomfort or whatever, with the dominant vectors of contemporary social change. It names a collective desire for better ways of living otherwise.” (p. 21)
On Wednesday, 17 June 2015, 16:19, “Grossberg, Lawrence” wrote:
“I am sending this email because I have decided to make my new book available for free online, and I do not know how else to get the news out but through the internet. I hope you will download and read the book, but I would also ask for your help to spread the word to everyone. The book is available in both pdf and epub format at the Lawrence and Wishart website (and while you are there, you should browse some of their other really interesting books). Here is the url:
“And here is a description:
“In We all want to change the world, Lawrence Grossberg continues his analysis of the changing popular and political cultures and the increasingly conservative and intensely capitalist vectors of change the United States during the last fifty years.This time, however, he turns his attention from the forces that seem to be defining the success of those vectors to the counterforces of dissatisfaction, resistance, opposition and creative alternatives, as a vital part of understanding what is going on. He poses the paradox of the left:despite the many people involved in the great variety of such counterforces, the left seems unable to create a broad, visible and effective movement for change.Rather than attempting to assign blame, Grossberg considers the state of the left as both a product and expression of the very context it struggles against. That context, he suggests,is significantly shaped by a set of crises of knowledge and critique on the one hand, and a specific affective organization of pessimism on the other. The result has been an increasing assertion of both absolute certainty an new universalisms in both intellectual and political judgments. Somewhere between a popular polemic and an academic critique, Grossberg argues for more humble and convivial forms of unities in difference, whether as intellectual conversations or political movements.
Thanks, and I apologize for filling your inbox.” – Larry Grossberg