Next steps: Holland

I’m reposting my previous post about Eugene Holland’s book below, followed by the official description from the publisher.

Fresh back from Deleuze 2012, one of the most solid presenters was Eugene Holland (see Mark’s mention of his book on Spinoza)… His recent book, Nomad Citizenship also looks to be a (damn) good read.

His talk was broken into two segments, both working through his idea of a “Slow Motion” debt strike, in which we carefully, cautiously, extricate ourselves from the machinations of capital that keep it moving forward. His main emphasis was getting to the foundational structures that provide capital with the resources and ‘starving’ it, rather than addressing the symptoms or manifestations that result. In some respects, it is a robust update to our recent excursion with Harvey, who also emphasized understanding the root causes, rather than simply ameliorate the manifest conditions; and it is a more sober/cautious version of our other recent read, The Coming Insurrection. But unlike Harvey, Holland has clear ideas on how to accomplish this, what it might look like, the importance of doing so, etc. And unlike C.I., it seems to advocate for a slow withdrawal and occupying an in-between territory of the current milieu, compared to the anarchic state of affairs espoused by the C.I. It draws heavily from D & G and their concept of Nomadology, working within and against Debt as it controls and imprisons our desires and ways of operating in the world. Especially salient is the recent drive of the “occupy student debt“, with one of the goals being to write off student debt in the spirit of a ‘Jubilee’, or a government holiday in which debts are waived. My personal take: Holland has good attitude, and really seems to be working in the spirit of D & G; not simply using their language, but thinking through their language and their concepts. I’d like to suggest putting it on Becoming Poor’s reading docket.

From the publisher:
Nomad Citizenship argues for transforming our institutions and practices of citizenship and markets in order to release society from dependence on the state and capital. It changes Deleuze and Guattari’s concept of nomadology into a utopian project with immediate practical implications, developing ideas of a nonlinear Marxism and of the slow-motion general strike.

Responding to the challenge of creating philosophical concepts with concrete applications, Eugene W. Holland looks outside the state to analyze contemporary political and economic development using the ideas of nomad citizenship and free-market communism. Holland’s nomadology seeks to displace capital-controlled free markets with truly free markets. Its goal is to rescue market exchange, not perpetuate capitalism—to enable noncapitalist markets to coordinate socialized production on a global scale and, with an eye to the common good, to liberate them from capitalist control.

In suggesting the slow-motion general strike, Holland aims to transform citizenship: to renew, enrich, and invigorate it by supplanting the monopoly of state citizenship with plural nomad citizenships. In the process, he offers critiques of both the Clinton and Bush regimes in the broader context of critiques of the social contract, the labor contract, and the form of the state itself

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4 thoughts on “Next steps: Holland

  1. Both are great options. I think the Latour would follow-on from Thrift better (maybe), but the Holland is more tempting to me at this point, given my just-about-to-begin project on communism.

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