A R e t r e a t f r o m D o g m a
J u l i u s C a r l e b a c h
© 1978 For most of us, Karl Marx is either a writer and thinker whose work is the purist exemplar of materialistic salvation from state and capitalist oppression yet to walk the face of the earth, or he is quite literally, the horned Anti-Christ himself. Carlebach's book demystifies both Marx and his writings, exploring each of the standard issue problems Marx has presented radical thinkers of every thread desperately seeking a solution to the inequalities of society, by slapping an asterisk beside those contributions and contradictions which have framed his intellectual pedigree from his own era right up to the present. This orderly, well-written scholarly book exposes a wealth of misconceptions about Marx the eternal man and Marx the self-hating Jew, a product of his own time, a racial survivor and a social-climber despite himself. With this book Carlebach should impress both the novice and the well-informed with his intricate study of the sociological and historical nuances of his contemporaries, both colleagues and enemies, as well as those latter day revisionaries touting wishful mythologies of the man who changed the world with literary work which is still admired in many intellectual circles, including no few theological communities. He has managed to unearth some undeniable truths concerning Marx and his own Judaism. And this is precisely the focus of the book. Marx suddenly makes more sense to those of us who may have rejected his theories out of hand, and yet, he is also lowered off his revolutionary throne to the level of personal accountability for the obvious bias and flaws in his philosophy. As a friend of mine recently pointed out, "Marx was absolutely right about capitalism, but unfortunately, very wrong about communism." Hardcore Marxists will no doubt take great umbrage with Carlebach's demystification of their patron saint, but for many curious others, it should offer a fascile introduction to the man behind the writings which have exerted one of the most controversial influences on society in the 20th century.
Back to Bookskellar Purchase: Radical Critique
L o n g L i n e s o f a D i f f e r e n t D r u m m e r
E d. b y R o n S a k o l s k y & F r e d W e i - H a n H o
© 1996 This collection of essays in subversion covers a diverse range of perspectives hypothesizing music as the most natural and most historical voice in the arsenal of revolutionary banter. The common thread running through these four dozen or so essays moves forward the idea that popular music cannot help but to fall within the ranks of revolutionary tactic, since it is the very aching voice of the people which is produced and then consumed by the very people being groomed for resistance until called to the revolution. However, that is where the family resemblence stops. Topics run the gamut from the advocacy of plagiarism (or sampling) to the "kreolization" of jazz, the advent of the rave to the plethora of recent African American inventions including rap, hip hop, and of course, the blues, the more recent success of the world sound, and third-world ethnic music. There are essays and interviews and poems, some of which are particularly engaging. Others simply shout themselves onto the page into an ink splat which suffers the reader as just another zit on the face of some peculiar rite of passage, but hardly rise to the challenges of revolutionary transmogrification. Contributors include Hakim Bey, Liz Was, Ron Sakolsky, Fred Wei-Han Ho, and Tom Frank.
Back to Bookskellar Purchase: Sounding Off!