Professor Martel Discusses Thinker Walter Benjamin, Noted for Exploring 'Ongoing Resilience of Capitalism'

Tuesday, February 04, 2020

LOS ANGELES REVIEW OF BOOKS -- This conversation is with James Martel, professor of Political Science at San Francisco State University. He is the author of seven books, the most recent of which are “Unburied Bodies: Subversive Corpses and the Authority of the Dead” (Amherst College Press, 2018) and “The Misinterpellated Subject” (Duke University Press, 2017). He has also written a trilogy of books on the life and works of Walter Benjamin.

“I think that Benjamin has never been as relevant to questions of politics as he is today with the exception of his own lifetime,” Martel said. “As I read him, Benjamin offers one of the best explanations both for the ongoing resilience of capitalism, despite all of its predations and all the instability that it creates, as well as the connection between fascism and liberalism that we are seeing being expressed today. He also offers, I think, the best way to understand how to address our contemporary moment and how to resist and upend capitalism, liberalism and fascism all round.”