symploke "the latent presence of violence," in Benjamin's terms (288). The idea of the state provides, following Weber, a monopoly on violence as means, deriving legitimacy from its capacity to administer the difference--decide the boundaries, as it were--between communication and violence. Benjamin notes that interest in transgression--rupture, strikes, sabotage as justified violence-- begins with the French Revolution, and what animates Abel's interest in specimens of nonjudgmental, blasé violence should be read as a continuation of this robust theme. There is a chance of a true accident in the collision of objects and affect--acting out, resisting judgment, in a manner ethically open to new states of becoming. The fear is--and here I second Benjamin--that these would-be geniuses of immediate violence, fantasists of law-destroying violence, may just pan out to be pernicious expiates of the guilt of mere life. Aaron Jaffe, University of Louisville Teresa L. Ebert. The Task of Cultural Critique. Urbana: The U of Illinois P, 2009. 232 pp. This book engages in an extended polemic against any and all cultural theories which deny the traditional Hegelian Marxism of Karl Marx, Georg Lukács, and V. I. Lenin. In other words, the book faults any theory that rejects the
symploke – University of Nebraska Press
Published: May 18, 2011
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