An American Utopia: Dual Power and the Universal Army

Essay by the American Marxian theoretician Fredric Jameson in a collected volume of papers by various authors, including Jodi Dean, Agon Hamza, Kojin Karatani, Frank Ruda, et. al.

Published at Verso Books (London, New York) in 2016.

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Fredric Jameson’s pathbreaking essay “An American Utopia” radically questions standard leftist notions of what constitutes an emancipated society. Advocated here are—among other things—universal conscription, the full acknowledgment of envy and resentment as a fundamental challenge to any communist society, and the acceptance that the division between work and leisure cannot be overcome. To create a new world, we must first change the way we envision the world. Jameson’s text is ideally placed to trigger a debate on the alternatives to global capitalism. In addition to Jameson’s essay, the volume includes responses from philosophers and political and cultural analysts, as well as an epilogue from Jameson himself.

Many will be appalled at what they will encounter in these pages—there will be blood! But perhaps one has to spill such (ideological) blood to give the Left a chance.

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