The Enlightenment is again the object of debate. We can only rejoice that traditional interpretations have been questioned. Yet it would be regrettable to replace one doxa with another by artificially constructing a homogeneous philosophical tradition and a teleology of philosophical radicalism, linking Spinoza and the French Revolution and, doubtless further, the contemporary radical left.
Coates’s descriptive language and haunting narrative are not mere metaphors. They act as an ontological pivot, mystifing racism even as it is anchored in its physical effects.
“Communism for Kids” was written during the so-called “end of history” — the historical epoch between the fall of the Soviet Union and the rise of the Arab Spring. A period of intense fragmentation of the Left, this was when the anti-globalization movement mobilized around the slogan, “another world is possible.”
Haraway’s former (profoundly system-oriented) Marxian technofeminism has given way, then, to something called multispecies feminism characterized by a barely disavowed willingness to see whole cities and cultures wiped from the planet for the sake of a form of thriving among “companion species” involving relatively few of us.