« play and ideas: Crack Down on Wall Street, Occupy Wall Street to Police: “Who Are You Defending? | Main | Bar-Yuchnei: Two Aspects of Austerity »

September 21, 2011


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Weldon Berger

Some people (http://the-crows-eye.blogspot.com/2011/09/counter-messaging.html) are skeptical about the imagery of charging a double-sawbuck for admission to the rebirth of global communism, but I think it's brilliant. You can take the proceeds and hire the ShamWow guy to do an infomercial and from there, it's a clear shot to the workers paradise.

Robert Allen

I'd pay forty and call it a bargain. Can't they invent a smarm filter for blog comments?

Jodi Dean

I am mixed about the entry free. Academic conferences are usually pretty expensive--over 100 dollars for 2 days (in my fields of political science, political theory, etc--other fields are likely more expensive). Some kinds of political--theoretical or practice and theory sorts of conferences also have admission charges. For the most part, these fees or charges strike me as participant fees, not admission fees. And I guess my hesitation on this one is whether people are paying to be participants or whether they are paying to be part of an audience.

That said, it seems totally hypocritical of me to question this insofar as books are generally not free. That is, we expect to pay for books (and feel fortunate when we get them for free). Both books and lectures transmit ideas--so what is the problem?

Also, 20 dollars is not a lot for these lectures, especially if you think in terms of having to pay for the space (which includes cleaning, lighting/sound, security) and at a minimum the expenses of the speakers (travel, hotel). I would guess that their honoraria are minimal at best. It doesn't seem reasonable to expect that everyone who speaks should work for free--and preparing the lecture plus giving the time of travel and attendance adds up to a lot of hours.

So, having gone through this exercise, I think it is misguided to think that communism equals free--communism is not the free provision of stuff; that's actually a kind of bizarre new economy/new media fantasy. Communism is a revolutionary movement for the overthrow of capitalism and the establish of collective production and distribution in the interest of the common. Communists today, in NYC and elsewhere, still have to use money to pay for things and still need to earn money to support themselves.

The comments to this entry are closed.

My Photo