•  10
    Guest Editors’ Introduction
    Radical Philosophy Review 26 (1): 5-8. 2023.
  •  431
    Propaganda: More Than Flawed Messaging
    Journal of Applied Philosophy 40 (5): 849-863. 2023.
    Most of the recent work on propaganda in philosophy has come from a narrowly epistemological standpoint that sees it as flawed messaging that negatively impacts public reasonableness and deliberation. This article posits two problems with this approach: first, it obscures the full range of propaganda's activities; and second, it prevents effective ameliorative measures by offering an overly truncated assessment of the problems to be addressed. Following Ellul and Hyska, I argue that propaganda a…Read more
  •  481
    In the early 20th century, the most numerous and well-funded institutions in the United States—corporations—used public relations to make a widespread and fundamental change in the way they constitute and regulate their relations of knowledge with the public. Today, we can see this change reflected in a variety of areas such as journalism, political outreach, social media, and in the ‘fake news’ and ‘post-truth’ administration of Donald J. Trump. This article traces practices of corporate truth-…Read more
  •  3148
    Propaganda and the Nihilism of the Alt-Right
    Radical Philosophy Review 24 (1): 21-46. 2021.
    The alt-right is an online subculture marked by its devotion to the execution of a racist, misogynistic, and xenophobic politics through trolling, pranking, meme-making, and mass murder. It is this devotion to far-right politics through the discordant conjunction of humor and suicidal violence this article seeks to explain by situating the movement for the first time within its constitutive online relationships. This article adds to the existing literature by viewing the online relationships of …Read more
  •  16
    Guest Editors’ Introduction
    with George Fourlas and José Jorge Mendoza
    Radical Philosophy Review 23 (1): 1-3. 2020.
    This article summarizes the events at the 2020 Radical Philosophy Association Biennial meeting, introduces the conference themes, and looks at how the articles in this journal volume take up those themes.
  •  1027
    How Propaganda Became Public Relations pulls back the curtain on propaganda: how it was born, how it works, and how it has masked the bulk of its operations by rebranding itself as public relations. Cory Wimberly uses archival materials and wide variety of sources — Foucault’s work on governmentality, political economy, liberalism, mass psychology, and history — to mount a genealogical challenge to two commonplaces about propaganda. First, modern propaganda did not originate in the state and was…Read more
  •  1031
    The Job of Creating Desire: Propaganda as an Apparatus of Government and Subjectification
    Journal of Speculative Philosophy 31 (1): 101-118. 2017.
    ABSTRACT This article addresses shortcomings in the way that philosophers and cultural critics have considered propaganda by offering a new genealogical account. Looking at figures such as Marx, Adorno, Marcuse, Habermas, Bourdieu, and Stanley, this article finds that their consideration of propaganda has not necessarily been wrong but has missed some of the most significant and important functions of propaganda. This text draws on archival and published materials from propagandists, most notabl…Read more
  •  1735
    Peons and Progressives: Race and Boosterism in the Lower Rio Grande Valley, 1904-1941
    with Javier Martinez, Margarita Cavazos, and David Munoz
    The Western Historical Quarterly (094). 2018.
    The Texas borderlands have come to be increasingly important in the historical literature and in public opinion for the way that the region shapes national thought on race, borders, and ethnicity. With this increasing importance, it is pressing to examine the history of these issues in the region so that they may be accurately and insightfully deployed. This article contributes to the existing scholarship with a close discursive analysis of race in the booster materials, 1904-1941. The booster …Read more
  •  2782
    Trump, Propaganda, and the Politics of Ressentiment
    Journal of Speculative Philosophy 32 (1): 179-199. 2018.
    This article frames Trump's politics through a genealogy of propaganda, going back to P.T. Barnum in the 19th century and moving through the crowd psychologist Gustave Le Bon and the public relations counsel Edward Bernays in the 20th. This genealogy shows how propaganda was developed as a tool by eager professionals who would hire themselves to the elite to control the masses. Trump’s propaganda presents a break in that he has not only removed professionals from control over his propaganda, he …Read more
  •  459
    This essay develops a new account of the work the self must perform on itself in disciplinary relations through the cultivation of resources from Foucault’s later work. By tracing the ethical self-relation from Greco-Roman antiquity to the Benedictine monastery, I am able to provide insight into the relationship of self-renunciation that underlies disciplinary docility and obedience. This self-renunciation undermines individuals’ ability to lead themselves and makes them reliant on another who h…Read more
  •  357
    In M. T. Gibbons, D. Coole, W. E. Connolly & E. Ellis (eds.), Blackwell Encyclopedia of Political Thought, Blackwell. pp. 2716-2720. 2015.
    The history of the political thought on pleasure is not a cloistered affair in which scholars only engage one another. In political thought, one commonly finds a critical engagement with the wider public and the ruling classes, which are both perceived to be dangerously hedonistic. The effort of many political thinkers is directed towards showing that other political ends are more worthy than pleasure: Plato battles vigorously against Calicles' pleasure seeking in the Gorgias, Augustine argues i…Read more
  •  695
    Liberty and the Normative Force of the Law in Montesquieu’s The Spirit of the Laws.
    Minerva - An Internet Journal of Philosophy 14 36-65. 2010.
    The aim of this essay is explore what demands living in liberty places on citizens in Montesquieu’s The Spirit of the Laws. In contrast to the ideas of liberty from many of the thinkers that were to follow him, Montesquieu’s notion of liberty requires that citizens subject themselves to the regulative relationships required by his normative conception of the law. For Montesquieu, living in liberty is not just a situation in which one avoids what the law forbids and is otherwise left ’free’ witho…Read more
  •  1512
    The intersection of Foucault and Hadot's work in the philosophy of antiquity is a dense and fruitful meeting. Not only do each of the philosophers offer competing interpretations of antiquity, their differences also reflect on their opposing assessments of the contemporary situation and the continuing philosophical debate between the universal and the relative. Unpacking these two philosophers’ disagreements on antiquity sheds light on how Hadot’s commitment to the Universal and Foucault’s com…Read more
  •  732
    Montesquieu and Locke on Democratic Power and the Justification of the “War on Terror”
    International Studies in Philosophy 40 (2): 107-120. 2008.
    This paper focuses on a comparative analysis of the legitimate exercise of democratic power in the philosophies of Montesquieu and Locke. This analysis not only highlights a strong bifurcation in liberal thought, it also sheds light on the contemporary practice of liberalism through the example of the United States’ ‘War on Terror.’ I argue that although it is Locke who at first blush gives an account of the exercise of democratic power that is more opposed to tyranny, it is Montesquieu’s broa…Read more
  •  560
    Acceptable Risk
    In Frederick F. Wherry (ed.), The Sage Encyclopedia of Economics and Society, Sage Publications. 2015.
    Perhaps the topic of acceptable risk never had a sexier and more succinct introduction than the one Edward Norton, playing an automobile company executive, gave it in Fight Club: “Take the number of vehicles in the field (A), multiply it by the probable rate of failure (B), and multiply the result by the average out of court settlement (C). A*B*C=X. If X is less than the cost of the recall, we don’t do one.” Of course, this dystopic scene also gets to the heart of the issue in another way: ac…Read more