Faculty News: The Supermanagerial Reich and PrEP

Raphaele Chappe and Ajay Singh Chaudhary recently wrote a piece for the Los Angels Review of Books, “The Supermanagerial Reich”, which offers a comparative analysis of Nazism and Neoliberalism on the economic and political front. 

“In 1939, Max Horkheimer famously wrote, “whoever is not prepared to talk about capitalism should also remain silent about fascism.” As a recent Jewish Marxist refugee from Germany, he was in a better position than most to opine on the dangers of fascism. We argue that this dictum still holds, while it perhaps needs a 21st-century update. Anyone who takes seriously the threat of the newly empowered reactionary right, must take seriously the role neoliberalism has played in laying out the red carpet for its arrival. Instead of handwringing over liberal dead letters, we must come to terms with the fact that we have already been living in a form of deeply destructive authoritarian liberalism for nearly four decades now.”

Joseph Osmundson wrote “Aids taught me sex was deadly. A pill changed that.” in The Village Voice, a piece reflecting on HIV, Truvada, and the changing culture of gay sex in the era of PrEP.

“My generation of gay men came after the plague but before the pill. What I knew was that fifty thousand people died in the U.S. in 1995. I was thirteen. What I knew was that sex kills, that no pleasure is ever free of worry, of death. The first thing I learned about sex was Kaposi’s sarcoma lesions, gaunt thirty-two-year-olds on TV. I became a gay man and a scientist with a background in microbiology and biochemistry. Viruses have always fascinated me for being so complex and yet so simple, for being so deadly with so few genes.

But HIV didn’t just kill bodies. It killed a type of sex as well, a type of pleasure. It erased the possibility of my body and another meeting, one moment, without my mortality there too, watching. Sex is this: another body, my body, my mortality, all naked for me to see. I knew about HIV and death before I knew I was gay. I knew about death then, and that being gay might be deadly, and now I sleep with men.”

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