Dialectical Anthropology

, Volume 42, Issue 3, pp 345–347 | Cite as

Joel Kovel, comrade, friend, scholar, Dialectical Anthropology Contributor, and Ecosocialist visionary dead at 81

  • Anthony Allen Marcus

Marxists can be a pretty dour bunch. They critique capitalism, they critique its social relations, and they are good at crushing hope—“señor Allende, Chile can’t vote out capitalism peacefully”, “distributing laptops won’t make up for a racist political economy”, “believe Obama when he says he is for trickle-down economics and drone strikes”, etc. When you become a Marxist you are often committing to a life surrounded by joyless predictions, punctuated by sporadic powerless I-told-you-so’s. Then there are people like Joel Kovel—those who live for “the victory always,” to badly translate Che Guevara. Joel filled the whole world with joy, even as he ruthlessly critiqued everything and refused to devalue the coin of human liberation by accepting the false hope of liberal pablum. “Yes we can” had no pull on Joel. Like all great opposition intellectuals he was completely immune to the lies of empire, and yet a half hour with him made you really feel like we can and will and that it is...

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© Springer Nature B.V. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Anthropology and Deviance StudiesJohn Jay CollegeNew YorkUSA

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