Midnight Notes Collective, ” ‘Exterminism’ or Class Struggle?” In Radical Science Journal 14 (1984)

A particularly timely piece, published in 1984. As noted at the end of the essay, much of this article appeared in issue #6 of Midnight Notes, which was entitled Posthumous Notes (available here). The essay picks up on themes found in Midnight Notes’ 1979 essay “Strange Victories,” particularly the critical eye toward radicals who claim to be acting on behalf of humanity and the classed meanings of such claims.

The section “Elegy for E.P. Thompson” provides a strong critique of his assessment of nuclear war, which is notable in part given that Midnight Notes Collective member Peter Linebaugh was his former student and mentee. (The brilliant and extensive essay he wrote for Left History following Thompson’s death in 1993 is very much worth reading).

The second section, “Marxist Theory of War,” was written specifically for this issue of Radical Science Journal. George Caffentzis later returned to this in “Freezing the Movement and the Marxist Theory of War,” in his 2013 collection In Letters of Blood and Fire (available here).

Radical Science Journal began in the 1970s and was part of the larger movement to dissect science from a left perspective. Helena Sheehan’s recent essay on that in Monthly Review is worth a read.

This issue of Radical Science Journal is readily available in the trade but, to our knowledge, not yet available to the public on the web.

We’ve scanned this article to Libcom, here, for those interested.

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