Luke Mergner: Review of Jodi Dean’s “Crowds and Party” (2016)

On collectives and the suspension of the individual ego:  ‘Dean judges Occupy, in which she participated, and other global protest movements to have failed. … How should the Left organize political movements to avoid the traps of neoliberal subjectivity?  Dean’s central themes are announced in the title: crowds and party. … She seems to exhort us: Look at how crowds let us transcend our individuality and difference. Look at how crowds demonstrate a collective will. … Using Occupy as her example, she argues that crowds cannot survive long enough to create real political change. … An “affective infrastructure” drives her description of the party and the romanticism that colors it. It is the ability to subsume individuals into a collective that links the crowd and the party.’