Wow! What a lynching bee...
Isn't it customary when you stage a conference on a particular pattern of thought for you to invite someone who *believes* in that particular pattern of thought?
And when I came to the paragraph:
"These are not easy times for something we still call the Left. I think an enormous number of Left promises, Left premises and Left dreams have lost their ground. But rather than reproaching the difficult texts of Derrida or Homi Bhaba or the politically ambiguous ones of Michel Foucault for these kinds of ills, rather than imagine that politically inclined youth have been corrupted or distracted by too much discourse theory and too little Baron and Sweezy, I think we have to face just how disheartening a time this is for Left visions and dreams, and just how complex the enemy, as it were, has become. And then we might begin a conversation together about what it takes to understand this late modern time of ours, and what possible visions we could coin out of the present that disheartens us and the past that has failed us."
All I could think of was: "Yes. You, Wendy Brown, esteemed Professor of Women's Studies at U.C. Santa Cruz, you need to read a little less discourse theory and a little more by Paul Baran--or at least enough more by Paul Baran that you can figure out how to spell his name..."