Four theses on the comrade

Sunday 26th January 2020 from 2.30 pm till 4.00 pm the reading group will meet in the Community Room, Toi Pōneke Arts Centre, 61/69 Abel Smith Street, Te Aro, Wellington.

“Comrades are those you can count on. You share enough of a common ideology, enough of a commitment to common principles and goals, to do more than one-off actions. Together you can fight the long fight.”

Jodi Dean (2019). Comrade: A essay on political belonging. London: Verso.

On the publication of her latest text Dean’s publisher writes the following:

In the twentieth century, millions of people across the globe addressed each other as “comrade.” Now, among the left, it’s more common to hear talk of “allies.” In Comrade, Jodi Dean insists that this shift exemplifies the key problem with the contemporary left: the substitution of political identity for a relationship of political belonging that must be built, sustained, and defended.

Dean offers a theory of the comrade. Comrades are equals on the same side of a political struggle. Voluntarily coming together in the struggle for justice, their relationship is characterized by discipline, joy, courage, and enthusiasm… She argues that if we are to be a left at all, we have to be comrades.


During this session we will discuss the article “Four theses on the comrade” published in e-flux by Jodi Dean. The session will be convened by Neil Ballantyne. Please use our facebook event to signal your intention to attend.


Dean, J. (2019). Comrade: an essay on political belonging. London: Verso.

Dean, J. (2019, November). We need comrades. Jacobin.