In an effort to theorize educational logics that are oppositional to capitalism, this article explores what it means to study like a communist. I begin by drawing out the tight connection between learning and capitalism, demonstrating that education is not a subset but a motor of political-economic relations. Next, I turn to the concept of study, which is being developed as an educational alternative to learning. While studying represents an educational challenge to capitalism, I argue that there are political limitations to studying for which we need to account. Specifically, studying is not in itself political, but only represents the possibility of politics. To make this claim and to address these limitations, I turn to Jodi Dean’s work on the communist Party. Dean posits the Party not as a master, director, or prophet, but as an infrastructure of affective intensity that maintains a gap in the order of things. I show that the Party is one way to organize and to defend study. Throughout the article, I illuminate the ways in which educational philosophers can contribute to political movement building by showing, developing, and refining the educational components of politics that many organizers and theorists neglect.
This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis Group in Educational Philosophy and Theory on September 30, 2016, available online: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00131857.2016.1237347