Soap Zero 2: Enlightenment Interrupted


German Idealism and the Enlightenment are the subjects this week as Michael Steinberg discuss his book “Enlightenment Interrupted.” Steinberg is an independent scholar and practicing attorney with a PhD in intellectual history from the University of Rochester. His book “Enlightenment Interrupted (The Lost Moment of German Idealism and the Reactionary Present)” came out from Zero Books in July of this year.

Previous books from Mr. Steinberg include The Fiction of a Thinkable World and A New Biology of Religion.

Professor Andrew Nash at the University of Cape Town praised the book. He wrote, “Michael Steinberg’s “Enlightenment Interrupted” is a master class and a rollercoaster ride, all at once. The pitfalls of abstract individualism have been pointed out since Hegel, and explaining them has been central to radical political thought for fifty years by now. But it’s never been easy to grasp concretely how that separation of self and world came about, and what the alternative to it could have been.”

Diet Soap Podcast #220: Karl Marx’s Reluctant Idealism


Karl Marx and Hegel are the subjects this week as I talk to my friend Andy Marshall about Marx’s Critique of Hegel’s Philosophy in general. This conversation comes on the heels of a Facebook row with C Derick Varn wherein Varn took the widely accepted position that Marx was a materialist and Hegel was an idealist, while I argued that Marx was too enamored with Hegel’s dialectical logic and the unity of subject and object to really escape the Platonic Realm entirely.

I’d like to thank Andy Marshall, Penny R, Reagan S, and Shane S, for their generous one time donations to the Diet Soap podcast, and to thank Andy Marshall, Ted F, John Spillane, Jacob L, and John L for their recurring donations. I urge regular listeners to the podcast to find the paypal buttons at Also, the podcast is available via iTunes and I urge people who enjoy this show to consider leaving a review at iTunes in lieu of a donation.

In the words of the Marxist Humanist Raya Dunayevskaya Marx’s humanism was neither a rejection of idealism nor an acceptance of materialism, but the truth of both, and therefore a new unity.

Diet Soap Podcast #207: Difference and a Space Odyssey


The guest this week is the pop philosopher Daniel Coffeen. Mister Coffeen is a recurring guest to Diet Soap and this week we discuss aliens, alienation, difference, 2001 and the Men in Black.

I want to thank Felix B for making a one time donation to the podcast and urge everyone who enjoys Diet Soap to consider pressing on the paypal buttons at You can also follow me on twitter, friend me on Facebook, send me an email through my website (that’s or just wait for the visitors to bring me a message.

At the start of this episode Daniel Coffeen and I mention a critical outline/essay about Kubrick’s film 2001 that was written by Margaret Stackhouse when she was a junior at North Plainfield High School in 70s. The essay was originally published in Jerome Agel’s book “The Making of 2001.” Here’s an excerpt from her essay:

I. The monolith – source of infinite knowledge and intelligence

A. Perfection represented in its shape; its color — black —
could symbolize:

1. Evil and death, which result from man’s misuse of knowledge;

2. The incomprehensible — man, with his limited senses, cannot
comprehend the absence (perfect black) of color or light

Diet Soap Podcast #184: Think the Impossible


The guest this week is Andy Marshall. Andy Marshall is a self described “philosophy kid” and a frequent contributor to Diet Soap. He is my co-host on the biweekly Diet Soap conversations on Talkshoe, the Diet Soap archivist (he’s been the one putting old episodes back onto the Podomatic page), and a moderating influence on the show and this week’s episode is an excerpt from a much longer conversation. You’ll hear another excerpt, this one on the subject of Nietzsche, next week, but this week we focus in on the idea of the impossible and touch briefly upon Deleuze.

You may have noticed that my Kickstarter project to fund a book and podcast tour in September is underway. The project is two weeks in, and halfway to the goal. At present there are 38 backers of the Think the Impossible tour. Thanks to Paul H, Yoshio K, Dan W, Cay, Eilidh B, Michael T, Jay G, Zackery M, Josh B, Francisco F, Scott, Davis D, Terry T, Edward, Charles H, Andrew F, Justin R, David B, and Conrad H.

If you like Diet Soap pledging to the Think the Impossible tour is a great way to support it.

In related news I’ve started a serialized audio version of my upcoming novel Billy Moon. It’s a freebie that I’m giving away through the Kickstarter campaign, and to I’ll post a link to the second chapter in this week’s show notes.