I think self-blurbing is the future – think about it: who knows your book better than you? I mean nothing prevents an honest writer to put a humble “This book is okay, but not a must-read, I could have done a better job, but read it anyway, please?”
It’s hard to find ‘big names’ that are actually communists; social democrats there are aplenty, but someone willing to denounce parliamentary democracy? That’s why he and Slavoj were the only ones who could blurb it in good faith.
I’m disappointed my publisher didn’t offer me the same option — perhaps on the model of newspaper/magazine reviews that are often quoted by the publication instead of the author, so it could be “An und für sich (blog)” instead of “Adam Kotsko.”
I was about to concede your point, but I thought I’d run through the always-enjoyable process of replying with cliches.
disclaimer: “well, y’know I was sort of joking, and it was an off-the-cuff remark anyway, intended to be light-hearted, &c”
partial admission of guilt: “I mean, what does he mean by Communism anyway?? I should know, but I haven’t read the book…. ”
standard qualification: “By ‘denounce’ I didn’t just mean criticise, but to actually call into question the appropriateness of parliamentary democracy for any and all societies engaged in political organisation of themselves….”
change the goalposts: “…and by parliamentary, I really mean representative democracy of any kind, and by that, I really mean democracy of any kind…”
attempt to employ a disconfirming example: “Because, I mean, Vattimo was at that conference, and he only ascribes to a ‘weak communism’ which is really just a fancy version of social democracy, because, I mean, would Vattimo say that he didn’t want the People determining themselves??”
make fallacious argument: “and, of course, Vattimo himself was a member of the European parliament, therefore he can’t be against parliamentary democracy…”
imply that we both really agree, it was just a difference in how we defined our terms: “so yeah, I take your point, but I basically think we agree, we just had different ostensible meanings for the central concepts…”
end with an attempt to establish rapport: “… so, yeah… how bout them Yankees?”