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This paper evaluates the appropriation of Baruch Spinoza's ethical philosophy in new materialist political thought. While Spinoza's Ethics figures prominently in this literature, his political works remain marginal. We find that the interpretation of Spinoza that informs William Connolly and Brian Massumi's political ethic of self-cultivation and transformation lacks an engagement with problems of sovereign authority and its limits with which Spinoza was preoccupied in Tractatus Theologico-Politicus and Tractatus Politicus. For Spinoza, we show, the trans-formative potential of the Ethics is both enabled and limited by a series of political conditions associated with theories of the early modern state.