Derrida opposed to historical materialism

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perezoso

Derrida opposed to historical materialism

Post by perezoso » November 4th, 2004, 1:31 pm

From Derrida's "Spectres of Marx":

"The treatment of the phantomatic in The German Ideology announces or confirms the absolute privilege that Marx always grants to religion, to ideology as religion, mysticism, or theology, in his analysis of ideology in general. If the ghost gives its form, that is to say, its body, to the ideologem, then it is the essential feature [le propre], so to speak, of the religious, according to Marx, that is missed when one effaces the semantics or the lexicon of the spectre, as translations often do, with values deemed to be more or less equivalent (fantasmagorical, hallucinatory, fantastic, imaginary, and so on). The mystical character of the fetish, in the mark it leaves on the experience of the religious, is first of all a ghostly character"

Derrida has been criticized severely by leftists and marxists (and environmentalists as well) for his tendencies towards idealism and hegelianism, and this excerpt clearly displays his anti-materialist, quasi-mystical rhetoric and method. Though Derrida and the thousands of sycophantic aesthetes that worship him continually overlook it, Marx and Engels routinely asserted that their project was in the tradition of Hobbesian materialism: "Body, being, and substance are but different terms for the same reality." "It is impossible to separate thought from matter that thinks"....."Only material things being perceptible to us we cannot know anything about the existence of God." "Man is subject to the same laws of nature." (from "Die Heilige Familie") .

As these quotes indicate, the traditional Marxist notion is that literature and art reflect the material realities of the day. This is not prima facie mistaken, nor even necessarily "communist." Material and economic realities such as employment, money, housing, transportation, food are of a higher degree of seriousness and importance and urgency than mere word play or, indeed, aesthetics. We might read novels, but we can't eat them; we might look at paintings, but they won't do as a concubine. .

Any approach to a text that does not begin from material reality, or does not hold that language can adequately represent that material reality, is in effect a type of idealism, even if apparently linguistic or rhetorical or nihilistic. And that is the sin of post-modernism; although proclaiming an end to metaphysics or platonism, the decon. critics fail to adhere to the barest minimum of a historical and economic materialism--whether that materialism is construed on Darwinian, Marxist, or positivist grounds.
Such material concerns may be (and are) boring and trite to sophisticated literati; a film as Norma Rae is not very exciting, but it is as important (perhaps more) as a space opera; a materialist novel such as Dreiser's Sister Carrie is to most somewhat dry and plodding, but it is weightier and possesses a great deal more verisimilitude than say The Wasteland or jazzy hedonism of the Great Gatsby. Pynchon's books do, I think, to some degree, meet this critieria of addressing material reality ( and that material, capitalist reality is now of course infused with technology, and brutalities and injustices brought on or amplified by technology). The Trystero in the COL 49, is the great unwashed, the preterite, but the losers and outsiders are portrayed in a more enigmatic and allusive fashion than say a Steinbeck would have done ( not that Steinbeck is the worst model an aspiring writer could have) .

There are no good grounds for idealism or immateriality or an aestheticism which denies the primacy of material needs such as money, sex, employment, and technology. Narratives, either explicitly or implicitly, demonstrate the challenges and absurdities encountered in obtaining those needs, and reveal how business or corporate culture controls access to economic necessities.
Being aware of (and perhaps being a victim of) those injustices brought on by being denied those needs, offends, and creates within the rational and perceptive person a duty or obligation to address and represent those injustices, whether contemporary or historical. But sentimental or pastoral social realism ala Steinbeck or folksongs is no longer viable: the social realist is now by necessity an economic and technological realist (and I think Pynchon is that), with a certain amount of specific knowledge about economics, even finance and speculation, as well as computing, etc.

Though the supernatural or mystical may be au courant in Lit. departments (and more so now that Pere Derrida has given it support) such po-mo escapism is an obvious reversal and denial of any rational or empirical method or criticism. Hopefully a few remaining social activists, greens, marxists, and empirically minded postivists can see what sort of threat this sort of neo-hegelianism presents to their cause. Given Pynchon's implied admiration for some leftist themes ( the positive portrayal of anarchist themes in V and COL 49) a Derridean approach is likely to overlook a great deal of TRP's political and economic implications, though that is probably not so disconcerting to the priest-aesthetes of post-modernisn, certainly not to tenured ones......

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Post by e_dog » November 8th, 2004, 10:51 pm

hey, thanks for the post, this is the just the kind of vigorous debate i have been looking for here!

but i must say that i totally disagree with your critique of Derrida. i hope this doesn't condemn me to the status of "sycophantic aesthete" but i do have an admiration for Derrida that is as deep as my admiration for Marx.

i don't think that deconstruction as a method of textual analysis or a philosophy of culture is inconsistent with materialist ontology or with a materialist conception of history. it is inconsistent with facile assumption about the ease of representing material reality, but does not necessarily lead to relativist or nihilist conslusions. that deconstruction is idealist or nihilist is a stereotype and misunderstanding of it.

i also think that your construal of the passage quote from Derrida's Spectre's of Marx does not prove your point. in fact, Derrida's concpet of the spectral is not a straightfoward immaterialism or spiritualism. IT IS A METAPHOR. now, it may be faulted for obscurity. but your assumption that attentiveness to the phenomena of religious and quasi-religious themes in culture is necessarily opposed to materialism is precisely to misunderstand the point. Derrida is analysing the meaning of religious thinking and concepts and catregories which are inscribed in social realities. so did Marx. the fact that Derrida's method refers to different explanation -- or rather, that his is more like an attempt at interpretive understanding -- whereas Marx tried to give causal explanations does [not (by typo i first left out this key word of "not")] mean that their projects are fundamentally in conflict, as opposed to complementary in principle. or, perhaps, deconstruction points out that the workings of linguistic and symbolic processes (like that involved in metaphor) are such that they cannot be explained away as readily as marx apparently thought or should not be ignored (at the price of ignoring aspects of the social world involving language-use, which is not some idealistic heavenly event but rather a real behavioral set of gestures).

i would be happy to clarify this further if desired. see below.
Last edited by e_dog on November 9th, 2004, 12:29 am, edited 3 times in total.

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Post by e_dog » November 8th, 2004, 11:05 pm

you made a few remarks about the relative merits of different sorts of literature, whereby you prefer the economic and technological oriented literture and films more than ones that you assume are in some way frivolous. (i actually disagree with the diagnoses, such as about The Great Gatsby which could be read by a postmodernist as a clinical description of capitalist decadence, but this is not my main point.) deconstruction is supposed by its proponents to be applicable to all texts (and the conept of "text" is even extended to the "social text" whereby social practices and relationships can be deconstucted, including economic realtionships as well as economic theory). so, deconstruction, per se, says nothing about what books are worth reading or what art is valuable, etc. and, for that matter, the assumption that historical materialism requires "social realist" literture is a ratehr crude form of communist orthodoxy that has been exposed as invalid by thinkers like Walter Benjamin and Albert Camus, who while not orthodox Marxists werre nevertheless anti-idealist and materialist thinkers.

Marxism itself does not require one to ignore or refrain from reading or thinking about religious and other literary themes. it just requires recognizing their embeddness and role within a socioeconomic order. deconstructionists do not all accept marxism that is for sure, but that is not a necessary or universal requirement. i actually think that deconstructionist thoughts can help complement the marxist view of religion as a social constuct.

Derrida does not, as far as i understand him, think that there are ghosts floating around or that there is a spirit world in an onto-theological sense. rather, he is investigating the ideas of spirituality that people and culture have, which is a fact about humanity that materialism cannot deny. to take psychoanalysi rather than deconstruction (which is related to it) for a moment, the fact that, say, Freud wrote about the menaing of totems and other religious-like practices does not make his position inconsistent with materialism or naturalism of a Darwinian sort. so why does Derrida's concern necessarily make him an idealist?

what deconstruction does do, which takes it critically farther than marxism, is critique the tendency of philosophical and allegedely scientific views, be they liberal economics or marxist theory, to take on the character of religious systems of thought. it is precisely the church-like character of communist dogma that led to the post-marx, though partially marx-inspired, movement of postmodern thought.

perezoso

Post by perezoso » November 8th, 2004, 11:17 pm

"your assumption that {Derridas'} attentiveness to the phenomena of religious and quasi-religious themes in culture is necessarily opposed to materialism is precisely to misunderstand the point."

You must admit that for JD to focus on Marx's ideas on theology, instead of economics or history, is sort of like a scholar picking up a book on physics and addressing the writer's rhetorical style. Marx proclaimed himself a materialist, and yes, an atheist early on, and his project is economic and historical; Marx and Engels viewed theological (and metaphysical) writings with contempt. Though I admit to not having mastered all the obscurities and intricasies of po-mo, JD and postmodernists rarely seem to address the economic ideas of Marx--say the validity of the labor theory of value.

I have read enough of Of Grammatology to realize that I do not enjoy it at all: and I do not think JD presented the ideas of Levi Strauss or CS Peirce fairly or objectively; moreover, JD did sort of deny material causality in a few essays if I recall correctly. JD's concepts are directly in the line of Heidegger and Hegel--not very good signs for anyone trying to hold to historical materialism. While I think some of his ideas regarding logocentrism and platonism are interesting (though of course exceedingly complex and verbose), I do not think any one who is trying to adhere to materialist views (whether economic or biological) can share in the Derridean program; Foucault is closer to materialism and empiricism....

Another major problem with post-modernism, which you must be aware of, is that since JD and crew deny (or at least mostly disregard) the validity of positivist or empirical types of argument, and of "truth" itself, then how do we really argue about its merits? If someone is saying "all reality is a text" and that language does not represent the world but just human constructs, then trying to disprove that system is very difficult. Science and logic may be used for malevolent ends; they may also be used for benevolent ends....it seems very superficial to deny the empirical tradition and to resort to some relativistic perspective that holds that aboriginal myths are equal to the periodic table simply because much of that empirical trad. is thought to be injust or oppressive. ...I doubt that JD asked for a shaman at the Paris hospital or reminded the docs that his tumor was text....

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Post by e_dog » November 8th, 2004, 11:37 pm

depends on what "the materialist program" is.

my key point is that deconstruction qua interpretive method is consistent with materialist ontology. Derrida may have said a few things to the contrary and yes some of his essays are obscurantist and merge with metaphysics but that is not essential to the core of deconstruction. just as not everything Marx said such be taken as the absolute and definitive truth of materialism nwither should everything Derrida said (or ones first impression as to what he is saying) being considered the essense of deconstruction (because there is no such essence).

i don't see how one could take Marx seriously and not be interested in the rhetoric of his writings. MArx was a prlific writer and had a large posthumous following which relied in varying degrees on his writing so the rhetorical aspects of his presentation of his theories is crucial to understanding the history of historical materialism as a cultural phenomenon. i also don't quite understand your remark about focusing solely on the "economic and historical" components of Marx's theory and not on the cultural or religious aspects. part ofn the materialist theory of history presented by Marx is that it relates these other cultural phenomena to underlying fundamental economic processes. MArx's was a total view of society, not some isolatable spheres of the economic: the economic is everywhere, so to speak. and how could religion not be important to the philosopher who said that religion is the opiate of the people? marx was very much concerned with the critique of ideology so it is not a merely peropheral component of his theory.

that said, there are actually many postmodernists, or those who others label as postmodernists, who have engages with marxist econ. theory, such as the theory of value. if i am not mistaken, baudrillard early on wrote some stuff about that, but ended up anti-marx.

you are free not to like Derrida'a writing. and i agree that Foucault is more like an empiricist and materialist than Derrida. but that very fact should clue you into the danger of making generlaizations about "po-mo" or postmodernism as if it were a homogenous grouping. it isn't.

interestingly, the prominent critics who today take Marx the most seroiusly (or, even, that seem to identify themselves as roughly speaking Marxist) are also disposed to take postmodernism seriously. of course, what counts as a postmodernist isn't at all clear. is Frederick Jameson a postmodernist? few have contributed more to the notion of postmodernism than he, but he is a self-declared materialist and thinks that the critique of capitalism just is the critque of postmodernity. but he also draws a lot of his themes and whatnot from writers who are considered postmodernists.

(by the way, i made a couple edits (i explicitly made clear that the spectre is to be understood as a metaphor, notwithstanding appearances to the contrary.) to the first reply i gave, before i had seen that you replied to my reply. if i knew you had beening responding at the same time, i would have never added the extra couple sentences to my reply post but would have just tacked them on later. but maybe you read the revised version and if so then ignore my babbling. if you don't know what i am referring to here, then nevermind.)
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Post by e_dog » November 8th, 2004, 11:52 pm

i still don't think you have understood what Derrida and other alleged postmodernists think.

Derrida wouldn't think that his cancer was "only" a text, but it is true that he might think that one can try to read the "text" of our practices of dying and our resistance to the idea of death. these are not frivious concerns but very deep and urgent themes.

i already said i don't think deconstruction implies relativism. who thinks that aborginal myths are "equal to" the periodic table? what does that even mean? equal or unequal in what respects? i must say that i am more disposed to a pragmatist interpretation of deconstruction (say, like Richard Rorty but even he gets it wrong quite often) but i don't get the idea you are suggesting. are aborginal myths in competition with the periodic table? over what? these seem to be conceptual tools that fit into very different practices, useful and misused in their own ways for different ends. if you want to blow up a building, the periodic table wil help; if you want to blow someone's mind, myths are your thing. if you want to convince people to use or not use the knowledge of the periodic table, myths will inevitably be spun: myths about progress, about the benevolence of those who are really selfish, myths about the ability of humans to control the consequences of their behavior. understanding the workings of these myths o modern culture can learn a bit by appreciating ancient myths of the premodern. that ain't relativism it is realism.

finally, you used the terms both "positivism" and "empiricism." these are not the same. nor are they self interpreting. you might mean by these that knowledge is served by taking into account experience or by rigourous analysis of data through science, etc. this is a limited but true position (though not undangerous for that). or instead, keeping in line with the tendency of "isms" to be totalizing systems of thought, you might mean that ONLY such empirical methods are legitimate or meaningful. that is the sort of positivism that many critics, not just postmodernists, object to. confusing these too is easy but misleading. you may not like Heidegger (neither do i) but he did have at least one important insight in this regard, an insight shared with the likes of Bob Marley and John Lennon: beware of "isms." whether they be materialism or positivism or idealism, totalizing theoretical systems of thought tend to ignore the reality of existence.
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perezoso

Post by perezoso » November 9th, 2004, 12:18 am

you used the terms both "positivism" and "empiricism." these are not the same. nor are they self interpreting. you might mean by these that knowledge is served by taking into account experience or by rigourous analysis of data through science, etc. this is a limited but true position (though not undangerous for that)
I am well aware of that, but I think that JD is attacking and criticizing both of those approaches; like Heidegger, his system is neither analytic ( e.g logico-mathematical) or synthetic (based on data, verfiable). And yeah call me a naive inductivist, but I tend to think the sort of information which is in principle confirmable, testable, and verifiable is the most efficacious and useful type of knowledge, though realizing that Werner Von Brauns and Mengeles may use such knowledge for devious ends. But Derrida and Co. are no ethicists either, as far as I can tell.....and given the urgency of many social and economic problems, the obscurity and abstruse philosophizing of JD may be also viewed as a sort of cafe decadence similiar to Sartre's...I think more pragmatic and specific types of studies are needed, such as Dennett's investigations of intentionality; EO Wilson's ideas of consilience.......

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Post by e_dog » November 9th, 2004, 12:55 am

this is great! i love a debate where every move uncovers new areas of disagreement in interpretation.

it is truly amazing that you regard Dennett as exemplifying a "pragmatic" type of study and that Sartre is an example of decadence. Sartre was above all the philosopher of engagement, of the role of the writer to be engaged with the pressing political issues of his day. and sartre wrote about political and social questions in his plays and some of his philosophical works.
Dennett, as far as i can tell, is a stage along the way to the cybernetic-technocratic control of human spontaneity, whether or not he intends this. a science of memetics (an impossible feat in my opinion) is as dangerous as genetics (which brings with it the likelihood of genetic engineering as an assault on humanity's supposed nature). and his theory of freedom is a reflection of an ideology of progress even if he clothes it in attractive darwinian evolutionary theory.

you said "But Derrida and Co. are no ethicists either, as far as I can tell" but, (notwithstanding the fact that you may be correct about the "and Co." whoever they are) i must say, only, BUT HE IS an ethicist! especially in the last decade of his life Derrida was almost obsessed with ethics and even political philosophical questions(the ethics of our relationship to the Other, the ideas of responsibility, justice, hospitality, and their political import in terms of the ideal of cosmopolitanism, implications for international law). indeed, it became increasingly apparent that Derrida concern with religion is precisely due to his concern for ethics, since, like it not, the religious traditions of the West (and the East though Derrida doesn't seem to know much about them) are the main sources of ethical values, or of the form in which they are received, even by secular thinkers who seek to de-divinise religious ethics into secular ethics (an admirable thing to try to do). for example, (since you invoke the analytic - synthetic distinction) Kant is both a religious thinker and a secular humanist ethicist. most neo-kantians try to separate these out, as did kant, but it is not clear that this trick is possible or convincing. Consider Nietzsche.

I don't know much about E.O Wilson. you would have to explain hi views.
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perezoso

Post by perezoso » November 9th, 2004, 1:20 am

"Dennett, as far as i can tell, is a stage along the way to the cybernetic-technocratic control of human spontaneity...a science of memetics....is as dangerous as genetics (which brings with it the likelihood of genetic engineering as an assault on humanity's supposed nature)."

True to some extent: Dennett is a thorough-going biological determinist--a good thing in my view; though yes, I guess intellectuals now are asked to equate determinism/behaviorism and even Darwin with fascist or totalitarian systems, a type of sentimental and juvenile thinking which really ignores the fact that fascists were far more theological and metaphysical than they were behaviorist or determinist; the victory of Bush and Jesus Inc., should suffice to demonstrate that. So yeah I am in favor of curtailing freedoms and liberties, restricting voting, say, limiting car ownership, supporting gun control, even alcohol and nicotine prohibition, perhaps censorship of pop culture--and really the banning of religions. Some leftist and libertarians might not like it, but there is more to be feared from the individual "libertarian" rednecks which justifies curtailing their freedom (such as the freedom to buy a Humvee). (Imagine: cyber-beat controlled re-education camps: yo Xtian--let's hear the opening stanzas of "A Coney Island of the Mind"....and since an ethical and rational society is not likely to come about by so-called democratic means, I feel there is ample justification for, to be blunt, clever and sophisticated anarchistic and criminal actions against the oligarchies and the corrupt state, though we should attempt to avoid committing violence against people (except for perhaps theft/fraud/graft from the wealthy and powerful). Jacking say Larry Flynt or Dell or Bill Gates/Microsoft is not in my book an immoral act. Bakunin has been on my reading list of late.

(Dennett, like Searle and other brain science theorists, is researching philosophical issues, such as intention/determinism and consciousness in light of data and cognitive science, genetics, etc. and that is really all that is left for philosophers I think--being great synthesizers of information, critiquing science and providing models. I think Derrida failed in that regard, given his typical parisian/phenomenologist aversion to empiricism and research.
Derrida is, like Heidegger--whom he never repudiated-- just bad joss for me, man.)


EO Wilson is a biologist who founded socio-biology and his view is, to be very brief, that everything--culture,politics, art, science--may be viewed from Darwinian and evolutionary perspective; he is sort of a memeticist as well, I guess.
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Post by e_dog » November 9th, 2004, 2:27 am

i believe biological determinism and memeticism are quite different. i don't think that Dennett is (or at least recent Dennett, i don't know about early Dennett) a biological determinist because he believes in gene - meme coevolution. though i could be wrong about this.

i am aware that e.o. wilson is part of the sociobiology school (is he really the founder?) but i don't know what his precise theories are. for example, what is his understanding of consilience? there are many, too many, people that have for the past century or so try to apply Darwin to culture. what is distinctive about E.O. Wilson's approach?

as far as the rest of your program, i cannot tell if you are being ironic or what. though, Bakunin is quite awesome, gotta love someone who thinks that Marx isn't radical enough, that Marx is his own sell out, not just the Marxists. of course anarchism cannot work, conflict is too much a fundamental part of human existence, without a structure of constraint of some manner, violence would be rampant. so anarchism is only advisable in the sprry state of affairs in which the systems of control have already won and oppression is heavy and the only thing that can be done is to kick and scream and fight back while destined to be defeated. i.e. anarchism is the politics of radicals without hope. though it is easy to lose hope in the context of this crazy Bushworld, it is not yet time to throw in the towel on democracy and liberty.

about liberty, and libertarianism, i don't know how you use the term "libertarian." it is very vague and can apply to different things. certainly the freedom of speech is different from the freedom to drive a Hummer. only the former would count for a true civil libertarian though of course those that go under the name "libertarian" -- who are really property-rights fanatics -- often mean the latter.

you spoke about banning religions, in addition to censoring pop culture. i think you were joking but if not, i need to point out that these are very much anathema to the Bakunin position. Bakunin is against any bureuacratic power structure, and some such things would be needed to "ban" or "censor" anything as complicated as religion and the art and entertainment industry. Bakunin is in favor of the smashing of religion, whatever that might be, but not the "banning" of it in the sense of banning that we moderns are familiar with. the destruction of church and state is Bakunin's transvaluation of the Jeffersonian liberal-democratic slogan of their separation. but the practical problems are too great for it to be anything but political naive or utopian.

perezoso

Post by perezoso » November 9th, 2004, 3:04 am

"anarchism is the politics of radicals without hope. though it is easy to lose hope in the context of this crazy Bushworld, it is not yet time to throw in the towel on democracy and liberty."

Yet you admit at some point Bakuninism might be justified. The question is when and I guess for whom. Punk-rocker frat boy anarchy is juvenile and superficial and usually idiotic; Bakunin, the ruckus society and ELF are not. If not Bakunin then I guess Bolsheviks, but I think with the Skull n Bones contest-- between two Yale guys--both war supporters and wealthy--its pretty clear that US democracy is a sham. It was an unappealing choice beween theocractic Bush/repugs and Kerry's corporate liberals and bureaucrats. I don't want to sound like a Nader supporter -- Nader is a bit of a nut--but his platform (and Dennis K's) was the real progressive one.

As far as philosophy, you can tell that I am anti-continental and anti-theory; I read through most of the Critique this summer and was appalled at most of it ( though some of the antinomies are sort of cool in romantic fashion). I do not think the synthetic a priori is valid; it certainly is not useful. There are good arguments that philosophy, like literature, is an ancien regime pastime for foppish decadents and montebanks; though I do enjoy reading some Marx (or B. Russell, Quine, or Dennett, & Bakunin) or post-mod. fiction from time to time, I much prefer say empirical studies, whether psychology or economics or history, supported by data and valid inferences. Gravity's Rainbow is massively complex and entertaining; yet William Shirer's Rise And Fall of the Third Reich is to me far more profound and reliable; an ORwell or PK Dick presents some interesting dystopias, but behaviorists such as Lorentz or Milgram (and even ol BF) provide much more data and evidence of sadism and fascism...

Over 'n out for a while. .

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Post by Arcadia » November 9th, 2004, 8:11 pm

I enjoyed your dialogue perezoso and e-dog.
A friend of the house, Billectric, made in litkicks a link to Derrida´s "Spectres of Marx" some time ago. I tried to read it but I get lost in some point of his intrincated discourse. I don´t have philosophic formation but I did some fragmented readings of Derrida, Heiddegger, Levinas, Blanchot and Barthes at university. I enjoyed the readings even though I didn´t understand anything in a conventional way. Ah, and I saw a big book by Rortry in the bookstore some days ago!.
A question: I want to start to read Marx by his own hand, do I have to start with "The Capital"??

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Post by perezoso » November 9th, 2004, 9:33 pm

Das Kapital is a classic text, but heavy going. Engels' discussions of socialism are a decent introduction to Marxist theory and materialist epistemology, though I do think any real leftist needs to know something about the main themes of Das Kapital--the surplus value theory, his ideas on the commodity, the exploitation of labor by capital and management. There are problems with it: as Keynes pointed out it seems quite optimistic if not incorrect to associate all values with the proletariat. Nonetheless I do think Marx's general economic ideas are in principle correct--that capitalism depends on exploiting laborers--skilled and unskilled--to generate profits, and those profits flow mainly to the business owners, financiers, and management, and not to those--the proletariat--that actually created the products.

http://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/wo ... p/ch03.htm

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Post by e_dog » November 11th, 2004, 3:02 am

my suggestion for introduction to Marx himself is to read a collection of his early writings under the name (i think) Early Writings (perhaps by Penguin classics). there you see the young marx forming his theory through critical engagement with the thought of hegel on law and adam smith, mill and other liberal economists on political economy. the Economic-Philosophical Manuscripts are key.

also worth reading, perhaps this would be better for start is the Marx-Engels Reader edited by R. Tucker. this has a collection of abridged versions of most key texts by Marx.

most secondary commentary on marx sucks, or a tleast is only worth considering if you have already read the man himself. and don't trust Engels interpretations of Marx because he uses MArx's ideas in ways that are somewhat different than Marx, though of course they wrote some great texts together, like the Communist AMnifesto and German Ideology both which are worth reading, before Das Capital. this sounds like a long journey of reading and it is, but few writers of the modern age are more worth spending time on than Marx.

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Post by e_dog » November 11th, 2004, 4:24 pm

anyone interested in learning more 'bout Derrida, but not ready for the books or confused by them, should see "Derrida" a documentary made a few years ago while was still kicking. very good.
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