Birmingham Sch. and first instance

Jonathan P. Beasley-Murray jpb8 at
Thu Dec 8 23:28:42 MST 1994


Thanks for the quotation and the citation.  I think I mangled somewhat
Hall's argument originally (but then I was only guessing from the one
sentence I remembered--and once again it's great to have the full thing
presented to us).

My first thought (which does go with what I was trying to suggest
earlier, however) is that this fits in with an earlier thread I tried to
start about totality--or maybe not.  Is marxism's tendency towards
certainty the same as its drive towards totality?

To put it another way, one of the (great? attractive?) things about
being a marxist--it seems to me--is that you're always right.  This
certainty is embedded in the rhetoric, the scientificity, but also in the
comprehensive scope most marxisms aspire to, as well as the (ruthless)
drive to "ideology critique" and the "exposure" of "false consciousness."

Of course each marxist tends to be certain of his or her rightness in his
or her own way--and this is (one of) the path(s) to left sectarianism.

On the other hand, Hall's argument for an "open marxism" (and I know I'm
stealing that phrase somewhat out of context), at the same time as being
an argument against the theoretical or epistemological "second coming"
that marxism sometimes likes to present itself as, is also both an
argument against totalization, and for an openness toward feminist and
other progressive analyses and against the economic as sole determinant of
the cultural.

On Thu, 8 Dec 1994, Thomas Schumacher wrote:

> Now I think that there are those who are trying to recover what cultural
> studies got rid of when they purged the political economists.  Folks like
> Golding and Murdock and Nicholas Garnham are headed in that direction -- more
> like reconstructed political economists.

I'd like to know a little more about the people you mention here.  I'm
familiar with Garnham, who I think is great (and came to a conference I
helped organize once as an undergrad)--but I don't know so much about
Golding and Murdock.

> Tom Schumacher

Take care


Jon Beasley-Murray
Literature Program
Duke University
jpb8 at


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