Value, psychological and marxist

Seamus Malone redye at
Wed Jul 12 12:22:26 MDT 1995

On Tue, 11 Jul 1995, Jon Beasley-Murray wrote:

> On Wed, 12 Jul 1995 owner-marxism-digest at wrote:
> > I suspect you
> > may have done this without really taking much notice because it seems a
> > simple relation of equality:: subjects constitute the social and the
> > social is constituted by subjects.

But I think if you read the earlier post, I took that he was asking for
clarification as to why I took up this question when it already seemed
established. From that I assumed that there must be something overlooked
and needed clarification.
> I'm sure neither Chris nor anyone else would say this.  He might be
> prepared to say that "subjects constitute the social and the social
> constitutes subjects."  But I take it you are opposing this revised
> formulation also.

> > What is important it the question of
> > production and the status of the subject or subjectivity. When viewed
> > from this perspeictive, it is extreemly important to understand that the
> > subject has no prior existence to its social location. This gives us an
> > understanding of how the subject and the general "morphology" of
> > subjectivity is part of a system of ideology which operates for the
> > benefit of a ruling class, and an understand of the importance of
> > communicative acts in relation to the maintenance of control of society
> > on the lowest level subjective experience.
> Of course I'd say yes to this first sentence, but then I'd start worrying
> about the way in which you appear to efface precisely the question of
> production.  Essentially the problem you face is that of accounting for
> history and for change.  This is an old charge against structuralism
> (and, I think, exceptionally valid with regard to Lacan, whom you were
> using in an earlier post), but not, it seems, one you're making any
> headway with--in my eyes, at least.  For neither "the subject" nor "its
> social location" are unitary, and for any particular social location
> there is a subjectivity that can be seen to precede it, although that
> subjectivity may not be the same that which is currently in effect with
> regard to the particular social location under consideration.  But some
> form of causality must be assumed--and at present you seem to be positing
> it all on a unitary Social that sounds all too much like a transcendent
> Subject or Geist to me.
> I like Bourdieu on this, by the way.
I usually only buy used books, and haven't found eitehr of the books on
practice, but am constantly looking. I don't think I'm positing a
transcendent subject or social formation, but rather trying to emphasize
how both must be understood as social processes which are not outside of
historical determination, but are articulated in the feild of historical
change, thus we retain both agency and structure- both acknowledgement of
historical conditions and the possibility of human agency in that
process. The last bit was not so much my point as merely to emphasize
what took me a long time to really digest and that is (back to where we
began and a term Chris asked clarification on- if I'm not mistaken)
intersubjectivity, I think he found it outside his feild of experience,
whereas you, Jon, will not.

> > Seamus Malone
> > redye at
> Take care
> Jon
> Jon Beasley-Murray
> Literature Program
> Duke University
> jpb8 at
>      --- from list marxism at ---

Seamus Malone
redye at

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