INTERSUBJECTIVITY, ZAVARZADEH

Ralph Dumain rdumain at igc.apc.org
Fri Jul 21 22:29:44 MDT 1995


"They became what they beheld." -- William Blake

>What, for a start, is a marxist theory of subjectivity?  (and I
>guess we  can take that to include intersubjectivity) I think
>for starters it is a theory which understands subjectivity- in
>its very structure, and not just the contents of that structure
>as a result of historical processes

OK so far ....

>and every bit as much a commodity production (the production of
>the individual to be sold on the market) as trade goods.

Wrong wrong wrong.  This is an intellectual's theory, a French
theory, itself the theory of a bureaucratic elite that crows about
the death of the subject in order to further the process of
dehumanization while yet trumpeting its own superiority to the
naive subject by thinking it is hip enough to see through the
illusions of individuality.  And yet how abstractified is this
vision of the total hegemonization of the human psyche.  Everyone
is a robot except me who can see through it all.  Or the
postmodern version: I too am a robot but not quite since I can see
through it all but there is really nothing to be seen through
since nobody can escape the grid anyway so why try.  How
repulsive, and how tired.

Indeed, it is sad to see just how much of subjectivity is
processed and formulated, how much people lie to themselves about
their own identity, but that is not all there is to concrete
individuality.  I don't think the intellectuals have come even
close to penetrating to the depth of subjectivity.  Instead of
observing other people, they see only their own image.

The intellectuals have yet even to understand the depth of Marx's
insight into the limitations not just of "ordinary" folks, but of
intellectuals, by their environment.  Marx couldn't see his own
limitations until he left Germany for Paris, and he never forgot
the lesson.

Speaking of Zavarzadeh, in spite of his opposition to the
postmodernists, he is just like them and their predecessors the
Althusserian Stalinists.  Human beings are no more than
interpellated subjects.  Since their sense of individuality and
autonomy is nothing but an ideology effect, the enlightened
vanguard instructor has the right to abuse his students at will.
I suggest you read Zavarzadeh's books and esp. the erstwhile
newspaper RED ORANGE from Syracuse U. to see how thoroughly
engrossed in the ideological superstructure and its prerogatives
Zavarzadeh and his associates are.  Intellectuals are more
mesmerized by ideology than anybody, because that is their natural
element.  The smarter they are, the more they can see through it,
the more they are sucked in.  It's where they live and move and
have their being.

"There is a grain of sand in Lambeth that Satan cannot find." --
William Blake


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