INTERSUBJECTIVITY, ZAVARZADEH

Seamus Malone redye at amanda.dorsai.org
Sat Jul 22 00:42:22 MDT 1995


On Fri, 21 Jul 1995, Ralph Dumain wrote:

> "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.

It is only the robot that knows it is a robot that can begin to see
through it all-
Roy: I want changes, radical changes--
Tyrell: We built you as good as we could
Roy: but not to last
Tyrell: the candle that burns twice as bright burns half as long, and you
have burned so very very brightly Roy
Roy: I want more life--- fucker.
Only a nationalist would oppose a theory for being French. and besides, I
am relying on the anti-Stalinist Russian Bakhtin and/or Volosinov anyway...
The point is further that Capital enabled the fiction of subjectivity-
bother to read the begining of Capital. Barthes, a Frechman, but probably
of the "wrong" generation had some very interesting things to say in *The
Pleasure of the Text* about the joys of the fiction of subjectivty.
>
> 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.

This is often the case but I am not at all convinced that it is always
the case.
\>
> 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.

I would agree with this, I think that Z is more forthright about some
things, more problematic in other cases. Basically he is the gross
inversion of the post-modern problematic around language. He emphasizes a
simplistic base superstructure relation in which the base is determining
rather than the superstructure. Both are reifications of the process of
capital and misrepresentations of Marx

> > "There
is a grain of sand in Lambeth that Satan cannot find." -- > William Blake
>
>
>      --- from list marxism at lists.village.virginia.edu ---
>
Firey the angels rose, dark thunder rolled around their shores,
indignant, burning with the fires of Orc. -WB

Seamus Malone
redye at amanda.dorsai.org
http://www.dorsai.org/~redye


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