Ralph Dumain rdumain at
Sat Jul 22 09:52:19 MDT 1995

>For me it is important to distinguish the difference between
>something which is outside langauge and someting which is
>outside the symbolic- from a marxist perspective, one has a
>difficult time understanding the value of labor without
>appealing to an order of symbolic representation (the absense of
>labor represented in the commodity, the absense of the commodity
>represented in money, the absense of money represented in
>banking databases or checks for that matter) outside of
>language- the centrality of language as a metaphor for
>processess of representation it strikes me is particular to the
>epoch of capital and serves the function of occluding the
>symbolic relations of power in labor.

Great stuff, great stuff!

I regret that I did not follow this discussion from the beginning
and only jumped in at random when I caught a paragraph that
disturbed me.  I really don't know what's going on here but this
discussion begins to intersect things that interest me.

I would love to find some literature that gets down to a good
analysis of individual experience, something that goes beyond
identity politics and pop culture and stereotypes, but nobody can
ever recommend me anything.  I met a philosopher at my local last
year who recommended Michel De Certeau, but I don't know .....

The post I responded to also fortuitiously coincided with other
topics that have engaged my attention.  But let me correct an
inadvertent misimpression I may have caused.  By attacking
Zavarzadeh in general (based mostly on my reading of RED ORANGE(?)
and some of the unendurable prose in his books), I did not at all
mean to discredit or attack his article in TRANSITION 1 that
Rakesh Bhandari recommended.  I haven't read that article and I
want to read it too, as it relates to my own project on THE GERMAN
IDEOLOGY.  But since you can't read my mind, you may have thought
I was jumping on Rakesh and this particular article, which I did
not intend to do at all.

Naturally I was rather enigmatic in my initial post, but that's
the point isn't it?  To arouse the intellectual powers, as William
Blake says.

I am well aware of the bourgeois fiction of the autonomous
individual, but the Althusser-Barthes-Foucault opposition to that
is to finish off "man" once and for all.  These intellectuals
think that is radical, but it is social-fascism root and branch.
And yes, we should oppose French intellectuals -- they are a
cancer, they are already death.  Let them choke on their own
constant cultural capital; they've nothing vital to offer to the
world.  I have seen all this before, and I know dehumanization
when I can see it.  No wonder CLR James despised the intellectual

As for reading suggestions, I suggest THE GERMAN IDEOLOGY, also
Blake's MILTON.

"Be permanent, O State, so that we can deliver individuals forever
more, amen."

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