LACLAU & MOUFFE

Philip Goldstein pgold at strauss.udel.edu
Thu Mar 9 09:15:20 MST 1995


WARNING: THE FOLLOWING MESSAGE MAY CONTAIN OPINIONS CONTRARY TO YOUR
BELIEFS. THE READER IS ADVISED TO PROCEED WITH CAUTION

	I have little time to respond appropriately. I am sorry -- the
issues are interesting.
1) One person recommended that I leave the list because I defended Laclau
and Mouffe. I am willing to start my own list -- should I call it the
euromarxist list, liberal marxism, alternative or reformed Marxism?
2) Justin Schwartz made a very moving response, but I do not think that
he faced the main issue -- are people like Stalin Marxist or not? If
those people are -- and we can name many in a similar category -- what
does that fact say about the status of Marxism?
3) Howie Chodos -- did I get the name right? -- complains that Laclau and
Mouffe only examine epistemology and, because discourse is their central
interest, neglect objective interest. The complaint makes sense if you
assume that Marxism has an ontology and not just an epistemology. The
only ontological commitment of Marxism is to examining the material bases
or practices of social life, rather than according mental ideals some
sort of autonomous existence. I don't see that this ontology, if it is
one, excludes epistemology or limits it. What's more, discourse is
clearly part of life's material practices, nor can interests be defined
independently of any discourse, ideology, hegemonic values, etc. Since
this view is defended by L & M, I have a feeling that I don't follow the
objection.

Philip Goldstein
Associate Professor of English and Philosophy
University of Delaware (Parallel)



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