Negri, Marxism

J Laari jlaari at
Thu Feb 15 13:04:33 MST 1996

Ok, Louis

in a sense I understood your point. On the other hand I'm wondering a 
bit. Perhaps because my starting point is somewhat different. (I don't 
know Guattari-Negri stuff so that all is new to me.)

"Since the 1960's, new collective subjectivities have been affirmed in 
the dramas of social transformation." 

David already noted that this is an empirical fact. 'New social 
movements' with their different collective subjectivities have refused to 
adjust themselves into traditional political practices because their 
think that the latter ones aren't effective enough anymore (in order to 
cause social changes).

What follows from that is another question. 

"We have noted what they owe to modifications in the organization of 
work and to developments in socialization; we have tried to establish 
that the antagonisms which they contain are no longer recuperable within 
the traditional horizon of the political." 

I understood that the second factor (socialization) behind new 
subjectivities has been articulated earlier in G-N book: that new forms 
of subjectivity (including socio-cultural perception and the like 
'cognitive' aspects) have been partly caused by changes in families and 
their structures (on the one hand, more both parents working, on the 
other more single parent families), partly by developments in 'media' - 
films and records, radio and television & al. Of course there's much 
more to this but that should do this time. 

Combine that to changes in organization of work and you'll get picture 
slightly different to that of early 20th century fordist world of wage 
labour. One phenomenal form is more 'individualistic politics' ("parties 
are out"), or better; belief in it. Something has changed since early 
20th century. And somehow that seems to be connected to the fact that 
people see new political and other oppurtunities in areas where 'trad. 
politics' haven't reached its grasp. 

Phenomenologist, perhaps, would say that our 'life worlds' have (a) 
changed, and (b) multiplied: where 40-50 years ago was quite simply just 
a few 'ways of life' in the neighborhood (well, this surely doesn't 
stick to NYC) is now 'fragmented' into several different cultures and 
their sub-cultures. 

"But it remains to be demonstrated that the innovations of the '60s 
should above all be understood within the universe of consciousnesses, 
of desires, and of modes of behaviour." 

I'm afraid I don't understand all this. However there is something 
common to both several 'post-structuralist' writings and recent social 
research: it isn't enough to chase socio-economic causes to several new 
phenomena (including those mentioned by G-N). The other dimension should 
be considered too - shall we call it 'ideal' or something like that? 
That's because what people think, imagine, want, lust etc. counts too. It 
has to be included in the whole picture. Otherwise our view remains kind 
of 'mechanistic' or one-sided. 

That's why I wondered why you so straightforwardly are ready to reject 
what G-N were saying. 

Yours, Jukka L

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