subjectivity, social totality, multiplicity [was Negri,

Lisa Rogers eqwq.lrogers at
Fri Feb 16 09:52:06 MST 1996

I think I take, and appreciate Jukka's anti-economistic point,
perhaps you are talking about the 'social totality.'  I don't know
Guattari / Negri, and the quotes posted look unnecessarily
jargon-laden and convoluted to me, but of course everything doesn't
simple reduce to socioeconomism, I agree with that idea.

At the same time, I'd rather not speak of 'another side' or 'ideal'
to be included, because I am wary of dualism and polarity. 
Everything is combined in a much more subtle, complex, multiple,
inseparable way, which is nonetheless amenable to understanding and
analytical dissection.

This all seems to relate to some of my current readings/thinkings. 
This week I'm reading some about psychoanalysis, from an
anti-capital/patriarchy revolutionary point of view.  Some authors
speak of a devision of 'material' from 'non-material' aspects of
theory and reality, so that psychological things are non-material.  I

Reasonable theories of psychological development are all about the
ways that material circumstances interact with a responding/active
psyche.  This is we are shaped by / adapt to our situations.  Those
material circumstances include the exact behaviors of parents, in
terms of care-giving, which parent does it [if any], every attitude
of dis/approval, reward and punishment, that is meted out to
everything one does, including facial expressions, etc.  

Also, which parent has economic power, who 'works'/ makes money and
what significance do people place on that within the family, what
kind of hierarchy and justification of domination takes place, all
these things have _profound_ effects on developing attitudes,
assumptions about the world and the way things are or should or must
be, ideologies.

The things that people think, imagine and desire are shaped by these
processes, so there is no way to separate 'socio-economic causes' and
'ideal'/ mental causes of new 'subjectivities.'

I don't think I'm contradicting Jukka, really, but expanding on the
point of anti-economistic or anti-'mechanistic' thought, in a way
that relates to subjectivity/socialization.  But none of it is
'ideal', to me, not at all non-material.

Does this make sense to you, Jukka?  Or anybody?


>>> J Laari <jlaari at>  2/15/96, 01:04pm >>>
I understood that the second factor (socialization) behind new 
subjectivities has been articulated earlier in Guattari-Negri 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

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. [snip]

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 [snip]

[snip] 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. 

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