postmarxism and postmodernism

Jon Beasley-Murray jpb8 at
Sat May 25 13:13:39 MDT 1996

On Sat, 25 May 1996 owner-marxism-digest at jefferson.village.Virginia.EDU wrote:

> From: dhenwood at (Doug Henwood)
> Date: Sat, 25 May 1996 11:53:50 -0500
> Subject: Re: postmarxism and postmodernism
> At 2:24 AM 5/25/96, Jon Beasley-Murray wrote:
> >Why should Andrew
> >Ross (say) write about daily caloric intake in Chiapas?
> Because if he did, he might have a harder time making statements as
> preposterous as this:
> "[T]he left's view of Capital iteself as a supremely rational and
> monolithic, domination producing system has tended to remain in place...
> Capital, or rather our imaginary of Capital, still belongs for the most
> part to a demonology of the Other. This is a demonology that inhibits
> understanding and action as much as it artificially keeps alive older forms
> of ressentiment that have little or no purchase on postmodern consumer
> society."
> [from Andrew Ross, ed., Universal Abandon? The Politics of Postmodernism
> (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1988), pp. xiv-xv, quoted in
> David Hawkes, Ideology (London and New York: Routledge, 1996), p. 8.]

Doug, please explain this connection.

It may (though it may not; I guess it depends upon the amount of his
sabbatical time) be true that were Andrew Ross to be writing about the
daily caloric intake of Chiapan peasants, he would not have the time to
write about the left's view of Capital.

But how would writing about the daily etc. help Andrew Ross (or anyone
else) write more persuasively about a) the politics of postmodernism or
b) the left's view of Capital within postmodern (or even contemporary)
consumer society--Ross's stated intent.

Or perhaps you think that these topics are insufficiently worthy.

If so, why?

> Doug

Take care


Jon Beasley-Murray
Literature Program
Duke University
jpb8 at

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