Bounced posts from James Stewart (used wrong email address)

Louis Proyect lnp3 at
Thu Nov 4 06:52:39 MST 1999

> Dennis R Redmond wrote: < Why do you consider postmodernism and
> deconstruction to be a sham? >
> I get suspicious of people who use flashy words and phrases, when there
> are perfectly good ones which we can all understand. I'm sure a lot of
> people in the humanities use convoluted phrases merely because long
> words can make banal ideas look impressive.
    Some skepticism is usually good and is probably appropriate hee, but it
needs to be kept in mind that all areas of inquiry tend to gather jargon,
and stipulated definitions  of words.  It is such stipulated meanings that
are often confusing both to outsiders and to insiders in that they lose
sight of the stiulations and use terms as if they carried ordinary meaning.
Examples of such stipulated meanings might include the chemical term,
"aromatic hydrocarbon"  a term that refers to arrangements of carbon and
hydrogen atoms in rings and has nothing to do with the common meaning of
aromatic (the term arose from an early misunderstanding) or the term
"dictatorship of the proletariat" a term which most people take to mean a
reign of terror by the masses but which had a quite specific meaning in the
original text from which the term comes.
    The sua desant postmodernists probably have a lot to answer for, but the
notion of deconstruction actually refers to a particular form of analysis
and not to all analyses and refers to a kind of analysis that has been with
us for many years.  An analysis of the wage structure in a business, for
example, might focus on the mechanics of the setting of wages bu custon,
calculation, negotiation, or some other process.  It is, I think,
deconstruction to analyse the wage system as, for example, the confiscatin
of surplus value or a manifestation of social inequality.  The heatness of
such analyses, and their peril, is that one can posit such processes without
showing that it is in the conscious intent of the actors.  Thus, one can
show the confiscation of surplus value without ever having to produce an
interview with a manager in which he states that he is confiscating the
surplus value of the production of the enterprise.  This can be quite handy,
but it can also be quite dangerous (rhetorically speaking) because one can
easily slip over a line demarking problematic arguments such as the
deconstructivist analysis that racism is a manifestation of hatred.  I would
argue that someone who grows up in a culture in which other groups are
regarded as inferior, a very common state of human affairs, one does not
necessarily hate the lower life forms any more than one would hate a
barnyard animal.
    Plese do not take take these remarks as endorsement of teh micro
cephalic obscurantists currently parading around pointlessly under the
pompous banner of postmodernists.  The cretins probably sleep with sheep and
vote for
Republicans.  They have, however, had a few good ideas and the idea of
deconstruction is noe of those good ones.  As long as the idea is kept on a
leash and under sedations everything is fine; let it go wild and lots of
probles arise.


> >Comrades
> >
> >Can someone explain what is meant by "bourgeoise democracy"---I see this
> >flying around a lot.  If possible can you explain it in reference to
> >critique of the French Constitution?[are they related?](a critique I have
> >hard time following because my history of the French Revolution is weak)
> Here one schema:
> Principally the path goes very roughly this way:
> Tribe communities
> Monarcy
> Feudal democracy
> Bourgeoise democracy
> Socialist democracy
> Communism
Exactly.  Bourgeois Democracy is simply one that tends to promote, or bve
intended to promote the intersts of the bourgeois class.  In common usage it
also tend to have the connotations usually attached to the term bourgeois,
i.e. convenionality.


I understand that the key words they are looking for include such things as
thermonuclear North Korea, Ruby Ridge, and so on.  As Mr Rogers would say,
"Hello, Mr Spy.  Can you say fascist?"

----- Original Message -----
From: Xxxzx Xyyxyz <Xxxzx at>
To: <marxism at>
Sent: Wednesday, November 03, 1999 4:18 PM
Subject: Echelon is listening

> Echelon is listening
> ================
> November 2, 1999
> Imagine a global spying network that can eavesdrop on every single
> phone call, fax or e-mail, anywhere on the planet.. . .

Louis Proyect

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