Annoying postmodernists

Louis Proyect lnp3 at
Sun Mar 25 10:20:12 MST 2001

One other online resource for postmodernism can be found at:

This is a record of discussions that took place on PEN-L, a mailing list
for progressive economists in 1994, including this post from Doug Henwood
before he had a nervous breakdown caused by listening to Madonna cd's while
reading Zizek.


Date: Wed, 4 May 1994 07:27:44 -0700
Sender: pen-l at
From: Doug Henwood <dhenwood at>
Subject: Re: Derrida (fwd)

It may be that pomo does have this radical potential, by questioning
hierarchies and  certainties, foregrounding the constructed nature of
"reality," etc. But in practice - and here I speak from my former
incarnation as a student of literature and budding lit crit - it tends
towards clever punning, insular and politically pointless rhetorical
freeplay, the questioning of class as a political category (can't allow
those transcendental narratives, those myths of universalism, to stand!),
an aesthete's appreciation of fragmentation, a confirmation of
individualism and subjectivity (all under the properly ironic "erasure"
of course), a refusal of the imagined utopias that make political action
possible - well I could go on, but you get the idea.

Doug Henwood [dhenwood at]

Louis Proyect
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