An actual theory of class and gender

Nicholas Siemensma nsiemensma at yahoo.com.au
Sun Aug 18 23:46:51 MDT 2002


 --- Tom O'Lincoln <red_sites at eudoramail.com> wrote: >
Nancy:> There is an economic base, a social
> structure on top of that, and a superstructure of
> ideas and politics on top of the social structure.
> All are related together in a coherent whole, which
> I interpret as being "organic"
>
> You base this on a famous quote from Marx which I
> don't like very much. It is not a description of an
> "organic whole", but a simplistic model where each
> bit is "on top of" the next. In reality,  the
> political "superstructure" can turn out to be part
> of the "economic base", for example when governments
> manage industrial enterprises and workers wage
> political struggles in those enterprises. Your use
> of this model sits oddly with what follows.
>
> ***
> Nancy:>In the living organism all the parts are
> necessary: if you take out the brain or the liver,
> the entire organism will die.
>
> Yes of course. On the other hand, if you try to
> think with the liver, you will probably die as well.
> If you get into a fight and lead with your chin, you
> will
> be knocked out.

Organic metaphors for a "dialectical totality" are
dangerous.  Dialectical opposites change into each
other.  My brain never changes into my liver, except
if I drink too much and both organs go AWOL at once.
Hegel was the first to theorise this moment of
consciousness as the achievement of "Absolute Mind".
Unfortunately, I can't remember the word when I reach
the state.

Nick

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