Dialectical Materialism again - reply to Mark Lause
s.hopkinson at cqu.edu.au
Mon Jul 28 23:43:47 MDT 2003
I hadn't really thought about it this way but yes I
think that I probably do mean that all thought is
ideological. The terms are a bit slippery though.
If you mean that by ideology - sets of ideas that
are used in the struggle to change the world then
I think all knowledge (=thought?) is constructed in the context
in which can be potentially used in this way. It may
not be but when thoughts/ideas/knowledge are used to
intervene in social conflicts then they will be ideological.
For example Darwinism may be a more or less accurate
rendering of the available evidence but it bears the hallmarks
of the survival of the fittest mentality of laissez faire captialism.
It doesn't mean its wrong but its ideological in that sense.
Many social commentators use findings like Darwins to try
and justify social inequalities and when they do its
ideological - just like its ideological for us Marxists to say
that this is invalid. Knowledge production and use are all
part of the struggle.
Likewise as Marxists we need to examine our own production
of knowledge as 'Marxism' and ask well whose interests are
served by constructing Marx/Marxism in that way. Obviously
a view in which the final stage of history had been reached in
the USSR served the interest of the bureaucracy in the same
way that 'end of history' ideas serve capital.
So I don't think that thoughts are or can be pure if this
means that are independent of poltical processed both
in their production and their consumption. Nor would we
expect them to be.
>Shane H wrote, "things like the inevitablility of revolution, or
>stages of history, or a simplistiic view of science (as in discovering
>'plain facts') are all aretfacts of this process of ideologisation in my
>view at any rate."
>Maybe so...but doesn't this reduce all thought process to
>In the end, concepts like the inevitability of revolution or stages in
>history makes assumptions about mechanistic and predictable patterns of
>Trying to discern the facts of the matter requires no such assumptions.
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