Butler, Nussbaum, Paglia

Paul Henry Rosenberg rad at gte.net
Sat Feb 27 12:34:56 PST 1999

Alex LoCascio wrote:

> Paul Henry Rosenberg writes:
> >I don't agree with the basic thrust of PoMo
> >theory or practice (the practice of hiding in universities, IMHO)
> Yeah, but are the "PoMos" (as you call them) the only people doing this?

No, of course not. This is a problem of long standing. But PoMo has turned it into a kind of virtue.

> I mean, besides nominal ties to Communist parties, how many of the
> Western Marxists were engaged in day-to-day struggle? Or to take a
> contemporary non-"PoMo" Left example, look at someone like bell hooks. I
> never see her name attached to any radical movement. No socialist ties,
> no feminist ties, no involvement with the BRC, nothing, zip, nada.
> Should we disregard her work because she's insufficiently committed to
> praxis? I think not. IMHO, her various writings on how black folk
> (particularly females) are portrayed in popular culture are invaluable.

There is plenty of good work that can be done in academia and be used in struggle. PoMo theory seems intentionally designed NOT to fall into that category. Its willful obscurity is just one example of this.

> And for the record, I'm tired of the canard about "PoMos" not being
> sufficiently committed to Praxis. Where is the evidence for this? Just
> because Jean Baudrillard seems to think resistance is futile doesn't mean
> that everyone else does.

Even if Howard Zinn hadn't gotten kicked out of Spelman for his activism, _A People's History of the United States_ would have an OBVIOUS activist-supporting intention and potential. This is 180 degrees from PoMo, and that's what the beef is all about.

-- Paul Rosenberg Reason and Democracy rad at gte.net

"Let's put the information BACK into the information age!"

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