rc-am rcollins at netlink.com.au
Sat Nov 6 06:03:06 PST 1999

>Though those like Angela might insist that this definition of ideology
mirrors the moment of 'real subsumption<

no, i think i said fairly clearly and more than once that it's much more fruitful for marxists to consider postmodernity as the transition from formal to real subsumption. and, hence, that the way in which 'discourse' (assuming for the moment that it is counterposed in a cartesian way to 'materiality', which i don't accept) becomes the coded as the site of a whole series of conflicts and assertions (for and against) has much more to do with the transformations that universities, science, etc undergo in that passage from formal to real subsumption. ie., the pairing and distinction between various apparently self-evident realms (like culture versus economy) are undergoing significant changes (hence, the culture industry, for eg). some people have developed an expansive concept of 'discourse', others have insisted that 'discourse' means what it did in the eighteenth century. both are a sign of the times, but only one of them looks backwards.

> commodity fetishism can't explain commodity fetishism or what generates

capital is not a tautology, no matter how much classical economics tried to make it so. it's preoccupied with trying to impose a tautology where none is in fact presumed. if it was presumed, there would be no basis and no reason for political economy, classical and otherwise. capitalism is not a smoothly-functioning machine with no antagonism. it's the desire to leap from the real conditions of existence with a transcendental realism that signals a despair, of the kind that grumbles about how 'the masses' aren't doing their bit, so Mind and Theory must now do the job for them. and it's the kind of despair that still clings to dialectics, but now shorn of any concreteness, that reaches for the resolution of the dialectic (and the antagonism) in the realm of thought that describes quite precisely the predilections of utopian socialism.

Angela _________

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