Gramsci Redux (was Re: debates was guilty / innocent was debates)

kenneth.mackendrick at kenneth.mackendrick at
Sat Oct 14 08:58:28 PDT 2000

On Sat, 14 Oct 2000 11:32:50 -0400 kelley <kwalker2 at> wrote:

> that's not what gramsci means by rule by consensus.

This doesn't surprise me. Didn't Gramsci write in a secret code? - so that only the elect might understand his work? I'm reminded of the book of revelations from the xian scriptures... written by John of Patmos (speling?).

> >My understanding of what i was talking about is this: in order to "live"
with others requires a certain degree of surrender, subjection.

> surrender of what exactly ken? it's a surrender, actually, of nothing.

The moment we begin to think something is surrendered (let's call it immediacy). Thinking and communicating is mediated, and this entails a subordination of something - otherwise the shift from abstract desire (I want orange juice) to actualization (drinking orange juice) would be effortless. Contingency gets in the way (damn, I have to go to the store to get some!).

> >In order to speak, on must subject ones thoughts and dreams to language.

> one doesn't have thoughts and dreams prior to language.

So infants have no cognitive capacities whatsoever prior to being taught a language? I don't think so - and neither does Freud or Lacan, nor most cognitive developmentalists for that matter. There is a fantasmic substratum prior to language - otherwise identification with language would be impossible. There is "no-Thing" but this doesn't mean empty void. There is stuff. This "stuff" is manipulated by language, stuffed into categories, named. But this magmatic "stuff" is still there prior to language. This is why we start from alienation (trauma) - otherwise it would be prudent to start from reconciliation.

> hmmm should i wear big floppy shoes and a big red clown nose when i spank you?

Whatever works for you.

> >I do it to myself sometimes (I am, after all, an idiot).

> but you DO have taste.

Taste, I'm afraid to say, is not one of my cardinal vices.


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