Sunday, August 30, 2009

Best of... Marxism

Nothing truly interesting is possible without negativity; error or ideology, false appearance, are also objective facts that have to be reckoned back into truth.
-Fredric Jameson, "On 'Cultural Studies'" in The Ideologies of Theory, 633

I know I said a phenomenology collection would be next, but returning to Marx and Hegel recently in my reading has given me a fondness for my (somewhat more sketchy) writings on Marxism:

Marx, Hegel, Feuerbach: A very, very lengthy attempt (it extended into six posts, and still remained incomplete) to piece together some basic characteristics "Theses on Feuerbach" and comprehend the level at which Marx's "overturning" of Hegel proceeds. I'm not as technical here as I should be, especially in explaining Hegel, but I hope my simplifications (especially the use of Foucault, who I toyed around with as an explanatory mechanism, and, quickly after this, threw away) are generally helpful in making the problem Marx encountered clear. I should add that in short, I am generally trying to outline something like what Fredric Jameson says (as usual, excellently) here, or find out why and how exactly it is the case: is a mistake to think that Marxism is simply a type of interpretation that takes the economic "sequence" as that ultimately privileged code into which the other sequences are to be translated. Rather, for Marxism the emergence of the economic, the coming into view of the infrastructure itself, is simply the sign of the approach of the concrete.
-"Towards Dialectical Criticism" in Marxism and Form, 322

...and Here are the other posts in the series: post 2, post 3, post 4, post 5, post 6, and some rough notes on where I am going after the sixth post.

On Hoarding and Specters of Marx: a detailed analysis of the "hoarding" chapters in Capital and the Grundrisse, and a general perspective on the usefulness of Marx, via a somewhat unorthodox (or at least less Marxist) take on Derrida's Specters of Marx.

Marx, Economics and Law
: explaining the "Critique of the Gotha Programme."

Spivak v. Derrida on Value: A look at "Scattered Speculations on the Question of Value" and a localization of differences between Spivak and Derrida when it comes to Marx. I should say that Spivak seems closer to what Marx says, which refuses analogies between capital and subject, and insists on analogies (in order to demystify them) between capital and society (the demystification proceeds by then seeing society in terms of the means of production), if I can speak loosely.

Gramsci on Hegemony
: my presentation for a class with Spivak on Gramsci (and, in a shockingly productive pairing or contrast, W.E.B. Du Bois--whose Black Reconstruction I can't recommend enough), which tries to explain in detail how the concept of hegemony emerges in Gramsci's analysis of history.

Structuralism and finitude: I touch on structuralism mainly, but I have a nice part on the famous "effective causality" passages in Althusser and Balibar's Reading Capital.

You can also expect in the future more detailed treatments of Raymond Williams than the ones I have written so far, as well as considerations of Althusser and Fredric Jameson.

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