Re: [Possible SPAM] Re: [Possible SPAM] Re: [Possible SPAM] Re: [xmca]Copernicus, Darwinand Bohr

From: Paul Dillon <phd_crit_think who-is-at>
Date: Thu Jun 28 2007 - 22:26:11 PDT

  It's amazing how in just two sentences (the first two) you can contradict yourself so completely, although not the type of contradictions you pretend to illustrate with you alleatorily selected citations from Marx and Ilyenkov. Looking at it from the politics of difference one just needs to ask why you put "really" in caps. Remember Derrida's "A Writing Lesson" from "On Grammatology"??? Do caps really functions in the same way as the headman's scribble? How dare you talk about civility when the very necessity you felt of reminding everyone of what you've published and where you published it takes center stage, provides the pulpit from which you pontificate? Don't you get it? Everything you, and all of us say, is, as Heidegger put it, already out there, it's already involved in something there before you or I became aware of it, and our responsibility being to become aware of it, not aimply theorize it on the basis of what you found out there but from your very
 beginning, as Husserl might have said. Where is your step back? Are your references meant as a help for anyone or as a prop for your own assertions of "expertise"???? Heidegger defined Dasein as the being for whom its very existence was of concern (Sorge), and that form of being the very essence of the human condition. What is your concern? Where do you dwell?? Or as Gadamer put it, what is the opening behind your stage, something Dewey and George Herbert Mead also probed and earlier xmca founders explicated.
  In any event, could you discuss say, the media coverage of Hurricane Katrina from the perspective of the politics of difference. Many people caught in that catastrophe didn't need anyone to tell them about essentialities or the politics of difference , they just got and slammed in a hideous but well backed nightmare, and one has to ask themselves about the role of intellectuals in the larger social processes, n'est-ce pas vrai? No es cierto? Chaynallam hinachu?
  The US team in La Copa America really blew it tonight, lost to Argentina 4-1 after a great first half. Perhaps the tone of this message reflects the loneliness I felt in a crowd of Peruvians gleeful about another blow against the empire, whose ideology I despise in all its forms. This only because I think Americans should really embrace soccer as a path to world peace.

Wolff-Michael Roth <> wrote:
in discussing, we should adhere to some rules, maintain some
civility, etiquette, including not to presuppose what others have
read or not. I REALLY studied Marx and Hegel and Il'enkov. I am sorry
that you don't understand philosophers of difference. I mentioned it
before, I showed in a recent SEMIOTICA article how replacing in Das
Kapital the term "commodity" by the term "sign" and all examples of
commodities by examples of signs, we get new texts that have striking
family resemblances with texts by recent philosophers of differences.
Why? This is the interesting question. I showed how there is an
underlying structure that is common to both. As a Marx aficionado who
tells me to read Marx more closely or "really study him", you might
find this kind of analysis interesting. So, my advice to myself would
be: don't discard or dismiss a philosopher just because I do not
understand him/her.

Here some other issues.
In France, for example, philosophers are integral to social life,
they appear on TV, they get asked about political issues, high school
students have their philosophy comprehensive examinations, etc. I
Where in the US, Canada, or other countries will you find this?
Marx was not just about representations but about societal praxis.
And he did conceive of of difference within the thing itself.

Concerning Il'enkov on inner contradictions:
Something else is discovered in the form of the contradiction under
consideration, as analysis shows, and that is the absolute content of
each of the commodities, its value, the inner contradiction of value
and use-value. 'Thus the contrast between use-value and value hidden
away within the commodity,' Marx wrote, 'has an outward and visible
counterpart, namely the relation between two commodities, the
relation in which the commodity whose value is to be expressed counts
only as use-value, whereas the commodity in teinls of which value is
to be expressed 1 counts only as exchange-value. The simple value
form oi a commodity is, therefore, the simple phenomenal form of the
inherent contrast (within the commodity) between use-value and value.
(Logic, 333-4)

On fatherless origins:
the secret of the birth of value was unresolvable in principle.
(Logic, 245)

And on the source of the inner contradiction.
Correspondingly, ‘Marx regards value as the relation of a commodity
to itself, rather than to another commodity, and that is why it
emerges as a living, unsolved and insoluble inner
contradiction’ (Il’enkov 1982 [1960]: 266).


On 28-Jun-07, at 1:45 PM, Paul Dillon wrote:


While you have suggested that I study the "philosophers of
difference", I would suggest that you really need to study Marx. I
studied Derrida as a grad student and read to a greater or lesser
degree many of the authors he spawned thereafter. But after awhile I
just began to see all of it as words chasing words. To me "the
philosophies of difference" are something akin to intellectual
candy, apparently quite tasty, but when looked at from a distance
something that rots ones intellectual teeth and makes it difficult to
chew anything except similar candies. I can't think of anyone of
these "philosophers" whose philosophies ever reached beyond the
intellectual circles who shared them or affected the broader social
processes in a meaningful way. One person who might be considered to
have taken these delectables to another level and found a way to
include them in real food digestable and nutritious for a broader and
not necessarily academic public is Peter McLaren at

Did Marx intend a "critique" of capitalism. One would presume so
since the title of one of his important early works is precisely
"Contribution to a Critique of Political Economy" (1859) and Capital
itself is subtitled "a critique of political economy". Remember that
political economy was the name given to the theory of capitalism
after Adam Smith. All of Capital (3 vols.) is devoted to showing how
the categories of capitalism (rent, profit, wages, interest, etc.)
are the fetishized representations of the social processes of
exploitation in a system labor is a commodity. He did this both
through an examination of the logic of capitalism and a history of
the genesis of these categories--something Ilyenkov explores in
depth. This method is the essence of critique and certainly not
something that leaves a eunuch's shadow. There is no other social
thinker whose work was so fertile and achieved such a broad public as
that of Karl Marx, unlike, sooo unlike the so-called
"philosophers of difference:"

Also, you still haven't explained your point in mentioning
Ilyenkov but this is perhaps understandable since one can't even
begin to deal with Ilyenkov without having fully grasped what Marx is
attempting in Capital. Or for that matter, in my view, neither can
one understand what Vygotsky was trying to do for psychology without
understanding what Marx did for political economy (i.e., the theory
of capitalism). Vygotsky, for one, clearly, unequivocally, and
repeatedly. inscribed himself within that tradition.

Paul Dillon

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Received on Thu Jun 28 22:28 PDT 2007

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