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[Xmca-l] Re: Black Underachievement, etc.


Unfortunately, I am in agreement with althusser.  I cannot think of one historical case to prove the contrary.  It is necessary for one historical frame to replace another via catastrophe and revolution.  Can we truly say that the middle class represents an alternative to the dominant ideology of the upper-class of owners and high-level executives?  I do not think say.  Just the same, the argument you raise is tantamount to the hybridity discourse of homi bhabha...and I am in agreement with spivak, hybridity is not an alternative to the discourse of the colonizer...it is using the discourse of the colonizer to convict them of not identifying with their logic, which the colonized accepts and reproduces.  This is not liberating, nor does it offer an alternative to the discourse of the colonizer.

Dr. Paul C. Mocombe
The Mocombeian Foundation, Inc.

-------- Original message --------
From: Andy Blunden <ablunden@mira.net> 
Date: 11/04/2013  5:24 PM  (GMT-05:00) 
To: "eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity" <xmca-l@mailman.ucsd.edu> 
Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: Black Underachievement, etc. 
I was hoping that others on the list may have intervened by now. I guess 
people are still reading your very dense prose! :) But let me respond.

My investigations of radical activity effectively turns the "negative 
dialectic," as you call it, back on you. The style of critique which 
claims to show that "there is no outside" to the dominant ideology of a 
form of society, late capitalist society in particular, first emerged 
with Althusser, and became in recent decades, with post-structuralism, 
the most powerful mode of argumentation and social philosophy. In other 
words, what you call the "negative dialectic" is absolutely a product of 
the deology of late capitalism. And it seems to me it is transparently 
an "ideological state apparatus," if I may use the term in this way, as 
it functions to defend the relations of exploitation against attack. It 
also reflects a pervading illusion of life in contemporary capitalism, 
viz., that there is no outside, that the great processes of global 
markets and capital flow, transnational corporations and so on, leave no 
opening for counter-activity, beyond (perhaps) futile protests like the 
Occupy movement (which after all only lauds extreme libertarianism). The 
challenge for social philosophers is to develop a theory of how 
individual may exercise genuine agency in relation to this situation. No 
easy matter, granted. I think CHAT offers a crucial element of such a 
philosophical standpoint, because it brings to its theory of the 
development of the psyche an undersanding of how the artefacts and 
activities of the wider cultural are appropriated and reconstituted in 
action. Furthermore, many educational researchers in the CHAT tradition, 
and in the broader sociocultural domain, strive to understand how 
relations of domination can be (and frequently are) reproduced in the 
classroom, unwittingly, as teachers strive to provide an education 
whilst treating the students as moral quals.
Are religious fundamentalism and catastrophe really the only alternatives?


*Andy Blunden*

Dr. Paul C. Mocombe wrote:
> Andy,
> Your assessment of the article is correct.  However, I see no 
> alternative within the dialectic, a la the negative dialectic of the 
> frankfurt school.  I see only three alternatives, which are outside 
> the dialectical process...islamic fundamentalism, the limits to growth 
> metaphysics of the earth itself, and haitian vodou? (See my work, 
> "liberal bourgeois protestanism"...I do not see any solutions that can 
> emerge out of any dialogue with capital for it inherently implies 
> maintaining the status quo and giving room to capitalist organization. 
>  We must throw out the baby with the bath water if we are to resolve 
> the problems with capitalism. ..as an example, jean jacques dessalines 
> in his debate with toussaint louverture regarding the role of 
> mulattoes in the haitian revolution suggested that the mulatto elites 
> must also be killed, along with whites...he felt that in their 
> identification with their white fathers,  the mulatto elites would 
> reproduce slavery and white supremacy on the island.  Toussaint, on 
> the contrary felt that their technical skills would be needed to 
> rebuild the island following the revolution.  Following the capture of 
> toussaint. ..dessalines adopted toussaint's position, but was 
> assassinated by the mulatto alexander petion, who was sent by napoleon 
> to recapture the island for France.  Whereas, dessalines had refused 
> to pay reparations to France, the two mulatto generals of the 
> revolution,  Petion and Boyer agreed to, and sought to reproduce the 
> plantation system and franco relations on the island.  They had no 
> alternative logic...metaphorically speaking, the slave sought to be 
> like the master.  That is what is happening in black communities 
> around the globe....
> Dr. Paul C. Mocombe
> President
> The Mocombeian Foundation, Inc.
> www.mocombeian.com 
> www.readingroomcurriculum.com 
> -------- Original message --------
> From: Andy Blunden <ablunden@mira.net>
> Date: 11/01/2013 5:07 AM (GMT-05:00)
> To: "eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity" <xmca-l@mailman.ucsd.edu>
> Subject: [Xmca-l] Black Underachievement, etc.
> Paul (one of the authors, who has joined the xmca to paricipate in this
> discussion), I want to take out just one point in your paper.
> You point out that the workplace relations of industrial and
> post-industrial capitalism are reproduced in the classrooms of those
> societies. This is unquestionably true. I'll go further. In a study of
> forms of radical organisation from 1830 to the present, I observed that
> the forms of organisation with which the oppressed groups and classes
> have directly and consciously challenged capital have also borrowed
> their forms from the contemporary capitalist workplaces. And even the
> weapons themselves actually, as well.
> However, this general law that the forms of oppression and exploitation,
> and even the oppositional forms of activity and modes of thinking spring
> from the same social conditions as the relations of production, does not
> lead to the conclusion that *therefore* they "lack the potential for
> liberation" (p. 362). On the contrary actually.
> In particular, I would challenge the contention that dialogical and/or
> constructivist forms of teaching/learning necessarily reproduce the
> relations of domination of postindustrial societies. I agree that your
> observations do make it transparent how such methods, expressive as they
> are of the Zeitgeist, may prove ineffective and efforts to transcend the
> dominant relations may easily be subverted. But that is not saying very
> much.
> And what is the alternative? I suspect any real alternative would prove
> only to be an insight into emergent forms of capital accumulation (See
> Luc Boltanski's "New Spirit of Capitalism" for example).
> Troy Richardson's tirade against CHAT (discussed on xmca in July last
> year) makes a similar point about dialogical methods of teaching and
> learning. I find it more plausible that - attractive as dialogical
> teaching and learning may be to us - it may be alien to indigenous and
> subaltern cultures (as well as industrial capitalism), and consequently
> cross-cultural problems may arise in unwitting application of these
> methods across cultural differences. But this is not your claim, is it?
> You are saying, I think, that dialogical teaching and learning actually
> contributes to the *construction* of these inequalities, and precisely
> because it owes it origins to the most advanced methods of thinking of
> our postindustrial capitalist society.
> Do you have an alternative?
> Andy
> -- 
> ------------------------------------------------------------------------
> *Andy Blunden*
> http://home.mira.net/~andy/