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[Xmca-l] Re: poverty/class



David,
Yes, you caught what I was saying in your parenthetical. My point was that
Vera nicely lays out and critiques the dominant view of creativity - i.e.
the one where creativity is anti-social.

And I'd add that in my reading of Bakhtin, I have difficulty imagining him
as a childist, not because of his disdain for children (a topic of which I
had no knowledge prior to your post), but because I see him as drawing on a
different understanding of human subjectivity - one that draws from a
tradition that is not about the intrinsic flowering of the individual but
rather is about the imbricated emergence of an individual who is shot
through / consummated by others. (pace Hegel, imho).

-greg



On Sun, Mar 23, 2014 at 1:00 AM, David Kellogg <dkellogg60@gmail.com> wrote:

> Greg--
>
> Actually, I think of Vera's work as precisely the opposite of an
> anti-social theory of creativity (but perhaps that is just what you
> meant to say?). Vera's work on creative collaborations, for example,
> stresses that in and alongside every famous creative voice there is at
> least one and probably many more equally creative voices. It seems so
> obvious to me, when I read Tolstoy, that I am really hearing the voice
> of his wife, and not just when the female characters speak; I cannot
> be surprised that nothing he wrote after the crackup of his marriage
> measures up to War and Peace or Anna K. Of course, the social medium
> of art cannot be reduced to the interpersonal in this way; but I think
> Vera would say that the tragedy of our artists is that it often must
> be.
>
> Actually, reading over what I wrote, I discovered with some chagrin
> that, your kind comments to the contrary notwithstanding, it is not
> particularly well framed. As usual, I have left far too much daylight
> between the mounting and the canvas. The Halliday quote fits
> reasonably well but that is mostly thanks to him not me. But I meant
> to say that Bakhtin's ideas were being portrayed at the conference as
> being thoroughly "childist" and this childism was, according to many
> speakers (e.g. Eugene Matusov, Ana Marjanovic-Shane and others) what
> made Bakhtin preferable to Vygotsky (even though everybody has now
> admitted that Bakhtin was, personally, a bit of a scoundrel, not least
> for the way he treated HIS partners in dialogue, Voloshinov and
> Medvedev).
>
> This I found inexplicable. How can anyone read Bakhtin (who appears to
> have loathed children and who certainly wrote that child's play had
> neither a moral nor an aesthetic dimension) as a childist? But the
> comments of Mike and Andy, on how creativity is being set out as a
> kind of "Weak Utopianism" (to quote Michael Gardiner's phrase), make a
> certain sense of this nonsense. The collapse of the USSR is to be
> taken as a collapse of the cultural-historical in psychology as well.
> Henceforth, the social is to be reduced to the interpersonal, and the
> creative society to the clever society of one.
>
> David Kellogg
> Hankuk University of Foreign Studies
>
>
> On 23 March 2014 14:29, Greg Thompson <greg.a.thompson@gmail.com> wrote:
> > David,
> > Loved your framing of this as "Anti-social creativity". This is the model
> > of creativity in much of the West! (cf. Vera John-Steiner's work). It's
> > everywhere. Read that biography of Steve Jobs - wait, no don't do that...
> >
> > Also, fascinating (and sad) to hear about how capitalism is wrenching
> older
> > workers in Korea. Sounds to me like "Abstract labor" concretized! (i.e.,
> > here is the concrete manifestation of "abstract labor" - labor viewed in
> > the abstract - one worker is as good as another regardless of who that
> > laborer is).
> >
> > Nothing is sacred with capitalism, seems another "Chinese wall" is
> > crumbling under the weighty flow of global capital...
> >
> > Very sad (and I suspect that those older workers never knew what hit
> them -
> > they certainly didn't expect it).
> > -greg
> >
> >
> >
> > On Sat, Mar 22, 2014 at 3:52 PM, David Kellogg <dkellogg60@gmail.com>
> wrote:
> >
> >> As you probably know, Korea is currently run by the neomilitaristic
> >> scion of the previous dictator, who took power in a transparently
> >> rigged election. No, I don't mean that Korea--I mean this one.
> >>
> >> Park Geunhye, the daughter of our former dictator Park Cheonghi, came
> >> to power about a year ago, first by stealing the opposition's clothes
> >> (to be fair, they made it very easy for her by having such a very
> >> unambitious programme to begin with). The National Intelligence
> >> Service then flooded the country with highly creative Tweets alleging
> >> that her opponents were soft on communism, one of those new
> >> mobilizations of social media that you may not have heard so much
> >> about.
> >>
> >> Anyway, to make a short story long, having stolen the opposition's
> >> clothes, she is now obliged to renege on her promises in the interests
> >> of those who financed her campaign. Now, part of this involves
> >> reneging on a massive programme of social welfare that Koreans
> >> desperately wanted (they deposed the mayor of Seoul in the interests
> >> of keeping a free lunch programme, for example). But surely, one must
> >> put something in the place of a promise of pensions, job creation
> >> schemes, minimum wage, etc, mustn't one?
> >>
> >> No, not really--all you have to do is babble and blather about a new
> >> "creativity-driven economy". The "creativity driven economy" is a
> >> pleasant way of referring to a highly unpleasant fact of life. In
> >> South Korea, where we nominally respect the elderly (and we certainly
> >> pay them more than the young) it soon becomes cheaper to employ four
> >> or five young people rather than one older one. This means,
> >> necessarily, booting out older workers around age fifty and hiring
> >> younger ones to replace them. The older workers (and, for that atter,
> >> younger ones who cannot find unemployment) are then given a little
> >> handout and encouraged to "create" their own jobs.
> >>
> >> Of course, for this to work (as a scam, I mean, it's obviously a
> >> non-starter as a social welfare scheme), one really has to try to
> >> inculcate the kind of "every man for himself" mentality that people
> >> have in other countries, and that is really a bit of a poser in a
> >> country which, although highly stratified socially, is still very
> >> collectivistic culturally. That is where education comes in.
> >>
> >> Consider the folllowing quotation from Halliday (2004, the Language of
> >> Early Childhood, p. 251):
> >>
> >> "Much of the discussion of chlidren's language development in the last
> >> quarter of a century (Halliday is writing in 1991--DK), especially in
> >> educational contexts, has been permeated by a particular ideological
> >> construction of childhood. This view combines individualism,
> >> romanticism, and what Martin calls 'childism', the Disneyfied vision
> >> of a child that is constructed in the media and in certain kinds of
> >> kiddielit. Each child is presented as a freestanding, autonomous
> >> being; and learning consists in releasing and brining into flower the
> >> latent awareness that is already there in the bud. This is the view
> >> that was embodied in the 'creativity' and 'personal growth' models of
> >> education by James Britton, John Dixon, and David Holbrook in Great
> >> Britain; and more recently, from another standpoint, in the United
> >> States in Donald Graves' conception of chldren's writing as process
> >> and of their texts as property to be individually owned. It has been
> >> supported theoretically first by Chomskyaninnatism and latterly by
> >> cognitive science models which interpret learning as the acquisition
> >> of ready0made information by some kind of independent process device."
> >>  (I omit Halliday's references).
> >>
> >> My wife and I recently attended the Dialogic Pedagogy conference on
> >> Bakhtin in New Zealand where these "childist" ideas were very much in
> >> evidence, and where they were explicitly opposed to Vygotskyan ones!
> >> At first I found this opposition rather bizarre, not least because I
> >> had recently reviewed an excellent piece of work by our own
> >> Wolff-Michael Roth for the Dialogic Pedagogy Journal. Roth's piece,
> >> which you can read in the DPJ archive, had argued for the
> >> compatibility of Bakhtin and Vygotsky (on theoretical grounds it is
> >> true). There was also a very fine presentation by Michael Gardiner on
> >> Bakhtin, the autonomists, and the 99/1% discourse surrounding the
> >> Occupy movement.
> >>
> >> Now I am starting to understand a little better. There is, actually, a
> >> model of creativity out there which is individualistic,
> >> entrepreneurial, anti-socialist, and even anti-social. The problem is,
> >> it's also anti-creativity.
> >>
> >> David Kellogg
> >> Hankuk University of Foreign Studies.
> >>
> >> On 23 March 2014 04:26, Larry Purss <lpscholar2@gmail.com> wrote:
> >> > Andy,
> >> > Your comment:
> >> >
> >> >  "Avram, I am not convinced that creating niche economies can in any
> way
> >> > ameliorate the domination of big capital. We have to find a way to
> >> > penetrate and subvert the sources of capitalist exploitation, rather
> than
> >> > offering "alternatives,"
> >> >
> >> > suggests there may be ways to potentially penetrate and subvert "at
> the
> >> > source" rather than act to *create* alternatives.
> >> >
> >> >  I have wondered if my utopian sympathies which show my curiosity with
> >> > exploring *alternatives* can be viewed as *living experiments* or
> *living
> >> > laboratories* where alternative life styles and attitudes are
> generated
> >> and
> >> > lived.
> >> > It must be my personal experiences with *alternate communities* which
> >> have
> >> > attempted to actualize their ideal alternatives. I must admit, most of
> >> > these experiments are failures. However Cultural Historical Theory
> >> > developed in an *alternate setting* and Dewey and Mead in Chicago
> >> gathered
> >> > together a committed group with shared ideals.
> >> >
> >> > In order to penetrate capitalism *at its source* may require
> >> demonstrating
> >> > other ways of life as experiments which express other *values*. Some
> of
> >> > these alternative approaches will include *alternative community*.
> >> >
> >> > The current discussion on the drift of *university departments*
> >> > suggests alternative forms of gathering may need to come into
> existence
> >> to
> >> > express alternative *values* However I also accept this *hope* may be
> >> naïve
> >> > and not grounded in recognition of the depth of capitalist ideology
> which
> >> > co-ops ALL utopian ideals.  Therefore the requirement to subvert the
> >> > *source*?
> >> >
> >> > To once again return to Alex Kozulin's book which is expressing a
> theme.
> >> >  He is exploring the *double-faceted* nature of consciousness and
> >> suggests
> >> > the
> >> >
> >> > "interpretive or metacognitive function [aspect?] of consciousness may
> >> have
> >> > an AUTONOMY from REGULATIVE AND CONTROLLING functions.
> >> >
> >> > I wonder if this *autonomy* can extend to *alternative communities*
> >> forming
> >> > to express alternative *values*?
> >> >
> >> >
> >> >
> >> >
> >> > On Fri, Mar 21, 2014 at 7:50 PM, Andy Blunden <ablunden@mira.net>
> wrote:
> >> >
> >> >> One of the themes of the correlation you mention, Mike, is the focus
> on
> >> >> "the creative industries." There are theories about the way cities
> can
> >> >> escape from their rust-bucket depression by promoting "the creative
> >> >> industries." These include software development (e.g. computer
> games),
> >> >> advertising, packaging and fashion. That's probably fine for urban
> >> renewal,
> >> >> except for the artists who get booted out of their old warehouses
> which
> >> get
> >> >> done up for the expected "creative industries," but where it's has a
> big
> >> >> negative impact in the academy is in the "critical sciences." People
> >> >> involved in social and political criticism are suddenly faced with
> >> >> imperatives to serve the "creative industries." So feminist,
> >> philosophical
> >> >> and  political critiques, which were surviving by a thread, now have
> to
> >> >> educate software makers who are building computer games or artists
> who
> >> are
> >> >> designing advertisements all in the name of needing to support the
> >> >> "creative industries."
> >> >>
> >> >> Avram, I am not convinced that creating niche economies can in any
> way
> >> >> ameliorate the domination of big capital. We have to find a way to
> >> >> penetrate and subvert the sources of capitalist exploitation, rather
> >> than
> >> >> offering "alternatives," I think. Capitalism can do perfectly well
> >> without
> >> >> a certain percentage of the world's population who find an
> >> "alternative".
> >> >>
> >> >>
> >> >> Andy
> >> >>
> >> >>
> ------------------------------------------------------------------------
> >> >> *Andy Blunden*
> >> >> http://home.mira.net/~andy/
> >> >>
> >> >>
> >> >> mike cole wrote:
> >> >>
> >> >>>
> >> >>> So my noticing of the fascination and promotion of "culture and
> >> >>> creativity" discourse, design schools, and neoliberalism may be more
> >> than a
> >> >>> symptom of failing eyesight?
> >> >>> Mike
> >> >>>
> >> >>> On Friday, March 21, 2014, Avram Rips <arips@optonline.net <mailto:
> >> >>> arips@optonline.net>> wrote:
> >> >>>
> >> >>>     The problem is the connection between people alienated from
> their
> >> >>>     labor, or no labor and building a new democratic structure- that
> >> >>>     can happen in a small scale , and spread out to new modes of
> >> >>>     production away from the destruction of capital-such as chiapas
> >> >>>     and taking over factories in Argentina.
> >> >>>     ----- Original Message ----- From: "Andy Blunden" <
> >> ablunden@mira.net>
> >> >>>     To: "eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity" <xmca-l@mailman.ucsd.edu
> >
> >> >>>     Sent: Friday, March 21, 2014 8:35 AM
> >> >>>     Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: poverty/class
> >> >>>
> >> >>>
> >> >>>         Yes, it seems to me that the burgeoning inequality created
> by
> >> >>>         neoliberalism is a situation crying out for imaginative
> social
> >> >>>         entrepreneurship, i.e., social movement building. It is good
> >> >>>         to hear that the 1/99 protests have generated talk about
> >> >>>         inequality, but that in itself does not create a solution,
> >> >>>         does it?
> >> >>>         Andy
> >> >>>         ------------------------------------------------------------
> >> >>> ------------
> >> >>>         *Andy Blunden*
> >> >>>         http://home.mira.net/~andy/ <http://home.mira.net/%7Eandy/>
> >> >>>
> >> >>>
> >> >>>
> >> >>>         Avram Rips wrote:
> >> >>>
> >> >>>             Innovation and entrepreneurship  in some ways means
> >> >>>             capital crowding out social space and solidarity. This
> is
> >> >>>             evident in cities-whole neighborhoods taken over by
> >> >>>             wealthy crafts people, and little focus on co-operative
> >> >>>             movements for working class people-where a new focus on
> >> >>>             participatory democracy can be developed ,and working
> >> >>>             class culture in the Gramscian sense. take care! Avram
> >> >>>             ----- Original Message ----- From: "mike cole"
> >> >>>             <lchcmike@gmail.com>
> >> >>>             To: "Andy Blunden" <ablunden@mira.net>
> >> >>>             Cc: "eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity"
> >> >>>             <xmca-l@mailman.ucsd.edu>
> >> >>>             Sent: Friday, March 21, 2014 12:31 AM
> >> >>>             Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: poverty/class
> >> >>>
> >> >>>
> >> >>>                 Andy--- My intent in the garbled sentence you query
> >> >>>                 was to suggest that the
> >> >>>                 discourse in the US around vicious inequalities has
> >> >>>                 increased markedly in
> >> >>>                 the past year in tandem with a kind of frenzy in
> those
> >> >>>                 parts of academia I
> >> >>>                 come in contact with about "design, culture, and
> >> >>>                 creativity" all of which
> >> >>>                 are linked to innovation and entrepreneurship. I
> very
> >> >>>                 interested in the
> >> >>>                 nature of imagination and creativity but I they
> often
> >> >>>                 appear to be new code
> >> >>>                 words for social and individual salvation in a lean,
> >> >>>                 mean, neo-liberal
> >> >>>                 world.
> >> >>>
> >> >>>                 Maybe just another of my confusions.
> >> >>>                 mike
> >> >>>
> >> >>>
> >> >>>                 On Wed, Mar 19, 2014 at 6:14 PM, Andy Blunden
> >> >>>                 <ablunden@mira.net> wrote:
> >> >>>
> >> >>>                     Mike, could you clarify a little your comment
> >> >>>                     below ...
> >> >>>                     ------------------------------
> >> >>> ------------------------------------------
> >> >>>
> >> >>>                     *Andy Blunden*
> >> >>>                     http://home.mira.net/~andy/
> >> >>>                     <http://home.mira.net/%7Eandy/>
> >> >>>
> >> >>>
> >> >>>
> >> >>>                     mike cole wrote:
> >> >>>
> >> >>>                         ... My fear that is appearance is
> >> >>>                         non-accidentally rated to explosion of
> >> >>>                         concern about poverty/class (the 1%/99% idea
> >> >>>                         has become ubiquitous in
> >> >>>                         American
> >> >>>                         discourse).
> >> >>>
> >> >>>                         mike
> >> >>>
> >> >>>
> >> >>>
> >> >>>
> >> >>>
> >> >>>
> >> >>>
> >> >>>
> >> >>>
> >> >>>
> >> >>>
> >> >>>
> >> >>>
> >> >>>
> >> >>
> >>
> >>
> >
> >
> > --
> > Gregory A. Thompson, Ph.D.
> > Assistant Professor
> > Department of Anthropology
> > 883 Spencer W. Kimball Tower
> > Brigham Young University
> > Provo, UT 84602
> > http://byu.academia.edu/GregoryThompson
>
>


-- 
Gregory A. Thompson, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
Department of Anthropology
883 Spencer W. Kimball Tower
Brigham Young University
Provo, UT 84602
http://byu.academia.edu/GregoryThompson
Status: O