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[Xmca-l] Re: poverty/class

Well, Hegel says very little about recognition in his mature works, and I sort of doubt that Bakhtin studied the works of the Young Hegel and was "influenced" or "inflected" by them, but I don't know much about Bakhtin.

But I really don't know how you can connect Hegel's theory of subjectivity to "childism" I really don't. Are yo ureferring to the Logic, or what he has to say about education in the Philosophy of Right, or his Psychology in the Philosophy of Spirit? One of the bees Hegel had in his bonnet was the fad (as he saw it) for wanting children to "think for themselves". Hegel thought this was liberal silliness. What passage of Hegel gave you this impression, Greg?

*Andy Blunden*

Greg Thompson wrote:

I fear that you are going to discover that I'm really a one trick pony...

I read Bakhtin's notion of "consummation" as being inflected by Hegel's concept of recognition (it isn't exactly the same but the parallels are striking - one is consummated by the gaze of the other). And I think the Hegel's theory of subjectivity is fundamentally contrary to the childist theory of subjectivity which is more Kantian to my mind (I fear that may take a lot of explaining, but I'll leave it at that for now).

I'd love to hear more from David about what he thinks the consequences are of taking on a childist approach. What is lost in that approach? And similarly, what is gained by taking a more Vygotskian approach?

On Sun, Mar 23, 2014 at 2:10 AM, Andy Blunden <ablunden@mira.net <mailto:ablunden@mira.net>> wrote:

    why do you say "pace Hegel" Greg?

    *Andy Blunden*
    http://home.mira.net/~andy/ <http://home.mira.net/%7Eandy/>

    Greg Thompson wrote:

        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).


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


            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

            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

            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
            <mailto:greg.a.thompson@gmail.com>> wrote:
                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
                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).

                On Sat, Mar 22, 2014 at 3:52 PM, David Kellogg
                <dkellogg60@gmail.com <mailto:dkellogg60@gmail.com>>
                    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
                    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

                    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
                    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
                    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
                    <mailto:lpscholar2@gmail.com>> wrote:
                        Your comment:

                         "Avram, I am not convinced that creating
                        niche economies can in any
                        ameliorate the domination of big capital. We
                        have to find a way to
                        penetrate and subvert the sources of
                        capitalist exploitation, rather
                        offering "alternatives,"

                        suggests there may be ways to potentially
                        penetrate and subvert "at
                        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
                        laboratories* where alternative life styles
                        and attitudes are
                        It must be my personal experiences with
                        *alternate communities* which
                        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
                        together a committed group with shared ideals.

                        In order to penetrate capitalism *at its
                        source* may require
                        other ways of life as experiments which
                        express other *values*. Some
                        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
                        express alternative *values* However I also
                        accept this *hope* may be
                        and not grounded in recognition of the depth
                        of capitalist ideology
                        co-ops ALL utopian ideals.  Therefore the
                        requirement to subvert the

                        To once again return to Alex Kozulin's book
                        which is expressing a
                         He is exploring the *double-faceted* nature
                        of consciousness and

                        "interpretive or metacognitive function
                        [aspect?] of consciousness may
                        an AUTONOMY from REGULATIVE AND CONTROLLING

                        I wonder if this *autonomy* can extend to
                        *alternative communities*
                        to express alternative *values*?

                        On Fri, Mar 21, 2014 at 7:50 PM, Andy Blunden
                        <ablunden@mira.net <mailto:ablunden@mira.net>>
                            One of the themes of the correlation you
                            mention, Mike, is the focus
                            "the creative industries." There are
                            theories about the way cities
                            escape from their rust-bucket depression
                            by promoting "the creative
                            industries." These include software
                            development (e.g. computer
                            advertising, packaging and fashion. That's
                            probably fine for urban
                            except for the artists who get booted out
                            of their old warehouses
                            done up for the expected "creative
                            industries," but where it's has a
                            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,
                            and  political critiques, which were
                            surviving by a thread, now have
                            educate software makers who are building
                            computer games or artists
                            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
                            ameliorate the domination of big capital.
                            We have to find a way to
                            penetrate and subvert the sources of
                            capitalist exploitation, rather
                            offering "alternatives," I think.
                            Capitalism can do perfectly well
                            a certain percentage of the world's
                            population who find an

                            *Andy Blunden*

                            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?

                                On Friday, March 21, 2014, Avram Rips
                                <mailto:arips@optonline.net> <mailto:
                                <mailto:arips@optonline.net>>> wrote:

                                    The problem is the connection
                                between people alienated from
                                    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
                                    ----- Original Message ----- From:
                                "Andy Blunden" <
                    ablunden@mira.net <mailto: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
                                        neoliberalism is a situation
                                crying out for imaginative
                                        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 Blunden*

                                        Avram Rips wrote:

                                            Innovation and
                                entrepreneurship  in some ways means
                                            capital crowding out
                                social space and solidarity. This
                                            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"
                                            To: "Andy Blunden"
                                            Cc: "eXtended Mind,
                                Culture, Activity"
                                            Sent: Friday, March 21,
                                2014 12:31 AM
                                            Subject: [Xmca-l] Re:

                                                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
                                                parts of academia I
                                                come in contact with
                                about "design, culture, and
                                                creativity" all of which
                                                are linked to
                                innovation and entrepreneurship. I
                                                interested in the
                                                nature of imagination
                                and creativity but I they
                                                appear to be new code
                                                words for social and
                                individual salvation in a lean,
                                                mean, neo-liberal

                                                Maybe just another of
                                my confusions.

                                                On Wed, Mar 19, 2014
                                at 6:14 PM, Andy Blunden
                                <mailto:ablunden@mira.net>> wrote:

                                                    Mike, could you
                                clarify a little your comment
                                                    below ...

                                                    *Andy Blunden*

                                                    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


                Gregory A. Thompson, Ph.D.
                Assistant Professor
                Department of Anthropology
                883 Spencer W. Kimball Tower
                Brigham Young University
                Provo, UT 84602

Gregory A. Thompson, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
Department of Anthropology
883 Spencer W. Kimball Tower
Brigham Young University
Provo, UT 84602

Status: O