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[Xmca-l] The Ideal

Although I am sure that 99.9% (or thereabouts) of people who read what Vygotsky said about the presence of the ideal in the child's environment, interpreted this to mean simply that adult speech provided a model on which children could model their own language-use, nonetheless, this is not ultimately what the presence of the ideal means in the Marxist/Hegelian tradition of which Vygotsky and many of his colleagues were a part. It would be true to say for example that the ideal of democracy exists with US political life, even though I doubt there is a single electoral process which is not corrupted by money and degraded by ignorance, prejudice and narrow self-interest. Nonetheless, in all the rhetoric and legislation around the broader political life, and what peoplpe tell their kids and what young people cry out for in their political interventions, that ideal exists, it exists as an immanent tendency present in the very foundation of the Republic. Cynicism aside this is not a fiction. So while something like a model is the most obvious and powerful manifestation of the Ideal, it is not the beginning and end of the Ideal. In the absence of such a model, the Ideal is still present in any living community.
The NSL case is a case where we can learn more deeply what an Ideal can be.

*Andy Blunden*