RE: [xmca] agency/social/individual/work

From: Andy Blunden (
Date: Tue Oct 10 2006 - 04:09:42 PDT

No, Helena, I am very much in favour of theorising the individual. That is
my current work in fact.
My mind is an open book. See
The point is that you cannot theorise the individual as if "the social" and
"the individual" were somehow two entities that sit side by side with one
another. And verbiage about the social and individual being "entwined,"
"reciprocal," "related," "interdependent" or a thousand such meaningless
words makes not a whit of difference. "The social" has no existence
whatsoever other than individuals acting together using artefacts. "The
individual" has no existence whatsoever other than as an individual of a
set of particular social relations situated within a culture.
The point is to understand the changes taking place in human life today and
what this loss of solidarity and this fragmentation of social ties means,
and how it can nonetheless prove to be a step towards emancipation, a
richer and freer form of community.
An examination of our foundations is in order, but they should not be
simply thrown out and replaced by ill-defined, empty words whose only
virtue is that they fit in well with current jargon. We must probe more
deeply into the philosophical roots of the basic concepts of our theory.
At 06:41 PM 9/10/2006 -0500, Helena Worthen wrote:
>... Andy, you say "I personally agree with Stephen's concern that CHAT needs
>some development in order to cope with the social-psychological problems of
>today, when commodification of all social relations has progressed to such
>an extent that the very word 'solidarity' is foreign and education is a
>'service industry'." In what direction would you take that development? I
>gather not toward theorizing the individual....

  Andy Blunden : tel (H) +61 3 9380 9435, AIM
identity: AndyMarxists mobile 0409 358 651

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