Jump to content

Recommended Posts

I'm looking for cap/Marx links to Foucault, genealogy, Nietzsche, or anything related. If anyone can point me in the right direction or has anything please help me out. 

 

Thank you.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

1AC perpetuates capitalism – their focus on discourse trades off with a material focus on labor relations

Eagleton 97 (Terry, Distinguished Professor of English Literature at Lancaster University, Professor of Cultural Theory at the National University of Ireland and Distinguished Visiting Professor of English Literature at The University of Notre Dame, 1997, “Where do Postmodernists Come from?”, In Defense of History)

Imagine a radical movement that had suffered an emphatic defeat. So emphatic, in fact, that it seemed unlikely to resurface for the length of a lifetime, if at all. As time wore on, the beliefs of this movement might begin to seem less false or ineffectual than simply irrelevant. For its opponents, it would be less a matter of hotly contesting these doctrines than of contem­plating them with something of the mild antiquarian interest one might have previously reserved for Ptolemaic cosmology or the scholasticism of Thomas Aquinas. Radicals might come to find themselves less over­whelmed or out-argued than simply washed up, speaking a language so quaintly out of tune with their era that, as with the language of Platonism or courtly love, nobody even bothered any longer to ask whether it was true. What would be the likely response of the left to such a dire condition? Many, no doubt, would drift either cynically or sincerely to the right, regretting their earlier views as infantile idealism. Others might keep the faith purely out of habit, anxiety, or nostalgia, clinging to an imaginary identity and risking the neurosis that that may bring. A small clutch of left triumphalists, incurably hopeful, would no doubt carry on detecting the stirrings of the revolution in the faintest flicker of militancy. In others, the radical impulse would persist, but would be forced to migrate elsewhere. One can imagine that the ruling assumption of this period would be that the system was, at least for the moment, unbreachable; and a great many of the left’s conclusions could be seen to flow from this glum supposition. One might expect, for example, that there would be an upsurge of interest in the margins and crevices of the system—in those ambiguous, indeterminate places where its power seemed less secure. If the system could not be breached, one might at least look to those forces which might momentarily transgress, subvert, or give it the slip. There would be, one might predict, much celebration of the marginal—but this would be partly making a virtue out of necessity, since the left would itself have been rudely displaced from the mainstream, and might thus come, conveniently enough, to suspect all talk of centrality as suspect. At its crudest, this cult of marginality would come down to a simpleminded assumption that minorities were positive and majorities oppressive. .Just how minorities like fascist groups, Ulst 6 Unionists, or the international bourgeoisie fitted into this picture would not be entirely clear. Nor is it obvious how such a position could cope with a previously marginal movement—the ANC, for example—becoming p0]jtj cally dominant, given its formalist prejudice that dominance was undesir­able as such. The historical basis for this way of thinking would be the fact that political movements that were at once mass, central, and creative were by and large no longer in business. Indeed, the idea of a movement that was at once central and subversive would now appear something of a contradic­tion in terms. It would therefore seem natural to demonize the mass dominant, and consensual, and romanticize whatever happened to deviate from them. It would be, above all, the attitude of those younger dissidents who had nothing much, politically speaking, to remember, who had no actual memory or experience of mass radical politics, but a good deal of experience of drearily oppressive majorities. If the system really did seem to have canceled all opposition to itself, then it would not be hard to generalize from this to the vaguely anarchistic belief that system is oppressive as such. Since there were almost no examples of attractive political systems around, the claim would seem distinctly plausi­ble. The only genuine criticism could be one launched from outside the system altogether; and one would expect, therefore, a certain fetishizing of “otherness” in such a period. There would be enormous interest in anything that seemed alien, deviant, exotic, unincorporable, all the way from aard- varks to Alpha Centauri, a passion for whatever gave us a tantalizing glimpse of something beyond the logic of the system altogether. But this romantic ultra-leftism would coexist, curiously enough, with a brittle pessimism—for the fact is that if the system is all-powerful, then there can be by definition nothing beyond it, any more than there can be anything beyond the infinite curvature of cosmic space. If there were something outside the system, then it would be entirely unknowable and thus incapable of saving us; but if we could draw it into the orbit of the system, so that it could gain some effective foothold there, its otherness would be instantly contaminated and its sub­versive power would thus dwindle to nothing. Whatever negates the system in theory would thus be logically incapable of doing so in practice. Anything we can understand can by definition not be radical, since it must be within itself; but anything which escapes the system could be heard by thC ^no more than a mysterious murmur. llS ,S.| thinking has abandoned the whole notion of a system which is nally contradictory—which has that installed at its heart which can '!lter tially undo it. Instead, it thinks in the rigid oppositions of “inside” and «°u tside ” where to be on the inside is to be complicit and to be on the outside •°to be impotent. The typical style of thought of such a period, then, might be described as libertarian pessimism—libertarian, because one would not have given up on the dream of something quite other than what we have; pessimism, because one would be much too bleakly conscious of the om­nipotence of law and power to believe that such a dream could ever be realized. If one still believed in subversion, but not in the existence of any flesh-and-blood agents of it, then it might be possible to imagine that the system in some way subverted itself, deconstructed its own logic, which would then allow you to combine a certain radicalism with a certain skepticism. If the system is everywhere, then it would seem, like the Almighty himself, to be visible at no particular point; and it would therefore become possible to believe, paradoxically enough, that whatever was out there was not in fact a system at all. It is only a short step from claiming that the system is too complex to be represented to declaring that it does not exist. In the period we are imagining, then, some would no doubt be found clamoring against what they saw as the tyranny of a real social totality, whereas others would be busy deconstructing the whole idea of totality and claiming that it existed only in our minds. It would not be hard to see this as, at least in part, a compensation in theory for the fact that the social totality was proving difficult to crack in practice. If no very ambitious form of political action seems for the moment possible, if so-called micropolitics seem the order of the day, it is always tempting to convert this necessity into a virtue—to console oneself with the thought that one’s political limitations have a kind of objective ground in reality, in the fact that social “totality” is in any case just an illusion. (“Metaphysical” illusion makes your position sound rather more imposing.) It does not matter if there is no political agent at hand to transform the whole, because there is in fact no whole to be transformed. It is as though, having mislaid the breadknife, one declares the loaf to be already sliced. But totality might also seem something of an illusion because there would be no very obvious political agent for whom society might present itself as a totality. There are those who need to grasp how it stands with them in order to be free, and who find that they can do this only by grasping something of the overall structure with which their own immediate situation intersects. Local and universal are not, here, simple opposites or theoretical options, as they might be for those intellectuals who prefer to think big and those more modest academics who like to keep it concrete But if some of those traditional political agents are in trouble, then so will be the concept of social totality, since it is those agents’ need of it that gives it its force. Grasping a complex totality involves some rigorous analysis; so it is not surprising that such strenuously systematic thought should be out of fash- x ion, dismissed as phallic, scientistic, or what have you, in the sort of period Cf J we are imagining. When there is nothing in particular in it for you to find out how you stand—if you are a professor in Ithaca or Irvine, for example— you can afford to be ambiguous, elusive, deliciously indeterminate. You are also quite likely, in such circumstances, to wax idealist—though in some suitably newfangled rather than tediously old-fashioned sense. For one primary way in which we know the world is, of course, through practice; and if any very ambitious practice is denied us, it will not be long before we catch ourselves wondering whether there is anything out there at all. One would expect, then, that in such an era a belief in reality as something that resists us (“History is what hurts,” as Fredric Jameson has put it) will give way to a belief in the “constructed” nature of the world. This, in turn, would no doubt go hand in hand with a full-blooded “culturalism” which under­estimated what men and women had in common as material human crea­tures, and suspected all talk of nature as an insidious mystification. It would tend not to realize that such culturalism is just as reductive as, say, econo- mism or biologism. Cognitive and realist accounts of human consciousness would yield ground to various kinds of pragmatism and relativism, partly because there didn’t any longer seem much politically at stake in knowing how it stood with you. Everything would become an interpretation, includ­ing that statement itself. And what would also gradually implode, along with reasonably certain knowledge, would be the idea of a human subject “cen­tered” and unified enough to take significant action. For such significant action would now seem in short supply; and the result, once more, would be to make a virtue out of necessity by singing the praises of the diffuse, decentered, schizoid human subject—a subject who might well not be “together” enough to topple a bottle off a wall, let alone bring down the state, but who could nevertheless be presented as hair-raisingly avant-garde in trast to the smugly centered subjects of an older, more classical phase c0 pitalism. To put it another way: the subject as producer (coherent, disciplined, self-determining) would have yielded ground to the subject as consumer (mobile, ephemeral, constituted by insatiable desire). If the “left” orthodoxies of such a period were pragmatist, relativist, pluralistic, deconstructive, then one might well see such thought-forms as dangerously radical. For does not capitalism need sure foundations, stable identities, absolute authority, metaphysical certainties, in order to survive? And wouldn’t the kind of thought we are imagining put the skids under all this? The answer, feebly enough, is both yes and no. It is true that capitalism, so far anyway, has felt the need to underpin its authority with unimpeach­able moral foundations. Look, for example, at the remarkable tenacity of religious belief in North America. On the other hand, look at the British, who are a notably godless bunch. No British politician could cause anything other than acute embarrassment by invoking the Supreme Being in public, and the British talk much less about metaphysical abstractions like Britain than those in the United States do about something called the United States. It is not clear, in other words, exactly how much metaphysical talk the advanced capitalist system really requires; and it is certainly true that its relentlessly secularizing, rationalizing operations threaten to undercut its own metaphysical claims. It is clear, however, that without pragmatism and plurality the system could not survive at all. Difference, “hybridity,” hetero­geneity, restless mobility are native to the capitalist mode of production, and thus by no means inherently radical phenomena. So if these ways of thinking put the skids under the system at one level, they reproduce its logic at another. If an oppressive system seems to regulate everything, then one will naturally look around for some enclave of which this is less true—some place where a degree of freedom or randomness or pleasure still precariously survives. Perhaps you might call this desire, or discourse, or the body, or the unconscious. One might predict in this period a quickening of interest in psychoanalysis—for psychoanalysis is not only the thinking person’s sensationalism, blending intellectual rigor with the most lurid materials, but it exudes a general exciting air of radicalism without being particularly so politically. If the more abstract questions of state, mode of production, and civil society seem for the moment too hard to resolve, then one might shift one’s political attention to something more intimate and immediate, more living and fleshly, like the body. Conference papers entitled “Putting the Anus Back into Coriolanus” would attract eager crowds who had never heard of the bourgeoisie but who knew all about buggery. This state of affairs would no doubt be particularly marked in those societies which in any case lacked strong socialist traditions; indeed, one could imagine much of the style of thought in question, for all its suspicious­ness of the universal, as no more than a spurious universalizing of such specific political conditions. Such a concern with bodiliness and sexuality would represent, one imagines, an enormous political deepening and en­richment, at the same time as it would signify a thoroughgoing displace­ment. And no doubt just the same could be said if one were to witness an increasing obsession with language and culture—topics where the intellec­tual is in any case more likely to feel at home than in the realm of material production. One might expect that some, true to the pessimism of the period, would stress how discourses are policed, regulated, heavy with power, while others would proclaim in more libertarian spirit how the thrills and spills of the signifier can give the slip to the system. Either way, one would no doubt witness an immense linguistic inflation, as what appeared no longer con­ceivable in political reality was still just about possible in the areas of discourse or signs or textuality. The freedom of text or language would come to compensate for the unfreedom of the system as a whole. There would still be a kind of utopian vision, but its name now would be increasingly poetry. And it would even be possible to imagine, in an “extremist” variant of this style of thought, that the future was here and now—that utopia had already arrived in the shape of the pleasurable intensities, multiple selfhoods, and exhilarating exchanges of the marketplace and the shopping mall. History would then most certainly have come to an end—an end already implicit in the blocking of radical political action. For if no such collective action seemed generally possible, then history would indeed appear as random and directionless, and to claim that there was no longer any “grand narra­tive” would be, among other things, a way of saying that we no longer knew how to construct one effectively in these conditions. For this kind of thought, history would have ended because freedom would finally have been achieved; for Marxism, the achievement of freedom would be the beginning of history and the end of all we have known to date: those boring prehisto- rical grand narratives which are really just the same old recycled story of scarcity, suffering, and struggle. (17-22)

 

 

Their post-Marxist foray into language is bourgeois ideation, their framework of equivalency collapses into pluralism that entrenches capitalist subjectivity

Stoddart 2007 – Mark C. J., University of British Columbia, Ideology, Hegemony, Discourse: A Critical Review of Theories of Knowledge and Power, Social Thought & Research, Vol. 28.

Ernesto Laclau and Chantal Mouffe (1985) offer a post-Marxist model of discourse that builds upon the Marxist problematic of relations of oppression and domination within capitalism. Drawing on a Gramscian framework, they are concerned with the ways in which social power and resistance function through discourse. In their model, hegemony is achieved through the discursive connection of subject positions within the social realm. They adopt a more open, fluid conception of hegemony than Gramsci, arguing that there are only hegemonic moments within a complex and shifting discursive social reality. They write: Hegemony is, quite simply, a political type of relation, a form, if one so wishes, of politics; but not a determinable location within a topography of the social. In a given social formation, there can be a variety of hegemonic nodal points . . . they may constitute points of condensation of a number of social relations . . . insofar as the social is an infinitude not reducible to any underlying unitary principle, the mere idea of a centre of the social has no meaning at all (Laclau and Mouffe 1985:139). Laclau and Mouffe focus on deconstructing the essentialist elements of critical theories of ideology. For example, they reject the notion of class as a foundational category of political identity. They argue that a sense of political identity does not emerge from one’s class position. Rather, individuals work to construct a collective political identity through discourses that create relations of “equivalence” between subject positions (p. 128). There is no preordained reason why the working class should adopt a left politics. Discourses of equivalence may construct a working class identity, which links working class subject positions in opposition to a discursively constructed capitalist class. However, the construction of such a subject position requires concerted effort. Alternatively, working class identity might be constructed in alliance with the nation state in opposition to an external other through a discourse of national security (as was witnessed in the aftermath of 9/11 in the United States). Furthermore, they highlight the ways in which we can construct political subjectivity in a multiplicity of ways other than around economic class. In recent decades, the “new social movements” based on gender, ethnicity, sexuality, or environmental degradation, have illustrated that class is not the only channel of social power, nor is it the only foundation upon which resistance to power may be based (p. 159). The authors also reject the Marxist model of class struggle, where the working class faces off against the capitalist class in an all-or-nothing, epochal struggle, like Godzilla battling Mothra over the fate of Tokyo. As an alternative to the Marxist framework, Laclau and Mouffe offer a pluralist form of political action, where people actively build “chains of equivalence” among different subject positions (p. 170). The creation of counter-hegemonic blocs among subject positions is an active, discursive process. They term this a politics of “radical democracy,” where hegemony and counter-hegemony are worked out in everyday struggles among a multiplicity of political actors (p. 176). Echoing Gramsci, ideological power does not work as a monolithic system that subjugates the masses in the interests of the capitalist class. Hegemony is always contested; we may only speak of the relative success of a particular hegemonic discourse. While Laclau and Mouffe work from a Gramscian point of departure, their work has broad resonances with Foucault. The authors contribute to a theory of discourse by focusing on the relationship between discourse, subjectivity and hegemony. As in the work of Foucault, Laclau and Mouffe suggest that an acceptance of social inequality is produced as we incorporate hegemonic discourses into our individual subjectivities. Discourse works on individual social actors while producing hegemonic effects across a multiplicity of social locations. The authors also point to the multiplicity of subject positions, networks of power, and points of resistance beyond the confines of economic class. Laclau and Mouffe also collapse the Marxist distinction between economic base and cultural superstructure by absorbing everything into discourse. However, their conception of discourse may seem so broad that it embraces everything in the social world, leaving nothing outside discourse.

 

 

The aff’s commitment to undecidability undermines any serious political commitment erecting an inevitable and antagonistic barrier of identity between self and other.  Real politics requires making risky decisions, they are just wafflers.

Rens Van Munster, 2004 Department of International Politics, University of Wales. 

“The Desecuritisation of Illegal Migration: The Case for a European Belonging without Community.  Marie Curie Working Papers, No 7

There is one crucial problem with the deconstructivist position, however. For while deconstructivism embraces the objective of desecuritisation, its theoretical maxim that identity is always constituted in the dialectics between two opposing terms which function as each other’s negation hampers them in reaching this goal. For if one accepts, if only tacitly, that identity is always constituted through an antagonistic relationship with the other, it becomes unclear how one can envisage desecuritised ways of mediating belonging between self and other (cf. Fierke, 2001; Hansen, 1997). Ole Wæver observes in this context that “[m]any [poststructuralist] authors – including Campbell – balance between, on the one hand, (formally) saying that identity does not demand an Other, does not demand antagonism, only difference(s) that can be non-antagonistic and, on the other, actually assuming that identity is always based on an antagonistic relationship to an other, is always constituted as an absolute difference” (Wæver, 1996: 122; cf. Fierke, 2001: 119). Indeed, the theoretical maxim that identity always requires a constitutive outside logically entails that only the particular contents of a specific friend/enemy figuration can be questioned, but never the antagonistic logic itself (see also Norval, 2000). If identity presupposes otherness, then every positive articulation of identity will automatically lead to the institutionalisation of a new, yet equally absolute, difference. Thus although deconstructivists are right to stress the principle openness of all articulations of belonging, they have so far not adequately theorised the reverse move from deconstruction to the decision as an ethical act. But without a theory of how to break free from the us/them dichotomy, there is nothing to guarantee that the deconstruction of a security story will contribute to political forms of identification that are less exclusive towards the other (Wyn Jones, 1999; Wæver, 2000). Thus while it is no doubt true that the deconstruction of security stories is a necessary precondition for desecuritisation and the repoliticising of belonging, it does not in itself provide a guarantee against totalising discourses of closure. Hence Derrida’s claim that “deconstruction is, in itself, a positive response to an alterity which necessarily calls, summons or motivates it” (cited in Campbell, 1998a: 182) makes little sense as long as it is not supplemented theoretically with an account of how to bridge the gap between openness on the one hand and closure on the other. For without such a theory, deconstructivism risks getting caught on the abstract level of meta-politics in which its philosophical preferences for opening up and transgression are translated as something equally desirable on the less abstract level of politics (see also Wæver, 2000: 283). Which is why Moran rightly objects that “deconstruction runs the risk of appearing either as a critical Puritanism or as a series of empty, if largely unobjectionable platitudes” (Moran, 2002: 125).  Hence the deconstructive emphasis on the importance of ontological openness/ undecidability as the necessary precondition for every closure/decision needs itself to be supplemented with a theory of the decision if it is not appear “either as substanceless cant or a new moral absolutism” (Moran, 2002: 129). For if “without the radical structural undecidability that the deconstructive intervention brings about, many strata of social relations appear as essentially linked by necessary logics”, Laclau correctly observes that deconstruction in turn “requires hegemony, that is, a theory of the decision taken in an undecidable terrain: without a theory of decision, that distance between structural undecidability and actuality would remain untheorised” (Laclau, 1996: 59-60). In a similar critique, Critchley – who agrees with Laclau that deconstruction is a necessary move against closure and for politics – has pointed out that making politics possible is not the same as providing a politics. For him, the gap between undecidability and actuality points to the limits of deconstructivism as a political strategy: “Decisions have to be taken. But how? And in virtue of what? How does one make a decision in an undecidable terrain?” (Critchley, 1992: 199 Prozorov, too, comes to similar conclusions. For him, the idea that any decision presupposes contingency and undecidability is not just “lamenting the obvious”; it is also problematic from an ethical point of view. For if it is true that every decision requires undecidability, “all decisions are responsible and hence ‘ethical’ in Derridean terms. Yet, since all decisions effect a closure of the radical openness …, they are all equally irresponsible and hence unethical.” Thus, while it was argued that security is undesirable because it performs its ordering function in an exclusionary way that closes off for alternative ways of deciding on belonging, it is at the same time also ethical because, like any other decision, it passages through the moment of undecidability. As a result, deconstructivism remains frustratingly caught above “the abyss of undecidability in the desire to refrain from the closure that every decision inaugurates” (Prozorov, 2004: 13). What is needed, therefore, is not only a deconstructivist position that highlights the impossibility of a decision, but also a theory that can affirm the decision as an ethical act in a radically undecidable terrain. To put this differently, in focusing upon the substance of the decision, a deconstructivist stance risks ignoring the ethicality of deciding as such. Thus to move beyond deconstructivism, it is necessary not focus too narrowly “on the impossible attempt to establish the fact of ethicality of decision, but on affirming the decision itself as an ethical act, whose authenticity is conditioned by ‘going through’ both the traversal of undecidability and its closure. The ethical injunction … concerns not the substance of the decision, but the responsibility for the decision as an act” (Prozorov, 2004: 13). In contrast to deconstructivist thought which explicitly separates the ethical (the unconditional injunction of undecidability) from the domain of politics (the domain of practical interventions which always fail to live up to this ethical injunction), the move towards desecuritisation as an act requires that we accept the inherently political character of every ethical

  • Upvote 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...

×
×
  • Create New...