File spoon-archives/bhaskar.archive/bhaskar_2001/bhaskar.0101, message 99


Date: Thu, 1 Feb 2001 01:50:01 +0100
Subject: Re: BHA: Delivered up to the world


Hi All,

Howard, you wrote:

>I wonder if this is a Eurocentric view:

yes, i think you're right about this, Adorno wrote his Minima
Moralia (between 1944-1951/dedicated to Max Horkheimer)
with an europian/western audience in mind; and the 9 theses
against occultism, which comprise only a small part (6 pags.)
of the book, are illustrated by commonly know (but, by no
means exclusive) europian/western occult practices like, as
he mentions: "astrology, crystal-gazery, visionaries, animism,
number-mysticism, terrestrial radiation, dansing tables, psychic
media, astral bodies". [The fact that Adorno doesn't offer any
formal definition of occultism in his piece might indicate that
his objective was not scientific scrutinity, but a sign of warning
or contemplation? -- afterall the whole aforistic composition of
the Moralia is typically in style of western culture-critique --
it bites, it's like reading a Nietzschian from a Marxist/Freudian
Universe :-)

>Also, I get the impression that in the third
>world progressives are much more comfortable to consider themselves at once
>communist and voodoun, etc.  I have no doubt there are deeply reactionary
>strains of occultism.  They are not hard to find.  I wonder if we always
>want to paint with as broad a brush.  Compare, for example, the way
>traditional medicine has been so often suppressed by the west.  This was
>not Marx's way.  If there is in the old worth preserving, you do it.  Or
>imagine taking marxism to indigenous people anywhere without being ready to
>make some fine discriminations.

i agree, but could (should) we, in line with Bhaskar's usages of
power1 and power2, try to distinguish between occultism1 and
occultism2, whereby occultism2 is the regressive/oppressive form,
and occultism1 the one found speculatively implied, and elaborated
on, in the scope of EW ?

yours,
Jan




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