File spoon-archives/lyotard.archive/lyotard_2001/lyotard.0106, message 84

Date: Mon, 18 Jun 2001 13:44:26 +0100
Subject: Re: Tantalizing times - arguing for atheism....


some questions and issues below for you.

Glen Fuller wrote:

> Just as side note, to define the relationship I am talking about between
> what could be called the normative (bourgeois) Dominant, and the Other. The
> Other is not white, middle-class and male.

Are you then in favor of the re-invention of a unified human subject which aims
to include all sentient creatures, or at least all within the human genome the
variation of which is so minute?

> In post-colonial deconstruction
> of the oppression of aboriginal peoples a common element was the
> construction by the colonisers of the native populace as 'exotic' or
> something similar. That is not just something that is a coincidence. The
> libidinal (and other affective) economies of the Dominant colonisers were
> projected upon the colonised native people. They became everything that the
> Dominant could not normatively be in a 'civilised' society. I have probably
> explained my position very poorly, umm...

I am not clear how this differs from the pre-modernist definitions of the

> The extreme of this is the employment of pure (instrumental) reason, as
> Peter Marcuse (essay: Glossy Globalisation: Unpacking a Loaded Discourse)
> had pointed out as happening with globalisation, and Zygmunt Bouman is his
> famous book Modernity and Ambivalence, had argued was a requisite for the
> Holocaust to occur (the actual mass murders).

The holocaust is understandable as colonial policy and ideology brought back
home and applied on locally defined inferior groups and races. Far to often it
is treated as a singular event - it wasn't that unique. The second millenium was
full of such events beginning with the slaughter of the Albeignisms (estimated
1Million people). In fiction for example Jack London's The Unparalled Invasion
(1910) in which 500 Million Chinese are murdered. Why the necessity for
instrumental reason and the holocaust - apart from the fact that it
de-historicizes the event... Consider the use of the death penalty in the USA as
a tool of oppression against racial minorities...

> How can we possibly argue against 'ethnicists' like Pauline Hanson, when
> they beat the drum of what it means to be Australian?

Why surrender the notion of being Australian, American or any other local
self-definition of your local community to the right? Narratives are eminently
questionable isn't that inevitable in the post-modern?

> I think earlier I
> mentioned something about the best form of social control (besides a real
> big gun) is to construct narratives that place everyone with in it, I
> brought up Christianity, and sinners, etc. That is what is happening with
> our right wing politicians, they are arguing within a binary logic, i.e. you
> are Australian or you are not. There is no grey area. I am suggesting the
> only way to engage such positions (for social 'good', but what is social
> good, eh, who knows?) is to refute the whole system, i.e. both positions.

Does the binary logic work? Tools for use against this set of reactionary
discourses remain anti-racist, anti-colonialism and pro-science - genetics is
interesting case in point..

> What I was getting at with the below, is that the purely subjectified
> position is the only authentic position, hence the site of legitimacy.
> Individuals know this, and seeing as though there is always someone within
> the space of the Other, the dominant becomes easily vilified, hence
> empowering the Other with authenticity as the victim, as the site of
> subjectification. What is lost in all this is intent. But that is another
> ramble...

Would you then abandon the ethics of otherness as does Badiou?

> Kind of like the Borg!! Or Zen? Or maybe going to Heaven and becoming one
> with God once you die?
> Surely, amongst all those people out there in the world, someone likes the
> same music I do.
> Is it a matter of being given a selection of stimuli by the social (or
> combination) and selecting or finding that which generates an affective
> response (thus creating a finite number of possible experiences)? Or do we
> fashion experience out of the void of the world and say "this is sublime"?
> Are we passive or active? Do we select or do we create?

We are the borg he says adjusting his keyboard, eye-glasses with black cables
hanging out of his ears, worrying about the extermination of all
non-domesticated life-forms. Of course we are all stereotypes  and belong to
vast and obviously in-operative communities.

By the way I love the reference to Lefebrve....

regards sdv


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