File spoon-archives/lyotard.archive/lyotard_2001/lyotard.0107, message 203

Date: Tue, 31 Jul 2001 16:46:37 -0100
Subject: Re: marxist grand narrative - the return?



 As Julian Bond used to say, "Just because you stop beating your wife
doesn't mean you have to start beating your dog."

I  referenced Rorty, a successful practitioner of philosophy, as one who
could explain, far better than I, the difference between projects and
principles.  You checked it out and had seen that essay when it was new.
Rorty certainly castigated the "Left", whatever that may be today.

"Empire" seems to be about principles -  projects are yet to come, as I read
the book, and as I understood Hardt in the interview.

So I looked at "Empire" and sent notes of a few items of interest.  I
scanned the first 100 pages.

On TV, Hardt said it is a "communist" book, and also that the most important
question that can be asked of him is "How do we make a Revolution?"  The
book is philosophical, a reconnaisance, mostly historical.  The book is not
an action plan, that is yet to come.  Someone will spy out the land, locate,
describe oppressors and victims.  There used to be a lot of such discussion
on Third World Net.
A Professor Chossudovsky, in Toronto, wrote several articles..

I don't think the book indicates in any way that revolutions are made
without action, or that action is useful without motives, goals targets.
That brings one to specifics:  Who are the Transnationals, the International
Agencies, the Nation States who cooperate with them, and who are the
billionaires and millionaires who control them.  They are the Empire.

The other side of this reality, is the Empire of the exploited and the NGO's
who try to help them.  Who are these people, where do they live? What can be
done to help them?.  The G-8 protesters didn't seem to have the facts or any
semblance of unity of approach.


> You are such a tory Hugh.
> __________________________________
> Hugh:
> I too am throwing down the gauntlet.
> I'm no expert on British politics, but I think the American equivalent
> of this is being called either a Dixiecrat or a born again Republican.
> I don't think you are either of those things, Hugh, but I think you make
> for an interesting paradox.  I don't know of anyone as committed as you
> have been to participating on this site, yet you seem to argue against
> your own participation by what you say here.
> You philosophize against philosophy, seem to think there is some kind of
> firewall between thought and action, that any form of praxis is a
> delusion, and that those of us who think theory is important, who
> discuss issues at a certain level of abstraction are, to quote the bard,
> something like:
> "Ezra Pound and T.S. Eliot fighting in the captain's tower
> While calypso singers laugh at them and fishermen hold flowers"
> (dylan)
> While I can appreciate your feelings about Marx, that after Stalin there
> can be no resurrection, I also think that without theory, reflection,
> thought, discourse the left is dead. To speak of pure action the way you
> do, one would have to be either God or a fascist at heart. The current
> problem with politics today doesn't seem to be that people are thinking
> too much! Does it really seem that way to you? Or are you just taking a
> stance with us?
> So here is the gauntlet I am laying down. Would you be willing to
> discuss Empire critically with us here?  To evaluate what AN and MH have
> to say both as theory and in its implications for action? Or will you
> simply continue to berate our talk as dark mutterings when from your own
> privileged position something else is called for, the terrible burden
> being that you can't explain what that is to us without using language
> yourself and therefore descending with us deep into the dark and mire.
> The intractable night.
> That is the paradox. I don't think you are a tory, but I say you can't
> be above language and continue to use language simultaneously.  And I
> don't accept the argument this is some kind of weird paralogy you are
> laying down on us, or some newfangled form of a libidinal economy.
> Are you really more radical than we are or simply afraid to enter into
> the debate? Or is this your way of defending the "in-fans" inside
> yourself who cannot speak and still remains defenseless after all these
> years?
> with love,
> eric


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