File spoon-archives/lyotard.archive/lyotard_2001/lyotard.0108, message 12

Date: Fri, 03 Aug 2001 02:11:34 -0500
Subject: Re: marxist grand narrative - the return?

hbone wrote:

I suggest we start with these assertions which  I've copied from Empire
online  - I see this approach it as a very grand narrative, which we can
work ou way through beginning with an understanding of its seminal
terms, such as "immanence", "multitude",  the democratic elements of 
armies, fascism and assorted historical despotisms
>  Hugh

Wow, that's a lengthy copy.  Have you already read that much of the
book?  I'm only around page 140 and have been busy lately, without much
chance to write. I appreciate the fact that you have kicked off with
some analysis of the book.

In the section I have been reading, there is also a reference to
immanence and transcendence with the claim being made that immanence is
connected with modernity and sigifies a break with the ancient world
which was based on transcendence.  

I'm finding this interesting, but still attempting to process. It almost
seems at times like a philosophy of history that is saying along
Hegelian lines that the goal of history is not freedom, but immanence,
except that immanence isn't a goal, but, well, immanent. 

I liked the passage where the anarchist line - "No Gods, No Masters" is
expanded to "No Gods, No Masters, No Man" and immanence is connected
with the cyborg, the boundary line between man and nature being erased.  
There are only these complex processes that involve multitudes. It is
nature, nature, nature all the way down.

Some contextual background here.  Both Negri and Deleuze have written
books on Spinoza (actually, Deleuze wrote two.) Deleuze has been very
big as well on interpreting Spinoza as the philosopher of immanence par
excellence and the book "A Thousand Plateaus"  is very big on the notion
of planes of immanence.  So "Empire" is being very Deleuzian here.

Negri also wrote a short book with Guattari (Deleuze's sidekick)
entitled "Communists like Us" so there are very strong intertwinings

It is interesting to see how both Foucault and Deleuze are being used to
gird a new model of history and politics. (Of course, I am already
attempting to relate Lyotard to all of this and, while I disagree with
Steve's notion that Lyotard at best gives us a ethics of the other that
can only lead to a liberal identity politics, I haven't had the chance
to formulate a reply.  Later.)

This is something of a late night insomniac ramble, so forgive any

Thanks for engaging this,



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