File spoon-archives/lyotard.archive/lyotard_2001/lyotard.0108, message 44

Date: Tue, 07 Aug 2001 10:12:04 +0100
Subject: Re: marxist grand narrative - depends on intent?


congratulations on the feminist unit - this year Woolf next year Irigaray and

As for the intent - I think that the 'intent' of the 'empire' text is appearing
in the messages here. There is little ambiguity and no uncertainty about it.



Glen Fuller wrote:

> Steve,
> Just a thought after I read your post (remember I brought the notion of
> 'intent' in some earlier post?).
> >In the discussion point raised below - the attempt at a 'universal' history
> >is a
> >longstanding leftwing dream derived in this case from the work of D&G in
> >turn
> >related to Marx, Dumezil and Mumford. The issue is related to what is the
> >intent
> >of the text - which can be placed as an attempt to construct an argument
> >around
> >the new faces of the postmodern empire. (see the sections on Imperial
> >Sovereignty for example)
> The 'intent' I was referring to can be best exemplififed in this extract
> from Virginia Woolf (Three Guineas):
> ----
> But is there no absolute point of view? Can we not find somewhere written up
> in letters of fire and gold, 'This is right. This wrong'? - a moral
> judegment which we must all, whatever our differences, accept? Let us then
> refer the question of the rightness or wrongness of war to those who make
> morality their profession - the clergy. Surely if we ask the clergy the
> simple question: 'Is war right or is war wrong?' they give us a plain answer
> which we cannot deny. But no - the Church of England, which might be
> supposed able to abstract the question for worldly confusions, is of two
> minds also. The bishops themselves are at loggerheads. the Bishop of London
> maintained that 'the real danger to the peace of the world today were the
> pacifists. Bad as war was dishonour was far worse.' On the other hand, the
> Bishop of Birmingham described himself as an 'extreme pacifist... I cannot
> see myself that war can be regarded as consonant with the spirit of Christ.'
> So the Church gives us divided counsel - in some circumstances it is right
> to fight; in no circumstances is it right to fight.
> ----
> What she fails to realise is that London has taken it to another level of
> abstraction to Birmingham. Birmingham can not argue for pacifism, for he is
> then fighting, he should have said the paradoxical statement 'in no
> circumstaces fight unless you are fighting for not fighting'. London would
> have said that if Birminham had not said something then that would have been
> dishonorable. What has this got to do with intent? Well the intent of both
> bishops is the same. Just the contingent subjectivity that each was engaged
> in varied, they were following the same discourse but at different levels of
> abstraction. They had the same belief, but not the same belief.
> Glen.
> PS Yes, I am doing a feminist unit:)
> _________________________________________________________________
> Get your FREE download of MSN Explorer at


Driftline Main Page


Display software: ArchTracker © Malgosia Askanas, 2000-2005