File spoon-archives/marxism-international.archive/marxism-international_1997/marxism-international.9710, message 259

Date: Mon, 13 Oct 1997 18:25:36 -0500
Subject: Re: M-I: multicultural bourgeoisie

james m blaut wrote:

>If possible, give me the citation on Judith Butler on neoconservative
>Marxists: sounds important. These people are a big problem. They have
>access to the Left and mainstream media denied to others; they have cushy,
>well-paid jobs in universities and are in fact the ones who persuade
>students that Marxism really is "just a method" and pacifying shit like

It's from "Merely Cultural," the talk she gave at the Rethinking Marxism
conference at UMass last December. The whole thing is basically a response
to the Sokal affair, and includes a long, strange meditation on the meaning
of parody. Butler sent me a copy of the manuscript, and said it was
supposed to be published in Social Text. Don't know if it's appeared yet. I
poo-poohed the notion at the time, but James Heartfield's post made me

A friend of mine who was taking a course with Butler at Berkeley
complained, repeatedly, that her politics were all symbolic - there was
nothing about class, institutions, etc. Butler, exasperated, said "If
that's what you want, take a class on Marxism!"

Still, I think JB is as sharp as these pomos come, and worth reading (which
I'm doing slowly, since I spend all too much time reading IMF reports and
the like) because she's smart and makes one a better Marxist.


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