Principia Dialectica Commits Collective Suicide

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jura
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Nov 7 2009 11:17

Vlad, I think it has to do with Žižek's critique of "cultural" (as in cultural studies) and "political" (as in Ranciere, Mouffe etc.) marxism, which are both characterized by the "degradation of the sphere of economy". Postone's interpretation of Marx, on the other hand, emphasizes the critique-of-economy aspect in Marx and that's probably why Žižek likes it.

Angelus Novus
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Nov 8 2009 22:16
Vlad336 wrote:
How the hell can the leninist Zizek be praising Postone? Or is it just a pat on the back, from overhyped academic to overhyped academic?

Is Postone really "overhyped"? My impression was that he was pretty much ignored in the English-speaking world, aside from a few oddballs who are interested in German language discussions and who therefore have re-imported Postone back into the English-speaking world. Time, Labor and Social Domination was published back in 1993, but for example the journal Historical Materialism only did a themed issue on it after the German translation was published around 2003/2004.

RedHughs
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Nov 9 2009 20:18
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Is Postone really "overhyped"? My impression was that he was pretty much ignored in the English-speaking world, aside from a few oddballs who are interested in German language discussions and who therefore have re-imported Postone back into the English-speaking world. Time, Labor and Social Domination was published back in 1993, but for example the journal Historical Materialism only did a themed issue on it after the German translation was published around 2003/2004.

So perhaps Postoned is "appropriately hyped" instead of "overhyped"? Really, "overhyped" is one of those unfortunate insults the spectacle likes to throw at itself and so teaches us to unthinkingly regurgitate. "Floating in the world of hype" would be a better description since it doesn't assume any "hypeworthiness" to anyone. For example, PD is almost completely unknown to 99.99...% of the world's population and laughed at by 99% of the rest. Yet PD still floats in the world of hype, relating to who's "a serious, published Marxist" and which "Marxists" get the hype and so forth. And as far as I know Postone, whether under-hyped or over-hyped, still swims only in the hype-pool world as well.

(Oou, he said "spectacle"...)

RedHughs
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Nov 10 2009 03:28

I love you wtonguelol-er

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Noa Rodman
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Nov 18 2009 23:46

The point Zizek likes in Postone is the explanation of abstract labour, which Isaac Rubin already made in the 1920s, in a much more clarifying way. All the rest of Postone is garbage and Zizek knows it.

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His writing style is not the problem with Kurz. It's his completely wrong notion of a "final crisis" of capitalism that is the problem.

Joachim Bruhn has devoted an entire article analyzing Kurz's writing style, so at least some consider it a problem.

Angelus Novus
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Nov 19 2009 19:43
Noa Rodman wrote:
Joachim Bruhn has devoted an entire article analyzing Kurz's writing style, so at least some consider it a problem.

Oh yes, Joachim "the commodity is a really-existing logical contradiction and is therefore inconceivable" Bruhn, that model of stylistic clarity and rigorous thought!

Please, let's not subject the English-speaking world to Joachim Bruhn. Now that the Anti-German trend is thankfully finally dying out in Germany, and no longer has any novelty character for commies outside of Germany, I see no reason to breath new life into it.

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Nov 21 2009 23:02
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Oh yes, Joachim "the commodity is a really-existing logical contradiction and is therefore inconceivable" Bruhn, that model of stylistic clarity and rigorous thought!

He might become PD's candidate to out-Postone Postone.

Do you happen to know if 'EXIT! No. 6 Krise und Kritik der Warengesellschaft' is anywhere available online for download, or if not, did you read Robert Kurz's article in it on Gaza, or Roswitha Scholz's article against dialectical realism where she discusses Postone, Holloway, Badiou and others?

Angelus Novus
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Nov 23 2009 19:24
Noa Rodman wrote:
Do you happen to know if 'EXIT! No. 6 Krise und Kritik der Warengesellschaft' is anywhere available online for download

Claus Peter Ortlieb's article is available online; it's a sort of response to Heinrich's critique of their crisis theory. I want to seriously look it over. Nothing else in the issue looks as interesting to me.

Quote:
or if not, did you read Robert Kurz's article in it on Gaza

You mean the one written entirely without footnotes or literature references? grin The Gegenstandpunkt school of scholarly work!

I posted the following comment today on PD's website. Let's see if the have the balls to let it pass moderation:

No more historical revisionism from Principia Dialectica! Equal time for Postone’s forerunners now! Honor the real innovators!

See here:

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neue_Marx-Lekt%C3%BCre

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Nov 24 2009 00:26
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You mean the one written entirely without footnotes or literature references? grin The Gegenstandpunkt school of scholarly work!

Probably, yes, but just from looking at the magazine contents, it seems Kurz expanded on it a bit more. He still holds his overall Israeli-apologist line.

BTW, the wiki-article you gave has a link to an article I quite liked; the Gegenstandpunkt-article in which Heinrich gets a deserved trashing.

Jason Cortez
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Nov 25 2009 10:15

Jeez you two get a room.

68ist
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May 16 2011 13:50

bla bla bla bla blab
blablabla let's slag PD instead of getting off our arses and publishing something ourselves. This is why the Tories and the Scab Democrat toffs run this country cos we (you) are all politically masturbating and slagging off people we should be mobilising WITH not having a go at.Why? Because they differ politically by the a hair's breadth. Oh no they have a view of labour that reeks of post-enlightenment Hegelian Post-Modern dialecticism! That's gonna help Mr Bloke getting paid fuck all in Shit Job Land, while spoiled middle class Marxists talk shit in pubs. It appears to me that the left should stop showing off their knowledge of Marx in cosmopolitan/metro/pretending to be proles in working men's clubs and ACTUALLY do something about putting it to the test. An actual concrete test. Not the test of words. Not scoring points in the confines of this cosy rhetorical garden we all pontificate in, like having an opinon MEANS something. I have a habit of occasionally pointing this out and all I get are cleverly worded sarcastic insults which inevitably turn into more politico-semantic spunk getting flicked at me, anger at the fact that someone may have possibly noticed that capital still reigns, and as a real political alternative the left has been sidelined to the margins. Why? because we are the Hamlets of the political world round here, full of big ideas, full of big ideas about the big ideas of dead men or men who work in universities teaching future capitalists about how to talk the talk but reminding them, implicitly, that walking the walk is a bit too much effort and unlikely when you can't get three people on the left to agree on anything. Sometimes it just seems like an exercise in moving our jaws and emitting sound for the purposes of physical exercise rather than een the desire for it to lead to anything concrete beyond well-read people patronising evferybody and leaning smugly back in their chair, "That'll show him to talk about heidegger half-cocked..." bla bla bla. At least some capitalists get off their arses and exploit people. Can we get off ours please and stop them doing it. Or isn't that what the left do anymore, perhaps the new left is merely a talking shop where people compete to have understood Das Kapital better than their friend. Communist Parties in nearly every country of the world and we're not mobilised. It's not a new club you know, it's an old one with a lot of members - so why all quiet on the leftist front? Surely we're not all drinking our cappucinos at the same time! I think we should enlist some real workers who haven't read books but still have value (I don't know how I want to define value here) and ask them what they want done, instead of paternalistically guessing on their behalf because, what? we can sit around slagging off obscure mags because why? I wasn't even sure why it was SO fucking niche. No wonder we get ignored and laughed at. We are relevant but also so BORING.BLA BLA BLA. What are you doing 68ist? I hear you ask. Fuck all right now cos everyone who can help is inside drinking cappucinos and talking bollocks and the rest are trying to survive on a pitiful minimum wage that only gurantees cheap instanty coffee. As long as all a lot of you do is talk where are the people who are supposed to help them?Wake the fuck up! Put the posh coffee down. Close your mouths. Put down your pens. Abandon the keyboard and the blog no-one reads and bring fortth the end of capital instead of talking about Kapital.

68ist
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May 16 2011 13:57

Ooops! Think I just talked a lot there without doing anything. I'm gonna go piss on the floor in MacDonalds. That'll show em. Oh, btw guys, they do good coffee there and have seats to sit around talking in.

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Joseph Kay
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May 16 2011 14:10

confused

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ocelot
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May 16 2011 14:23

Harrison
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May 16 2011 15:31

super-troll is super!

68ist wrote:
spoiled middle class Marxists talk shit in pubs. It appears to me that the left should stop showing off their knowledge of Marx in cosmopolitan/metro/pretending to be proles in working men's clubs

mmmm nice failure to define the working class according to it's proper economic definition.
instead just fall back on the flawed sociological definition.

forget that you can have CAPITALIST EMPLOYER BASTARDS, who partake in the same working class culture you champion. ie. what about the bloke who owns a rental van company round the corner from me, yet lives on an estate? yet has a 42 inch plasma tv? hmmm?

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Arbeiten
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May 16 2011 17:12

jeez, thats a lot of hot air (hot bandwidth) isn't it? For someone claiming talk does nothing, you have done loads of talk, and why on such an old thread? this discussion ended like a year and a half a go? I'm sure its not the only political posturing and intellectual masturbation you can find here wink.

The problem with guys like you, who apparently 'put it how it is', is that your as impotent (if not more?) as you claim everyone else is, rather than being our there on the barricades, your on libcom slagging off a conversation that ended over a year ago....

and I really hope by 68ist your not referring to one of the most intellectually wanky periods in recent wadical history?

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May 16 2011 20:34

Not to mention this thread had been dead for...a year and half!

B_Reasonable
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May 17 2011 12:03

Since YOU decided to read this thread, you might also enjoy: www.principiadialectica.co.uk/blog/

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May 18 2011 18:42

Ugh, the PD blog has gotten worse and worse. A year and a half ago at least some of the blog posts were interesting.

B_Reasonable
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May 18 2011 21:38

@Khawaga Any suggestions on how we could make it better / which kinds of things you found interesting before?

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May 19 2011 09:41

If you ask me, with you didn't, but I'll take the opportunity to answer, as this thread is why I joined libcom, and in the process offer some suggestions. In short; back to basics, Postone and Kurz. Drop your sarcastic comments on the queen or politicians, which sound so petty bourgeois, delete the ecological series (green grundrisse - nice pun wink ), but there are enough people writing about that already, etc. Like Angelus wrote, Ortlieb's defence of falling rate of profit crisis theory in the Exit magazine for instance is worth a serious look, and also the other articles (for that you need to subscribe to the magazine). And you can use machine translation if German is a problem (rendering the labour of translators superfluous wink ).
Then on Postone, you could review Zizek's Living in the end times book, only the section on Postone to be sure, but this still takes up 50 pages of the book. According to Amazon it's his best selling book, so you would think Zizek's single-handed increase of the audience for value-form theory (though I disagree with it) merits some of your critical comments (beyond cheap misnoming him Leninist or such).
Nobody else is going to do this, so it's up to PD.

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May 19 2011 15:59
Noa wrote:
In short; back to basics, Postone and Kurz.

Which is what I was going to reply. I like that you try to rattle the cage a bit with regards to the centrality of class struggle and while I completely disagree with your stance on that, I used to find your posts addressing the value-subject thought provoking and forced me to think harder about the dialectics of the value form and of capital (although I think you misread Capital since capitalists and workers have yet to be introduced into the argument when Marx writes about the automatic value subject). Anyway, back to value, Postone and Kurz! And drop the crap inverted anti-imperialism; that's just annoying, not even thought provoking (but I guess you guys have to go back to bourgeois politics since you've abandoned the class struggle).

Harrison
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May 19 2011 16:34
Khawaga wrote:
(but I guess you guys have to go back to bourgeois politics since you've abandoned the class struggle).

PD blog does feel awfully like this.
i used to read it, but i couldn't bear the constant polemics against 'class struggle dinosaurs'. It started to feel like a libertarian version of The Guardian.

IMO, PD fail to recognise the more economic nature of the working class and strawman a load of pseudo arguments where the proletariat is classified in the sociological sense.

Although the blog did provoke me to realise that class was only one part of the puzzle, and indirectly got me interested in Marx's Capital.

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Arbeiten
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May 19 2011 16:54

hohohoho libertarian version of the guardian! what an indictment! I like that.

Though we should be careful of denigrating class in the sociological sense, we can't just ignore it and slap people with the in-itself stick.

N.B. I have never read the blog, just love the use of the Guardian as a cuss....

Angelus Novus
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May 19 2011 18:12
Khawaga wrote:
And drop the crap inverted anti-imperialism; that's just annoying, not even thought provoking

What Khawaga said.

PD's homeboy Robert Kurz opened some major intellectual whup-ass on the ISF and Bahamas for that kind of poseur geopolitical strategizing, so it's ironic to see PD adopt the stance of defending the supposed civilizational achievements of the industrialized world. Kautskyite stageism dressed up in value-form theory is still Kautskyite stageism.

Also, the same thing I've been saying for years: get out of the Kurz and Postone ghetto and start spotlighting other value-form thought. Endnotes really outshined PD with that article in their second issue. Made PD look like dilettantes.

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May 20 2011 20:06

Incidentally that article itself helps pointing to some valueformers outside the PD-ghetto. For instance it mentions Bellofiore who has written articles on Luxemburg as a circuitist/value-form theorist.
Actually though PD are not in a ghetto, rather the opposite; the problem is their eclecticism as Kurz would say. One of their posts recently was about Baudrillard of all people on commodity fetishism.
However, value-form theory has gone mainstream in a major way with Zizek's best seller, so that the importance of the gospel-carrying function of magazines like Endnotes/PD/etc. can be seriously questioned. From this advertisement point of view; who cares what PD thinks or writes about; the self-admitted non-marxist message (which departs from Marx, it's useful to insist) is out there, jailing the minds of the young.

Angelus Novus
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May 20 2011 21:27
Noa Rodman wrote:
Actually though PD are not in a ghetto, rather the opposite; the problem is their eclecticism as Kurz would say. One of their posts recently was about Baudrillard of all people on commodity fetishism.

I don't think it's eclecticism so much as reflecting their Situationist origins. They're like Situationists who accidentally discovered Postone, discovered some Germans who claim to be co-thinkers of Postone (excepting Kurz's more recent (circa 2004) admission that Postone's concept of the substance of value is different), and projected some superficial affinities between these various strands because they all talk about the "commodity". The influence of Anselm Jappe is probably key here, although even Jappe is honest enough to go far back enough into the lineage to pull in people like Colletti, Backhaus, Reichelt, etc.

Quote:
However, value-form theory has gone mainstream in a major way with Zizek's best seller

I don't know that book, but I have the suspicion that when you say "value-form theory" you really mean "Postone", so basically making the same erroneous assumptions as PD.

Quote:
the self-admitted non-marxist message (which departs from Marx, it's useful to insist)

Departs from Marx in the sense that, say, Marx departs from Marx.

It's hilarious to read this heresy-hunting from Marxists by the way, since value-form people, at least in Germany, tend to be the most rigorous Marx philologists around, monkishly combing through MEGA2 texts and publishing the most painstaking exegeses. Much of it is not very interesting for lay readers, but you really can't accuse these guys of attributing things to Marx that he didn't write.

B_Reasonable
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May 20 2011 23:55

That's a lot of interesting feedback. Thanks to everyone for taking the time.

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May 21 2011 23:28
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but you really can't accuse these guys of attributing things to Marx that he didn't write.

Bellofiore, like Heinrich, openly stated that Marx was wrong on money as commodity, so he argues for the need to follow Wicksell, Schumpeter and Keynes. It's also a tradition, though not a Marxist one.

RedHughs
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May 21 2011 23:44
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However, value-form theory has gone mainstream in a major way with Zizek's best seller, so that the importance of the gospel-carrying function of magazines like Endnotes/PD/etc. can be seriously questioned.

Speaking of Endnotes and PD in the same breath seems pretty ridiculous.