tisdag 10 mars 2009

DeLanda om "den konservativa vändningen"

"For most of their history leftist and progressive politics were securely anchored on a materialist philosophy. the goal of improving the material conditions of workers' daily lives, of securing women's rights to control their bodies, of avoiding famines and epidemics among the poor: all of these were worthy goals presupposing the existence of an objective world in which suffering, exploitation and exlusion needed to be changed by equally objective interventions in reality. To be sure there was room in this materialism for the role of subjective beliefs and desires, including those that tended to obscure the objective interests of those whose lives needed improvement, but these were never allowed to define what reality is. The concept of 'ideology' may be inadequate for analysing these beliefs and desires, but it nevertheless captured the fact that there is a material reality with respect to which these subjective states should be compared.

Then everything changed. Idealism, the ontological stance according to which the world is a product of our minds, went from being a deeply conservative position to become the norm in many academic departments and critical journals: cultural anthropologists came to believe that defending the rights of indigenous people implied adopting linguistic idealism and the epistemological relativism that goes with it; sociologists, both social constructivist and ethnomethodologist, correctly denounced the concept of a harmonious society espoused by their functionalist predecessors only to embrace an idealist phenomenology; and many academic departments, particularly those that attach the label 'studies' to their name, completely forgot about material life and concentrated instead on textual hermeneutics. To make things worse, this 'conservative turn' was hidden under several layers of radical chic, making it appealing to students and even activists pursuing a more progressive agenda."
Manuel DeLanda, "Deleuze, Materialism and Politics", i Ian Buchanan & Nicholas Thoburn (eds) Deleuze and Politics. Edinburgh: EUP, 2008. Citatet inleder essän och återfinns på sidan 160.

Jag kan tillägga att jag tycker att Nina Björk är ett geni och att Fria själar är en av de bästa svenska böckerna jag läst på länge. Och att jag tror att urmaterialistisk miljöekonomi är ett av framtidsämnena för disciplinen jag tillhör, ekonomisk historia. Även om jag också tycker att Bo Stråth är ett geni och att diskurs-ekonomisk historia är grymt.

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