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Doc Lightning
Doc Lightning

HOP Mad Doctor
Location: San Francisco, CA, USA
Member Since: 28th May 2001
Total posts: 13920
Posted:Written by: Simian
ah, israel. Just another justification for my thesis that religious belief should be treated the same as any other mental illness. But that's another discussion entirely...



Well, this is another discussion entirely. smile

Thoughts?

I'm inclined to agree.


-Mike )'(
Certified Mad Doctor and HoP High Priest of Nutella

"A buckuht 'n a hooze!" -Valura

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spiralx
spiralx

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Location: London, UK
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Posted:Written by: dream


Deleuze and Guattari, Anti-Oedipus, p408



Written by:


Capitalism is defined by a cruelty having no parallel in the primitive system of cruelty, and by a terror having no parallel in the despotic regime of terror. Wage increases and improvements in the standard of living are realities, but realities that derive from a given supplementary axiom that capitalism is always capable of adding to its axiomatic in terms of an enlargement of its limits But within the enlarged reality that conditions these islands, exploitation grows constantly harsher, lack is arranged in the most scientific of ways, final solutions of the Jewish problem variety are prepared down to the last detail, and the third world is organised as an integral part of capitalism. The reproduction of the interior limits of capitalism on an always wider scale has several consequences: it permits increases and improvements of standards at the centre, it displaces the harshest forms of exploitation from the centre to the periphery, but also multiplies enclaves of overpopulation in the centre itself, and easily tolerates the so-called socialist formations There is no metaphor here: the factories are prisons, they do not resemble prisons, they are prisons.







That hardly seems to be sitting on the political fence.





My translation of this is



Written by:


Capitalism encourages inequality and exploitation; therefore it leads to the majority being disaffected, and is set up so that the system perpetuates this.



Hardly the most gripping political insight there, it's in fact pretty banal.

EDITED_BY: spiralx (1141992351)


"Moo," said the happy cow.

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dream
dream

currently mending
Location: Bristol
Member Since: 15th Jul 2003
Total posts: 493
Posted:Written by: ]

Capitalism encourages inequality and exploitation; therefore it leads to the majority being disaffected, and is set up so that the system perpetuates this.

[/quote




this doesn't make sense. Capitalism is a system that petuates the dissaffection of the majority??? If the majority was perpetually dissaffected the system would be rapidly replaced. Unless rule was maintained by overt despotic repression.



Perhaps some reading on the manufacture of consent, or even some basic working knowledge of ideology and hegemony would help you out here (don't worry - none of this has anything to do with 'postmodernism')



yet more evidence that you fail to comprehend even the simplest of political or philosophical arguments.


He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster. And if you gaze long into an abyss, the abyss will gaze back into you.

Nietzsche

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Zauberdachs
Zauberdachs

enthusiast
Location: The village of Edinburgh
Member Since: 28th Jul 2004
Total posts: 220
Posted:how about a thread called "postmodernism: a mental illness?" hint hint wink

The insults of your enemy are a tribute to your bravery wink

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jeff(fake)
jeff(fake)

Scientist of Fortune
Location: Edinburgh
Member Since: 15th Apr 2005
Total posts: 1189
Posted:Written by: dream
yet more evidence that you fail to comprehend even the simplest of political or philosophical arguments.



Or that 'post-modernists' don't... wink



Perhaps you would be so good as to summarise the paragraph spiralx quoted for us lay people. Then we will all be able to talk about this on a level playing field. smile


According to Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle of Quantum Dynamics, we may already be making love right now...

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spiralx
spiralx

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Posted:Surely the majority are disaffected, but kept in place by things like the American Dream i.e. the idea they can rise to the top. Which is nonsense, hence the prison bit.

But yes, please do summarise it for us in plain English wink


"Moo," said the happy cow.

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dream
dream

currently mending
Location: Bristol
Member Since: 15th Jul 2003
Total posts: 493
Posted:Sorry for the delay... I've been drowning in work.

 Written by:

Capitalism is defined by a cruelty having no parallel in the primitive system of cruelty, and by a terror having no parallel in the despotic regime of terror.




The axioms and codings involved in primitive and despotic systems are both earlier sections in the book.

 Written by:

Wage increases and improvements in the standard of living are realities, but realities that derive from a given supplementary axiom that capitalism is always capable of adding to its axiomatic in terms of an enlargement of its limits



Life has grown better in capitalist societies in the first world, and this is due to the fact that capitalism has a far less fixed ideological principle than other systems such as fascist dictatorships or Bolshevism. The result of this flexible axion is the systems ability to 'enlarge its limits'... for bourgeois capitaism to become colonialism, and then from colonialism to what Guattari terms Integrated World Capitalism. This contrasts with the constricting axiomatics of for instance the Soviets, which eventually saw the system implode as the rigidity of its ideological principles forbade the necessary changes for the system to adapt to the dynamics of reality.

 Written by:

But within the enlarged reality that conditions these islands, exploitation grows constantly harsher, lack is arranged in the most scientific of ways, final solutions of the Jewish problem variety are prepared down to the last detail, and the third world is organised as an integral part of capitalism.



While these increases in living standards affect the majority living in the islands of industrialised society, these advances can only come into reality through expoiting the labour of people and the envionment elsewhere. The reference to the holocaust, and its cold calculating approach to genocide offers a reminder of the disregard for human life which capitalism has bequeathed us. Juxtaposed with the sentence about the third world's role as an integral part of capitalism reminds the reader of the thousands of deaths from malaria, tb and other treatable diseases in the world poorest countries, deaths which are eminently avoidable if the richest countries would allow (for example) the maufacture of generic drugs which are currently illeagal under international intellectual property laws.

 Written by:

the reproduction of the interior limits of capitalism on an always wider scale has several consequences: it permits increases and improvements of standards at the centre, it displaces the harshest forms of exploitation from the centre to the periphery, but also multiplies enclaves of overpopulation in the centre itself, and easily tolerates the so-called socialist formations

]

Capitalisms cancerous spread across the globe has seen the harshest forms of exploitation removed from the industrial economies, and transported to the third world. However, at the same time, capitalism creates small pockets of poverty in countries which are generally rich. See old mining villages in Wales, bits of Hackney, the Isle of Dogs etc. Despite being situated in the wealthy west, residents of these areas often have life expectancies 20 years shorter than the residents of Notting Hill, Surrey etc. As such national boundaries are not what they once were.

As such the quote was meant to serve as an illustration that the authors ambition was to examine why Marx's scientific socialism had failed, and in its place to come up with a radical political and philosophical platform which is more relevant to contemporary socities.

To understand part of why this is necessary you have to really have not only reaqd some Marx, but also some of the criticisms that were levelled at Marxism by feminists, ethnic minorities etc... Orthodox Marxism has some fatally totalitarian perspectives on the world, and as such were torn to pieces.

That Sokal claimed that

 Written by:

my concern is explicitly political: to combat a currently fashionable postmodernist/poststructuralist/social-constructivist discourse -- and more generally a penchant for subjectivism -- which is, I believe, inimical to the values of the left



made it fairly obvious to most people vaugely familar with some of the work he attempts to critique that he had little idea what he was talking about.

while there are some theorists who prefer an apolitical relativism, Sokal along with the Dawkins article you linked to fail to differentiate between theorists, and in doing so fall victim to the reductionist, totalitisations that Deleuze, Guattari and others critique so effectively.

Spiral... You're quotes that

 Written by:

Capitalism encourages inequality and exploitation; therefore it leads to the majority being disaffected, and is set up so that the system perpetuates this.




 Written by:

Surely the majority are disaffected, but kept in place by things like the American Dream i.e. the idea they can rise to the top.



Actually resembles an argument which Deleuze and Guattari reject in Anti-Oedipus.

You're first statement claims that people are disaffected. The second says that while they are disaffected they aren't - through some kind of trick.
Deleuze and Guattari actually examine this question at great length....

Anti Oedipus p31
 Written by:


'Whence Reichs cry: no, the masses The fundamental problem of political philosophy is still the one the Spinoza saw so clearly, and that Wilhelm Reich rediscovered: Why do men fight for their servitude as stubbornly as though it were their salvation? How can people possibly reach the point of shouting More taxes less bread.


...The masses were not innocent dupes; at a certain point, under a certain set of conditions, they wanted fascism, and it is this perversion of the desire of the masses that needs to be taken into account.





Your first one recalls Marx, who beleived that the socialist revolution was inevitable as the majority were quite clearly repressed by the system. However that isn't the case in much of the first world anymore. Hence D&G's explanation of what has changed in terms of the flexible capitalist axiomatic.

However their prime concern here is in understanding what makes a group of people decide to embrace Fascism... What complex assemblage of social and mental repression must one have experience to desire repression. Its not an easy question to answer, but one which D&G investigate in an eye-opening (if very wordy) manner.

... as an aside, unrelated to the bulk of this dicussion... what was the American dream for an 18th century factory worker in Scunthorpe, or a 15 year old girl who lives in China, working an 80 hour week making shoes for chavs? The majority of people don't live in the 1st world and dont particularly like capitalism... but if and when they try and leave the global capitalist system they are invariably met with hostile (usually American backed by Brits) forces... see Guatemala, Grenada, Nicaragua, Venezuala, Hondouras, Haiti, Pananma, Vietnam, Cambodia, Korea and many others for examples.



So then... Once again what do you mean by postmodernism???

while you've been quite keen to claim it to be gibberish, and like a religion the only answer I've had so far was

 Written by:

Written by: jeff(fake)

So far what I've heard from post-modernism is that science has trouble with fluid dynamics because most scientists are male and of course males understand hard things better than fluid things which women understand better because of the physical differences in their physical sexual responces.





which you appear to have paraphrased, haven't sourced, and quite clearly is a joke.

which perhaps is your way of mimicing post-structuralist literary techniques, where formal reflexivity of theme is interweaved into texts...


He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster. And if you gaze long into an abyss, the abyss will gaze back into you.

Nietzsche

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Patriarch917
Patriarch917

I make my own people.
Location: Nashville, Tennessee
Member Since: 2nd Oct 2005
Total posts: 607
Posted:I can vouch for what jeff said about the developement of fluid dynamics being hampered by gender bias. It's not a joke. I learned about it in passing when we studied feminist perspectives on the law.

 Written by:


A flurry of recent popular feminist books has interpreted the development of Western science in terms of male chauvinism and aggression against women, notes chemist Noretta Koertge, a historian of science at Indiana University in Bloomington.

At the AAAS meeting, she cited one radical feminist interpretation of why fluid dynamics matured as a research discipline much later than mechanics of solids. Men were more comfortable working with rigid environments, which reflect their "sex organs that protrude and become rigid," Koertge recounted. In contrast, early scientists associated fluidity with women and their menstrual blood and vaginal secretions. "In the same way that women are erased within masculinist theories and language, existing only as not-men, so fluids had been erased from science, existing only as not- solids," she explained.



I'm no expert on these things, but a common "post-modern" theme seems to be the rejection of external truth. In science, we do not discover reality, we construct it. "Science" is just another way that white male westerners impose their power structure over the rest of the world.

Newton didn't "discover" laws of motion, he invented them. Because he was obsessed with a particular masculine part of his body which happened to be a firm, medium sized object, the rules he invented were designed to interpret the interactions of similar objects (such as cannonball arcs).

Science, math, etc. are no more meaningful than politics and morality. We do not "discover" democracy. We invent it and impose it on others. The same thing happens with math and science. Math was dominated by males, so it has turned out to be a set of very rigid rules with clear answers... rather than an intuitive pursuit of "fuzzy" answers.

I'm not taking any particular position in this discussion, just confirming that what jeff mentioned is indeed true.


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Jozi
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Location: Lancashire
Member Since: 17th Mar 2006
Total posts: 5
Posted:As far as the original question goes...

I think all religion has an aspect of fantasy about it. However, in some cases it can be a useful fantasy. Just so long as you don't start confusing symbolic truth for literal truth. That is when it begins to get dangerous.

I don't think men's reasoning is innately more logical than females, either. You could argue that mathematics has an almost psychological function: the human desire for making patterns and order. That's the basic drive that caused people to develop mathematics.

I mean the newer forms of science suggest there might be no order in the world at all (ie. quantum theory or chaos theory) So that would make maths a kind of imagined structure as much as religion is.


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spiralx
spiralx

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Posted:Neither quantum theory nor chaos theory say there's no order in the world; the former describes a totally different kind of order from the everyday one, the latter shows that there is order in what seems to be chaos!

"Moo," said the happy cow.

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dream
dream

currently mending
Location: Bristol
Member Since: 15th Jul 2003
Total posts: 493
Posted: Written by:

Neither quantum theory nor chaos theory say there's no order in the world;



Spot on... But the world they point to is far removed from the mechanistic and reductionistic world of modernism.

Patriarch... Koertge was a writer on the science side of the 'science wars' editing anthologies such as 'A House Built on Sand: Exposing Postmodernist Myths about science.' That she mentions an argument to further her view is akin to saying that as Sokal says postmodernism is apolitical postmoderists must be apolitical... Dawkins says Guattari writes gibberish so Guattari writes gibberish. The prosecution says the defendent is guilty so the defendent must be guilty.

If you want to present an argument use primary sources.

 Written by:

I'm no expert on these things, but a common "post-modern" theme seems to be the rejection of external truth.



Too right you're no expert. Did you mean objective truth? because as it stands the statement is once again nonsensical.

Authors such as D&G present an epistemology of pure immanence as opposed to the Cartesian theory of Cognition, with its mind/body (transcendent/immanent) dualist structure and primacy of the first person.

While I understand that your religious views will neccesitate your support for old Rene, I'd be surprised to see Jeff and Spiral arguing for the existence of a transcendent human spirit... I never had them down as vitalists.


He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster. And if you gaze long into an abyss, the abyss will gaze back into you.

Nietzsche

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spiralx
spiralx

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Posted: Written by: dream

While I understand that your religious views will neccesitate your support for old Rene, I'd be surprised to see Jeff and Spiral arguing for the existence of a transcendent human spirit... I never had them down as vitalists.


What are you talking about? I think it's blatently clear neither Jeff nor I are vitalists; what a ridiculous strawman.


"Moo," said the happy cow.

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dream
dream

currently mending
Location: Bristol
Member Since: 15th Jul 2003
Total posts: 493
Posted: Written by:

Written by: dream

While I understand that your religious views will neccesitate your support for old Rene, I'd be surprised to see Jeff and Spiral arguing for the existence of a transcendent human spirit... I never had them down as vitalists.


What are you talking about? I think it's blatently clear neither Jeff nor I are vitalists; what a ridiculous strawman.



If you had bothered to read the post you'd see that the comment was ridiculing Patriarch's presentation of a vitalist argument which he prescribed as the antipostmodern position.

You and Jeff have repeatedly failed to give a position beyond we dont like postmoderism, though we dont understand what is meant by the term. Patriarch at least tried to give a definition... it just happened to be nosensical...


He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster. And if you gaze long into an abyss, the abyss will gaze back into you.

Nietzsche

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spiralx
spiralx

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Posted:*shrug* Postmodernism covers a fair few things; I've presented a couple of things which I said were examples of what I don't like and you claimed that they were "a joke". So either you're right; in which case I now have to try and work out which particular bits of literature are humourous and which are serious, or you're wrong, in which case you've heard my objection and not answered it.



I don't need to give a definition of the field as a whole to be able to point out individual examples of nonsense.

EDITED_BY: spiralx (1142872370)


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jeff(fake)
jeff(fake)

Scientist of Fortune
Location: Edinburgh
Member Since: 15th Apr 2005
Total posts: 1189
Posted:Personally I think that Thohmas Khun's idea that science often progresses through paradigms has some merit to it, although I think it is an oversimplification. It would be more accurate to say that the paradigm 'zooms out'. For example Newtonian physics turned out to be a small part of Relativity, and a product of Quantum Mechanics.

Who I do disagree with is the assertation that scientific theories are mere social constructs as there isn't any evidence to back up this opinion. Scientists know that most of their theories are just models, an atom doesn't resemble the pictures we draw of it in any way for example, but they are equally strong in whatever culture they exist as they are based on evidence.


According to Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle of Quantum Dynamics, we may already be making love right now...

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Patriarch917
Patriarch917

I make my own people.
Location: Nashville, Tennessee
Member Since: 2nd Oct 2005
Total posts: 607
Posted:I actually did mean external, not objective, but that's not "a hill I'm going to die on," so to speak. I have no intention of trying to pin down postmodernism with a specific definition, the label is applied to too many things to be meaningful in an objective sense.

I didn't want to present an argument, else I would have bothered to grab the primary source rather than just grabbing the first google link that mentioned it. I merely wanted to show that jeff was referencing an actual claim, and not just making a joke as you suggested.

You guys should make a topic, clearly define some contrary positions from good sources, and duke it out. I think you have the start of a good discussion here.


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