[OPE-L:7961] Re: Re: Re: John Holloway on time

From: John Holloway (johnholloway@prodigy.net.mx)
Date: Thu Nov 07 2002 - 11:26:25 EST

More on verb-entities and noun-entities. Surely the point of Marx's critique
is to say that all social entities must be understood as verbs, i.e. that
the distinction is not valid. 

>From: John Holloway <johnholloway@prodigy.net.mx>
>To: ope-l@galaxy.csuchico.edu
>Subject: [OPE-L:7951] Re: Re: John Holloway on time
>Date: Thu, Nov 7, 2002, 7:36 AM

>Dear Rakesh,
>    Many thanks for your comments. 
>    Yes, I think I agree with what you say. Yes, alienated activity is prior
>to the proletarians in the way that you say. To start from proletarians
>independent of their activity is to treat them as victims, as objects; to
>start from their activity, their doing, is to see them/us as subjects and
>open the possiblity of revolution. 
>    Your verb-entities and noun-entities are interesting, though
>verb-entities still involve a freezing of verbs as nouns, don't they. Could
>we imagine a world of verbs? Could we write a comprehensible article without
>nouns? Is that any more ridiculous than asking if we could live without
>fetishes, if we could support the intensity of a self-determining society?
>Or are we too damaged?
>    In any case, I think that breaking down noun-entities is a precondition
>for thinking about revolution. But that's what Marx says when he says that
>capital is not a thing but a social relation.
>    Your comments are very welcome - it's great to have things expressed the
>other way around.
>    John
>>From: Rakesh Bhandari <rakeshb@stanford.edu>
>>To: ope-l@galaxy.csuchico.edu
>>Subject: [OPE-L:7908] Re: John Holloway on time
>>Date: Tue, Nov 5, 2002, 1:36 AM
>>Dear John,
>>I am sure unsure of what I say here that I hesitate to submit it. 
>>There may well be non sequitars and philosophical howlers, but I'll 
>>take a chance given our no citation policy.
>>Well, I do agree of course that proletarian doing is the doing of 
>>workers and thus cannot have ontological or conceptual priority over 
>>the doers themselves; it would seem that  this process of alienated 
>>labor is ownership attributable with respect to a substantial agent, 
>>viz. the worker. Of course some processes, e.g, the erosion of a 
>>shoreline or the vibrancy of a magnetic field, are not really the 
>>machinations of identifiable things/agents/substances. But the labor 
>>process is surely the doing of workers.   Yet doesn't alienated 
>>laboring activity have (either conceptual or ontological) priority 
>>over proletarians since the latter are constituted by (or in and 
>>through) the former? Wouldn't Werner Bonefeld agree?
>>  I read you to mean that we can't understand proletarian labor simply 
>>as the activity of proletarians since the latter are a product of or 
>>constituted by  the former.  Proletarians do not only produce use 
>>values and surplus value but also constitute themselves and their 
>>condition.  Unlike machines whose parts no matter how well they work 
>>together have nothing to do with building machines,  proletarians as 
>>a class are in fact a self-organizing and self-reproducing entity. A 
>>machine implies an external agent, a machine maker; a living organism 
>>is self-organizing entity. In living activity Marx found a basis for 
>>a philosophy of vital materialism on the basis of which he broke with 
>>mechanical materialism implicit in the Englightenment and positivism.
>>  Marx  discovered in the proletariat not only privation and exclusion 
>>but also the active principle or the activity which makes and remakes 
>>the world. As Marx and Engels say in reply to Feuerbach in the German 
>>Ideology, man is not a sensuous object but a sensuous activity. Marx 
>>defines man as a verb, not a noun; he is a philosopher of activity or 
>>process, not substance.
>>If we consider storms and heat waves verb-entities rather than noun 
>>entities such as dogs and oranges, perhaps we should consider the 
>>proletariat as a self constituting verb entity, not a noun entity 
>>such as an agent or a thing. Perhaps thinking of the proletariat as a 
>>verb entity rather than a noun entity makes it easier to talk about 
>>what would be entailed by the self abolition of the proletariat (an 
>>expression also from the German Ideology)?  What does the critique of 
>>nouns and perduring things in favor of the verbs or processes by 
>>which they are constituted suggest in terms of workers' understanding 
>>of their own ("noun") identities? That their own identities are not 
>>perduring things but no less results of their own alienated activity 
>>than commodities? Moishe Postone develops this theme, if I remember 
>>John, if these comments do not make any contact with what you are 
>>tying to say, please feel free to ignore them, and I shall leave 
>>behind the ideas which I have in my head from another mss.
>>All the best, Rakesh

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