[OPE-L] [Jurriaan] Derrida's ghosts

From: glevy@PRATT.EDU
Date: Sat Oct 29 2005 - 08:55:08 EDT

---------------------------- Original Message -------------------------
Subject: Derrida's ghosts
From:    "Jurriaan Bendien" <adsl675281@tiscali.nl>
Date:    Sat, October 29, 2005 7:32 am

If a complete, objective or even coherent understanding of "texts" is
impossible - as deconstructionists assert - because every text is read in
a  "context", it has to be explained why most people will nevertheless
interpret a text in a particular way and not others, and ultimately how it
is possible to communicate at all, including communication across different
contexts. For example, why do people typically understand Derrida in a
certain way, and not others?  Presumably, because they share a context
beyond "thought".

This problem is similar to Hegel's dialectical mutation of meanings -
meaning can evolve in all sorts of ways, but the real question is, why
meaning evolves in certain ways and not others, something which cannot be
understood purely in terms of the  logic or semantics internal to those
meanings. As Frederick Engels wrote, "Ideology is a process accomplished by
the so-called thinker. Consciously, it is true, but with a false
consciousness. The real motive forces impelling him remain unknown to him;
otherwise it simply would not be an ideological process. Hence he imagines
false or seeming motive forces." You can of course call those "imagined
forces" ghosts.

But why then do "All mysteries which lead theory to mysticism (or fairy
stories, for that matter) find their rational solution in human practice
and in the comprehension of this practice", as Marx suggests? Presumably
because for humans, as social beings, communication is practically
NECESSARY for survival and growth, and a communication which could be
interpreted in any way whatever, is no communication at all, i.e. meanings
must be constructed in certain ways, so that they are understood, and can
really orient behaviour.

In this sense, Derrida is nothing but a big baby learning to say "blah" and
"duh" while mama coos at him, a regression from Hegel, which seems
appealing only to spoilt twits who demand lots of money for saying nothing
profound at all. It is "critical criticism" all over again, with Saint
Derrida leading the way.

The sad thing about deconstructionist Marxism is that a myopic focus on the
meaning of texts substitutes for an analysis of the experiential reality
behind those texts, guided by those texts.... suggesting really that the
true problem is, that the texts cannot provide any guidance to the analysis
of experiential reality, because of the way they are (mis-)understood.

Thus, Marxism becomes the religion of the bureaucrats of knowledge, a holy
icon dragged out of its niche in the wall occasionally - for the
self-edification of pontificating "authorities" posturing their so-called


There's something weird
in the neighborhood,
who're you gonna call?
There's something strange
and it don't look good,
who're you gonna call?
I ain't afraid of no ghost.
Seeing things
running through your head,
who're you gonna call?
Invisible man
sleeping in your bed,
who you gonna call?
I ain't afraid of no ghost.

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