Re: (OPE-L) Re: the death of Jacques Derrida

From: Anders Ekeland (anders.ekeland@ONLINE.NO)
Date: Wed Oct 13 2004 - 08:02:09 EDT

It is difficult to discuss Derrida, I mean it is difficult to have a
rational discussion of a texts so confused when judged by normal standards
as for example Spectres.

In my opinion Derrida is not to be compared to Marx at all. Neither method
nor approach to science, nor degree and kind of political activity.

You can read Derrida as mystical poetry, confused, strange, hallucinating,
and maybe inspiring for the followers. No movement, neither intellectual or
social can be build on or enriched Derrida. A rather naked emperor in my

Just now I only have "Specters" in Norwegian, but there are far too many
parts of this book that are just a stew of words. I could give you several

Let's not start a big discussion on Derrida, I have no time for that.

Just wanted to express that I think that a critical approach to Derrida is
necessary than that Callari voices. My opinion is close to Terry Eagelton
in his "The illusions of Post-Modernism", the main line of arguemnt you
will find in this small book.

Anders Ekeland

At 17:36 11.10.2004, glevy@PRATT.EDU wrote:
>------------------- Original Message ---------------------------- Subject: y
>From:    "antonio callari" <>
>Date:    Mon, October 11, 2004
>The idea I remember the most immediately from Specters of Marx is,  almost
>present in the title as compellingly as a specter can be to  those who
>would accept specters, is the idea of Marx as the Specter  to bourgeois
>society. I think that's quite a powerful image--beyond  the analytical
>details about Capital (which I don't recall off-hand).  But Derrida's
>meaning for (and contribution to) Marx/ism, I think,  goes beyond this
>evocation of an "image"  and is invested with the  full force of his
>philosophical approach--which  I believe we will  live as a legacy. I
>think that Derrida may indeed be the philosopher  of Marx of our times,
>and not the destroyer of Marx/ism that many  critics of deconstruction
>fear. In my view, Derrida's contribution  was to develop the instincts and
>practices of reading out of
>"system." All of the interventions of his that I have read ask the  reader
>to see that which lives outside of systems as they are given:  to see that
>which system would silence, to give scope to a vision of  a life (of
>ideas, philosophically, but of life in general) moved by  prerogatives
>other than those of a given system, to enable the
>experience (philosophical and, thence, political) of a different
>system, with different priorities, values, energies, agents, urges,  etc.
>etc.  This is Marx: or this is the development of a
>philosophical approach that matches Marx's critical urges and that  covers
>and comforts the whole point and structure of Capital.
>Traditional philosophers (who like systems) did not much like
>Derrida. He jabbed their totalitarian confidences. They wanted to  defend
>"meaning" as it is/has-been constituted. He wanted to create  the
>philosophical space (and capabilities) to create 'different'
>meanings, and in the process to liberate that which had been
>oppressed within the existing. He wanted to do this as a general
>philosophical point: not to create one other system. one other
>meaning, but as an affirmation of the idea that life is about
>creating, continuously and forever, not an abiding of that which has
>already been created.  Marx too wanted nothing other than a way of
>organizing life (and hence also ideas) in a way that "freed" humans  from
>the tyranny of the given.  Marx and Derrida are brothers in
>deconstruction (there is quite a bit of deconstruction in Marx's
>reading of the works of political economists): keepers of the "trace"  of
>human freedom.
>In mourning,
> >It might be a good time to ask: to what extent has Derrida
> >influenced Marxian political economy?
> >
> >Steve C used to teach Derrida in a graduate course on
> >"Re-Valuing Marx, Representing Capitalism."  Maybe he
> >still does.  In any event, maybe we should have a
> >dialogue about something that was a focal point of
> >that course: namely, the connections that could be made
> >betwen Marx's _Capital_ and Derrida's _Spectres of Marx_?
> >
> >In solidarity, Jerry
>Antonio Callari
>POST MAIL:      Department of Economics
>                  Franklin and Marshall College
>                  Lancaster PA 17604-3003
>PHONE:          717/291-3947
>FAX:            717/291-4369

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