t byfield on Thu, 5 Jun 1997 16:36:41 +0200 (MET DST)

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Re: <nettime> Political Economics 101

At 2:52 PM -0400 on 6/3/97, Mark Stahlman wrote:

> a world that is characterized by economic scarcity (Maastricht austerity),

So is this "economic rationalism" this rational or irrational?

> studied irrationality (post-structuralism),

Post-structuralism is named so mostly because it comes *after*
structuralism; was structuralism "rational"? I think you might
find that some basic strains of it focused very clearly on the
"pattern recognition" you advocate. And I think you'll find as
well that it sits very squarely atop your "great divide": OT1H
by emphasizing a scalable "process" of "assembly" that applies
at every level of human activity with no regard whatsoever for
any pseudo-distinction between "culture" and "technology"; and
OT0H by emphasizing this mode, *not* "individuality" or "will"
or whatever, as the object of the human sciences. So, I'll ask
again: Was structuralism "rational"? And onward: Was--we *are*
talking 30 or even 40 years here--post-structuralism primarily
a reaction to structuralism? And just which post-structuralism
are we talking about? Althusser? Derrida? Foucault? Lacan? J-P
Vernant? That's already an impossibly mixed bag, and I've left
out a half-dozen other French rock stars--Deleuze, Ricoeur, Le
Goff, Marin, Veyne, Bourdieu, Certeau... Once you start taking
on other national traditions--UK, US, Germany, Italy, and yes!
Slovenia--this "post-structuralism" will very quickly collapse
into the negative category it is. So,"irrational" you say; and
I agree, but for quite different reasons on a different order.

> electronic narcotics (user interfaces and virtual reality),

I think that Feuerbach's famous line sums up this plaint well:

"But certainly for the present age,  which prefers the sign to
the thing signified,  the copy to the original, representation
to reality,  the appearance to the essence. . .*illusion* only
is sacred, *truth* profane.  Nay, sacredness is held to be en-
hanced in proportion as truth decreases and illusion increases
so that the highest degree of illusion comes to be the highest
degree of sacredness." (pref, 2d ed, _Essence of Christianity)

> semiotic occultism (hermenetics),

I would like to know what you mean by this semiotic occultism.

> accelerated looting and the global crushing of hope.

Hope is irrational. And bloody well good for it, I should add.


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