Que siga el debate / Javier Biardeau

May the Debate Continue

I think it’s prudent to complement the matter of Marx, as an unfinished theoretical revolution, with its place in a theoretical agenda for fertilizing a radical critical theory (Modern? Postmodern? Transmodern?) that would rebuild itself by means of what Said calls, unlike Derrida, the “mundanity” of the text. With Derrida we know that contexts open or close interpretations, that they’re not closed (the polemic with Searle): context is another text, “nothing exists beyond the text.” But with Said we move on to another matter of greater significance, from “mundanity” we open what Puerta calls the practical-discursive textures of determined “logics of meaning” (Deleuze), because meaning generates affects: practical effects in forms of life (once again, mundanity, but by the hand of Wittgenstein and Winch). Jakobson has been cited, but I lean towards citing a less valued triad (Bakhtin, Vygotsky and Lotman), because beyond the linguistic selection and combination, there is a vaster scene of semiotic interaction tied to the conflicts of civilization, culture, nation, society and politics.

Once again, the “mundanity” of texts. That’s where I affirmed that “revolutionary Marxism” is constitutive of a critical socialist imaginary. This was the problematic, the “perceptive bubble” from which I proposed the matter of Marx, as a counterpoint to the affirmation: Marx is dead. I also pointed out that abolishing the sieve of a Marxist-Leninist interpretation of Marx (and let those who did or didn’t do anything to defenestrate this idiocy in some political-party space go elsewehere) we would gain a great deal by opening readings of more interesting characters, instead of the reiterations of Marxist manuals.

Marx is dead, for what problematic, or for what agenda, for what intellectual tonic, for what places of enunciation? For those who don’t wish to venture into the practical task of thinking the “modes of transformation,” not just the modes of production or reproduction, the matter of Marx does not appear as a death. From my point of view, Marx won’t die just like cultural documents don’t die nor do the documents of barbarism. They remain, and they generate effects, they function in ideological-discursive blocks, beyond how we might substitute the term ideology with “tradition,” with prejudices and presuppositions. Marx’s mundanity is to be found in his practical effects on the hegemonic way of life and its dominant social relations. That the tone of this affirmation might reek of dogmatism or mothballs, that it might inspire certain doubts because it appears to be stripped of an affability, of a “dialogue” conceived from the liberal horizon (a conversation between citizens who don’t put their prejudices about their way of life at risk) can be read as the entrance into the game of “another mundanity.” Situations are not changed by talking in a friendly manner, but instead by means of polemic, risking (why not?) error and acting “without measure or proportion,” without Aristotelian moderation and prudence; acknowledging that the word is a field of forces, accents and evaluations (Bakhtin). Is that why they aren’t neutral? Because in order to say it in the most mundane way possible, the matter of Chávez is a minor aspect of the matter of the “modes of social transformation.”

Because without radical social imaginaries that institute ways of saying-doing (Castoriadis) that are radically antagonistic to the existing capitalist-civilization, there will be no possibility of transformation. That this personal mania is not a mania shared by an imaginary community called the postmodern tribe, or one which is dedicated to reflection (which is already a great deal), is not a problem for proposing the matter. As for me, I open fire for a polemical dialogue, respectful but polemical, with a polemos marked within a democratic agon. This is not a mere detail, if we specify that by polemos we can derive the sentence of Mao and “president Gonzalo” that truth is born from the mouth of a rifle. No, perhaps truth might just be a sign of a regime of forces that operate not by the crude means of the stick or the gunshot, but rather by means of the enchantment of sophistic effects.

{ Javier Biardeau, El Nacional, 29 November 2008 }

No comments: