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Home :: Archive :: 1997 :: January ::
Re: Ideology Once Again
Shakespeare Electronic Conference, SHK 8.0079.  Saturday, 18 January 1997.

(1)     From:   Jesus Cora <
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        Date:   Friday, 17 Jan 1997 17:15:26 UTC+0100
        Subj:   SHK 8.0066  Re: Ideology Once Again

(2)     From:   Ed Bonahue <
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        Date:   Friday, 17 Jan 1997 14:13:10 -0500 (EST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 8.0076  Re: Ideology Once Again

(3)     From:   Paul Hawkins <
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        Date:   Friday, 17 Jan 1997 19:46:34 -0500 (EST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 8.0076 Re: Ideology Once Again

(4)     From:   W. L. Godshalk <
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        Date:   Friday, 17 Jan 1997 21:21:38 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 8.0076  Re: Ideology Once Again


(1)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Jesus Cora <
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Date:           Friday, 17 Jan 1997 17:15:26 UTC+0100
Subject: Re: Ideology Once Again
Comment:        SHK 8.0066  Re: Ideology Once Again

Dear Tom Bishop,

Ok, your decision on buying a new shirt was ideological, but it was also based
on feelings. You don't like Indonesian textile industry because it exploits
workers in a fearsome way. Therefore, you care about those people, you accept
that there is something common between you and them. You are thinking in
humanitarian and also, why not? Humanist terms. This leads this discussion back
to whether Humanism exists or not or whether is has been superceded. After all,
is not Marxism another kind of Humanism? Hasn't got Humanism a lot to do with
morals and moral improvement?

All the best.
J. Cora.

(2)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Ed Bonahue <
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Date:           Friday, 17 Jan 1997 14:13:10 -0500 (EST)
Subject: 8.0076  Re: Ideology Once Again
Comment:        Re: SHK 8.0076  Re: Ideology Once Again

To Jesus Cora's question:

> Are we not being quite narrow-minded on considering the
> economic base as the Primum Mobile?

Gabriel Egan responded:

> It's Marxism.  Any evidence that economics is not primary would help
> show that Marxism is narrow-minded, if you can find it.

Even if economics is primary (a view I generally agree with), that doesn't mean
the economics-culture equation is a zero-sum game.

We have already critiqued Althusser's definition of ideology, but his
discussion of contradiction and overdetermination is still useful here.  Others
can summarize his argument more clearly than I, but here goes: Althusser
proposes that the economic base ultimately generates social conditions and
cultural circumstances that operate independently of pure economic relations,
with the result that overdetermined intersections of economic political, and
cultural forces may be contradictory and irreducible to pure economic
phenomena.  So, while Althusser maintains that economics provide the primary
base, he provides for cultural formations that are more than simply expressions
of material relations.

Ed Bonahue
University of Florida

(3)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Paul Hawkins <
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Date:           Friday, 17 Jan 1997 19:46:34 -0500 (EST)
Subject: 8.0076 Re: Ideology Once Again
Comment:        Re: SHK 8.0076 Re: Ideology Once Again

In response to Gabriel Egan:  I don't mean to be difficult, but how does a
requirement that students study decontextualized passages confirm that the idea
guiding the curriculum is that literature improves the moral character of those
who read it?

Paul Hawkins

(4)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           W. L. Godshalk <
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Date:           Friday, 17 Jan 1997 21:21:38 -0500
Subject: 8.0076  Re: Ideology Once Again
Comment:        Re: SHK 8.0076  Re: Ideology Once Again

Jesus Cora asks:

> Are we not being quite narrow-minded on considering the
> economic base as the Primum Mobile?

 Gabriel Egan responds:

>It's Marxism. Any evidence that economics is not primary would help show that
>Marxism is narrow-minded, if you can find it.

Gabriel Egan and I agree that nothing (and we mean "everything," don't we?) is
innately, inherently meaningful.  If nothing is innately meaningful, then the
assertion that "economics is . . . primary" can not be a statement that
something is, or all things are, inherently "economic" because meaning does not
inhere.  To assert that "economics is . . . primary" is to attempt to impose
meaning on an innately meaningless set of phenomena. Nothing is innately
economic, or inherently anything else.

Meaning by Shakespeare or Marx?  Nonsense.  (Where's Terry Hawkes to back me up
on this?)  Marxism is simply another human attempt to impose meaning on a
meaningless universe and/or on a bunch of innately meaningless playscripts by
Shakespeare.

Yours, Bill Godshalk
 

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