Thursday, November 16, 2006

'what matters now'

...will always be to insist, on something more than "now" ('now-time' does not simply celebrate the present, but on the contrary punctures it in order to redeem the past). And so in light too of this recent reminder, we turn to Heidegger's ghost explaining the true paradox of Marx's famous statement.

To which Zizek's comments in the "Theory Matters' section of his film are not, one wagers, entirely unrelated. Nor, for that matter, his Adorno-like loathing for all the "'trasgressive'...postmodernist...nomadic subjectivities" floating about (particularly evidenced, one might add, in certain literary circles, economies of interest), and so on.


Michael Dorfman said...

Perhaps it's a small point, but I'm not sure I'd say that Heidegger's ghost explains the paradox of Marx's famous statement, as much as demonstrates it through his (perhaps intentional) misreading.

It's clear, I believe, to most of those citing Thesis XI (and to all of those following it) that Marx is not attempting to "speak decisively against philosophy", and that the allegedly "unspoken" presupposition of a "demand for philosophy" is precisely Marx's point-- in other words, that an uncritical interpretation of the world is not sufficient.

For Heidegger's ghost to deny that his philosophy (much less all philosophy) lacks a social mission appears to be an exercise in plausible deniability. That he chooses to invoke the specter of Marx in order to do so is rich beyond words.

Matt said...

You have a point about the unspoken thing.

As for the charge of unconscious and unflattering richness (to say the least), you're right that Heidegger does not seem, here, to much recognize it. But then, there's some evidence he never did.

If you tried to accuse his thought of being reducible to a social mission with a certain name, however, then the question surely becomes a little difficult.

Michael Dorfman said...

I certainly wouldn't claim his thought was reducible to a social mission with a certain name-- to do so would require a carelessness of reading so large as to be, well, normative.

On the other hand, I do not take Heidegger at his word in his claim that his philosophy has (unequivocally) overcome subjectivity, and therefore is completely uncontaminated by the social.

Matt said...

Does he claim all that? I wonder.

Or could it be something entirely more modest (and more radical) - namely, that his philosophy has tried to overcome "a position of subjectivity," (precisely, the Subject of modernity, "made absolute").

That may still very well be right.