Sunday, December 8, 2013

Money Wisdom #230

"It's actually rather difficult to pick out any single theme uniting the works of the various authors (Foucault, Derrida, Bourdieu, Deleuze and Guttari, Lyotard...) normally brought together under this rubric [of poststructuralism]. But if there is one, it is the urge to shatter totalities, whatever these may be, whether 'society,' 'symbolic order,' language,' 'the psyche,' or anything else. Instead, Poststructuralism tends to see reality as a heterogeneous multiplicity of 'fields,' 'machines,' 'discourses,' 'language games,' or any of a dozen other cross-cutting planes, plateaus, and what-have-you, which - and this is crucial - do not form any sort of overarching structure or hierarchy. Rather than contexts encompassing one another as in Dumont, one has a mosaic of broken surfaces, and on each surface, a completely different game played by a different set of rules. Moreover, poststructuralists usually insist that one cannot even talk about individuals moving back and forth between these surfaces; rather, the players (or 'subjects') are constructs of the game itself; effects of discourse, and our sense that we have a consistent self, largely an illusion. Ultimately, language speaks us. Where previous debates asked whether one should begin with society or the individual, here both society and the individual shatter into fragments." (my emphasis)

David Graeber Toward an Anthropological Theory of Value - The False Coin of Our Own Dreams (2001) p.26-27

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