Jernej Prodnik on Thu, 3 Nov 2011 14:44:21 +0100 (CET)

[Date Prev] [Date Next] [Thread Prev] [Thread Next] [Date Index] [Thread Index]

Re: <nettime> The False Defences of Utopian Thought.

''The future belongs to those who can imagine it.''

... yeah, probably.

If anything, Marx wasn't an idealist. And this is quite easily the simplest
case of, so to say, classic idealism. Quite similar that goes to idealism
actually goes to utopian thought that was debated earlier in this
correspondence - is quite irrelevant when it comes to material forces
playing out. And in Marx's philosophy this is the case, at least I would
argue, both of praxis philosophy and historical materialism (not only of the
latter, as claimed by some ordo Marxists).

This doesn't mean Marx in anyway 'objects' imagination. Actually, I don't
know how exactly could he object to it, his philosophy is not only
materialist/realist but also based on the unity-of-theory-and-practice. But
there is in fact quite a difference between distinct levels (which in some
other philosophies often gets totally confused) of: a) imagining something
(i.e. banally speaking: 'If we collectivelly imagine a better world, the
existing social order will simply go away); b) talking about sth
(discourse); and c) actually changing things in practice, on brute material
level of socially embedded structures.
Notwithstanding the fact that power gets played out on all of the levels,
and that there indeed is a vast influence between them, the material reality
and its antagonisms are very difficult to overthrow. Some things are simply
structurally embedded, whether cultural studies or postmodernists like it or
not, you can't simply imagine or 'talk-away' commodity form or private

... Hence: utopianism is completely irrelevant because it doesn't take into
account actual power relations of society on different levels, especially on
material level, and how these power relations can be changed and
transformed. The furthest it can come is discoursive level, but it most
often stays in minds of some person that believes it is his mastermind plan
that should be followed (which is quite un-democratic to say the least).

To give you an example of Marx's earlier thought on this issue, it will give
you a better picture of how things stand in his philosophy. This is from the
Holy family: ''Ideas can never lead beyond an old world order but only
beyond the ideas of the old world order. Ideas cannot carry out anything at
all. In order to carry out ideas men are needed who can exert practical
force.'' Gramsci is of course the most well known and one of the earliest
follower of the praxis philosophy, which can be said to be represented in
these lines.


-----Original Message-----
[] On Behalf Of Morlock Elloi
Sent: Thursday, November 03, 2011 8:16 AM
Subject: Re: <nettime> The False Defences of Utopian Thought.

I'm referring to the fact that deferring decisions to quantum throw of
dice (evolution) or to a deity makes no difference. What is going on
appears to be massive setting of the scene for Something to happen.
Like a pagan ritual. Or cargo cult in the best case - we have all the
elements of revolution, WTF is it?

The future belongs to those who can imagine it.


#  distributed via <nettime>: no commercial use without permission
#  <nettime>  is a moderated mailing list for net criticism,
#  collaborative text filtering and cultural politics of the nets
#  more info:
#  archive: contact: