16 December 2006

Rough and Tumble Theory: The Expansive Edition

N.Pepperell has written an extraordinary post, developing some of the previously made claims in directions I think highly productive. Also, a special thanks to Joseph Kugelmass for further molding the discussion in response to one of my prior posts. N.Pepperell writes,
My own approach to thinking about our context has been to try to think very carefully (almost certainly not carefully enough, and I would benefit greatly from the kind of critical scrutiny these sorts of conversations can provide) about the historical distinctiveness of “modernity” - an investigation that has led me to focus on how we understand capitalism as an element of our global social context in the modern period. If anyone has read back through the older entries in this blog, they will have seen me make at least gestural rejections of common ways of understanding capitalism - I tend not to be very happy, for example, with attempts to define capitalism in terms of class domination, in terms of the market or in terms of core and periphery. While these are to some degree empirical matters, the reason I engage in these skirmishes is because I understand them to have philosophical stakes: capitalism is, I suspect, our closest candidate for an unconscious global social relation (unconscious in the sense that it has arisen and, in spite of a great deal of conjunctural planning carried out en route, is still largely sustained via social practices that are not consciously seeking to bring the overarching system into being). I further suspect that the unconscious - the alienated - nature of this social relation may be particularly important in understanding certain aspects of the forms of perception and thought associated with capitalist history, but this point is far too complex for me to cover even gesturally here…
There's a lot here, so read the rest. Unfortunately I can't comment more at present as I'm grounded and am not allowed to play until I finish all my grading due Monday.

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