Re: fish out of water

I don't mean to pick a fight, but I don't understand the criticism (below)
of Foucault's analysis of Marx. Foucault's point is that Marx's notion of
revolution is based on two necessarily coordinate concepts: anthropology and
a theory of historical materialism. The very fact that Marx could speak of
the historical inevitability of revolution and the concomitant liberation of
human being to its proper nature indicates that revolution does not
represent for Marx (and I think Marx would agree) and real discontinuity.
The nineteenth-century episteme is one of progression, continuity underlying
all differences and ruptures; hence the continuity thought in historical
mateialism is the water in which Marxist/anthropological fish swim. It is
this priveleging of continuity over rupture that Foucault is arguing
against, a priveledge that he claims, for the most part correctly, persists

>I think we determined that the quote comes from Order of Things (p. 262 of
>the English). What we didn't determine was why Foucault would have said
>such a pointless thing, unless he was under the misconception that Marx
>aimed to overthrough bourgeois epistemology instead of bourgeois
>relations of production, or unless he thought that bourgeois epistemology
>was peculiarly 19th century, and so was irrelevant to us now (in which
>case it isn't clear why 12 pages earlier, at the start of Chapter 8,
>he's calling precisely the episteme in which Marx swims "a certain
>*modern* manner of knowing empiricities...the thought that is
>contemporaneous with us, and with which, willy-nilly, we think...")
>What Foucault shows (convincingly, of course), is that Marx isn't
>Foucault, that he is not interested in *why* people talk the way they do as
>much as *how* one class exploits another class, and what we can do
>practically to keep them from continuing in this way. In fact, Marx's
>German Ideology has some very funny passages about philosophical
>revolutions that tear down in histrionic gestures entire metaphysical
>epochs, all the while leaving the police pretty much where they were.
>This is not, I think, Foucault's last word on the subject of Marxism,
>but it is without question one of his stupidest.
>Jim McFarland


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