"Materialism" as a Red Badge of Cool? [was Re: Concerns (cont.)]

David wrote:
>You're either a materialist or an idealist. If you're an idealist, if you
>believe in the existence of extra material realities such as "love",
>"truth", "right", then you do not accept the materialist project, to
>which Marx, Freud, Nietzsche, Deleuze and Foucault belong to.
>So please tell me Randall, tell us all, are you _a believer_, do you
>believe in extra material realities? Are you, to quote Paul Simon,
>"blinded by the light of god and truth and right?" Because if you are,
>you really don't have any business with Foucault. By F's standards you're
>just "wander[ing] through the night with out direction."

One of the interesting things in the academic "theory" scene in late
capitalism is that while almost everybody wants to distance himself/herself
away from marxism as political theory and project, quite a lot of folks
love to be in the company of Marx and hate being called "idealist." What's
the matter? Is "materialism" in academia a red badge of cool, a sign that
you are on the cutting edge? Or a sort of aesthetic choice, as in certain
modernist love affairs with dirt and dirtiness (a la Bataille)? Or a
risk-free gesture that gives theorists an aura of political relevance?


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