RE: postmodernism and liberalism

anand-bhatt remarks
>Clare O'Farell talks of the 'millions dead of Marxist derived =
>ideologies', forgetting the fact that many of the millions wanted to die =
>for these ideologies.

I would disagree with the statement that many of the millions wanted to die
for marxism - several thousands maybe - the rest were not so lucky.

>The Marxists and other socialists I know have seen =
>their own and their fathers' bodies broken in sweat shops; love draining =
>from their hearts under back breaking Labour. They have seen their =
>mothers go beg on the streets for a $ 0.04 meal when out of job. They =
>make things I see on my postmodernist friend's bodies.

As I said in my last post I am by no means belittling the contribution that
socialism - marxist or otherwise - has made to improving the lot of many in
20th century society.

>These postmodernists would not die for postmodernism. They spend $ 5.0 =
>watching postmodernist movies and discuss Women's Movement. They spend $ =
>20,000/- and study in America. The fat of the land.
>She also forgets the millions killed by the liberals:

I am certainly not forgetting these - on the contrary. (BTW, not everybody
on this list is American!) I was not arguing for either liberalism or so
called postmodernism (and I agree with the person who said that he would
not group Foucault under the label postmodernist) What I *am* arguing (in
agreement with Foucault incidentally in Space, Knowledge, power) is that no
theory, no ideology, no system is of itself liberatory. It is the way these
ideologies etc are put into practice that counts. Freedom is in the
practice not the ideology. This is not to say, I hasten to add, that some
sets of ideas are not more productive than others when it comes to social
justice and freedom. But rather than adopting ideologies such as marxism
and postmodernism whole sale, isn't it better to use a variety of ideas
culled from different 'systems' to think for oneself and to inform
particular practices of freedom etc? BTW, marxism, liberalism and
postmodernism aren't the only alternatives when it comes to freedom and
social justice - there are a number of religions which address these
problems as well.
>On a personal note, I fail to see the 'difference' between Marx and =
>Foucault, of course they said different things and suggested we go abut =
>things in a different way. But fundamentally, both revealed the world as =
>is, it's oppression and cynicism; its tragedy how it came about and so =
>on.. in a systematic and dispassionate manner.
>What would Foucault have done had he been born in the Enlightenment?

Perhaps the point is that Marx was a nineteenth century thinker addressing
the times and society in which he lived and Foucault offers more insight
into our contemporary dilemmas. The State and society described by Marx
were born at the end of the eighteenth century - he could not predict their
form in the late 20th century. Philosophy (again as Foucault argues) is not
eternal but thoroughly embedded in a particular historical, social and
cultural context - although I might add it is not necessarily entirely
limited by these parameters.

Clare O'Farrell
web page:

Partial thread listing: