RE: postmodernism and liberalism

Marxist derived =

OK, would someone get over this drunkardly mystified-idealist
historiography which holds "ideas" as the motive force? Fact: Since the
30s most Marxists have recognized Soviet-style "revolution" as anything
but. Stalin in the 20th century merely carried forward the style of
forced modernization (enforced by state brutality) exemplified under
Witte. At its best, Marxism was opposed to this very phenomenon. But
the revolution ("Marxist-derived ideologies") was most notable for the
un-Marxist way it was carried out. Time has long since laid bare the
illusion that Marxist ideas had a bearing on real politics beyond the
requisite rhetorical capacity. I seem to remember 1930s Marxists and
their disappointment as it became clear that Stalin amounted to Hitler
with a better haircut. In retrospect, it seems to me that Marxist ideas
proved quite unable to dislodge Russian political history.

Of Marxist ideologies? Or of systems of political power which cause
social fragmentation? Excuse me, but to exclude the negotiation between
ideas and society (DO NOT READ BASE/SUPERSTRUCTURE) is not Foucauldian,
it's Straussian. Where's Namier when we need him?

>From owner-foucault@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx Wed Mar 3 15:40:56 1999
>Received: (from domo@localhost) by
(8.8.5/8.6.6) id SAA92393 for foucault-outgoing; Wed, 3 Mar 1999
18:15:52 -0500
>X-Authentication-Warning: domo set sender
to owner-foucault@localhost using -f
>Received: from (root@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx [])
by (8.8.5/8.6.6) with ESMTP id SAA44004 for
<foucault@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>; Wed, 3 Mar 1999 18:15:44 -0500
>Received: from [] (
> by (8.8.8/8.8.8) with ESMTP id KAA00902
> for <foucault@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>; Thu, 4 Mar 1999 10:15:39
+1100 (EST)
>X-Sender: c_ofarrell@xxxxxxxxxxx (Unverified)
>Message-Id: <l03130301b3036bda4185@[]>
>Mime-Version: 1.0
>Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii"
>Date: Thu, 4 Mar 1999 09:17:07 +1000
>To: foucault@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
>From: Clare OFarrell <c_ofarrell@xxxxxxxxxxx>
>Subject: RE: postmodernism and liberalism
>Sender: owner-foucault@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
>Precedence: bulk
>Reply-To: foucault@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
> 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
>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
>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
>on this list is American!) I was not arguing for either liberalism or
>called postmodernism (and I agree with the person who said that he
>not group Foucault under the label postmodernist) What I *am* arguing
>agreement with Foucault incidentally in Space, Knowledge, power) is
that no
>theory, no ideology, no system is of itself liberatory. It is the way
>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
>sets of ideas are not more productive than others when it comes to
>justice and freedom. But rather than adopting ideologies such as
>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
>the times and society in which he lived and Foucault offers more
>into our contemporary dilemmas. The State and society described by Marx
>were born at the end of the eighteenth century - he could not predict
>form in the late 20th century. Philosophy (again as Foucault argues) is
>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:

Get Your Private, Free Email at

Partial thread listing: