Saturday, 30 July 2016
Tuesday, 26 July 2016
Friday, 22 July 2016
Thursday, 21 July 2016
Saturday, 16 July 2016
Kojin Karatani’s The Structure of World History (Duke University Press, 2014) is an astonishing work of synthetic historical theory. Karatani views world history as a history of modes of exchange. He rejects the classical Marxist view of history though as modes of production, to which political, religious and cultural levels are superstructures.
The Marxist base and superstructure model always conjures up for me an image of the social formation as a three-story building, with an economic ground floor and politics and ideology or culture as the second and third. Karatani’s alternative model is more like three elevator shafts running through the social formation from top to bottom. The inadequacies of the base-and-super three-story image led Marxists such as Althusser to stress the relative autonomy and materiality of the political and cultural ‘levels’. Karatani sees two problems with this. One is a loss of a totalizing and systematic approach to history. The other is that it is really only in the west that politics could even be imagined as autonomous from economics.
Friday, 15 July 2016
In his 1844 Manuscripts, Marx describes the subject-object relation that results from unalienated labour: “The object of labour is the objectification of man’s species life: for he duplicates himself not only, as in consciousness, intellectually, but also actively, in reality, and therefore he contemplates himself in a world that he has created.” In Heidegger the condition of Dasein (the human Being) is Geworfenheit, thrown-ness, of being pitched into the dejectedness of what indifferently is.
A wide variety of ominous or hellish supernatural dogs occur in mythologies around the world, similar to the often seen dragon. Features that have been attributed to hellhounds include mangled black fur, glowing red eyes, super strength or speed, ghostly or phantom characteristics, and a foul odor.