Political Writings

Political Writings

Language: English

Pages: 384

ISBN: 0816620458

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


Jean-Francois Lyotard introduced the term "postmodern" into current discussions within philosophy, politics, society and social theory. His "The postmodern condition" is seminal within the current debates over the relationship of theory and epistemology to history and political practice. For Lyotard, the postmodern condition is one in which the "meta- narratives of legitimation" the enlightenment, Hegelian thought, Marxism have fallen into disuse and can no longer analyze myriad labyrinthine social texts that have been forged from their ruins. Meta- narratives assume the role of privileged discourses not inflected by historical contingencies, and each situate local social and political practices within a broader totalizing and legitimizing framework. Lyotard claims that various local practices can no longer be legitimized by these meta-discourses; legitimation itself descends to the level of praxis as practitioners assume the responsibility for legitimizing their own practices.; "Political writings" is a collection of Lyotard's writings mostly published between 1956 and 1969 in "Socialisme ou Barbarie", the influential journal of the non-Communist French left. The political Motivation Implicit In Lyotard's Arguments In "The Postmodern Condition" become quite explicit in this collection. The articles outline the relevance of political struggles to contemporary debates about social and political theory; the limitations of Marxist models applied to concrete situations; and the development of the analytical categories that Lyotard himself currently uses in his critical practices.; In a rigorous examination of the strategies and passions of various groups, Lyotard demonstrates that the emancipatory models at work in specific local struggles are different from the universalist ones proposed by the Enlightenment, occurring as they do in First World and Third World Contexts In Which Specificity And Difference Are Negotiated And Determined.

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colonial society relentlessly exercises over all its inhabitants when it reaches the breaking point, unleashed from all restraints by the eruption of its contradictions into broad daylight. The youth of all French social classes do in effect live in Algerian society itself during their stay in Algeria. As I have said, the army into which they are incorporated reflects this society. It extends its fundamental function to the point of obviousness and absurdity, namely, that of suppressing the

very much like pillage. The merchants who commercialized the product of the tax or razzia did not form an economically stable and socially distinct stratum that might ensure the regular functioning of social relations. For centuries, the principal source of revenue was piracy, actively encouraged by the pashas of Algiers. The characteristic traits of the Algerian ruling strata at this time were thus parasitism (not only with respect to the Algerian population, but also in relation to

to be irresponsible adventurers, they are compared to organizations that, in their seriousness, their continuity, their order, and their numbers claim to be able to cover up this vacuum of meaning. The solemn banalities of the Trotskyists constitute attempts at a counterinvestment that might ward off the fear of what is to be done? 4 “A request was brought before the room-assignment commission: a group of students asks for the allocation of a room on the ground floor, type C13, from 5:00 to 7:00

long- or short-range aim set by an institutional function (to prepare degrees, monitor competitions, follow programs and syllabi, and keep track of things through examinations). There you are, given over to indeterminate requirements. (You are generally a few readings ahead of them, but in any case readings done with the frightful and shameful disorder of the philosopher). Does this mean that each teacher in your department speaks of what he or she likes?-No, it means that no one is protected,

in this second life-me, you, the other. On the other hand, “it must not be thought that it is a celebration, and that everything else is the everyday. The border does not lie there, it lies between life as such and the secret existence, ” specifies the same voice. Nor is it exactly a matter of the right to secrecy. The right to secrecy allows you on occasion to keep quiet about something you know. But the “secret existence” is “free, ” because you don't have any idea what you should say, were

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