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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agrees to include the question of the status of the Sahara in the negotiations. On October 17, 1961, the Algerians demonstrate in the streets of Paris, peacefully and without arms: several hundred dead. On December 19, an antiOAS [the extreme right wing French Secret Army Organization] demonstration in Paris: a hundred injured. Never, in the seven years during which the Algerians have fought against French imperialism, has French imperialism gone so far in making concessions, at least verbal

paraded” must be rejected. Quite the opposite occurred: on the March 3, the police did not In response to the beatings echoing from the terrace of the law building come the slogans chanted from all the floors of the faculty buildings-“This is only the beginning, let's keep fighting, ” “Cops off campus”-accompanied by banging of fists against the windows and of boards against the metal window frames. A chanted noise, unified on the off beat that picks up again and breaks over the cops who beat on

by which the system is confronted and that it needs in order to improve itself. Thus, the discourse that Marxists called the bourgeois discourse of emancipation and the communal organization connected with it, that is, liberal “late” capitalism, now look like the only survivors and winners after two centuries of struggle that sought to impose another way of reading and leading human history. This system has good reasons to claim to be the true sup- -114- -115- 2 porter of human rights and

can in principle speak for themselves is a double victimization: it assumes the speaker's access to discourse and it assumes that the speaker is inherently a potential modern subject. Second, whether one is speaking for oneself or for another, the problem lies in the authority assumed in speaking for, in the name of…Hence the problem is not simply one of paternalism, but of the presumption to authority in politics. This is the root of Lyotard's attack on intellectuals, experts, and big brothers.

lords and imperialism in order to appease backers: but then it condemns itself as a merely local bourgeoisie. This is something that the “left” understands well, which is why it wants on the contrary to show the moneylenders a strong Moroccan bourgeoisie, that is, to pursue the nationalist struggle first of all. But it would have to draw support from the peasantry, to shape it, to radicalize it; and it is aware of the risks of such an operation. Did not Allal el Fassi recently declare, “Today we

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