The Blogora: The Rhetoric Society of America


Jameson, Representing Capital, 7

Submitted by Jim Aune on July 20, 2011 - 2:05pm

I've been slacking a bit on posting notes about Jameson's book (part of the problem is that it's denser prose than usual); as perhaps is appropriate for a work on dialectic, I'm going to skip ahead to the concluding chapter in hopes that it illuminates the body of the text.

"Political Conclusions"

1. unlike the Manifesto, Capital I has no political conclusions.

2. What do we mean by the political?

a. handbooks for political activism, e.g Machiavelli, von Clausewitz, Sorel, or Lenin.
b. political theory goes back to Aristotle and Polybius through the Renaissance and the Ameriean Founding (at which point its creativity is exhausted). A constitution is always a counterrevolutionary construction designed to foreclose change either from the right (coups/tyranny) or the left (mob violence, revolution). But there is a moment of freedom between theory and practice, Negri's Lifting of the law between constituting power and constituted power.
c. But the moment Locke introduces "private property" into constitutional theorizing, politics can no longer function autonomously (139-40). The state is no longer an autonomous entity after Capital. But the economy .
isn't either.

3. There are only 2 moments of tactical political interest in Capital 1: the utopian vision of an association of free producers in Part I--anarchist in spirit; and the great chiasmus of the expropriation of the expropriators, which doesn't tell us much about means or ends.

4. Capital I is the representation of a peculiar machine whose evolution is at one with its breakdown, its expansion with its malfunction, its growth with its collapse.

5. Karl Korsch (Karl Marx) suggests that Marxism has two fundamental languages: class struggle and capital accumulation. See also Stanley Moore's Three Tactics in Marx (1963), which identifies Marx's adaptability to social democracy, communism, and Maoism. And mirabile dictu, here is where Jameson discovers rhetoric for the first time ever.

6. Two rhetorics (or propaganda), based on Korsch:
a. emphasis on system: depicts victims, arouses pity
b. emphasis on agency: depicts heroism and arouses admirstation

7. BOth are valid in the current conjuncture of globalization: Capitalhas never er been both more massive/superhuman AND more vulnerable (obligatory ref to Seattle and the Zapatistias and Islamic (huh?????) movements here). But the notion of Capital as totality is the definitive of social democracy. Tinkering with the system can't work.

8. Capital I makes us see the unity of capitalist development AND unemployment. Another axis in addition to Korsch on structure and agency is Althusser on exploitation and domination. Anarchism emphasizes domination. Emphasis on exploitation is the socialist project. We need to think of the "lost" populations of the world in terms of exploitation rather than domination.

Submitted by Novinhas pelada (not verified) on March 8, 2017 - 12:11pm.

Thanks for the excellent post took my doubts

Post new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.

More information about formatting options

This question is for testing whether you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.
Enter the characters shown in the image.
By submitting this form, you accept the Mollom privacy policy.