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Archive for the ‘ghosts’ Category

Discourse within modern day liberal democracies is increasingly imbued with rhetoric and discussion concerning rights. While the incentive for the acquisition of certain rights may be understood or interpreted in various ways from differing perspectives across the political spectrum, as demonstrated by Samuel A. Chambers in the early pages of his essay, “Ghostly Rights”, a fundamental quality influencing the nature of rights is ultimately excluded from the rights dialogue: the spectralquality of rights themselves. However, as Chambers illustrates, rights dialogues are indeed inextricably linked to a ghostly presence, to a hauntology which renders rights themselves as unreal. (more…)

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This article can be separated into two parts, the masculine argument about Europe and the components that define European, within the context of the last European, and the feminine argument about globalization and the new international. This doesn’t suppose one is superior or inferior, but it is an essentialist claim on my part of the structural composition that is an extension of this binary. “The Other Heading” and Specters of Marx are the two primary works discussed in this article, connecting several derridian concepts raised throughout the semester. Critiques of Derrida’s reading of Marx, and of the ten plagues of the New International function within this discussion of spectrality eventually introducing the idea of the technological specter. (more…)

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Hull begins his essay with Marx’s ‘Jewish Question’ in order to speak about nationalism. Hull asserts that Marx is not the first to speak of nationalism. Benedict Anderson finds evidence of what is called the ‘nation’ in the middle ages. Marx believes that to formulate a question properly is to answer it, which is to say that to answer a question is to disperse it into other questions. Thus, when the nationalism question is answered, the question turns on a responsibility to the ghosts of non-present or partially present cultures. Not only is an inheritance, as Derrida would say, among the voices of Marx, but to betray that voice, as Marx does, explains his failure to adequately formulate the nationalist question. (more…)

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Personally, I enjoyed this essay quite a bit. Obviously, anyone who is considering a final paper on Specters would find this essay helpful for their research. However, less obviously, it would be of interest to anyone who wants to know more about the thinkers that influence Derrida’s work (or, more precisely, the thinkers that Derrida shares a parasitic relationship with!). To the latter end, it is easy to digest because the essay focuses on the single motif of the promise rather than a broad account of Derrida’s interactions with other major works/thinkers. This is only my impression, but, for those who are interested, I think Lawlor’s attention to Levinas throughout the essay is quite effective (although my summary that here is a little hasty).

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When reading Spectres of Marx and coming across the phrase “the time is out of joint” again and again, I recalled the explorations of Foucault in Society Must Be Defended. (more…)

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Although Derrida devotes a great deal of attention to an urgent period of undecidability that precedes any decision and the coinciding sense of betrayal that follows such a decision he only hints at what characterizes the subjectivity of the decider(s). (more…)

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Did Marxism Die?

The central assumption of Derrida’s argument in Specters of Marx is that Marxism died with the collapse of “Soviet” Communism. (I put soviet in quotations for reasons that are central to my argument here.) For Derrida, it is the empirical fact that Marxism died with the USSR that allows Marx/ism to now occupy a spectral, haunting place in our society. The death of Marxism and its subsequent burial in the “End of History” monologue means that Marxism is able to be resurrected into a ghost and have it’s “true legacy” live on as an interruptive force against the neoliberal world order. (more…)

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