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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they believe de Gaulle's Algerian policy to be; and, finally, the FLN, whose political-military potential is intact, its force, the peasantry, not having been seriously reached by the “counterrevolutionary” strategy, and whose diplomatic potential will soon be reconstituted by de Gaulle's very impotence. The only immediate problem concerning the relations of these different forces is therefore this: will the army remain Gaullist? Will de Gaulle take control of the totalitarian core within it, and

first, administrative regulations concerning assignments, changes, promotions, and so forth, do not leave them in their villages for very long, which already shows that merely belonging to the military apparatus is incompatible with the task of administration. Second, and above all, their administrative ideology remains a class ideology. For them it is not a matter of participating equally in the reconstruction of society by following the project that the Algerians develop for themselves, but

and reservoirs, the regulation of flow in the irrigated zones, the synchronization of the maneuvering of the gates, the prediction of the high-water levels in the different points of the valley, the immense labor by which humankind took possession of all of fertile Egypt could not be accomplished by scattered peasant communities. Once the zones that could be cultivated by means of local irrigation had been developed, the structure of dispersed villages or even of separate fiefdoms constituted an

action, will continue to be our principal objective because we are convinced that it is the effective means of bringing oppressive imperialism to an end.” These words, from an editorial in El Maghrib el Arabi [the French-language newspaper of the MTLD] of January 16, 1948, express this situation accurately. The editorial adds, “We are extremely worried by certain developments, ” alluding to the difficulty of achieving unity of action with bourgeois elements. 18. Daniel Mothé, “Les ouvriers

the return of the sultan. In effect, it is evident, on the one hand, that bourgeois nationalism alone is fundamentally incapable of redistributing land in accordance with the hopes of the peasantry and that the concept of independence runs up or is going to run up against the immediate necessity of resorting to the kind offices of America or the Soviet Union for investment; and on the other hand, it is clear that the workers' movement in the North African countries, even if it did away with its

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