Wednesday, June 12, 2013


"The interpellation of the individual as subject, which makes him an ideological subject, is realized not on the basis of a single ideology, but of several ideologies at once, under which the individual lives and acts his practice. [...] What results is a play and a space of multiple interpellations in which the subject is caught up, but which (as contradictory play and as space) constitutes the 'freedom' of the individual subject, who is simultaneously interpellated by several ideologies that are neither of the same kind nor at the same level; this multiplicity explains the 'free' development of the positions adopted by the subject-individual. Thus the individual has at his disposal a 'play of manoeuvre' between several positions, between which he can 'develop', or even, if you insist, 'choose', determine his course, although this determination is itself determined, but in the play of the plurality of interpellations." - Louis Althusser, letter to Fernanda Navarro, 8 April 1986

 "Each of us belongs to a class, but also to a particular section or stratum of it. Each of us belongs to a family, i.e. to a micro-social entity which often presents major discontinuities with respect to society's general degree of development. Each of us lives in a society in which the classes stand opposed to one another but also influence one another and have periods of partial 'collaboration' in which one exercises hegemony over the other. Through the medium of culture, each of us (even without being specifically an intellectual) undergoes influences which come from afar both temporally and spatially. Each of us can become a part of a class different from his or her origins (either as a result of an actual change in socio-economic status or through a transfer of allegiance dictated by 'ideal' considerations), without for that matter ever being able to erase the traces of the past. Each of us under the influence of mystifying ideologies, can feel a national, religious or racial solidarity which overlays class solidarity. The list could be continued. A Marxist theory of the person must confront this entire complex of problems [...] and must attempt at least to sketch the general outlines of a materialist ethics." - Sebastiano Timpanaro, On Materialism

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