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N.

VV1^
1hisseiiesofieadeis,publ|shedinassociat|onwithNew Left Review,
aimstoilluminatekeytopicsinachangingwoild.
Other titles in the series:
BenedictAndeisonand Copal Balakiishnan,eds
Mapping the Aaton
SheilaRowbothamandMonica1hielfah,eds
Mapping the Women'smovemenrs
PeiiyAndeisonandPatiickCamillei,eds
Mapping the WesrurogeanIefr
Bu[[ID
_
OtO!O
_
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Eoiteoby
51:VO[.7!7E+
VERSO
London New York
First published by Verso 1 994
Verso 1 994
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Verso
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Verso is t he imprint of New Left Books
ISBN 1 -85984-955-5
ISBN 1 -85984-055-8 (pbk)
British Library Cataloguing in Publication Data
A catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library
Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
Mapping ideology / edited by Slavoj
Z
izek.
p. em. -(Mapping)
I ncludes index.
ISBN 1 -85984-955-5 (hard). -ISBN 1-85984-055-8 (pbk.)
1. Political science-History. 2. Right and left (Political science)-History. 3. Ideology
History. I.
Z
izek, Slavoj. I I . Series: Mapping (London, England)
JA83. M265 1 994
320-dc20
Typeset by Type Study, Scarborough
94-37642
CI P
Printed and bound i n Great Britain by Biddle, s Ltd, Guildford and King's Lynn
Contents
I NTRODUCTI ON 1heSectieof I deology
Slavoj
Z
iiek
1 MessagesinaBottle
Theodor W. Adorno
2 Adoino,Post-StiuctuialismandtheCiitiqueof
Identity
Peter Dews
3 1heCiitiqueofInstiumentalReason
S eyla B enhabib
4 1heMi
.
roi-phaseasFoimativeof theFunctionof
theI

Jacques Lacan
5 IdeologyandIdeologicalStateAppaiatuses( Notes
towaidsanInvestigation)
Louis Althusser
6 1heMechanismofIdeological(Mis)iecognition
Michel Pecheux
7 DeteiminacyandIndeteiminacyinthe1heoiyof
IdeoIogy
Nicholas Abercrombie, Stephen Hill andBlyan S. Turer
s 1he NewQuestionsofSubectiv|ty
Goran Therborn
9 IdeologyanditsVicissitudesinWesteinMaixism
Teny Eagleton
1
34
46
66
93
100
141
152
167
179
CONTENTS
I 0 Feminism,Ioeology,anoDeconstiuction.A
PiagmatistView
Richard Rorty
l I Ioeology,Politics,Hegemony. FiomCiamscito
Lac|auanoMouffe
Michele Barrett
I 2 DoxaanoCommLife.An Inteiview
Pierre Bourdieu and Terry Eagleton
. PostmooeinismanotheMaiket
Fredric] ameson
Id HowDi oMaixInventtheSymptom:
Slavoj
Z
iiek
ListofSouices
Inoex
..:
.-
.--
.s
.+-
.

I^AlIAI^
The Spectre of Ideology
Slavoj
Z
itek
I Critique of Ideology, today?
By way of a simple ieection on how the hoiizon of histoiical
imagination is subecteo to change, we b no ouiselves in medias res,
compelleo to accept the unielenting peitinence of the notion of
ioeology. Up to a oecaoe oi two ago, the system pioouction-natuie
(man's pioouctive-exploitative ielationship with natuie ano its ie-
souices) was peiceiveo as a constant, wheieas eveiybooy was busy
imaginingoiffeientfoimsofthesocialoiganizationofpioouctionano
commeice (Fascism oi Communism as alteinatives to libeial capital-
ism) , tooay, as Fieoiic[ameson peispicaciously iemaikeo, nobooy
seiiously consioeis possible alteinatives to capitalism any longei,
wheieas populai imagination is peisecuteo by the visions of the
foithcoming'bieakoownofnatuie`,ofthestoppageofall lif eoneaith
it seems easiei to imagine the 'eno ofthe woilo' than a fai moie
mooestchangeinthemooeofpioouction,asiflibeialcapitalismisthe
'ieal' that will somehow suivive even unoei conuitions of a global
ecological catastiophe. . . . One can thus categoiically asseit thc
existenceofioeologyqua geneiativematiixthatiegulatestheielation-
ship between visible ano non-visible, between imaginable ano non-
imaginable,aswellasthechangesi nthisielationship.
1hismatiixcanbeeasilyoisceineoin+heoialecticsof' olo'ano'new',
when aneventthat announces a who|lynew oimension oi epoch is
(mis)peiceiveo as thecontinuation ofoi ietuintothe past, oi the
oppositecase~ whenaneventthatisentiielyinsciibeoi nthelogicof
theexistingoioeiis(mis)peiceiveoasaiaoicaliuptuie.1hesupieme
exampleofthelattei,ofcouise,ispiovioeobythoseciiticsofMaixism
who(mis)peiceiveouilate-capitalistsocietyasanewsocialfoimation
. v.- -. c:..o.oc.
nolongeioominateobytheoynamicsofcapitalismasitwasoesciibeo
byMaix. Inoioeitoavoiothiswoin-outexample,howevei,letustuin
to the oomain of sexuality. One of tooay's commonplaces is that
so-calleo'viitual'oi'cybei' sexpiesents aiaoicalbieakwiththe past,
sincein it, actual sexualcontactwith a 'iealothei' is losing giouno
againstmastuibatoiyenoyment,whosesolesuppoitisaviitualothei -
phone-sex, poinogiaphy, up to computeiizeo 'viitual sex'. . . . 1he
Lacanianansweitothisisthathistwehavetoexposethemythof'ieal
sex'allegeolypossible'befoie'theaiiivalofviitualsex. Lacan's thesis
that'theieisnosexualielationship'meanspieciselythatthestiuctuie
ofthe 'ieal' sexual act (ofthe act with a D esh-ano-blooo paitnei) is
alieaoyinheientlyphantasmicthe'ieal'booyoftheotheiseivesonly
as asuppoitfoiouiphantasmicpioections. Inotheiwoios, 'viitual
sex'inwhichaglovesimulatesthestimuliolwhatweseeonthescieen,
anosoon,isnotamonstiousoistoitionofiealsex,itsimplyienoeis
manifestitsunoeilyingphantasmicstiuctuie.
Anexemplaiycaseoftheoppositemispeiceptionispiovioeobythe
ieactionofWesteinlibeialintellectualstotheemeigenceofnewstates
inthepiocessoftheoisintegiationofiealSocialisminEasteinEuiope.
they (mis)peiceiveo this emeigence as a ietuin to the nineteenth-
centuiy tiaoition of the nation-state, wheieas what we aie actually
oealing with is the exact opposite. the 'witheiing-away' ofthe tia
oitional nation-state baseo upon the notion of the abstiact citizen
ioentiheowiththeconstitutionallegaloioei. Inoioeitochaiacteiize
this newstate ofthings, tienne Balibai iecentlyiefeiieotothe olo
MaixianphiaseEs gibt heinen Staat in Europa theienolongeiexistsa
piopeistate inEuiope. 1heolo spectieolLeviathanpaiasitizingon
theLebenswelt of society, totalizing it fiom above, is moie ano moie
eiooeofiombothsioes.Ontheonehano,theieaiethenewemeiging
ethniccommunitiesalthoughsomeofthemaiefoimallyconstituteo
assoveieignstates,theyaienolongeistatesinthepiopeimooein-age
Euiopeansense,sincetheyoionotcuttheumbilicalcoiobetweenstate
ano ethnic community. (Paiaoigmaticheie is the case ofRussia, in
which local mahas alieaoy function as a kino of paiallel powei
stiuctuie. ) On the othei hano, theie aiethemultiple tiansnational
links, fiom multinational capital to mana caitels ano intei-state
politicalcommunities (EuiopeanUnion).
1heieaietwoieasonsfoithislimitationof statesoveieignty,eachof
which i s i n itself compelling enough toustify it. the tiansnational
chaiactei ofecological ciisis ano ofnucleaithieat. 1his eiooing of
stateauthoiityfiombothsioesismiiioieointhefactthattooaythe
basicpoliticalantagonismisthatbetweentheuniveisalist'cosmopoliti-
cal'libeialoemociacy(stanoingfoithefoicecoiiooingthestatefiom
. ao.cc. o
above) ano the new 'oiganic' populism-communitaiianism (stanoing
foithefoicecoiiooingthestatefiombelow).Ano asBalibaipointeo
out yet again this antagonism is to be conceiveo neithei as an
exteinaloppositionnoiasthecomplementaiyielationshipofthetwo
poles|nwhichonepolebalancestheexcessofitsopposite(inthesense
that,whenwehavetoomuchuniveisalism, alittlebitofethnicioots
givespeoplethefeelingofbelonging,anothusstabilizesthesituation),
but i n a genuinely Hegelian sense each pole oftheantagonismis
inheienttoitsopposite,sothatwestumbleuponitattheveiymoment
whenweenoeavouitogiasptheoppositepolefoiitself,topositit'as
such'.
Becauseofthisinheientchaiacteiofthetwopoles,oneshouloavoio
thelibeial-oemociatictiapofconcentiatingexclusively onthehoiii-
fyingfacts ano even moie hoiiifying potentials ofwhat is going on
tooay i n Russia ano some othei ex-Communist countiies . the new
hegemonicioeologyof'Euiasism'pieachingtheoiganiclinkbetween
communityanothestateasanantiootetothecoiiosiveinuenceofthe
'[ewish' piinciple ofmaiket ano social atomism, oithooox national
impeiialism as an antioote to Westein inoivioualism, ano so on. In
oioeitocombatthesenewfoimsofoiganicistpopulismeffectivelyone
must,asitweie,tuintheciiticalgazebackupononeselfanosubmitto
ciiticalsciutinylibeial-oemociaticuniveisalismitself whatopensup
thespacefoitheoiganicistpopulismistheweakpoint,the'falsity',of
thisveiyuniveisalism.
1hese same examples of the actuality of the notion of ioeology,
howevei, also ienoei cleai the ieasons why tooay one hastens to
ienounce the notion of ioeology. ooes not the ciitique ofioeology
involve a piivilegeo place, somehow exempteo fiom the tuimoils of
social life, which enables some subect-agent to peiceive the veiy
hiooen mechanismthatiegulatessocialvisibilityanonon-visibility: Is
notthe claimthatwecanacceoetothisplacethemost obviouscaseof
ioeology: Consequently, with iefeience to tooay's state ofepistemo-
logical ieection, isnotthenotionofioeologyself-oefeating:Sowhy
shouloweclingtoanotionwithsuchobviouslyoutoateoepistemologi-
calimplications (theielationshipof'iepiesentation'betweenthought
anoieality,etc. ) :Isnotitsutteilyambiguousanoelusivechaiacteiin
itself a sufhcient ieason to abanoon it: ' Ioeology' can oesignate
anythingfiomacontemplativeattituoethatmisiecognizes its oepen-
oenceonsocialiealitytoanaction-oiientateosetofbeliefs,fiomthe
inoispensablemeoiuminwhichinoivioualsliveouttheiiielationstoa
social stiuctuie to false ioeas which legitimate a oominant po|itical
d v.-- . c. ..o.oc.
powei.Itseemstopopuppieciselywhenweattempttoavoioit,whileit
failstoappeaiwheieonewoulocleailyexpectittoowell.
When some pioceouie is oenounceo as 'ioeologicalpar excellence',
one can be suie that its inveision is no less ioeological. Foi example,
among the pioceouies geneially acknowleogeo as 'ioeological' is
oebnitelytheeteinalization ofsomehistoiicallylimiteoconoition,the
actofoisceiningsome highei Necessityin acontingentoccuiience
(fiomthe giounoing ofmale oomination inthe 'natuie ofthings'to
1nteipietingAIDSasapunishmentfoithesinfullifeofmooeinman,
oi,atamoieintimatelevel,whenweencountcioui'tiuelove',itseems
as ifthisis whatwehavebeenwaitingfoiallouilife,as if,i nsome
mysteiiousway,allouipieviouslifehasleotothisencountei. . . ) . the
senseless contingency of the ieal is thus 'inteinalizeo', symbolizeo,
piovioeowith Meaning. Is notioeology,howevei,alsotheopposite
pioceouieoffailingtonoticethenecessity,ofmispeiceivingitas an
insignihcantcontingency(fiomthepsychoanalyticcuie,inwhichone
ofthemainfoimsoftheanalysano'siesistanceishisinsistencethathis
symptomaticslipoftonguewasameielapsewithoutanysignihcation,
uptotheoomainofeconomics,inwhichtheioeologicalpioccouiepar
excellence is to ieouce the ciisis to an exteinal,ultimately contingent
occuiience,thusfailingtotakenoteoftheinheientlogicofthesystem
that begets the ciisis): In this piecise sense, ioeology is the exact
opposite ofinteinalization ofthe exteinal contingency. it iesioes in
exteinalization oftheiesultofaninneinecessity, anothetaskofthe
ciitiqueofioeologyheieis pieciselytooisceinthehiooen necessityin
whatappeaisasameiecontingency.
1hemostiecentcaseofasimilaiinveisionwaspiovioeobytheway
Westein meoia iepoiteo on the Bosnian wai. 1he hist thing that
stiikestheeyeis the contiastto theiepoitingonthe I 99I CulfWai,
wheiewehaothestanoaioioeologicalpeisonihcation.
Instead of providing information Ln social, political or religious trends and
antagonisms in Iraq, the media ultimately reduced the confict to a quarrel
with Saddam Hussein, Evil Personifed, the outlaw who excluded himself
from the civilized international community. Even more than the destruction
of Iraq's military forces, the true aim was presented as psychological, as the
humiliation of Sad dam who was to 'lose face'. In the case of the Bosnian war,
however, notwithstanding isolated cases of the demonization of the Serbian
president Milosevic, the predominant attitude refects that of a quasi
anthropological observer. The media outdo one another in giving us lessons
on the ethnic and religious background of the confict; traumas hundreds of
years old are being replayed and acted out, so that, in order to understand
the roots of the confict, one has to know not only the history of Yugoslavia,
but the entire history of the Balkans from medieval times . . " In the
. ao.c. o -
Bosnian confict, i t is therefore not possible simply to take sides, on
.
e can only
atientlv trv to grasp the background of this savage spectacle, ahen to our
p
"
d I
civilized system of values . . . . Yet this opposite proce ure InVO ves an
ideological mystifcation even more cunning than the demomzatiOn of
Saddam Hussein. 2
In what, piecisely, consists this ioeological mystibcation: 1o put it
somewhatciuoely, theevocationofthe 'complexityofciicumstances'
s
eives to oelivei us fiom the iesponsibility to act. 1he comfoitable
attituoe ofa oistantobseivei, theevocationofthe allegeoly intiicate
contextofieligiousanoethnicstiugglesinBalkancountiies,isheieto
enabletheWesttosheoitsiesponsibilitytowaiostheBalkans thatis,
to avoio the bittei tiuth that, fai fiom piesenting the case of an
eccentiicethnicconHict,theBosnianwaiisaoiiectiesultoftheWest's
failuie to giasp the political oynamicofthe oisintegiationofYugo-
slavia,oftheWest'ssilentsuppoitof'ethniccleansing'.
In the oomain of theoiy, we encountei a homologous ieveisal
apioposofthe'oeconstiuctionist'pioblematizationofthenotionofthe
subect's guilt ano peisonal iesponsibility. 1he notion of a subect
moiallyanociiminallyfully'iesponsible'foihisactscleailyseivesthe
ioeological neeo to conceal the intiicate, always-alieaoy opeiative
textuieofhistoiico-oiscuisivepiesuppositions that not only piovroe
the context foi the subect's act but also oebne in aovance the
co-oioinatesofitsmeaning.thesystemcanfunctiononlyi fthecauseof
itsmalfunctioncanbelocateointheiesponsiblesubect's'guilt'.Oneof
thecommonplacesoftheleftistciiticismoflawisthattheattiibutionof
peisonaliesponsibilityanoguiltielievesusofthetaskofpiobrngrnto
theconcieteciicumstancesoftheactinquestron.Sufhceittoiecallthe
moial-maoiity piactice of attiibuting a moial qualihcation to the
highei ciime iate amongAfiicanAmeiicans (' ciiminal oispositions',
'moialinsensitivity',etc. ) . thisattiibutionpiecluoesanyanalysisofthe
conciete ioeological, political ano economic conoitions of Afiican
Ameiicans.
I s notthislogicof'puttingtheblameontheciicumstances'howevei,
takento itsextiemes, self-oefeatingin sofaiasitnecessaiilyleaosto
the unfoigettable ano no less ioeological cynicism of Biecht's
famouslinesfiomhisThreepenny Opera: 'Wiiwiengutanstattsoioh,
oochoieVeihltnisse,siesinonichtso' ' ('Wewoulobegoooinsteaoof
beingsoiuoe,ifonlytheciicumstancesweienotofthiskino' ):Inothei
woios, aie we, the speaking subects, not always-alieaoy engaged in
iecounting the ciicumstances that pieoeteimine the space of oui
activity:
A moie conciete example of the same unoecioable ambiguity is
- v.- - . c. ..o.oc.
piovidedbythestandaid'piogiessive'ciiticismLfpsychoanalysis.1he
iepioach heie is that the psychoanalytic explanation ofmiseiy and
psychicsuffeiingthioughunconsciouslibidinalcomplexes,oievenvia
a diiect iefeience to the 'death diive', iendeis the tiue causes of
destiuctiveness invisible. 1his ciitique of psychoanalysis found its
ultimatetheoieticalexpiessionintheiehabilitationoftheideathatthe
ultimate cause of psychic tiauma is ieal childhood sexual abuse. by
intioducing the notion ofthe phantasmic oiigin of tiauma, Fieud
allegedly betiayed the tiuth of his own discoveiy.` Instead of the
concieteanalysisofexteinal,actualsocialconditions- thepatiiaichal
family, its iole in the totality of the iepioduction of the capitalist
system,andsoon~ weaiethusgiventhestoiyofuniesolvedlibidinal
deadlocks,insteadoftheanalysisofsocialconditionsthatleadtowai,
weaiegiventhe'deathdiive' ,insteadof thechangeofsocialielations,
asolutionissoughti ntheinneipsychicchange,i nthe'matuiation'that
shouldqualifyustoacceptsocialiealityasitis. Inthispeispective,the
veiy stiivingfoisocialchange is denounced as an expiession ofthe
uniesolvedOedipuscomplex . . . . Isnotthisnotionofaiebelwho,by
way of his 'iiiational' iesistance to social authoiity, acts out his
uniesolved psychic tensions ideology at its puiest: Howevei, as
[acqueline Rose demonstiated,'such an exteinalization ofthe cause
into'socialconditions'isnolessfalse,insofaiasitenablesthesubectto
avoid confionting the ieal of his oi hei desiie. By means of this
exteinalizationoftheCause,thesubectisnolongeiengaged inwhatis
happeningtohim, heenteitainstowaidsthetiaumaasimpleexteinal
ielationship. faifiom stiiiingupthe unacknowledged keinel ofhis
desiie,thetiaumaticeventdistuibshisbalancefiomoutside. `
1hepaiadoxi nallthesecasesisthatthe stepping out of(what we experience
as) ideology is the very form ofour enslavement to it. 1heoppositeexampleof
non-ideologywhich possessesall thestandaidfeatuies ofideologyis
piovidedbytheioleofNeues Forum inex-EastCeimany Aninheiently
tragic ethicaldimensionpeitainstoitsfate.itpiesentsapointatwhich
anideology'takesitselfliteially'andceasestofunctionasan'obectively
cynical'(Maix)legitimizationofexistingpoweiielations.Neues Forum
consisted of gioups of passionate intellectuals who 'took socialism
seiiously'andweiepiepaiedtoiiskeveiythinginoideitodestioythe
compiomised system and ieplace it with the Utopian 'thiid way'
beyond capitalism and 'ieally existing' socialism. 1heii sinceie belief
and insistence that they weie not woiking foi the iestoiation of
Westeincapitalism,ofcouise, piovedtobe nothingbutaninsubstan-
tialillusion,wecouldsay,howevei,thatpieciselyassuch,asathoiough
. ao.cc. o :
illusionwithoutsubstance) itwasstricto sensu non-ideological: it didnot
'ieHect',i naninveited-ideologicalfoim, anyactualielationsofpowei.
1hetheoieticallessontobediawnfiom thisisthattheconceptof
ideology mustbedisengagedfiomthe 'iepiesentationalist'pioblem-
atic. ideology has nothing to do with 'illusion', witha mistaken, distoited
iepiesentation of its social content. 1o put it succinctly. a political
standpointcanbequiteaccuiate('tiue')astoitsobectivecontent, yet
thoioughly ideological, and, vice veisa, the idea that a political
standpointgivesofitssocialcontentcanpiovetotallywiong,yettheie
isabsolutely nothing'ideological' aboutit. Withiegaid tothe'factual
tiuth', the positionofNeues Forum takingthe disintegiationofthe
Communist iegime as the opening-up ofa way to invent some new
foimofsocialspacethatwouldieachbeyondtheconb nesofcapitalism
-wasdoubtlessillusoiy.OpposingNeues Forum weiefoiceswhoputall
theiibetsonthequickestpossibleannexationtoWestCeimanythatis
tosay,oftheiicountiy'sinclusioninthewoildcapitalistsystem, foi
them, the people aioundNeues Forum weie nothing but a bunch of
heioicdaydieameis.1hispositionpiovedaccuiate~yet it was none the
less thoroughly ideological. Why: 1he confoimist adoption of the West
Ceiman model implied an ideological belief in the unpioblematic,
non-antagonisticfunctioningofthelate-capitalist'socialstate',wheieas
thebist stance, althoughillusoiyas to itsfactualcontent(its 'enunci-
ated'),attested,bymeansofits'scandalous'andexoibitantpositionof
enunciation, toan awaieness oftheantagonismthatpeitains to late
capitalism.1hisisonewaytoconceiveoftheLacanianthesisaccoiding
towhichtiuthhasthestiuctuieofabction. inthoseconfusedmonths
ofthepassageof'ieallyexistingsocialism'intocapitalism,the fction ofa
'third way' was the only point at which social antagonism was not obliterated.
Heieinliesoneofthetasksofthe'postmodein'ciitiqueofideology.to
designate the elements within anexisting social oideiwhich~ inthe
guiseof'hction',that is, of' Utopian'naiiatives ofpossible butfailed
alteinative histoiies point towaids the system's antagonistic chai-
actei, and thus 'estiange' us to the self-evidence of its established
identity.
II Ideology: the Spectral Analysis of a Concept
In all these ad hoc analyses, howevei, we have alieadypracticized the
ciitiqueofideology,whileouiinitialquestionconceinedtheconcept of
ideology piesupposed i n this piactice. Up till now, we have been
guidedby a 'spontaneous' pie-compiehension which,althoughitled
us to contiadictoiy iesults, is not to be undeiestimated, but iathei
s v.- - . c. .ro:oc.
elicaied.Ioreamle,wesomehowimlicitlyseemtoknow whaiis
'no longer' ideology. as long as ihe IrankIurt School acceied ihe
criiique oI oliiical economy as iis Iase, ii remained wiihin ihe
co-ordinates oI ihe critique oI ideology, whereas ihe noiion oI
'insirumenial reason' no longer aeriains io ihe hoiizon oI ihe
criiiqueoIideology-- 'instiumenialieason'designaiesan aiiiiude ihai
isnoisimlyIunciionalwiihiegaidiosocialdominaiionIui, raiher,
servesasihe vevyIoundaiionoItherelationshioIdominaiion. An
ideologyisihusnoinecessarily'Ialse':asioitsositiveconteni,itcanIe
'irue', quiie accuiaie, since whai really maiieis is noi the asseried
conienias suchIutthe way this content is related to the subiective /(sition
implied by its own process ofer!.1@.Q.;We atcwithin1deologicalsace
per.enomcisccntent 'true'or'Ialse'(iItiue,somuchthe
IeiieiIorihe ideological eIIeci)~ is Iunciionalwiih regard io some
ielationoIsocialdomination('owei','eloitation')inaninherenily
non-iransarentway.the very logic oflegitimizing the relation ofdomination
must remain concealed [Tit isio'beel ctzve: Intbcrworos|hia:t(ng
oini+Ithccriiquo!.~i,hasIotIullacknowledgei;enioIihe
Tuc|Lai:tiseasilypossiIleiolie in the guiseof truth. When,Ioreamle,
soeesternowerinieivenesina1hirdWorldcouniiyonaccouni
oIviolationsoIhumanrights,iimaywellIe'tiue'ihatinthiscouniiy
ihemosielementary human righis weienoiiesecied, and ihai the
WesierninterveniionwilleIIeciivelyimroveihehumanrighisiecord,
yeisuchalegiiimizaiionnoneihelessie [
j_|p)so!aras:i
Iails to menton

ihe iue (o(jy_o](hcinie:vcntion (economic


in.cvess, :.,.tsnding mode oI ihis 'lying in ihe guise oI
tiuth' ioday is cynicism: wiih a disarming Iiankness one 'admiis
everyihing',yetihisIullacknowledgemenioIouroweiinieresisdoes
noiinanywayreventusIromursuingiheseinieresis~ iheIoimula
oIcynicismis nolongeriheclassic Maiian'iheydonoiknowii,Iui
iheyaredoingii';itis'theyknowverywellwhattheyaiedoing,yeiihey
aredoingii'.
How, ihen, areweioelicaie ihisimlicii re-comrehensionoI
ours:HowarewetoassIromdoaioiruih:1hehisiaroachihai
olIers iiselI is, oI course, the Hegelian hisiorical-dialeciical iians-
osiiion oI ihe roIlem into iis own soluiion. insiead oI direcily
evaluaiingiheadequacyor'tiuih'oIdiIIeieninoiionsoIideology,one
shouldread thi very multitude ofthe determinations of ideology as the index of
dferent concrete historical situations ihaiis,oneshouldconsideiwhat
Alihusser,inhisselI-criiicalhase, ieIeiredioasihe'ioicaliiyoI ihe
ihoughi',thewayathoughiisinsciiIedinioiisoIjeci, or, as Derrida
wouldhaveuiii,thewayiheIrameiiselIisaiioIiheIramedconieni.
When,Ioreamle,LeninismSialinismsuddenlyadoiediheierm
. ao.c. o 9
'roletarian ideology'i
.
nthelat

l920sinorder io designate notihe


disioriion'oI ioleiamanconsciousness undei iheressure oI Ioui
geois ideology I

t
.
ihe v

iy '
.
su

jeciive' d

iving

orce oI roleia

ian
revoluiionary aciiviiy, thisshiIi ihenoiionoIrdeologywas simcily
correlative io ihe reinieireiaiion oI Maiism iiselI as an imariial
'oIjeciive science', as a science ihai does noi in itselI involve ihe
roleiariansuIjeciiveosition: MarismFrsi,Iiomaneuiialdisiance
oImeialanguage,asceriainsiheoIjeciiveiendencyoIhisioryiowards
Communism; iheniielaIoraies ihe roleiarianideology'inoiderto
induce the working class io Iulhl iis hisiorical mission. A Iuriher
eamleoIsuch ashiItisihe alreadymeniionedassageoI Wesiern
VarismIromCriiiqueoIPoliiicalEconomytoCiitiqueoIInsiiumen-
ialReason.IromLukcs'sHistory and Class Consciousness andtheearly
IrankIuri School, where ideological disioriion is deiived Irom ihe
'commodiiy Iorm',tothe notion oI Instrumenial Reason whichis no
longeigroundedinaconcreiesocialrealityIuiis,raihei,conceivedas
a kind oI anthioological, even quasi-iranscendental, rimordial
consianiihatenaIlesustoelainthesocialrealiiyoIdominationand
eloiiaiion. 1his assage is emIedded in ihe iiansiiion Irom ihe
osi-World War I universe

in which hoe in ihe revoluiionary


outcomeoIthecrisisoIcaitalismwassiillalive,inioihedouIleirauma
oIihelaie l930sand l940s:the'regression'oIcaiialistsocieiiesinio
Iascismandihe'ioialiiaiian'iuinoItheCommunisimovemeni.
However,suchanaroach,althoughitisadequateatiisownlevel,
caneasilyensnareusinhisioricisirelativismihaisusendsiheinherent
cogniiive value oI ihe ieim 'ideology'and makes ii inio a mere
eressionoIsocialcircumsiances.Iorihaireason,iiseemsreIeiaIle
ioIeginwiihadiIIerent,synchronous aroach.Aioos oIieligion
(which, Ior Mar, was ideology par excellence) , Hegel disiinguished
three moments. doctrine, belief, and ritual; one is thus iemied io
disose ihe multiiude oI noiions associaied wiih ihe ierm 'ideology'
around ihese three aes: ideology as a comle oI ideas (iheories,
conviciions,IelieIs,argumeniaiiveiocedures); ideologyinitseter-
naliiy, that is, the maieriality oI ideology, Ideological Staie Aai-
aiuses;andhnally,ihemosielusivedomain,ihe'sonianeous'ideology
aiworkaitheheaiioIsocial'realiiy'iiselI(iiishighlyquesiionaIleiIihe
ierm'ideology'isaiallaioviaietodesignaiethisdomain~ hereitis
eemlaryihai,aroosoIcommodiiyIetishism,Marneverusedthe
ierm 'ideology'`). Lei us recall ihe case oIliIeralism. liIeralism is a
docirine (develoedIiomLockeioHayek)maierializedinritualsand
aaraiuses (Iree ress, elections, markei, eic.) and active in ihe
'sontaneous' (selI) eeiience oI suIjecis as 'Iree individuals`. 1he
oideroIconiriIuiionsinihisReadeiIollowsihislineihai,grosso modo,
l0 v.- - . c. .ro.oc.
hisiheHegelianiriadoI1n-itselI Ioi-itselI1n-and-IoriiselI.'1his
logico-narrative reconsiruciion oI ihe noiion oI ideology will Ie
ceniredonihereeaiedoccurrenceoIihealreadymentionedreversal
oInon-ideologyinioideology thatis,oIihesuddenawaienessoIhow
iheverygesiureoIsteingouioIideologyullsusIackinioii.
l.So,ioIeginwith,wehaveideology'iniiself:iheimmanentnoiionoI
ideologyasadocirine,acomositeoIideas,IelieIs,conceis, andso
on, desiined io convince us oI iis 'iiuih', yei aciually seiving some
unavowed articular ower inierest. 1he mode oI ihe criiique oI
ideologyihaicorresondsioihisnoiionisihaioIsymptomal reading: the
aimoIthecriiiqueisiodiscerniheunavowedIiasoItheoIhcialtetvia
iisruiuies,Ilanksandslis iodisceinin'equaliiyandIreedom'the
equaliiyandIreedomoItheartnersinthemarkeiechangewhich,oI
course, rivilegesihe owner oI ihe means oI roduciion, and so on.
HaIermas, erhas ihe lasi greai rereseniaiive oI ihis iradition,
measuresihedisioiiionand/orIalsiiyoIanideologicaledihcewiihthe
siandardoInon-coerciverationalargumeniation,akindoI'regulaiive
ideal' that, accoidingto him, inheres in ihesymIolic oidei as such.
1deologyis asysiemaiicallydisiortedcommunication: atetinwhich,
underiheinuenceoIunavowedsocialinierests(oIdomination,eic.),
agasearaiesiis'oIhcial',uIlicmeaningIromiisactualinieniion~
that is io say, in which we aie dealing wiih an unreecied iension
IeiweeniheeliciienunciaiedconienioIiheteiandiisragmaiic
resuosiiions.'"
1oday, however, roIaIly ihe mosi iestigious tendency in ihe
ciiiiqueoIideology,oneihaigrewouioIdiscourseanalysis,inverisihis
relaiionshi: whaitheiiadiiionoIEnlighienmenidismissesasamere
disiurIance oI 'noimal' communication turns oui to Ie iis osiiive
condiiion.1he concreieiniersuIjeciive saceoI symIoliccommuni-
caiionisalwayssiruciuredIyvarious(unconscious)ieiualdevicesihat
cannoiIereduced io secondaiy rheioric. Whatwe are dealingwiih
heieisnoiacomlemeniarymoveioiheiradiiionalEnlightenmenioi
HaIermasian aroach Iui iis inheient reversal. whai HaIermas
eiceivesasthesieouioIideologyisdenouncedhereasideologypar
excellence. 1n ihe Enlightenment iiadiiion, 'ideology' siands Ior ihe
Ilurred ('Ialse') noiion oI realiiy caused Iy various 'athological'
inieiests(IearoIdeaihandoInaturalIoices,oweiinieresis,etc.);Ioi
discourse analysis, ihevery noiion oIanaccessio realiiyunIiasedIy
any discursive devices orconjunctionswiihoweiisideological.1he
'zeio level' oI ideology consists in (mis)erceiving a discuisive Ior-
maiionasaneiradiscursiveIaci.
. ao.cc+. o ll
Alreadyi nihe l950s,inMythologies, Roland Barihesioosedihe
noiionoIideologyasihe'natuialization'oIihesymIolicorderihaiis,
astheerceiionihatreihesiheresultsoIdiscursiveroceduresinto
roeriiesoIihe'ihingitself.PauldeMan'snoiionoIihe'iesisianceto
(deconsiiuciionisi)theory'runsalongthesamelines. 'deconsiruciion'
oet wiih such iesisiance Iecause ii 'denaturalizes' the enunciaied
conteniIyIringingioihelighioIdayihediscuisive roceduresihat
engenderevidenceoISense.ArguaIlyihe mosielaIoraieversionoI
ihisaioachisOswaldDucrot'stheoryoIargumeniaiion'',although
iidoesnoiemloytheierm'ideology',iisideologico-criticaloientialis
iremendous. Ducrot'sIasicnoiionisthaionecannoidrawaclearline
oI searaiion Ieiween descriiive and argumentaiive levels oI lan-
guage. ihere is no neuiral desciitive conieni, every desciiiion
(designaiion) is already a momeni oI some argumeniaiive scheme,
descriiive iedicaies ihemselves are ultimaiely ieihed-naiuralized
argumentaiivegesiures.1hisargumeniaiiveihrusireliesontopoi, on
ihe'commonlaces'thatoeraieonlyasnaiuialized,onlyinsoIaias
we aly ihem in an auiomaiic, 'unconscious' way a successIul
argumeniation resuoses the invisiIility oI ihe mechanisms ihai
regulaieitseIhciency.
One should also meniion here Michel Pccheu, who gave a sirict
linguisiic iurn io Alihusser's iheory oI inierellaiion. His work is
ceniredonthediscursivemechanismsihai generaie ihe 'evidence'oI
Sense.1hatisiosay,oneoIiheIundamenialsiiaiagemsoIideologyis
the ieIerence io someselI-evidence 'Look,youcanseeIoryourselI
how ihings are'. 'Let ihe Iacis seak Ior ihemselves' is erhas ihe
archstaiemenioIideology~ iheoiniIeing,recisely,ihaiIacisnever
'seak Ior ihemselves' Iui aie always made to speak Iy a neiwork oI
discursivedevices.SuIhceiiiorecallihenoiorious anii-aIortion hlm
The Silent Scream we'see'aIoetuswhich'deIendsiiself,which'ciies',
andsoon,yeiwhatwe'don'isee'inihisveiyacioIseeingisthaiwe'see'
allihisagainsiiheIackgroundoIadiscursivelyre-constiuciedsace.
Discourseanalysisiserhasatitsstiongesiinansweiingihisrecise
quesiion: when a racist Lnglishman says here are too many Pakis-
ianisonourstreeis;',how -from whatplace-does he 'see' this-thaiis,how
is his symIolic sace siruciured soihai he can erceive iheIacioIa
PakistanisirollingalongaLondonsiieeiasadisiurIingsurlus.1hat
is io say, here one musi Iear in mind Lacan's moiio ihat nothing is
lacking in the real: everyerceiionoIalackoiasurlus('noienoughoI
ihis','ioomuchoIthai')alwaysinvolvesasymbolic univeise.'
LasiIuinoileasi, meniionshouldIemadehereoIErnesioLaclau
and his aih-Ireaking aroach io Iascism and oulism,'` whose
mainiheoreiicaliesultisihatmeaningdoesnotinherein elemenisoI
12
v.- - . c. .ro.oc.
anideologyassuch theseelemenis,raihei,Iunciionas'Iree-oaiing
signihers' whose meaning is hed Iy ihe mode oI iheir hegemonic
ariiculaiion.Ecology,Ioreamle,isnevei'ecologyassuch',itisalways
enchained in a secihc series oI equivalences: itcanIeconservative
(advocaiingiheretuinioIalanced ruralcommuniiiesandiradiiional
waysoI liIe),etaiisi(onlyasirongsiateregulaiioncansaveusIromihe
imending caiasirohe), socialist (ihe ultimaie cause oI ecological
ioIlems resides in ihe caiialisi rohi-orieniaied eloitaiion oI
naiuralresources),liIeral-caiialisi(oneshouldincludeihedamageio
theenvironmentiniheiiceoIiheroduci,andihusleaveihemaikei
ioregulaieiheecologicalIalance),Ieminist(iheeloiiaiionoInaiure
Iollows Irom ihe male aiiiiude oI dominaiion), anarchic selI-
managerial(humaniiycansurviveonlyiIitreorganizesitselIiniosmall
selI-reliani communiiiesthailiveinIalancewithnaiure), and so on.
1heoini,oIcouise, isihatnoneoIihese enchainmenis isin iiselI
'irue',inscriIediniheveiynaiureoIiheecologicalioIlemaiic.wIich
discouisewillsucceedin'aroriating'ecologydeendsonihehghi
Ior discursive hegemony, whose ouicone is not guaranteed Iy any
underlyingnecessiiyor'naturalalliance'.1heoiherinevitaIleconse-
quence oI such a noiion oI hegemonic aiticulaiion is ihai etaiist,
conservaiive, socialisi, and so on, inscriiion oI ecology does noi
designaie a secondary connotaiion that sulements iis rimary
'liieial' meaning. as Derrida would have ui ii, this sulemeni
reiioactively (re)dehnes ihe very nature oI 'liieral' ideniiiy a
conservaiive enchainmeni,Ioreamle,throwsasecihclighionthe
ecological ioIlemaiiciiselI('dueiohisIalseaiiogance, manIoisook
hisrooisinthenaiuralorder',eic.).
2
. WhaiIollo

iststeIromin-iiselfio'Ioiiisl|i(dologyiniis
O1 1t t eiiomizedIyiheAlihusserian
notion oI Ideological Siuie Aaraiuses (ISA) thai designaie ihe
maieiial eistence oI ideology in ideological raciices, riiuals and
insiituiions.' Religious IelieI, Ior eamle, is not merely or even
iimarilyaninnerconviciion,IuiiheChurchasaninstiiuiionandiis
riiuals(rayer,Iaiism,conFrmation,conIession. . . )which,Iai|rom
IeingameresecondaiyeiernalizationoI iheinnerIelieI,standIorthe
very mechanisms that generate it. WhenAlihusserreeais, aIier Pascal:
'AciasiIyouIelievc,ray,kneeldown,andyoushallIelieve,Iaiihwill
arrive Iy iiself, he delineaies an iniricaie ieeciive mechanism oI
ietroactive 'auiooeiic' Ioundaiion ihatIareceeds the reductionisi
assertion oI the deendence oI inner IelieIon eternal Iehavioui.
1haiisiosay,iheimliciilogicoIhisaigumeniis.kneeldownandyou
shall believe that you knelt down because (f your belief thai !
. ao.cc. o .
yourIollowingtheriiualisaneression/eIIecioIyouiinnerIelieI;in

shori,ihe'eiernal'iiiualerIormativelygeneratesitsownideological
Ioundaiion.'
Whatweencounierhereagaini sihe'regression'inioideologyaithe
very oini where we aarenily sie oui oI ii.1n ihis reseci, the
ielaiionshiIeiweenAlihusserandIoucaultisoIsecialinterest.1he
Ioucauldian counieraris io Ideological Siaie Aaratuses aie the
discilinary roceduiesthaioeraieaiiheleveloI'micro-ower'and
designaie ihe oini aiwhich power inscribes itself into the body directly,
bypassing ideology Ioi ihai iecise reason, Ioucauli never uses ihe
term 'ideology' aroos oI1hese mechanisms oI micro-ower. 1his
aIandoningoIiheroIlemaiic oIideology eniailsaIatal weaIness oI
Ioucauli's theory. Ioucauli never iires oI ieeaiing how ower
consiituies iiselI 'Iiom Ielow', how ii does not emanaie lom some
uniquesummii:ihisveiysemIlanceoIaSummii(iheMonarchorsome
oiheremIodimenioISovereigniy) emergesasihesecondaiyeIIecioI
the luraliiy oI micro-raciices, oI ihe comle network oI iheir
inierrelations.However, whenheiscomellediodislayiheconcreie
mechanism oI ihis emergence, Ioucauli resoris to the etremely
susecirheioricoIcomleiiy,evokingtheiniricaieneiworkoI lateral
links,leIiandrighi,uanddown. . . aclearcaseoIaichingu,since
one can nevei arrive ai Power ihis way ~ ihe aIyss thai searates
micro-rocedures Irom ihe sectie oI Power remains unIridgeaIle.
Alihusser's advaniage over Ioucauli seems evident. Alihusser ro-
ceeds in cacily ihe oosiie diieciion ~ Iiom ihe veiy outsei, he
conceivesihesemicro-roceduresasartsoIiheISA;ihatistosay,as
mechanismswhich, inoiderio Ieoeiative, to 'seize'iheindividual,
alwaysalready iesuose ihe massive resence oI the siaie, ihe
iransIereniialielaiionshioItheindividualiowaidssiaieower,or
in Alihusser'sierms iowards theideologicalIigOtheiinwhom ihe
inierellaiionoiiginaies
1his Althusserian shiIi oI emhasis Iom ideology 'in-iiselfio iis
maierialeisienceiniheISAroveditsIecundiiyinanewaroachio
Iascism;WolIgangIiiizHaug'scriiicismoIAdornoiseemlaryhere.
AdornoreIusesio tieai Iascism as anideologyiniheroersenseoI
ihe term, ihai is, as 'raiional legitimizaiion oI ihe eisiing order'.
So-called ' Iascisi ideology' no longei ossesses ihe coherence oI a
raiional consiruci thai calls Ior concetual analysis and ideologico-
criiical ieIutaiion; ihai is io say, it no longei Iunctions as a 'lie
necessarily eeiienced as iruih' (ihe sign oI recogniiion oI a irue
ideology).' Iascisiideology'isnoiiakenseriouslyevenIyiisromoteis;
iis siaius is urely insirumenial, and uliimately relies on eiernal
coercion.' InhisresonseioAdoino, however, Haug'iriumhanily
Id v.- - . c. ..o:oc.
demonsiraieshowihiscaiiulaiionioiheiimacyLIthedociiine,Iar
Iromimlyingihe'endoIideology',asseiistheIoundinggesiureoIthe
ideological as such. ihe call to uncondiiional suIordinaiion and to
'iraiional'sacrihce.Whai liIeial criiicism (mis)eiceives as Iascism's
weaknessistheveryresorioIiissirengih.wiihiniheIascisthorizon,the
veiydemandIorraiionalaigumeniaiionihaishouldiovidegrounds
IorouracceianceoIauihoriiyisdenouncedinadvanceasanindeoI
iheliIeialdegeneiaiionoIiheiruesiriioIeihicalsacrihce asHaug
uts it, in Iiowsingihrough Mussolini's ieis, one cannot avoid ihe
uncanny Ieeling ihat Mussolini had iead Alihusser' 1he direci
denunciation oI the Iascisi noiion oI the 'communiiy-oI-ihe-eole
[VolksgemeinschaJt]
,
as a deceiive luie ihai conceals the realiiy oI
dominationandeloiiaiionIailstoiakenoteoIiheciucialIaciihaithis
VolksgemeinschaJt wasmaterializedinaseriesoIritualsandraciices(noi
onlymassgaiheringsandaradesIuialsolarge-scalecamaignsiohel
ihehungry,oiganizedsoiisandculturalactiviiiesIoriheworkers,eic.)
whicheiIormaiivelyroducediheeffectofVolksgemeinschaJt.18
Inthe neisie oIoui ieconstruction, ihiseteinalizaiionis, asit
were, 'ieecied inio iiselI`. whai takes lace is the disiniegiaiion,
selI-limiiaiionandselI-disersaloIihenoiionoIideology.Ideologyis
no longer conceived as a homogeneous mechanism ihai guaraniees
social reroduciion, as the 'cement' oIsocieiy; ii iurns inio aWiit-
gensieinian 'Iamily' oI vaguely connecied and heterogeneous io-
ceduieswhosereachissiricilylocalized.Alongiheselines,ihecriiiques
oI ihe so-called Dominani Ideology 1hesis (DI1) endeavour io
demonsiiaieihaianideologyeiihereerisaninuenceihaiiscrucial,
Iui consirained io some narrow social siraium, or iis role in social
reioduction is maiginal. At the Ieginnings oI caiialism, Ioi e-
amle,iheroleoIihePioiestanteihicoIhardworkas anend-in-iiselI,
andsoon,waslimitedioihesiratumoIemeigingcaitalists,whereas
workersand easants, aswellastheuerclasses, coniinued tooIey
oiher, moie iradiiional eihical atiiiudes, so ihai one can in no way
aitriIuieio ihe Proiesiantethic iheroleoIihe 'cemeni'oIihe eniiie
socialedihce.1oday,inlaiecaiialism,whentheeansionoIihenew
mass media in rincile, at leasi, enaIles ideology eIIeciively io
eneiraieeveiyoreoIihesocialIody,iheweighioIideologyassuch
isdiminished.individualsdonoiaciasiheydorimarilyonaccounioI
iheirIelieIsorideologicalconviciionsthaiisiosay,thesysiem,Iorthe
mosiari,Iyassesideologyiniisreioductionandreliesoneconomic
coercion,legalandsiaieiegulaiions,andsoon."
Here,however,ihingsgetIlurredagain,sinceihemomeniwetakea
closerlookaiiheseallegedlyeiiaideologicalmechanismsihaiiegulaie
. ao.cc. o I 5
social reroduciion, we hnd ouiselves knee-dee i n ihe alieady
mentionedoIscuredomain inwhichiealiiyisindisiinguishaIleIiom
ideology.Whaiweencounieihere,thereIore, is ihe ihiid ieveisaloI
non-ideology into ideology. all oI a sudden we Iecome aware oI a
Ioi-itselIoIideologyaiworkintheveiy In-iiselIoIeira-ideological
aciualiiy. Iirsi, ihe mechanisms oI economic coercion and legal
iegulaiion always 'materialize' some roositions orIelieIs ihai aie
inlerenilyideological (thecriminallaw,Ioreanle, nvolvesaIelieI
inihe eisonal resonsiIiliiyoIihe individual orthe conviciion ihat
crimes are a roouci oIsocial ciicumstances).Secondly, ihe IormoI
consciousness ihai bis late-caitalisi 'osi-ideological' socieiy ~ the
cynical, 'soIer'atiiiudeihaiadvocatesliIeral'oenness'in ihe maiiei
oI'oinions'(everyIodylsIieeioIelievewhaieversheorhewanis;this
concerns only his oi hei rivacy), disregards aiheiic ideological
phiases and Iollows only uiilitarian and/or hedonistic moiivaiions
stricto sensu remains an ideological atiiiude. ri involves a seiies oI
ideological resuosiiions (oniheielaiionshiIeiween 'values' and
'real liIe', on ersonal Iieedom, eic.) thai are necessaiy Ior ihe
ieroduciionoIeisiingsociaIrelaiions.
Whai iheieIy comes inio sighi is a ihiid coniineni of ideological
henomena. neiiherideologyqua eliciidocirine,ariiculaiedconvic-
iionsonihenatureoIman,socieiyandiheuniverse,norideologyiniis
maierialeisience (insiituiions,iiiualsandraciicesihaigiveIodyio
ii),IuiiheelusivenetwoikoIimlicii, quasi-'sonianeous'iesuo-
sitions andaiiiiudesihaiIoim an iireduciIle momenioIihe reio-
duciion oI 'non-ideological' (economic, legal, oliiical, seual. . . )
raciices.1heMaiiannoiionoI'commodiiyIeiishism`iseemlaiy
here. iidesignaiesnoia(Iourgeois)iheoryoIoliiicaleconomyIuta
seriesoIresuosiiionsthaideiermineihesiruciuieoIihevery'real'
economiciaciiceoImaiketechange~ iniheory,acaiialisiclingsio
utiliiarian nominalism, yeiin his own ractice (oI echange, eic.) he
Iollows 'iheological whimsies' and acis as a seculative idealisi . .. .
41
Iorihaireason,adirecireIeiencetoeira-ideologicalcoercion(oIihe
markei,Ioreamle)isanideologicalgesiurepar excellence: ihemarkei
and(mass) mediaaredialecticallyinierconnecied;weliveina'socieiy
oI ihe seciacle' (Guy DeIoid) in which ihe media siruciure our
ercetionoIrealiiyinadvance andrenderrealiiy indisiinguishaIle
Iromihe'aesiheiicized'imageoIit.
III The pectre and the Real of Antagonism
Isourhnalouicome,ihereIore,iheinhereniimossiIilityoIisolatinga
iealiiywhoseconsisiencyisnoimaintainedIyideologicalmechanisms,
|- v.- - . c. ..o.oc.
arealiiyihaidoesnotdisiniegiateihemomeniwesuIiractIromi i iis
ideological comoneni: 1hereiniesidesoneoIthemainieasonsIoi
rogiessiye aIandonmeni oI ihe noiion oI ideology: ihis noiion
somehowgrows'ioosiiong',iiIeginsioemIraceeveryihing,inclusive
oIiheveiyneuiral,eiia-ideologicalgroundsuosedioiovidethe
siandardIy meansoIwhichonecanmeasureideological disioriion.
1haiisio say,i snotiheultimaieiesultoIdiscourseanalysisthaiihe
oideroIdiscouiseassuchisinherenily'ideological':
Leius suose ihaiatsomeoliiicalmeeiingoracademic conIei-
ence, we aieeeciedioronouncesomeioIoundihoughisonihe
sadlighioIihehomelessinourIigciiies,yeiwe haveaIsoluielyno
ideaoIiheiraciualroIlems ihewayiosaveIaceisioroduceihe
eIIecioI 'deih' Iy means oIaurelyIoimal inveision. oday, one
heais andreads alotaIouiihe lighi oIihe homeless inourciiies,
aIoui iheir hardshi and disiress. Perhas, howevei, this distress,
deloraIle as ii may Ie, is uliimaiely just a sign oI someIaideeer
distiess-oItheIacithaimodeinmannolongerhasaroerdwelling,
thai he is more and moie a siiangei in his own world. Even iI we
consirucied enough newIuildings io house all homeless eole, ihe
truedistiesswoulderhasIeevengreaiei.1heessenceoIhomeless-
nessisthehomelessnessoIiheessenceitselI,iiresidesiniheIacithai,
in our world ihiown oui oI joini Iy ihe Iieneiic search Ior emiy
leasuies,ihereisnohome,noroerdwelling,Iortheiiulyesseniial
dimensionoIman.'
1hisIormalmairicanIealiedioaninhniiemultiiudeoIthemes
~ say,distanceandioimiiy:oday,modernmediacanIringevenis
IromiheIarihesiaiioIourearih,evenIromnearIylaneis,closeio
us in a slii second. Does noi ihis very all-eivasive roimiiy,
however, remove us Irom ihe auiheniic dimension oI human eisi-
ence: IsnoiiheessenceoImanmoredisiantIromusihaneveiioday:'
OriherecurrenimoiiIoIdanger: oday,onehearsandreadsaloi
aIouthow ihe veiy survival oIthe humanraceisihieaienedIyihe
rosecioIecologicalcaiasirohe (ihedisaearingozonelayer,ihe
greenhouse eIIeci, eic.). 1he true dangei, however, lies elsewhere.
what is uliimately ihreaiened is the very essence oI man. As we
endeavour io reveni ihe imending ecological caiasirohe wiih
newerandneweriechnologicalsoluiions('enviionmeni-Iiiendly'aero-
sols, unleaded etrol, etc.), we are inIacisimly adding Iuel io ihe
ames,andihusaggravaiingiheihreaitoihesiriiualessenceoIman,
whichcannoiIereducedtoaiechnologicalanimal.'
1heuielyIormaloeiaiionwhich,inallihesecases,IringsaIoui
iheeIIecioIdeihiseihasideologyaiitsuresi,iis'elemeniarycell',
whose link to ihe Lacanian concei oI the Masier-Signiher is noi
. ao.cc. o |:
diIhculi to discern. ihe chainoI 'ordinaiy' signiFers regisiers some
posiiiveknowledgeaIouihomelessness,whereasihe MasterSigniher
siands Ior 'the tiuly essential dimension' aIoui which we need noi
oake any osiiive claim (Ior ihai reason, Lacan designates ihe
Vasier-Signiherihe 'signiherwiihoui signihed'). 1his Iormal matri
oeais witness inan eemlaiy way to ihe selIdeIeating ower oIa
formal discourse analysis oIideology: iis weakness resides iniisveiy
siiengih,sinceiiisuliimaielycomellediolocaieideologyinihega
oeiween ihe 'ordinary' signiIying chain and the ecessive Masier-
SigniherihaiisaiioIihesymIolicordeiassuch.
Here, however, one should Ie careIul io avoid ihe lasi iia ihai
oakesusslidinioideologyundeiiheguiseoIsteingouioIii.1hai
isiosay,whenwe denounce asideologicaliheveiyaiiemiiodrawa
clear line oI demarcaiion Ieiween ideology and aciual iealiiy, ihis
ineviiaIlyseemsioimosetheconclusionthaiiheonlynon-ideological
posiiionistorenounceiheverynoiionoIetra-ideologicalrealiiyand
acceiihaiallwearedealingwiiharesymIolicFciions,iheluialiiyoI
discuisive universes, nevei 'iealiiy' such a quick, slick 'postmodern'
solution, however, is ideology par excellence. Iiallhinges onourersisting
in ihis imossiIle osiiion. alihough no clear line oI demarcaiion
searaiesideologyIromiealiiy,althoughideologyisalreadyaiworkin
everyihingweeerience as 'realiiy', wemusinoneiheless mainiain
iheiensionihaikeesihecritique oIideologyalive.Peihas,Iollowing
Kani, we could designaie this imasse ihe 'antinomy oI criiico-
ideologicalieason'. ideologyisnoi all;iiisossiIle io assume alace
ihaienaIlesusiomainiainadisianceIromii,but this place from which one
can denounce ideology must remain empty, it cannot be occupied by any
positively determined reality ihemomeniweyieldioihisiemiation,we
areIackinideology.
HowareweioseciIythisemtylace:Peihasweshouldiakeasa
siariingoiniiheihreadihairunsihroughoureniirelogico-nariative
reconsiructionoI thenoiionoIideology: iiis asiI,ateverystage,the
same oosiiIon, ihe same undecidable aliernaiive Inside/Ouiside,
reeaisiiselIunderadiIIeienteoneni.Iirsi,ihereisihesliiwiihin
ideology'inIiself.oniheonehand,ideologysiandsIorthedisioriion
oI rational argumeniaiion and insighi due io ihe weighi oI ihe
'athological'eiernalinieresisoIower,eloiiaiion,andsoon; on
ihe other, ideology iesides in ihe veiy noiion oI a thoughi not
peimeaiedIy somenon-iransareniowersiraiegy, oIanargument
ihaidoesnotrely uon somenon-transaienirheioiicaldevices+ . + .
N ei,ihisveryeiernalitysliisinioan'innereiernaliiy'(ihesymIolic
crdei,i.e. thedecentied discuisivemechanismsihai generaie Mean-
tng) and an 'eternal eternaliiy' (ihe ISA and social riiuals and
.s v- - . c. ..o:oc.
iaciices ihai materialize ideology) ~ the externality misrecognized by
ideology i the externality of the 'text' itsef well the externality of 'extra
textual' social reality. Iinally, this 'eira-ieiual' social reality iiselI is
slii inio ihe insiiiuiional Eierior ihat dominates and iegulates ihe
liIeoIindividuals'IromaIove' (ISA) ,andideologyihaiisnotimosed
Iy ihe ISA Iui emerges 'sonianeously', 'Irom Ielow`, oui oI the
eira-insiiiutional activiiy oIindividuals (commodiiy Ieiishism) io
giveiinames,Alihusser versus Lukcs.1hisoosiiion Ietween ISA
and commodiiy Ieiishism Ietweenthemateriality that always-already
pertains to ideology as such (maierial, eIIective aaraiuses which give
Iodyioideology)andideology that always-already pertains to materiality as
such (io ihe social aciuality oI roduction) is ultimately ihe oo-
siiion Ieiween Siate and Markei, Ieiween ihe eiernal suer|or
agencyihaiorganizessocieiy'IromaIove'andsocieiy's'sonianeous'
selI-organizaiion.
1hisoosiiion,whosebrsihilosohicalmaniIestaiionisiovided
Iy ihe coule oI Plaio and Aristotle, bnds iis last eiession in ihe
guise oI ihe iwo modes oI cynical ideology. 'consumerisi', osi-
Proiestani, late-caiialisi cynicism, andihecynicismihat ertained io
ihe laie'realSocialism'.Alihough, i Ioihcases,ihe sysiemIunciions
onlyonconditionthaisuIjecismainiainacynicaldistanceanddonoi
'iake seriously' the 'oIbcial' values, ihe diIIerence is remarkaIle; ii
turns uside downihe doa according io which laie caiialism, as a
(Iormally) 'Iree' socieiy, relies onaigumeniaiive ersuasion and lee
conseni,'maniulaied'andIaIricaiedasiimayIe; wheieasSocialism
resoried io ihe iaw Iorce oI 'iotalitarian' coercion. Ii is as iIin laie
caiialism 'words do not count', no longer oIlige. ihey increasingly
seemtoloseiheirerIormativeower;whateveronesaysisdiowned
in ihe geneial indiIIerence; ihe emeror is naked and ihe media
irumet Iorth this Iact, yet noIody seems ieally io mind ihai is,
eolecontinueioaciasiIiheemeioiisnoinaked . . . .
Peihas ihe key Ieaiure oIihe symIolic economy oI ihe laie 'rea|
Socialism'was,oniheconirary,ihealmosiaranoiacbelief in the power
ofthe Word ihesiaie andiherulingartyreaciedwiihuimosiner
vousness andanic ai ihe slighiesiuIliccriticism, as iIsomevague
ciiiicalhinisinanoIscure oemuIlishedinalow-ciiculaiionliier-
aiy journal, or an essay in an academic hilosohical journal, os-
sessed ihe oieniial caaciiy io trigger ihe elosion oI the eniire
socialist sysiem. 1ncidentally, ihis Ieaiure renders 'real Socialism'
almosi symaiheiicioouireiioseciive nosialgic view,sinceiiIears
wiinesstoihelegacyoIiheEnlighienmeni(theIelieIinihesocialeIIi
cacyoIiationalargumentation) ihaisurv

ivedin ii. 1his,erhas,was


whyiiwasossiIleioundermine'realSocialism'IymeansoIeaceIul
. ao.cc+. o .+
|
civilsocieiymovemenisihaioeiatcdatiheleveloIiheWord~ IelieI
iniheoweroIiheWoidwasihesystem'sAchillesheel. `
1le maiii oI all ihese reeiiiions, erhas, is the oostiton
oetweenideology as ihe universe oI 'sonianeous' eerience [ vecu]
wlose gri we can Iieak only Iy means oI an eIIoii oI scieniibc
redeciion, andideology as aradicallynon-sonianeousmachineihai
distorisiheauiheniicityoIouiliIe-eerienceIiomouiside.1haiisio
say, whai we should always Iear in mind is ihai, Ior Mar, the
rioordial myihological consciousness oIihe reclass socieiy ouioI
wlichlaierideologiesgrew(irueioiheheriiageoIGermanclassicism,
Vai saw ihe aradigm oI this rimordial social consciousness in
Creek myihology) is not yet ideology proper
,
alihough (or, raiher,
ieciselyIecause) iiisimmediatelyvecu, andalihoughitisoIviously
'wiong' , 'illusory' (ii involves the divinizationoIihe Iorces oInaiure,
eic. ), ideologyroeiemergesonlywiihthedivisionoI laIouiandthe
classslit,onlywhenihe'wrong'ideasloseiheii'immediaie'characier
andare'elaIoraied'Iyinielleciualsinordeiioserve(iolegiiimize)ihe
eisiingrelationsoIdominaiioninshoii, onlywhenihe divisioninio
VasierandServantisconjugatedwiihihedivisionoIlaIouritselIinio
inielleciualandhysicallaIoui.Iorihaiiecisereason,MarreIused
iocategorize commodiiy Ietishism as ideology. Iorhim, ideologywas
alwaysoIihesiaieand,asEngelsuiii,siateiiselIisihebrsiideological
Iorce.Inclearconirasi,Althusserconceivesideologyasanimmediaiely
eeriencedrelaiionshiioiheuniveise~ as such, iiiseternal; when,
followinghis selIcriiical iurn, heiniroducesihe conceioI ISA, he
reiurns inawayto Mai. ideology does noigrowouioI'liIeiiself,ii
comesintoeisienceonlyinsoIarassocieiyisregulaiedIysiaie.(More
recisely,ihearadoandiheoreiicalinieresioIAlihusserresidesin
his conjugationoIihetwolines. iniisveiycharacieioIimmediaiely
eeiiencedrelaiionshi io ihe universe, ideology is always-alieady
iegulatedIyiheeiernalityoISiateandiis1deologicalAaraiuses.)
1histensionIeiween'sonianeiiy'andorganizedimosiiioniniro-
ducesakindoIieeciivedisianceinioiheveiyheartoIihenoiionoI
ideology: ideology is always, Iy debniiion, 'ideology oI ideology'.
SuIbce ii toiecallihe disiniegraiion oIiealSocialism: Socialismwas
erceived as ihe rule oI'ideological' oression and indocirinaiion,
wlereas the assage inio democracycaiialism was eerienced as
deliveranceIromiheconsirainisoIideology however, was noi ihis
veiyeerienceoI'deliveiance'inihecourseoIwhicholiiicalaities
andthe market economy were erceived as 'non-ideological', as the
'naiuralstaieoIthings', ideological par excellence?24 Our oini isihai
ilisIeaiureisuniversal : iheieisnoideologythaidoesnoiasseriiiselIIy
meansoIdelimiiingitselIIiomanoiher'mereideology'.Anindividual
. v.- - . c. .o:oc.
suIjeciedioideologycanneversayIoihimselI'1 amnideology',he
alwaysrequiresanother coiusoIdoain ordeiiodistinguishhisovn
'true'osiiionIromit.
1he hrsi eamle here is iovided Iy none othei than Plaio.
hilosohical episteme versus ihe conIused doa oIthe crowd. What
aIouiMar.Alihoughhe mayaeario Ialliniothis tra (is noithe
eniire German Ideology IasedontheoosiiionoIideologicalchimeia
andihe siudyoI'aciualliIe'.),ihingsgetcomlicaiedin his maiure
criiiqueoIoliiicaleconomy.1hatisiosay,why,recisely, doesMar
chooseiheiermfetishism inorderiodesignaiethe'iheologicalwhimsy'
oIiheuniveiseoIcommodiiies.WhatoneshouldIearinmindhereis
ihai 'Ieiishism' is a religious ierm Ior (revious) 'Ialse' idolairy as
oosedio(ieseni)irueIelieI: Ioi ihe[ews,iheIeiishis ihe Golden
CalI;IoiaartisanoIuresiriiuality,Ieiishismdesignaies'rimiiive'
suersiiiion,iheIearoIghosisandoiheisectralaariiions, andso
on.AndiheoinioIMaiisihaiihecommodiiyuniverseiovidesihe
necessaryIeiishisticsulemenitoihe'oIhcial'siriiuality.iimaywell
Ieihatihe'oIhcial'ideologyoIoursocieiyisChiisiiansiriiualiiy,Iut
iisaciualIoundaiionis none ihe less iheidolairyoIihe Golden CalI,
money.
Inshort,Mar'soiniisihaithe:ersnosiiiiwithouisiriis-ghosis,
no 'uie' siriiualiiy wiihoui ihe oIscene secire oI 'siriiualized
maiier
,
.`1hehisiioaccomlishthissie'Iromsiiitio sirits'inihe
guiseoIthecriiique oIuiesiiiiualidealism,oIiisliIeless'negaiive'
nihilism, was I.W.). Schelling, ihecrucial, unjusily neglected hilos-
oheroIGermanIdealism. In ihedialogueClara i si , hedrovei
wedge into the simle comlemeniary mirioi-ielaiionshi Ieiween
1nside andOuiside,IetweenSiritand Body, Ieiweentheideal and
iherealelemeniihatiogeiherIormihelivingioialityoIiheOiganism,
IycallingatieniionioihedouIlesuilusthai'siicksout'.Oniheone
hand,ihereisihespiritual element ofcorporeality: iheresence,inmattei
itselI, oI a non-maieiial Iui hysical elemeni, oI a suIile corse,
ielaiivelyindeendentoItimeandsace,whichrovidesihematerial
IaseoIourIreewill(animalmagnetism,eic.);ontheoiheihand,iheie
isihecorporeal element ofspirituality: ihemaierializai|onsoIthesiriiina
kindoIseudo-siuII,insuIsiancelessaaiiiions(ghosis,livingdead).
Iiis clear how these iwo suiluses rendei ihe logic oI commodiiy
Ieiishism and oIthe ISA. commodityIeiishism involves ihe uncanny
'siritualizaiion'oIihecommodiiy-Iody,whereasiheISAmaierialize
ihesiritual,suIstancelessIigOiheroIideology.
InhisreceniIookonMar,[acquesDeriidaIroughiiniolayihe
ieim 'seciie'inoiderioindicaiethiselusiveseudo-maierialiiyihat
suIvertsiheclassiconiologicaloosiiionsoIrealiiyandillusion,and
. +ao.c. o ..
on.AndeihasiiisherethatweshouldlookIorthelasiresorioI

eology, Icrthere-ideologicalkernel,theIormalmairi, onwhich

graIiedvariousideologicalIormaiions: intheIactihatihereisno
are
liiy
wiihouiihesectre,thaitheciicleoIrealiiycanIeclosedonlyIy
ra
h
.
h
eans oI an uncanny seciral sulemeni. Why, i en, is i ere no
aliiywithoui the secire. Lacan ro
.
vid
.
es a recie

ns
^
er iohs
uesiion. (whai we eerience as) reahiy is noi ihe ihmg itself, ii is
lways-alreadysymIolized, consiituied, siructuredIysymIolicmech-
anisms ~ and ihe roIlem resides in the Iaci ihai symIolizaiion
uliimaielyalwaysIails,ihaiiineveisucceedsinIully'covering'ihereal,
ihaiiialwaysinvolvessomeunseitled,unredeemedsymIolicdeIi.This
real
(the part of reality that remains non-symbolized) returns in the guise of
spectral apparitions. Consequenily, 'secire'is noiio Ie conIusedwith
'symIolichciion',wiih theIaciihatiea|iiyiiselIhasthesiruciureoIa
FctioninihaiitissymIo|ically(or,assomesociologistsuiii,'socially')
construcied, ihe noiions oI secire and (symIolic) Fciion are co-
deendeniiniheirvery incomaiiIiliiy (ihey are 'comlemeniaiy'in
ihe quantum-mechanical sense). 1o ui ii simly, realiiy is never
diiectly'itselI',iiresenisitselIonlyviaiisincomleie-IailedsymIoliz-
ation, and seciral aariiions emerge inthis veiyga ihai Ioiever
searatesrealiiyIromihereal,and on accounioIwhichrealiiyhasihe
characieroIa(symIolic)Fciion. the seciregives Iody iothaiwhich
escaes(ihesymIolicallysiruciured)realiiy.
1heie-ideological'kernel' oIideologyihus consists oIihespectral
apparition that flls up the hole ofthe real. 1his is whaialliheaiiemtsio
drawaclearlineoIsearationIeiween'tiue'realiiyandillusion(orto
ground illusion in realiiy) Iail io iake inio account. iI (what we
eerience as) 'realiiy' is io emerge, someihing has io Ie Ioreclosed
Iromii -ihaiistosay,'realiiy',likeiruth,is,Iydehniiion,never'whole'.
What the spectre conceals is not realit but its 'rimordially repressed', the
irepresentable X on whose 'repression' reality itsel is founded. Itmayseem
thatwehaveihereIylosiouiwayinseculaiivemurkywaiersihaihave
noihingwhaisoever to do wiih concreie social struggles is noiihe
suremeeamle oIsuch 'realiiy', however, rovided Iyihe Marisi
conceioIclass struggle? 1heconsequeni ihinking-oui oIihisconcei
comels us io admii ihat there is no class siruggle 'in realiiy'. 'class
siruggle' designaies ihe very aniagonism ihai revents ihe oIjeciive
(social)realiiyIromconsiituiingitselIasaselI-enclosedwhole.
1rue, according to ihe Marist iradiiion, class siruggle is ihe
'ioializing'rincileoIsociety;ihis, howevei,doesnoimeanihaiiiisa
kindoIuliimaieguaranieeauthorizingusiograssocietyasaiaiional
ioialiiy ('the uliimaie meaningoIevery social henomenonisdeier-
minedIyitsosiiionwiihin:heclasssiiuggle'):iheuliimatearadooI
v.- - c. .ro.oc.
thenoiionoI 'classsiruggle'isthaisocieiyis'heldtogether'Iyihevery
aniagonism, sliiiing, ihaiIoreveiievents iisclosureina harmoni
ous, iiansareni, iaiional Whole Iy ihe very imedimeni ihai
undermines every raiional totalizaiion. Alihough 'class stiuggle' is
nowheredirecilygivenasaosiiiveentity,iinoneihelessIunciions,in
its very absence
,
as the oini oIreIeience enaIling us io locaie every
social henomenon noiIyrelaiingiito class stiuggle asitsuliimaie
meaning ('iianscendenialsignihed')IuiIy conceiving iias (an)othei
aiiemiioconcealand'atchu'iheiiIioIclassaniagonism,ioeIIace
itsiiaces.Whaiwehaveheieisthesiruciural-dialecticalaiadooIan
efect that exists only in order to efface the causes ofits existence, aneIIeciihat
inawayiesisisitsowncause.
Inoiherwords,classsiruggleis'ieal'inihesiriciLacaniansense: a
'hiich',animedimeniwhich givesriseioever-newsymIolizaiionsIy
means oIwhich one endeavouis ioiniegraie and domesticaie ii (ihe
coioraiisitranslaiion-dislacemenioIclassstruggleinioiheorganic
articulaiion oI ihe 'memIers' oI ihe 'social Iody', Ior eamle), Iui
whichsimultaneouslycondemnstheseendeavoursiouliimateIailure.
ClasssiiuggleisnoneoiheiihanihenameIoriheunIaihomaIlelimii
ihaicannoiIeoIjeciivized,locaiedwiihinihesocialtoiality,sinceiiis
iiselIthailimitwhich revenis usIromconceivingsociety as aclosed
ioiality.Oiiouiiiinyeianoiheiway 'classsiiuggle'designatesihe
oiniwiihregaidtowhich'thereisnometalanguage:insoIarasevery
osiiion within social iotality is uliimaiely overdetcvnined Iy class
stiuggle, no neutral lace is ecluded Irom ihe dynamics oI class
siruggleIomwhichiiwouldIeossiIletolocaieclasssirugglewiihi
ihesocialiotaliiy.
1hisaradoicalstatusoIclasssiiugglecanIeariiculaiedIymeans
oIthecrucialHegeliandisiinciionIeiweenSuIsianceandSuIject.Ai
ihe level oI SuIsiance, class stiuggle iscondiiionalonihe 'oIjeciive'
socialiocess; iiIunciionsas ihesecondaryindicationoIsonemoie
Iundamental discord in ihis rocess, a discordregulaiedIyosiiive
mechanisms indeendentoIclasssiiuggle ('class siruggle Ireaks oui
wheniheielaiionsoIroduciionarenolongerinaccordancewiihihe
develomeni of the roduciive Ioices')." We ass to ihe level oI
SuIjeciwhenweacknowledgethaiclasssiruggledoesnotouatihe
end,asiheeIIecioIanoIjectiverocess,Iuiisalways-alieadyaiwork
in ihe very heaii oI ihe oIjeciive rocess iiselI (caiialisis develo
meansoIroductioninoideitoloweriherelaiiveandaIsoluievalue
oIihelaIourIorce;ihevalueoIthelaIouiIorceitselIisnoioIjeciively
givenIutresulisIromtheclassstruggle,etc.).Inshori,iiisnoiossiIle
ioisolaieany'oIjeciive'socialrocessoimechanismwhoseinneimosi
logicdoesnotinvolvethe'suIjeciive'dynamicsoIclasssiruggle;or~io
. +ao.:c+. o 2
3
_
tiidiII
erenily-thever 'peace', the absence of struggle, is already a form of
Tg le, ihe(temoraI)victoryoIoneoIihesidesinihestruggle.Inso
aiasiheveiyinvisiIilityoIclass siruggle ('class eace') isalready an
eIIectoIclasssiruggle~ihaiis,oIihehegemonyeeriedIyonesidein
thesiiuggle~ oneistemtedtocomarethestaiusoIclasssiruggleto
thai oI ihe Hiichcockian McGuIhn: 'Whai is class siruggle: ~ 1he
autagonistic rocess ihat consiiiuies classes and deieimines their
ielaiionshi. Bui in oui society ihere is no siiuggle Ieiween ihe
classes;~ YouseehowiiIunciions''`
1his
noiionoIclasssiruggle qua aniagonismenaIlesusioconiiast
therealoIaniagonismwiththecomlemeniaryolariiyoIoosites.
eihas ihe ieduciion oI antagonism io olariiy is one oI ihe
eleoeniaryideologicaloeiations.SuIhceiiioiecallthesiandardNew
Age iocedureoIresuosinga kind oInaiural IalanceoIcosmic
opposites (ieason~emoiions, aciiveassive, inielleci~iniuiiion, con-
sciousnessunconscious, ,in~,ang,eic.),andihenoIconceivingouiage
astheageihatlaidioomuchsiressuononeoItheiwooles,uonihe
'oale rincile' oI aciiviiyreason ihe solution, oI course, lies in
ie-estaIlishingiheequiliIriumoIiheiwoiinciles . . . .
1he'rogiessive'iraditionalsoIearswiinesstonumerousaiiemis
io conceive (seual, class) aniagonism as ihe coeisience oI iwo
opposedosiiiveeniiiies. Iromaceriain kind oI'dogmaiic' Marism
ihatosits'iheir'Iourgeoisscienceand'oui'ioleiaiiansciencesideIy
side,toaceiiainkindoIIeminismihaiositsmasculine discouiseand
Ieoinine discourse or 'wiiiing' side Iy side. Iai Irom Ieing 'ioo
eireme', ihese aitemis are, on ihe conirary, noi eiieme enough.
they resuose as iheir osition oI enunciaiion a ihird neuiral
oedium within which ihe iwo oles coeisi; thai is io say, ihey Iack
down on ihe consequences oI ihe Iaci thai ihere is no oini oI
convergence,noneuiialgioundshaiedIythetwoantagonisiicseual
oiclassosiiions.`'AsIarasscienceisconcerned.science,oIcourse,is
noineuiialinihe sense oIoIjeciive knowledgenoiaIIeciedIyclass
siruggle andaiihedisosaloIallclasses,yetIorihaiveiyreasonitis
one; there are noi iwo sciences, and class siruggle is recisely ihe
stiuggleIorihisonescience,Iorwhowillaioriaieii.Iiisihesame
wiih'discouise': ihere are noi iwo discourses, 'masculine' and 'Iemi-
nine';iheieisone discoursesliiIromwiihinIyiheseualantagonism
-thaiisiosay,rovidingihe'ierrain'onwhichiheIaiileIoihegemony
iakeslace.
WhatisatstakeherecouldalsoIeIormulaiedasiheroIlemoIihe
siaius oI 'and' as acaiegory. In Althusser 'and'Iunctionsasa recise
theoieiicalcategoiy: whenan'and' aeaisiniheiiileoIsomeoIhis
essays,ihisliiilewoidunmisiakaIlysignalstheconIrontaiionoIsome
24 v.- - . c. .ro.oc.
generalideologica|noiion(or,moierecisely,oIaneutial,amIiguous
notion ihaioscillaiesIetweeniisideologicalaciualiiyandiisscieniibc
oieniialiiy) with iis secihcaiion which iells us how we are io
concreiizeihisnoiionsoihaiiiIeginsioIunciionasnon-ideological,D
asiriciiheoreiicalconcei.'And'thussplits up iheamIiguoussiarting
uniiy,iniroducesintoiiihediIIerenceIeiweenideologyandscience.

SuIhceiiio meniioniwoeamles. ' Ideologyand IdeologicalSiate


Aaiatuses' . ISA designate ihe concreie neiwork oI ihe maie

ial
condit|ons oIeisience oIan ideologica| edihce ~ thai is, ihaiwhich
ideologyiiselIhasiomisiecognizeiniis'normal'Iunciioning.'Conira
dictionand Overdeierminaiion' . insoIaiasiheconceioIoverdeier-
minationdesignaiesiheundecidaIlecom|etoialiiyqua ihemodeoI
eisienceoIconiradiciion,iienaIlesusiodiscardiheidea|isi-ieleologi-
calIurdenihaiusual|y weighs uon the noiionoIconiradiciion (ihe
ieleological necessiiyihaiguaranieesinadvanceihe 'suIlaiion'oIthe
coniiadiciioninahigheruniiy)` Perhasihe bisteemlarycaseoI
such an'and`is Mai's Iamous 'Iieedom, equaliiy, and Bentham' Iroo
Capital: ihe sulemeniaiy 'Beniham' siands Iorihe social ciicum-
siances ihai rovide ihe concreie contenioI ihe aiheiic hrases on
Ireedom and equality commodiiy echange, markei Iaigaining,
uiiliiarian egoiism . . .. And do we noi encouniei a homologous
conjunciion in Heidegger`s Being and Time? ' Being` designaies ihe
IundamentalthemeoIhilosohyiniisaIsiractuniversaliiy, whereas
'iime'siandsIortheconcietehorizonoIihesenseoIIeing.
'And'isihus,inasense,tautological: iiconjoinsihesameconieniiniis
two modaliiies hrsi in iis ideological evidence, ihen in ihe eir
ideologicalcondiiionsoIiiseistence.Ioithaireason,noihirdiermis
needed here to designaie ihe mediumiiselIinwhichtheiwoierms

conjoinedIymeansoIthe'and',encounieieachothei. ihisthirdiero
is already the second ierm itselI ihat siands Ior the neiwork (ihe
'medium')oIihe concrete eisienceoIan ideological universality. In
contrastioihisdialeciico-maierialisi'and',theidealist-ideological'and'
Iunctionsreciselyasihisihirdierm,asihecommonmediumoIihe
olariiyorluraliiyoIelemenis.!heieinresidesihe ga ihaiIorever
seaiaies Iieud Irom[ungintheii iesective noiionsoI|iIido.)ung
conceivesoIliIidoasakindoIneuiialeneigywithiisconcreieIorms
(seual, creaiive, destruciiveliIido) asiisdiIIeieni'meiamorhoses',
whereasIreudinsisisihailiIidoiniisconcreieeisienceisirreduciI|y
sexual all other Iorms oIliIidoareIormsoI'ideological`misrecog-
nition oI ihis seual conieni. And is not ihe same oeration io Ie
reeaiedaroosoI'manand woman':1deologycomelsusioassume
'humaniiy'asiheneutralmediumwiihinwhich'man'and'woman`are
osiied as ihe iwo comlemeniary oles ~ against ihis ideological
. ao.cc. o 25
d
ce onecouldmaintainthai'woman'standsIoiiheasect oIcon-
evr en ,
. . .
eisienceand'man`Ioriheemiy-amIiguousuniveisality.1he
cieie
. .
h ' ' h
.
h
do(oIaroIoundlyHegeliannaiure)isi aiwoman t aiis,i e
paia
.
h
.
d
enioIsecibcdiIIeience~ Iunctionsasi eencomassinggroun
mom
.
l I
thaiaccountsIortheemergenceoIiheuniversaityL man.
1hisinierretaiionoIsocial aniagonism(classsiiuggle)asRea|,not
( ariofoIjeciivesocialrea|ity,alsoenaIlesusiocountertheworn-
as
tine
oIaigumeniaiionaccoidingiowhichonehasioaIandonihe
tion
oIideology, since ihegestureoIdisiinguishing'mereideology'
I o'iealiiy'imliesiheeistemologicallyunienaIle'God'sview',thai
ro
h
.
I |
accesstooIjeciiverealiiyasi i'iiu|yis`.!hequesiionoIi esu
!
ia i riy
is,
I
Itheierm'class siiugg|e`iodesignaieioday`s dominaniormL an
agonismissecondaryhere,ico
.
ncersco

cieie

ocalanalysis, h

i
oaiiersisthaitheveryconsiiiutron oIsocialrealiiy involves ihe r-
oordialreiession`oIananiagonism,sothaiiheuliimatesuorioI
theciitiqueoIideology~ iheeira-ideologicaloinioIreIerenceihai
authorizesustodenounceiheconienioIourimmediateeerienceas
'ideo|ogical' isnot'reality'Iuiihe'reressed'realoIaniagonism.
Inordeitoc|ariIyihisuncannylogicoIaniagonsmqua ieal, leius
recalliheanalogyIeiweenClaude Levi-Sirauss'sstructuralaroach
andEinstein'siheoryoIielaiiviiy.OneusuallyaiiriIuiesioEinsieinthe
relaiivizationoIsacewithregardioiheoIserver'soinioIview~ihai
isihecancel|aiionoIihenotionoIaIsoluiesaceandiime.!heiheory
oIrelaiiviiy, however, involves iis own aIsoluie constani. the sace~
iioe inteival Ieiween iwo evenis is an aIsolute ihai never varies.
SaceiimeinieivalisdehnedasthehyoienuseoIaright-anglediii-
anglewhose |egsareiheiimeandsacedisianceIeiweentwoevenis.
OneoIservermayIeinasiaieoImoiionsuchihaiIorhimthereisa
tioeandadistanceinvolvedIeiweeniwoevenis,anoihermayIein a
staieoImoiionsuchihaihismeasuringdevicesindicateadifIerentdis-
tanceandadiIIeieniiimeIeiweeniheevenis,Iuiihesacetimein-
terva|IeiweentheiwoevenisdoesnoiinIactvary.This constaniisihe
LacanianRealthai'remainsihesameinallossiIleuniveises(oIoIser-
vaiion)

. And iiis a homologous consianithaiwe encounier in Levi-


Sirauss'seemlaryanalysisoIihesaiialaiiangemenioIIuildingsin
anaIoriginalSouihAmericanvillage(IromhisStructural Anthropolog).
1heinhaIiiantsaiedividedinioiwosuIgious;whenweaskanin-
dividualtodiawiheground-|anofhisorheivillage(thesaiialai-
iangementoIcotiages)onaieceoIaeroronsand,weoIiainiwo
quiiediIIeienianswers, deendingon which suIgiouheorsheIe-
longsio. amemIeioIthehrstsuIgiou(leiuscallii 'conservative-
coroiaiist`)erceivesiheground-lanoIihevillageascircular aring
oI houses moie oi less symmetr|cally arianged around ihe ceniral
26 v.- - . c. ..o:oc.
temple, wheieasamembeiofthesecond('ievo|utionaiy-antagonistic')
subgiouppeiceiveshisoiheivi||ageastwodistinctc|usteisofhouses
sepaiated by an invisib|e fiontiei . . . . Wheie is the homo|ogy with
Einsteinheie:Lvi-Stiauss'scentia|pointis thatthisexamp|eshould
i nnoway enticeusintoacultuia|ie|ativismaccoidingto which the
peiceptionofsocia|spacedependson the obseivei'sgioupmembei-
ship. the veiy splitting intothe two'ie|ative' peiceptions imp|iesthe
hiddeniefeiencetoaconstant~nottheobective,'actual'aiiangement
ofbui|dings but a tiaumatic keine|, a fundamental antagonism the
inhabitantsofthevi|lageweienotab|etosymbo|ize,toaccountfoi,to
'inteina|ize',tocometoteimswith. animba|anceinsocia|ie|ationsthat
pievented the community liom stabi|izing itse|f into a haimonious
who|e. 1he two peiceptions of the giound-plan aie simp|y two
mutua||yexclusiveendeavouistocopewiththistiaumaticantagonism,
tohealitswoundviatheimpositionofaba|ancedsymbo|icstiuctuie
(Andi t i s haid|ynecessaiytoaddthatthingsaieexact|ythesamewith
iespecttosexua|diffeience.'masculine'and'feminine'aielikethetwo
conhguiationsofhousesintheLvi-Stiaussianvi|lage. . . . )
Commonsensetel|susthatitiseasytoiectifythebias ofsubective
peiceptionsandasceitainthe'tiuestateofthings' . wehiieahe|icopter
and photogiaph the vi||agediiectlyfiomabove. . . . In this way we
obtainanundistoitedviewofieality,yetwecomp|ete|ymisstheiea|ol
socialantagonism, thenon-symbo|izab|etiaumatickeine|thatfound
expiessionintheveiydistoitionsofieality,i nthefantasizeddisplace-
mentsofthe'actua|'aiiangementofhouses.1hisiswhatLacanhasin
mind when he c|aims that distortion and/or dissimulation is in itselj
revealing: whatemeigesvia distoitionsofthe accuiate iepiesentation
ofiea|ityistheieal thatis, thetiaumaaioundwhichsocialiea|ityis
stiuctuied Inotheiwoids,i fa|ltheinhabitantsofthevi||ageweieto
diaw the same accuiate giound-plan, we wou|d be dea|ing with a
non-antagonistic, haimonious community Ifwe aie to aiiive at the
fundamenta|paiadoximpliedby the notionofcommodityfetishism,
howevei, we have to go one step fuithei and imagine, say, two
diffeient'actua|'vi||ageseachofwhichiea|izes,intheaiiangementof
its dwe|lings, one of the two fantasized giound-p|ans evoked by
Lvi-Stiauss. in this case, the stiuctuie of socia| iea|ity itse|f ma
teiia|izesanattempttocopewiththeiea|ofantagonism.'Rea|ity'itse|f,
insofaiasitisiegulatedbyasymbo|ichction, concealstheiea|ofan
antagonism~ and it isthis iea|, foiec|osedfiomthesymbo|icbction,
thatietuinsintheguiseofspectialappaiitions.
Suchaieadingofspectia|ityasthatwhich h||souttheuniepiesen-
tab|eabyssofantagonism,ofthenon-symbo|izedieal,a|soenab|esus
to assume a piecise distancefiom Deiiida,foiwhomspectia|ity,the
. ao.cc. o 27
aiition of the Othei, piovides the ultimate hoiizon of ethics.
cordingtoDeiirda,themetaphysica|onto|ogizatonofspectialityrs
ooted in the fact that the thought is hoiiihed at itself, at its own
undinggestuie, thatitdiawsbackfiomthe spiiitconvokedbythis
stuie.1heieiniesidesin nuce hisieadingofMaixandthehistoiyof
arxiso. the oiigina| impu|se ofMaix consisted in the Messianic
rooise of[ustice qua spectial Otheiness, a piomise that is on|y as
avenir, yet-to-come, neveias a simp|efutur, whatwi||be, the 'tota|i-
tar|an' tuinofMaixismthatcu|minatedinSta|inismhasitsiootsinthe
ontologizationofthespectie,inthetianslationofthespectia|Piomise
|ntoa positive onto|ogica| Pioect. . . . Lacan, howevei, goes a step
furtherheie.spectre as such already bears witness to a retreat, a withdrawal
froowhat:
Most people are terrifed when they encounter freedom, like when they
encounter magic, anything inexplicable, especially the world of spirits. 33
1hispiopositionofSche|lingcanbe iead intwoways,dependingon
howweinteipietthecompaiison i nwhatpiecisesenseisfieedom
li|e a spectie: Oui Lacanian piemiss heie is that 'fieedom'
designatesthemomentwhenthe 'piincip|eofthesufhcientieason'is
suspended,themomentoftheact thatbieaksthe'gieatchainof being',
ofthe symbo|ic ieality in which we aieembedded, consequent|y,itis
notsufhcienttosaythatwefeaithespectie~ thespectie itse|fa|ieady
eoeiges outofa feai, out ofoui escape fiom something evenmoie
hoiiilying.fieedom. Whenweconfiontthemiiac|eoffieedom,theie
antwowaysofieactingtoit.
EI1HER we 'onto|ogize' fieedom by way of conceiving it as the
teriestiia|appaiitionofa'highei' stiatumofiea|ity, asthemiiacu-
|ous,inexp|icab|e inteivention intoouiuniveiseofanothei, supia-
sensib|e univeise that peisists inits Beyond, yetisaccessib|e to us,
coooonmoita|s,onlyintheguiseofnebu|ouschimeia,
ORweconceive this univeise of Beyond, this iedoub|ing ofoui
teiiestiia| univeise into anothei Geisterwelt, as an endeavoui to
gentiify the act offieedom, to cope with its tiaumatic impact
spectie is the positivization ofthe abyss of fieedom, a void that
assumesthefoimofquasi-being.
1herein iesides the gap that sepaiates Lacan fiom Deiiida. oui
prioaiydutyis nottowaidsthespectie,whateveifoim itassumes.`'
1heactoffieedomqua iealnoton|ytiansgiessesthelimitsofwhatwe
experience as 'iea|ity',it cancels ouiveiy piimoidial indebtednessto
28 v.-- . c. ..o.oc.
the spectial Othei. Heie, theiefoie, Lacan is on the side of
against Deiiida. inthe actwe '|eave the dead toLuiytheiidead',
Maix putiti nthe'EighteenthBiumaiieofLouisBonapaite'.
1hepioL|ematicofideology,itsveiyelusive status asattestedtoLy
'postmodein' vicissitudes, has thusLioughtus Lack to Maix, to
centialityofthe socia| antagonism('c|assstiugg|e').Aswe have
howevei, this 'ietuin to Maix' entails a iadica| displacement of
Maixian theoietical edihce. a gap emeiges in the veiy heait o[
histoiicalmateiialism~thatis,thepioL|ematicofideo|ogyhas|edust
theinheientlyincomp|ete,' non-a||'chaiacteiofhistoiica|mateiia|isn

something must Le excluded, foieclosed, if socia| ieality is


constitute itse|f. 1o those t o whom this iesult of ouis appears
fai-fetched, specu|ative, a|ien to the conciete social conceins ofth-
Maixist theoiy ofideo|ogy, the Lest answei is piovided Ly a iecen.

woikoftienneBa|iLai,whoaiiivedatexactlythesameconc|usionvi.
aconcieteana|ysisofthevicissitudesofthenotionofideologyinMarx
andthehistoiyofMaixism.
the idea of a theory of ideology was only ever a way ideally t o complete historic,[i
materialism, to 'fll a hole' in its representation of the social totality, and thus
way ideally to constitute historical materialism as a system of explanation
complete in its kind, at least 'in principle,.35
Ba|iLaia|sopiovidesthelocationofthisho|etoLehl|edLythetheoi
of ideo|ogy. it conceins social antagonism ('c|ass stiugg|e') as t

inheientlimit that tiaveises society and pieventsit fiomconstitutin


itselfasa positive, comp|ete, se|f-enc|osed entity. It is at this piecise

p|acethatpsychoana|ysishastointeivene(Ba|iLaisomewhatenigmati
.

ca||yevokesthe concet oftheunconscious`) not, ofcouise, inthe


oldFieudo-Maixistmannei,asthee|ementdestinedtohllupthehole
ofhistoiica|mateiia|ismandthustoiendeipossiL|eitscompletion, Lut,
onthecontiaiy,asthetheoiythatenaL|esustoconceptualizethishole
ofhistoiica|mateiia|ismasiiieduciL|e,Lecauseitisconstitutive.
The 'Marxist theory of ideology' would then be symptomatic of the
permanent discomfort Marxism maintains with its own critical recognition
of the class struggle.
. . . the concept of ideology denotes no other object than that of the
nontotalizable (or non representable within a unique given order) com
plexity of the historical process ; . . . historical materialism is incomplete and
incompletable in principle, not only in the temporal dimension (since it
postulates the relative unpredictability of the effects of determinate causes),
. ao.cc. o 29
but also in its theoretical 'topography', since i t requires the articulation of
the class struggle to concepts that have a different materiality (such as the
unconscious). 37
Can
psychoana|ysis effective|y p|ay this key iole of pioviding the
oissingsuppoitoftheMaixistth
.
eoiyofideo|
.
ogy(oi,moiepiecisely,
ofaccountingfoithe veiy lack the Maixrst theoiy that Lecooes
visiLle apiopos of the deadlocks in the theoiy of ideology) : 1he
standaidiepioachtopsychoana|ysisisthatinsofaiasitinteivenesin
edooainofthesocia| and/oipo|itica|,itultimatelya|waysendsupin
sooe veision ofthe theoiy ofthe 'hoide'withthe feaiedLe|oved
Leadeiatitshead,whodominatesthesuLectsviathe'oiganic'|iLidina|
|in|oftiansfeience,ofacommunityconstitutedLy some piimoidial
ciioeandthushe|dtogetheiLyshaiedguilt.`
1hehistansweitothis iepioach seems oLvious. wasnotpiecise|y
this theoietical complex the ielationshipLetween the mass and its
Leadei - the Llind spot in the histoiy of Maixism, what Maixist
thoughtwasunaL|etoconceptualize,to'symLo|ize',its'foieclosed'that
subsequentlyietuinedintheieal,intheguiseoftheso-ca||edSta|inist
'cultofpeisonality' :1hetheoietica|,aswel|aspiactica|,so|utiontothe
pioL|eo ofauthoiitaiianpopulism~oiganicism thatagain and again
thwaits piogiessive po|itica| piojects is conceivaLle today on|y via
psychoanalytic theoiy. 1his, howevei, in no way entai|s that psycho-
analysis is somehow limited i n its scope to the negative gestuie of
delineating the |iLidina| economy of 'iegiessive' pioto-tota|itaiian
cooounities. inthe necessaiyoLveiseofthis gestuie, psychoana|ysis
alsode|ineates thesymLo|iceconomyofhow fiom time to time, at
least~ weaie aLle to Lieak thevicious ciic|ethatLieeds 'tota|itaiian'
closuie. When,foiexamp|e, C|aude Lefoitaiticu|ated the notionof
'deoociaticinvention',hediditthioughaiefeienceto theLacanian
categoiiesoftheSymLolicandtheRea|.'demociaticinvention'consists
intheasseitionofthepuielysymLolic,emptyp|aceofPoweithatno
'real'suLjectcaneveih||out. `Oneshou|dalwaysLeaiinmindthatthe
subjectofpsychoanalysisisnotsomepiimoidialsuLjectofdiives,Lut
asLacanpointedoutagain and again themodein,CaitesiansuLect
ofscience. 1heieisaciucia|diffeienceLetween|eBon' sandFieud's
'ciowd' . foi Fieud, 'ciowd' is not a piimoidia|, aichaic entity, the
staiting point ofevo|ution, Lut an 'aitihcial' pathologica| foimation
whosegenesisistoLedisp|ayed the'aichaic'chaiacteiofthe'ciowd'
ispiecise|ythei|lusiontoLedispe||edviatheoieticalana|ysis.
leihaps a compaiison with Fieud's theoiy ofdieams cou|dLeof
sooehe|pheie.Fieudpointsoutthatwithinadieamweencounteithe
haid keinel ofthe Rea| piecisely in the guise ofa 'dieam within the
30 v.- - . c. ..o.oc.
dieam' that i s to say, wheie the distance liom iea|ity seem '
iedouLled. In a somewhat homo|ogous way, we encountei the
heientlimitofsocia| iea|ity, whathastob foieclosedilthet.L1 o1 lV!1[|
beldofiealityistoemeige,piecise|yintheguiseofthepioblematic
ideo|ogy,ola'supeistiuctuie' , olsomethingthatappeaistobeamer-
epiphenomenon, a miiioi-ieection, of 'tiue' socia| life. We a:-
dea|ingheiewiththepaiadoxica|topo|ogyinwhichthesuilace,'me:-
ideo|ogy')is diiect|y|inkedto~ occupiesthep|aceof,standsin foi
whati s'deepeithandepthitse|f,moieiealthaniea|ityitse|f.

Notes
l . s--...----...-.a....-..-..-.....-.-Masses, Classes, Ideas, -.
a-...-+-1 994, ,,1 98-9.
2. a--...s..-..The Spoils ofFreedom, .--+--a-...-+-1 994, ,1 3. ,
3. s--,-..-,v...--The Assault on Truth: Freud's Suppression ofthe Seduction :/-,,
-..-. ..s....& c.-..1 984.
-
4. ..,.-..--a-.----.--..--v..-,c-----.-a..-.+-.+..-.-and '
.+..-a--.-+.Feminism and Psychoanalysis, ..-.....-+:--+-- c---..-.-.,
--..1 989, ,,25-39.
.
5. --.-,....--.a-.-......----.--..--v..-,c-----..-+......
--- ----..--..-...--.-..+--.-,..,-...-.,.--.,...-.---..-.-.....0
--,-......--..--....-.......-.-+.--..-+...-.-..-.-.,--..-....,.-..
6. -.-..-..--.---,-.-..--.--.-.,-.-+-...-+.-.---..----
-------.......---.--+-..,-..-+...+--.-,,
7. -..--...-...-.-.-..--.----......--.-,.--.-.-..-..+-.-.-...-..
---+-.+---v-...-..-.-...-.-.-...-..--c-.,.-1 ). ...-.--..,
.+---. ....,.--..+--......-.--.-..-----.-.,-.............+-.--....

..--..-.----.-.-...+-----..s.........-.-+.--c...,.--..+--...,.
.-...-.---c-.,.-2).
8. .--. .La philosophie de Marx -... :..-.-..-.-1 993), :..----...-.+-.
...--..--.-.----.-.-..--.--,.-.-+...,,-..-.--..----..---..+--.-,.
v....-......-1 850. .-The German Ideology, .-----.,-.--..--..---..+--.-,..
.--.-..-+...--.-.--..-....,,----...-....,-+....--.-+-,-+....-- .-
.--.-,....-,,-....--.-...-.-... ...-...-.-+.. .-- -----..---.-- ....
...-,-.-.. .-+ ... +...-.-+ -+-...-- .- .-- --.+. -..+--.---. -.-.
.--,.....-+--.-.-.-------.v..--.-..-.--....,.--.,-.......-.----,
.-..----.-.-.-.---. -.--...--..----+..,.-...-..-..--.---.-...-..-
.-..-+-...-....,-...---..--,.-.--...-..-.--.-,--..-..--....
,-.-..-..-....,-+....--
--..----.-....-...,.--.,--+-.-..-+.--.-,.,-..v........--.--..
.....-.--..-,.-...-.--..--...-.....--.,..--..--.--.-,.-..+--.-,.--
Polltics and Ideology :--+-- -.-1 977), .-....,---.-.-....-Hegemony and Socialist
Strategy .-.-.---+...-c-.-...v-...-:--+---.-1 985).
9. -..-.+......-..--+-...-+.------...-.....-.. .-....---.....-...--..--
.----.+...-.-..-....,--.......-....---..,,-...---..--,-.-+.-,
--+----.--..-,.-.-.,,-..-.+--.-,.-.--...--..+--.-....s...
.,,.....-..-...---..,--......----.-.-..--.--.-.-..-.--..--.-.-.-
..---....---+.,.----.s.....+--.-,...-.-...-.,.-+...---..-..+....-.
.--....--.,.-.-..,...-.....-----..-+.--........-.-.--....--..-....-.......-.
.-,.-.-.--......--+--......-...--.-
. ao.cc. o 3 1
1 0. .-.--.--,..,,-.--....--

-..--

~.---....-,-....--.--s-,..---.-.-
'
T
h
....,.--..-...---...a-..-- ..-...-.---c-.,.-3).
, s--o....+...-.Le dire et le dit, -....+...--.+-v. -.. .1 986.
1 9 s--v..--.-.--..+--v-.-.-..--..+--.-....v...-.--...--. -.-..
.+-.-.,.-6). --.--

.+--..--.-+---.-...--.-,

.--.

--....,.--.
+ .-....-..+--.-.....--+...-..-.-..,.....,..,.-.....-.--v.-,-..-..
,
-
-....--..--.-...---..--

.-...+-+.-.-...-..--c-.,.-4]), .--.-...-..

-+..-+.--.--.-,.-.-.--...-[reconnaIssance 1 ..-.-.--..-[meconnaiHance ]
1 3.
s--......Politics and Ideology.
\4. s--.-......-...- .+--.-,.-+.+--.-....s...-.,,.....-..-.-...-..--
.-.,.-5).

_ _ _ _
\ 5. .--.--..+-..--.-.-.----...---..---.--......-..,-...-..-. +--.-....
s..-.,,.....-..-+.--...-..-.-,-.....--.---.--..-.-.-....--..+-.---....-
,-,--..-....-....---...,-.--.--,.-...-.--....-..--o.--c-+.--
.....--.-....---.+-.- -..,-.-....+-.-.-,-+-,..-.+-c-..-.---
.-.-.--..--.-....-+---.-.-...--.-..-,...-Der Althusser-Effekt, .---.
1 7-20 v..-1 994.
16. s-----+-.+--- -.....+--.-.--.---.-Gesammelte Schri(ten:
Ideo logie, .-....s.-..-,1 972.
1 7. s---...-.. ~...--,--.-.-+. -....-......--v-+......+-.
.---.-...---. -Faschismus und Ideologie I , ..---.s--+--.-+60, -.. - ..
---.-..1 980.
18. ....-..-.-..,....-+.--...-...-..--.--.-,........---..+--.-,...-
-,---+.,.--..,,-..-. -.--.-......+.-. .....--,-.--.....-...-..-v..--.-
s.-...,-..v.....+...-..-.-..,....---- .+--.-,--......~-----, --
.-....-.......-+v-...-.-.-...-..--c-.,.-1 1 ]) .-+a..-.+a-.,.
,.-.....+-.--......--..- .-- -..--.-..-.+--.-,.-+ .-.--......-- .
-.-......-..-.-...-..--,c-.,.-1 0]).
1 9. s--..--....--.---.-s.-,---~....-+,.-.--.-.--.-..,.-+
.-+-.--.-..,.-.-----,-..+--.-,.-+c-.------........-.,--.---
s-..-...--.-.s.-,-......,--.-.-.-...-.---c-.,.-.7, 8). -.---..
-.-..-.-..---...-....+-.-.-,---.-..--.--.-,.-..+--.-,.-...-+.-.-..
.-..-..,-....---,r..-.-- .+--.-,.-+..........+-..--..--v....-.-
.-...-..--c-.,.-9).
20. -.-.,,-..-.-.-.. .-,..... .+--.-,.---.---.+.--.-+-,
r..-.--.-...-+c-----...-.-.-...-..--c-.,.-1 2).
2 1 . -.----..---..+--.-,.-........-..-.....-....,.--s...-,z.-. ~-.
..+v...-.--..--s,-,.--. -.-...-.---c-.,.-1 4).
22. s---+..,.--.----..--+--..-.-+.--v..-.. -.-...-..--c-.,.-
1 3).
23. .,-....-...,-..--+--......+-....,--.,-.--,..- -+-,----..--.-,
.-...-.-.a---....-.-.s.-Nashville: .----.-..........-.....--....-.--.
.-..---.-...-.........+....-.-.--.--.-..-.--..-.-.,-.....-..-,..--.-.
.--betise -.-.-,+.,.--...-.+--.-,-----..-.,-...-..--,-.-.--.-.-..---
,-.-..-..--.--.,-.--+.-.---.-...--...-.-.....---. ..-.-.-.,-....
.--.-.--..-U --...--,...-.-.-...,---..-,.,-...---,-,.------.,..--
....-..---.-.-.,-..--+--..--..+-..-.-...--....--.--..--..-.-.--....--.
......+.-..,-.-..-+-,.--..-...-............--.,-.-.-.-..-..-....--...--.-
.----.....,...--. .--..,.......-..-.--,-.Kulturindutrie, .-,--.--.......,--,-,
.--,-+....-.-...-+...,
24. -.-.--...--.s.-..-....-..f

-..--..-.--+.-,-,,-....-..--.,----.
..-s-....-(Decalogue) ,.....-.-..--...---.+-.....,.--.

-..........-....
+....+--...+--.-,.---...-------.--.-..--..-+.-.--.--+---..-.-.-
...--...---.....-.-....---. .+--.-,.--.---..---....-...--.La double vie
ae V eronique).
25. ..-.-.--+--..--..--....-..-,,-....----..---Geist .-+.----..---Geis
terelt ....--..--.---..---,,-....----..---.---.,.....,--.......--....-+...
32 v.- - . c. .ro:o..
..,-.----.-..-.-.....--.-.-. .-.....--.-..--..-+-+...-..-......-.--.-
---..---..---.-..,...-.-..-,,-....--.--c-.,.-.3 -.s...-,:.-.The Meta
stases ojEnjoyment, :--+---..-1 994.) s....-...-.-....---,..-..--..,--.---.-
.......---.....-.-...-..-.-....-..-.--.--...-.-,-.-..--.--.....-+-...-
-----...-....-.--...-.-....-.-..-......--.--.-.--,.-..-.-.-..-.+..-..-.-.
.---.-+.--.,....-....--...,--.-+. --.-+.--.-.--..--.-...-,.-..
.---..-..-+..,.-+-..--.If . .--.-..-..-,-.-+-,.---.+-....+--..-,--.-
,-.--..--..-..--...-+.-.---.-......-...-...-.,-.-..-+.-.....-..--.-
.-..-...-.-..,..,.--.-.--.--+-.--..-+..--.....--..-..-+--.....-,-.-
--.-..-.--.....-----.-.,.-.-+.--- .--...-..,,-..-.,-.-...-.-..-.--.
.-.---.+-....+--...--.-...--.....--...-.-.-+..-.-.-.--.....--.o.+-..-+...
+..-..-...---..-....--,-,---..-+.--.-,.-....--.-....--.,-.-..--.-
.-.+..-...--+--.-......-..-...--.-...-..-....--....-..-..,,-..-.o.+-
.-.-+..----.......-......,.-..+..-..,.-.-+..-,.-...--
26. s--,.,.-..-...+.Spectus de Marx, -....c.....-1 993.
27. +-...,.-...-,....-..--.-....--.-....,...-..-,--..,.--.,.-.-
per formative .-...-,,-....--.---......-+-.....-..,...--...--...,...-..--.-.
-.-..-....,.-..---.-..-.--...--...,-..-.,---.....--.-..+--.-.,+-..-..
,-.-. .-...+. .--- ,-.....- --.--. . -.-...., .- ... --.. ..+... +.---..--
,-..-.-....-...--...--,..---,..-.--.-...---....,.--.,-..-.-.....--o.--
.,-..-..-...-...,.--o.--.....-.--.--..--,-..-.--.-,..-.-..-.--...--+--
:..-......-..-,.- -,..,.-.-...--,...- ..--.--,--..---.....-.
o.--..--+-..-...---...,--..-,...-.-..,---..--.....--
28. -..--..---..-..--..----.-.-...-..--......-+v-...-Hegemony
and Socialist Strategy.
29. -..-...-...-.----..---..-.......-.qua ,-.....---....-..-..-.----.--
.-.....---.,..--..--.-..--...----..--.,+...-....,...+-.-..--.-....--.-.,
--..---.--.-..-.....-+.--,...........--.-.--.--.--.-...-.,-..--..-...-
-...-.,-...........-..v.......-....----.-.--.c-.,.-.I -.The Communist
Manifsto), .--.--.....---....--...--,.-+.-....-.-.......stricto sensu --.,--
.....----..--...-.--.,..........-..-..-.,......-....-..-.---.,-..-
.---.-..-.--.,-.,-...-+....- .--,+.+--.,.-,-..,-....--..-....-+...-
.-+-..,.-........-,..-.,.-.-...---+...-.,.-...--.-.--...--.....-....-.
-----.. -..---..-..-... -+.s- -..-.-.,.-.,-...---+, .--.-.. -
,.-.-......stricto sensu ..--.---......-........-..-.-.+-....-...-,,-...-d
---.... .---...-.....--+--,.---..-....+.....--...-...--+.-.-....-.,....
,-....--
30. -..-..~..--...-.-..-,..-.-+--.-+.-..-.+-c-...-.-+a---..-. ...-
3 1 . I -.--..--..-....+...-.---.--.---.-...-.--.-..-...-..+..-.-..
,-....--...--..-..-...-..--.--,.-...---..--sex ojangels ...-.-...-.,......-..
-..-........-..,...
32. +-..,-.-....+-.-.-,-+-,a---..-....-..--...-.-..--..--z.-...-...-
..-..-----.-....-.....---..-,...-Der Althusser-Ejjekt.
33. s--...-c.....-Simtliche Werke . s.......c-...1 856-61 , ,39.
34. o. .-,...-..+....---.-....-...+..-...+..-.+...-.--...,+--.--
.-...+.-.-.-...,.-,-.-..--.,-..--...-..,.-.--.-.-.--,.....--
.-.+.-.-.-...+..--....-..-.-..--.-...-..+-.. -.----.-.-....---..-
.,-..- .-.--.-+...---.....-+-.+.-.-.........-.-.-.---.-.----,.
.-....,......--..-.--.-.,,-...---,,-.-+.-.---.+-..-..-..,....-....---
.-...+..--...--..-....+..-.-+.-.---....-.-...--.,-..-.....--..-.--.,-..-
.-.-,.-.--..-...--.-.-....-- ..--..-...+...---.,...-...--.-.-.-.-- ,.....-
+-...--+.-,.-.-..-.--.,-..-. -.--.-.-.--+...-.,.--..--....-+-.+.--.--
.-...-.+ -.- .- .-,-...--.....--..,-,.... ,...+-. -..----,.-..-- -
.-,-...-....,.-+,.--.-...--.-..---.-.-..........-+.,.-,-.-..--..,,.----..-
..,,.----.cannot --+.--..--,....,-..--o...-.-.-...-,.--...jght against
it): .--.,-..-cannot ----.-.-.-+.-.-...-,.-..--.-.-....--must not -.,,--
---.--..+s-....-....
. +ao.cc. o
33
35. ..----...-..--......-+...-+--.......---. .+--.-,. . . -Masses,
Clsses, Ideas, ,1 73.
.
36. .......-,..,.-...-.....-.-.-----,.-..------...-.....------..-+. -
te ..

...,

.-...-.

-.-

.....-.

.-+...+... .-...

-,--+.--.+--.-...
-,,...-- -..-+..+....-+-.

..-

.---.....--..-,-...---..-.......,.
,.-+-+.-....-..-.--.....-....-.-.,.-...+..--o.--.........,.-..-.-.....-
regard .-.--..-,-..---.+.-....---
37. ...-..--......-++...- ,,1 73-4.
38. o--........,,....-.++-...-.........--..--.---.-..,-.....+--.-..-+
,,.--.-..-+

--.-.-+

,..-.-..- ..--..--.-.+-.-..----....-....,.-,.-+.-+. -...


,.,-.-..,..-..-...-...--.--.-.-.-...--..-.,--.-..,.......-....--.-
Lacan's ecole Jeudzenne.
39. s--c...+-.-.-..Democracy and Political Theor, o..-.+--...,-.-..1 988.
== j
Messages in a Bottle
Theodor W. Adorno
I
Key people 1he se|l-impoitant type who thinks him

e|l so

ething
only when conhrmed by the io|e he plays
.
in co||ectrves whr

h aie
none,existingmeie|yloithe sakeolco||ecuvrty, thedeegatewrth the
aimband, the iaptspeechmakeispicinghis addiesswrth who|esom

wit and pielacinghisconc|udingiemaikwith awistlu|


.
'Wou|dthat |t
weie' the chaiity vultuie and the piolessoi hastenmg liom one
cong.esstothenext theya||oncecal|edloiththe|aughteibehtting
thenaive,piovincialandpetty-bouigeois.Nowtheiesemban
'
etothe
nineteenth-centuiy satiie has been discaided, the prnci

le has .
spiead dogged|y om the caiicatuies to the whole
.
bouig
.
eos c|ass
Noton|yhaveitsmembeisbeensubectedtou

Haggi
.
ngsocr

|co

tiol
by competition and co-option in theii pi

lessrona|hl

, theri prv

te
|ile too has been absoibed by the ieihed loimatrons to whrch
inteipeisonalie|ationshavecongea|ed.1heieasons,tostaitwith, aie
ciudelymateiia| . onlybypioc|aimingassentthioug|audab|eseivic
.
e
to the community as it is, by admission to a iecognrzed gioup, be rt
meie|y alieemasoniydegeneiated toaskittles
.
c|ub, do you eainthe
tiustthatpaysollinacatcholcustomeis and c|rents and theawaidol
sinecuies. 1he substantia| citizen does not qua|ily meie|y by ban|
ciedit oi even by dues to his oiganizations , he must do

ate his
|ile-b|ood and the liee time lelt ovei liom the |aiceny busmess, as
chaiiman oitieasuieiolcommittees hewas halldiawn to as heha|f
succumbed. No hope is |elt to him but the obligatoiy tiibute in the
club ciiculai when his heait attack catches him up. Not to be a
membei olanything is to aiouse suspicion. when seeking
.
natuia|i
.
z-
ation, you aie expiess|y asked to |ist youi membeishrps. 1hrs,
v.ss.c.s. .o++.. 35
h
wevei, iationa|ized as the individua|'s wi|lingness t ocast oll his
;oiso anddedicate himselltoawholewhich isieal|yno moie than
e
he
univeisa| obectifcation ol egoism, is ieected in peop|e's be-
avioui. Powei|essi nanoveiwhe|mingsociety,theindividua|expeii-
ences himse|l on|y as socia|ly mediated. 1he institutions made by
peop|e aie thus additional|y letishized. since subects have known
theoselveson|yas exponentsolinstitutions, thesehave acquiiedthe
aspect ol something divine|y oidained. You leel youisell to the
oaiiow a doctoi's wile, a membei ola laculty, a chaiiman olthe
coooittee olieligious expeits I once heaid a vil|ain pub|icly use
thatphiasewithoutiaisingalaugh asonemightinotheitimeshave
felt onesell pait ol a lamily oi tiibe. You become once again in
consciousnesswhatyou aie in youibeingin any case. Compaied to
thei||usionolthe se|l-sulhcientpeisona|ityexistingindependentlyin
thecoomodity society, suchconsciousnessis tiuth. You iea|lyaie no
ooiethan doctoi'swile,lacu|ty membei oiie|igious expeit. Butthe
negativetiuthbecomesa|ieaspositivity.1heless lunctiona|sensethe
social division ol |aboui has, the moie stubboin|y subects cling to
what social latality has inHicted on them. Estiangement becomes
c|oseness,dehumanizationhumanity,theextinguishingolthesubect
|tsconnimation.1hesocializationolhumanbeingstodaypeipetuates
theii asocia|ity, whi|e not a||owing even the socia| misht to piide
hiosellonbeinghuman.
II
Legalities WhattheNazisdidtothe[ewswasunspeakab|e. language
hasnowoid loiit, since even mass muidei wou|dhave sounded,i n
laceolitsplanned, systematictota|ity, |ike somethingliomthegood
o|ddaysoltheseiial ki|lei. Andyetateim needed tobeloundilthe
victims inanycasetoomanyloitheiinamestobeieca|led weieto
be spaied the cuise olhaving no thoughts tuined unto them. So i n
Eng|ishtheconceptolgenocidewascoined.Butbybeingcodihed,as
set down in the Inteinationa| Dec|aiation ol Human Rights, the
unspeakab|ewasmade,loithesakeolpiotest,commensuiab|e.Byits
elevation to a concept, its possibility is viitua||y iecognized. an
institutiontobeloibidden,ieected,discussed. One day negotiations
oayta|ep|aceintheloiumoltheUnited Nations onwhetheisome
newatiocity comes undei the hcadingolgenocide, whetheinations
haveaiighttointeivenethattheydonotwanttoexeiciseinanycase,
and whethei, in view olthe unloieseen dilhcu|ty olapplying it in
piactice,thewholeconceptolgenocideshou|dbeiemovedliom the
36 v.- - . c. .ro:oc.
statutes. Soon alteiwaids theie aie inside-page headlines in oui
na|ese. East1uikestangenocidepiogiammeneaiscomp|etion.
III
Freedom as they know it Peop|e have so manipu|ated the concept o|
lieedomthatitbna|lyboilsdowntotheiightolthestiongeiandiiche;
totakeliomtheweakeiandpooieiwhateveitheysti||have.Attempts
tochangethisaieseenasshamelulintiusionsintotheiea|moltheveiy
individua|ity that by the logic ol that lieedom has disso|ved into ao
administeiedvoid. But theobective spiiit ol|anguage knows bettei
Ceiman and Eng|ish ieseive the woid 'liee' loi things and seivices
which cost nothing. Aside liom a ciitique olpolitica| economy, this
beais witnessto the unlieedom posited in the exchangeie|ationshi
itse|l, theieis nolieedomas |ongaseveiythinghas its piice, andio
ieihedsocietythingsexemptedliomthepiicemechanismexistonlyas
pitilu|iudiments. O c|oseiinspectiontheytoo aie usua||yloundto
havetheiipiice,andtobehandoutswithcommoditiesoiatleastwit|
domination. paiksmakepiisonsmoieenduiab|etothosenotintheo
Foipeop|ewitha liee,spontaneous,seieneandnoncha|anttempei,
howevei,loithosewhodeiivelieedomasapiivilegeliomunlieedoo,
|anguageho|dsieadyanappositename.thatolimpudence.
IV
Les Adieux 'Coodbye'hasloicentuiiesbeenanemptyloimu|a.Now
ie|ationshipshavegonethesameway. Leavetakingis obso|ete. 1wo
who be|ong togethei may paitbecause one changes his domicile,
peop|eaieanywaynolongeiathome i na town,butas theu|timate
consequenceollieedomolmovement,subecttheiiwho|elives even
spatia||y to whatevei the most lavouiable conditions ol the |abour
maiketmaybe. 1henit'sovei,oitheymeet.1obelasting|yapaitand
to ho|d|ovelasthasbecome unthinkab|e. 'C paiting, lountainola|l
woids' ,butit hasiun diy,andnothingcomesoutexceptbye,bye or
ta-ta.Aiimai|andcouiieide|iveiysubstitute|ogistica|pioblemsloithe
anxious wait loi the |ettei, even wheie the absent paitnei has no|
ettisonedanythingnotpalpab|yto handas ba||ast.Aiilinediiectois
canho|dubileespeechesonhowmuchunceitaintyandsoiiowpeop|e
aietheiebyspaied.Butthe|iquidationolpaitingisamatteiollileand
deathtothetiaditiona|notionolhumanity.Whocou|dsti|||oveilthe
momentisexc|udedwhentheothei,coipoiealbeingispeiceivedasan
vrs s .crs. . o+.r 37
e compiessingthewho|econtinuityol |ile as into a heavy liuit:
;mag
b
.
h d

H
.
h l
whatwouldhope ewrt out stance umamtywast eawaienessL
thepiesenceolthatnotpiesent,whichevapoiatesinaconditionwhich
coidsa||things notpiesentthepa|pab|esemb|anceolpiesenceand

oediacy,andhence has only scoinloiwhat bnds noenoymentin

uchsimu|ation.Yettoinsistonpaiting'sinneipossibi|ityinlaceolits
s
ragmaticimpossibilitywou|dbealie,loitheinwaiddoesnotunlo|d
ithinitsellbuton|yinie|ationtotheobective,andtomake'inward'a
collapsedoutwaidnessdoesvio|encetotheinwaiditse|l,whichisleltto
sustamitsellasilonitsownHame. 1heiestoiation olgestuieswou|d
lo||ow the example ol the piolessoi olCeiman liteiatuie who, on
Chiistmas Eve, held his sleeping chi|dien loi a momentbeloie the
shiningtiee to cause a dja vu and steep them in myth. A humanity
cooeolagewi||havetotianscenditsownconceptoltheemphatica||y
huoan, positive|y. Otheiwiseitsabso|ute negation, theinhuman,wi||
caiiyollvictoiy.
V
Gentlemen's honour -Vis-a-vis women men have assumed the duty ol
discietion,oneolthemeans wheiebytheciudityolvio|enceismadeto
appeai soltened, contio| as mutua| concession. Since they have
out|awed piomiscuity to secuie woman as a possession, while yet
needingpiomiscuitytopieventtheiiownienunciationom iisingto
anunenduiab|epitch,menhave madetothewomen oltheiiclasswho
givethemse|veswithout maiiiage thetacitpiomisenottospeakolitto
any othei man, oi to inliinge the patiiaicha| dictate ol woman|y
reputation.Discietionthenbecametheoyoussouiceola||seciecy,a|l
aitlu|tiiumphsoveithepoweisthatbe,indeed,evenoltiust,thiough
which distinction and integiity aie loimed. 1he |ettei H|dei|in
addiessedtohismotheialteithelata|Fiankluitcatastiophe,without
beingmovedby the expiessionolhisu|timate despaii to hint at the
ieasonloihisbieachwithHeiiContaidoieventomentionDiotima's
naoe, while the vio|ence olpassion passes ovei into giiel-stiicken
woids about the |oss olthe pupil who was his be|oved's child - that
|ettei e|evates the loice ol dutilul silence to buining emotion, and
oa|es such si|ence itsellanexpiession oltheunenduiab|econHictol
huoan iight with the iight ol that which is . Butust as amid the
univeisa| unlreedom each tiait ol humanity wiung liom it giows
aobiguous, so it is even with man|y discietion, which is ieputed|y
nothingbutnoble. Ittuinsintoaninstiumentolwoman'sievengeloi
hei oppiession. 1hat men have to keep quiet among themselves,
38 MAPPI NG I DEOLOGY
indeed,thatthewho|eeioticspheietakesonagieateiaiiofseciecythe
moie consideiate and we|l-bied peop|e aie, piocuies foi women
oppoitunities fiomtheconvenient|ietos|yandunhampeieddecep
tion, andcondemnsthegent|emantotheio|eofdimwit. Uppei-c|ass
womenhaveacquiiedawho|e techniqueofiso|ation,ofkeepingmeo
apait, and hna||y of wi|fu|ly dividing al| the spheies of feeling
,
behavioui and va|uation, in which the ma|e division of laboui is
giotesque|yiedup|icated.1hisenab|esthemtomanipu|atethe tiicki
est situations with ap|omb at the cost ofthe veiy immediacy that
womensopiidethemse|veson. Menhavediawntheiiownconclusions
fiom this, co||udingin the sneeiingsous-entendu thatwomenust are
like that. 1he wink imp|ying cosi fan tutte iepudiates al| discietion,
althoughnoname isdiopped, and has moieoveitheustihcationot
knowingthat,unfai|ingly,anywomanwhoavai|sheise|fofhei|ovei's
ga||antiyhasheise|fbiokenthetiusthep|acedinhei.1he|adywhois
one, andiefuses to make ofgenti|itythemockeiyofgoodmanneis,
theiefoie has nochoicebut to set aside the discieditedpiincip|e ot
discietionandopen|y,shameless|ytakehei|oveuponhei.Butwhohas
thestiengthfoithat:
VI
Post festum Pain atthedecayofeioticielationshipsis notust, as it
takesitse|ftobe,feaiof|ove'swithdiawal,noithekindofnaicissistic
melancho|y that has been penetiating|y desciibed by Fieud. A|so
invo|vedisfeaiofthetiansienceofone'sownfee|ing.So|ittleioom|s
|efttospontaneousimpulsesthatanyonesti||giantedthemata|lfee|s
them asoy and tieasuie evenwhen they cause pain, and indeed,
expeiiencesthc|aststingingtiacesofimmediacyasapossessiontobe
giimlydefended,i noideinot to becomeoneselfathing. 1he feaio|
|ovinganotheii sgieatei,nodoubt,thanoflosingthatothei's|ove.1he
ideaoffeiedtousasso|acethatinafewyeaiswesha||notundeistand
ouipassionandwillbeab|etomeetthe|oveowomani
_
companywith
nothingmoiethan eeting, astonishedcuiiosity,isapttoexaspeiate
the iecipient beyond a|| measuie. 1hat passion, which bieaches the
context of iationa| uti|ity and seems to help the se|f to escape its
monadic piison, should itselfbe somethingielative tobe htted bac|
intoindividua||ifeby ignominiousieason,istheu|timateb|asphemy.
And yet inescapab|y passion itse|f, in expeiiencing the inalienable
boundaiybetweentwopeop|e,isfoicedtoieectonthatveiymoment
andthus,intheactof beingoveiwhelmedbyit,toiecognizethenu||ity
ofits oveiwhe|ming. Rea||yonehasa|ways sensed futility, happiness
MESSAGES I N A BOTTLE
39
layinthenonsensica|thou

htofbeingcaiiiedaway,a

deachtimethat
went wiong was the |ast trme, was death. 1he tiansrence ofthat i n
which |ife i sconcentiated to the utmost bieaks thiough i nust that
exueoeconcentiation. On top ofal| e|se the unhappy |ovei has to
adoitthatexact|ywheiehethoughthewasfoigettinghimse|fheloved
hioselfon|y. Nodiiectnessleadsoutsidetheguiltyciicleofthenatuia|,
but
on|y
ieectiononhowc|oseditis.
VII
Come closer 1hesplitbetweenouteiandinnei,inwhichtheindividual
subectismadetofee|thedomitanceofexchangeva|ue, alsoaffects
the supposed spheie of immediacy, even those ie|ationships which
includenomateiia| inteiests. 1heyeach havea double histoiy. 1hat
they, as a thiid between two peop|e, dispense with inwaidness and
obectify themse|ves in foims, habits, ob|igations, gives them endui-
ance.1heiiseiiousnessandiesponsibilityliepait|yinnotgivingwayto
eveiy impu|se, but asseiting themselves as something so|id and
constant against individua| psycho|ogy. 1hat, howevei, does not
abo|ishwhatgoesoni neachindividual. notonlymoods,inc|inations
andaveisions,butabovea|lieactionstotheothei'sbehavioui.Andthe
inneihistoiystakes its claim moie foicefu||y the |ess the innei and
outeiaiedistinguishab|ebypiobing.1hefeaiofthesecietdecayof
re|ationships is a|most a|ways causedbythose invo|ved a||eged|y oi
ieallyhndingthings'toohaid' . 1heyaietooweaki nface ofiea|ity,
oveitaxed by it on a|| sides, to mustei the loving deteimination to
maintaintheie|ationshippuie|yfoiitsownsake.Intheiea|mofutility
eveiy ielationship woithy of human beings takes on an a:pect of
|uxuiy. No one can ieal|y affoid it, and iesentment at this bieaks
throughinciiticalsituations.Becauseeachpaitneiknowsthatintiuth
unceasing actua|ity is needed, a moment's agging seems to make
eveiythingciumb|e. 1his can sti|l be felt even when the obectihed
foimoftheie|ationshipshutsitout.1heinescapab|edua|ityofoutei
andinneiupsets pieciselyauthentic,affectivelychaigedielationships.
Ifthesubecti s deep|yinvolvedwhi|etheie|ationship'soutwaidaspect
prevents him, with good ieason, fiom indu|ging his impu|se, the
re|ation istuinedto peimanent suffeiingandthusendangeied.1he
absuid signifcance of tiivia |ike a missed te|ephone ca|l, a stinted
handshake,ahackneyedtuinofphiase, spiingsfiomtheiimanifest-
rngan innei dynamic otheiwise he|d i n check, and thieatening the
ie|ationship'sobectiveconcieteness. Psycho|ogistsmaywel|condemn
thefeai and shock ofsuch momentsas neuiotic, pointing out theii
4
0 MAPPI NG I DEOLOGY
dispiopoition tothe ie|ation's obective weight. Anyone who takes
fiight so easi|y is indeed 'uniealistic', and in his dependence on the
ieexes ofhis own subectivitybetiays afaultyadustment. But onl,
whenoneiespondstotheinectionofanothei'svoicewithdespaiiis
theielationasspontaneousasitshou|dbebetweenfieepeop|e,while
yetfoithatveiyieasonbecomingatoimentwhich,moieovei,takesoa
anai iofnaicissismini tsbdelitytotherdeaofimmediacy,rtsimpoten|
piotest againstco|dheaitedness. 1he neuiotic ieaction is thatwhic|
hitsonthetiuestateofaffaiis,whi|etheoneadustedtoiealitya|iead,
discountstheie|ationshipasdead.1hecleansingofhumanbeingso|
the muik and impotence of affects is in diiect piopoition to the
advanceofdehumanization
VIII
Depreciation Kandinskywiotei n1
91 2
: 'Anaitist,avingonc
'
found
his foim atlast`,thinkshe can now go on pioducmgwoiks m peace
Unfoitunate|y, he usual|y fai|s to notice that fiom this moment (o|
peace`)heveiysoonbeginsto|osethefoimhehasat|astfound. ' Itis
no diffeient with undeistanding. It does not |ive on stock. Eac|
thoughtisa foice-held, andustasthetiuth-contentofaudgemen|
cannotbe divoiced fiomits execution, the on|ytiueideas aie those
whichtianscendtheiiownthesis. Sincetheyhavetodissolvepetiibed
viewsofobects,thementalpiecipitateofsocia|ossib cation,thefoi

o|
ieihcation which lies in a thought's being he|d as a him possessroo
opposesitsownmeaning.Evenopinionsofthemostexticmeiadical-
ism aie fa|sihed as soon as they aie insisted upon,as society eagei|y
conbimsbydiscussingthe doctiine andthusabsoibingit. 1hiscastsits
shadowoveitheconceptoftheoiy.1heieisnotonethat,byviitueo|
its constitution as a bxed, coheient stiuctuie, does not haiboui O
momentofieibcation within it. developpaianoid featuies. Piecise|y
thismakesiteffective.1heconceptoftheidee fxe touchesnoton|yoo
theabeiiationbutisaningiedientoftheoiyitself,thetotalpietensioa
ofsomething paiticu|aithataiisesassoonasadiscietemomentisheld
fastiniso|ation.Ideasie|atedtotheiiantithesisaienotexempt.Eveo
t
g
eoiies oftheutmostdignity aie pione at|easttoieihed inteipie
tation. 1hey seem i n this to comp|y secietlywith a demand ofthe
commoditysociety.1heidee fxe, likepeisecutionmania,usual|yie|ates
totheattiibutionofgui|t. 1hemania's systemcannotseethioughthe
systemofmania,thevei|ofthesocialtotality.Ittheiefoiehitsout
.
atO
sing|e piincip|e. foi Rousseau civi|ization, foi Fieud the oedipus
comp|ex,foiNietzschetheiancouioftheweak. Ifthetheoiyrsnoto|
MESSAGES I N A B OTTLE 41
h
t kind,itsieceptioncansti||iendeii t paianoid.1osayi napiecise
t a
sethat someone holds this oithat theoiy is a|ieady to implythe
sen
l

d b|ankly staing pioclamation of giievances, immune to se|f-


sto . . .
f h
ienection. 1hinkeis|ackmgmthepaianordelement oneL t emwas
G
igSimme|,thoughhemadeofthelackapanaceahavenoimpact
eo
resoonfoigotten. Bynomeansdoesthisimplytheiisupeiioiity.If
oi
hweiedeb nedastheutteilynon-paianoid,itwou|dbeatthesame
e not only the utteily impotentand in conHict with itse|f, to the
u

entthatpiacticeisamongitse|ements butitwouldalsobewho||y
e

ab|etoevo|veacoheientstiuctuieofmeaning.Flightfiomtheidee
fxe
becomes aHightfiomthought. 1hinkingpuiihedofobsession,a
thoroughgoingempiiicsm,giowsitsellobsessrvewhilesaciib cingthe
|deaoftiuth,whichfaiesbadlyenoughatempiiicists'hands .Fiomthis
aspect,too,dia|ecticswou|dhavetobeseenasanattempttoescapethe
eithei/oi.Itistheeffoittoiescuetheoiy'stienchancyandconsequen-
tia| logicwithoutsuiiendeiingittode|usion.
IX
Procrustes 1he thiottling of thought makes use of an almost
inescapab|e paii ofalteinatives. Whatis who||y veiib ed empiiica|ly,
witha||thechecksdemandedbycompetitois,canalwaysbefoieseenby
theoostmodestuseofieason. 1hequestionsaiesogiounddownin
the mi|| that, in piinciple, |itt|e moie can emeige than that the
peicentage oftubeicu|osis cases is highei in a s|um distiict than on
PaikAvenue.1hesneeiingempiiicistsabotagethiivesonthis,being
pattedonthebackbythebudgetmakeiswhoadministeiitsaffaiisin
any case, and shown the diawn-down coineis of the mouth that
signify. 'Knew it al| a|ong'. But that which wou|d be diffeient, the
contiibution the scientistsclaimtothiistfoi, theydepiecateequa|ly,
ustbecauseitisnotknownbyeveiyone. 'Wheieistheevidence:'Ifthis
is|acking, a thought can onlybe vain and idle specu|ation, wheieas
ieseaichis supposedtocapei like iepoitage. 1hesefatalalteinatives
induceil|-tempeieddefeatism Peop|edoscienceas|ongassomething
pays foi it. But they have faith in neithei its ie|evance noi the
bindingnessofitsiesults.1heywoulddiscaidthewho|econsignment
of unk,ifchangesinthesocia|foimofoiganizationmadeiedundant,
fo examp|e,theasceitainingofstatisticalaveiages,inadmiiationof
which foimal demociacyismiiioiedasthemeiesupeistitionofthe
reseaichbuieaux. 1hepioceduie oftheofhcia|socia|sciencesislitt|e
ooienowthanapaiodyofthebusinessesthatkeepsuchscienceaHoat
whileiea|lyneedingiton|yasanadveitisement.1hewholeappaiatus
+. MAPP I NG I DEOLOGY
olbook-keeping, administiation, annualiepoits andba|ance shects,
impoitant sessions and business tiips, is set in motion to conlei on
commeicia|inteieststhesemb|anceolageneialnecessityelicitedlioo
the depths. 1he sell-induced motion ol such olhce woik is ca|led
ieseaich on|y because it has no seiious inHuence on mateiial
pioduction,stil|lessgoesbeyonditasciitique. Inieseaichthespiiitol
thiswoild p|aysby itse|l,butin thewaychi|dienp|aybusconductois,
se||ing tickets that |ead nowheie. 1he asseition ol such spiiit's
emp|oyeesthatonedaytheywi|lbiingolltheiisynthesisoltheoryand
lactua|mateiia|,they justlack the ti meat piesent,isaloo|ishexcusetha;
backhies on them in tacitly acknowledging the piioiity olpiactical
ob|igations. 1he table-embioideied monogiaphs cou|d haid|y ever,
andthenon|yinasaidonicmode,bee|evatedtotheoiybymediating
menta|opeiati ons. 1heend|esscollegialhunt,caieeiingbetweenthe
'hypotheses' and ' piools'olsocia| science, isawi|d-goosechase,since
eacholthesupposedhypotheses,ilinhabitedbytheoietica|meaningat
al|,bieaksthioughpiecise|ytheshakylaadeolmeielacticity,whichin
thedemandloipioolspiolongsitse|lasieseaich.1hatmusiccannotbe
iea||yexpeiiencedoveitheiadiois,tobesuie,amodesttheoieticalidea,
but as tians|ated into ieseaich, loi instance by the pioofthat the
enthusiasticlisteneistoceitainseiiousmusicpiogiammescannoteven
ieca|lthetitlesolthepiecestheyhaveconsumed,yieldsthemeiehuskol
the theoiyitc|aimstoveiily.Evenilagioupmeetinga|| the statistical
ciiteiia knew a|| the tit|es, that wou|d no moie be evidence olthe
expeiienceolmusicthan,conveise|y,ignoianceolthe namesinitsell
conhims its absence. 1heiegiessionolheaiingcanonlybededuceo
liomthesocia|tendencytowaidstheconsumptionpiocessassuch,and
identihedinspecihctiaits.Itcannotbeinleiiedliomaibitiaii|yisolated
andthenquantihedactsolconsumption.1omakethemthemeasuieol
knowledgewouldbeoneselltoassumetheextinctionolexpeiience,and
toopeiateinan'expeiience-liee'waywhiletiyingtoana|ysethechange
olexpeiience.apiimitiveviciousciic|eAsgauchemimingoltheexact
sciences,besidewhoseiesu|tsthesocia|sciencesseempa|tiy,ieseaich
c|ingsleailu||ytotheieihedp|asteicastolvita|piocessesasaguaiantee
olcoiiectness,wheieasitson|ypiopeitask onetheiebyimpiopeito
themethodsolieseaich~wou|dbtodemonstiatetheieincationolthe
livingthioughthosemethods'immanentcontiadiction.
2
Imaginative excesses-1hoseschoo|edindia|ecticaltheoiyaieie|uctantto
indu|geinpositiveimagesolthepiopeisociety,olitsmembeis,evenol
MESSAGES I N A B OTTLE +
thosewhowouldaccomp|isht.Pasttiacesdeteithem,inietiospect,all
soia|utopiassinceP|ato's meigeinadisma|iesemb|ancetowhatthey
weie devised against. 1he |eap into the lutuie, c|ean ovei the
conditionsolthepiesent, |andsinthepast. Inotheiwoids . ends and
oeanscannotbe loimulated in iso|ation liomeach othei. Dia|ectics
willhavenotiuckwiththemaximthattheloimeiustilythe|attei,no
oatteihowc|oseitseemstocometothedoctiineoltheiuseolieason
oi,loithatmattei,thesuboidinationolindividualspontaneitytopaity
discip|ine. 1hebe|ielthattheb|indplayolmeanscou|dbesummaii|y
disp|aced by the soveieignty ol iational ends was bouigeois
utopianism. Itistheantithesisolmeansandendsitsellthatshou|dbe
ciiticized.Bothaieieihedinbouigeoisthinking,theendsas'ideas'the
steiility olwhich |ies in theii powei|essness to be exteinalized, such
uniea|izabi|ity being cialti|y passed ollas imp|icit i n absoluteness,
oeans as 'data' olmeie, meaning|ess existence, to be soited out,
accoidingtotheiiellectiveness oilackolit,intoanythingwhatevei,
butdevoidolieasoninthemselves.1hispetiihedantithesisho|dsgood
loi the woi|d that pioduced it, but notloi the elloit to change it.
Solidaiitycanca||onustosuboidinatenotonlyindividua|inteiestsbut
even oui bettei insight. Conveise|y, violence, manipu|ation and
devious tactics compiomisethe endtheyc|aimtoseive, and theieby
dwind|e to no moie than means. Hence the piecaiiousness ol any
statementaboutthoseonwhomthetiansloimationdepends. Because
oeansandendsaieactua||ydivided,thesubjectsolthebieakthiough
cannotbe thought olas an unmediated unity olthe two. o moie,
howevei,canthedivisionbepeipetuatedintheoiybytheexpectation
thattheymightbeeitheisimp|ybeaieisoltheendoie|seunmitigated
oeans.1hedissidentwho||ygoveinedbytheendistodayinanycaseso
thoiough|ydespisedbyliiendandfoeasan'idea|ist'anddaydieamei
that one is moie inc|ined to impute iedemptive poweis to his
eccentiicity than to iealhim his impotence as impotent. Ceitain|y,
howevei,nomoielaithcanbeplacedinthoseequatedwiththemeans,
the subjectless beings whom histoiica| wiong has iobbed ol the
stiength to iight it, adapted to techno|ogy and unemp|oyment,
conloimingandsqualid,haidtodistinguishliomthewind-acketsol
lascism. theiiactua|statedisclaimstheideathatputsitstiustinthem.
Bothtypesaietheatiemasksolc|asssocietypioectedontothenight
skyolthelutuie,andthebouigeoisthemselveshavealwaysdelighted
attheiieiiois, no less than theii iiieconcilability. on one hand the
abstiact iigoiist, help|ess|y stiiving to iea|ize chimeias, and on the
otheithesubhumancieatuiewho,asdishonoui'spiogeny,sha||nevei
bea||owedtoaveitit.
What the iescueis would be |ike cannot be piophesied without
44 MAP P I NG I DEOLOGY
obscuiing theii image with falsehood. What can be peiceived,
howevei,iswhattheywillnotbe|ike. neitheipeisonalitiesnoibund|es
ofieHexes,but|eastofa|lasynthesisofthetwo,haidboi|ediealistswith
a senseofhigheithings.Whentheconstitutionofhumanbeingshas
giown adaptedto social antagonismsheightenedtotheextieme,the
humane constitution suffcient to hold antagonism in check wi|l be
mediatedby the extiemes, not an aveiage ming|ingofthe two. 1he
beaieis oftechnica|piogiess,nowsti|lmechanizedmechanics,wi||, in
evo|ving theii specia| abi|ities, ieach the point a|ieady indicated by
technology wheie specia|ization giows supeiHuous. Once theii con-
sciousness has been conveited into puie means without anyqualifi-
cation, itmay cease tobeameans andbieach,withitsattachmentto
paiticu|aiobects,the|astheteionomousbaiiiei,its|astentiapmentin
the existingstate,thelastfetishismofthe statusquo,inc|udingthatof
its own se|f,whichis disso|vedin itsiadicalimplementationas an in-
stiument. Diawingbieath at |ast, it maygiowawaieoftheincon-
giuencebetweenitsiationaldeve|opmentandtheiiiationality ofits
ends,andactaccoiding|y.
r
At the same time, howevei, the pioduceis aie moie than evei
thiownbackontheoiy, towhichtheideaofaustconditionevo|vesin
theiiown medium,se|f -consistentthought,byviitueofinsistentself-
ciiticism. 1hec|ass divisionofsocietyisalsomaintainedbythose (vho
oppose class society. fo||owing the schematic division ofphysicaland
mental|aboui, theysplitthemse|vesupintowoikeisandinte|lectua|s.
1hisdivisionciipp|esthepiacticewhichisca||edfoi.Itcannotbeaibi
tiaiilysetaside. But whi|e thosepiofessiona|lyconceinedwiththings
ofthemindaiethemse|vestuinedmoieandmoieintotechnicians,the
giowingopacityofcapita|istmasssocietymakesanassociationbetween
intellectua|swhosti|laiesuch,withwoikeiswhostil|knowthemselves
tobesuch, moietime|ythanthiityyeaisago.Atthattimesuchunity
wascompiomisedbyfieewhee|ingbouigeoisofthe|ibeia|piofessions,
whoweieshutoutbyindustiyandtiiedtogaininHuenceby|eft-wing
bust|ings .1hecommunityofwoikeisofheadandhandhadasoothing
sound, andthepio|etaiiatiightlysniffed out,i nthespiiitua||eadei-
shipcommendedtothembyhguiessuchasKuitHi||ei,asubteifuge
to biing the c|ass stiugg|e undei contio|byustsuch spiiitua|ization.
1oday,whentheconceptofthepioletaiiat, unshakeninitseconomic
essence, is so occ|uded by techno|ogythat in the gieatestindustiia|
countiytheiecanbenoquestionofpioletaiianclassconsciousness,the
io|eofintel|ectua|swou|dnolongeibetoaleitthetoipidtotheiimost
obviousinteiests,buttostiiptheveilfiomtbeeyesofthewise-guys,the
i||usionthatcapita|ism,whichmakesthemitstempoiaiybenehciaiies,
isbasedonanythingotheithantheiiexp|oitationandoppiession.1he
MESSAGES I N A B OTTLE 4
5
de|udedwoikeisaiediiectlydependentonthosewhocanstil|ustsee
andte|| oftheiide|usion. 1heiihatiedofinte||ectualshas changed
accoiding|y.Ithasa|igneditse|ftothepievai|ingcommonsenseviews.
1he oasses no |ongei mistiustinte|lectua|sbecatise they betiaythe
ievo|ution, butbecause they mightwantit, and theieby ieveal how
gieat is theii own need of inte||ectuals. Only ifthe extiemes come
togetheiwi||humanitysuivive.
(Translated by Edmund jephcott)

Adorno, Post-Structuralism and


the Critique of Identity
Peter Dews
Ovei the past few yeais an awaieness has Legun to deve|o of the
thematic afnnitiesLetween thewoik ofthose iecent Fiench thinkeis
common|y giouped togetheiundei the laLe| of'post-stiuctuialism',
andthethoughtofthebist-geneiation FiankfuitSchoo|,paiticu|ai|y
that ofAdoino. Indeed, what is peihaps most suipiising is that it
shou|d have taken so |ong foi the intei|ockingofconceinsLetween
thesetwo phi|osophica| cuiients to Le piopei|y appieciated. Among
themostpiominentofsuchcommonpieoccupationsaie.theil|usoiy
autonomy oftheLouigeois suLject, as exposed pie-eminent|y in the
wiitings of Fieud and Nietzsche, the oppiessive functioning of
scientihc and techno|ogica|ieason, notleast i nits application to the
socialdomain,theiadica|izingpotentialofmodeinistaestheticexpeii
ence, and~ inthecaseofAdoino,atleast themanneiinwhichwhat
aieappaient|ythemostmaigina| and foituitousfeatuiesofcu|tuial
aitefacts ieveal theii most piofound, and often unacknow|edged,
tiuths. Fuitheimoie,theseafhnitieshavenotmeie|yLeenoLseivedLy
outsideis,LutaieLeginningtoLecomepaitof these|f-consciousnessof
paiticipantsin the two tiaditions themselves.1owaidsthe end ofhis
|ife, Michel Foucault admitted that he could have avoided many
mistakesthioughaneailieiieadingofCiitica|1heoiy,and~inthelast
ofseveialietiospectiveieconstiuctions ofhisinte|lectua|itineiaiy
p|aced hisownthoughtinatiaditionconceinedwith the'onto|ogyof
actuality',iunningfiomKantandHege|,viaNietzscheandWeLei,to
theFiankfuitSchoo| . ' Similai|y,[ean-FiapoisLyotaidhasemployed
Adoino's account of the decline of metaphysics and the tuin to
'micio|ogy' i n oidei to i||uminate pait|yLy paia|lel and paitlyLy
contiast his own inteipietation of postmodeinity, whi|e even
[acques Deiiida, the |east eclectic of iecent Fiench thinkeis, has
POST- STRUCT
URALI S M, CRI TI QUE OF I DENTI TY 4
7
wi|ttenappieciative|yonWalteiBenamin, whoseLoidei|ineposition
g
etweenthepo|iticalandthemystica|heceaily
.
hndssympathetic.`On
the othei side, contempoiaiy Ceiman mheirtois of the Fiankfuit
School, inc|uding HaLeimas himse|f, have Legun to exploie the

teina| landscape ofpost-stiuctuia|ism, and to assess the points of


II .

.
d


teisectionanddrveigencewiththeriowntia ttron.
II
.
h l

h
In the English-speaking woi|d, it rs t e ieatron Letween t e
_
aiacteiisticpioceduiesofdeconstiuctiondevelopedLy Deiiidaand
the 'negative dialectics' of Adoino which has attiacted the most
attention. a common concein with the |aLi|ity and histoiicity of
language, aiepudiation offoundationalisminphilosophy,anzwaie-
nessofthesuLteiianean|inksLetweenthemetaphysicsofidentityand
stiuctuiesofdomination, andashaied,toituous|ovehateie|ationto
Hege|,seemtomaikoutthesetwothinkeisasunwittingphi|osophical
comiades-in-aims.Howevei,uptil|now,thepiedominanttendencyof
suchcompaiisonshasLeentopiesentAdoinoasakindofdeconstiuc-
tionistavant la lettre.5 1heassumptionhasLeenthatamoieconsistent
puisuit of anti-metaphysical themes, and Ly imp|ication a moie
po|itical|yiadica|appioach,canLefoundintheFienchHeideggeiian
thanintheFiankfuitMaixist.ItwillLethefundamentalcontentionof
this essay that, foi seveial inteiconnected ieasons, this is a seiious
oisundeistanding Fiistly, a|though theie aieundouLtedly elements
in Adoino's thought which anticipate Deiiidean themes, he has in
oany ways equa||ystiongafhnities withthatmodeofiecent Fiench
thoughtwhichisusua|lyknownasthe' phi|osophyofdesiie'.Itisonly
the exaggeiation of the constitutive io|e of the language in post-
stiuctuia|ism, it could Le aigued, and a coiiesponding antipathy
evenontheinte||ectua|Left tothemateiia|istemphasesofMaixism,
which have ledto this
aspectofAdoino' swoikLeingoveilookedoi
undeip|ayed. Secondly, yomanAdoinianpeispective, itispiecise|y
this |ack of a mateiialist counteiweight in Deiiida's thought, the
aLsence of any account of the inteiielation of consciousness and
natuie,paiticulai|y'in
neinatuie' , whichcanLeseentohaveLiought
foiththeequallyone-sidedieactionofthephi|osophyofdesiie. Fiom
such a standpoint, diffeient poststiuctuia|ist thinkeis appeai as
dealing, in an inevitaL
|y distoiting isolation, with what aie in fact
aspectsofasinglecomplexofpioLlems. Finally,Adoino'sconceptof
reconciliation,whilefaifiomimmunetociiticism,cannotLeiegaided
as a simple ' failuieofneive' onhis pait, evenless D an invitation to
tota|itaiianism',toLecontiastedwiththehaishei,|esscompiomising
isionofpost-stiuctuialism.Itisiatheithe|ogicalconsequenceofthe
attempt to think Leyond a set of oppositions which i n theii
Nietzschean piovenance iemain vu|neiaL|yLiitt|e andaLstiact. In
48 MAP P I NG I DEOLOGY
shoit, I hopetoshow,thioughanexp|oiationolthecentialcommon
theme ol the ciitique ol identity, that lai liom being meie|y Q
haibingei olpost-stiuctuia|ist and postmodeinist sty|es ol thought,
Adoino olleis us some olthe conceptual tools with which to move
beyondwhatisincieasinglycomingtoappeai,not|eastinFianceitsell,
asasell-destiuctive|yindisciiminate,andpolitical|yambiguous,assault
onthestiuctuiesoliationalityandmodeinityin toto.
The Critique of Consciousness
In his 1
973 essay on the paintei [acques Monoiy, [ean-Fianois
Lyotaidmakessignihcantuseolthelo||owingtaleliomBoiges'sBook
ofImaginar Beings:
In one of the volumes of the Lettres ediantes et curieuses that appeared in
Paris during the frst half of the eighteenth century, Father Fontecchio of
the Society of Jesus planned a study of the superstitions and misinformation
of the common people of Canton; in the preliminary outline he noted that
the Fish was a shifting and shining creature that nobody had ever caught but
that many said they had glimpsed in the depths of mirrors. Father
Fontecchio died in 1 736, and the work begun by his pen remained
unfnished; some 1 50 years later Herbert Allen Giles took up the interrup
ted task. According to Giles, belief in the Fish is part of a larger myth that
goes back to the legendary times of the Yellow Emperor.
In those days the world of mirrors and the world of men were not, as they
are now, cut off from each other. They were, besides, quite different;
neither beings nor colours nor shapes were the same. Both kingdoms, the
specular and the human, lived in harmony; you could come and go through
mirrors. One night the mirror people invaded the earth. Their power was
great, but at the end of blood y warfare the magic arts of the Yellow Em peror
prevailed. He repulsed the invaders, i mprisoned them in their mirrors, and
forced on them the task of repeating, as though in a kind of dream, all the
actions of men. He stripped them of their power and of their forms and
reduced them to mere slavish refections. Nonetheless, a da y will come when
the magic spell will be shaken off.
The frstto awaken will be the Fish. Deep in the mirror we will perceive a
very faint line and the colour of this line will be like no other colour. Later
on, other shapes will begin to stir. Little by little they will diff erf rom us; little
by little they will not imitate us. They will break through the barriers of glass
or metal and this time will not be defeated. Side by side with these mirror
creatures,. the creatures of water will join the battle.
In Yunnan, they do not speak of the Fish but of the Tiger of the Mirror.
Others believe that in advance of the invasion we will hear from the depths
of mirrors the clatter of weapons.
POST- STRUCTURALI S M, CRI TI QUE OF I DENTI TY 4
9
loi Lyotaid this stoiy condenses a ciitique olthe modein subect
which he shaies with the maoiity ol post-stiuctuialist thinkeis.
Sub
ectivity piesupposes ieHection,aiepiesentationolexpeiienceas
thatolanexpeiiencingse|l.Butthioughsuchiepiesentation,which
depends upon the synthesizing lunction ol concepts, the oiigina|
nuidityolintuition. the communicationbetweenthe humanand the
speculaiwoi|d,islost. Consciousnessbecomesakindolse|l

contained
theatie,dividedbetweenstageandauditoiium.eneigyistiansloimed
intothethoughtoleneigy, intensityintointentiona|ity.1husLyotaid
wiites .
Borges imagines these beings as forces, and this bar [the bar between
representation and the represented] as a barrier; he imagines that the
Emperor, the Despot in general, can only maintain his position on condition
that he represses the monsters and keeps them on the other side of the
transparent walL The existence of the subject depends on this wall, on the
enslavement of the fuid and lethal powers repressed on the other side, on
the function of representing them. 7
1his piotest at the coeicive unihcation imp|ied by the notion ola
se|l-conscious,se|l-identica|subectis olcouise one olthecentia|
themesolpost-stiuctuia|ism. Itoccuis, inaloimu|ationveiyc|oseto
that ol Lyotaid, in woiks such as the Anti-Oedipus ol De|euze and
Cuattaii,inwhichtheschizophienicliagmentationolexpeiienceand
|ossolidentityisce|ebiatedasalibeiationliomthese|lloigedbythe
Oedipuscomplex. Butitcana|sobelound,i namoieob|iqueloim,in
thewoikolMichelFoucau|t.1hemode|soIenclosuieandobseivation
which Foucau|t exp|oied thioughout his caieei aie, in a sense,
histoiica||yspecihc,institutionalembodimentsolthisconceptionola
consciousness imposing its oidei upon the disoidei|y manilo|d ol
iopulse.1his isc|eaiest inthecaseolthePanopticonwhich Foucau|t
desciibesinDiscipline and Punish; but,inlact,aslaibackasMadness and
Civilization, Ioucau|thad ana|ysed'the e|aboiationaioundandabove
oadnessolakindolabso|utesubectwhichiswho||y gaze, and which
conleis uponit thestatusol apuieobect' . 1hioughouthiswoikthe
oonipiesentlookieducesa|teiitytoidentity.
1iaditiona||y, within the spheie ol philosophy, it is peihaps the
stieam ol dia|ectica| thought deiived liom Hege| which has most
peisistently opposed this iigidity ol the c|assilying gaze. Hegel's
ciitiqueolthe'phi|osophyolieHection'isbasedon theviewthatany
assumptionabstiactedliomexpeiienceandtakentobe lundamenta|
oust necessaiily entei into contiadiction with itsell, inc|uding the
assumptionthatsubectivityitse|lissomethingsell-contained,isolated
50 MAP P I NG I DEOLOGY
liom and standing ovei against the obectolknow|edge. I nHege|'s
conception expeiience consists in the shilting iecipioca| deteimi
nationsolsubectandobect,andcu|minatesi nanawai.cnessthatthe
veiy distinction between the two is va|id on|y liom a iestiicted
standpoint.Aseailyashisessayonthedilleiencebetweenthesystems
ol Fichte and Sche|ling, Hege| had estab|ished this lundamental
piincip|e olhis phi|osophizing '1he need olphi|osophy can satisly
itself,hewiites,'bysimp|ypenetiatingtothepiincip|eolnul|ilyinga||
nxed oppositions and connecting the |imited to the Abso|ute. 1his
satislactionloundinthepiincip|eolabso|uteidentityischaiacteiistic
olphi|osophy as such.
,
" Howevei, as this quotation makes c|eai, the
dia|ectica| mobi|ization olthe ielation between subect and obecti n
Hege|doesnot entai|t heabandonmentolthe piinciple olidentity.
Hence, loi post-stiuctuialist thought the ie|iance on an Abso|ute
which ie|ativizes and ievea|s the 'ieilying' chaiactei ol conceptual
dissection,theopeiationoltheundeistanding,iesu|tsinanevenmoie
ine|uctableloimolcoeicion, since themovementliomstandpointto
standpoint oiientatedtowaidsapiedeteiminedgoa|.1hevoyageol
consciousness is undeitaken only with a view to the tieasuie ol
expeiiencewhichcanbeaccumu|atedandbioughthome. theindivid-
ua|momentsolthevoyageaienotenoyedsimplyloithemselves.1his
ciitiqueolHege|isa|so,olcouise,implicitlyoiexp|icitly,aciitiqueol
Maixism,whichisseenasattemptingtocoeicethep|uia|ityolsocial
andpolitica|movementsintoasing|eunsweivingdia|ecticolhistoiy.
One ol the lundamenta| piob|ems conlionting post-stiuctuia|ist
thought, theieloie a piob|em which accounts loi many ol its
distinctiveleatuiesishowtoieectsimu|taneous|yboththeiepiessive
iigiditiesolse|l-consciousnessandconceptua|thought,and theavail-
abledia|ectica|a|teinatives.Inthequestloiasolutiontothisdilnculty,
itis Nietzschewhoplaysthemostimpoitantio|e.1hisisbecausethe
centia|imaginativepo|aiityinNietzsche'swoikbetweentheHuidityol
theultimatewoi|dolbecoming,andthestaticsystemsolconcepts|aid
oveithis uidity,a||owshim toievealthedeceptivenessolallpaitia|
peispectivesonieality,whilea|sob|ockingthepossibi|ityolahistoiica|
tota|ity ol peispectives that would ievea| what cannot be known
thiough any one a|one. Nietzsche's chaiacteiisticveiba|compounds
(hineinlegen, hinzulUgen . . . ) iendei unmistakab|e his view that a||
meaning, coheienceand teleo|ogica|movementis pioected on to a
woi|dwhich, in itse|l, isblank,puiposeless,indilleient,chaotic.1his
conceptionoltheie|ationbetweenthoughtandiea|ityiscommonto
mucholtheNietzsche-inHuencedphi|osophyolthe I 90sand I 970s
in Fiance. I ts most stiiking and systematica||y e|aboiated exemp|i-
ncationispeihapstobeloundinLyotaid'sEconomie Libidinale, whichis

r
i
f

r
l

POST- STRUCTURALI S M, CRI TI QUE OF I DENTI TY 5 I


centieoonthe notionola'giandephemeia|pe||icu|e'constitutedby
thedep|oyedsuilacesolthebody,whichaiesweptby anincessant|y
oobi|e |ibidina| cathexis geneiating points ol puie sensation oi
'intensity' 1his desciiption ol the libidina| band is peihaps best
consideied as a phi|osophica| expeiiment, a paiadoxica| attempt to
exploie what expeiience wou|d be |ike beloie the emeigence ola
se|l-conscioussubectolexpeiience.InLyotaid'sview,thisemeigence
cantakep|aceon|ythioughacoo|ingolintensity, atiansloimationol
eneigy. Rendeiingmoieexplicittheassumptionsolhiscommentaiy
onBoiges,hewiites.
Theatricality and representation, far from being something one should take
a libidinal given, fortiori as a metaphysical given, result from a certain
kind of work on the labyrinthine and moebian band, an operation which
i mprints these special folds and creases whose effect is a box closed in on
itself, and allowing to appear on the stage only those i mpulses which,
coming from what will from now on be called the exterior, satisfy the
conditions of interiority.
! u
Once the iepiesentationa| chambei olconsciousness i s constituted.
then the |ibidina| band is inevitably occ|uded. all iepiesentation is
oisiepiesentation.FoiLyotaideachsegmentLlthebandis'absolute|y
singu|ai',sothatthe attemptto divideitupintoconceptua| identities
'implies the denial oldispaiities, ol heteiogeneities, oltiansits and
stasesoleneigy,itimp|iesthedenialolpolymoiphy' . ' ' 1hisontologi-
calalnimation olan iiieducib|e p|uiality in moie oi|ess sophisti-
cated veisions has been one ol the most in uential themes ol
post-stiuctuia|ism,andhashadwidespieadpo|itica|iepeicussions.It
i s, howevei,liaughtwithdilncu|ties,whichI wou|dl i ketoexp|oieby
lookinga|ittlemoiec|oselyattheNietzscheanthoughtbywhichitis
inspiied.
Knowledge and Becoming in Nietzsche
Fiomtheveiybeginningolhiswoik,Nietzscheisconceinedtocombat
the notion ol know|edge as the meie iepioduction ol an obective
ieality,be|ievingthatloimsolknow|edgenecessaii|yaie~andshou|d
be~intheseiviceolandshapedbyhumaninteiests.1heaigumentis
a|ieady centia| to The Birth of Tragedy, wheie Nietzsche diaws an
unlavouiable contiast between Cieek tiagedy at the height olits
poweis ~ a loim olaitistic cieation which, thiough its b|ending ol
Dionysiac insight and Apollonian oidei, was ab|e to conliont the
-. MAP P I NG I DEOLOGY
hoiioiandchaosolexistence,andyetdiawanalhimativeconc|usioo
liom this conliontation ~ and the naivelyoptimistic assumption ot
Sociaticdia|ecticthatiea|itycanbeexhaustive|ygiaspedinconcepts.
The Birth ofTragedy isdiiectedagainst'thei||usionthatthought,guided
bythethieadolcausation,mightp|umbtheluithestabysses olbeing
,
and even coiiectit' . ' 1hioughout his woik Nietzsche wi|| stiess the
aveisionolthehumanmindtochaos,itsleaiolunmediatedintuition,
anditsiesultantattemptstosimp|ilythewoi|dbyieducingdiveisityto
identity.1heie is, howevei,anequal|y stiong piagmatic tendencyi o
Nietzsche, which suggests that this piocess oloideiing andsimp|i
bcation takes p|ace not simp|y because ol an 'existentia|' need lor
secuiity,butin theinteiestsolsheeisuivival.
In order f or a particular species to maintain itself and increase its power, its
conception of reality must comprehend enough of the calculable and
constant for it to base a scheme of behaviour on it. The utility of
preservation - not some abstract-theoretical need not to be deceived -
stands as the motive behind the development of the organs of know
ledge . . . .
ItisonsuchconsideiationsthatNietzschebaseshismanypaiadoxica|
pionouncementsonthenatuieolknow|edgeandtiuth,hisstatement,
loiexamp|e,that'1iuth isthe kind oleiioiwithoutwhicha ceitaio
speciesoIlilecannotlive. ' '
A numbei ol commentatois have attempted t o modeiate the
peip|exingand scanda|ousellectoltheseloimu|ationsbysuggesting
thatNietzschediawsadistinction,imp|icit|yat|east,betweentwokinds
oltiuth. His attack is diiected against coiiespondence theoiies ol
tiuth,againstthelailuietoconsideitheextenttowhichoui|anguage
and oui concepts shape the woi|d, but does not exc|ude a deeper
insightintothenatuieolieality whichwouldmeiitthe tit|e 'tiuth'.
SuchattemptstoiendeiNietzsche'spositioncoheientaienotentiie|y
withouttextua|suppoit,buttheya|sohaveatendencytoundeip|aythe
extenttowhichNietzsche'spaiadoxicalloimu|ationsbetiayagenuine
dilemma. 1he Kantian e|ement in Nietzsche's thought pushes him
towaids a thoioughgoing idealist epistemology, since |ike Kant's
immediate successois~ heieectsthedoctiineolthe'thing-in-itse|fas
incoheient. 1hus,inThe Will to Power hewiites .
The intellect cannot criticize itself, simply because it cannot be compared
with other species of intellect and because its capacity to know would be
revealed only in the presence of 'true reality' . . . . This presupposes that,
distinct from every perspective kind of outlook or sensual-spiritual appro
priation, something exists, an 'in-itsel f. But the psychological derivation of
the belief in things forbids us to speak of 'things-in-themselves'
_ \
POST- STRUCTURALI S M, C RI TI QUE OF I DENTI TY 5 3
Yet,despitethese stiictuies, liomThe Birth ofTragedy onwaid,wheie
hecontiaststhesha||owoptimismolsciencetoana|teinativeDionysiac
insightinto the natuie olthings, Nietzsche wi|| iepeatedly oppose a
vision ol u|timate iea|ity to accepted tiuths. I ndeed, in The Birth of
Tragedy heemp|oystheKantianconceptolthenoumena|toi||ustiate
piecise|y thisopposition. '1hecontiastolthisauthenticnatuie-tiuth
andthe |ies olcultuie which piesent themselves as the so|e ieality is
similai to thatbetween the eteina| coie olthings, the thing-in-itse|l,
andtheentiiewoildolappeaiances. ' ' In geneia|,Nietzsche'sciitique
olmetaphysics,andhisdenia| oltheabi|ityolphi|osophytoestab|ish
epistemo|ogicalciiteiia,diiveshimtowaidsanidea|ismwhichaigues
thatthestiuctuiesolknow|edgeaieentiielyconstitutiveoltheobect,
whi|ehisinsistencethata||consciousnessshou|dcompiehenditse|las
peispectiva| pushes him backtowaids a ieinstatementolthedistinc-
tionbetweenappeaianceandiea|ity.
I wou|d aiguethat a simi|ai di|emma, encapsu|ated inNietzsche's
dictum that ' Know|edge and Becoming exc|ude one anothei','
peivadesthewoikolthosepost-stiuctuialistthinkeiswhohavebeen
mostdiiect|y in uenced by Nietzschean schemas. We have a|ieady
examined how Lyotaid's motil olthe |ibidina| band, which luses a
lieudian-inspiiedtheoiy olcathexiswiththedoctiineoltheEteinal
Retuin, makes possib|e adenunciationola||theoietica| discouises as
'appaiatusesloithebxationanddiainingawayolintensity
,
. ' Lyotaid,
howevei,istooconscientious~ andtooiest|ess~abguietobesatisbed
loi longwith the monistic metaphysics ol|ibido on which Economie
Libidinale ielied.Itcanbenoaccidentthat,shoitlyalteithepub|ication
olthis woik, he began to set oll in a new diiection, iep|acing the
desciiption olloimsoldiscouise as 'dipositifs pulsionels' with the |ess
onto|ogical|y |oaded notion ol '|anguage-games' , boiiowed liom
Wittgenstein. In Lyotaid's case, the attemptto deve|op a ciitiqueol
obectilying theoiy liom the standpoint ol an ontology ol ux
iepiesentsanexp|icit,butonly tempoiaiy, phaseolhisthought.With
loucau|t, howevei, the tension which this attempt imp|ies is both a
moie coveit, but also a moie peisistent, leatuie ol his woik. It is
a|ieadyappaientinMadness and Civilization, wheieloucau|twishesto
deve|opaciitiqueoltheobectilyingandalienatingnatuieolmodein
psychiatiictieatmentanditstheoiizations,whi|ea|sobeingsensitiveto
the dilhcu|ty ol appea|ing to the 'iudimentaiy movements ol an
expeiience' which wou|d be 'madness itself. ' In The Archaeology of
Knowledge loucault ienounces this appioach. 'We aie not tiying to
ieconstitutewhatmadnessitsellmightbe. . . inthe loiminwhich it
was latei oiganized (tians|ated, deloimed, tiavestied, peihaps even
iepiessed) by discouises, andthe ob|ique, oltentwisted playoltheii
54 MAP P I NG I DEOLOGY
opeiations. 'Heostensib|yadoptsa positioni nwhichdiscouises aie
entiielyconstitutiveoftheiiobects. And yetthecontiadictionpeisists,
sinceitisinheienti nhisattemptto developanon-dia|ecticalfoimof
ciitique. InthehistvolumeofThe History ofSexuality, foiexamp|e,the
oscil|ationbetweenthe epistemologica|andthe onto|ogicaloccuisin
thefoimofanoppositionbetweentheappaiatusesofsexua|ityanda
tentatively ~ but peisistently ~ evoked pie-discuisive 'body and its
pleasuies' . ' Foucault is able to avoid this di|emma in his hnal
pub|ications only by ietuining to a notion of self-constitution and
self-ieection which hehaddenounced upuntil this pointasi|licitly
Hegelian.Oneofthefundamenta|tenetsofpost-stiuctuia|istthought
is tacitly abandoned when Foucault ieinstates a ielation between
knowledgeanditsobjectinteinaltoconsciousness , whenheinquiies
'Bymeansofwhatp|ayoftiuthdoesmanoffeihimse|ftobethoughtin
his own beingwhen hepeiceives himselfas mad, when heconsideis
himse|fas i||, when he ieHects on himselfas a |iving, speaking and
|abouiingbeing,whenhe udgesandpunisheshimse|fasaciiminal:'
1hisisanunmistakab|y'ievisionist'ietiospective.
Adorno's Critique of Identity-Thinking
Havingexp|oied this fundamenta|difnculty ofthe post-stiuctuia|ist
position, Iwould|ikenowtointioducethe compaiisonwithAdoino.
One obvious point of entiy would be the fact that both the post-
stiuctuia|istsandAdoinooweanenoimousdebttoNietzsche,andin
paiticu|ai to his sense of the costs imposed by the foiging of a
se|f-identica|, moia||yiesponsib|e subect, peihaps most vividly con-
veyedinthesecondessayofOn the Genealogy ofMorals. Howevei,asI
have a|ieady suggested, the fu|l impoit of these paial|e|s has been
misundeistood,becauseofafai|uietoappieciatethegapbetweenthe
geneial philosophica| pioects within which they occui. One of the
mostimpoitantdistinctionsinthisiespectis thatAdoinoisnotcontent
with a Nietzschean--Fieudian, natuia|istic ciitiqucofconsciousness,
but takes up the discoveiy oftheeailyCeiman Romanticsthat the
philosophy of puie consciousness is inteina||y incoheient. In an
i||uminating aitic|e, [ochen Hiisch has shown that the oiiginal
antecedents foi Adoino's acute awaieness ofthe |oss ofspontaneity
imposedbythefoimationofthemodeinautonomousindividua|, his
sensethattheidentityofthese|fmustbecoeicivelymaintainedagainst
the centiifugal tendencies of impu|se, can be tiaced back beyond
Nietzsche to the ciitical engagement with Fichte's phi|osophy of
Sch|egel and Nova|is. It is heie, i n thought pait|y inspiied |ike
POST- STRUCTURA LI S M, CRI TI QUE OF I DENTI TY 55
Adoino's own by dismay at the fai|uie ofan attempted political
iea|ization of ieason, that Adoino discoveis a hidden histoiy of
subectivity,anevocation ofthe pain ofthe piocess ofindividuation,
whichisbetiayedbylogicalincoheience.'Eai|yiomanticism' , Hiisch
aigues,'discoveissuffeiingas theprincipium individuationis andasthe
seciet of individuality`, which tianscendenta| philosophy can on|y
concea|atthecostofbecomingentangledinunavowedcontiadictions.
1hepainofindividuationdeiivesfiomtheinsciiptionofacompulsoiy
identitywhichpassesitse|foffasanapiioiistiuctuieofieason. . . .
,
`
Bothaspects ofthisciitiquewi|lbeofciucialimpoitancefoiAdoino.
thedemonstiation ofthe stiuctuie ofcontiadiction which both sp|its
andconstitutesthesubect,andthesensitivitytotheiepiessionofinnei
natuiewhichisdemandedbythefoigingofsuchasubect.Adoino's
ciitiqueofthemodeinsubect,theiefoie,isasimp|acab|easthatofthe
post-stiuctuialists, and is based on not dissimi|ai giounds . yet in
contiasttoFoucau|t,De|euzeoiLyotaiditdoesnotculminatei naca|l
foi the abolition ofthe subective piinciple. Rathei, Adoino a|ways
insists that ouion|y option is to 'use the foice ofthesubecttobieak
thioughthedeceptionofconstitutive subectivity' . ' In oideifu|lyto
undeistandtheieasonsfoithisdiffeienceofconc|usion,wemusttuin
to Adoino's account of the ie|ation between concet and obect,
univeisa|ityandpaiticulaiity,anditsoppositiontothatofNietzsche.
Fiomtheveiybeginning,Nietzsche'swoikishauntedbya sense of
theinheienthctiona|izingandfetishizingtendenciesoflanguageand
conceptua| thought. In his eaily essay 'On 1iuth and Lies in an
ExtiaMoialSense',Nietzscheiemaiks .
Every word becomes immediately a concept through the fact that it must
serve not simply for the absolutely individualized original experience, to
which it owes its birth, that is to say as a reminder, but must straightaway
serve for countless more or less similar cases, and that means must be
matched to purely dissimilar cases. Every concept arises through the
equating of what is not the same. U eder Begriffentstekt durek Gleicksetzung des
Niehtgleieken. J
25
1hioughout Nietzsche's woik such iemaiks on the 'coaiseness' of
language, on the indiffeience to diffeiences entailed bytheuseof
concepts,aietobefound. '[ustasitisceitain',Nietzschecontinues,
that one leaf is never quite like another, so it is certain that the concept leaf is
constructed by an arbitrary dropping of individual differences, through a
forgetting of what differentiates; and this awakens the idea that there is
somethi ng in nature besides leaves which would be 'leaf, that is to say an
5 MAP P I NG I DEOLOGY
original form, according to which all leaves are woven, drawn, circum
scribed, coloured, curled, painted, but by clumsy hands, so that no example
emerges correctly and reliably as a true copy of the original form . . . . The
overlooking of the individual gives us the form, whereas nature knows IL
forms and no concepts, and also no species, but only an X, which is
inaccessible and indefi nable to US. 26
Itispiecise|ysuchaviewofthedeceptiveidentityfoigedbyconcepts,
aswehaveseen,whichmotivatesLyotaid'sevocationoftheineffably
singulai points of intensity which constitute the |ibidina| band, oi
Foucault's ieluctant but iepeated iecouise to an uncaptuiable pie
discuisive spontaneity whethei undeithetit|eof'madness', 'iesist
ance',oi'thebodyanditspleasuies' .
Nietzsche'saccountofthemanneii nwhich ieal, paiticulai leaves
come to be seen as pooi imitations of the concept 'leaf captuies
piecisely that piocess which Adoino iefeis to as 'identity-thinking'
he immanent claim of the concept', Adoino wiites, 'is i ts oidei-
cieatinginvaiianceoveiagainstthevaiiationofwhatisgiaspedundei
it. 1his is denied bythefoimofthe concept, whichis false` in that
iespect.''Howevei,Adoinodoesnotbe|ievethatthissituationcanbe
iemediedsimplybycounteiposingthecontingentandpaiticulaitothe
univeisa|ity ofconcepts. Rathei, he aigues, the assumption that the
'non-identical'leftbehindbytheconceptismeielyaninaccessibleand
undehnableX, thebe|iefthat'natuieknowsnofoimsandnoconcepts' ,
isitselftheiesultofthepiimacyofthe univeisalinidentity-thinking.
Adoino's philosophica|effoitisdiiectedtowaidsmovingbeyondthe
splitbetweenbaie facticityandconceptua|deteimination,thioughD
expeiience of the contiadiction which that sp|it itse|fimp|ies. Non-
identity, Adoino suggests, 'is opaque only foiidentity's claim to be
total' . 1hus,in theIntioductiontoAgainst Epistemolog (Zur Metakritik
der Erkenntnistheorie), aseiiesofciiticalessaysonHusseilianphenom-
eno|ogy,Adoinoemploysthefo|lowingpassagefiomThe Twilight of the
Idols to demonstiate that Nietzsche 'undeiva|ued what he saw
thiough' .
Formerly, alteration, change, any becoming at all, were taken as proof of
.mere appearance, as an indication that there must be something which led
us astray. Today, conversely, precisely insofar as the prejudice of reason
forces us to posit unity, identity, permanence, substance, cause, thing hood,
being, we see ourselves caught in error, compelled into error.29
Againstthebentofthistext,whichischaiacteiisticofbothNietzsche
atdhispost-stiuctuialistfolloweis,Adoinoinsiststhat
POST- STRUCTURALI S M, CRI TI QUE OF I DENTI TY -:
The opposition of the stable t o the chaotic, and the domination of nature,
would never have succeeded without an element of stability in the
dominated, which would otherwise incessantly give the lie to the subject.
Completely casting away that element and localizing it solely in the subject is
no less hubris than absolutizing the schemata of conceptual order . . . . Sheer
chaos, to which reflective spirit downgrades the worldf or the sake of its own
total power, is just as much the product of spirit as the cosmos which it sets
up as an object of reverence. 30
Adoino'saigumentisthatpuiesingulaiityisitselfanabstiaction,the
waste-pioductofidentity-thinking.
1wo moi imp|ications of this position aie that the attempt by
post-stiuctuialistthoughtto iso|ate singulaiitywillsimplyboomeiang
into anothei foim of abstiaction, and that what it mistakes foi
iomediacy will in fact be highly mediated. 1hese pitfal|s aie cleaily
exemplihedbyLyotaid'swoikingthioughofthe' philosophyofdesiie'
inEconomie Libidinale. 1he notion of a libidinal band composed of
ephemeia|intensitiesi sanattempttoenvisageaconditioninwhich,as
Nietzscheputsit,'nomomentwouldbefoithesakeofanothei'.Butif
eveiymomentispiizedpuie|yfoiitsuniqueness,withoutiefeienceto
apuiposeoia meaning,toabefoieoianaftei,withoutiefeienceto
anything which goes beyond itse|f, then what is enoyed in each
ooment becomes paiadoxical|y and monotonously the same. in
Lyotaid's woikofthemid-seventiesanyaction,discouise,oiaesthetic
stiuctuie becomes an equally good oi equal|y bad ~ conveyoi of
intensity. Fuitheimoie,Lyotaid'sownevocationsbetiayhisostensible
intention, since they make cleai that such 'intensities' cannot be
ieducedtopuiecathexis,butaiesymbolical|ystiuctuied,co|ouiedby
iemaikab|ydeteiminatesituations.
The slow, light, intent gaze of an eye, then suddenly the head turns so that
there is nothing left but a profle, Egypt. The silence which settles around
her extends to great expanses of the libidinal band which, it seems, belongs
to her body. Those zones also are silent, which means that dense, inundating
surges move noiselessly and continually to 'her' regions, or come from these
regions, down the length of slopes.S!
ItisimpoitanttonotethatAdoinodoesnotavoidthesedifhculties
byespousingaHegelianposition.HeagieeswithHegelthat,asaunity
imposed onpaiticulais,theabstiactuniveisalenteis intocontiadiction
with its own concept becomes itse|f something aibitiaiy and
paiticulai. But he aiguesthateven Hege|'s solution an immanent,
se|f-iealizinguniveisal ~ failstochal|engethepiimacyoftheuniveisal
assuch. Identity-thinking,evenin its Hege|ian foim, defeats itsown
58 MAP P I NG I DEOLOGY
puipose,sinceLyieducingwhat i s non-identicali ntheoLecttoitse|l,
it
u|timate|ycomesawayempty-handed.FoiAdoino,theexpeiienceol
this contiadiction spaiks olla luithei movement olieection, to a
positionin whichthenon-identica|isno|ongeiviewedastheiso|ated
paiticulaiwhichitisloicedLackintoLeingLyidentity-thinking.1he
paiticu|ai is nowseenasstanding in a pattein olielations to other
paiticu|ais, a histoiical|y sedimented 'constel|ation' which debnes its
identity. 'Whatisinteina| to the non-identical', Adoinowiites, 'isits
ie|ationtowhatitisnotitsell,andwhichitsinstituted, liozenidentity
withholds liom it . . . . 1he oLect opens itsell to a monado|ogical
insistence, which is a consciousness ol the conste|lation in which it
stands . . . . ' ` 1his consciousness, in its tuin, can Le expiessed only
thiough a'constellation' asopposedtoa hieiaichical oideiing ol
concepts, which aie aL|e to geneiate out olthe dilleiential tension
Letween them an openness to that non-identity olthe thing itsell,
which wou|dLe 'the thing'sown identity against its identib cations'.``
1heieisloiAdoino,inotheiwoids,nonecessaiyantagonismLetween
conceptual thought and ieality, no inevitaL|e mutua| exclusion ol
Know|edgeand Becoming. 1he pioL|em isposed notLy conceptual
thoughtassuch,LutLytheassumptionolthepiimacy oltheconcept,
the de|usion that mind|iesLeyondthe tota|piocess inwhichitbnds
itse|lasamoment.1hechaiacteiisticsoliealitywhichpost-stiuctuia|-
istthoughtonto|ogizesaieinlactmeie|ytheieectionolahistoiically
oLsoleteimpeiiousnessolconsciousness,a|ackolequiliLiiumLetween
suLectandoLect.'Whatwedilleientiate',Adoinowiites,'wi|lappeai
diveigent, dissonant, negativeloiustas|ongasthestiuctuieoloui
consciousnessoL|iges itto stiive loi unity. as long as its demand loi
tota|itywillb itsmeasuie olwhatevei notidentica|withit. '`'
Deconstruction and Negative Dialectics
OnewayolsummaiizingtheaigumentsolaiwouldLetosaythat,loi
Adoino, the compu|siveleatuies olidentity aie insepaiaLle liomits
inteina| contiadictions. identity can Lecome adequate to its concept
on|yLy acknow|edgingits own momentolnon-identity. In themoie
natuia|isticoltheFienchthinkeis in uencedLyNietzsche,howevei,
thislogica|dimensionoltheciitiqueolconsciousnessisentiielyaLsent.
1he ego is poitiayed unpioLlematical|y as the inteinally consistent
excludei ol the spontaneity and paiticu|aiity ol impulse, with the
consequencethatoppositioncanon|ytaketheloimolasell-deleating
ump liomthe 'unity' olsell-consciousnesstothedispeisa|olintensi-
ties, oi liom the Oedipalized suLect to a metaphysics ol'desiiing
POST- STRUCTURALI SM, CRI TI QUE OF I DENTI TY 59
oachines' .I n thewoikol [acquesDeiiida,Lycontiast,acomp|emen-
taiy one-sidedness occuis. the natuialistic dimension olNietzsche's
thoughtisa|mostentiielyexc|udedi nlavouiolanexploiationolthe
contiadictions imp|icitin thenotionolpuiesell-identity.Deiiida,in
otheiwoids,shaiesapenchantloidia|ecticswithAdoino,issensitive
totheunexpectedwaysinwhichphi|osophica|oppositesslideintoone
anothei, Lut lails to link this concein with an account ol the
natuia|-histoiica|genesisolthese|l.
1heimp|ications olthislai|uiecanpeihapsLestLehighlightedLy
compaiingAdoino'sandDeiiida'sciitiquesolHusseilianphenomen-
ology. Like Mei|eau-Ponty, whose account olthe ielation Letween
consciousness and natuie Leais many alhnities to his own, Adoino
conteststheveiypossiLilityolHussei|'stianscendenta|ieduction.
The idealist may well call the conditions of possibility of the life of
consciousness which have been abstracted out transcendental -they refer
back to a determinate, to some ' factual' conscious life. They are not valid 'in
themselves' . . , . The strictest concept of the transcendental cannot release
itself from its interdependence with the factum. 35
Itis impoitant to note,howevei,thatAdoino speaks ol 'inteidepen-
dence' . heLy no means wishes to ellectanempiiicistoi natuia|istic
ieduction olconsciousness. Rathei, his aigument is simp|y that'the
mind'smomentolnon-Leing issointeitwined with existence, thatto
pick it out neatly would Le the same as to oLectily and lalsily it'.`
Adoino,asamateiia|ist,aiguesloitheanchoiingolconsciousnessin
natuie, whi|e iesistingany attempttoco||apsethedialecticolsuLect
andoLectintoametaphysica|monism.
InDeiiida'sthought,howevei,thepossiLi|ityolthetianscendental
ieductionis neveiquestioned as such. Rathei, deconstiuction incoi-
poiatesthetianscendenta|peispective,inanopeiationwhichDeiiida
teims 'eiasuie', Lut which in its simu|taneous cance||ation and
conseivation isclose to a Hege|ianAujebung. 1husi nOf Gramma
tolog Deiiida suggests that theie is a 'shoit-ol and a Leyond ol
tianscendenta| ciiticism' , and that theieloie 'the value ol the tian-
scendental aich must make its necessity leltLeloie letting itsellLe
eiased
,
. `Whatthisopeiationimp|iesloiDeiiidaisnottheinsistence
on an iiieduciL|e Lieak Letween lacticity and the tianscendenta|,
which metaphysics hasa|waysdieamedoloveicoming, Lutiathei a
'ieduction olthe ieduction' , a shilt to the |evel olwhat heexplicitly
teims an 'u|tia-tianscendental text'. Foi Deiiida the incoheience ol
theconceptolsell-piesenceonwhichHusseil'stheoiyoltianscenden-
tal suLectivityisLasedievea|sthatthetianscendental suLectandits
0 MAP P I NG I DEOLOG Y
obects,alongwiththeotheichaiacteiisticoppositionsol metaphysica|
thought, aiein some sense whichhe hnds iatheiuncomloitab|eto
expound~ the'ellects'olahigheipiincipleolnon-identityloiwhich
hismostcommonnameis'diferance' . 1heiesultisahna|phi|osophica|
position iemaikab|y ieminiscent ol pie-Hege|ian idea|ism. Since
abso|utedilleience,|ackingal|deteiminacy,isindistinguishab|eliotn
abso|ute identity,Deiiida'sevocationsolatiacewhich is'oiiginola||
iepetition, oiigin ol idea|ity . . . not moie idea| than iea|, not moie
intel|igib|ethan sensib|e,notmoieatianspaientsignihcationthanan
opaque eneigy' ,` piovide peihaps the c|osest twentieth-centuiy
paia||e|totheI dentititsphilosophie oltheyoungeiSche||ing.
Itappeais,theieloie,thatDeiiida'sattempttodeve|opaciitiqueof
these|l-identica|subectwhicheschewsanynatuia|isticmomentiesu|ts
inapositionnomoie p|ausib|e thatLyotaid'smonisticmetaphysicsof
|ibido. Although Adoino did not |ive long enough to conliont
Deiiida's position diiectly, hislike|yiesponsetocuiientcompaiisons
andintei-assimilationsoldeconstiuctionandnegativedia|ecticscanbe
deducedliomtheciitiqueolHeideggei'sthought undoubtedlythe
centia|inHuenceonDeiiida whichthieadsitswaythioughhiswoik.
Heideggei is coiiect to suggest that theie is 'moie' to entities than
simp|ytheiistatusasobectsolconsciousness,but~ inAdoino'sview-
bytieating this 'moie'undeitheheadingol'Being'hetiansloimsit
intoase|l-deleatinghypostatization.
By making what philosophy cannot express an immediate theme, Heideg
ger dams philosophy up, to the point of a revocation of consciousness. By
way of punishment, the spring which, according to his conception, is buried,
and which he would like to uncover, dries up far more pitifully than the
insight of philosophy, which was destroyed in vain, and which inclined
towards the inexpressible through its mediations. 39
FoiAdoino,whateveiexpeiiencethewoid'Being'mayconveycanbe
expiessedon|ythioughaconste||ationolentities,wheieasinHeideg
gei's philosophy the iiieducibi|ity ola ielation is itselltiansloimed
into an ultimate. In the evocation ola Being which tianscends the
subectobectdistinction,'themomentolmediationbecomesiso|ated
andtheiebyimmediate. Howevei, mediationcanbehypostatizedust
as |itt|e as the subect and obect po|es, it is on|y valid in their
conste||ation. Mediation is mediated by what it mediates
,
. Mutatis
mutandis, one cou|d a|so aigue that Deiiideandifferance isnecessaiily
dilleientiatedbywhatitdilleientiates.Whileitistiuethatnatuieand
cultuie, signihedand signihei, obect and subectwou|dbe nothing
withoutthedilleiencebetweenthem,thisisnotsulfcienttoensuiethe
POST- STRUCTURALI S M, CRI TI QUE OF I DENTI TY I
logical priority ol non-identityoveiidentitywhichi s ciucia|toDeiiida's
who|e philosoph|cal stance. 1he distinction between his position,
accoiding to which 'subectivity like obectivity is an ellect ol
diferance, an ellect insciibed in a system ofdifferance' ,41 and thatol
Adoino, is cleai|y ievea|ed by the lo||owing passage liom Negative
Dialectics:
The polarity of subject and object can easily be taken, for its part, as an
undialectical structure within which all dialectics takes place. But both
concepts are categories which originate in refection, formulas for some
thing which is not to be unifi ed; nothing positive, not primary states of
affairs, but negative throughout. Nonetheless, the difference of subject and
object is not to be negated in its turn. They are neither an ultimate duality,
nor is an ultimate unity hidden behind them. They constitute each other as
much as - through such constitution - they separate out from each other.42
The Mirror and the Spell
Bythispointitwi|lbec|eaithattheliequentattemptolpost-stiuctuia|-
istthinkeis, and olliteiaiy andpo|itica| commentatois inHuenced by
post-stiuctuialism,toopposetheNietzscheanciitiqueolidentitytothe
coeicive tota|izations oldia|ecticalthought is beset with intiactable
dilhcu|ties. Adoino, no |ess than iecent Fiench thought, ciiticizes
Hegel's dia|ectic as being in many ways the most insidious, most
ine|uctab|eloimolidentity-thinking.Yet,atthesametime,hisdeeply
dialectical sensibi|itypeiceivesthe se|l-deleating dynamic ola b|unt
piioiitizationolpaiticu|aiity,diveisity,andnon-identity1hedissol-
utionoltheieHectiveunityolthesellinDe|euzeoiLyotaid|eadsonly
totheindilIeienceolbound|essux,oitothemonotonousiepetition
olintensity, whi|einDeiiida's woiktheettisoningolthemateiia|ist
ba||ast ol the Nietzschean and Fieudian ciitique ol consciousness
iesu|tsintheinsta||ationoldiferance asthepiincip|eolanewkindol
' nist phi|osophy'. Foi Adoino, by contiast, non-identity cannot be
iespected by abandoning comp|ete|y the piincip|e olidentity. '1o
dehne identity as the coiiespondence ol the thing-in-itsell to its
concept',hewiites,
is hubris; but the ideal of identity must not simply be discarded. Living in the
rebuke that the thing is not identical with the concept is the concept's
longing to become identical with the thing. This is how the sense of
non-identity contains identity. The supposition of identity is indeed the
ideological element of pure thought, all the way through to formal logic; but
62 MAPPI NG I DEOLOGY
hidden i n i t i s also the truth moment of ideology, the pledge that there
should be no contradiction, no antagonism. 43
Beaiingthisaigumentinmind,weaienowpeihapsinapositionto
ietuinwith moieinsightto theBoigesstoiywithwhichwe began. It
will a|ieady be appaient that the tale ol the subduing ol the
miiioi-animals can be inteipieted in teims not on|y ol the |ibidinal
ciitiqueolconsciousness,buta|so olthe 'DialecticolEnlightenment'
which was b ist loimulated by Hoikheimei and Adoino during the
eai|y I 940s, and which continues toundeipinNegative Dialectics and
Aesthetic Theor. 1he humanization olthe diives, iepiesented by the
tiansloimationoltheanimalsintoieections, doesindeediesu|tina
kind olmasteiybytheego. Butthis masteiyisboughtatthepiiceola
teiiib|e iso|ation. inNegative Dialectics Adoino ietuins iepeated|y to
the pathos ol a sellhe|plessly conb ned within the ciic|e olits own
immanence,unabletomakecontactwithanythingexteina|whichdoes
nottuinouttobesimplyitsownieHection.1heneedtobieakoutol
thisiso|ationgeneiatesatensionattheheaitolsubectivityitsell,which
post-stiuctuialism,ingeneial,isieluctantoiunabletoiecognize.1his
inadequacysuggeststhattheiemightbesubstantiveaspectsolthestoiy
which Lyotaidhaslailedtoaccountloiinhisinteipietation.
liistly, Lyotaiddesciibes the banishment and punishment ol the
anima|s as a simp|e act ol loice, ol iepiession and containment,
wheieasBoigesdesciibestheEmpeioiasemp|oyinghis'magicaits',as
puttingtheanima|sundeiaspe|l . Signihcantly,theconceptolaspe|l
p|ays an impoitantiole in Adoino's philosophy, since enchantment
can constitute a pecu|iaily intangible and non-appaient loim ol
coeicion,tospeakolaspellsuggestsastateolcompulsivesellhoodin
which actions aie simu|taneous|y autonomous and heteionomous,
accompanied by exaggeiated subective i|lusions ol autonomy, but
caiiied out by subects neveithe|ess. 1he metaphoi ol the spel|, in
othei woids, captuies both the iepiessive and enabling leatuies ol
piocesses ol socialization, which aie poitiayed as an aspect ol the
human conquest ol natuie in the inteiests ol sell-pieseivation. As
Adoinowiites inNegative Dialectics, '1he spellisthesubectiveloim ol
the woi|d spiiit, the inteinal ieinloicement ol its piimacy ovei the
exteinalpiocessesollile.
.
In the latei Ciitica|1heoiyolHabeimas,
thispaialle|ismoltheinstiumenta|dominationol outeinatuieandthe
iepiession ol innei natuie wi|| be contested. Habeimas wil| avoid
Adoino's implication that emancipation fiom natuie entails the
c|osing-down ola|l communicative sensitivity by attiibuting socializ
ation and instiumentalaction tocategoiica|lydistinctdimensionsol
histoiica|development.Neveitheless, alieadyinitsAdoinianveision,
POST- STRUCTURAL I S M, CRI TI QUE OF I DENTI TY
63
eCiitica|1heoiypositionhasadistinctadvantage ovei thatolthe
post-stiuctuia|ists, loiwhilehguiessuchasLyotaidloicethemselves
intoacoinei,wheietheycanon|ydenouncethedominanceoltheego
asanaibitiaiycoeicionwhichshou|dbeabo|ished (whetheiitcou|dis
sooewhat moie piob|ematic), Adoino peiceives that compulsive
identity,thesaciibceolthemomentloithelutuie,wasnecessaiyata
ceitain stage ol histoiy, in oidei loi human beings to libeiate
theoselves liom b|ind subugation to natuie. 1o this extent such
identityalieadycontainsamomentol lieedom. Accoiding|y,the'spe|l
olse|lhood'cannotbeseensimp|yasanextensionolnatuia|coeicion,
iathei,i t isanil|usionwhichcould,i npiincip|e,beieHective|ybioken
thioughbythesubectwhichitgeneiatesalthoughthelu|liea|ization
olthis piocess wou|dbeinsepaiable liom a tiansloimation olsocial
ielations .luitheimoie,theiesu|tolsuchabieakthioughwou|dnotbe
thesell-deleatinginiusholthe'Huidand|etha|poweis'whichLyotaid
desciibes.butiatheiatiueidentityonewhichwou|dbepeimeableto
itsownnon-identicalmoment.Oneolthe majoidilleiences between
post-stiuctuialism and Ciitica| 1heoiy is summaiized in Adoino's
contentionthat'evenwhenwemeie|y|imitthesubect,weputanend
toitspowei'. '
1his biings us to a second point. Lyotaid desciibes the miiioi-
anima|s as 'monsteis',butBoigesspecib es thatthe peopleolCanton
be|ievethecieatuieolthe miiioitobea bsh, ' ashiltingand shining
cieatuiethatnobodyhaseveicaught',whilei nYunnanitisbe|ievedto
beatigei. InAdoino'sthoughtitisundeithisdoub|easpectthatthe
non-identica| appeais toidentity-thinking. ontheonehandassome-
thingoltanta|izingbeautywhichpeipetua|lye|udesouigiasp,onthe
otheiassomethingmenacinganduncontio||able,menacingpiecisely
becauseolouiinoidinate needtocontio|it.Yetwecannotenteiinto
ielationwiththiscieatuie,eitheibysmashingthemiiioi(theso|ution
olthe'phi|osopheisoldesiie'),oibyclaiming asdoesDeiiida that
both the human woild and the ieHected woi|d aie meie|y ellects
geneiatedbyitsinvisib|esuilace. Rathei,theonlywaytoachievethis
ielation is to ievoke the spe|| cast by the Empeioi on the anima|s
whichisa|so,aswehaveseen,aspel|castonhimsell.
Itwou|dnotdotoconclude,howevei,withoutstiessinganimpoit-
antdistinctionbetweenthe|essonolBoiges'sta|eandthephi|osophi-
calpositionolAdoino.1hestoiydoescontainanevocationolutopia,
butBoigessetsthisinadistant,iiiecoveiab|epast.'In|egendaiytimes' ,
hete||sus,'thewoildolmiiioisandthewoi|dolmenweienot . . cut
ollliom each othei. 1hey weie, besides, quite dilleient, neithei
beings noi co|ouis noi shapes weie the same. Both kingdoms, the
speculaiand the human, lived in haimony, you could come and go
4 MAP P I NG I DEOLOGY
thioughmiiiois. ' InBoiges'sveisionthisinitialaccoidi s biokenbyan
unexplained ons|aught ofnatuie. tempoiaiily iepu|sed by human-
kind, but destinedto tiiumph in the end. 'a day wil| come when the
magic spel| wil| beshaken off, and this time the anima|s 'wi|l notbe
defeated' . Adoinodoes not deny the possibilityofsuch a ca|amitous
conclusion to histoiy. the 'c|attei of weapons' fiom 'the depths of
miiiois' , which some be|ieve wi|l piecede the hna| invasion, wil|
undoubtedly sound
.
to oui |ate-twentieth-centuiy eais, |ike a foui-
minutenucleaiwaining.ButAdoinodoescontestthatsuchateiminus
is inevitable. Oui histoiica| dilemma consists in the fact that the
essential mateiia| pieconditions foi a ieconciliation between human
beings, and between humanity and natuie, cou|d on|y have been
insta|ledby ahistoiyofdominationandse|f-coeicionwhichhasnow
built up an almost unstoppab|e momentum. As Adoino wiites in
Negative Dialectics 'since se|f-pieseivation has been piecaiious and
difb cultfoieons,thepoweiofitsinstiument,theegodiives,iemains
a|l but iiiesistib|e even aftei techno|ogy has viitually made self-
pieseivationeasy'.'1opinefoiapie|apsaiianhaimony,inthefaceof
this di|emma, is meiely to fall iesigned|y into conseivative il|usion.
Neveithe|ess, Boiges's evocation of a state ofpeaceful inteichange
betweenthehumanandthemiiioiwoi|dspiovidesab ttingimagefoi
that afhnity without identity, and diffeience without domination
iatheithancoeiciveunity whichAdoinobelievestobeimp|iedbythe
p|edgethattheieshouldbe 'nocontiadiction,noantagonism' .
Notes
I . See 'Structuralism and Post-structuralism: An Interview with Michel Foucault',
Telos 55, Spring 1 983, p. 200; and 'Un Cours Inedit', Magazine Litteraire, 207, May 1 984.
2. See Jean-Frantois Lyotard, 'Presentations', in Alan Montefiore, ed. , Philosophy in
France Today, Cambridge 1 983, pp. 201 -.
3. See Jacques Derrida, La Verite enPeinture, Paris 1 978, pp. 200-09.
4. Axel Honneth, Kritik der Macht, Frankfurt 1 982; Albrecht Wellmer, Zur Dialektik
von Modere und Postmoderne, Frankfurt 1 985, Jurgen Habermas, Der philosophische
Diskurs der Modere, Frankfurt 1 985.
5. See, for example, Rainer Nagele, 'The Scene of the Other: Theodor W. Adorno's
Negative Dialectic in the Context of Post-structuralism', Boundmy 2, Fall-Winter
1 982-83; Martin Jay, Adorno, London 1 984, pp. 2 1 -2 ; and, above all, Michael Ryan,
Marxism and Deconstruction; Baltimore, MD 1 982, pp. 73-8 1 .
6 . Jorge Luis Borges, 'The Fauna of Mirrors', i n The Book of Imaginary Beings,
Harmondsworth 1 974, pp. 67-8.
7. Jean-Fran<ois Lyolard, 'Contribution des Tableaux de Jacques Monory', in Geral.
Gassiot-Talabot et al., Figurations 196011973, Paris 1 973, pp. 1 55-6.
8. Michel Foucault, Histoire de la Folie a ['Age Classique, collection TEL edn, Paris 1 976,
p. 479.
9. G. W. F. Hegel, The Difference Between Fichte's and Schelling's Systems ofPhilosophy,
Albany, NY 1 977, p. 1 1 2.
POST- STRUCTURALI S M, CRI TI QUE OF I DENTI TY
1 0. Jean-Fran<ois Lyotard,
E
conomie Libidinale, Paris 1 974, p. I I .
I I . Ibid., p . 294.
5
1 2. Friedrich Nietzsche, Die Geburt der Tragodie aus dem Geiste der Musik, i n G. Colli and
M. Montinari, eds, Slmtliche Werke, Kritische Studienausgabe, Berlin/New York 1 980, vol. I ,
p. 99.
1 3. Friedrich Nietzsche, Walter Kaufman, eds, The Will to Power, New York 1 967,
pp. 266-7.
1 4. Ibi d. , p. 272.
1 5. Ibid. , p. 263.
1 6. Nietzsche, Die Geburt der Tragodie, pp. 58-9.
1 7. Nietzsche, The Will toPower, p. 280.
1 8. Lyotard,
E
conomie Libidinale, p. 295.
1 9. Michel Foucault, 'Preface', in Histoire de la Folie a l'Age Classique, original edn, Paris
1 961 , p. vii.
20. Michel Foucault, The Archaeology ofKnowledge, London 1 972, p. 47.
2 1 . See, in particular, Michel Foucault, The Histmy ofSexuality, Harmondsworth 1 98 1 ,
pp. 1 50-59.
22. Michel Foucault, L' Usage des Plaisirs, Paris 1 984, p. 1 3.
23. Jochen Hirisch, ' Herrscherwort, Gott und Geltende Satze', i n Burkhardt Lindner
and W. Martin Ludke, eds, Materialien zur lsthetischen Theone: Th. W. Adornos Konstruktion
der Modere, Frankfurt 1 980, p. 406.
24. Theodor W. Adorno, Negative Dialectics, London 1 973, p. xx. In quotations from
this text the translation has frequently been altered.
25. Nietzsche, 'Ueber Wahrheit und Luge im aussermoralische Sinne', in Slmtliche
Werke, Kritische Studienausgabe, vol I , pp. 879-80.
26. Ibid. , p. 880.
27. Adorno, Negative Dialectics, p. 1 53.
28. Ibid. , p. 1 63.
29. Nietzsche, Gotzendammerung, i n Slmtliche Werke, Kritische Studienausgabe, vol. 6,
p. 77, cited i n Theodor W. Adorno, Against Epistemology, Oxford 1 982, pp. 1 8-1 9
(translation altered).
30. Ibid., p. 1 8.
3 1 . Lyotard,
E
conomie Libidinale, p. 40.
32. Adorno, Negative Dialectics, p. 1 63.
33. Ibid. , p. 1 6 1 .
34. Ibid., pp. 5-6.
35. Adorno, Against Epistemology, pp. 226-7 (translation altered).
36. Adorno, Negative Dialectics, pp. 201 -2.
37. Jacques Derrida, OfGram mato logy, London 1 976, p. 61 .
38. Ibid., p. 65.
39. Adorno, Negative Dialectics, p. 1 1 0.
40. Ibid. , p. 99.
41 . Jacques Derrida, Positions, London 1 98 1 , p. 28.
42. Adorno, Negative Dialec(ics, p. 1 76.
43. Ibid., p. 1 49.
44. Ibid. , p. 344.
45. Ibid., p. 1 83. I t is worth noting that the post-structuralist critique of consciousness,
while exploiting Nietzsche's opposition of particularity and conceptual identity, is in
other respects extremely unfaithful to Nietzsche. Far from advocating a dissolution into
impulse, Nietzsche is fully ,- one might say 'dialectically' - aware that the painfully
acquired strength of self-discipline is a precondition for the liberation f rom discipline.
46. Adorno, Negative Dialectics, p. 349.
3
The Critique of Instrumental
Reason
S eyla B enhabib
[ . . . ]
Membeis and alh|iates ol the Institut li Sozialloischung, Max
Hoikheimei, 1heodoi Adoino, Heibeit Maicuse, Leo Lwentha|,
FiiediichPollock, and WalteiBenamin,developed theiitheoiyata
time when the disillusionmentwith the nist expeiiment olsocia|ism
in the Soviet Union, and especial|y the expeiiences ol Euiopean
Fascism and thedestiuction olEuiopean[ewiy, hadb|ockedolla||
hopesloi aievolutionaiy tiansloimation olcapitalism liomwithin. '
Ciitica| theoiywasconliontedwith the task olthinkingthe 'iadical|y
othei'.
In his I 97 I Foiewoid to Maitin[ay's The Dialectical Imagination,
Hoikheimeiwiote. '1he appealtoanentiielyothei[ein ganz Anderes]
than this woi|d had piimaii|y social-phi|osophica| impetus. . . . 1he
hope thateaithly teiioi does notpossessthe lastwoidis, tobesuie,a
non-scientib c wish' . Heie Hoikheimei is diawing a distinction be-
tween phi|osophical and scientihc tiuth, and asciibingto phi|osophy
thetaskolthinking'theentiie|yothei'. In iesponsetothediscussion
geneiatedintheZeitschriftfilr Sozialjorschung bytheI937pub|icationol
Hoikheimei's'1iaditiona|andCiitical1heoiy'essay,Maicuseloimu
latesthispointevenmoiepoignantly.
When truth is not realizable within the existent social order, for the latter it
simply assumes the character of utopia . . . . Such transcendence speaks not
against, but for truth. The utopian element was for a long time in
philosophy the only progressive factor: like the constitution ofthe best state,
of the most intense pleasure, of perfect happiness, of eternal peace . . . . In
critical theory, obstinance will be maintained as a genuine quality of
philosophical thought.3
THE C RI TI QUE OF I NSTRUMENT AL REASON 7
Neithei loimu|ation captuies adequately that unique b|end ol
philosophicalieectionandsocial-scientincieseaichknownas'ciitical
theoiy' which membeis ol the Fiankluit Schoo| developed in the
I 930s. Applying 'histoiical mateiialismtoitse|f (Koisch),theyweie
ab|e to ana|yse the histoiica| conditionsolthe possibilityolMaixian
politica|economy,andweiethusconl iontedwiththetaskol aiticu|ating
a'ciiticaltheoiyolthe tiansition'liom|ibeial-maiketcapita|ismto a
newsocia|loimation which theyambiguouslynamed'statecapita|ism'.
1heiielloitsalteiedtheveiymeaningolMaixiansocia|ciiticism,and
oltheciitiqueolideo|ogies.
[ . . =]
1. From the Critique of Political Economy to the
Critique of Instrumental Reason
1he evo|ution ol the ieseaich piogiamme ol the Institut lui
Sozialloischung can b divided into thiee sepaiate phases . the
'inteidiscip|inaiymateiialism' phase ol l 932~37, the 'ciitica| theoiy'
appioach ol l 93740, and the 'ciitique ol instiumental ieason'
chaiacteiizingthepeiiodliomI 940toI 945. `Eacholtheseshiltstakes
p|aceinthewakeolthehistoiicalexpeiiencesolthistuibu|entpeiiod.
thepiospectsolthewoiking-c|assmovementintheWeimaiRepublic,
theappiaisalolthesocialstiuctuieoltheSovietUnion,andtheana|ysis
olFascism give iisetolundamenta| shilts intheoiy. 1hese develop-
ments lead to ieloimulations in the se|l-undeistanding ol ciitical
theoiy.theielationbetweentheoiyandpiactice,betweenthesubects
andaddiesseesolthetheoiy,aieiedehned,whiletheinteidependence
ol phi|osophy and the sciences, ciitical theoiy and Maixism, aie
ieconceptualized.
1heI 937essayon'1iaditiona|andCiitical1heoiy'waswiitteni na
peiiodwhenthedeleatoltheCeimanwoiking-classmovementandol
itspaitiesbyFascismappeaiedcomplete,andwhen theopenSta|inist
teiioi and the ensuing 'puiges' in the Soviet powei appaiatus had
destioyed a|l i||usions conceining this hist expeiiment olsocia|ism.
1heseexpeiiencesweie ieHectedi n a ieloimulation olthe theoiy-
piactice ielation, as well as in a lundamenta| iedennition ol the
addiesseesolthetheoiy.
Wheieas in the peiiod pieceding l 937, tiuth was debned as 'a
momentolcoiiectpiaxis',whichnonethelesshadtobedistinguished
liomimmediatepo|itica|success,in'1iaditionalandCiitical1heoiy'
theielationbetweentheoietica|tiuthandthepolitica|piaxisolspecinc
8 MAP P I NG I DEOLOGY
social gioups begins t oappeai incieasing|y iemote. I n I 934 Hoik
heimeicouldsti|lwiite.
The value of a theory is decided by its relationship to the tasks, which are
taken up [in Angrf genommen] at defnite historical moments by the most
progressive social forces. And this value does not have immediate validity
for all of mankind, but at frst merely for the group interested in this task.
That in many cases, thought has truly estranged itself from the questions of
struggling humanity, justifies, among other things, the mistrust against the
intellectuals. . . . So this charge against the apparently non-committed
[unbedingte] intelligentsia . . . is insofar correct, as this free-foatingness
[Beziehungslosigkeit] of thought does not mean freedom of judgement, but a
lack of control on the part of thinking with respect to its own motives.7
In '1iaditional and Ciitica| 1heoiy', by contiast, Hoikheimei em-
phasizesnotthecommonaliy olgoa|s,butthepossib|econfict 'between
theadvancedsectoisolthec|ass andtheindividualswhospeakoutthe
tiuthconceiningit, as we|l astheconHictbetween the most advanced
sectoiswiththeiitheoieticiansandtheiestolthec|ass'.1heunityol
socialloiceswhichpiomise|ibeiationisaconictua|one.Inplaceolan
alliancewiththepiogiessiveloicesi nsociety,i nie|ationtowhosetasks
the 'va|ue' ol the theoiy would be deteimined, Hoikheimei now
emphasizes the va|ue ol the ciitica| attitude ol the thinkei whose
ielation to such social loices is seen as one ol potentia| conict and
aggiessiveciitique.'1histiuthbecomesc|eai|yevidentinthepeisonol
the theoietician. he exeicises an aggiessive ciitique against the
conscious apo|ogists ol the status quo but also against distiacting,
conloimist, oi utopian tendencies within his own househo|d.
,
" Be-
tweenthetheoiyolsocietywithemancipatoiyintentandtheempiiica|
consciousnessolthesocial class oi gioupwhowou|dbetheagents ol
emancipatoiytiansloimation,theieisnonecessaiyconveigence.
In 'Philosophy and Ciitica| 1heoiy', wiitten in iesponse to the
discussion geneiated by Hoikheimei's essay, Maicuse expiesses the
existentia| situation which isolates and loices the intellectua| 'back
uponhimsell'.
What then, when the developments outlined by the theory do not take place,
when the forces which should have led to the transformation are pushed
back and appear to be defeated? The truth of the theory is thereby so little
contradicted, that instead it appears in a new light and illuminates new sides
and parts of its object. . . . The changing function of the theory in the new
situation gives it the character of 'critical theory' in a more poignant sense. I O
'1hischanginglunctionol theoiy'signa|sthegiowinggapbetweenthe
ciitica| tiuth ol Maixism and the empiiical consciousness ol the
THE CRI TI QUE OF I NSTRUMENTAL REASON 9
pioletaiiat,whichthetheoiynonethe|esscontinuestodesignateasthe
obectiveagentolthelutuietiansloimationolsociety.
[ . . J
Hoikheimeimaintainsthat the Maixian ciitica| theoiy olsocietyhas
continuedtobeaphi|osophica|discip|ineevenwhenitengagesi nthe
ciitiqueoltheeconomy, henamesthethieeaspectswhichconstitute
the'phi|osophicalmoment'oltheciitique olpolitical economy. Fiist,
the ciitique ol po|itical economy shows the 'tiansloimation ol the
conceptswhichdominatetheeconomyintotheiiopposites' . Second,
ciitiqueisnotidenticalwithitsobect.1heciitiqueolpo|itica|economy
doesnotieilythe economy. Itdelends'themateiialistconceptolthe
liee, sell-deteimining society, whi|e ietaining liom idealism the
convictionthatmenhaveotheipossibilitiesthanto|osethemse|vesto
thestatusquooitoaccumu|atepoweiandpioht
,
. ' 1hiid,theciitique
olpo|itical economyiegaids thetendencies olsocietyasa who|e and
poitiays'thehistoiicalmovementolthepeiiod whichisappioaching
itsend
,
. ' ` Hoikheimeinamesthesethe'philosophicalmoments'inthe
ciitique olpo|itica| economy, loieach conceptua| pioceduie aimsat
ooie than the empiiical compiehension ol the given laws and
stiuctuiesolsociety,andudgesandanalyseswhatisinthelightola
noimative standaid,name|y,the 'iealizationolthe lieedevelopment
ol individuals' thiough the iational constitution ol society. Foi
Hoikheimei, it is the ciitique ol the given i n the name ol a
Utopian-noimativestandaidthatconstitutesthelegacyolphilosophy.
[ . . . J
I . With the claim that the critique ol po|itica| economy shows the
'tiansloimation olthe concepts which dominate the economy into
theiiopposites' , Hoikheimeidiawsattentiontothelo||owingaspectol
Maix's pioceduie. beginning with the accepted deb nitions ol the
categoiiesusedbypolitica|economy,Maixshowshowthesetuininto
theiiopposites. Maix does notuxtaposehisown standaids to those
used by po|itica| economy, but thiough an inteina| exposition and
deepeningoltheavai|ableiesu|ts olpolitica|economy,heshowsthat
these concepts aie se|l-contiadictoiy. 1his means that when theii
logica|imp|icationsaie thought thioughto theiiend, theseconcepts
lai| to exp|ain the capita|ist mode olpioduction. 1he categoiies ol
po|itica| economy aie measuied against theii own content, that is,
againstthephenomenonwhichtheyintendtoexp|ain,andaieshown
tobeinadequateinthisiegaid.1hisaspectolMaix's pioceduiemay
benamedimmanent'categoiia|ciitique'.
2
. 1hepuiposeoldefetishizing critique istoshowthatthesocia|iea|ity
olcapita|ism necessaii|y piesents itsell to individuals in a mystihed
loim.Spontaneous,eveiydayconsciousness,no|essthanthediscouise
70 MAP P I NG I DEOLOGY
ol classicalpolitica|economy,pioceedsliomtheassumptionthatsocial
ieality is an obective, law-goveined, natuie-like spheie. Neithei the
socialie|ationsnoithehumanactivitieswhichgiveiisetothisappeai
anceolanatuie-likeobectivityaietakenintoaccount.'1hemateiia|ist
concept ol a liee, se|l-deteimining society' emphasized by Hoik
heimei' ispossib|eon|yontheassumptionthatindividuals aiethecon
stitutive subectsoltheiisocialwoi|d.Ratheithan'losingthemselvesin
thestatusquo',theycanieappiopiiatethissocialiealityandshapeitin
suchawayastomakeitcoiiespondtohumanpotentia|s.1he'idea|ist
convictionthatmenhavethispossibi|ity
,
' ` isdemonstiatedloiHoik
heimeibyMaix'spioceduieoldel etishizingciitique.Inthissensecii-
tiqueis notidenticalwith its obect domain politica|economy. By
analysingthesocialconstitutionolthisobectdomainanditshistoiica|
tiansitoiiness,ita|sobiingsto|ightthecontiadictoiytendencieswithin
itwhichpointtowaidsitstianscendence.1heciitiqueolpolitica|econ
omyaimsata modeolsocialexistencefreed from the domination ofthe
economy.
3. 1he Maixian ciitique olcapita|ismexposestheinteinalcontia-
dictionsanddyslunctiona|itiesolthesysteminoideitoshowhowand
why these give iise to oppositiona| demands and stiuggles which
cannotbesatishedbythepiesent.Ciitica|theoiydiagnosessocialciises
suchastoenab|eandencouiagelutuiesocialtiansloimation. AsHoi
kheimeiloimulatesit. 'Olcentia|impoitanceheieisnotsomuchwhat
iemainsunchangedasthehistoiica|movementolthepeiiodwhichis
nowappioachingitsend. ' ' Headds. '1heeconomyisthehistcauseol
wietchedness, and ciitique, theoietical and piactica|, must addiess
itsellpiimaii|ytoit.' Yet'histoiica|changedoesnotleaveuntouched
the ielations between the spheies olcultuie . . . Iso|ated economic
datawi||theieloienotpiovidethestandaidbywhichthehumancom-
munity[Gemeinschaft] istobeudged'

B
AlthoughHoikheimeiand Maicuse,theco-authoioltheepi|ogue
to '1iaditiona|andCiitica| 1heoiy' , peiceive'theeconomyto bethe
f istcauseolwietchedness',theyaiewe||awaieolthelactthatanecon-
omicciisestheoiyaloneisno|ongeisulncienttoanalysethecontia-
dictionsolthepeiiodbetweenthetwowoildwais,second,ashistoiica|
changehasacultuialdimension,ciisisphenomenawi||notbeexpeii-
encedmeie|yaseconomicdysl unctionalities,butalsoaslived ciises.
[ . . . |
Cu|tuialandpsychologica|ie|ationsaiealieadysing|edoutasdomains
inwhichindividua|slive through theciisesgeneiatedbytheeconomy.
Althoughcausedbytheeconomy,thesephenomenaaienoteconomic
in natuie. As theiieai|y elloits to integiateEiich Fiomm's psycho-
analyticstudies into the ieseaich piogiamme olthe Institute show,
THE CRI TI QUE OF I NSTRUMENTAL REASON 7 I
Hoikheimeiandhisco-woikeisaiewel|awaieoltheneedtodeve|opa
new social-scientibc ciisis theoiy to deal with the histoiica| events
conliontingthem. ' '

1hisbiielana|ysisolHoikheimei's I 937essayand theepilogueon


'PhilosophyandCiitica|1heoiy'co-authoiedwithMaicuseievea|sthe
uniesolved tension in these loimulations. on the one hand, itis ac-
know|edgednoton|y thatheie isnoconveigencebetween thestand-
pointolthetheoiistandthatolwoiking-c|assmovements,but,inlact,
that theie is anevei-widening gap. Although ciiticaltheoiy names
ceitainsectoisolthewoikingc|assits'addiessees',thelatteiaieviewed
|essand|ess asan empiiica|socialgioup, incieasingly, a|lindividua|s
who shaie a 'ciitical sense' aie designated as the addiessees olthe
theoiy. Onthe othei hand, Hoikheimei holdslasttotheciitiqueol
po|iticaleconomyasaieseaichpaiadigmandinsistsupontheemanci-
patoiyinteiestsinheientinthiskindolciitique.
[ . . . ]
1he piecaiious ba|ance that Hoikheimei bii||iantly sustains in his
'1iaditiona| and Ciitical 1heoiy' essayisupsetbyhistoiica|deve|op-
ments. In view olthe iealities olWoi|d Wai I I , the entiie Maixian
paiadigmoltheciitiqueolpo|itica|economyisthiownintoquestion.
1hepaiadigmshiltliom'ciitica|theoiy'tothe'ciitiqueolinstiumen-
ta|ieason'occuiswhenthisincieasingc|eavagebetweentheoiy and
piactice,betweenthesubectsandpotentialaddiesseesolthetheoiy,
leadstoalundamentalquestioningoltheciitiqueolpo|iticaleconomy
itse|l.1hetiansloimationinthenatuieol|ibeialcapitalismbetween
the two woi|d wais and the consequences ol this loi the Maixian
ciitiqueolpo|iticaleconomyaiedevelopedbyFiiediichPo||ockinan
aitic|e pub|ished in the |ast issue olthe Institute'souina|, now ap-
peaiingasStudies in Philosophy and Social Science.
In 'State Capitalism. Its Possibilities and Limitations' , Po|lock de-
sciibesthetiansloimationsin thestiuctuieolpolitical economy that
haveoccuiiedinWesteinsocietiessincetheendoltheFiistWoildWai
as 'tiansitiona| piocesses tiansloiming piivate capita|ism into state
capitalism'.Pol|ockadds.
the closest approach to the totalitarian form of the latter has been made in
National Socialist Germany. Theoretically, the totalitarian form of state
capitalism is not the only possible result of the present form of transform
ation. It is easier, however, to construct a model for it than for the demo
cratic form of state capitalism to which our experience gives us few clues.21
1heteim'statecapita|ism'indicatesthatthisloimationi s 'thesuccessoi
olprivate capita|ism,thatthestateassumesimpoitantlunctionsolthe
72 MAP P I NG I DEOLOGY
piivatecapita|ist, that piob tinteiests sti|l play a signib cantiole, and
thatitisnotsocialism' .
State capitalism iadically tiansloims the lunct.ons olthe maiket.
1he maiket no longei acts as the co-oidinatoi olpioduction and
d|stiibution. 1his lunction is now assumed by a system ol diiect
contio|s. ' Fieedom ol tiade, enteipiise and laboi aie subect to
goveinmentalinteileience to such a degiee that they aie piactically
abolished. With the autonomous market the so-called economic laws dis
appear.'23 Il liee tiade, enteipiise, and lieedomto sellone'slaboui-
powei inshoit, theexchangemaiket aie becominga thingolthe
past,thentheciitiqueoltheemeigentsocialandpo|iticaloideicanno
longei take the loim olthe ciitique ol po|itical economy. Fiist, the
institutional structure olthisnewsocialoideicanno|ongeibedeb nedin
ie|ation to the |aws ol the maiketplace, and to the impeisonal
administiationoltheiuleollawbythestate.1heincieasingetatization
olsociety, andthe new pieiogatives olthe state, cieate institutional
stiuctuies whose socio|ogica| signibcance iequiies new categoiies ol
analysis besides those ol political economy. ' Second, il with the
'autonomous maiket' the so-called economic |aws disappeai as wel|,
thenthedynamicsand ciisispotentialsolthenewsocialoideicannot
be piesented as contiadictions immanent in the lunctioning olthe
economyalone. ` Undei statecapitalism, economicciises aie eithei
suspended oi tiansloimed. 1hiid, il lieedom ol exchange in the
maiketplace once actualized the normative ideals ollibeia| bouigeois
society ~ individua|ism, lieedom, and equality ~ with the dis-
appeaiance ol the maiket behind a system ol diiect contiols, the
noimativeidea|sollibeialismalsodisappeai.1heciitiqueolpolitical
economyalonecannolongeiolleraccesstotheinstitutionalstiuctuie,
noimativeideo|ogies,andciisispotentialsolthenewsocialoidei.
1he Maixianciitiqueolpolitica| economywas at the sametime a
ciitique olthecapita|istsocial loimation asa whole. In the peiiodol
|ibeialcapitalism,aciitiqueolthissocia|loimationcouldbepiesented
viaaciitiqueolpo|iticaleconomyloitwoieasons. b ist,accoidingto
Maix,socia|ielationsolpioductiondebned theinstitutional backbone
ol|ibeia|capitalismbylegitimizingaceitainpatteinolthedistiibution
olwea|th, powei, andauthoiityinthesociety. Undeicapitalism, the
economywasnoton|y'disembedded' liom theiestiaints olthesocial
andpoliticaldomain,butthis'disembeddedeconomy'intuinpiovided
the mechanism loithe iedistiibution olsocial poweiand piivilege.
Second,exchangeie|ationsi nthecapitalistmaiketsupp|iednormative
legitimation loi this society tothe extentthat ensuingdilIeientia|s ol
socialpoweiand piivi|egeweieviewedasconsequencesoltheactivities
olliee|ycontiactingindividuals.1he'autonomousmaiket'embodied
THE CRI TI QUE OF I NSTR UMENTAL REASON 73
theidealsol lieedom,consent,andindividua|ismwhichpiovidedthe
legitimationolthissocialoidei.'Withthedisappeaianceoltheauton-
omous maiket', as hypothesized by Pollock, the ciitique olpo|itica|
economycannolongeiseiveasthebasisloiaciitiqueolthenewsocial
loimation.
1oputitdilleient|y,a critical social theory ofstate capitalism cannot be a
critique ofthe political economy ofstate capitalism, for two reasons: with the
disappeaiance ol the autonomous maiket undei a system ol diiect
state contiols, the social distiibution olwea|th, powei, and authoiity
becomes 'po|iticized'.1hisdistiibution isno|ongei a consequence ol
thelawsolthemaiketbutolpo|iticaldiiectives.1oanalysethesocia|
stiuctuieolstate capita|ism, oneneedsnotapolitica|economybuta
political socio|ogy. With the 'po|iticization' olthe once autonomous
maiket, the noimative idea|s and ideologica| loundations ollibeia|
capitalism aie also tiansloimed. 1he loims ollegitimation in state
capitalism need to be analysed anew. with the decline olthe auton-
omousmaiket,the'iu|eol |aw'a|sodeclines,libeia|ismistiansloimed
intopo|itica|authoiitaiianismandeventual|yintotota|itaiianism
1hecoieolwhathascometobeknownasthe'ciitica|socia|theoiyol
the Fiankluit School' in the English-speaking woild since the |ate
I 90s is this ana|ysis ol the tiansloimation ol libeial nineteenth-
centuiycapitalismintomassdemociaciesontheonehandandtotali-
taiianloimations olthenationalsocia|istsoiton the othei. Between
l 939and I 947, membeisoltheFiankluitSchoo|devotedthemselves
to ana|ysing the economic, socia|, politica|, psychologica|, and phi|o-
sophica| consequences ol this shilt. Whi|e Pol|ock's woik centied
aioundpoliticaleconomy,FianzNeumannandOuoKiichheimei
concentiatedonpolitica|socio|ogyandpolitica|theoiy, Hoikhe|mei,
Adoino,andMaicuselocusedondeve|opingthesocio|ogical,psycho-
logica|,andphilosophica|consequencesolthistiansloimation.29
[ - . . |
AlthoughdilleiencesexistinthispeiiodbetweenMaicuseontheone
hand and Hoikheimei and Adoino on the othei, conceining the
appiopiiatepoliticaleconomicdeb nitionolNationalSocia|ism,`the
lollowing desciibes the imp|icit sociological model which all thiee
utilize.
|ibeialcapita|ismandlieemaiketcompetitioniscoiielatedwiththe
libeial state, patiiaichal bouigeois lami|y, iebel|ious peisonality
type,oistiongsupeiego,
statecapita|ism(AdoinoandHoikheimei)oimonopo|ycapita|ism
(Maicuse) iscoiielated with the Fasciststate, authoiitaiian lami|y,
andauthoiitaiianpeisona|itytype,
74 MAP P I NG I DEOLOGY
oi, the same economic phenomena aie coiie|ated with mass
demociacies, the disappeaiance ofthe bouigeois fami|y, the sub-
missivepeisonalitytype,andthe'automatization'ofthesupeiego.
Within the fiamewoik ofthis socio|ogica| model, which establishes
functionalie|ationshipsbetween the |eve| ofthe oiganization ofthe
pioductivefoices,theinstitutiona|stiuctuieofsociety,andpeisona|ity
foimations,theconceptsof'iationa|ization'and'instiumenta|ieason'
aieusedtodesciibetheorganizational principles ofsocialfoimationas
we|lasthevalue orientations ofthepeisona|ity,andthemeaning structures
ofthecu|tuie.
By'socia|iationalization'Adoino,Hoikheimei,andMaicusemean
thefo|lowingphenomena.theappaiatusofadministiativeandpo|iti-
ca|dominationextendsintoal|spheiesofsocia|life.1hisextensionof
domination is accomplished thiough the evei moie efbcient and
piedictable oiganizational techniques developed by institutions |ike
thefactoiy,the aimy, the buieauciacy, the schools, andthe cultuie
industiy.1heefbciencyandpiedictabilityofthesenewoiganizational
techniques aie made possib|e by the application of science and
techno|ogy,noton|ytothedominationofexteinalnatuie,buttothe
contiol ofinteipeisonal ielations and the manipu|ation ofinteinal
natuieaswe||. 1hisscientib ca|lyandtechno|ogical|yinfoimedcontiol
appaiatusfunctionsbyagmentingpiocessesofwoikandpioduction
intosimplehomogeneousunits,thisfiagmentationisaccompaniedby
socia|atomization withinandoutsidetheoiganizational unit. Within
oiganizations,theco-opeiationofindividua|sissubecttotheiu|esand
iegulations of the appaiatus, outside the oiganizational unit, the
destiuctionoftheeconomic,educationa|, and psycho|ogica| function
ofthefamilydeliveistheindividualintothehandsoftheimpeisona|
forcesofmasssociety.1heindividualmustnowadapthim/heise|f to
theappaiatusinoideitobeabletosuiviveatall.
A|ieadythe factthatthecategoiiesof'iationa|ization' and 'instiu-
mentalieason'aieextendedequivocal|ytoiefeitosocietalpiocesses,
dynamicsofpeisona|ity foimation, andcultuia|meaning stiuctuies
indicates that Maicuse, Adoino, and Hoikheimei co||apse the two
piocesses ofiationalization, the societal and the cu|tuial, which Max
Webeihadsoughttodiffeientiate. `' 1hisconHationontheiipaitleads
toamaoipioblem. whileacceptingWebei'sdiagnosisofthedynamics
ofsocieta|iationa|ization in theWest, they ciiticize this piocess fiom
the standpoint ofa non-instiumenta| paiadigmofieason. Yet this
non-instiumental ieason can no longei be anchoied immanent|y in
actuality, and assumes an incieasing|y Utopian chaiactei. With this
step,afundamentalchangeintheveiyconceptof'ciitique'takesp|ace.
THE CRI TI QUE OF I NSTRUMENTAL REASON 75
1histheoiypaiadigm,knownas'theciitiqueofinstiumentalieason',
leads to a iadical alteiation of the pioceduies of immanent and
defetishizing ciitique, whi|e the thiid function ofa ciitica| theoiy
namely,ciisisd|agnosis disappeais.
Z. The Critique of Instrumental Reason and Its Aporias
1hetextinwhichthisnewpaiadigmofciiticaltheoiyismostexplicit|y
developed,andwhichcontainsin nuce muchofthetheoietica|position
oftheFiankfuitSchoolafteiWoi|dWaiII, isDialectic ofEnlightenment.
1heDialectic ofEnlightenment isanelusivetext. `asubstantialpaitofit
wascomposedfiomnotestakenbyCiete|Adoinoduiingdiscussions
between Adoino and Hoikheimei. Completed i n I 944. it was pub-
lished thiee yeais latei in Amsteidam and ieissued in Ceimany in
I 99. Moiethanhalfthetextconsistsofanexpositionoftheconceptof
theEnlightenment,withtwoExcuisuses,oneauthoiedbyAdoinoon
theOdyssey andtheotheiauthoiedbyHoikheimei,ontheEnlighten-
mentandMoia|ity.``
[ . . . ]
In theDialectic of Enlightenment, Adoino and Hoikheimei maintain
that the piomise of the En|ightenment to ee man fiom his se|f-
incuiied tute|age cannot be attained via ieason that is a meie
instiumentofself-pieseivation.'1hewoi|dwidedominationofnatuie
tuinsagainstthethinkingsubecthimse|f, nothingiemainsofhimbut
this eteinal|y self-identica| I think` that shou|d accompany a|| my
iepiesentations. '`'Inoideitogioundthisthesis,theyinvestigatethe
psychic aichaeo|ogy ofthe se|f. 1he stoiyofOdysscus disc|oses foi
them thedaikspotintheconstitutionofWesteinsubectivity.thefeai
of the self fiom the 'othei' which they identify with natuie ~ is
oveicome inthecouiseofcivi|izationbythedominationoftheothei.
Since,howevei,theotheiisnotcomp|etelyalien,butthese|fasnatuie
is a|so othei to itse|f, the domination of natuie can only signify
se|f-domination. 1he Homeiic self, who distinguishes between the
daik foices of natuie and civi|ization, expiesscs the oiiginal feai of
humanityinbeingabsoibedbyotheiness.Myth,ie|atinghowtheheio
constituteshis identitybyiepiessingthe manifo|dnessofnatuie,also
expiessestheobveisesideofthisstoiy.Humanitypaysfoioveicoming
thefeaioftheotheibyinteina|izingthevictim. Odysseusescapesthe
ca|loftheSiienson|ybysubectinghimse|fwi|linglytotheiitoituiing
chaim. 1he actofsaciibce iepeatedlyenacts theidentityofhumans
withthedaikeifoicesofnatuie,inoideitoallowthemtopuigethe
natuiewithinhumanityitse|f.``Yetasthe iegiessionfiomcu|tuieto
7 MAP P I NG I DEOLOGY
baibaiism biought about by National Socialism shows, Odysseus'
cunning [List] , the oiigin of Westein ratio, has not been ab|e to
oveicomehumanity'soiigina|feaioftheothei. 1he[ ewistheothei,
thestiangei, theonewhoishumanandsubhumanatonce. Wheieas
Odysseus' cunning consists inthe attemptto appease otheiness viaa
mimeticactbybecominglikeit OdysseusoffeistheCyclopshuman
bloodtodiink,sleepswithCiice,andlistenstotheSiiens~ Fascism,
thioughpioection,makestheotheilikeitself.
If mimesis makes itself like the surrounding world, so false projection
makes the surrounding world like itself. If for the former the exterior is the
model which the interior has to approximate [sich anschmiegen], if for it the
stranger becomes familiar, the latter transforms the tense inside ready to
snap into exteriority and stamps even the familiar as the enemy.36
Westein ieason, which oiiginates in the mimetic act to mastei
otheinessbybecoming|ikeit,culminatesinanactofpioectionwhich,
viathetechnologyofdeath, succeedsi nmakingotheinessdisappeai.
' ''Ratio''whichsuppiessesmimesisisnotsimplyitsopposite,ititse|fis
mimesis untodeath' . `
Inoneofthenotesappendedtothetext,'1heInteiestintheBody' ,
AdoinoandHoikheimeiwiite.
beneath the familiar history of Europe runs another, subterranean one. It
consists of the fate of those human instincts and passions repressed and
displaced by civilization. From the perspective of the fascist present, i n
which what was hidden emerged to light, manifest history appears along
with its darker side, omitted both by the legends of the national state no less
than by their progressive criticisms.38
1hisinteiesti nthesubteiianeanhistoiyofWesteincivilizationisno
doubt the guiding methodo|ogical piincip|e foi the subteiianean
histoiyofWesteinieasonwhichthemainbodyofthetextunfo|ds.1he
stoiy of Odysseus and that of the Holocaust, the myth which is
En|ightenment,andtheEn|ightenmentwhichbecomemythologyaie
mi|estones of Westein histoiy. the genesis of civi|ization and its
tiansfoimationintobaibaiism.
Yet Adoino's and Hoikheimei's ie|entless pessimism, theii ex-
piessedsympathyfoithe'daikwiiteisofthebouigeoisie' Hobbes,
Machiave|li,andMandeville andfoi itsnihilisticciitics Nietzsche
anddeSadecannotbeexp|ainedbythedaiknessofhumanhistoiyat
thatpointintimea|one.Astheythemse|vesacknowledgeintheiiI 99
Pieface.' Wenolongeiho|duntoeveiythingthathadbeensaidinthis
book. 1hiswou|dbeincompatib|ewithatheoiywhichasciibestotiuth
THE CRI TI QUE OF I NSTRUMENTAL REASON 77
a tempoia| keinel, instead ofuxtaposing i t as immutab|e to the
movement of histoiy. '` Yet they insist that the tiansfoimation of
Enlightenmentinto positivism, 'into the mytho|ogy ofwhatthe facts
aie',aswell as the thoioughgoingidentityofintellectwith hostilityto
spiiit, continues to be oveiwhelming|y the case. 1hey conc|ude that
'thedevelopmenttowaidstotalintegiation,acknow|edgedinthisbook,
has been |nteiiupted but not teiminated
,
. 1he concept of 'tota|
integiation'alieadyechoesAdoino'sdiagnosisofthe 'whol|y admin-
isteied society' and Maicuse's 'one-dimensionality' thesis. ' 1he cii-
tiqueoftheEn|ightenmentbecomesas totalizingasthefa|setota|ityit
seekstociiticize.
1his 'totalizing ciitique', ofthe Enlightenment initiates a iadical
bieak with the I 937 conception of ciitica| theoiy. 1he histoiy of
humanity's ielation to natuie does not unfold an emancipatoiy
dynamic, as Maix would have us believe. 1he development ofthe
foicesofpioduction,humanity'sincieasedmasteiyoveinatuie,isnot
accompanied by a diminishing ofinteipeisona| domination, to the
contiaiy, the moie iationa|ized the domination ofnatuie, the moie
sophisticatedandhaidtoiecognizedoessocietaldominationbecome.
Labouiingactivity, the actinwhich manusesnatuiefoihisendsby
acting as a foice ofnatuie (Maix), is indeed an instance ofhuman
cunning. As the inteipietation of Odysseus ieveals, howevei, this
effoit to mastei natuie by becoming |ike it is paid foi by the
inteina|izationofsaciib ce.Labouiisindeedthesub|imationofdesiie,
but the act of obectibcation in which desiie is tiansfoimed into a
pioductisnotanactofself-actua|ization,butanactoffeaiwhichleads
to contiol ofthe natuie within oneself. Obectibcation is not se|f-
actua|izationbutse|f-denialdisguisedasse|f-afb imation.
1hese two theses ~ laboui as the domination ofnatuie and as
self-denia| taken togethei mean that the Maixian view of the
humanizationofthe speciesthioughsocial|abouimustbe ieected.
Socia| laboui, which foi Hoikheimei even in I 937 contained an
emancipatoiymomentaswe|lasakeinelofiationality,isno|ongeithe
|ocus ofeithei. Both emancipation and ieason have to be sought in
anotheiinstance. 1hetotalizingdiagnosisofDialectic ofEnlightenment
does not te|| uswheie. 1his tiansfoimation ofthe activity of|aboui,
fiomone ofself-actualization to one ofsub|imation andiepiession,
cieates a vacuum i n the |ogic ofciitical theoiy. It is unc|eai which
activ|ties,ifany,contiibutetothe humanization ofthe species inthe
couise of its evo|ution, and fuitheimoie, which activities, if any,
ciitiqueitselfspeaksinthenameof.
[ . . . ]
Accoiding to Adoino and Hoikheimei, the task of cu|tuie b to
78 MAP P I NG I DEOLOGY
estab|ishidentityofthese|fi nviewofotheiness,andieasoni s thein
strument by whichthisisaccomp|ished.'Reason,ratio, isthecunning
ofthe name-givingse|f.Languagesepaiates the obectfiom its con-
cept, the self fiom its othei, the ego fiom the woild. Language
masteisexteina|ity not. |ike|aboui,by makingitwoikfoihumans,
butbyieducingittoan identica| substiatum. Wheieas inmagic,the
nameandthethingnamed standinaielationshipof'kinship,notone
ofintention' ,`theconceptwhichieplacesthemagica|symbo|i nthe
couiseofWesteincu|tuie ieduces'themanifold afb nityofbeing'to
the ielation between the meaning-constituting subect and the
meaning|ess obect.' 1he disenchantment ofthewoild, the loss of
magic, is not piimaii|y a consequence ofthe tiansition fiom pie-
modernity to modcinity. 1he tiansition from symbolto conceptal-
ieady means disenchantment.Ratio abstiacts, seekstocompiehend
thioughconceptsand names. Abstiaction,whichcangiaspthe con-
ciete on|y in so fai as itcan ieduceittoidentity,also|iquidates the
otheinessofthe othei. Withielent|essihetoiic, Adoino and Hoik-
heimeipuisuethe iiiationa|ityofcultuialiationalismtoits souices,
namely, to the identity logic which is the deep stiuctuieofWestein
ieason.'
When it is announced that the tree is no longer simply itself but a witness
for another, the seat of mana, language expresses the contradiction that
something is itself and yet at the same time another beside itself, identical
and non-identical. . . . The concept, which one would like to defne as the
characterizing unity of what is subsumed under it, was much more from
the very beginning a product of dialectical thinking, whereby each is
always what it is, in that it becomes what it is not.46
Heie theapoieticstiuctuieofaciitica|theoiyofsociety,asconceived
byAdornoandHorkheimer,becomesapparent.Ifthe plight ofthe En
lightenment and ofcultural rationalization only reveals the culmination ofthe
identit logic, constitutive ofreason, then the theory ofthe dialectic ofthe En
lightenment, which is carried out with the tools ofthis very same reason, per
petuates the very structure of domination it condemns. 1he ciitique of
EnlightenmentiscuisedbythesamebuidenasEn|ightenmentitself.
1his apoiia, which is acknow|edged by Adoino and Hoikheimei
themse|ves,'isnotieso|ved,butiedeemedthioughthehopethatthe
ciitiqueofEnlightenment can nonethe|essevokethe Utopian piin-
cip|e ofnon-identity logic, which it mustdeny as soon as it wou|d
aiticu|ateitdiscursive|y. 1he end ofEn|ightenment, the end ofthe
'natuialsinfulness ofhumanity', cannotbestateddiscuisively. IfEn-
lightenmentisthecu|minationofidentitylogic,thentheovercoming
THE CRI TI QUE OF I NSTRUMENTAL REASON 79
ofEnlightenment can on|y bea matter ofgiving back to the non-
identical, the suppiessed, andthedominatedtheiiiightto be. Since
evenlanguage itse|fis burdened by the curse ofthe conceptthatre-
piessestheotheii ntheveiyactofnamingit,'wecanevoketheothei
butwecannotnameit. LiketheCodofthe[ewishtiaditionthatmust
notbenamedbutevoked,theUtopian tianscendenceofthehistoiyof
ieasoncannotbenamedbutonlyieinvokedinthememoryofmen.
[ . . . ]
1he mostfai-ieachingconsequenceofthepioectca|ledthe'dia|ectic
oftheEnlightenment'isthetiansfoimationoftheveiyconceptofcii-
tiqueitse|f. 1he 'dialectic oftheEn|ightenment'isa|someanttobea
'critique'oftheEnlightenment. When itis maintained,however,that
autonomousieasonisonlyinstiumenta|ieasonintheseiviceofself-
pieseivation, then the Kantian pioectofciitiqueinthesenseof'the
self-re ectionofieason upon the conditionsofits ownpossibi||ty' is
iadical|yalteied.AsBaumeisteiandKulenkampffiightlyobseive.
Classical rationalist philosophy practiced criticism against the dogmatic as
sumptions and untrue contents of reason in the form of reflection upon its
own pure concept. However, philosophical thought thereby remained blind
to the true essence of reason and to the defect deeply hidden in its funda
mentals. It follows thereby that critical theory, which remains true to this
claim of reason, can no longer assume the form of transcendental reflection
and cannot rely upon the available forms of traditional philosophy. Critique
is only possible from a standpoint which allows one to question the constitu
ents of the dominant concept of reason, above all, the fixed universal con
trast between reason and nature. A critical concept of reason cannot be
gained out of the self -preservation of reason, but only from the more deeply
seated dimension of its genesis out of nature.49
1heself-ieHectionofieasonupontheconditionsofitsownpossibility
nowmeansuncoveringthegenealogy ofreason, disclosingthesubtei-
ianean histoiy of the ielationship between ieason and se|f-
pieseivation, autonomy and the domination ofnatuie. Since, how-
evei,genealogyitselfissupposedtobeciitiqueandnotameieexeicise
inhistoiica|know|edge,thequestionietuins. whatisthestandpointof
a critica|theory that allows it to engage in a genea|ogica| reection
uponieasonbyusingtheveiysameieasonwhosepathologicalhistoiy
ititse|fwantstouncovei`
1hetiansfoimationoftheciitiqueofpolitica|economyintothecii-
tiqueofinstiumentalieason signalsnoton|yashiftintheobject ofcii-
tique,but,moresignib cantly,inthelogic ofciitique.1hethieeaspects
desciibedpieviouslyasimmanentciitique,defetishizingciitique,and
ciitique as ciisisdiagnosisaieeachthiowninto question. Immanent
80 MAP P I NG I DEOLOGY
ciitiquebecomesnegativedia|ectics,defetishizingciitiquebecomesthe
ciitique ofcu|tuie, and ciisis diagnosis is tiansfoimed into a ietio-
spectivephilosophyofhistoiywithutopianintent.
Immanent Critique as Negative Dialectics
Accoidingto Adoino, the task ofimmanentciitique istotiansfoim
'theconcepts,whichitbiings,asitweie,fiomtheoutside,intowhatthe
obect,lefttoitself, seeks tobe, andconfiontitwithwhatitis. Itmust
dissolvetheiigidityofthetempoial|yandspatiallybxedobectintoa
he|doftension ofthe possible and the ieal.
,
' As Hege|had alieady
ana|ysedinthedia|ecticofessenceandappeaiance,whatis,isnotmeie
i|lusion [Schein], but the appeaiance [Erscheinung] ofessence. Ap-
peaiancedisclosesandconcea|sitsessenceatoneandthesametime. If
itdidnotconcea|essence, itwou|dbemeiei|lusron,andifitdidnot
ievealit,itwouldnotbeappeaiance.Conveisely,essenceisnotameie
beyond. Itis embodied inthewoi|dthioughappeaiance. Itis'theas
yetnon-existentactualityofwhatis' . Dissolvingtheiigidityofthehxed
obectintoaheldoftensionofthepossib|eandtheiealistocompie-
hendtheunityofessenceandappeaianceasactuality.Essencedehnes
theiea|mofpossibilitiesofwhatis. Whentheiealityofappeaianceis
undeistood in light ofessence, that is, in the context of its latent
possibilities,iea|itybecomesactuality.Itno|ongeisimp|yis ,itbecomes
theactua|izationofapossibility,anditsactualityconsistsinthefactthat
itcanalwaystiansfoimanuniealizedpossibilityintoactua|ity.`
Undoubtedly,theimmanentciitiqueofpo|iticaleconomya|soaimed
attiansfoimingthe conceptswhichpoliticaleconomybioughtfiom
theoutside'intowhattheobect,|efttoitse|f,seekstobe'.Byievealing
howthecategoiiesofpo|itica| economytiansfoimed themselvesinto
theii opposites, Maixwas also disso|ving the existent 'into a held of
tension ofthe possib|e and the iea|'. In Hegelian teims, immanent
ciitiqueisalwaysaciitiqueoftheobectaswe|lasoftheconceptofthe
obect. 1o giaspthisobectasactualitymeans to showthatwhatthe
obectis,isfa|se. Itstiuthisthatitsgivenfacticityisameiepossibi|ity,
whichisdeb nedbyasetofotheipossibilities,whichitisnot.Negating
thefacticityofwhatismeansacknowledgingthat' dasBekanntet:bei-
hauptistdaium,weilesbekanntist,nichteikannt'~hewell-knownis
suchbecauseitiswell-known,notknown.'1hisimp|iesthatamodeof
knowing which hypostatizes what is, is not tiue know|edge. 1iue
speculativeknow|edge, thestandpointoftheconcept,isgiaspingthe
unityofappeaianceandessence,andcompiehendingthattheactua|,
becausepossible, isa|sonecessaiy,andbecausenecessaiy,a|soapossi-
bility.
THE CRI TI QUE OF I NSTRUMENTAL REASON 8I
Adoinotiansfoimsimmanentciitiqueintonegativedia|ectics pie-
cise|yi noideito undeiminethe specu|ativeidentityofconceptand
obect,essenceandappeaiance,possibi|ityandnecessity,whichHegel
postulates. Negative dia|ectics is the unending tiansfoimation of
conceptsintotheiiopposites,ofwhatisintowhatcouldbebutisnot.
Revealingwhatcouldbe doesnotmean postulatingthatithastobe.
Quitetothecontiaiy,negativedialecticsstiivestoshowthattheieisno
end point of ieconciliation and ofinsight into the necessity of the
possible.Infact,Adoino'staskistoshowthesupeiuityofwhatis, to
showthattheobectdehesitsconceptanothattheconceptisboundto
failin its seaichfoiessence.Adoinoundeiminesthe veiy conceptua|
piesuppositions of immanent ciitique which he piactises. Negative
dialectics becomes a dialectics of puie negativity, of a peipetua|
dehance ofthe actual. 1he discouise ofnegativity ieects piecisely
whatMaixcou|dsti|lpiesuppose. thataninsightintothenecessityof
whatiswou|dalsoleadtoanundeistandingofwhatcouldbe,andthat
whatcou|dbewaswoithstiivingfoi. Negative dia|ectics, bycontiast,
denies that theie is an immanent logic to the actua| that is emanci-
patoiy. Negativity, non-identity, demystifying that passion with
which thought stiives aftei identity, guaiantee no emancipatoiy
effects. Oi, to speak with Adoino, they guaiantee that these conse-
quenceswil|beemancipatoiy,pieciselybecausetheyiefusetoguaian-
teethemata|l.Adoinoieectsthelogic ofimmanence,whi|epieseiving
immatient ciitique. In so fai as the method of immanent ciitique
piesupposed an immanent logical development towaids a giowing
tianspaiency oi adequacy between concept and ieality, ciitique
becamedialectics,amythologyofinevitability guidedbyabeliefinthe
identity of thought and being. Adoino insists upon the mediation
betweenthoughtandbeing whiledenyingtheiiidentity:
Totality i s a category of mediation, not one of immediate domination and
subjugation . . . . Societal totality does not lead a life of its own over and
above that which it unites and of which it, i n turn, is composed. It produces
and reproduces itself through its individual moments.57
1he task ofnegative dialectics is to ievea| the mediated natuie of
immediacy,withouttheiebyfal|ingintothei|lusionthata|limmediacy
mustbemediated.1hiscouldbethecaseonlywhenthetota|itywould
becometota|itaiian,whena||momentsofnon-identity,otheiness,and
individualitywouldbeabsoibedintothewhole.
Withthetiansfoimationofthe|ibeialmaiketeconomyintooigan-
ized capita|ism, the economicbasis ofbouigeoisindividua|ism isa|so
destioyed. 1heindividual,whothioughhisowneffoitsandactivities
82 MAP P I NG I DEOLOGY
iea|ized his lieedom and equa|ity in exchange ie|ations i n the
maiketplace,isnowahistoiicalanachionism. 1he noimativeciitique
olbouigeois ideology can no longei be caiiied outas a ciitique ol
po|itica| economy. 1he deve|opment ol bouigeois society has de-
stioyed its own idea|s. 1he ciitique ol ideologies can no longei
uxtapose given noims to actua|ity, iathei, it must demystily an
actua|ity that is i n the piocess ol obliteiating thenoims that once
piovideditsownbasis ol|egitimation.1he ciitiqueolnoimsmustbe
caiiied outasa ciitique olcu|tuie, both to demystily cultuie andto
ievea|the|atentutopian potentialwithinit.
Defetishizing Critique as Critique ofCulture
A|thoughMaix'sanalysisoltheletishismolcommoditiescontinuesto
piovidethemodelloitheciitiqueolcu|tuie,thispaiadigmundeigoes
seiious ievisions i n the woik ol Adoino and Hoikheimei. 1he
metaphoiaioundwhichtheanalysisoltheletishismolcommoditiesis
constiucted is the ieifcation olthe social and the histoiical as the
'natuia| ' . Sincethe exchange olcommoditiesconceals the piocess ol
the pioduction ol commodities, and since the |aws ol the maiket
concea| the constitution ol |aw-likeness thiough conciete human
activitiesandielations,deletishizingdiscouiseuxtaposespioduction
toexchange,useva|ue to exchangeva|ue, the constitutive activity ol
humans to the appeaiances in cultuie. 1he disappeaiance ol an
autonomous spheie olexchangeie|ationstiansloimstheontologica|
piioiity accoided by Maixto pioduction. 1he spheie olpioduction
doesnotstandtothespheieolciiculationas essenceto appeaiance.
Withthe incieasingiationa|izationolthepioductivespheieandthe
incieasingintegiationolpioductionandexchange,monopo|ycapita|-
ismbeginstodevelopintoasocialiealitywheieallcontiastsdisappeai
and alteinatives to the piesentbecome inconceivab|e. Hoikheimei
descii besthistiansloimation olsocialiea|ity aseai|yas I 94I as'the
semantic dissolution ol |anguage into a system ol signs'. 1he
individua|,accoidingtoHoikheimei,
without dreams or history . . . is al wa ys watchful and read y, al wa ys aiming at
some immediate practical goal. . . . He takes the spoken word only as a
medium of information, orientation, and command.60
Withthedec|ineoltheegoanditsieHectiveieason,human ielation-
shipstendtoapointwheieintheiuleoltheeconomyoveia||peisona|
ie|ationships,theuniveisa|contio|olcommoditiesoveithetotalityol
lile,tuinsintoanewandnakedloimolcommandandobedience. '
THE CRI TI QUE OF I NSTRUMENTAL REASON 83
1histotalizationoldomination,thetota|izationol asystemol signs
inwhichhuman|anguage disappeais, no|ongei manilests itse|las a
spheieolquasi-natuialnessthatdeniesitsownhistoiicity.Rathei,the
veiycontiastbetweencultuieandnatuie,betweensecondnatuieand
hist natuie, begins to disappeai. 1he tota|ization ol domination
means the incieasing manipu|ation olnatuie itsell.1heantagonism
betweennatuieandcu|tuienowtuinsintotheievengeolnatuieupon
cu|tuie. Wheieas Maix had demystiFed the natuia|ization ol the
histoiical,ciitica|theoiistsseektodemystilythehistoiicizationolthe
natuia|. It is the ievo|t ol suppiessed natuie against the totality ol
domination which Fascism manipulates, and it is the ievolt olsup-
piessed natuie which mass industiy ieciiculates in images olsex,
p|easuie,andla|sehappiness.1hciepiessionolinteina|andexteinal
natuie has giown to such an unpiecedented piopoition that the
iebe||ion against this iepiession itse|l becomes the obect ol new
exploitationandmanipulation.Undeitheseconditions,the'letishism'
ol commodities does not distoithistoiy into natuie, but uti|izes the
ievo|t olsuppiessed natuie to mystily the socia| exp|oitation olthe
natuiewithinand withoutus. InAdoino's|anguage, exchangeva|ue
no|ongeiconcea|sthepioductionolusevalues ,quitetothecontiaiy,
commoditiesnowcompetewitheachotheitopiesentthemse|vesinthe
immediacyoluseva|uesandtolu|hlthenosta|gialoithewoikolone's
hands,loi viiginnatuie,simplicity, andnon-aitihciality.Wheieasin
libeia| capitalism, use va|ue was a caiiieiolexchange value, undei
oiganized capita|ism,exchange va|ueismaiketab|ei nsolaiasitcan
piesent itse|l as the caiiiei ol an unmediated use value, into the
enoyment olwhose 'spontaneous' qualities the adveitising industiy
seduces us. 1he biuta|ization olnatuie undeiFascism,theseductive
exp|oitationolnatuiebythemassmediaandcultuieindustiy,andthe
nosta|gialoithe natuial and the oiganic, expiessed by conseivative
cu|tuie ciiticism, havethisincommon. theymanipulatetheievoltol
iepiessednatuieintosubmission,ob|ivion,andpseudo-happiness.
Crisis Diagnosis as Retrospective Philosophy ofHist01Y with Utopian
Intent
Iloiganizedcapita|ismhaseliminatedtheautonomousmaiket,ilthe
iiiationa|ity olcompetingindividua|capita|s has been iep|acedby a
systemolmonopo|isticstatecontio|s,whatthenbecomesoleconomic
ciisis tendencies and potentials in such societies: In his I 94 I aiticle,
Po||ockhadalieadyc|aimedthatthecapacitiesolthesystemtomanage
andtocontio|ciisesweieunpiedictablylaige.'Inthepostwaipeiiod,
ciitica| theoiistsemphasize thatoiganizedcapita|ismhas e|iminated
84 MAP P I NG I DEOLOGY
ciisis potentialswithouteliminating the iiiationalities ofthe system.
1hesystematiciiiationalitiesofcapita|ismnolongeiaiticulatethem-
selves as socia| ciises. Foi this phenomenon, it is not the economy
alone butthetiansfoimationsincu|tuieaswe|lthataieiesponsib|e.
In Eros and Civilization, Maicuse foimulates the impossibi|ity of
socia|ciises undeiconditionsofindustiial-technologica|civilizationas
follows. the veiy obective conditions that would make the oveicom-
ing of industiial-techno|ogical civilization possible also pievent the
subective conditions necessaiy foithis tiansfoimationfiom emeig-
ing. ` 1hepaiadoxofiationa|ization consists ofthefactthattheveiy
conditions that cou|d lead to a ieveisa| ofloss offieedom cannotbe
peiceived by individuals undei conditions of disenchantment. In
industiia|-technological civilization, theiealpossibi|ityofendi ngthe
loss of fieedom is piovided by the tiansfoimation of science and
technologyintopioductivefoicesandbythesubsequente|imination
of immediate laboui fiom the woik piocess. Laboui is no longei
expeiienced by the individual as the painfu| exeition of oiganic
eneigy to accomp|ish a specib c task. 1he |aboui piocess becomes
impeisona|andis incieasingly dependent upontheoiganizationand
co-oidination of co||ective human effoit. 1he diminishing signifi -
cance ofimmediatelabouiin the woik piocess, alieadyanalysed by
Maix in theGrundrisse, does not iesu|t in acoiiesponding dec|ine of
sociocultuia|contiol oveitheindividual.
Quiteto thecontiaiy, the impeisonalizationandiationa|izationof
authoiity ielations biingswithita coiiespondingtiansfoimation in
thedynamicsofindividua|identityfoimation. Withthedec|ineof
theio|eofthefatheiinthefami|y,thestiuggleagainstauthoiityloses
itsfocus. these|fcannotachieveindividuation,foi,beieftofpeisonal
bguies against whom to stiuggle, he can no longei expeiience the
high|y peisona| and idiosynciatic piocesses ofindividuatingidentity
foimation. Aggiession that cannot be dischaiged in the Oedipa|
stiuggle against a human bguie is subsequently inteinalized and
geneiatesgui|t.
1he most fai-ieaching consequence of the disappeaiance ofthe
autonomouspeisonalityistheweakeningofthe'livingbondsbetween
the individual and his cultuie' . Ethical substance disappeais. 1he
disappeaiance ofethica|substance in industiial-techno|ogical civi|iz-
ationdiiesupthecultuialsouicesofgioupievo|twhichhadhitheito
beencaiiiedoutinthenameofthememoiiesofpastiebe||ions.1he
|oss ofcu|tuieasaiepositoiyofco|lectivememoiythieatenstheveiy
dynamicofcivilization itse|f. ievolt, iepiession, andienewed ievo|t.
Whencu|tuieceases to bea livingiea|ity, the memoiyofunfu|bl|ed
and betiayed piomises in the name of which the ievolt of the
THE C RI TI QUE OF I NSTRUMENTAL REASON 85
iepiessed was caiiied out ceases to be a histoiica| possibilityi nthe
piesent.
1he tiansbguiationofmodeinindustiial-techno|ogica|civilization
must begin with an act ofErinnerung which sets fiee the foigotten,
iepiessed, denied meanings, and Utopian hopes and aspiiations of
past ievo|ts. Instead of a ciitique ofWestein ontology and identity
|ogic,MaicuseundeitakestoieconstiuctthelatentUtopiandimension
ofWesteinontology.Byievealingthepo|aiitiesofLogosandEios,of
the endlesspassageoftimeandthewishtotianscendalltime,ofthe
badinhnityoftheexistent[die SeiendenJ andthefu|lnessofbeing[die
V ollkommenheit des Seins J tobethedualstiuctuieswithin whichWestein
ontology unfo|ds, Maicuse upho|ds the iedemptive function of
memoiy.
But this iedemptive memoiy cannot be ieactivated within the
continuumofhistoiy, pieciselybecausehistoiynowunfo|dsinsucha
way as to deny its own past, its own histoiy. 1he one-dimensiona|
society cieated by the industiia|-technological woi|d ob|iteiates the
onto|ogical hoiizon within which it has developed and in which it
unfo|ds.1his meansthattheciiticaltheoiyofsociety,whichspeaksin
the name of iedemptive theoiy, is itse|foutside the histoiica| con-
tinuum,i naneffoittonegatethedominationoftime,itappealstothe
memoiy of the wish to end a|l time fiom a point outside time.
Revivingthepiimoidialpo|aiitiesbetweenEiosandLogos,Naicissus
andOipheus,Maicuseseekstodisclosetheievo|utionaiypotentia|of
an emancipated sensua|ity [Sinnlichkeit] . Naicissus emeiges as the
messengeiofa newonto|ogicalpiinciple.
z
'1obetiansfoimedintoa
new ethics [SittlichkeitJ, the subveisive potentialofthis new sensuality
must be ieimmeised in the tissues of histoiy, but accoiding to the
one-dimensionality thesis, theiecanbenocollectivehistoiicalcaiiieis
ofthispiocess.
If, howevei, the subveisive potentia| ofthe iedemptive memoiy
evokedbythetheoiyiemainsoutsidethehistoiica|continuum,then
has notciiticaltheoiyacknowledged a fundamenta| apoiia, namely,
theconditionsofitsownimpossibility:Ciiticalsocia|theoiyanalysesa
subsistingsocietyfomthestandpointofthepossibletiansfoimationof
itsbasicstiuctuie,andinteipietsemeigingneedsandconictsinlight
ofthis anticipatoiy tiansfoimation. Ifitisexact|ythe continuum of
histoiy that ciitique must ieect, then the vision ofthe emancipated
societywhichitaiticu|atesbecomesapiivi|egedmysteiythatcannotbe
ie|ated to the immanent self-undeistanding of needs and conicts
aiising fiom within the continuum ofthe histoiical piocess. Ciitica|
theoiy must eithei ievise the one-dimensiona|ity thesis oi it must
questioni tsownveiypossibility.1hiswasiecognizedbyClausOffei n
8 MAP PI NG I DEOLOGY
l 98. critical theory 'must either limit the argument conceining
a|l-encompassing manipulation and must admit the piesence of
structuial|eakswithinthesystemofiepressiverationa|ity,oritmust
renounce theclaim to be ab|e to explain the conditions ofits own
possibility.
.
1his critique applies not only to Marcuse's analysts, but to the
theoretica|paradigmdehnedas'thecritiqueofinstrumenta|reason'in
genera|. If it is assumed that societal rationa|ization has eliminated
crises and conHict tendencies within the social structuie, and that
cultural rationalization has destroyed the autonomous persor:ality
type, then critical theory no longer moves witin the horizon

of
prospective futuretransformation,butmustretreatmtotheretrospectzve
stance of past hope and remembrance. Critical theoiy bcomes
.
a
retrospectivemono|ogueofthecritica|thinkeruponthetotahtyofthts
historical piocess, foi it views the lived piesent not through t
.
he
perspectiveofpossiblefuturetransformation,butfromthestandpomt
ofthepast.
[ . .]
Onecaninteipretthisoutcomeintwoways.First,onecouldc|

that
socia|critiqueonceagainbecomesmereciiticisminthesensemdrcu|ed
byMarxinhiseai|yorks,andthatthecriticaltheoiyofsocietymust
ustify its explicitnormative commitments. Second, onecou|dargue
thatcriticaltheorydoesnotbecomemerecriticsm,foritsti|lappealsto
normsandva|uesimmanenttotheself-understandingoflate-capitalist
societies, but that the content of the norms appea|ed to has been
transformed.
Accordingtothehrstinterpretation,critiquebecomesmerecriticism
for the following reasons. if ciises and conHict potentials in late-
capitalist societies have been eliminated, ifthis socia| structure has
destioyed the very uorms of rationality, freedom, and equalty to
which the critique of political economy could imp|icitly appeal, if,
furthermore,theveryboundaiiesbetweenhistoiyandnature,cu|ture
andnon-humannature,havebecomeunrecognizab|

e, thenwhereare
thenormativestandaidstowhichcritica|theorycouldappea|,andhow
aretheytobeustihed:1he critical theoiistmust eitheispeakin the
name ofafutureUtopian vision to which he alone has access, oihe
must p|ay the ro|e ofmemory and conscience in a culture that as
eliminateditsown past. NeitherthisUtopianvision norretrospecttve
remembrance is based upon norms and va|ues derived from the
self-undeistandingofthiscultuieandsocialstructure.1hestandpoint
ofthecritictianscendsthepiesentand uxtaposestotheexistentwhat
ought tobeorwhatcould have been hadthepastnotbeen betrayed.
Critiqueitself,then,isamodeofexplicitcriteriologica|inquiryMaix's


THE CRI TI QUE OF I NSTRUMENTAL REASON
87
commentaryonmerecriticismcannowbeappliedt othepositionof the
FiankfurtSchoolitse|f.
The reflection of the critical sub|ect, who believes to have preserved for
himself a truly free life and the historical future in the form of an appeal,
remains self-righteous over and against all instances; Marx, who had
already recognized this privilege to be the case of the Bauer brothers,
therefore spoke ironically of the 'hoi y family'.
Againstthisinteipietation,whichreducesthepositionoftherank-
furtSchoo|tothatofthe 'holyfami|y',itcanbearguedthatwht|ethe
ciitique ofpo|iticaleconomy nolonger serves as aparadigmfoithe
FrankfurtSchool, thereare still norms andvalues immanent tothe
cu|tureoflate-capita|istsocietiesthathave an emancipatory content.
However,thesenoimsandva|uesaieno|ongerprovidedbyrationa|ist
natura|lawtheories,whoseembodimentintheinstitutionsof|ibera|-
capitalistsocietyMarxcou|dtakeforgranted.Itisnolongerthenorms
ofa bourgeois pub|ic sphere, ofthe liberal maiketp|ace and ofthe
libeial state, practisingtheru|e of|aw, to which ciitique can appeal.
Withthetiansformationofpoliticaldominationintorationa|adminis-
tiation, the rational and emancipatory content ofthe natuial |aw
tiadition has been emptied out. Imancipatory noims aie no longer
immanentinpublicandinstitutionalstiuctuies. Instead, theyhaveto
besearchedfoiin the unredeemed Utopian promiseofculture, ait,
and phi|osophy (Adoino), oi in the deep structures of human
subectivitythatrevo|tagainstthesacriFcesdemandedbyanoppress-
ivesociety(Marcuse).
Adorno, who insists upon the unredeemed Utopian potential of
abso|ute Spiiit, could therefore begin Negative Dialectics with the
following sentence. 'Philosophy, which once seemed to have been
overcome, remains alive,forthe momentofits actua|ization hasbeen
missed. Since the piomise ofphilosophy to be one with a iational
actua|ity (Hege|) or to be a materia| weapon ofthe masses who are
abouttoactualizereason(Marx)hasfai|ed, itmustengageinruthless
self-criticism. 1his self-ciiticism of philosophy must reactivate the
illusiontowhichphi|osophyowesitscontinuedexistence~ theil|usion,
namely,thatphilosophycouldbecomeactuality.1hisi|lusionmustbe
demystihed, foiitbetrays theaiioganceofconceptualthinkingthat
considersitsother, thatwhichis notthought, tobeameievehiclefor
the actualization of thought. Actuality is not the vessel into which
thoughtempties itself,althoughitisthisstrivingtowardsthe
.
unity

f
thoughtandactualitythatgivesphilosophyitsraison d'etre. 1hts apoia
mustnotbeabandoned,butcontinual|ypractisedandievivedthrough
88
MAP P I NG I DEOLOGY
negativedia|ectics.Adornohimse|fnameshiscritiquoneof'uisson-
ance'.Itisthedissonancebetweenthoughtandactuahty, conceptand
obect,identityandnon-identity,thatmustbe:evea|ed. 1het

skof
thecriticistoi||uminatethosecracksinthetota|ity,thosehssures the
socia| net those moments ofdisharmony and discrepancy, through
whichthe
'
untruthofthewho|eisrevea|edandg|immersofanother|ife
become visib|e. In an essay on the possibi|ities of socia| conHict in
|ate-capita|istsocieties,Adornocanthusadvancetheotherwiseasto
'
-
ishingc|aimthattheconH ictpotentia|sofsocietyarenottobesought
organized, co||ective protest and strugg|es, but in everyday gestures
|ike|aughter. 'A||co||ective|aughterhasgrownoutofsuchscapegoat
menta|ity, a compromise between the p|easure of re|ea

ing one's
agg:essionandthecontro||ingmechanismsofcensu
.
re,whtch
.
onot
permit this. ' When one demands a strict socio|ogi

ca| deht:i

ron of
socia|conHicts,thenoneb|ocks access tosuchexpeienceswhtchare
ungraspab|e, but 'whose nuances contain |ikewise traces ofvio|ence
andciphersofpossib|eemancipation

.
1hroughhismethodofemancipatorydissonance,Adornobecomes
an ethno|ogist ofadvanced civi|ization, seeking to revea| those mo-
ments of imp|icit resistance and suffering in which te huma

potentia| to defy the administered wor|d becomes ma

rfest. It b
unc|earthatthese'ciphers'ofpossib|eemancipatontowhtchAdorno
appea|s canustify the normative standpoint of crtica| theory. h
.
e
cha:ge that the critique ofinstrumenta| reason articu|ates the
l
r

vi-
|eged discourse ofa 'ho|yfami|y'is |eft unanswered. 1he transrtron
fromthecritiqueofpo|itica|economytothecritiqueofins
.
trumen

a|
reasona|tersnoton|ythecontentcriticizedbutthevery|ogtcofsoca|
criticism,andofthecritiqueofideo|ogies.
Notes
1 . Max Horkheimer, foreword to Martin Jay, The Dialectical Imagintion: A ist01)

f
the Frankfurt School and the Institute of Social Research, 1 923-1950, Boston, MA 1 9 1 3, p. Xli.
2. Ibid.
3. Herbert Marcuse, 'Philosophie und kritische Theorie', part two of Horkheimer
and Marcuse, 'Philosophie und kritische Theorie', Zeitschrift fur Sozl

Iorscung, 1 937,
p. 637 ; my translation. Marcuse's section of this jointly authored text S not mcluded In
the standard English translation of Horkheimer's 'Traditional and Cntlcal Theory'
found in Critical Theory: Selected Essays, trans. M. J. O'Connell et al. , New York 1 972.
4. Jay, The Diaiectical lmagination; David Held, Introductiont o Critical Theory, Berkeley
and Los Angeles 1 980; Andrew Arato and Eike Gebhardt, eds, The Essentl
.
al Frankfurt
School Reader, New York 1 978. Held and Arato and Gebhardt provide helpful
bibliographies of works by and on the Frankfurt School. In recent yers a
.
number of
studies have appeared which, more often than not, are motivated by
I
olitlcal impulses to
discredit the infuence the Frankfurt School has enjoyed the Umted States. Among
THE CRI TI QUE OF I NSTRUMENTAL REASON 89
them Zoltan Tar, The Frankfurt School: The Critical Theories ofMax H orkheimer and Theodor
Adoro, New York 1977; George Freedman, The Political Philosophy ofthe Frankfurt School,
Ithaca, NY 1 98 1 ; and Perry Anderson, Considerations on Western Marxism, Atlantic
Highlands, NJ 1 976, stand out for their misunderstandings. Douglas Kellner and Rick
Roderick give a helpful overview of this new literature in their review essay 'Recent
Literature on Critical Theory', New Geran Critique 23, Spring-Summer 1 98 1 , pp. 1 4 1-
7 1 . For recent German literature, see the following note.
5. Helmut Dubiel, Wissenschaftsorganisation undpolitische Erfahrung: Studien zur fruhen
kritischen Theorie, Frankfurt 1 978; Alfons Sollner, Geschichte und Herrschaft: Studien zur
materialistischen Sozialwissenschaft, Frankfurt 1 979; Wolfgang BonB, Die Einubung des
Tatsachenblicks, Frankfurt 1 982.
6. Max Horkheimer, ' Zum Problem der Wahrheit', Zeitschrift fur SoziaIorschung,
1 935, p. 345; translated as The Problem of Truth' in Arato and Gebhardt, The Essential
Frankfurt School Reader, p. 429. 'Die Warheit is ein Moment der richtigen Praxis' is
rendered in this translation as 'Truth is an impetus [?J to correct praxis'.
7. Max Horkheimer, 'Zum Rationalismusstreit i n der gegenwartingen Philosophie',
Zeitschriftfur SoziaIorschung, 1 934, pp. 26-7; my translation.
S. Max Horkheimer, 'Traditional and Critical Theory', in O'Connell, Critical Them),
p. 2 1 5 ; originally published in Zeitschriftfur SoziaIorschung, 1 937, p. 269.
9. Ibid.
1 0. Marcuse, 'Philosophie und kritische Theorie', pp. 636-7; my translation.
1 1 . Max Horkheimer, 'Postscript', in O'Connell, Critical Them), p. 247. Originally
published as the first part of Horkheimer and Marcuse, 'Philosophie und kritische
Theorie', Zeitschriftfi SoziaIonchung, 1 937, p. 627.
1 2. Ibid. , p. 248; Zeitschriftfur Sozialforschung, p. 628.
13. Ibid. , p. 247; Zeitschriftfur SoziaIorschung, p. 627.
14. Ibid. , p. 248; Zeitschrit fur SoziaIonchung, p. 628.
1 5. Ibid.
16. Ibid. , p. 247; Zeitschriftfur SozialJorschung, p. 627
1 7. Ibid., p. 249; Zeitschritfur SoziaIorschung, p. 628.
18. Ibid. , p. 249; Zeitschriftfur SozialJorschung, p. 629.
19 . . See Wolfgang BonB and Norbert Schindler, 'Kritische Theorie als interdiszipli
narer Materialismus', in BonB and A. Honneth, eds, SozialJorschung aL Kritik, Frankfurt
1 982 (an English translation will appear in S. Benhabib and W. BonB, eds, Ma
Horkheimer: A Retrospective); W. BonB, 'Kritische Theorie und empirische Sozialfors
chung: Anmerkungen zu einem Fallbeispeil', Introduction to Erich Fromm, Arbeiterund
Angestellte am Vorabend des dritten Reich.s: Eine sozialpsychologische Untersuchung, ed. W.
BonB, Stuttgart 1 980, pp. 7 f.
20. Friedrich Pollock, 'State Capitalism: Its Possibilities and Limitations', Studies in
Philosophy and Social Science, 1 94 1 , pp. 200.
2 1 . Ibid.
22. Ibid. , p. 2 01 .
2 3. Ibid.
24 .
..
G. Marramao, 'Zum Verhaltnis von politi scher Okonomie und kritischer Theo
rie', Asthetik und Kommunikation: Reitrage zur politischen Erziehung 4 ( 1 1 ) , April 1 973,
pp. 79-93; A. Arato, 'Political Sociology and Critique of Politics', in Arato and Gebhardt,
The Essential Frankfurt School Reader, pp. 3-5.
25. Moishe Postone and Barbara Brick, 'Kritische Theorie und die Grenzen des
traditionellen Marxismus', in BonB and Honneth, Sozial(orschung als Kritik; a shorter
version of this article appeared as 'Critical Pessimism and the Limits of Traditional
Marxism', Them) and Society 1 1 , 1982, pp. 61 7-58.
26. I n hi s controversial essay 'Die Juden und Europa', Horkheimer analyses the
decline of economic liberalism in Europe, and examines the role of anti-Semitism in
allowing segments of the population to express their frustration against the system of
free enterprise by identif ying the Jews as the representatives ofthis sphere (Zeitschriftjilr
SoziaIonchung, 1 939-40, pp. 1 1 5-37) . The essay indicates a certain blindness in
Horkheimer's conception of the transition from liberalism to Fascism. He fails to
90
MAP P I NG I DEOLOGY
distinguish between the system Qf free market and free enterprise, and
p
Qliti
.
cal
principles like representative gQvernment, the separatiQn Qf PQwers, cQnstltutlQnahty,
rule Qflaw, and so Qn.
This denigratiQn Qf the rQle Qf PQlitical liberalism is Qne Qf the respects in which the
Frankfurt SchQQI cQntinues the traditiQn Qf QrthQdQx MarxIsm and cQnfates, Qr rather
reduces, pQlitical to eCQnQmic structures. In this respect, Franz Neumann's wQrk is
.
an
exceptiQn. Neumann's analysis Qf the inner cQntradictiQns and ambivalences Qf PQlttlcal
liberalism, particularly his eXPQsitiQn Qf the cQntradictiQns between the 'rule Qflawand
'sQvereignty', remains Qne Qf the fnest treatments Qf the hlstQry Qf hberal PQlItlCal
thQught; see F. Neumann, Die Herrschaft des Gesetzes, trans. and ed. A. Sollner, Fra
.
nkfurt
1 980, frst submitted as a dQctQral dissertatiQn to the LQndQn SchQQI Qf EconQmlcs and
superviseci by HarQld Laski under the title 'The GQvernance Qf the Rule QfLaw' ( 1 936).
See also Neumann's cQllectiQn Qf essa ys, Wirtschaft, Staat und Demokratie, Frankfurt 1 977.
27. In additiQn to wQrks mentiQned in the preceding nQte, see Franz Neumann,
Behemoth: Structure and Praxis of National Socialism, LQndQn 1 942; and Democratic and
Authoritarian State, ed. H. Marcuse, GlencQe 1 957.
28. After the emigratiQn, Otto Kirchheimer was PrQfessQr Qf PQlitical Science at
CQlumbia University until 1 965. His mQst impQrtant publicatiQns are Punishment and
Social Structure, with G. Rushe (N ew Y Qrk 1 939); Political justice: The Use of Legal Procedure
for Political Ends (Princeton, NJ 1 961 ) ; Politik und Verfassung (Frankfurt 1 964); Funktionen
des Staates under Verfassung (Frankfurt 1 972).
. . .
29. I am referring to the analyses in TheQdQr AdQrnQ and Max HQrkhelmer, Dalet!k
der Aujklarung ( 1 947) ; the 7th editiQn (Frankfurt 1 980) IS used here; the English
translatiQn by JQhn Cumming, Dialectic of Enlightenment (New YQrk 1 972) IS unreliable,
and I will nQt refer to it i n the text; and Max HQrkheimer, The Ecltpse of Reason ( 1 947;
New YQrk 1 974) ; trans. into German by A. Schmidt as Kritik der Instrumentellen Vemunft,
Frankfurt 1 974. Also included in this general discussiQn are HQrkheimer's essays 'Die
Juden und EurQpa'; 'Autoritarer Staat' ( 1 940), English translatiQ.
,
. in AratQ ami
Gebhardt, The Essential Frankfurt School Reader, pp. 95-1 1 8, and repnnted In Helmut
Dubiel and AlfQns SoUner, eds, Wirtschaft, Recht und Staat im Nationalsozialismus,
Frankfurt, 1 98 1 ; 'The End Qf ReasQn', Studies in Philosophy and Social Science, 1 94 1 ,
pp. 366-88 (also included i n AratQ and Gebhardt, The Essential Franl

rt School Reader,
pp. 26-49). I include Herbert Marcuse's essay
.
'SQme SQclal ImphcatlQns Qf MQdern
TechnQIQgy' (Studies in Philosohy and Sonal SCIence, 1 94 1 , pp. 41 4-39) m thIS general
discussiQn as well.
30. While Neumann, Gurland and Kirchheimer defended the continuity Qf the
PQlitical and econQmic Qrder Qf NatiQnal SQcialism with mQnQPQly ca
l
italism, PQllQck,
alQng with AdQrnQ and HQrkheimer, defended the nwness Qf the sQclal Qrder create
by NatiQnal SQcialism. In his essay 'SQme SQClal I mpllcatlQns
,
Qf M

de
:
n TecmQIQgy ,
Marcuse Qn the Qne hand agrees with Neumann and Gurland s cQntl
.
.U1ty theSIS, but Qn
the Qther intrQduces a new cQncept Qf 'technical' Qr 'technQIQglcal' ratIOnality to
characterize the new fQrm Qf dQminatiQn emerging under NatiQnal SQcialism; see
pp. 41 6 ff.
3 1 . 'SQcietal ratiQnalizatiQn' prQcesses can b analysed at two levels: Qn the Qne hand,
institutionally they initiate a prQcess Qf differentiatiQn, as a consequence Qf which the
econQmy and thepQlityare separated and relegated
.
to independen
.
t s

h
:
res: market and
prQductiQn Qn the Qne hand, the state With ItS admlmstratlve and JudICIary burea

cracy
Qn the Qther (see Max Weber, Economy and Societ, trans. Gunther RQth and Claus WIttICh,
Berkeley 1 978, VQI. I, pp. 375 ff. ). At the level Qf social actiQn Qrientati

ns, Weber analyses


'sQcietal ratiQnalizatiQn' via the transitiQn in the eCQnQmy, state admlmstratlOn, and the
law f rQm substantive to fQrmal ratiQnality (see Economy and Society, VQI. I, pp. 85, 1 07,
1 78-80, 2 1 7-26; VQI. I I , pp. 666 ff., 875-89). It i s this aspect Qf Weber's analysis :vhi

h
AdQrnQ, HQrkheimer and Marcuse integrate with their diagnQsls Qf state capltahsm m
the 1 940s. The interdependence Qf capitalism and bureaucratically admi
.
nistered
PQlitical dQminatiQn, Qddly enQugh, prQvides them with a mQdel to analyse FascIsm and,
after 1 945, PQstwar industrial mass demQcracies.
. . .
By 'cultural ratiQnalizatiQn' Weber means in the frst place the systematrzatlOn QfvanQus
THE CRI TI QUE OF I NSTRUMENTAL REASON
9I
wQrld-views (,The SQcial PsychQlQgy Qf WQrld ReligiQns', i n From Max Weber: Essays in
Soc

ology,
.
ed. and trans. H. H. Gerth and C W. Mills, New YQrk 1 974, p. 293). He de
scnbes thiS prQcess d Qriginating with te demand that 'the WQrld Qrder in its tQtality is,
CQuid and shQuld sQmehQw be a meanmgful "cQsmQs'" (ibid., p. 281 ) . Such effQrts at
s
y
stem
.
atIzatlOn are present In all WQrld religiQns - resulting at times in mQnQtheism, at
tImes In mystical du

lIsm, and at Qthers in mysticism. SecQnd, CQmmQn to all such


effQrts at systematizatIOn Qver the centuries i s a decline in therole of magic [Entzauberung)
(1l d. ,
.
pp. 290 ff. ) . Weber appears to have analysed such prQcesses Qf cultural ratiQnaliz
a

lOn m te light Qf a majQr distinctiQn, namely, the distinctiQn between thQse WQrld
Views leadmto aethiCS Qf

Qrld abnegatiQn and thQse leading to wQrld affrmatiQns.


See Weber, RelIgIOUS RejectIOns Qf the WQrld and Their DirectiQns' in From Max
Weber, P
,
P' 233 ff. ; Qriginally 'Zwischenbetrachtung' to Gesammelte Afsatze zur Re
bglOnssozlOlogre ( 1 920); W. Schluchter, 'Die ParadQxie der RatiQnalisierung', in Rational
rsmU5 und Weltbeherschung, Frankfurt 1 980, pp. 1 9 f.
.
32. See, mQst rec

ntly, Jurgen Habermas, 'The Entwinement Qf Myth and En


lightenment: RereadIng Dzalectrc of Enlzghtenment', New German Critique 1 26 Spring-
Summer 1 982, pp. 13 ff.
'
33. F Grenz, Adomos Philosophie in Grundbegriffen. Aufossung einiger Deutungspro
bleme, Frankfurt 1 974, p. 275, nQte 26, as cited by ] Schmucker, Adorno Logik des Zer
fall5, Stuttgart 1 977, p. 1 7.
34. AdQrnQ and HQrkheimer, Dialektik der Aujklarung, p. 27.
35. Ibid. , pp. 5 1 , 1 67.
36. Ibid. , p. 1 67.
37. Ibid. , p. 37.
38. Ibid., p. 207.
39. Ibid. , p. ix.
40. Ibid.
41 . The

dQr W. AdQrnQ, Minima Moralia, LQndQn 1 974, p. 50; Herbert Marcuse,


One-DrmenslOnal Man: Studzes In the Ideology of Advanced Indu5trial Societ BQstQn MA
1 964. '
,
42. AdQrnQ and HQrkheimer, Dialektik der Aujklarung, pp. 62-3.
43. Ibid. , p. 1 3.
44. Ibid.
45. |he critique Qf identity lQgic underlying Western reaSQn had been a CQncern Qf
AdQrno s smce his 1 931 lecture Qn the 'Actuality Qf PhIIQSQphy'. Whatever differences
may e

lst betw

en dQ
.
rnQ and HQrkheimer in this regard, the search fQr a nQn
discurSIve, nQn-ldentltanan logic, be it in an eSQteric philQSQphy Qfl anguage, in symbQl,
Qr In the collective unCQnSCIQUS Qf the species, characterizes bQth the Dialectic of En
lzghtenment and The Eclipse of Reason.
46. AdQrnQ and HQrkheimer, Dialektik der Aujlarung, pp. 1 7-1 8.
47. Ibid. , p. 3.
48. Ibid. , pp. 1 6-1 7; HQrkheimer, The Eclipse of Reason, p. 1 8 1 ; Kritik der instru
mentel/en Vemunft, p. 1 56.
49
:
ThQrnas Baumeister andJe

s Kulenkampff, 'GeschichtsphilQsQphie und philQ


sQphlsche Asthetlk: Zu AdQrnQs asthetlscher TheQne', Neue Hefte jur Philosophie 6,
1 974, p. 80; my translatiQn.
.
50. I this c
,
Qnte't
:
Habermas
,
has distinguished between the 'traditiQnal critique Qf
IdeQlQgy
.
and tQtallzIng crItIque as practised by AdQrnQ and HQrkheimer: The cri
tique Qf IdeQIQgy wants to demQnstrate that the validity Qf a theQry under investigatiQn
has
.
nQt freed Itself frQm the CQntext Qf its genesis. It wants to demQnstrate that hidden
behmd the back Qf thiS theQry is an in

dmissible tension of power and validit and that it is


mQ.eQver to thiS tensIOn that It Qwes ItS recQgmtlOn' ('The Entwinement Qf Myth and
Enhghtement', p. 20). TQtalizing critique, by cQntrast, assumes that reaSQn, 'Qnce in
st
.
mentahze,
.
has bec
?
me the assimilated to PQwer and has thereby given up its
c
.
ntlCal PQwer
.
(Ibl). It IS fQrced to renQunce 'the tQtalitarian develQpment Qf the En
hghtenment WIth ItS Qwn means - a perfQrmative cQntradictiQn Qf which AdQrnQ was
well aware' (ibid.).
92 MAP P I NG I DEOLOGY
51 . Theodor W. Adorno, 'Sociology and Empirical Research', i n The Positivist Dispute
in German Sociology, trans. Glyn Adey and David Frisby, London 1 969, p. 69.
52. G. W. F. Hegel, Wissenschaft der Logik, ed. G. Lasson, Hamburg 1 976, vol. I I ,
pp. 1 1 -1 2, 1 01 -2; Hegel's Science ofLogic, trans. A. V. Miller, New York 1 969, pp. 396-7,
479-80.
53. Ibid. , pp. 1 80-84; Science ofLogic, pp. 550-53.
54. G. W. F. Hegel, Phanomenologie des Geistes, ed. J. Hoffmeister, Hamburg 1 952;
Hegel's Phenomenology ofSpirit, trans. A. V. Miller, Oxford 1 977, p. 1 8.
55. Theodor W. Adorno, Negative Dialektik, Frankfurt 1 973, especially pp. 32-42.
56. Ibid. , pp. 295-354.
5 7 . Theodor W. Adorno, ' On the Logic ofthe Social Sciences', in The Positivist Dispute
in German Sociology, p. 1 07.
58. Theodor W. Adorno, 'Kultur und Verwaltung', in Soziologsche Schnften, Frank
furt 1 979, vol. I, p. 1 3 1 .
59. Max Horkheimer, 'The End of Reason', Studies in Philosophy and Social Science,
p. 377.
60. Ibid.
61 . Ibid. , p. 379.
62. 'Culture today stamps everything with likeness': Adorno and Horkheimer,
Dialektik der A ujklirung, p. 1 08.
63. 'Society perpetrates menacing nature in the form of the ever-lasting organiz
ational compulsion, which reproduces itself in individuals as persistent self-preservation,
and thereby strikes back at nature as the social domination over nature' (ibid., p. 1 62).
64. Pollock, 'State Capitalism', Studies in Philosophy and Soci(d Science, pp. 2 1 7-2 1 .
65. Herbert Marcuse, Eros and Civilization: A Philosophical Inqui1Y into Freud, New York
1 962, p. 84. Since this volume is in fact the third of Marcuse's Gesammelte Schnften, I have
used it as the main text for the following discussion.
66. Marcuse, Triebstruktur und Gesellschaft: Ein philosophischer Beitrag zu Sigmund Freud,
trans. M. von Eckhardt-Jaffe, Frankfurt 1 979, pp. 80-8 1 .
67. Ibid. , pp. 88-9.
68. Ibid. , p. 93.
69. Ibid. , pp. 1 98-9.
70. 'Eros which thrusts itself upon consciousness is moved by memory; with memory,
it turns against the order of deprivation; it uses memory i n its effort to overcome time in a
world that is dominated by time'. Ibid. , p. 1 98.
7 1 . Ibid. , pp. 1 46-7.
72. Claus Offe, 'Technik und EindimensionaliUit: Eine Version der Technokratie
these', in Habermas, ed. , Antwortenaf Herbert Marcuse, Frankfurt 1 978, p. 87.
73. Rudiger Bubner, 'Was ist kritische Theorie?', in Hermeneutik und Ideologiekritik,
Frankfurt 1 97 1 , p. 1 79.
74. Adorno, Negative Dialektik, p. 1 5.
75. Adorno, 'Spatkapitalismus oder I ndustriegesellschaft' , in Soziologische Schriften,
vol. I, p. 369.
76. Adorno, 'Ammerkungen zum sozialen Konflikt heute', in Soziologische Schrifien,
vol. I, p. 1 93.
77. Ibid.
J
The Mirror-phase as Formative of
the Function of the I
] acques Lacan
1he conception ofthemirror-phase which I introouceo atourlast
congress,thirteenyearsago,hassincebecomemoreor|essestab|isheo
inthepracticeoftheFrenchgroup, Ithinkitneverthelessworthwhile
tobringitagaintoyourattention,especia||ytooay,forthelightthatit
sheosontheformationoftheI asweexperienceitinpsychoanalysis. It
is an experience which |eaos us to oppose any phi|osophy oirect|y
issuingfromtheCogito.
Someofyoumayperhapsrememberourstartingpointinafeature
ofhuman behaviouril|uminateobyafactofcomparativepsycho|ogy.
1hehumanoffspring,atanagewhenheisforatime,howevershort,
outoonebythechimpanzeeininstrumentalintelligence,canneverthe-
less alreaoy recognize as such his own image in a mirror. 1his
recognition manifests itselfin the i|luminatory mimicry oftheAha
Erlebnis, which Kh|er sees as the expression ofsituational apper-
ception,anessentialmomentoftheactofintelligence.
1hisact,farfromexhaustingitself,aswiththechimpanzee,oncethe
imagehasbeenmastereoanofounoempty,inthechiloimmeoiate|y
rebounosinaseriesofgesturesinwhichheplayfu||yexperiencesthe
re|ations of the assumeo movements of the image to the reHecteo
environment,anoofthisvirtualcomp|extotherea|ityitreouplicates
thechilo'sownbooy,ano thepersonsoreven thingsinhisproximity.
1hiseventcantakeplace,aswehaveknownsinceBa|owin,fromthe
ageofsixmonths,anoitsrepetitionhasoftencompelleoustoponoer
over the startlings pectacle ofthe nurse|ing in front ofthe mirror.
Unab|easyettowalk, oreventostanoup,anonarrowlyconh neoashe
iswithinsomesupport,human orartihcial(what,inFrance, weca|l a
'trotte-bebe), he neverthelesssurmounts,inaH utterofjubilant activity,
theobstructionsofhissupportinoroertohxhisattituoeinamoreor
94 MAP P I N G I DEOLOGY
lessleaning-forwardposition,andbringbackaninstantaneousaspect
oftheimagetoho|ditinhisgaze.
Forus,thisactivityretainsthemeaningwehavegivenituptotheage
of eighteen months. 1his meaning discloses a |ibidina| dynamism,
which has hitherto remained problematic, as well as an ontological
structureofthe human worldwhich accords withourreHections on
paranoiacknow|edge.
Wehaveonlytounderstandthemirror-phaseas an identifcation, in
thefu| | sensewhichanalysisgivestotheterm.name|y,thetransform-
ation which takes place in the subect when he assumes an image
whosepredestinationtothisphase-effectissufhcientlyindicatedbythe
use, inana|ytica|theory,oftheo|dtermimago.
1hisubi|antassumptionofhismirror-imagebythe|itt|eman,atthe
inans stage, sti|| sunk in his motor incapacity and nurselingdepen-
dency,wouldseemto exhibiti nanexemplarysituationthesymbo|ic
matrixi nwhichtheJ isprecipitatedi naprimordia|form, beforeitis
obectih edi nthedia|ecticofidentih cationwiththeother,andbefore
languagerestorestoit,intheuniversa|,itsfunctionassubect.
1hisformwou|dha vetobeca|ledtheJ deal-J2, ifwewantedtorestore
ittoafami|iarscheme,inthesensethatitwi||alsobetheroot-stockfor
secondary identihcations, among which we p|ace the functions of
|ibidinal norma|ization. But the important point is that this form
situates the instance ofthe ego, before its socia| determination, in a
hctional direction, which wi|l a|ways remain irreducib|e for the
individuala|one, or rather, which wil| reointhe deve|opmentofthe
subect on|y asymptotica||y, whatever the success of the dia|ectical
syntheses bywhichhemustreso|veasJ hisdiscordancewith hisown
reality.
The Body as Gstalt
1he fact is that the total form of the body by which the subect
anticipatesinamiragethematurationofhispowerisgiventohimon|y
asGestalt, thatistosayi nanexteriorityi nwhichthisformiscertain|y
moreconstituentthanconstituted,buti nwhichitappearstohimabove
al|i nacontrastingsizethathxesitandasymmetrythatinvertsitwhich
arei nconH ictwiththeturbu|enceofthemotionswhichthesubectfeels
animating him. 1hus, his Gestalt whose pregnancy shou|d be
regarded as |inked to the species, though its motor sty|e remains
unrecognizable~ by these twin aspects ofits apearance, symbo|izes
thementa| permanence oftheJ, atthe sametime as itpreh guresits
a|ienatingdestination,itispregnantwiththecorrespondences which
THE MI RROR- PHAS E 95
unite the J with the statue i n which man proects himself, with the
phantoms which dominate him, or h nal|y, with the automaton in
which,i nanambiguous re|ation, thewor|d ofhis fabricationtendsto
h ndcomp|etion.
I ndeed, whereimagos areconcerned whoseveiledfaces itis our
privilegetoseei noutlineinourdailyexperienceandthepenumbraof
symbolicefhcacity`~themirror-imagewou|dseemtobethethresho|d
ofthevisiblewor|d,ifwegobythemirrordispositionwhichtheimago of
our own body presentsinhal|ucinationsordreams,whetheritconcerns
itsindividualfeatures,orevenitsinh rmities,oritsobect-proections ,
orifwe notice therole ofthe mirror apparatusintheappearancesof
thedouble, inwhichpsychicrealities,howeverheterogeneous,manifest
themse|ves.
1hataGestalt shouldbecapableofformativeeffectsintheorganism
is attested by a pieceofbio|ogical experimentation which isitselfso
a|ien to the idea of psychic causa|ity that it cannot bring itselfto
formulateitsresultsintheseterms.Itneverthelessrecognizesthatitisa
necessary condition for the maturation ofthe gonad of the fema|e
pigeonthatitshou|dseeanothermemberofitsspecies,ofeithersex,so
sufhcient i n itse|f is this condition that the desired effect may be
obtained mere|ybyp|acingthe individua| within reachoftheheldof
reHectionofamirror. Simi|ar|y,i nthecaseofthemigratorylocust,the
transitionwithinagenerationfromthesolitarytothegregariousform
canbeobtainedbytheexposureoftheindividual,atacertainstage,to
theexc|usive|yvisualactionofasimi|arimage,provideditisanimated
by movements ofa sty|esufhcientlycloseto thatcharacteristicofthe
species. Such facts are inscribed in an order of homeomorphic
identihcationwhichwou|ditselffal|withinthe|argerquestionofthe
meaningofbeautyasformativeanderotogenic.
Butfactsofmimicryareno|essinstructivewhenconceivedascases
ofheteromorphicidentih cation,inasmuchastheyraisetheprob|emof
the signih cance of space for the |iving organism, psycho|ogica|
concepts hard|y seem |ess appropriate for shedding light on these
matters than ridiculous attempts to reduce them to the supposed|y
supreme|awofadaptation.Letuson|yrecal|howRogerCai||ois(who
was then very young, and still lresh from his breach with the
sociologicalschoo|ofhistraining)i||uminatedthesubectbyusingthe
term 'Zegendmy psychasthenia' toc|assify morphological mimicryas an
obsessionwithspacei nitsderealizingeffect.
We have ourse|ves shown in the social dia|ectic which structures
human know|edge as paranoiacwhyhuman know|edge has greater
autonomy than anima| know|edge inre|ation to the held offorce of
desire, but a|so whyit is determined in the directionofthat'|ack of
9
MAPP I NG I DEOLOGY
reality' which surrealistdissatisfaction denouncesi nit. 1hese reHec-
tionslead ustorecognizeinthespatial ensnarementexhibitedinthe
mirror-phase,evenbeforethesocial dialectic, the electinmanofan
organic insufFciency in his natural reality in so far, that is, as we
attachanymeaningtotheword'nature' .
Wearethereforeledtoregardthefunctionofthemirror-phaseasa
particular case ofthe function of the imago, which is to establish a
relationoftheorganismtoitsrealityor,astheysay,oftheInnenwelt to
the Umwelt.
In man, however, this relation to nature is impairedby a kind of
dehiscence of the organism in the womb, a primordial Discord
betrayedbythesignsofdiscomfortandmotorinco-ordinationofthe
neonatal months. 1he obective notion of the anatomical incom-
pletenessofthepyramidalsystemandlikewisethepresenceofcertain
humoralresiduesofthematernalorganismconFrmtheviewwehave
formulatedasthefactofarealspecifc prematurity ofbirth inman.
Let us note, incidentally, that this is a fact fully recognized by
embryologists,bythe termfoetalization, which determines the preva-
lenceofthesocalledsuperiorapparatusoftheneurax,andespecially
ofthecortex,whichpsycho-surgicaloperationsleadustoregardasthe
intra-organicmirror.
1his development islived as a temporaldialecticwhich decisively
proectstheformationoftheindividualintohis

ory,th
'
mirror-phas

s
a drama whose internal impulse rushes from msufFctency to anttct-
pationandwhichmanufacturesforthesubect,captivetothelureof
spatialidentiFcation,thesuccessionofphantasiesfroma fragmented
body-imagetoaformofitstotalitywhichweshallcallorthopaedic
andtotheassumption,Fnally,ofthearmourofanalienatingidentity,
which will stamp with the rigidity of its structure the whole ofthe
subect'smentaldevelopment. 1hus,tobreakoutofthecircleofthe
Innenwelt into the Umwelt generates the endless quadrature ofthe
inventoryingoftheego.
The Fragmented Body
1hisfragmentedbody,thetermforwhich I haveintroducedintoour
theoretical frame ofreference, regularly manifests itself in dreams
when the movement of the analysis encounters a certain level of
aggressivedisintegrationintheindividual.Itthenappearsintheform
ofdisointedlimbs, or ofthoseorgansFguredinexoscopy, growing
wingsandtakinguparmsforintestinalpersecutions~ the ve

y sa

e
that the visionary Hieronymus Bosch has Fxed, for all ttme, m
THE MI RROR- P HASE 97
painting,as they climbed, i nthe Ffteenth century,t othe imaginary
zenithofmodernman,butthisformiseventangiblyrevealedatthe
organiclevel,inthelinesof'fragilization'whichdeFnetheanatomyof
phantasy, as exhibited in the schizoid and spasmodic symptoms of
hysterra.
Correlatively, theformationoftheI is symbolized in dreams by a
fortress,orastadium itsinnerarena andenclosure,surroundedby
marshesandrubbish-tips,dividingitintotwoopposedFeldsofcontest
wherethesubectHoundersinquestofthehaughtyandremoteinner
castle,which,initsshape(sometimes uxtaposedinthesamescenario),
symbolizestheid in&tartlingfashion.Similarly,onthementalplane,
.
we
Fndrealizedthestructures offortiFedworks,themetaphorofwhtch
arsesspontaneously,andasifissuingfromthesymptomsthemselves,
to describe the mechanisms of obsessional neurosis ~ inversion,
isolation,reduplication,cancellationanddisplacement.
Butwerewetobuildonthismerelysubectivedata,andshouldthis
be detached from the experiential condition which would make us
deriveitfromalanguagetechnique,ourtheoreticalenterprisewould
remain exposedtothechargeofproectingitselfintotheunthinkable
ofan absolute subect. 1hat is why we have to Fnd in the present
hypothesis, groundedina conunctionofobective data,theguiding
gridforamethod ofsymbolic reduction.
Itestablishesinthedefences ofthe ego ageneticorder,inaccordance
withthewishformulatedbyMissAnna Freud, intheFrstpartofher
greatwork, andsituates(asagainstafrequentlyexpressedpreudice)
hysterical repression and its returns at a more archaic stage than
obsessionaliuversionanditsisolatingprocesses,andthelattcrinturn
aspreliminarytoparanoiacalienation,whichdatesfromthedeHection
ofthemirrorI intothesocialI.
1hismomentinwhichthemirror-phasecomestoanendinaugu-
rates,bythedentiFcationwiththeimago of thefellowandthedramaof
primordialealousy (so well high-lighted by the school ofCharlotte
Bthlerinthephenomenonofinf antiletransitivism) , thedialecticwhich
willhenceforthlinktheI tosociallyclaboratedsituations.
It is this moment that decisively shakes the whole of human
knowledgeinthemediatizationbythedesireoftheother,constitutes
itsobectsinanabstractequivalencebyvirtueofthecompetitionofthe
other, and makes the I into that system for which every instinctual
thrust constitutes a danger, even though it should correspond to a
naturalmaturaton~ the verynormalizationofthismaturationbeing
henceforthdependent,inman,onaculturalgo-between, asexempli-
Fed,r nthecaseofthesexualobect,bytheOedipuscomplex.
Inthelightofthisconception,thetermprimarynarcissism,bywhich
98 MAP P I NG I DEOLOGY
analytica| doctrine denotes the libidina| investment characteristic of
that moment, reveals in those who invented it the most profound
awareness ofsemantic |atencies. But it a|so il|uminates the dynamic
opposition ofthatlibidoto sexua| libido, which theytried to dehne
whentheyinvokeddestructiveand, indeed,deathinstincts,inorderto
explain the evident connection between narcissistic |ibido and the
alienatingfunctionoftheI, theaggressivenesswhichitreleasesinany
relationtotheother,a|beitthatofthemostSamaritanaid.
Existen tiaism
1heywereencounteringthatexistentia|negativitywhoserea|ityis so
warmly advocated by the contemporary philosophy of being and
nothingness.
Butunfortunate|ythatphilosophygraspsnegativity only withinthe
conh nes of a self-sufhciencv ofconsciousness, which, as one ofits
premisses, links to the constitutive mis-recognitions ofthe ego, the
il|usionofautonomytowhichitentrustsitself.1hisHightoffancy,for
a|l that it draws, to an unusua| extent, on borrowings from psycho-
analytic experience, cu|minates in the pretension to provide an
existentia|psychoana|ysis.
At the climax of the historical attempt of a society to refuse to
recognizethatithasanyfunctionotherthantheutilitarianone, andin
theanguishoftheindividua|confrontingtheconcentrationa|formof
thesocialbondwhichseemstoarisetocrownthisattempt,existentia|-
ismmustbeudgedbytheaccountitgivesofthesubjectivedilemmas
whichithasindeedgivenriseto.thefreedomwhichneverclaimsmore
authenticitythanwhenitiswithinthewallsofaprison,thedemandfor
commitment, expressing the impotence of a pure consciousness to
masterany situation, the voyeuristic-sadisticidea|izationofthe sexual
re|ationship, the personalitywhichrealizes itselfon|y in suicide, the
awarenessoftheotherwhichcanbesatish edonlybyHegelianmurder.
1hesepropositionsaredeniedbya||ourexperience,inasmuchasit
teachesusnottoregardtheego ascentredontheperception-consciousness
system, orasorganizedbythe'realityprincip|e'aprinciplewhichisthe
expression of a scientistic preudice most hostile to the dialectic of
knowledge. Ourexperience showsthatwe should start instead from
the function of misrecognition which characterizes the ego in a|| its
structures, so markedly articulated by Miss Anna Freud. For, ifthe
Verneinung representsthepatentformofthatfunction,itseffectswil|,
for themostpart,remain|atent,so|ongastheyarenoti|luminatedbya
lightreuectedintheplaneoffatality,wheretheid isrevealed.
THE MI RROR- PHAS E
99
Wecanthusunderstandtheinertiacharacteristicoftheformations
oftheI, andh ndtherethemostextensivedelnitionofneurosis~even
asthe ensnarementofthesubectbythesituation whichgivesusthe
most genera|formulafor madness, noton|ythe madnesswhichlies
behindthewallsofasy|ums, buta|sothe madness which deafens the
worldwithitssoundandfury.
1hesufferingsofneurosisandpsychosisareforustheschoolofthe
passions ofthe soul,ust as thescourge ofthe psychoana|ytic scales,
whenwecomputethetiltoftheirthreattoentirecommunities,givesus
thendexof thedeadeningofthepassionsofthecity.
At this unction of nature and cu|ture which is so persistently
scanned by modern anthropo|ogy, psychoanalysis a|one recognizes
thisknotofimaginaryservitudewhichlovemustalwaysundoagain,or
sever.
Forsuchataskweplacenorelianceona|truisticfeeling,wewho|ay
baretheaggressivenessthatunderliestheactivityofthephi|anthropist,
theidea|ist,thepedagogue,andeventhereformer.
Intherecourseofsubecttosubectwhichwepreserve,psychoana|y-
siscanaccompanythepatienttotheecstatic|imitofthehouartthat',
whereinisrevea|edtohimthecipherofhismorta|destiny,butitisnot
inourmerepoweraspractitionerstobringhimtothatpointwherethe
realjourneybegins.
( I 949 translated b y Jean Roussel)
Notes
I . Translatm's note: 'J' is used here and throughout to translate Lacan's 'je', in 'Ie je', 'Ia
fonctIOn du Je', etc. 'Ego' translates 'Ie moi' and is used in the normal sense of
psychoanalytic literature. On 'ie', see Note 2 below.
2. Throughout this article we leave in its peculiarity the translation we have adopted
for Freud's Ideal-Ich (i. e. 'je-ideal'), without further comment, save that we have not
maintained it since.
3. Cf. Claude Levi-Strauss, Structural Anthropolog, London 1 968, Chapter X.
4. See Jacques Lacan, Ecrits, Paris 1 966, pp. I I I , 1 80.
D
Ideology and Ideological State
Apparatuses (Notes towards an
Investigation)
Louis Althusser
On the Reproduction of the Conditions of Production
t
AsMarxsaio,everychi|oknowsthata socia| formationwhichoionot
reprooucetheconoitionsofproouctionatthesametimeasitpro+uce
wou|o not last a year. 1he u|timate

ition oou

is
therefor

t
|

''

le' (rep:ouu

s opr

ouc-
tion),a|e(expanomgthem).Letustgnorethislast
ois+inctot.forthemoment.
What,then,isthe reproduction ofthe conditions ofproduction?
Here we are enteringa oomain which isbothvery fami|iar (since
Capital Vo|ume 1wo) anouniquelyignoreo. 1he tenacious obvious-
ness(ioeo|ogicalobviousnessofanempiricisttype)ofthepointofview
ofproouctionaloneorevenofthatofmereproouctivepractice(itse|f
abstractinre|ationtotheprocessofproouction)aresointegrateointo
oureveryoay'consciousness'thatitisextremelyharo,nottosayalmost
impossib|e,toraiseoneselftothepoint ofview ofreproduction. Neverthe-
|ess,everythingoutsioethispointofviewremainsabstract(worsethan
one-sioeo. oistorteo) evenattheleve|ofproouction,ano,a fortiori at
thatofmerepractice.
Letustryanoexaminethemattermethooical|y.
1osimp|ifymyexposition,anoassumingthateverysocialformation
arisesfromaoominantmooeofproouction,Ic_,(hatiherocess
ofp;ooictionsetsto woHthc xstingpvooi:ctiy

s,a):ounoer
oehnitee|atIon s oJ proouction.
I DEOLOGI CAL ST A TE APP ARATUSES 1
0
1
It fol|ows that, in oroer to exist, every socia| formation must
reproouce the conoitions ofits proouction at the same time as it
proouces, ano in oroer to be ab|e to proouce. It must therefore
reproouce.
1 . th_rqcti_ Jorccs,
2
. theexistingrelationsofroouction.
Reproduction ofthe Means ofProduction
Iveryone(inc|uoingthebourgeoiseconomistswhose workis nationa|
accounting, or the mooern 'macro-economic' 'theoreticians') now
recognizes, because Marx compe||ing|y proveo it in Capital Vo|ume
1wo, that no proouction is possible which ooes not al|ow for the
reproouction of the materia| conoitions of proouction. the repro-
ouctionofthemeansofproouction.
1heaverageeconomist,whoisnooifferentinthisthantheaverage
capita|ist,knowsthateachyearitisessentia|toforeseewhatisneeoeo
to rep|ace what has been useo up or worn out in proouction. raw
material, hxeo insta||ations (bui|oings), instruments of proouction
(machines) , etc. I saytheaverageeconomist theaveragecapita|ist,
forthey both express the point ofview ofthe hrm, regaroing it as
sufhcient simp|y to give a commentary on the terms of the hrm's
hnancialaccountingpractice.
Butthanksto the geniusofQuesnay,whoFrst poseothis'glaring'
problem,anotothegeniusofMarx,whoreso|veoit,weknowthatthe
reproouction of the materia| conoitions of proouction cannot be
thoughtattheleve|oftheh rm,becauseitooesnotexistatthat|evelin
its rea|conoitions.Whathapjcnsatthe1cveIoIthehrm isaneffect,
which only gives an ioea of the necessity of repvoouction, but
absolute|y1ails toa||owitsconditionsanomechanismstobethought.
A moment's reH ectionis enough to be convinceo ofthis. MrX, a
capita|ist who proouces woo||en yarn in his spinning-mi||, has to
'reproouce'hisrawmateria|,hismachines,etc. Buthe ooesnotproouce
them for his own proouction other capita|ists oo. an Austra|ian
sheep-farmer,MrY,aheavyengineerprooucingmachine-too|s,MrZ,
etc. , etc.AnoMrYanoMrZ, inoroertoprooucethoseproouctswhich
are the conoition of the reproouction of Mr X's conoitions of
proouction, a|so have to reproouce the conoitions of their own
proouction,anosoontoinFnity~ thewho|einproportionssuchthat,
onthenationa|anoeventhewor|omarket,theoemanoformeansof
proouction(forreproouction)canbesatisheobythesupp|y.
Inoroertothinkthismechanism,which|eaostoakinoof'eno|ess
I 02
MAP P I NG I DEOLOGY

hain',ii snecessaiyi oIollowMar's'gloIal'ioceduie,andiosiudy


ariiculai ihe relaiions oI ihe circulaiion oI caiial Ieiween
Deaiim
.
eniI(ioduciionoImeansoIroduciion)andDearimeniII
(ioduciionoImeansoIconsumiion),andiherealizaiionoIsurlus-
value,inCapital, Volumes1woand1hiee.
WeshallnoigoinioiheanalysisoIihisquesiion.Iiisenoughiohave
meniioned ihe eisience oIihe necessiiy oI ihereioduciion oIihe
maieiialcondiiionsoIroduciion.
Reproduction ofLabour-Power
Howevei,ihe ieadeiwillnoi haveIailedionoie one ihing.We have
discussedihereroduciionoIihemeansoIroduciion Iuinoiihe
ieroduciionoIiheioduciiveIoices.WehaveihereIoieignoiedihe
reroduciion oIwhai disiinguishes ihe roduciive Iorces Iiom ihe
meansoIroduciion,i.e.ihereroduciionoI laIour-ower.
IiomiheoIseivaiionoIwhaiiakeslaceinihehrm,inariicular
Irom ihe eaminaiion oI ihe hnancial accouniing raciice which
iedicisamoriizaiionandinvesimeni,wehaveIeenaIleiooIiainan
aioimaie idea oIihe eisience oI ihe maierial iocess oIrero-
duciion,IuiweaienowenieiingadomaininwhichiheoIservaiionoI
whaihaensinihehimis,iInoiioiallyIlind,aileasialmosieniirely
so,andIorgoodieason.ihereroduciionoI laIoui-oweriakeslace
esseniiallyouisideihehrm.
H

i
}]
ucii
[
oI
|
o
_j_red.
IiisensuredI|answiihwhich
ioieioduceiiselI.Iyges.WagesIeaiureiniheaccf+ach
emcisc`but as'wagecaiial',3 noiaiallasacondiiionoIihemaierial
reioduciionoIlaIour-ower.
Howevei, ihaiisin Iaci howii'works', since wagesreresenionly
ihaiarioIihe valueroducedIyiheeendiiureoIlaIoui-ower
which is indisensaIle Ior iis reroduciion. sc. indisensaIle io ihe
reconsiiiuiion oI ihe laIour-owei oI ihe wage-earnei (ihe where-
wiihal io ayIoi housing, Iood and cloihing, inshori, io enaIle ihe
wage-eainerioresenihimselIagainaiiheIacioiygaieiheneiday~
andeveryIuriherdayGodgianis him), andweshouldadd.indisen-
saIleIorraisingandeducaiingihechildieninwhomiheroleiaiian
reroduces himselI (in n models where n 0, I ,
2
, eic.. . . ) as
laIourower.
RememIer ihai ihis quaniiiy oI value (wages) necessaiy Ior ihe
reroduciion oIlaIourower is deiermined noi Iy ihe needs oI a
'Iiological' Guaranteed MinimumWage [Salaire Minimum Interprofess
wnnel Garantl] alone,IuiIyiheneedsoIahisioiicalminimum(Mar
I DEOLOGI CAL STATE AP PARATUSES I 03
noiedihaiEnglishworkersneedIeerwhileIienchroleiariansneed
wine)-i.e.ah|sioiicallyvariaIleminimum.
.
Isho

alsolikeiooiniouiihaiihisminimumisdouIlyhisiorical
ihai ri rs dehned noi Iy ihe hisiorical needs oIihe working class
'recognized'Iyihecaiialisiclass,IuiIyihehisioricalneedsimosed
Iyiheioleiarian classsiruggle (adouIleclass siruggle. againsiihe
lengihening

I
.
iheworkingdayandagainsiiheieduciionoIwages).
However,rirs noi enoughio ensure IorlaIoui-owerihemaierial
condiiionsoIiisreroduciioniIiiisioIereioducedaslaIour-ower.
I

ave said ihaiihe availaIlelaIour-owermusiIe 'comeieni', i.e.


smiaIle
.
io Ie seiio woik in ihe comle sysiem oI ihe iocess oI
ioduciion.1hedevelomenioIiheroduciiveIoicesandiheiyeoI
uniiy hisiorically consiiiuiive oI ihe roduciive Iorces ai a given
momeniroduceiheiesuliihaiihelaIour-oweihasioIe(diveisely)
skille

dandihereIoiereioducedas such. Diveisely: accordingioihe


reqmiemenis oI ihe socio-iechnical division oI laIour, iis dilIereni
oIs'and'osis' .
HowisihereroduciionoIihe(diversihed)skillsoIlaIoui-ower
rovided Ior in a caiialisi regime. Here, unlike social formaiions
chaiacieiizedIyslaveryorserIdom,ihis reroduciionoIiheskillsoI
laIo

i-ower iends (ihis is a iendeniial law) decreasingly io Ie


rovrdedIor'onihesoi'(aieniiceshiwiihinroduciioniiself,Iui
is achi

ved more and more ouiside roduciion. Iy ihe caiialisi


educaironsysiem,andIyoiheiinsiancesandinsiiiuiions.
Whaidochildrenleainaischool.1heygovaiyingdisiancesiniheir
siudies,Iuiaianyraieiheylearn io read, iowiiieandioadd~ i.e.a
numIeroIiechniques,andanumIeroIoiherihingsaswell,including
ele

menis (whichmayIerudimeniaiy oi, on iheconirary,ihorough-


gomg)oI'scienii6c'oi'liieiaryculiuie',whicharedirecilyuseIulinihe
diIIereni joIs |n roduciion (one insiruciion Ior manual workeis
anoiherIoriechnicians, aihiidIorengineers, a hnal oneIorhighe.
managemeni,eic.).1husiheyleain'knowhow'.

uiIesidesiheseiechniquesandknowledges,andinlearningihem,
chrldren ai school also learn ihe 'rules' oI good Iehaviour, i.e. ihe
aiiiiude ihai should Ie oIseived Iy every ageni in ihe division oI
laIoui,accoidingioihejoIheis'desiined'Ior. rulesoImoraliiy,civic
androIessionalconscience,whichaciuallymeansrulesoIreseciIoi
ihe soco-iechnical divsion oI laIour and uliimaiely ihe rules oIihe
oideresiaIlishedIyclassdominaiion.1heyalsolearnio'seakroei
Irench',io 'handle'ihewoikerscoriecily,i.e.aciually(IoriheIuiuie
c
.
aiialisis and iheir servanis) io 'order iLem aIoui' ioeily, i.e.
(rdeally)io'seakioihem'iniherighiway,eic.
1o ui ihismore scieniihcally, I shall say ihaiihereroduciion oI
I 04
MAP P I NG I DEOLOGY
laIour-owerrequiresnoionlya:eroducio:ioIi!sk1s,buiulso,ai
ihe same time, a reproduciion oIiis .submssion,(o___slth
ess
io
"
g
ideology Ior ioii..

ty
.
to

i
@_9''9j!9)!
iai
!
on
ndreression,so ihaiihey,ioo,willrovideforthedominaiionoIihe
rulingclass'inwords'.
In oiherword,iheschool (Iutalsoother Siaieinsiiiuiionslikeihe
Church,or other aaraiuseslikeiheArmy) teaches 'know-how' ,Iui
inIormswhichensuresubjection to the ruling ideology orihemasieryoIiis
' raciice`. All ihe agenis oIroduciion, eloiiation and

eression,
noiioseakoIihe' roIessionalsoIideology'( Mar) ,musiinoneway
oranotherIe'steeed`inthisideologyinorderioerIormtheiriasks
'conscientiously'~ iheiasksoItheeloited(iheroletarians) ,oIihe
eloiters(ihecaiialisis),oIiheeloiters'auiliaries(ihemanagers),
oroIihehighriesisoItherulingideology(iis'Iunctionaries'),etc.
1hereroduciionoIlaIour-owerihusrevealsasiissine q

a non n
.
oi
only ihe reroduciion oI iis ' skills' Iut also the reroduciion oI iis
suIjeciionio ihe ruling ideologyoroIihe 'raciice'oIihatideology,
wiihtherovisoihaiiiisnoienoughiosay'notonlyIuialso',Ioriiis
clear ihatit is in the forms and under the forms of ideological subjection that
provision is made for th reproduction of th skills of labour-power.
Bui ihis is io recognize the eIIective resence oI a new realiiy.
ideology.
HereIshallmaketwocommenis.
1hehrstistoroundoIImyanalysisoIreroduciion
Ihavejusigivenaraidsurvey oIiheIormsofihereroduciionoI
iheroduciiveIorces,i.e.oIihemeansoIroduciiononiheonehand,
andoIlaIour-oweroniheoiher.
BuiIhavenoiyetaroachedihequesiionoI ihereproduction of the
relations ofproduction. 1his isacrucial question IoriheMarisiiheoryoI
ihemodeoIroduction.1oleiiiasswouldIeaiheoreiicalomission
worse,aseriousoliiicalerror.
IshallthereIorediscussii.BuiinorderioLIiainihemeansiodiscuss
ii,I shallhaveiomakeanotherlongdeiour.
1he second commeni is ihai in order io make ihis deiour, I am
oIligediore-raisemy oldquesiion.whaiisasocieiy.
Infrastructure and Superstructure
On a numIer oI occasions' I have insisied on ihe revoluiionary
characieroIiheMarisiconceiionoIihe'socialwhole`insoIarasitis
I DEOLOGI CAL STATE APPARATUSES I 05
disiinciIromtheHegelian'ioiality' .I said(andthisihesisonlyreeais
famousroosiiionsoIhisioricalmaierialism)ihaiMarconceivedthe
siructure oI every socieiy as consiiiuied Iy'levels` or 'insiances'
articulaiedIyasecihcdeierminaiion. their;dstructure, " or economic
Iase(theuniiy'o(|eroductiveIorcesandi eIaonI produc-
iion) and the Quperstructure, w!ih iiselI coniains iwo 'levels' or
'insiances'.th og(lay,cii- .:-,aoe ee.l~(H
di
!
Ieren ti
eoloics,rcIgi,s
,[_
l

____ ___ ____


Besides iis iheoreiico-didaciic inierest (ii rcveals ihe diIference
IeiweenMarandHegel),thisreresentationhastheIollowingcrucial
theoreiicaladvaniage.iimakesiiossiIleioinscriIeiniheiheoreiical
aaraius oIiis esseniial conceis what I have called their respective
indices ofeffectivity. Whaidoesihismean.
Ii is easy io see ihai ihis reresentaiion oI the siruciure oIevery
socieiyas an edihce contaivinga Iase (inIrasiruciure) onwhichare
erectediheiwo'oors'ofihesuersiruciure,isameiahor,ioIequite
recise,asaiialmeiahor. ihe meiahor oIaioograhy[topique] .5
Like every meiahor, ihis metahor suggesis something, makes
someihingvisiIle.Whai.PreciselybIs. :ha theupper6scouldnoi
'siayu'(intheair)alon,|tr:Iase
1hustheoIjecioI eahoroIiheedihceisiorereseniaIove
allihe'deierminaiioninihelasi instance'Iyihe economicIase.1he
efIeci oIihissaiial meiahoris io endow theIasewiihanindeoI
eIIeciiviiyknownIyiheIamous terms. ihe deierminaiioninihe lasi
insianceofwhaihaensin iheuer'oors' (oIihesuersiruciure)
IywhaihaensiniheeconomicIase.
.
GiventhisindeofeIIeciivity' inihelasiinstance' , ihe'oors`ofihe
suersiruciure are clearly endowed wiih different indices of efIec-
iiviiy.WhaikindoIindices.
Ii is ossiIle tosay ihai ihe oors oI ihe suersiructure are not
deierminaniinthelasiinstance,IutihaitheyaredeierminedIyihe
elIeciiviiyoItheIase;ihaiiIiheyaredeierminaniintheirown(asyei
undehned)ways,ihisisirueonlyinsoIarasiheyaredeterminedIyihe
Iase.
1heirindeofeffeciiviiy(ordeterminaiion), asdeierminedIyihe
deierminaiioninthelastinsianceoIiheIase,isthoughtIyiheMarist
tradiiion in two ways. ( I ) thre i p'relatie^ auionomy' oI ihe
supc:.structutewi:hxesccr1o1heIase; (2) ihereisa'recirocalaciion'
oJhesu

erstruciureontheIase.

-
l: the greai iheoreiical advaniage ofthe
Marist ioograhy, i.e. ofihesatialmeiahor oftheedihce (Iase
andsuersiruciure),issimulianeouslyihatiirevealsihaiquesiionsoI
deiermination(oroIindeoIeIIectiviiy)arecrucial;thaiitrevealsihat
I 0
MAP P I NG I DEOLOGY
'
itisjsewhichn thelastinstancedetei

diFce,and
1 asa

ncl thetheoreticalproblemof
thetypesof' derivatory'effectivitypeculiartothesuperstructure,i. e. it
obliges us to think what the Maixist tradition calls conointly the
relative autonomyofthesupeistructure andthe reciprocal action of
thesuperstructureonthebase.

1hegreatestdisadvantageofthisrepresentationofthestructureof
every societybythespatialmetaphorofanedihceisobviouslythefact
thatitismetaphoiical.i. e. itremainsdescriptive.
Itnowseemstomethatitispossibleanddesiiabletoiepresentthings
differently.NB. IdonotmeanbythisthatIwanttoreecttheclassical
metaphor,forthatmetaphoiitselfiequiresthatwegobeyondit.AndI
amnotgoingbeyonditinoidertoreectitasoutworn.Isimplywantto
attempttothinkwhatitgivesusin thefoimofadescription.
Ibelievethatitispossibleandnecessarytothinkwhatcharacterizes
the essential ofthe existence andnatuie ofthe superstiuctureon the
basis ofreproduction. Onceonetakesthe pointofview ofieproduction,
many ofthe questions whose existencewas indicatedby the spatial
metaphorofthe ediFce, butto whichitcouldnotgiveaconceptual
answei,areimmediatelyilluminated.
Mybasicthesisisthatitis notpossibleto posethesequestions(and
thereforetoansweithem)except from the point ofview ofreproduction.
I shallgive a short analysis ofLaw, the State and Ideologyfrom this
point ofview. And I shall ieveal what happensboth fiom the pointof
viewofpractice andproduction on theone hand, and fiom thatof
reproductionontheother.
The State
1heMarxisttraditionisstiict,here. in theCommunist Maniesto andthe
' IighteenthBiumaire' (and in allthe laterclassicaltexts, above allin
Marx's writings on the Paiis Commune and Lenin's on State and
Revolution), theStateisexplicitlyconceivedasaiepressiveapparatus.
1heStateisa'machine'ofrepression,whichenablestheiulingclasses
(in the nineteenthcentury thebourgeois class and the 'class' ofbig
landowners)toensuretheii dominationovertheworkingclass, thus
enablingthefoimertosubectthelattertotheprocessofsurplus-value
extortion(i. e. tocapitalistexploitation).
1heStateis thus histofallwhattheMarxistclassicshavecalled the
State apparatus. 1his termmeans.notonlythespecializedappaiatus(in
the narrowsense) whoseexistence andnecessity I haveiecognizedin
I DEOLOGI CAL STATE APP ARATUSES I 07
relationtotheiequirementsoflegalpiactice,i. e. thepolice,thecourts,
theprisons,butalsothearmy,which(theproletariathaspaidfoithis
experience with its blood) inteivenes diiectly as a supplementary
repiessivefoiceinthelastinstance,whenthepoliceanditsspecialized
auxiliary corps are 'outrunby events', and above this ensemble, the
headofState,thegovernmentandtheadministration.
Piesentedi nthisform,theMarxistLeninist'theoiy'oftheStatehas
itsFngerontheessentialpoint, and notforone momentcantherebe
anyquestionofieectingthefactthatthisreallyistheessentialpoint.
1heStateapparatus,which deFnes theStateasa foice ofrepressive
executionandinteivention'intheinterestsoftherulingclasses'inthe
class struggle conducted bythe bouigeoisie and its allies against the
proletariat, is quitecertainly the State, andquite certainly dehnes its
basic'function'.
From Descriptive Theor to Theor as such
Nevertheless,heretoo,asIpointedoutwithrespecttothemetaphorof
theedihce (infrastructureandsuperstructure),thispresentationofthe
natureoftheStateisstillpartlydescriptive.
AsI shall often haveoccasion touse this adective (desciiptive), a
wordofexplanationisnecessaryinoidertoiemoveanyambiguity.
Whenevei, in speaking of the metaphor of the ediFce or ofthe
Maixist 'theoiy' of the State, I have said that these are descriptive
conceptions oi representations of theii obects, I had no ulterior
criticalmotives. Onthe contrary, I haveevery grounds to thinkthat
gieatscientihcdiscoveriescannothelpbutpass throughthephase of
whatIshallcalldescriptive 'theor' . 1hisisthehistphaseofeverytheoiy,
atleastinthedomainwhichconceinsus(thatofthescienceofsocial
formations). As such, one might and in my opinion one must ~
envisagethisphaseasatiansitionalone, necessarytothedevelopment
ofthe theory. 1hat it is transitional is inscribed in my expression.
'descriptive theory', which ieveals i n its conunction ofterms the
equivalentofakindof'contradiction' . Infact,thetermtheory'clashes'
tosomeextentwiththeadective'descriptive'whichIhaveattachedto
it.1hismeansquiteprecisely.( I ) thatthe'desciiptivetheory'ieallyis,
withoutashadowofadoubt,theirreveisiblebeginningofthetheory,
but (2
) that the 'desciiptive' form in which the theoiy is piesented
iequiies,preciselyasan effectofthis'contradiction' , adevelopmentof
thetheorywhichgoesbeyondtheformof'description' .
Letmemakethisideaclearerbyreturningtoouipresentobect.the
State.
WhenIsaythattheMaixist'theoiy'oftheStateavailabletousisstill
I 08 MAP P I NG I DEOLOGY
partly'descriptive',thatmeanshrstandforemostthatthisdescriptive
'theory'iswithouttheshadowofadoubtpreciselythebeginningofthe
Marxist theory of the State, and that this beginning gives us the
essentialpoint,i. e. thedecisiveprincipleofeverylaterdevelopmentof
thetheory.
Indeed,IshallcallthedescriptivetheoryoftheStatecorrect,sinceit
isperfectlypossibletomakethevastmorityofthefactsinthedomain
withwhichitis concernedcorrespondto thedeFnitionitgivesofits
obect.1hus,thedeFnitionoftheStateasaclassState,existinginthe
repressive State apparatus, casts a brilliant light on all the facts
observableinthevariousordersofrepressionwhatevertheirdomains.
fromthemassacresof )uneI 848andoftheParisCommune,ofBloody
Sunday, May l 905inPetro grad,oftheResistance,ofCharonne, etc. ,
tothemere (and relatively anodyne) interventionsofa 'censorship'
whichhasbannedDiderot's LaReligieuse oraplaybyCattionFranco,it
casts light on all the direct or indirect forms of exploitation and
exterminationofthemassesofthepeople (imperialistwars) , itcasts
light on that subtle everyday domination beneath which can be
glimpsed, in the fors of political democracy, for example, what
Lenin,followingMarx,calledthedictatorshipofthebourgeoisie.
AndyetthedescriptivetheoryoftheStaterepresentsaphaseinthe
constitution ofthe theory which itselfdemands the 'supersession' of
thisphase. ForitisclearthatifthedeFnitioninquestion reallydoes
giveusthemeanstoidentify andrecognizethefactsofoppressionby
relatingthemtotheState,conceivedastherepressiveStateapparatus,
this'interrelationship'givesrisetoaveryspecialkindofobviousness,
ahout whichIshallhavesomethingtosayinamoment.'Yes,that'show
it is, that's really true' ' And the accumulation of facts within the
deFnitionofthe State may multiply examples, but it does notreally
advancethedeFnitionoftheState,i. e. thescientiFctheoryoftheState.
Iverydescriptivetheorythusrunsthe risk of'blocking'thedevelop-
mentofthetheory,andyetthatdevelopmentisessential.
1hatiswhy I thinkthat,in ordertodevelopthisdescriptivetheory
intotheoryassuch,i. e. inordertounderstandfurtherthemechanisms
ofthe State in its functioning, I thinkthatit is indispensable to add
somethingtotheclassicaldeFnitionoftheStateasaStateapparatus.
The Essentials ofthe Marxist Theory ofthe State
LetmeFrstclarifyoneimportantpoint. theState(anditsexistencein
itsapparatus)hasnomeaningexceptasafunctionofState power. 1he
wholeofthepoliticalclassstrugglerevolvesaroundtheState.Bywhich
Imeanaroundthepossession,i. e. theseizureandconservationofState
I DEOLOGI CAL STATE APPARATUSES
I 09
power by a certain class or by an alliance between classes or class
fractions.1hisFrstclariFcationobligesmetodistinguishbetweenState
power (conservation ofState power or seizure ofState power), the
obectiveofthepoliticalclassstruggleontheonehand,andtheState
apparatusontheother.
We know that the State apparatus may survive, as is proved by
bourgeois'revolutions'innineteenth-centuryFrance( I 830, I 848), by
coups d'etat (2
December,MayI 958) , bycollapsesoftheState(thefallof
theImpirein I 870, of the1hirdRepublicinI 940), orbythepolitical
riseofthepettybourgeoisie( I 89095inFrance),etc. , withouttheState
apparatus being affectedormodiFed. itmay survive politicalevents
whichaffectthepossessionofStatepower.
Ivenaftera socialrevolutionlike thatofI 9I 7, a large partofthe
StateapparatussurvivedaftertheseizureofStatepowerbythealliance
of the

j
roI

riat and the small peasantry. Lenin repeated the fact


again andagam.
-
It is possible to describe the distinction between State power and
Stateapparatusaspartofthe' Marxisttheory'oftheState,explicitly
present since Marx's 'Iighteenth Brumaire' and Class Struggles in
France.
1osummarizethe'MarxisttheoryoftheState'onthispoint,it canbe
saidthattheMarxistclassicshavealwaysclaimedthat( I ) theStateisthe
repressiveStateapparatus,(2
) StatepowerandStateapparatusmust
bedistinguished, (3)theobectiveoftheclassstruggleconcernsState
power,andinconsequencetheuseoftheStateapparatusbytheclasses
(orallianceofclassesoroffractionsofclasses)holdingStatepowerasa
functionoftheirclassobectives,and(4)theproletariatmustseizeState
powerinordertodestroytheexistingbourgeoisState apparatusand,
in a Frst phase, replace itwith a quite different, proletarian, State
apparatus,theninlaterphasessetinmotionaradicalprocess,thatof
thedestructionoftheState(theendofState power, theendofevery
Stateapparatus).
Inthisperspective,therefore, what I would proposetoaddtothe
' Marxisttheory' oftheStateisalreadythereinsomanywords. Butit
seemstomethatevenwiththissupplement,thistheoryisstilli npart
descriptive, although it does now contain complex and differential
elementswhosefunctioningandactioncannotbeunderstoodwithout
recoursetofurthersupplementarytheoreticaldevelopment.
The State Ideological Apparatuses
1hus, what has to be added to the 'Marxist theory' of the State b
somethingelse.
1 1
0 MAP P I NG I DEOLOGY
Heie wemust advance cautiously i na teiiain which, i nfact, the
Maixist classics enteied long befoie us, but without having system-
atized in theoietical foim the decisive advances implied by theii
expeiiencesandpioceduies. 1heiiexpeiiencesandpioceduiesweie
indeediestiictedinthemaintotheteiiainofpoliticalpiactice.
Infact,i . e. intheiipoliticalpiactice,theMaixistclassicstieatedthe
State asa moie complexiealitythan the deb nition ofitgiveni nthe
'MaixisttheoiyoftheState',evenwhenithasbeensupplementedasI
haveustsuggested.1heyiecognizedthiscomplexityintheiipiactice,
buttheydidnotexpiessitinacoiiespondingtheoiy.
I shouldliketoattemptaveiyschematicoutlineofthiscoiiespond-
ingtheoiy.1othatend,Ipioposethefollowingthesis.
InoideitoadvancethetheoiyoftheStateitisindispensabletotake
into account not only the distinction between State power and State
apparatus, but also anothei ieality which is cleaily on the side ofthe
(yeossIx)Statapp_atus, but must notbeconfusedwith it. I shall
callthisiealitybyitsconcept. thed"ala!icaLlaLJ! ses.
Whataietheideological Stateappaiatuses( ISAs) :
1hey must not be confused with the (iepiessive) State appaiatus.
Remembcithati nMaixisttheoiy,theStateAppaiatus(SA)contains .
theCoveinment,theAdministiation,theAimy,thePolice,theCouits,
the Piisons, etc. , which constitute what I shall i n futuie call the
RepiessiveStateAppaiatus.RepiessivesuggeststhattheStateAppai-
atus i n question 'functions by violcnce' at lcastu|timately (since
ipr
y
.
.,_jminstvative :epression, may tak qi-.pJysical
1t1
I shall call Ideological State Appaiatuses a ceitain numbei of
iealities which piesent themselves to the immediateobseiveii n the
foimofdistinctandspecializedinstitutions. Ipioposeanempiiicallist
ofthese which will obviously have to be cxamined in detail, tested,
coiiectedand ieoiganized. With allthe ieseivations impliedbythis
iequiiement,wecanfoithemomentiegaidthefollowinginstitutions
asIdeologicalStateAppaiatuses(theoideii nwhichIhavelistedthem
hasnopaiticulaisignifcance) .
tbcteIigg _(thesystemofthediffeientChuiches) ,
tionaISA(thesystemofthediffeientpublicandpiivate

IhJmuy }],'
mgaQ, 8
thporical$A (the political syste, incl:ding

ill

nt
Paities),
ihetae-unA
r ; ~
I DEOLOGI CAL STATE AP PARATUSES I I I
thecommunicationsISA(piess,iadioandtelevision,etc. ) ,
thecultuialISA(Liteiatuie,theAits,spoits,etc. ) .
I have saidthattheISAsmustnotbeconfusedwith the (Repiessive)
StateAppaiatus.Whatconstitutesthediffeience:
Asabistmoment,itiscleaithatwhiletheieisone (Repiessive)State
Appaiatus,thr,e,jplur.ality- of JocoIognSra eAj fses Even
piesupposingthatitexists, theunitythat constitutesthispluiality of
ISAsasabodyisnotimmediatelyvisible.
Asa second moment, itiscleaithatwheieasthe unifed~ (Re-
piessive)StateAppaiatusbelongsentiielytothepublic _omain,much
thelaigeipaitoftheIdeologicalStateAppaiatusesitheiiappaient
dispeision)aiepait,onthecontiaiy,oftheprivate domai n. Chuiches,
Paities,1iade Unions, families,someschools, mostnewspapeis, cul-
tuialventuies,etc.,etc.,aiepiivate.
Wecanignoietheb istobseivationfoithemoment.Butsomeoneis
bound to question the second, asking meby whatiight I iegaid as
IdeologicalState Appaiatusesinstitutionswhichfoithe mostpaitdo
notpossesspublicstatus,butaiequitesimplyprivate institutions.Asa
conscious Maixist, Ciamsci alieady foiestalled this obection in one
sentence.1hedistinctionbetweenthepublicandthepiivateisadis-
tinctioninteinaltobouigeoislaw, andvalidinthe(suboidinate) do-
mainsi nwhichbouigeoislawexeicisesits'authoiity'.1hedomainof
theStateescapesitbecausethelatteiis'abovethelaw' .theState,which
istheStateoftheiulingclass,isneitheipublicnoipiivate, onthecon-
tiaiy,itisthepieconditionfoianydistinctionbetweenpublicandpii-
vate.1hesamethingcanbe saidfiomthestaitingpointofouiState
IdeologicalAppaiatuses. Itisunimpoitantwhetheitheinstitutionsin
whichtheyaieiealized aie'public' oi 'piivate'.Whatmatteis ishow
theyfunction.Piivateinstitutionscanpeifectlywell'function'asIdeo-
logicalStateAppaiatuses.Aieasonablythoioughanalysisofany one
oftheI SAspiovesit.
Butnowfoiwhatisessential.WhatdistinguishestheISAsfiomthe
(Repiessive)StateAppaiatusisthefollowingbasicdiffeience.theRe-
piessiveStateAppaiatusfunctions'byviolence',wheieastheIdeologi-
calStateAppaiatusesfunction 'b ideology' .
I canclaiifymatteisbycoiiectingthisdistinction.I shallsayiathe
that eveiy StateAppaiatus,whetheiRepiessiveoiIdeological, 'func-
tions'bothbyviolence and byideology,butwith one veiyimpoitant
distinction which makes itimpeiative notto confuse the Ideological
StateAppaiatuseswiththe(Repiessive)StateAppaiatus.
1hisisthefactthatthe(Repiessive)StateAppaiatusfunctionsmass-
ivelyand piedominantlyby repression (includingphysicaliepiession),
1
2 MAP P I NG I DEOLOGY
whilefunctioningsecondaiilybyideology.(1heiei snosuch thingasa
puiely iepiessiveappaiatus. ) Foi example, the Aimy and the Police
also function by ideology both to ensuie theii own cohesion and
iepioduction,andinthe'values'theypiopoundexteinally.
Inthesameway,butinveisely,itisessentialtosaythatfoitheiipait
the Ideological State Appaiatuses function massively and piedomi-
nantlyby ideology, buttheyalsofunctionsecondaiilybyiepiession,even
i f ultimately,butonlyultimately,thisisveiyattenuatedandconcealed,
even symbolic. (1heie is no such thing as a puiely ideological
appaiatus. ) 1hus Schools and Chuiches use suitable methods of
punishment, expulsion, selection, etc. , to 'discipline' not only theii
shepheids,butalso theii ocks. 1he same is tiue oftheFamily. . . .
1he same is tiue of the cultuial IS Appaiatus (censoiship, among
otheithings),etc.
Is it necessaiy to add that this deteimination of the double
'functioning'(piedominantly,secondaiily)byiepiessionandbyideol-
ogy, accoiding to whethei it is a mattei of the (Repiessive) State
Appaiatus oi the Ideological State Appaiatuses, makes itcleai that
veiy subtle explicit oi tacit combinations may be woven fiom the
inteiplayofthe(Repiessive)StateAppaiatusandtheIdeologicalState
Appaiatuses:Eveiydaylifepiovidesuswithinnumeiableexamplesof
this,buttheymustbestudiedindetaili fweaietogofuitheithanthis
meieobseivation.
Neveitheless, this iemaik leads us towaids an undeistanding of
whatconstitutestheunityof theappaientlydispaiatebodyof theISAs.
IftheISAs'function'massivelyand piedominantlybyideology,what
unib es theii diveisity is piecisely this functioning, in so fai as the
ideology by which they function is alwaysinfactunifed, despite its
diveisity anditscontiadictions,beneath the ruling ideology, which isthe
ideology of 'the iuling class'. Civen the factthat the 'iuling class' in
piinciple holds State powei (openly oi moie often by means of
alliances between classes oi class fiactions), and theiefoie has at its
disposalthe(Repiessive)StateAppaiatus,wecanacceptthefactthat
thissameiulingclassisactiveintheIdeologicalStateAppaiatusesinso
fai as it is ultimately the iuling ideology which is iealized in the
Ideological State Appaiatuses, piecisely in its contiadictions. Of
couise, itis a quite diffeient thing toact by laws anddecieesin the
(Repiessive)StateAppaiatusandto'act'thioughtheinteimediaiyof
theiuling ideology intheIdeologicalStateAppaiatuses.Wemustgo
into thedetailsofthis diffeience- butitcannotmaskthe iealityofa
piofoundidentity.1omyknowledge,no class can hold State power over a
long period without at the same time exercising its hegemony over and in the State
Ideological Apparatuses. I need only one example and pioofof this .
I DEOLOGI CAL STATE AP PARATUSES
1 1 3
Lenin'sanguishedconceintoievolutionizetheeducationalI deological
State Appaiatus (among otheis), simply to make it possible foi the
Sovietpioletaiiat,whohadseizedStatepowei,tosecuiethefutuieof
thedictatoishipofthepioletaiiatandthetiansitiontosocialism. '
1his last comment puts us in a position to undeistand that the
I deologicalStateAppaiatusesmaybenotonlythestake, butalsothesite
ofclass stiuggle, andoften ofbitteifoimsofclass stiuggle. 1he class
(oiclassalliance)inpoweicannotlaydownthelawintheISAsaseasily
as it can in the (Repiessive) State Appaiatus, not only because the
foimeiiulingclassesaieabletoietainstiongpositionstheiefoialong
trme,butalsobecausetheiesistanceoftheexploitedclassesisableto
b nd means and occasions to expiess itself theie, eithei by the
utilizationoftheiicontiadictions,oibyconqueiingcombatpositionsin
theminstiuggle
!
Letmeiunthioughmycomments.
IfthethesisIhavepioposediswell-founded,itleadsmebacktothe
classical Maixisttheoiy oftheState, while makingit moie piecisein
one point. I aigue that it is necessaiy to distinguish between State
powei (andits possession by . . . ) on the one hand, and the State
Appaiatusontheothei.ButI add thattheStateAppaiatuscontains
two bodies. the body ofinstitutions which iepiesent the Repiessive
StateAppaiatusontheonehand, andthebodyofinstitutionswhich
iepiesentthebodyofIdeologicalStateAppaiatusesontheothei.
Butifthisis the case, thefollowingquestion isboundtobe asked,
evenintheveiysummaiystateofmysuggestions. whatexactlyisthe
extentoftheioleofthe IdeologicalStateAppaiatuses : Whatistheii
impoitance based on: In otheiwoids. towhatdoesthe 'function' of
these Ideological State Appaiatuses, which do not function by ie-
piessionbutbyideology,coiiespond:
On the Reproduction of the Relations of Production
Icannowansweithecential question whichIhaveleftinsuspensefoi
many long pages . how is the reproduction of the relations of production
secured?
In the topogiaphical language ( Infiastiuctuie, Supeistiuctuie), I

an say
,
foi the most pait, it is _ by the legal-political and
rdeolg;:aIsupeisivu+uie.
But as I have aigued that it is essential to go beyond this still
desci

ptivelanguage,I shallsuy. foithemostpait, itissecuiedbe


extc
}
fStatepoweii ntheStateAppaiatuses,on theone bandth
--~=.
'` "--.~^*``"
1 14
MAP P I NG I DEOLOGY
(Repressive) State Apparatus, on the other the Ideological State
Apparatuses.
WhatIhaveustsaidmustalsobetakenintoaccount,anditcanbe
assembledintheformofthefollowingthreefeatures.
1 . All the State Apparatuses functionboth by repression and by
ideology, withthe diffeience thatthe (Repressrve) State Appaiatus
functions massively and predominantly by repression, whereas the
IdeologicalStateApparatusesfunctionmassivelyandpredominantly

byideology.

2
. Whereasthe (Repiessive) State Appaiatusconstitutesanorgan-
izedwholewhosedifferentpartsarecentializedbeneathacommand-
ingunity,thatofthepoliticsofclassstruggleappliedbythepolitical
representativesoftheruIingclassesin possession ofStatepower, the
IdeologicalStateAppaiatuses are multiple, distinct, 'relativelyauton-
omous' andcapable ofproviding an obective held tocontradictions
whichexpress,informswhichmaybelimitedorextreme,theeffectsof
theclashes between the capitalistclass struggle andthe proletarian
classstiuggle,aswellastheirsubordinateforms.
3. Whereastheunityofthe(Repressive)StateApparatusissecured
byitsunihedandcentializedoiganizationundertheleaoeishipofthe
iepresentativesoftheclassesinpoweiexecutingthepoliticsoftheclass
stiuggleoftheclassesinpowei,theunityofthedifferentIdeological
State Apparatuses is secured, usually in contradictory forms, by the
rulingideology,theideologyoftherulingclass.
1aking these features into account, it is possible to represent the
repioduction ofthe relations ofproduction' in the following way,
accordingtoakindof'divisionoflaboui'.
1he role ofthe Repressive State Appaiatus, in so fai as it is a
repressiveappaiatus,consistsessentiallyinsecuringbyfoice(physical
orotherwise)thepoliticalconditionsoftheieproductionofrelationsof
productionwhichareinthelastiesortrelations ofexploitation. Notonly
doestheStateapparatuscontributegenerouslytoitsownreproduction
(thecapitalistStatecontainspoliticaldynasties,militarydynasties,etc. ) ,
butalso,andaboveall,theStateapparatussecuiesbyiepression(fiom
themostbrutalphysicalfoice,viamereadministiativecommandsand
interdictions,toopenandtacitcensorship)thepoliticalconditionsfoi
theactionof theIdeologicalStateAppaiatuses.
In fact, it is the latter which largely secure the reproduction
specih callyoftherelationsofpioduction,behinda'shield'providedby
the Repressive State Apparatus. Itisherethattheroleofthe ruling
ideologyisheavilyconcentrated,theideologyoftheiulingclass,which
I DEOLOGI CAL ST A TE APPARA TUSES 1 1 5
holdsState power. Itistheinteimediationoftherulingideologythat
ensuresa(sometimesteeth-giitting)'harmony'betweentheRepressive
State Apparatus andtheIdeologicalStateApparatuses, and between
thedifferentStateIdeologicalApparatuses.
Wearethusledtoenvisagethefollowinghypothesis,asafunction
precisely of the diversity of ideological State Apparatuses in their
single, because shared, role ofthe iepioduction ofthe relations of
pioduction.
Indeed,wehavelistedarelativelylargenumbeiofIdeologicalState
Apparatuses in contempoiary capitalist social foimations . the edu-
cationalapparatus, thereligiousapparatus,thefamilyapparatus, the
political appaiatus, the trade-union apparatus, the communications
apparatus,the'cultural'appaiatus,etc.
Butinthe social formationsofthatmodeofproductioncharacter-
izedby 'serfdom' (usuallycalled the feudal modeofproduction) , we
observe that although there is a single Repressive State Apparatus
which,sincetheeailiestknownAncientStates,letalonetheAbsolute
Monarchies,hasbeenfoimallyverysimilaitotheoneweknowtoday,
the number of Ideological State Apparatuses is smallei and their
individualtypesarediffeient.Forexample,weobservethatduiingthe
Middle Ages, the Chuich(thereligiousIdeologicalStateAppaiatus)
accumulatedanumberoffunctionswhichhavetodaydevolvedonto
severaldistinctIdeologicalStateApparatuses,new ones inrelationto
the past I am invoking, in paiticulai educational and cultural func-
tions. Alongside the Church there was the family Ideological State
Apparatus, whichplayeda considerablepait,incommensuiable with
itsioleincapitalistsocialfoimations.Despiteappearances,theChurch
andtheFamilyweienottheonlyIdeologicalStateAppaiatuses.1heie
was alsoa political IdeologicalStateAppaiatus (the Estates Ceneral,
the Parlement, the different political factions and Leagues, the an-
cestoisorthemodeinpoliticalparties,andthewholepoliticalsystemof
thefreeCommunesandthenoftheVilles). 1herewasalsoapowerful
proto-tiade-union'IdeologicalStateApparatus,ifImayventuiesuch
an anachronisticterm (the powerfulmerchants' andbankers' guilds
and theouineymen's associations, etc. ) . Publishing and Communi-
cations, even, saw an indisputable development, as did the theatre,
initiallybothwereintegralpaitsoftheChuich,thentheybecamemore
andmoreindependentofit.
In the pre-capitalist historical period which I have examined
extremely broadly, it is absolutely clear that there was one dominant
I deological State Apparatus, the Church, which concentrated within itnot
only ieligious functions, but also educational ones, and a large
proportionofthefunctionsofcommunicationsand'culture' . Itisno
I I
MAP P I NG I DEOLOGY
accident that all ideological stiuggle, fiom the sixteenth t o the
eighteenth centuiy, staitingwiththe bist shocks ofthe Refoimation,
wasconcentrated i nananti-cleiicalandanti-ieligiousstiuggle, iathei,
this is a function piecisely ofthe dominant positionofthe ieligious
IdeologicalStateAppaiatus.
.
1he foiemostobectiveand achievementofthe FienchRevolutron
wasnotusttotiansfeiStatepoweifiom thefeudalaiistociacytothe
meichant-capitalist bouigeoisie, to bieak pait of the foimei Re-
piessive State Appaiatus and ieplace it with a new one (e. g. th

e
nationalpopulaiAimy)~ butalsotoattackthenumbei-oneIdeologr-
cal StateAppaiatus. the Chuich. Hence thecivilconstituton ofthe
cleigy,theconb scationofecclesiasticalwealth,n
.
dthecieatro
.
nofnew
I deologicalStateAppaiatusestoieplacetheieligrousIdeologrcalState
Appaiatusinitsdominantiole.
Natuially, these things did not happen automatically. witness the
Concoidat, the Restoiation and the long class stiuggle between the
landed aiistociacy and the industiial bouigeoisie thioughout the
nineteenthcentuiyfoitheestablishmentofbouigeoishegemonyoei
thefunctionsfoimeilyfulblledbytheChuich.aboveallbytheSchools.
It can be said that the bouigeoisie ielied on the new political,
pailiamentaiy-demociatic, Ideological State Appaiatus, installed in
the eailiest yeais of the Revolution, then iestoied aftei long and
violentstiuggles,foiafewmonthsin I 848andfoidecadesafteithe
falloftheSecond Empiie,in oideitoconductitsstiuggleagainstthe
Chuich and wiest its ideological functions away fiom it~ in othei
woids, to ensuie not only its own political hegemony, but also the
ideological hegemony indispensable to theiepioductionofcapitalist
ielationsofpioduction.
.
1hat iswhyI believethat I amustib edin advancingthefollowmg
1hesis, howevei piecaiious it is. I believe that theJdeologicalState
Appaiatuswhichhasbeeninstalledi nthedomina
n
t positionmatuie
capitalist social foimations, as a iesult of vrolent pohrcal and
ideological class stiuggleagainstthe old dommant Ideologrcal State
Appaiatus,istheeducational ideological apparatus.
(histhesismayseempaiadoxical,giventhatfoieveiyone,i . e. inthe
ideologicaliepiesentationthat the bouigeoisiehastiied to giveitself
andtheclassesitexploits,itieallyseemsthatthedominantI deological
StateAppaiatusin capitalist social foimations isnottheSchools,but
the political Ideological State Appaiatus, i. e. the iegime of paila-
mentaiydemociacycombininguniveisalsuffiageandpaitystiuggle.
Howevei, histoiy, even iecenthistoiy, shows thatthe bouigeosie
hasbeenandstillisabletoaccommodateitselftopoliticalI deological
StateAppaiatusesotheithanpailiamentaiydemociacy. theFiistand
I DEOLOGI CAL STATE APPARATUSES I I 7
SecondEmpiies,ConstitutionalMonaichy( LouisXVIIIandChailes
X), Pailiamentaiy Monaichy (Louis-Philippe), Piesidential Democ-
iacy (de Caulle), to mention only Fiance. In England this is even
cleaiei. 1he Revolutionwas paiticulaily 'successful' theie fiom the
bouigeoispointofview, sinceunlikeFiance,wheiethebouigeoisie,
paitlybecauseofthestupidityofthepettyaiistociacy,hadtoagieeto
being caiiied to powei by peasant and plebeian 'jourees revol
utionnaires', something foi which it had to pay a high piice, the
Englishbouigeoisiewasableto'compiomise'with theaiistociacyand
'shaie' State powei and the use ofthe Stateappaiatus with it foi a
long time (peaceamongall menofgoodwillinthe iulingclasses' ) . In
Ceimanyitisevenmoiestiiking,sinceitwasbehindapoliticalIdeo-
logicalStateAppaiatusinwhichtheimpeiial[unkeis(epitomizedby
Bismaick), theiiaimyandtheiipolice,piovideditwitha shieldand
leadingpeisonnel,thattheimpeiialistbouigeoisiemadeitsshatteiing
entiy | nto histoiy, befoie'tiaveising' the Weimai Republic and en-
tiustingitselftoNazism.
Hence I believe I have good ieasons foi thinkingthatbehindthe
scenesofits politicalI deologicalState Appaiatus,which occupiesthe
fiontofthe stage, what the bouigeoisie has installed as its numbei-
one, i . e. as its dominant Ideological State Appaiatus, is the edu-
cationalappaiatus,which hasinfactieplacedinitsfunctionsthepie-
viously dominant Ideological State Appaiatus, the Chuich. One
mighteven add. theSchool-FamilycouplehasieplacedtheChuich~
Familycouple.
Whyistheeducationalappaiatusi nfactthedominantIdeological
StateAppaiatusin capitalistsocialfoimations,andhow does itfunc-
tion:
Foithemomentitmustsufbcetosay.
I . AllIdeologicalStateAppaiatuses,whatevei theyaie,contiibute
to the same iesult. the iepioduction ofthe ielations ofpioduction,
i . e. ofcapitalistielationsofexploitation.
2
. Each ofthemcontiibutes towaids this single iesult in the way
piopei to it. 1hepoliticalappaiatusbysubectingindividuals tothe
political State ideology, the 'indiiect' (pailiamentaiy) oi 'diiect' (ple-
biscitaiy oi Fascist) 'demociatic' ideology. 1he communications
appaiatusbyciammingeveiy'citizen'withdailydosesofnationalism,
chauvinism, libeialism, moialism, etc. , by means of the piess, the
iadio and television. 1he same goes foi the cultuial appaiatus (the
iole ofspoit in chauvinism is ofthe hist impoitance), etc 1he ie-
ligious appaiatus by iecalling in seimons and the othei gieat ceie-
moniesofBiith, Maiiiage and Death, thatmanisonly ashes,unless
1 1 8 MAP P I NG I DEOLOGY
he loves his neighboui to the extent oftuining the othei cheek to
whoeveistiikesbist. 1hefamilyappaiatus . . . buttheieisnoneedto
go on
3. 1hisconceit is dominated by a single scoie, occasionally dis-
tuibed by contiadictions (those of the iemnants of foimei iuling
classes,thoseof thepioletaiiansandtheiioiganizations) .thescoieof
theIdeologyofthecuiientiulingclasswhichintegiatesintoitsmusic
the gieat themes ofthe Humanism ofthe Cieat Foiefatheis, who
pioducedtheCieekMiiacleevenbefoieChiistianity,andafteiwaids
the Cloiy of Rome, the Eteinal City, and the themes of Inteiest,
paiticulaiandgeneial,etc. , nationalism,moialismandeconomism.
4. Neveitheless, in this conceit, one I deological StateAppaiatus
ceitainlyhasthedominantiole,althoughhaidlyanyonelendsaneai
toitsmusic.itissosilent'1hisistheSchool.
It takes childien fiomeveiy class at infant-school age, and then foi
yeais, the yeais in which the child is most 'vulneiable' , squeezed
betweenthefamilyStateappaiatusandtheeducationalStateappai-
atus,itdiumsintothem,whetheiitusesnewoioldmethods,aceitain
amount of 'know-how' wiapped in the iuling ideology (Fiench,
aiithmetic,natuialhistoiy,thesciences,liteiatuie)oisimplytheiuling
ideologyinitspuiestate(ethics,civicinstiuction, philosophy). Some-
wheieaioundtheageofsixteen,ahugemassofchildienaieeected
'into pioduction' . these aie the woikeis oi small peasants Anothei
poitionofscholasticallyadaptedyouth caiiieson. and,foibetteioi
woise,itgoessomewhatfuithei,untilitfallsbythewaysideandbllsthe
postsofsmallandmiddletechnicians, white-collaiwoikeis, smalland
middleexecutives,pettybouigeoisofallkindsAlastpoitionieaches
the summit, eithei to fall into intellectual semi-employment, oi to
piovide, as well as the 'intellectuals of the collective labouiei', the
agentsofexploitation(capitalists,manageis),theagentsofiepiession
(soldieis, policemen, politicians, administiatois, etc) and the pio-
fessionalideologists(piiestsofallsoits,mostofwhomaieconvinced
'laymen').
Eachmasseecteden route ispiactically piovidedwiththeideology
which suits the iole it has to fulhl i n class society. the iole ofthe
exploited (with a 'highly developed', ' piofessional', 'ethical', 'civic',
'national' and apolitical consciousness) , the iole of the agent of
exploitation (ability to givethe woikeis oideisandspeakto them.
'humanielations' ),oftheagentofiepiession(abilitytogiveoideisand
enfoice obedience 'without discussion' , oi ability to manipulate the
demagogy of a political leadei's ihetoiic), oi of the piofessional
ideologist(abilitytotieatconsciousnesseswiththeiespect,i e. withthe
I DEOLOGI CAL STATE APPARATUSES 1 1
9
contempt, blackmail and demagogy they deseive, adapted to the
accents ofMoiality, ofViitue, oi'1ianscendence', ofthe Nation, of
Fiance'sWoildRole,etc. ) .
Ofcouise,manyof thesecontiastingViitues(modesty,iesignation,
submissiveness on the one hand, cynicism, contempt, aiiogance,
conhdence, self-impoitance, even smooth talk and cunning on the
othei) aie also taughtin the Family, i nthe Chuich, in the Aimy, in
CoodBooks,i nblmsandeveninthefootballstadium. Butnoothei
Ideological State Appaiatus has the obligatoiy (and not least, fiee)
audienceofthetotalityofthechildieni nthecapitalistsocialfoimation,
eighthouisadayfoibveoisixdaysoutofseven
Butitisbyanappienticeshipinavaiietyofknow-howwiappedupin
the massive inculcation oftheideologyofthe iulingclass that the
relations ofproduction inacapitalistsocialfoimation,i . e. theielationsof
exploitedtoexploiteisandexploiteistoexploited,aielaigelyiepio-
duced. 1he mechanisms which pioduce this vital iesult foi the
capitalistiegimeaienatuiallycoveiedupandconcealedbyaunivei-
sallyieigningideologyoftheSchool,univeisallyieigningbecauseitis
oneoftheessentialfoimsoftheiulingbouigeoisideology.anideology
which iepiesents the School as a neutial enviionment puiged of
ideology (because it is . . . lay), wheie teacheis iespectful of the
'conscience'and'fieedom'ofthechildienwhoaieentiustedtothem
(incompleteconb dence)bytheii'paients'(whoaiefiee,too,i . e. the
owneisoftheiichildien) openupfoithemthepathtothefieedom,
moiality and iesponsibility of adults by theii own example, by
knowledge,liteiatuieandtheii'libeiating'viitues.
I ask the paidon ofthose teacheis who, i n dieadful conditions,
attempt to tuin the few weapons they can bnd in the histoiy and
leainingthey'teach'againsttheideology,thesystemandthepiactices
inwhichtheyaietiapped.1heyaieakindofheio.Buttheyaieiaie,
andhowmany(themaoiity) donotevenbegintosuspect the 'woik'
the system (which isbiggei thanthey aie and ciushes them) foices
themtodo,oiwoise,putalltheiiheaitandingenuityintopeifoiming
itwiththe most advanced awaieness (the famousnewmethods' ) . So
little do they suspect it that theii own devotion contiibutes to the
maintenanceandnouiishmentofthisideologicaliepiesentationofthe
School,whichmakestheSchooltodayas'natuial',indispensable-useful
and even benehcial foi oui contempoiaiies as the Chuich was
'natuial',indispensableand geneiousfoiouiancestoisafewcentuiies
ago
Infact,theChuichhasbeenieplacedtodayin its role as the dominanl
Ideological State Apparatus bythe School. It is coupledwiththe Family
ustastheChuichwasoncecoupledwiththeFamily.Wecannowclaim
1
20 MAP P I NG I DEOLOGY
that the unpiecedentedly deep crisis which is now shaking the
education system of so many States across the globe, often in
conunctionwitha crisis (alreadypioclaimed in the Communit Mani
festo) shakingthefamilysystem,takesonapoliticalmeaning,giventhat
the School (and theSchoolFamily couple) constitutes the dominant
IdeologicalStateApparatus,theApparatusplayingadeterminantpait
in the reproduction of the ielations of production of a mode of
productionthreatenedi nitsexistencebytheworldclassstruggle.
On Ideology
When I putfoiward the conceptofan Ideological State Apparatus,
when I said that the ISAs'functionbyideology', I invoked a reality
whichneedsalittlediscussion.ideology.
It is well known that the expression 'ideology` was invented by
Cabanis, Destuttde1racy andtheirfriends,whoassignedtoitasan
obectthe(genetic)theoryofideas. WhenMarxtookupthetermhfty
years later, he gave it a quite different meaning, even in his Early
Works. Here, ideologyisthesystemoftheideasandiepresentations
whichdominatethemindofamanoiasocialgioup.1heideologico-
political stiuggle conducted by Marx as early as his articles in the
Rheinische Zeitung inevitablyandquicklybroughthimfacetofacewith
thisreality,andfoicedhimtotakehisearliestintuitionsfurther.
However, here we come upon a rather astonishing paiadox.
Everythingseemstolead Maixtoformulateatheoryofideology. In
fact,The German Ideolog doesofferus,afterthe1844 Manuscripts, an
explicittheoryofideology,but. . . itisnotMarxist(weshallseewhyina
moment) .AsforCapital, althoughitdoescontainmanyhintstowardsa
theoryofideologies(mostvisibly,theideologyofthevulgaieconom-
ists),itdoesnotcontainthattheoryitself,whichdependsfoithemost
partonatheoiyofideologyi ngeneral.
I shouldliketoventureahistandveryschematicoutlineofsucha
theory1hethesesIamabouttoputforwardarecertainly notoffthe
cuff, but they cannot be sustained and tested, i. e. conhimed oi
reected,exceptbymuch thoroughstudyand analysis.
Ideolog has no Histor
Onewordhistofalltoexpoundthereasoninpiinciplewhichseemsto
metofound,oratleasttoustify,thepioectofatheoryofideologyin
general, andnotatheoryofparticularideologies,which,whateveitheii
foim(religious,ethical,legal, political),alwaysexpressclass positions.
I DEOLOGI CAL ST A TE APPARATUSES 1 2 1
Itis quite obvious that it is necessaryto proceed towardsa theory of
ideologies inthetworespectsIhaveustsuggested.Itwillthenbeclear
thatatheoryofideologiesdependsinthelastresortonthehistoiyof
socialformations, and thus ofthe modes ofproduction combined in
socialformations,andoftheclassstruggleswhichdevelopinthem. In
thissenseitisclearthattherecanbenoquestionofatheoryofideologies
in general, since ideologies (dehned in the double respect suggested
above.regionalandclass)haveahistoiy,whosedeteiminationinthelast
instanceisclearlysituatedoutsideideologiesalone,althoughitinvolves
them
Onthecontiary,i fIamabletoputforwardtheproectofatheoiyof
ideologyin general, andi fthistheoryreallyisoneoftheelementson
which theories of ideologies depend, that entails an apparently
paradoxical pioposition which I shallexpiessi nthefollowingterms.
ideolog has no histor.
Asweknow,thisformulationappearsinsomanywoidsi napassage
fromThe German Ideolog. Marxuttersitwithiespecttometaphysics,
which,hesays,hasnomorehistorythanethics(meaningalsotheother
foimsofideology).
InThe German Ideolog, thisformulationappearsinaplainlypositivist
context.I deologyisconceivedasapuieillusion,apuredream, i. e. as
nothingness.Allitsiealityisexternaltoit.Ideologyisthusthoughtasan
imaginaiyconstructionwhosestatusisexactlylikethetheoieticalstatus
ofthedreamamongwiitersbefoieFreud.Forthesewiiters,thedream
wasthepuielyimaginary,i. e. null,resultof'day'sresidues',presentedin
anarbitraryarrangementand ordei,sometimeseven'inverted'~ in
otherwords,in'disorder'.Forthem,thedreamwastheimaginary,itwas
empty, nullandarbitrarily'stucktogethei' [bricote] , oncetheeyeshad
closed,fiomtheiesiduesoftheonlyfullandpositiveieality,thereality
oftheday.1hisisexactlythestatusofphilosophyandideology(sincein
thisbookphilosophyisideologypar excellence) inThe German Ideolog.
.
Ideology,then,isforMarxanimaginaiyassemblage[bricolage] , apuie
dream,emptyandvain,constitutedbythe'day'sresidues`fiomtheonly
fullandpositivereality,thatoftheconcretehistoryofconcretematerial
individuals mateiiallyproducingtheiiexistence. Itisonthisbasisthat
ideologyhasnohistoryinThe German Ideolog, sinceitshistoiyisoutside
it,wheietheonlyexistinghistoryis,thehistoiyofconcreteindividuals,
etc. In The German Ideolog, the thesis that ideologyhasnohistory is
thereforeapurelynegativethesis,sinceitmeansboth.
1 . ideologyisnothinginsofaiasitisapuiedream(manufacturedby
whoknowswhatpower. i fnotbythealienationofthedivisionoflabour,
butthat,too,isanegative determination) ,
1
22 MAP P I NG I DEOLOGY
2
. ideologyhasnohistoiy, whichemphaticallydoesnotmeanthat
theieisnohistoiyinit,onthecontiaiy,foiitismeielythepale,empty
andinveitedieHectionofiealhistoiy)butthatithasnohistoiyofits
own.
Now,whilethethesisI wishtodefendfoimally speakingadoptsthe
teimsofThe German Ideolog ('ideology hasnohistoiy') , itisiadically
different fiom the positivist and histoiicist thesis of The German
Ideolog.
Forontheonehand,Ithinkitispossibletoholdthatideologies have a
histor oftheir own (althoughitisdeteiminedinthelastinstancebythe
class stiuggle) , and on the othei, I think it is possible to hold that
ideologyin general has no histor - notinanegativesense(itshistoiyis
exteinaltoit) ,butinanabsolutelypositivesense.
1hissenseisapositiveoneifitistiuethatthepeculiaiityofideology
isthatitisendowedwithastiuctuieandafunctioningsuchastomake
ita non-histoiicalieality, i . e. anomni-historical ieality, i nthe sense in
which thatstiuctuie and functioningaie immutable, piesenti nthe
samefoimthioughoutwhatwecancallhistoiy,inthesensei nwhich
theCommunist Manr esto dehneshistoiyasthehistoiyofclassstiuggles,
i . e. thehistoiyofclasssocieties.
1o give a theoietical iefeience point heie, I might say that~ to
ietuin to ouiexample ofthe dieam, in its Fieudian conception this
time ouipiopositionideolog has no histor canandmust(andi naway
whichhasabsolutelynothingaibitiaiyaboutit,but,quitetheieveise,
istheoieticallynecessaiy,foitheieisanoiganiclinkbetweenthetwo
piopositions) be ielated diiectly to Fieud`s pioposition that the
unconscious is eternal, i . e. thatithasnohistoiy.
If eteinal means, not tianscendent to all (tempoial) histoiy, but
omnipiesent, tianshistoiical and theiefoie immutable in foim
thioughouttheextentofhistoiy,IshalladoptFieud'sexpiessionwoid
foiwoid,andwiite.ideolog is eternal, exactlyliketheunconscious.And
IaddthatIhndthiscompaiisontheoieticallyustihedbythefactthat
the eteinity of the unconscious is not unielated to the eteinity of
ideologyingeneial.
1hat is why I believe I am ustihed, hypothetically at least, in
pioposing a theoiy of ideology in general, i nthe sense that Fieud
piesentedatheoiyoftheunconsciousin general.
1osimplifythephiase,itisconvenient,taking into accountwhathas
beensaidaboutideologies,tousetheplainteim ideology todesignate
ideologyi ngeneial,which I haveustsaidhas nohistoiy,oi what
comestothesamething iseteinal,i . e. omnipiesentinitsimmutable
foimthioughouthistoiy( thehistoiyofsocialfoimationscontaining
I DEOLOGI CAL STATE APPARATUSES 1 23
socialclasses).FoithemomentI shalliestiictmyselft o'classsocieties'
andtheiihistoiy).
Ideolog ta 'Representation' of the Imaginar Relationship of
Individuals to their Real Conditions ofExistence
In oideitoappioachmycentialthesisonthestiuctuieandfunction-
ingofideology,Ishallhistpiesenttwotheses,onenegative,theothei
positive. 1he hist conceins the obect whichis 'iepiesented' in the
imaginaiy foim ofideology, the second conceins the mateiialityof
ideology.
THESIS I: Ideologyiepiesentstheimaginaiyielationshipofindivid-
ualstotheiiiealconditionsofexistence.
We commonlycallieligiousideology,ethicalideology,legalideol-
ogy, political ideology, etc. , so many 'woild outlooks' . Of couise,
assumingthatwedonotliveoneoftheseideologiesasthetiuth(e. g.
'believe'inCod,Duty,[ustice,etc. . . . ), weadmitthattheideologywe
aie discussing fiom a ciitical point of view, examining it as the
ethnologist examines the myths of a ' piimitive society', that these
'woild outlooks' aie laigely imaginaiy, i . e. do not 'coiiespond to
ieality' .
Howevei,whileadmittingthattheydonotcoiiespondtoieality,i . e.
thattheyconstituteanillusion,weadmitthattheydomakeallusionto
ieality, and thatthey needonlybe'inteipieted'todiscoveithe ieality
of the world behind theii imaginaiy iepiesentation of that woild
(ideology illusion/allusion) .
1heie aie diffeient types of inteipietation, the most famous of
whichaiethemechanistic type,cuiientintheeighteenthcentuiy(Codis
the imaginaiy iepiesentation ofthe ieaI King), and the 'hermeneutic'
inteipietation, inauguiated by the eailiest Chuich Fatheis, and
ievived by Feueibach and the theologico-philosophical schoolwhich
descends fiom him, e. g. the theologian Baith (to Feueibach, foi
example,CodistheessenceofiealMan). 1heessentialpointisthaton
conditionthatweinteipiettheimaginaiytiansposition(andinveision)
ofideology,weaiiiveattheconclusionthatinideology'meniepiesent
theiiiealconditionsofexistencetothemselvesinanimaginaiyfoim'.
Unfoitunately, this inteipietation leaves one small pioblem un-
settled. whydomen'need'thisimaginaiytianspositionoftheiiieal
conditionsofexistenceinoideito'iepiesenttothemselves'theiiieal
conditionsofexistence:
1hehistanswei(thatoftheeighteenthcentuiy)pioposesasimple
solution.PiiestsoiDespotsaieis

p_nsible.1hey'foiged'theBeauti-
fulLiessothat,inthebeliefthattheyweieobeyingCod,menwouldin
I 24 MAP P I NG I DEOLOGY
factobeythePriestsand Despots,whoare usuallyi nalliance intheir
imposture, the Priests acting in the interests of the Despots orvice
versa, according to the political positions ofthe 'theoreticians' con-
cerned. 1hereisthereforeacausefortheimaginarytranspositionof
thereal conditions ofexistence. thatcauseistheexistenceofasmall
numberofcynicalmenwhobasetheirdominationandexploitationof
the'people'onafalsihedrepresentationoftheworldwhichtheyhave
imagined in order to enslave other minds by dominating their
imaginations.
1hesecondanswer(thatofFeuerbach, takenoverwordfor word
byMarx in his EarlyWorks) ismore' profound' , i.e.ust as false. It,
too, seeks and hnds a cause for the imaginary transposition and
distortion of men's real conditions of existence, in short, for the
alienationintheimaginaryofthereprcsentationofmen'sconditions
m existence. 1his cause is no longer Priests or Despots, nor their
actiyeimagination andthepassiveimagiation oftheirvictims. 1his
cause is the material alienation which reigns in the conditions of
existenceofmen themselves. 1his ishow, inThe Jewish Question and
elsewhere, Marx defends the Feuerbachian idea that men make
thcnselve5aIcted imaginary) representation oftheir con-
ditions ofexistencebecause these conditions ofexistenceare them-
scIysaIIcnating (in the 1 844 l1anuscripts: because these conditions
aredominatedbytheessenceofalienatedsociety~ 'alienated labour') .
All these interpretations thus take literally the thesis which they
presuppose, and onwhich theydepend,i. e. thatwhatis reected in
theimaginaryrepresentationoftheworldfoundinanideologyisthe
conditions ofexistenceofmen, i. e. theirrealworld.
NowIcanreturntoathesiswhichIhavealreadyadvanced. itisnot
their realconditions ofexistence, their realworld,that 'men' 'rep-
resent to themselves'inideology, butabove all it is theirrelation to
thoseconditionsofexistencewhichis representedtothemthere. Itis
thisrelationwhichisatthecentreofeveryideological,i. e. imaginary,
repvesentation ofthe real world. Itisthis relation that contains the
'cause'whichhastoexplaintheimaginarydistortionoftheideological
representation of the real world. Or rather, to leave aside the
languageofcausality,itisnecessaryto advance thethesisthatitisthe
ip_,voto:e..tliswt.ri

all the

imaginary
qistortion that we can observe (ifwe do not . all
id

gy.
1ospeakin aMarxistlanguage. ifitu true that therepresentation
ofthe real conditions ofexistence ofthe individuals occupying the
postsofagentsofproduction,exploitation,repression,ideologization
andscientihcpracticedoesinthelastanalysisarisefromtherelations
I DEOLOGI CAL STATE APPARATUSES l 25
of production, and from relations deriving from the relations of
production, we can say the following. all ideology represents in its
necessarilyimaginarydistortion not theexistingrelationsofproduc-
tion(andtheotherrelationsthatderivefromthem),butaboveallthe
(imaginary) relationship ofindividualstothe relations ofproduction
and the relations that derive from them. What is represented in
ideologyisthereforenotthesystemoftherealrelationswhichgovern
the existence of individuals, but the imaginary relation of those
individualstotherealrelationsinwhichtheylive.
If this is the case, the question of the 'cause' of the imaginary
distortion of the real relations in ideology disappears and must be
replaced bya differentquestion. why is the representation given to
individualsoftheir (individual) relation to the social relations which
governtheirconditionsofexistenceandtheircollectiveandindividual
lifenecessarilyan imaginaryrelation:Andwhatisthenature ofthis
imaginariness:Posedinthisway,thequestionexplodesthesolutionby
a'clique' , ' bya group ofindividuals(PriestsorDespots)who arethe
authors ofthe great ideological mystihcation,ustas it explodesthe
solutionbythealienatedcharacteroftherealworld. Weshallseewhy
laterinmyexposition.ForthemomentIshallgonofurther.
THESIS I I : Ideologhasam(g;(ce.
I have alrea

,do this thesis by saying that the 'ideas' or


'representations',etc. , whichseemtomakeupideologydonothavean
ideal[ideale orideelle] orspiritualexistence,butamaterialexistence.I
evensuggestedthattheideal[ideale oridlelle] andspivitualexistenceof
'ideas'arisesexclusivelyinanideologyofthe'idea'andofideology,and
let me add, in an ideology of what seems to have 'founded' this
conception since the emergence ofthe sciences, i. e. what the prac-
titionersofthesciences representtothemselvesintheirspontaneous
ideology as 'ideas', true orfalse. Ofcourse, presentedinafhrmative
form,thisthesisisunproven.Isimplyaskthatthereaderbefavourably
disposedtowardsit, say, inthename ofmaterialism. A long series of
argumentswouldbenecessarytoproveit.
1hishypotheticalthesisofthenotspiritualbutmaterialexistenceof
'ideas' or other 'reresentations'

is indeed necessary

if we are to
advanceinouranalyis ofth

nt:reofIdcology.Orru|her,.:.-.-|,
useful to us in order the better to reveal what every at all serious
analysisofanyideologywillimmediatelyandempiricallyshowtoevery
observer,howevercritical.
While discussing the IdeologicalStateApparatusesand theirprac-
tices, I said thateach ofthemwastherealizationofanideology (the
unityofthese differentregional ideologies- religious, ethical, legal,
political,aesthetic,etc.~ beingassuredbytheirsubectiontotheruling
1
26 MAPP I NG I DEOLOGY
ideology). I nowreturnto thisthesis. a nideologyalwaysexistsi nan
apparatus,anditspractice,orpractices.1hisexistenceismaterial.
Ofcourse,thematerialexistenceoftheideologyinanappaiatusand
itspiacticesdoes nothavethesamemodalityasthemateiialexistence
of a paving stone or a riH e. But, at the iisk ofbeing taken for a
Neo-Aiistotelian ( NB. Maix had a veiy high iegard foiAiistotle) , I
shallsaythat'matterisdiscussedinmanysenses',orratheithatitexists
in different modalities, all rooted in the last instance in 'physical'
mattei
Havingsaidthis,letmemovestraightonandseewhathappenstothe
'individuals' who live in ideology, i . e. in a determinate (religious,
ethical, etc. )representationofthe world whoseimaginarydistortion
dependsontheirimaginaryrelationtotheirconditionsofexistence,in
otherwords,inthelastinstance,totherelationsofproductionandto
class relations(ideology an imaginaiyrelationto iealielations) . I
shall saythat thisimaginaryrelationisitselfendowedwith amaterial
existence.
NowIobservethefollowing.
AnindividualbelievesinCod, oiDuty, oi)ustice,etc. 1hisbelief
derives (for everyone, i. e. foi all those who live in an ideological

esentationofid

3`
vhichreducesideologytoideas+ruoweo
byhtonwl.spiiitualexistence)fromtheideasoftheindividual
concerned, i. e. fiom him as a subject with a consciousness which
contains the ideas of bis bcI

is

,,

by tnca:s of |he
absolutely ioeologicalcoceptual' device [disposittJ thus set up (a
subject endowed with a consciousness in which he fieely forms oi
freelyrecognizesideasinwhichhebelieves), the(material)attitudeof
thesubjectconcernednaturallyfollows.
1heindividualinquestionbehavesinsuchandsuchaway,adopts
suchandsuchapracticalattitude, and, whatis more,participatesin
certainregulaipiacticeswhicharethoseoftheideologicalapparatus
on which 'depend' theideaswhichhe hasinall consciousness fieely
chosenasa subject.IfhebelievesinCod,he goes tochurchtoattend
Mass, kneels,piays,confesses,doespenance(onceitwasmateiialinthe
oidinary sense ofthe teim) and naturally repents, and so on. Ifhe
believesinDuty,hewillhavethecoirespondingattitudes, inscribedin
ritualpiactices'accordingtothecorrect principles'. Ifhebelieves in
)ustice,hewillsubmitunconditionallytotherulesoftheLaw,andmay
even piotest when they are violated, sign petitions, take part in a
demonstration,etc.
1hioughoutthisschemawe observe thattheidcoIogi|;e_esen-
tation f ideology is itself forced to recognize that every ' subject'
endowed Vith a'consciousness', and believing in the 'ideas' that his
I DEOLOGI CAL STATE APPARATUSES 1
27
'consciousness'inspiresi nhimandfreelyaccepts,must'act accoiding
to hisideas',must theieforeinscribeh

ownideasasafreesubjectin
theactionsofhismateiialpractice.Ifhedoesnotdoso,'thatiswicked'.
Indeed,ifhedoesnotdowhat he oughttodoas afunctionofwhathe
believes,itisbecausehedoessomethingelse,which,stillasafunction
ofthesameidealistscheme,impliesthathehasotherideasinhishead
aswellasthoseheproclaims, andthatheactsaccordingtotheseother
ideas,asamanwhois'inconsistent'(' nooneiswillinglyevil')oicynical,
orperverse.
Ineveiycase, the ideologyofideologythus recognizes, despiteits
imaginaiy distoition, thatthe 'ideas' ofa human subjectexist in his
actions,oioughttoexistinhisactions,andifthatisnotthecase,itlends
himotheiideascoirespondingtotheactions(howeverperverse)that
hedoesperform.1hisideologytalksofactions. I shalltalkofactions
inserted into practices. And I shall point out that these practices are
goveinedbytherituals inwhichthesepiacticesaieinscribed,withinthe
material existence an ideological apparatus, beitonlyasmallpartofthat
appaatus . smaUMassina smallchurcI,afuneral,aminormatchata
sportsclub,aschoolday,apoliticalpartymeeting,etc.
Besides, we aie indebted to Pascal's defensive 'dialectic' for the
wonderful formula which will enable us to invert the order of the
notional schemaofideology. Pascal says, moie or less. 'Kneeldown,
moveyourlipsinprayer,andyouwillbelieve. ' Hethusscandalously
inveitstheoiderofthings,bringing,likeChrist, notpeacebutstiife,
andinadditionsomethinghaidlyChristian(forwoetohimwhobrings
scandal into the world' ) ~ scandal itself. A fortunate scandal which
makes him stick with)ansenistdeh ance to a language that diiectly
namesthereality.
I willbeallowedtoleavePascaltotheargumentsofhisideological
stiugglewiththeieligiousIdeologicalStateApparatusofhisday.And
IshallbeexpectedtouseamoredirectlyMarxistvocabulary,i fthatis
possible,forweareadvancinginstillpoorlyexploreddomains.
Ishalltheieforesaythat,whereonlyasinglesubject(suchandsuch
an individual) is conceined, theexistenceoftheideasofhisbeliefis
material in that his ideas are his material actions inserted into material
practices governed by material ritual which are themselves defned by the
material ideological apparatus from which derive the ideas of that subject.
Naturally,thefourinscriptionsoftheadjective'material'inmypiopo-
sition must beaffectedby different modalities. the mateiialities ofa
displacementforgoingtoMass, ofkneelingdown,ofthegestureofthe
signofthecross,orofthemea culpa, ofasentence,ofaprayer, ofanact
ofcontrition,ofa penitence, ofa gaze,ofahandshake,ofanexternal
verbaldiscourseoran 'inteinal'verbaldiscourse(consciousness),aie
1 28 MAP P I NG I DEOLOGY
notoneandthesamemateiiality.Ishallleaveononesidethepioblem
ofatheoiyofthediffeiencesbetweenthemodalitiesofmateiiality.
It iemains that in this inveited piesentation ofthings, we aie not
dealingwith an 'inveision' at all, since itiscleai thatceitain notions
have puielyandsimplydisappeaiedfiomouipiesentation,wheieas
otheisonthecontiaiysuivive,andnewteimsappeai.
Disappeaied.theteimideas.
Suivive.theteimssubject, consciousness, belief, actions.
Appeai.theteimspractices, rituals, ideological apparatus.
Itistheiefoienotani n veisionoioveituining(exceptinthesensein
which one might say a goveinment oi a glass is oveituined), but a
ieshufe (ofanon-ministeiialtype),a iathei stiange ieshufHe, since
weobtainthefollowingiesult.
Ideashavedisappeaiedassuch(inso faiastheyaieendowedwithan
idealotspiiitualexistenc
,
), tothepieciseextentthatithasemeiged
thattheiiexistenceisinsciibed:ntheactionsofpiacticesgoveinedby
iituals dehned i n the last instance by an ideological appaiatus. It
theiefoie appeais tlatthesubectactsi nsofaiasbc i s acieo bythe
following system (set out in the oidei of its ieal deteimination) .
ideology existing i n a mateiial ideological appaiatus, piesciibing
mateiialpiacticesgoveinedbyamateiialiitual,whichpiacticesexistin
themateiialactionsofasubectactinginallconsciousnessaccoidingto
hisbelief.
But this veiy piesentation ieveals that we have ietained the
following notions. subect, consciousness, belief, actions. Fiom this
seiies I shall immediately extiact thedecisivecentialteim onwhich
eveiythingelsedepends. thenotionofthesubject.
AndI shallimmediatelysetdowntwoconointtheses.
1 . theieisnopiacticeexceptbyandi nanideology,
2
. theieisnoideologyexceptbythesubectandfoisubects.
Icannowcometomycentialthesis.
I deology"Ltertc .L1 diyjqlas Subjects
1his thesis r simplyamattei of makingmy last piopositionexplicit.
theieisnoideologyexceptbythesubectandfoisubects. Meaning.
theie isnoideologyexceptfoiconcietesubects,andthisdestination
foi ideology is made possible only by the subect, meaning. by the
category ofthe subject anditsfunctioning.
BythisI meanthat,eveni fitappeaisund
,
ithisname(thesubect)
onlywiththeiiseofbouigeoisideology,aboveallwiththeiiseoflegal
I DEOLOGI CAL STATE APPARATUSES 1
29
deology, '
+
the categoiy ofthe subect (which may function undei
otheinames. e. g. asthesoulinPlato,asCod,etc. ) istheconstitutive
categoiyofallideology,whateveiitsdeteimination

(iegionaloiclass)
andwhateveiitshistoiicaloate~ sinceioeologyhasnohistoiy.
Isay. thecategoiyofthesubectisconstitutiveofallideology,butat
the same time and immediately I add thatthe category ofthe subject is
constitutive ofall ideology only in so far all ideology has the function (which
defnes it) o!,c9nstituting' concrete individuals as subjects. Intheinteiaction
of this double constitution exists the functioning of all ideology,
ideology being nothing but its functioning in the mateiial foims of
existenceofthatfunctioning.
Inoidei to giaspwhatfollows,itisessentialtoiealizethatbothhe
who is wiiting these lines and the ieadei who ieads them aie
themselvessubects,andtheiefoieideologicalsubects(atautological
pioposition),i. e. thattheauthoiandtheieadeioftheselinesbothlive
'spontaneously'oi'natuially' inideologyinthe sense in whichI have
saidthat'manisanideologicalanimal bynatu:e'.
1hattheauthoi,insofaiashewiitesthelinesofadiscouisewhich
claims to be scientihc, is completely absent as a 'subect' fiom 'his'
scientihc discouise (foi all scientihc discouise is by deb nition a
subectless discouise, theie is no ' Subect of science' except in an
ideologyofscience)isadiffeientquestionwhichI shall leaveon one
sidefoithemoment.
AsStPauladmiiablyputit,itisi nthe'Jogos',meaninginideology,
thatwe'live,moveandhaveouibeing'.Itfollowsthat,foiyouandfoi
me, the categoiy of the subect is a piimaiy oJyio:sness' (obvious-
nessesaiealwayspiinaiy) . itiscleaithatyouandI aiesubects(fiee,
ethical, etc. . . . ). Like all obviousnesses, including those that make a
woid 'name a thing' oi 'have a meaning' (theiefoie including the
obviousnessofthe 'tianspaiency'oflanguage),the'obviousness'that
youandIaiesubects~ andthatthatdoesnotcauseanypioblems is
anideologicaleffect,theelementaiyideologicale
_[
.
+
Hisindeeda
peculiaiity of ideology tbat it imposes (without appeaiing to do so,
sincetheseaie'obviousnesses')obviousnessesasobviousnesses,which
wecannotfail to recognize andbefoiewhichwehavetheinevitableand
natuial ieaction ofciying out (aloud oi in the 'still, small voice of
conscience') .'1hat'sobvious'1hat'siight'1hat'stiue' '
Atwoiki nthisieactioni s theideologicalrecognition functionwhichis
one ofthe two functions ofideology as such (itsinveise being the
functionofmisrecognition -meconnaissance) .
1otakeahighly'conciete'example. weallhavefiiendswho, when
they knock on oui dooi and we ask, thiough the dooi, the question
'Who'stheie:' , answei(since'it'sobvious')' It'sme' . Andweiecognize
1
30 MAP P I NG I DEOLOGY
that'iti s him',oi'hei' .Weopenthedooi,and'it'stiue,i t ieallywas she
who was theie'. 1o take anothei example. when we iecognize
someLody of oui (pievious) acquaintance [(re)-connaissance] in the
stieet,weshowhimthatwehaveiecognizedhim(andhaveiecognized
that he has iecognized us) Ly saying to him ' Hello, my fiiend' , and
shakinghishand(amateiialiitualpiacticeofideologicaliecognitionin
eveiydaylife inFiance,atleast,elsewheie,theieaieotheiiituals).
Inthis pieliminaiyiemaikandthese conciete illustiations, I wish
onlytopointoutthatyouandIaiealways-already suLects,andassuch
constantlypiactisetheiitualsofideologicaliecognition,whichguaian-
teefoiusthatweaieindeedconciete,individual,distinguishaLleand
,natuially)iiieplaceaLlesuLects.1hewiitingIamcuiientlyexecuting
andtheieadingyouaiecuiiently'peifoimingaiealsointhisiespect
iituals of ideological iecognition, including the 'oLviousness' with
whichthe'tiuth'oi'eiioi'ofmyieHectionsmayimposeitselfonyou.
Butto iecognize that we aie suLects and that we function in the
piacticaliitualsofthemostelementaiyeveiydaylife(thehandshake,
thefactofcallingyouLyyouiname,thefactofknowing,evenifI do
notknowwhatitis,thatyou'have' anameofyouiown,whichmeans
that you aie iecognized as a unique suLect, etc. ) ~ this iecognition
givesus onlythe 'consciousness'ofouiincessant(eteinal) piacticeof
ideologicaliecognitionitsconsciousness,i . e. itsrecognition Lutinno
sensedoesitgiveusthe(scientib c)knowledge ofthemechanismofthis
iecognition. Nowitisthisknowledgethatwehavetoieach,ifyouwill,
whilespeakinginideology, andfiomwithinideologywehavetoout-
lineadiscouisewhichtiiestoLieakwithideology,inoideitodaietoLe
theLeginningofascientib c(i . e. suLectless)discouiseonideology.
1hus in oide

is
constitutive of ideology, which exists only Ly constituting conciete
suLects as suLects, I shall employ a special mode of cxposition.
'conciete'enought o Lei

cognized,LutaLstiactenought o LethinkaLle
andthought,givingiisetoaknowledge.

AsabistfoimulatonIshallsay.all ideology hails or interpellates concrete


individuals as concrete subjects, Lythefunctioningofthecategoiyofthe
suLect.
1his is a pioposition which entails that we distinguish foi the
momentLetweenconcieteindividualsontheonehandandconciete
suLectsontheothei,althoughatthislevelconcietesuLectsexistonly
insofaiastheyaiesuppoitedLyaconcieteindividual.
I shallthensuggestthatideology'acts'oi'functions'insuchaway
thatit'ieciuits'suLectsamongtheindividuals(itieciuitsthemall),oi
'tiansfoims'theindividualsintosuLects(ittiansfoimsthemall)Lythat
veiypieciseopeiationwhichI havecalledinterpellation oihailing, and
I DEOLOGI CAL STATE APPARATUSES 1
3
1
which can Le imagined along the lines of the most commonplace
eveiydaypolice(oiothei)hailing.' Hey,youtheie' '
!

AssumingthatthetheoieticalsceneI haveimagined takes place in


the stieet, the hailed individual will tuin iound. By this meie
one-hundied-and-eighty-degiee physical conveision, he Lecomes a
subject. Why: Because he has iecognized that the hail was 'ieally'
addiessed to him, andthat'itwasreally him whowashailed' (and not
someoneelse) .Expeiienceshowsthatthepiacticaltelecommunication
ofhailingsissuchthattheyhaidlyeveimisstheiiman. veiLalcalloi
whistle, the one hailed always iecognizes thatitis ieally himwho is
Leing hailed. And yet it is a stiange phenomenon, and one which
cannotLeexplainedsolelyLy'guiltfeelings',despitethelaigenumLeis
who'havesomethingontheiiconsciences'.
Natuiallyfoithe convenience and claiity ofmy little theoietical
theatieI havehadto piesentthingsinthefoimofasequence,witha
Lefoie and an aftei, and thus inthe foim ofa tempoial succession.
1heie aie individuals walking along. Somewheie (usually Lehind
them)thehailiingsout. ' Hey,youtheie' ' Oneindividual(ninetimes
out of ten it is the iight one) tuins iound, Lelieving/suspecting/
knowingthat itis foi him,i . e. iecognizingthat 'it ieally is he' who is
meant Ly the hailing. But in ieality thesethingshappenwithoutany
succession.1heexistenceofideologyandthehailingoiinteipellation
ofindividualsassuLectsaieoneandthesamething.
I might add. whatthusseemstotake place outsideideology(toL

piecise, in the stieet), in ieality takes place in ideology. What ieally


takes placeinideologyseemstheiefoietotakeplaceoutsideit.1hatis
whythosewhoaieinideologyLelievethemselvesLydehnitionoutside
ideology.oneoftheeffectsofideologyisthepiacticaldenegation ofthe
ideologicalchaiacteiofideologyLyideology.ideologyneveisays' Iam
ideological'. It is necessaiy to Le outside ideology, i. e. i n scientihc
knowledge,toLeaLletosay. Iami nideology(aquiteexceptionalcase)
oi(thegeneialcase). Iwasinideology.Asiswellknown,theaccusation
ofLeinginideologyappliesonlytootheis,neveitooneself(unlessone
isieallyaSpinozistoiaMaixist,which,inthismattei,istoLeexactly
the same thing).Which amounts to sayingthatideologyhas no outside
(foiitsel) , Lutatthe sametime that it is nothing but outside (foiscience
andieality).
Spinoza explainedthiscompletelytwocentuiiesLefoie Maix, who
piactised it Lut withoutexplaining it in detail But let us leave this
point,althoughitisheavywithconsequences,consequenceswhichaie
notusttheoietical, Lut also diiectly political, since,foiexample, the
whole theoiy of ciiticism and self-ciiticism, the golden iule of the
Maixist~Leninistpiacticeoftheclassstiuggle,dependsonit.
I 32 MAP P I NG I DEOLOGY
1hus ideology hails or interpellates individuals as subects. As
ideologyiseternal,ImustnowsuppressthetemporalforminwhichI
have presented the functioning of ideology, and say. ideology has
always-alreadyinterpellatedindividualsassubects,whichamountsto
making it clear that individuals are always-already inteipellated by
ideologyassubects,whichnecessaiilyleadsustoonelastproposition.
individuals are always-already subjects. Hence individuals aie 'abstract'
with respect to the subects which they always-already are. 1his
propositionmightseemparadoxical.
1hatanindividualisalways-alieadyasubect,evenbefoieheisborn,
is nevertheless the plain reality, accessible to eveiyone and not a
paradoxatall. Freud showsthatindividualsarealways 'abstiact' with
respectto the subects they always-alieady are, simply by notingthe
ideological ritual that suiiounds the expectation of a 'biith', that
'happyevent'.Everyoneknowshowmuchandinwhatway anunborn
child is expected. Which amounts to saying, veiy piosaically, ifwe
agree to diop the 'sentiments', i.e. the forms of family ideology
(paternal/maternal/conugal/frateinal) in which the unborn child is
expected. itiscertaininadvancethatitwillbeaiitsFathei'sNane,and
willtheieforehavean identityandbeirie
[
lace|le. Beforeitsbiith,
thechildisthereforealays-alreadyasubect,appointedasasubectin
and by the specihc familial ideological conhguration in which it is
'expected' once it has been conceived. I hardly need add that this
familial ideological conhguiation is, in its uniqueness, highly struc-
tured, andthatitisinthisimplacableandmoreorless'pathological'
(presupposing that any meaning can be assigned to that term)
stiucturethatthefoimersubect-to-bewillhaveto'h nd''its'place,i . e.
'become'thesexualsubect(boyorgirl)whichi talreadyisi nadvance.It
iscleaithatthisideologicalconstraintandpie-appointment,andallthe
rituals of rearing and then education in the family, have some
ielationshipwithwhatFreudstudied intheformsofthe pre-genital
and genital 'stages' of sexuality, i. e. in the 'grip' of what Freud
iegisteredbyitseffectsasbeingtheunconscious. Butletusleavethis
point,too,ononeside.
Letmegoonestepfurther.WhatIshallnowtuinmyattentiontois
the way the 'actors' in this mise en scene of interpellation, and their
iespectiveioles,arereHectedintheveiystructureofallideology.
An Example: The Christian Religious Ideology
Asthefoimalstiuctureofallideologyisalways thesame,Ishallrestiict
my analysis to a single example, one accessible to everyone, that of
I DEOLOGI CAL STATE APPARATUSES I 33
ieligiousideology,withthepiovisothatthesamedemonstrationcanbe
pioducedforethical,legal,political,aestheticideology,etc.
LetustherefoieconsideitheChiistianreligiousideology.Ishalluse
a rhetorical hguie and 'make it speak', i . e. collect into a hctional
discoursewhatit'says'notonlyinitstwo1estaments,its1heologians,
Sermons, but also in its practices, its rituals, its ceremonies and its
sacraments.1heChristianreligiousideologysayssomethinglikethis.
It says. I addiessmyselfto you, a human individual called Peter
(everyindividualiscalledbyhisname,inthepassivesense,iti

nevei he
who provideshisown name),in oidertotellyouthat Cod existsand
thatyouareansweiabletohim.Itadds. Codaddiesseshimselftoyou
through my voice (Scripture having collected the Woid of Cod,
1raditionhavingtransmittedit,PapalInfallibilityhxingitfoieveron
'nice'points). Itsays. this is whoyouare. youare Peter' 1hisisyoui
oiigin, you werecreated by Codforall eteinity, although you weie
borninthe I 920thyearofOurLord' 1hisisyouiplaceintheworld'
1hisiswhat you must do' Bythesemeans,ifyou obseivethe 'lawof
love'youwillbesaved,you,Peter,andwillbecomepartoftheClorious
BodyofChrist' Etc. . . .
Nowthisisquiteafamiliarandbanaldiscouise,butatthesametime
quiteasurprisingone.
Suiprisingbecause ifwe considerthatreligiousideology isindeed
addiessedtoindividuals, ' inoiderto'transformthemintosubects' ,
byinterpellatingtheindividual,Peter,inordeitomakehimasubect,
freetoobeyor disobeytlcappeal,i.e.Cod'scommandments,ifitcalls
these individuals by their namcs, thus recognizing that they are
always-alieadyinterpellatedassubectswithapersonalidentity(tothe
extentthatPascal'sChristsays. 'ItisforyouthatIhaveshedthisdrop
ofmyblood' ') , ifitinteipellates them insucha way thatthe subect
responds. 'Yes, it really is me!' ifitobtainsfromthemtherecognition that
theyreallydooccupytheplaceitdesignatesforthemastheirsinthe
world,ahxedresidence.'Itreallyisme, Iamhere,awoiker,abossora
soldier' ' inthisvaleoftears,ifitobtainsfromthemtherecognitionofa
destination (eternal life oi damnation) according to the respect oi
contempttheyshowto'Cod'sCommandments',LawecomeIove~ if
everythingdoeshappeninthisway(inthepiacticesofthewell-known
iitualsofbaptism,conhrmation,communion,confessionandextieme
unction, etc. . . . ), we should note that all this 'procedure' to set up
Chiistian ieligious subects is dominatedby a strange phenomenon.
thefactthattheiecanbesuchamultitudeofpossiblereligioussubects
onlyontheabsoluteconditionthattheieis aUnique,AbsoluteOther
Subject, i. e. Cod.
It is convenientto designatethisnew and iemarkable Subectby
I 34 MAP P I NG I DEOLOGY
wiitingSubectwithacapitalStodistinguishi tfiomoidinaiysubects,
withasmalls.
It then emeiges that the inteipellation ofindividuals as subects
piesupposesthe'existence'ofa UniqueandcentialOtheiSubect,in
whose Name the ieligious ideology inteipellates all individuals as
subects. All this is cleaily' wiitten in what is iightly calle

the
Sciiptuies. 'And it came to pass at that time that Cod the Loid
(Yahweh) spoketo Moses inthe cloud. And theLoidciiedtoMoses,
Moses ' "And Mosesiep|iedItis (ieally) I' I am Mosesthyseivant,
speakandIshalllisten' `AndtheLoidspoketoMosesandsaidtohim,
"I am that I am". '
Cod thus deb nes himselfas the Subect par excellence, he who is
thiough himself and foi himself ('I am that I am'), and he who
inteipellates his subect, the individual subected to him by his veiy
inteipellation, i . e. theindividual named Moses. AndMoses,inteipel-
lated-calledbyhisName,havingiecognizedthatit'ieal|y'washewho
wasca|ledby Cod,iecognizes thatheisa subect,a subectof Cod, a
subectsubectedtoCod,a subject through the Subject and subjected to the
Subject. 1he pioof. he obeys him, and makes his people obey Cod's
Commandments.
CodisthustheSubect,andMosesandtheinnumeiablesubectsof
Cod'speople,the Subect'sinteilocutois-inteipel|ates . hismirrors, his
. refections. Weie not men made in the image ofCod:Asall theological
ieHection pioves,wheieasHe'could'peifectlywellhavedonewithout
men,Codneedsthem,theSubectneedsthesubects,ustasmenneed
Cod,thesubectsneedtheSubect. Bettei. Codneedsmen,thegieat
Subect needs subects, even in the teiiible inveision ofhisimage i n
them(whenthesubectswallowindebaucheiy,i.e.sin) .
Bettei. Cod duplicateshimse|fand sendshis Son totheEaith,asa
meie subect'foisaken'by him (the long complaintoftheCaiden of
OliveswhichendsintheCiucib xion),subectbySubect,manbutCod,
todowhatpiepaiesthewayfoithehnalRedemption,theResuiiec-
tion ofChiist. Cod thus needs to 'make himself' a man, the Subect
needstobecomeasubect,asiftoshowempiiically,visib|ytotheeye,
tangiblytothehands(seeSt1homas)ofthesubects, that, i ftheyaie
subects,subectedtotheSubect,thatissolelyinoideithatb nally,on
[udgementDay,theywillie-enteithe Loid'sBosom,like Chiist, i. e.
ie-enteitheSubect.

Letus deciphei into theoietical language this wondeiful necessity


foithedup|icationofthe Subject into subjects andofthe Subject itsel into a
subject-Subject.
We obseive thatthe stiuctuie ofa|lideology,inteipellatingindivid-
ua|s as subects i n the name ofa Unique and Absolute Subect, is
I DEOLOGI CAL STATE AP PARATUSES
I 35
specularl ie _ irgi-s]_ge, and

doubly speculaiy. this miiioi


_
lication is constitutive ofideology,

andcnsves i ts functioning.
Which means that all ideology is centred, that the Abso|ute Subect
occupiestheuniqueplaceoftheCentie,andinteipel|atesaiounditthe
inhnityofindividualsintosubectsinadoublemiiioi-connectionsuch
that it subjects the subects to the Subect, while giving them in the
Subectinwhicheachsubectcancontemplate itsownimage (piesent
andfutuie)theguarantee thatthisieal|yconceinsthemandHim,and
thatsinceeveiythingtakesplacei ntheFamily(theHolyFamily. the
FamilyisinessenceHoly), 'Codwillrecognize hisowni nit', i . e. those
whohaveiecognizedCod, andhaveiecognizedthemselvesi nHim,
willbesaved.
Let me summaiize what we have discoveied about ideo|ogy in
geneia|.
1heduplicatemiiioi-stiuctuieofideologyensuiessimultaneously.
I . theinteipellationof'individuals'assubects,
2
. theiisubectiontotheSubect,
3. te
.
mutual iecognition of subects and Subect, the subects'
iecogmtion of each othei, and bna|ly the subect's iecognition of
himself, '
4. the absolute guaiantee thateveiything ieally is so, and thaton
condition that the subects iecognize what they aie and behave
accoidingly,eveiythingwillbealliight. Amen- 'So be it'.
Resu|t. caughti nthisquadiuplesystemofinteipellationassubects,of
subection to the Subect, of univeisal iecognition and of absolute
guaiantee, the subects 'woik', they 'woik by themselves' in the vast
majoiity of cases, with the exception of the 'bad subects' who on
occasion piovoke theinteiventionofoneofthedetachmentsofthe
(Repiessive)StateAppaiatus. Butthevastmaoiityof(good)subects
woikalliight'allbythemselves',i . e. byideo|ogy(whoseconcietefoims
aieiealizedin theIdeologicalStateAppaiatuses). 1heyaieinseited
intopiacticesgoveinedbytheiitualsoftheISAs. 1hey'iecognize'the
existngstateofaffaiis[das Bestehende], that'itiea|lyistiuethatitisso
and not otheiwise', and that they must be obedient to Cod, to theii
conscience,tothepiiest,todeCaulle,totheboss,totheengineei,that
thoushalt'lovethyneighbouiasthyself',etc. 1heiiconciete,mateiial
behaviouiissimplytheinsciiptioninlifeoftheadmiiab|ewoidsofthe
piayei. 'Amen -So be it'.
Yes, the subects 'woik by themselves'. 1he whole mysteiyofthis
effectliesinthehisttwomomentsofthequadiuplesystemIhaveust
discussed,oi,ifyoupiefei,intheambiguityoftheteimsubject. Inthe
1 36 MAPP I NG I DEOLOGY
oidinaiyuseoftheteim,subecti nfactmeans. ( 1 ) afieesubectivity,a
centie ofinitiatives, authoi ofand iesponsible foi its actions, (2) a
subectedbeing, who submits to a higheiauthoiity, and is theiefoie
stiippedofallfieedomexceptthatoffieelyacceptinghissubmission.
1hislastnotegivesusthemeaningofthisambiguity,whichismeielya
ieHectionoftheeffectwhich pioducesit. theindividuali interpellated
as a (ree) subject in order that he shall submit freely to the commandments ofthe
Subject, i.e. in order that he shall (reely) accept his subjection, i . e. inoideithat
heshallmakethegestuiesandactionsofhissubection'allbyhimself.
There are no subjects except by and for their subjection. 1hat iswhythey'woik
allbythemselves'.
'So be it! . . .' 1his phiase whichiegisteisthe effect tobe obtained
piovesthatitis not 'natuially' so ('natuially' . outside the piayei, i. e.
outsidetheideologicalinteivention) . 1hisphiasepiovesthati t has to
besoifthingsaietobewhattheymustbe, andletusletthewoidsslip.if
theiepioductionoftheielationsofpioductionistobeassuied,evenin
the piocesses ofpioduction and ciiculation, eveiy day, inth 'con-
sciousness',i . e. i ntheattitudeoftheindividual-subectsoccupyingthe
postswhichthe socio-technicaldivisionoflabouiassignsto them in
pioduction,exploitation,iepiession,ideologization,scientibcpiactice,
etc. I ndeed, what is ieally in question in this mechanism o
[
the
miiioi-iecognitionoftheSubectandoftheindividualsinteipellated
assubects,andoftheguaianteegivenbytheSubecttothesubectsif
theyfieelyaccepttheiisubection to the Subect's 'commandments':
1he ieality in question in this mechanism, the ieality which is
necessaiilyignored [meconnue] intheveiyfoimsofiecognition(ideol-
ogy misiecognition/ignoiance) is indeed, i n the last iesoit, the
iepioduction of the ielations of pioduction and of the ielations
deiivingfiomthem.
januar-April 1 969
P. S Ifthesefewschematicthesesallowmetoilluminateceitainaspects
ofthefunctioningoftheSupeistiuctuieanditsmodeofinteivention
inthe Infiastiuctuie,theyaieobviouslyabstract andnecessaiilyleave
seveialimpoitantpioblemsunansweied,whichshouldbementioned.
1 . 1he pioblem of the total process of the iealization of the
iepioductionoftheielationsofpioduction.
As an element of this piocess, the ISAs contribute to this iepio-
duction. But the pointofview of theii contiibution aloneisstillan
abstiactone.
Iti sonlywithinthepiocessesofpioductionandcirculationthatthis
I DEOLOGI CAL STATE APPARATUSES
1 37
iepioduction is realized. It is iealized by the mechanisms of those
piocesses, inwhich the tiainingofthewoikeis is 'completed', theii
postsaieassignedthem, etc. Itisintheinteinalmechanismsofthese
piocessesthattheeffectofthediffeientideologiesisfelt(aboveallthe
effectoflegal-ethicalideology) .
Butthis pointofviewisstillanabstiactone. Foiinaclass societythe
ielations ofpioduction aie ielations ofexploitation, and theiefoie
ielations between antagonistic classes. 1he iepioduction of the ie-
lations of pioduction, the ultimate aim of the iuling class, cannot
theiefoie be a meiely technicalopeiation tiaining and distiibuting
individualsfoithedi ffeientpostsi nthe'technicaldivision'oflaboui.
Infacttheieisno'technicaldivision'oflabouiexceptintheideologyof
theiulingclass.eveiy'technical'division,eveiy'technical'oiganization
of laboui, is the foim and mask of a social [ class) division and
oiganizationoflaboui.1heiepioductionoftheielationsofpioduc-
tioncantheiefoieonlybeaclassundeitaking.Itisiealizedthiougha
class stiuggle which counteiposes the iuling class and the exploited
class.
1hetotal process oftheiealizationoftheiepioductionoftheielations
ofpioductionistheiefoie stillabstiact,insofaiasithasnotadopted
the pointofviewofthis class stiuggle. 1oadoptthe pointofviewof
iepioductionistheiefoie,i nthe last instance, to adoptthe pointof
viewoftheclassstiuggle.
2
. 1he pioblem ofthe class natuieofthe ideologies existing in a
socialfoimation.
1he'mechanism'ofideologyin general isonething.Wehaveseen
thatitcanbeieducedtoafewpiinciplesexpiessedinafewwoids(as
'pooi'asthosewhich,accoidingtoMaix,dehnepioductionin general,
oiinFieud,deb nethe unconsciousin general). Iftheieisanytiuthinit,
thismechanismmustbeabstract withiespecttoeveiyiealideological
foimation.
I havesuggestedthattheideologiesweierealized i ninstitutions,in
theiiiitualsandtheiipiactices,i ntheISAs. Wehaveseenthatonthis
basistheycontiibutetothatfoimofclassstiuggle,vitalfoitheiuling
class,theiepioductionoftheielationsofpioduction.Butthepointof
viewitself,howeveiieal,isstillanabstiactone.
Infact, theStateanditsAppaiatuseshavemeaningonlyfiom the
point ofviewof the class stiuggle, as an appaiatus ofclass stiuggle
ensuiingclassoppiessionand guaianteeingthe conditionsofexploi-
tation and its iepioduction. But theie is no class stiuggle without
antagonisticclasses.Whoeveisaysclassstiuggleoftheiulingclasssays
iesistance,ievoltandclassstiuggleoftheiuledclass.
1hatiswhytheI SAsaienottheiealizationofideologyin general, noi
1
38
MAP PI N G I DEOLOGY
eventheconHict-fieeiealizationof theideologyof theiulingcluss.Jhe
ideologyoftheiulingclassdoesnotbecometheiulingideologybythe
giaceofCod,noievenbyviitueoftheseizuieofStatepoweialone.Itis
bythe installation ofthe ISAs inwhich this ideology isiealized and
iealizesitselfthatitbecomestheiulingideology. Butthrsinstallatonrs
notachievedallbyitself,onthecontiaiy,i tisthestakeinaveiybitteiand
continuousclass stiuggle. bistagainstthe foimei iuling classes and
theiipositionsintheoldandnewISAs,thenagainsttheexploitedclass.
Butthispoint ofviewoftheclassstiugglei ntheISAsisstillanabstiact
one.Infact,theclassstiuggleintheISAsisindeedanaspectoftheclass
stiuggle, sometimes an impoitant and symptomatic one. e. g. the
anti-ieligiousstiugglei nthe eighteenth centuiy, oi the 'ciisis' ofthe
educationalISAineveiycapitalistcountiytoday.Buttheclassstiuggles
intheISAsisonlyoneaspectofaclassstiugglewhichgoesbeyondthe
ISAs. 1heideologythataclassinpoweimakestheiulingideologyinits
ISAsisindeed 'iealized' inthoseISAs,butitgoesbeyondthem,foiit
comesfiomelsewheie.Similaily,theideologythataiuledclassmanages
todefendi nandagainstsuchISAsgoesbeyondthem,foiitcomesfiom
elsewheie.
Itisonlyfiomthepointofviewoftheclasses,i. e. oftheclassstiuggle,
thatitispossibletoexplaintheideologies existinginasocialfoimation.
Notonlyisitfiom this staitingpointthatitispossibletoexplainthe
iealizationoftheiulingideologyi ntheISAsandofthefoimsofclass
stiugglefoiwhichtheISAsaietheseatandthestake.Butitisalsoand
aboveallfiomthis staitingpointthatitispossibletoundeistandthe
piovenance of the ideologies which aie iealized in the ISAs and
confiontoneanotheitheie.FoiifitistiuethattheISAsiepiesentthe
form inwhichtheideologyoftheiulingclassmustnecessarily beiealized,
andthefoiminwhichtheideologyoftheiuledclassmustnecessarily be
measuiedandconfionted,ideologiesaienot'boin'intheISAsbutfiom
thesocialclassesatgiips
j
ntheclassstiuggle.fiomtheiiconditionsof
existence, theiipiactices,theiiexpeiienceofthestiuggle,etc.
April 1 970
Notes
I . This text is made up of two extracts from an ongoing study. The subtitle 'Notes
towards an Investigation' is the author's own. The ideas expounded should not be
regarded as more than the introduction to a discussion.
2. Marx to Kugelmann, 1 1 July 1 868, Selected Correspondence, Moscow \ 955, p. 209.
3. Marx gave it i ts scientific concept: variable capital.
4. In For Marx (London 1 969) and Reading Capital (London 1 970).
|
f
I DEOLOGI CAL STATE APPARATUSES 1
39
5. Topography from the Greek topos: place. A topography represents i n a definite
space the respective sites occupied by several realities: thus the economic is at the bottom
(the base), the superstructure above it.
6. To my knowledge, Gramsci is the only one who went any distance on the road I am
taking. He had the 'remarkable' idea that the State could not be reduced to the
(Repressive) State Apparatus, but included, as he put it, a certain number of institutions
from 'civil society' : the Chu rch, the Schools, the trade unions, etc. Unfortunately, Gramsci
did not systematize his institutions, which remained i n the state of acute but fragmentary
notes (cf. Gramsci, Selections from the Prison Notebooks, International Publishers 1 97 1 , pp.
1 2, 259, 260-63; see also the letter to Tatiana Schucht, 7 September 1 93 1 , in Gramsci's
Prison Letters. Lettere del Carcere, trans. Hamish Henderson, London 1 988, pp. 1 59-62.
7. The family obviously has other 'functions' than that of an ISA. It intervenes i n the
reproduction of labour-power. In different modes of production it is the unit of
production and/or the unit of consumption.
.
8. The 'Law' belongs both to the (Repressive) State Apparatus and to the system of
the ISAs.
9. In a pathetic text written i n 1 937, Krupskaya relates the history of Lenin's
desperate efforts and what she regards as his failure.
1 0. What I have said in these few brief words about the class struggle in the ISAs is
obviously far from exhausting the question of the class struggle.
To approach this question, two principle,S must be borne in mind:
Thjrstprinciple was formulated by Marx i n the Preface toA Contribution to the Critique of
Political Economy: ' In considering such transformations [a social revolution] a distinction
should always be made between the material transformation of the economic conditions
of production, which can be determined with the precision of natural science, and the
legal, political, religious, aesthetic or philosophic - in short, ideological forms in which
men become conscious of this confict and fight it out.' The class struggle is thus
expressed and exercised in ideological forms, thus also in the ideological forms of the
ISAs. But the class struggle extends far beyond these forms, and it is because it extends
beyond them that the struggle of the exploited classes may also be exercised in the forms
of the ISAs, and thus turn the weapon of ideology against the classes in power.
This by virtue of the second principle: the class struggle extends beyond the ISAs
because it is rooted elsewhere than in ideology, in the Infrastructure, in the relations of
production, which are relations of exploitation and constitute the base f or class relations.
I I . For the most part. For the relations of production are frst reproduced by the
materiality of the processes of production and circulation. But it shouid not be forgotten
that ideological relations are immediately present in these same processes.
1 2. For that part of reproduction to which the Repressive State Apparatus and the
Ideological State Apparatus contribute.
1 3. I use this very modern term deliberately. For even in Communist circles,
unfortunately, it is a commonplace to 'explain' some political deviation (left or right
opportunism) by the action of a 'clique'.
14. Which borrowed the legal category of 'subject in law' to make an ideological
notion: man is by nature a subject.
1 5. Linguists and those who appeal to linguistics for various purposes often run up
against difficulties which arise because they ignore the action of the ideological effects in
all discourses-including even scientific discourses.
16. NB: this double 'currently' is one more proof of the fact that ideology is 'eternal',
since these two 'currentlys' are separated by an indefnite interval; I am writing these
lines on 6 April \ 969, you may read them at any subsequent time.
1 7. Hailing as an everyday practice subject to a precise ritual takes a quite 'special'
form in the policeman's practice of , hailing', which concerns the hailing of 'suspects'.
1 8. Although we know that the individual is always-already a subject, we go on using
this term, convenient because of the contrasting effect it produces.
1 9. I am quoting in a combined way, not to the letter but 'in spirit and truth'.
20. The dogma of the Trinity is precisely the theory of the duplication of the Subject
(the Father) into a subject (the Son) and of their mirror-connection (the Holy Spirit).
1 4
0
MAP P I NG I DEOLOGY
2 1 . +- - . . . .-.--..-.,.. - .+-...-.-.---.-.....--..+--.-, . - . -... . - - . .
.---.-...--.c-..-....a-.--...--.--.-.-..-..,.,--+.

-,-.
,
-

--.-,O

-
.--

...
.
,..-
.
i`-..-`_
.---..-......-.-..-.-.--...-....---.,-..--....-.--.---...-.-.- ,

The Mechanism of Ideological


( Mis) recognition
Michel Pecheux
On the Ideological Conditions of the Reproduction/
Transformation of the Relations of Production
I shall stait by explicating the expiession 'ideological conditions of the
reproduction/transformation ofthe relations ofproduction'. 1hisexplication
willbecaiiiedoutwithinthelimitsofmyobective,whichistolaythe
foundationsofa mateiialisttheoiyofdiscouise.
1oavoidceitainmisundeistandings,howevei,I mustalsospecifya
numbei ofpointsofmoie geneialimpoit,conceiningthe theoiy of
ideologies,the piactice ofthepioductionofknowledgesandpolitical
piactice, withoutwhicheveiythingthatfollowswouldbequite 'outof
place'.
(a) I f I stiess 'ideological conditions of the iepioduction/
tiansfoimation of the ielations of pioduction' , this is because the
iegion of ideology is by no means the sole element in which the
iepioduction/tiansfoimationoftheielationsofpioductionofasocial
foimationtakesplace,thatwouldbetoignoietheeconomicdeteimi-
nationswhichconditionthatiepioduction/tiansfoimation'inthelast
instance',evenwithineconomicpioductionitself,asAlthusseiiecalls
atthebeginningofhisaiticleontheideologicalstateappaiatuses.
(b) In wiiting 'iepioduction/tiansfoimation', I mean to designate
thenodallycontiadictoiychaiacteiofany mode ofproduction which is
based a division into classes, i. e. whose 'principle' is th class struggle. 1his
means,i npaiticulai,thatI consideiitmistakentolocateatdiffeient
points on the one hand what contiibutes to the iepioductionofthe
ielations ofpioduction and on the othei what contiibutes to theii
tiansfoimation. theclass stiuggletiaveisesthemodeofpioductionas
1 4
2 MAP P I NG I DEOLOGY
awhole,which,i ntheiegionofideology,meansthattheclassstiuggle
'passes thiough' what Althussei has called the ideological state
appaiatuses.
.
I nadoptingtheteimideological state apparatus, Imtendtoundeilme
ceitainaspectswhichIbelievetobeciucial(apaitofcouisefiomthe
iemindeithatideologiesaienotmadeupof'ideas'but ofpictices) .
| IdeologydoesnotiepioduceitselfinthegeneialfoimofaZeitgeist
(i. e. thespiiitoftheage,the' mentality'ofanepoch,'habitsofthought',
etc. ) imposedinanevenandhomogeneouswayon'society'asakindof
spacepie-existingclassstiuggle.'1heideologicalstateappaiatusesaie
nottheiealizationofideologyin general . . . '
2. . . . noi even the conict-fiee iealizationoftheideologyofthe
iulingclass',whichmeansthatitisimpossibletoattiibuteto each class its
own ideology, asifeachexisted'befoietheclassstiuggle'initsowncamp,
withitsownconditionsofexistenceanditsspecihcinstitutions,suchthat
theideologicalclassstiugglewouldbethemeetingpointoftwodistinct
and pie-existing woilds, each with its own piactices and its 'woild
outlook',thisencounteibeingfollowedbythevictoiyofthe'-tiongei'
class,whichwouldthenimposeitsideologyontheothei.Intheendthis
wouldonlymultiplytheconceptionofIdeologyasZeitgeist bytwo.J
3. '1he ideology of the iuling class does not become the iuling
ideologybythegiaceofCod. . . ',whichmeansthat the ideoIogicalstate
appaiatuses aie 1ot e epr

(on of the domination of the iulng


ideology,i. e. theideologyoftheiulingclass(Codknowshowtheiulmg
ideologywouldachieveitssupiemacyif thatweieso! ) , butaie
J

i(e

|
id
themeans ofiealizationofthatdomination.'. . . itisbytheinstallationof
th
[,j
[_
Is
_
icaaraiusesi:: whichthisideologytheideologyof
theiulingclass]isiealizedandiealizesitself,thatitbecomestheiuling
ideology. . . '
4. But even so, the ideological state appaiatuses aie not puie
instiumentsoftheiulingclass,ideologicalmachinessimplyiepioduc-
ing the existing ielations ofpioduction. ' . . . thisinstallation ofthe
ideological state appaiatuses] is not achieved all by itself, on th
contiaiy,itisthestakeinaveiybitteiandcontinuousclassstiuggle. . . '2
which means that the ideological state appaiatuses constitute simul-
taneouslyandcontiadictoiilythesiteandtheideologicalconditionsof
thetiansfoimationoftheielationsofpioduction(i. e. ofievolutioni n
the MaixistLeninist sense) . Hence the expression 'repoduction/
transformation'.
Icannowtakeonemoiestepinthestudyoftheideologicalconditionsof
the iepioduction/tiansfoimation of the ielations of pioduction, by
I DEOLOGI CAL ( MI S ) RECOGNI TI ON 1 43
stating that thesecontiadictoiyconditionsaieconstituted, ata given
histoiicalmomentandfoiagivensocialfoimation,by the complex set of
ideological state apparatuses contained in that social foimation. I say
complex set, i . e. a set with ielations of contiadiction-unevenness-
suboidinationbetweenits'elements',andnotameielistofelements.
indeed,itwouldbe absuid tothinkthatinagivenconunctuieall the
ideological state apparatuses contiibuteequally totheiepioductionofthe
ielations of pioduction and to theii tiansfoimation. In fact, theii
'iegional' piopeities ~ theii 'obvious' specialization into ieligion,
knowledge, politics, etc. condition theii ielative impoitance (the
unevenness oftheii ielationships) inside the set ofideological state
appaiatuses, andthatasafunctionofthestateoftheclassstiugglei n
thegivensocialfoimation.
1hisexplainswhytheideologicalinstancei nitsconcietemateiiality
exists in the foim of'ideological foimations' (iefeiied to ideological
state appaiatuses) whichboth havea 'iegional'chaiacteiand involve
class positions. the ideological 'obects' aie always supplied togethei
with'thewaytousethem'~ theii'meaning',i . e. theii oiientation, i. e.
theclassinteiestswhichtheyseive~whichallowsthecommentaiythat
piacticalideologies aie class piactices (piactices ofclass stiuggle) in
Ideology.Whichistosaythat,intheideologicalstiuggle(nolesstha
intheotheifoimsofclassstiuggle)theieaieno'classpositions'which
exist abstractly andare then applied to thediffeientiegionalideological
'obects'ofconciete situations,inthe School, the Family, etc. In fact,
this is wheie thecontiadictoiyconnectionbetween theiepioduction
andthetiansfoimationoftheielationsofpioductionisoinedatthe
ideologicallevel,i nsofaiasitisnottheiegionalideological 'obects'
takenonebyonebuttheveiydivisionintoiegions(Cod,Ethics,Law,
[ustice,Family,Knowledge,etc.)andtheielationshipsofunevenness
subordination between those iegions that constitute what is at stake in
theideological class struggle.
The domination ofthe ruling ideology (the ideology ofthe ruling class), which
is chaiacteiized, at the ideological level, by the fact that the iepio-
ductionoftheielationsofpioduction'winsout'oveitheiitiansfoim-
ation(obstiuctsit,slowsitdownoisuppiessesitindiffeientcases)thus
coiiesponds less to keeping each ideological 'iegion' consideied by
itself the same than to the iepioduction of the ielationships of
unevenness-suboidinationbetween those iegions(with theii'obects'
and the piactices i n which theyaie insciibed) . ` thisiswhatentitled
Althussei topioposethe appaientlyscandalousthesisthatthe setof
ideologicalstate appaiatusesi na capitalist social foimation includes
also the trade unions and thepolitical parties (without fuithei specili-
cation, infactallhe meantto designatewasthefunctionattributed to
1 44 MAP P I N G I DEOLOG Y
politicalpaitiesandtiadeunionswithinthecomplexof theideological
stateappaiatusesunder the domination ofthe ruling ideology (the ideology of
the ruling class), i. e. , the suboidinate but unavoidable and so quite
necessaiyfunctionwheiebytheiulingclassisassuiedof'contact'and
'dialogue' withitsclass adveisaiy, i. e. the pioletaiiat and its allies, a
function towhich a pioletaiianoiganizationcannotofcouise simply
confor).
1his example helps explain how the ielationships ofunevenness-
suboidinationbetweendiffeientideologicalstateappaiatuses(andthe
iegions,obectsandpiacticeswhichcoiiespondtothem)constitute,as
I have been saying, the stake i n the ideological class stiuggle. 1he
ideological aspect of the stiuggle foi the tiansfoimation of the
ielations of pioduction lies theiefoie, above all, in the stiuggle to
impose, inside the complex of ideological state appaiatuses, new
relationships ofunevenness-subordination4 (this iswhat is expiessed, foi
example, in the slogan 'Put politics i n command' ' ), iesulting in a
tiansfoimation ofthe set ofthe 'complexofideological state appai-
atuses'initsielationshipwiththestateappaiatusandatiansfoimation
ofthestateappaiatusitself.

-
1o sum up. the mateiial obectivity of the ideological instance is
chaiacteiized by the stiuctuie of unevenness-suboidination of the
'complexwholei ndominance'oftheideologicalfoimationsofagiven
social foimation, a stiuctuie whichis nothing butthat ofthe iepio-
duction/tiansf oimationcontiadictionconstitutingtheideologicalclass
stiuggle.
Atthesametime,wheiethefoimofthiscontiadictionisconceined,
it shouldbe specihed that, given what I haveust said, itcannotbe
thought ofas the opposition between two foices acting against one
anotheiin a single space. 1hefoimofthecontiadictioninheienttothe
ideologicalstiugglebetweenthetwoantagonisticclassesisnotsymmetri
cal in the senseofeachclass tiying toachievetoits own advantagethe
same thing as the othei. if I insist on this point it is because many
conceptionsoftheideologicalstiuggle,aswehaveseen,takeitasan
evident fact befoie thestiuggle,aswehave seen,takeisanevident fact
befoiethestiugglethat'society' exists (with the 'State' over it) as a space, as
the terrain ofthat struggle. 1hisissobecause,as

tienneBalibaipoints
out, the class ielation is concealed i n the opeiation of the state
appaiatusbytheveiymechanismthatiealizesit,suchthatsociety,the
state andsubectsinlaw (fiee and equal i npiinciple inthe capitalist
mode ofpioduction)aie pioduced-iepioduced as'natuiallyevident
notions'.1his ushesoutasecondeiioi,thehistone'stwin,concein-
ing the natuie ofthis contiadiction and opposing iepioduction to
tiansfoimation as inertia is opposed to movement: the idea that the
I DEOLOGI CAL ( MI S ) RECOGNI TI ON
1 45
iepioduction of the ielations of pioduction needs no explanation
becausethey'gooftheiiownaccoid'so longas they are left alone, thefaws
andfailures of the 'system' apait, is an eteinalist and anti-dialectical
illusion. I nieality the iepioduction,ust as much as the tiansfoim-
ation,oftheielationsofpioductionisanobjective process whosemysteiy
must be penetiated, and notust a state offact needing only to be
obseived.
I have alieady alluded seveial times to Althussei's cential thesis.
'[ deology interpellates individuals as subjects' . 1he time has come to
examine how this thesis 'penetiates the mysteiy' in question, and,
specihcally,howthewayitpenetiatesthismysteiyleadsdiiectlytothe
pioblematicofa mateiialisttheoiyofdiscuisivepiocesses,aiticulated
intothepioblematicoftheideologicalconditionsoftheiepioduction/
tiansfoimationoftheielationsofpioduction.
But b ist a iemaik on teiminology. i n the development that has
bioughtustothispointaceitainnumbeiofteimshaveappeaiedsuch
asideological state appaiatuses, ideological foimation, dominant oi
iulingideology,etc. , butneither the term 'ideology' (exceptnegativelyin
thesentence'theideologicalstateappaiatusesaienottheiealizationof
Ideology ingeneial')nor the term 'subject' hasappeaied (and evenless
the teim 'individual') . Why is it that as a iesult of the pieceding
development, and piecisely in order to be able to strengthen it in its
conclusions, Iamobligedtochangemyteiminologyandintioducenew
woids(Ideologyinthesingulai,individual,subect,inteipellate):1he
answeiliesinthefollowingtwointeimediaiypiopositions
. theieisnopiacticeexceptbyandinan ideology,
2
. theieisnoIdeologyexceptbythesubectandfoisubects
that Althussei states befoie piesenting his 'cential thesis' . in
tiansciibingthesetwointeimediaiypiopositions,I haveemphasized
the two ways the teim 'ideology' is deteimined. in the b ist, the
indehniteaiticlesuggests the diffeientiated multiplicityofthe ideo-
logic

l instance in the foim of a combination (complex whole in


dommance)ofelementseachofwhichisan ideological formation (inthe
sensedeb n
.
ed

bove),inshoit,an ideology. Inthe secondpioposition,


thedeteimmationoftheteim' Ideology'opeiates'ingeneial',aswhen
onesays'theieisnosquaieiootexceptofapositivenumbei',implying
tbatevery squaieiootisthe squaieiootofa positivenumbei. in the
same way, the signib cationofthis second pioposition, whichin fact
piehguie

th
'
'centialthesis',i s that'thecategoiyofthesubect. . . i

the constrtutrve categoiy of eveiy ideology'. In othei woids, the


emergence ofthe term 'subject' i nthetheoieticalexposition(anemeigence
1 46 MAP P I NG I DEOLOGY
which,asweshall see,ischaiacteiizedgiammaticallyby the factthat
theteimisneithei subectnoiobectbutanattiibuteoftheobect) is
stiictlycontempoianeouswiththe use ofthe term 'Ideology' in the singular,
in the senseof'eveiyideology'.
Natuially, this makes me distinguish caiefully between ideological
formation, dominant ideology andIdeology.
Ideology, Interpellation, 'Miinchhausen Effect'
Ideology in general, which, aswehave seen, isnot iealized inthe ideo-
logicalstateappaiatuses~ soitcannotcoincidewithahistoiicallycon-
cieteideological formation isalso notthe samethingasthedominant
ideology, asthe oveiall iesult, the histoiically conciete foim iesulting
fiom the ielationships of unevenness-contiadiction-suboidination
chaiacteiizing i n a histoiically given social foimation the 'complex
wholei ndominance'oftheideologicalfoimationsopeiatingi nit. I n
otheiwoids,wheieas'ideologieshave ahistoiyoftheiiown'because
theyhave aconcietehistoiical existence, ' IdeologyingeneiaI has
.
no
histoiy' i nso fai as itis'endowedwitha stiuctuieandanopeiatron
such as to make ita non-histoiical ieality, i . e. anomni-histoiicalie-
ality, in the sense in whichthat stiuctuie and opeiation aie immut-
able,piesenti nthesamefoimthioughoutwhatwecancallhistoiy,in
thesensein which theCommunist Maniesto dehnes histoiy asthehis-
toiyofclassstiuggles, i.e. thehistoiyofclass societies'.
:
1heconcept
ofIdeology i ngeneialthusappeaisveiyspecihcallyasthewaytodesig-
nate,withinMaixismLeninism,thefactthattheielationsofpioduc-
tion aie ielationships between 'men' , in the sense that thy are not
relationships between things, machines, non-human animal or angels; i'

this
sense and in this sense only: i. e. without intioducingat the same trme,
and suiieptitiously, a ceitain notion of 'man' as anti-natuie, tian-
scendence, subectofhistoiy,negationofthenegation,etc.Asiswell
known, thisisthecentialpointofthe'Replyto[ohnLewis'.
Quite thecontiaiy, theconcetofIdeology in general makesi t poss-
ibletothink'man'asan'ideologicalanimal',i.e.tothinkhisspecibcity
aspart ofnature in the Spinozistsense ofthe teim. 'Histoiyisa

im-
mense"natural-human" systemi nmovement,andthemotoiofhrstoiy
isclass stiuggle' . Hence histoiy once again, that is thehistoiy ofthe
class stiuggle, i . e. the iepioduction/tiansfoimation ofclass ielation-
ships,withtheiicoiiespondinginfiastiuctuial(economic)andsupei-
stiuctuial (legal-political and ideological) chaiacteiistics. it is within
this 'natuial-human' piocess of histoiy that ' Ideology is eteinal'
(omni-histoiical) ~ a statement whichiecalls Fieud's expiession 'the
I DEOLOGI CAL ( MI S) RECOGNI TI ON
1
47
unconsciousiseteinal' , theieadeiwilliealizethatthesetwocategoiies
do not meet heie by accident. But he will also iealize that on this
question,and despite impoitant iecent studies, theessential theoretical
work iemainstobedone,andI want above allelse toavoid givingthe
impiession, iathei widespiead today, that we alieady have the
answeis. In fact, slogans will not hll the yawning absence of a
woiked-out conceptual aiticulation between ideology and the uncon
scious: weaie still atthe stage oftheoietical'glimmeis'in apievailing
obscuiity, and in the piesent study I shall iestiict myselfto calling
attention to ceitain connections whose impoitance may have been
undeiestimated,withoutieallyclaimingtoposethetiuequestionthat
goveinstheielationshipbetweenthesetwocategoiies.' Letmesimply
point out that the common featuie of the two stiuctuies called
iespectively 4e
q
logy and the vnc,nco is thefactthat they conceal
theii own exist
,
e within theii opeiation by pioducing a web o
'subjective' evident truths, 'subective' heiemeaningnot'affecting the
subect'but'inwhichthsub|ectisconstituted' .
For you and for me, the category of the subject is a primary 'obviousness'
(obviousnesses are always primary) : it is clear that you and I are subjects
(free, ethical, etc. ) l l
Now~ andi t is,I believe,atthispiecisepointthatthenecessityfoia
mateiialist theoiy of discouise begins the evidentness of the
spontaneous existence of the subect (as oiigin oi cause in i tself) is
immediately compaied by Althussei with anothei evidentness, all-
peivasive, aswehaveseen,intheidealistphilosophyoflanguage.the
evidentness of meaning. Remembei the teims of this compaiison,
whichIevokedattheveiybeginningofthisstudy.
Like all obviousnesses, including those that make a word 'name a thing' or 'have a
meaning' (therefore including the obviousness ofthe 'transparency' oflanguage), the
obviousness that you and I are subjects - and that that does not cause any
problems - is an ideological effect, the elementary ideological effect. i2
ItisI whohavestiessedthisiefeiencetotheevidentnessofmeaning
taken fiom a commentaiy on the evidentness of the subject, and I
should add thatinthetextatthis pointtheieis a note which diiectly
touchesonthequestionIamexaminingheie.
Linguists and those who appeal to linguistics for various purposes often run
up against difficulties which arise because they ignore the action of the
ideological effects i n all discourses -including even scientifi c discourses. i 3
1
48 MAP P I NG I DEOLOGY
Allmywoikhnositsoehnitionheie,i nthislinkingofthequestionof
thecont!t1ti(Q meaning tothatof theconstitution ofthe subject, alinking
whichisnotmaiginal(foiexamplethespecialcaseoftheioeological
'iituals' ofieaoinganowiiting), butlocateoinsioe the'centialthesis'
itself,intheh guieofinterpellation.
Isayinthefgure ofinteipellationinoioeitooesignatethefactthat,
asAlthussei suggests, 'inteipellation' is an 'illustiation' , an example
aoapteotoapaiticulaimooeofexposition, ' ''conciete''enoughtobe
iecognizeo, butabstiactenoughtobethinkableanothought, giving
iisetoa knowleoge' . ' 1his hguie, associateo bothwithiligion ano
with the police ('You, foi whom I have sheo this oiop of my
blood'/'H,, youtheie' ' ) , has theaovantage histofallthat, thiough
thisooublemeaningofthewoio'inteipellation' , itmakespalpablethe
supeistiuctuial link oeteimineo by the economic infiastiuctuie -
between thereresiv state appaiatus (the legal-political appaiatus
whichassigns-veiihes-checks'ioentities')and theideological state appai-
atuses, i. e. the link between the ' subect in law' (he who eneis into
contractualielationswith other subects in law, his equals)and the
ioeologicalsubect(hewhosaysofhimself.'It'sme' ' ). Ithasthesecono
aovantagethatit piesents thislinkin sucha way thatthetheatieof
consciousness(Isee, Ithink, I speak, I seeyou,I speaktoyou,etc.) is
obseiveofiombehinothescenes,fiomtheplacewheieonecangiasp
thefactthatthesubectisspokenof, thesubectisspokento, befoiethe
subectcansay. 'Ispeak'.
1helast,butnottheleast,aovantageofthis'littletheoieticaltheatie'
ofinteipellation,conceivedasanillustiateociitiqueofthetheatieof
consciousness, isthatitoesignates, by the oisciepancy inthe foimu-
lation'inoivioual'/'subect',thepaiaooxbywhichthe subject is called into
existence: inoeeo, the foimulation caiefully avoios piesupposing the
existence ofthe subect on whom the opeiation ofinteipellation is
peifoimeoitooesnotsay. '1hesubectisinteipellateobyIoeology. '
1hiscutssho:tanyattemptsimplytoinvert themetaphoilinkingthe
subectwiththevaiious'legalentities' [personnes morales] whichmight
seemath istsighttobesubectsmaoeupof acollectivityofsubects, ano
of which one coulo say, inveiting the ielationship, that it is this
collectivity, asapie-existingentity,thatimposesitsioeologicalstamp
oneachsubectinthefoimofa'socialization'oftheinoivioualin'social
ielations' conceiveo ofas inteisubective ielations. In fact,what the
thesis ' Ioeology inteipellates inoiviouals as subjects' oesignates is
inoeeo that 'non-subect' is inteipellateo-constituteo as subect by
Ioeology. Now, thepaiaooxispiecisely thatinteipellationhas, as it
weie, a retroactive effect, with the iesult that eveiy inoivioual is
'always-alieaoyasubect'.
I DEOLOGI CAL ( MI S ) RECOGNI TI ON 1 4
9
1heevidentness of the subject as unique, iiieplaceable ano ioentical
with himself. the absuio ano natuial ieply' It' sme' ' to thequestion
'Who's theie:
,
' echoes the iemaik, itis 'evioent' thatI am the only
peison who can say ' I' when speaking of myself, this evioentness
concealssomething,whichescapesRussellanologicalempiiicism. the
factthatthe subecthas alwaysbeen 'an inoivioual inteipellateo asa
subect', which, to iemain in the ambience ofAlthussei's example,
mightbeillustiateobytheabsuioinunctionchiloienaooiesstoone
anotheiasasupeiboke.'MisteiSo-ano-so,ieminomeofyouiname' ' ,
aninunctionwhoseplayfulchaiacteimasksitsafhnitywiththepolice
opeiation ofassigningano checking identities. Becausethis is inoeeo
whatisinvolveo.the'evioentness'ofioentityconcealsthefactthatitis
theiesultofan_gtvti[cation-inteipelltionofthesubect,whosealien
oiiginisneveitheless'stiangcIyTtniliai'tohim. '
[ . . . ]
Now, taking into account what I haveust set out, it is possible to
iegaio the effect of the preconstructed as the discursive modality of the
discrepancy by which the individual is interpellated as subject . . . while still
being 'always-already a subject', stiessingthatthisoisciepancy(between the
familiai stiangeness of this outsioe locateo befoie, elsewheie ano
inoepenoently, and the ioentiFable, iesponsible subect, answeiable
foi his actions) opeiates 'by contiaoiction' , whethei the lattei be
suffeieoincompleteignoiancebythesubectoi,onthecontiaiy,he
giasps it inthe foiefiont ofhis mino, as'wit' . manyokes, tuinsof
phiase,etc. , aieinfactgoveineobythecontiaoictioninheientinthis
oisciepancy, they constitute, as it weie, the symptoms ofit, anoaie
sustaineo by the ciicle connecting the contiaoiction suffeieo (i. e.
'stupioity')withthecontiaoictiongiaspeoanooisplayeo(i. e. 'iiony'),
astheieaoeicanconhimusingwhateveiexamplehehnosespecially
'eloquent'.'
1heioleofsymptomIhaveoisceineoi ntheopeiationofaceitain
type ofoke (in which what is ultimately involveo is the identity ofa
subect,athingoianevent) withiespecttothequestionofioeological
inteipelIation-ioentih cationleaos meto posit,inconnectionwiththis
symptom, the existence of a process of the signier, in interpellation
identication. Letmeexplain.itisnotamatteiheieofevokingthe'iole
oflanguage'ingeneialoi'thepowei ofwoios' , leavingitunceitain
whetheiwhatisinvokeoisthesign, which designates somethingfor someone,
D Lacan says, oi thesignifer, i . e. what represents the subject for another
signifer (Lacanagain).Itis cleai that,foimypuiposes,itisthesecono
hypothesiswhichiscoiiect,becauseittieatsofthe subject as process (of
representation) inside the non-subject constituted by the network ofsignfers, in
Lacan's sense: the subject is 'caught' in this network 'commonnouns'ano
1 5
0 v.- - . c. .ro.oc.
'propeinames','shifting'effects,syntacticconstructions,etc.~such that
he results as 'cause ofhimself, inSpinoza'ssenseofthephiase. Anoitis
preciselytheexistenceofthiscontraoiction(thepioouctionasaresult of
a 'cause ofitsef, anoits motoriole for thepiocessofthe signiherin
inteipellation-ioentilication, whichustilies me in saying that it is
inoeeoamatterofaprocess, insofarasthe'obects'whichappeaiinit
ouplicateanooivioetoactonthemselvesasotherthanthemselves.
Ib
One ofthe consequences, I believe, ofthe necessaiy obliteration
withinthesubectas'causeofhimsel|ofthefactthatheistheresultofa
piocess,isaseriesofwhat one mightcallmetaphysical phantasies, allof
whichtouchonthequestionofcausality.forexample,thephantasyof
thetwo hands eachholoingapencilanoeach drawing the other on the same
sheet ofpaper, anoalso that ofthe peipetualleap in which one leaps up
again with a great kick before having touched the ground; onecouloexteno
thelistatlength. I shallleaveitatthat,withthepioposalto callthis
phantasyeffect- bywhichtheinoivioualisinterpellateoass+bect~
the'Mnchhauseneffect',inmemoryoftheimmoitalbaronwholifted
himsel into the air by pulling on his own hair.
Ifitistruethatioeology'recruits'subectsfromamongstinoiviouals
(inthewaysoloiersareiecruiteo from amongstcivilians)anothatit
recruitsthemall, weneeotoknowhow'volunteers'areoesignateoin
thisrecruitment,i. e. inwhatconcernsus, howallinoivioualsaccept
evident themeaningofwhattheyhearanosay,reaoanowiite (ofwhat
they intend to say ano of what it is intended to be saio to them) as
'speakingsubects'. ieally tounoerstanothisistheonlywayto avoio
repeating, in the foim of a theoretical analysis, the 'Mtinchhausen
effect',bypositingthesubectastheoriginofthesubect,i. e. inwhat
concernsus,bypositingthe subectofoiscourse astheoiiginofthe
subectofoiscourse.
Notes
I . o-.-.,--..--.--.-..,..-..-.-.-.--...-...-.a-,.,.-,---.-..
( 1 972), -Essays in Sei Criticism, ...-.c..-.--.-...--+--1 976, ,,49 H.
2. ...-...-. .+--.-,.-+.+--.-...s...-.,,......-..--.-..-..--c-.,.-.
5, pp. 1 00-1 40.
3. --.-.,-..--+..-.--..+--.-...s...-.,,......-...-...-+-....., -
.--...+..-.,.-.-.-,.--...-+--.-, -..--...-......-+ , 1 1 4.
4. ,....-..-.-..---..--..--.+-..--. -.--..........-.-.-..-,.--,.
...-..-.-..---..--.-...--.-,--..---.--school ...+politics, .-.--.--..,.....
--+--.,.-+...--..relationship ofdisjunction +---..---..--...--.-..-+--.--
-.....,...--..--..---.--..---.--..-.,.-+-.----.,.-+...--
5. r.----..-...---+....-.. . ..-...-.-..-,...-.-----.--.....-
.,,......both ..-.--.--.....-.,,......and ..-something other than . ....-
. .ro.oc. c.. v. s . arcoc. . o
1 5 1
.

,.......a-..s...--+-Manifeste Communiste' ( 1 972), -Cinq etudes du materialisme


hlstorzque, -.-.1 974, ,, 65-1 0 I .
6. -..--...+-

.-,-.

,-....-.-+.+..... . ..-,-..., . .-,.,.-...-.-.


-..--,....,.-,-....---.,.......--..-. .+--.-,,1 2S.
7. .-+ , 1 2.
S. .-Essays inSei[Criticism, ,, 49 H.
9. .-+ ,5 1 .
, .
1 0. o--- . .--

--...- . r...--.-a-.+--..-..-..Un Discours un reel. Theorie de


I znc

nsczent et polztl
9
u

de la psyc
nalyse -...1 973), ..-...--.--...-,.----...-.
.--..--+-v......,....,-....-..---.--..-...--

..--

.--..+.-..

.this lack of. a link between ideology and the unconscious .-.-.-+.,
.-.-
-..,.,.--.-..,....-.-...-O +....-.-+-..--.--...+..-.,.-.-.--.-.--
,--...-

- -..-
.
.
.
...,..

---.-.-.......-.... s...- ..-..,.-...--+-....


.--..-,..

--O ...-..-.....-..-.----.---..----..-+.-...-.....--.-...
--.---..--..-..--.-.--..-.-..-.-+.,inside ,.,.--.-..,..
1 1 . ...--..-. .+--.-,,1 29.
1 2. .-+
13. .-+ -.-1 5.
1 4. .-+ , 1 30.
15. -. ....-...-..-..-,.-.-+ , 1 29.
1 6. +--.-.--.-..

.--

-.-.+.--....

..-.-.-..--.,,-.-..-.-.---.-.--..
-..v..-.-..-+---...++,...--.-.-v.-.--..-.v.--,-...-..-+I -
.--+--....--.-...--.-.---....--..+-..---.
1 7. s..--..-,.-.--.---...,.-+-+-s-.-.,
I . on the famiy-school
.
relationship: .--..-.,-..--..,,.,.--.-.-,----+-.
--.-

..

..--....--.-.-....--..---.-+.---...-+--.-..,-..-.-
.-,.-+...-,...--.
2. on ieological repetition: .--.-..---..---....-.. --....-..-..-.--....---
.....--.
on the cultural apparatus and the cult of Great Men: s-..-.,-..-..-....-.---.
.-..---,-.--..-,.-.-.--.-.--.--,-...,-..--..---.--
4.

n meta
f
yslc

anthe rehgwus aparatus: c-+ .,-..-.. --.-.,..,-..-,.--- --
+--.-.-.... X +.+-.s-.-.-.---...--...- .-.--....+-..----..
,
IS. o-.-..+.,...

..--.-++..-- -.--...+..--.-+ -.---.---.-..,-.-


-....-.--.--,+.+--.-..+.--..-.-.--.---.., .--....--..-..-.--.
.--.-
1
Determinacy and Indeterminacy
in the Theory of Ideology
Nicholas Abercrombie, Stephen Hill and
Bryan S. Turner
1he analysis ofioeologies ano forms ofknowleoge ano beliefisina
state of oisoroer. In contemporary Marxism, the autonomy ano
inoepenoentimportanceofioeologyhavebeenstresseoattheexpense
of a oiscreoiteo economic reouctionism. In many ways this is a
oesirableoevelopment,although,aswehavepointeooutelsewhere, it
alsocarrieswithitsomeverymisleaoingconsequences. However,the
critical problemthatcontemporary Marxisttheoriesofioeologyhave
toface is. howisone to reconcile materialismwiththeautonomyof
ioeology: 1his implies a secono oifhculty. namely, how is one to
reconcile the notion ofioeology as critique with a general theory of
ioeology: In terms of oisciplinary oehnitions, there is a parallel
questionabouttherelationshipoftheMarxisttheoryofioeologytothe
sociology of knowleoge which oevelopeo in opposition to classical
Marxism.
1he signihcance ofthese problems is nicelyillustrateoby Goran
1herborn'sThe Ideolog ofPower and the Power ofIdeolog ,2 inwhichhe
attempts to clarify a variety of theoretical issues in contemporary
Marxism ano sociology. He conceives his proect as taking 'Marx's
insightsasa pointofoeparture for anattemptatamore systematic
theory' (p.41 ) . ElsewherehesuggeststhatMarxismhasagreatoealto
learnfromtheempiricalF noingsofsociology,anoinourviewhisown
attemptto generate a new thoory ofioeology can alsobe seen asan
attempttosynthesizeasociologicalperspectivewithMarxism.1hisisa
mostinterestingproect.Nevertheless,thereisclearlyawioevarietyof
possible oestinations even if one takes Marx as one's point of
oeparture,sinceonecanas easily enooutsioetheMarxisttraoitionas
within it, nor neeo the terminus be a theory that is systematic or
general.
!
.av. .c.... .av .c. 1 53
Agents in Place
1herborn reectsthe notion thatioeologyinvolvesbeliefsinpeople's
heaos, speciFcallybeliefs thatare falseormystiF eoormisconstrueo.
Hefurtheroeniesthatioeologyistheoppositeofscience. Ioeologies
areoehneoasallsocial(inoistinctiontopsychological)phenomenaofa
oiscursive(inoistinctiontonon-oiscursive)nature.1heyincluoe'both
everyoay notions ano experience' ano elaborate intellectual ooc-
trines,boththe consciousness' ofsocialactorsano theinstitutional-
izeo thought-systems ano oiscourses ofa given society' (p.2) . 1hisis
oeliberatelyabroaooeF nition,anoonethatinourvieweffectivelyre-
proouces the sociological notion of 'culture'. Following Althusser,
1herbornsuggests. heoperationofioeologyinhumanlifebasically
involves the constitution ano patterning ofhow human beings live
their lives as conscious, reHecting initiators ofacts in a structureo,
meaningfulworlo. Ioeology operates as oiscourse, aooressingor, as
Althusserputsit,interpellatinghumanbeingsassubects'(p. 1 5) . 1his
operationofioeologyinvolvestwoprocesses. theconstitutionanosub-
ectionofhuman,consciousagentsanotheirqualiFcationtofulFltheir
positionsinsociety.1herbornrecognizesthatananalysisofioeologyin
termsofinserting agentsintheirplacesisanalogoustothetraoitional
sociological analysis ofsocial roles, but he maintains that traoitional
roleanalysisistoosubectivist.1hemainburoenofioeologyistocon-
struct human subectivity, so that 'to search for the structure ofthe
ioeological universe isto seek the oimensions ofhuman subectivity'
(p. 1
7
) . 1heseoimensionsform'apropertyspace'
Subjectivities of
'I n-the-World'
Inclusive
Positional
Subjectivities o['Being'
Ixistential
1 . Beliefsabout
meaning(e.g.lifeand
death)
3. Beliefsabout
identity(e.g.
individuality,sex,age)
Historical
2. Beliefsabout
membershipof
historicalsocialworlos
(e.g.tribe,village,
ethnicity,state,nation,
church)
4. Beliefsabout'social
geography'(e.g.
educationalstatus,
lineage,hierarchy,class)
I 5+ v.- - . c .ro.oc.
Ioeologies thus situate inoivioualsi ntime anospacebyreference to
personal,positionalanosocialcharacteiistics.
1heiborn seesioeologiesas beingmaterially oeteimineo, ano the
oeh nition of mateiialism is oelibeiately ano unusually broao to
encompass'thestructureofagivensocietyano. . . itsrelationshiptoits
natuialenvironmentanotoothersocieties'(p.+3). Mateiialism,inthe
classicalMarxistusageoftheeconomicstructure,isuseotoexplainthe
oeterminationofonespecihcioeologicalsetwhichappearstocomprise
thoseclassioeologiesiequiieoforthe subectionanoqualihcationof
economicagents,though1heiborn'spresentationisnotclearonthis
point.Hestatesexplicitly,howevei.'Anygivencombinationoffoices
ano relations ofproouction ofcourse requires a particular form of
ioeologicalsubectionoftheeconomicsubects . . . ' (p.+7) .

It is noteworthy that 1heiborn ooes not accept the contention,


familiai from many classical Marxist accounts ofioeology, that the
piincipalfunctionofioeologyistoincorporatesuboroinates,toactas
'socialcement'.Heargues,bycontrast,thatsuboroinateswillaohereto
alter-ioeologieswhichareoppositional,anoheattemptstospecifythe
conoitions unoer which those altei-ioeologies may aiise. 1here aie
three possible explanations. 1he histanomostgeneialexplanation,
which1herbornemphasizes,isthat,byitsverynature,everypositional
ioeologymustgenerateanalter-ioeologyintheprocessofgeneiating
oifferencesbetweenselfanoother,usanothem.1heseioeologieshave
thus'anintrinsicallyoualcharacter' (p.27) , anotheimplicationisthat
anyioeologyofoomination mustgeneiateiesistanceintheveryactof
settingupaSelf /Otheiopposition.Suchanargumentlinks1herborn's
position oirectly to that of current structuial linguistics in that
language subsists on the play of oiffeiences. A oifhculty with the
notionthattheimpositionofknowleoge/ioeologypiooucesresistance
istoshowexactlyhowthiscomesabout,ano,moieimportantly,unoer
what conoitions resistance prevails ~ a oifhculty manifest also in
Foucault. Seconoly, 1herborn refers tothe factthatclass ioeologies
'aie inscribeo in the relations of proouction' (p. I ) . For example,
feuoalism involveo a hierarchy of iights ano obligations between
peasant ano lanoloio, ano these weie the foci of class struggle.
Curtailmentofpeasantiightscreateoaltei-ioeologicalconceptionsof
inustice thatwerethebasisofpeasantoppositionstotheillegalityof
lanoloros' activities. In oneplacehealsotalksof'theirieoucibilityof
psychooynamic processestocompletesocialcontrol',whichcieates'a
smallmarginofinoivioualmish ts'' (p.+3) . 1husitwoulo seemthat
inteipellation can nevei really be effective, as ioeologies have an
inherently oialecticalcharacter, while complexsocial processes mean
that 'ioeologies oveilap, compete anoclash, orownorreinforce each
.rrav. .c.... .rrav. .c. I 55
other'(p. vii) . I noeeo,ioeologiesactuallyopeiate'inastateofoisoioer'
(p.77) , soitisnotsuiprisingthatioeologicaltheoryisitselfoisoroeieo.
On the subectofclass ioeologies anoaltei-ioeologies,which have
mainly conceineo Marxists ano sociologists alike, 1herboin has a
number ofcomments. He suggests that class ioeologies are typically
core themes rather thanelaborateoformsofoiscouise, thattheycan
onlybe oeiiveotheoretically, seemingly on thebasis ofthe imputeo
functional requirements of a mooe of proouction, that non-class
ioeologies are not reoucible to class but aie class patterneo or
overoeteimineo, ano thatclass ioeologies have to compete with ano
relate to non-class positional ioeologies such as nationalism ano
religion. Hisbriefanalysis ofnationalismanoieligion showsthatthe
formerisclass patteineo inoifferentwaysinoiffeientsocieties,while
thelatteiseemsscarcelypatteineoatall.1hetwo-by-twomatrixofthe
universe ofioeological inteipellations given above makes clear that
classioeologiesfallmainlyintocell+,withsomeoimensionsincell2,
anothattheyconstituteasmallpartofthetotalpopulationwithwhich
1heiborn'stheoryisconcerneo.
Marxist Dilemmas
Contemporaiy Maixisttheories ofioeologyarefaceobyanumberof
oilemmas,two ofwhich areespeciallyimportant. 1here ishrstlythe
questionoftheautonomyofioeology.AlmostallMarxisttheoristshave
aigueothatioeologycannotbeseenasoetermineobytheeconomybut
is, insteao, relatively autonomous. 1his autonomy has three conse-
quences. Firstly, ioeology has its own laws of motion. In his earlier
book,Science, Class and Societ, 1herbornquotesEngels.' Ina mooern
state,lawmustnotonlycoiiesponotothegeneraleconomicconoition
ano be its expiession, but must also be an internally coherent
experiencewhichooesnot,owingtoinnercontiaoictions,reouceitself
tonought.Inoioertoachievethis,thefaithfulrefectionofeconomic
conoitionssuffers incieasingly. ' Seconoly, ioeologymaybeeffective
in givinga particular formto the economy. Forexample, one might
arguethattheprevalenceofinoivioualisminEnglishculturefromthe
seventeenth to the mio-nineteenth centuiy may have given English
capitalismitscompetitiveformpartlyviaheconstitutionofinoiviouals
aseconomicsubects.1hiroly,notallioeologiesarereoucibletoclass
ioeologiesapropositionthatfollowsfromthehrsttwoonaparticulai
assumptionoftherelationbetweenclassanoeconomy. 1hisquestion
ofioeological autonomy constitutesa oilemma because, iftoo much
autonomyisgiven,onelosestheoistinctivenessofMarxism'semphasis
1 56 v.- - . c. .o.oc.
ontheeconomy,whilei fideologyi s seenas boundtotheeconomy,all
thefamiliaipioblemsofeconomicreductionismaiise.
1hesecond dilemmafacingcontemporaryMaixisttheoryofideol-
ogy is that of the falsity of ideology. If one holds a view of
ideology-as-critique,thenthatappearstoremovefiomanalysisawhole
rangeofideologiesthatarenotobviouslyfalse.If,ontheotherhand,
thetermideologyisseenasembracingallformsofknowledge,belief,
orpractice,thenthecriticaledgeoftheconceptislost.
As we indicated earlier, 1herborn holds thathe is taking
-
Marx's
insightsasapointofdepaiture.Healsosuggeststhatthefactthat'the
concreteformsofideologiesotherthaneconomicpositionalonesaie
not directly determined by the mode of production, indicates the
limitations of historical materialism' (p. 18) . Given this position, the
problem ishow1herborn resolves thedilemmas ofMarxism. In the
h rstplace,hislanguagehasadistinctlyMarxistiingtoit.Howevei,his
conceptionsofmaterialismare notnecessaiily Marxist. In hisbroad
usage,whichcorrespondstotheconventionalsociologyofknowledge,
materialism amounts to little more than postulating a social expla-
nation of ideology. I n his narrower conception of economic ma-
teiialism,headoptsaMarxistposition. Foi1herborn,class ideologies
appeartobedeterminedbyeconomicmateiialism,buttherestofthe
ideologicaluniverserestsonamaterialbasethatoweslittletoMarxism.
Healsoemphasizesthecriticalimportanceofclassi ntheanalysisof
ideology.Although1herbornisatpainstoshowthesignih canceofall
kinds of ideology, including non-class elements such as those of
gender,raceornation,classideologiesarenotonlyfundamental,they
aredetermining. ' . . . thestructureoftheideologicalsystem,itsclass
andnon-classelementsalike,isoverdeterminedbytheconstellationof
classforces'(p.39
) . Foimanycritics,suchanemphasisonclasswould
bequitesufhcienttoplace1herbornhimlyintheMarxistcamp(oia
Marxist camp). 1hat would, clearly, be quite wiong, foi what is
distinctive to Marxismisnotthestressonclassper se, butaparticular
theoiyofthegeneration,locationandcausaleffectsofclasses.
AcomparisonwiththeworkofKarlMannheimisinstiuctivehere.
AgainmanysociologicalcommentatorsonMannheimassumethathe
wasaMaixistbecauseofhisbeliefthatsocialclassisthemostsignih cant
socialbaseofsystems ofbelief. However, the wholepointofMann-
heim' sworkisthat,foihim,socialclassesarenotconstitutedbytheir
places in economic relations, but are instead essentially political
entities, iepiesenting collectivities engaged in struggle. 1he expla-
nation of these class struggles does not lie in the economy but in
features ofthe human condition, particulaily theapparentlyinnate
tendencytocompete.Wearenot,ofcourse,suggestingthatheiborn
.av. .c.... .av. .c. 1 57
adopts a Hegelian or essentialist position, which often seems to be
implicitinMannheim'swork.Nonetheless,theioleoftheeconomyin
1herborn'stheoryofideologycouldberatherclearer.
1hislackofclaritydoeshavesomespecihcconsequences. Inthehrst
place,itisnotalwaysclearwhyparticular classesshouldhaveparticular
ideologies, although theie is a sketch of the kinds ofideology that
1herborn believes to be appropriate to specihc classes (Chapter 3) .
Secondly, we aie not told why the ideological system i s 'ovei-
determined by class foices' an important point if one wishes to
establish the primacy ofclass (although,it should be said, 1herboin
does suggest that he does not have the space to develop the point).
1hirdly, therelationshipbetweenclassand powerisobscured 1he
title of1herborn'sessayimpliesthatpowerishisprimaryfocus,and
thisattitudeemerges at various points. For example, he staits by
saying.'1hemainconcernofthisessayistheoperationofideologyin
theorganization,maintenanceandtiansformationofpowerinsociety'
(p. 1 ) . 1hatisbynomeansapeculiarlyMarxistaim,anditiscentral,foi
example,toitsmaincompetitoi,Weberiansociology.Power,class,and
economy areanalyticallydistinct and, as our analysis ofMannheim
showed,onecanhaveaninterestinpower,eveninclasspower,without
anycommitmenttoaMaixistsocialtheory.Marxistsclaimtobeableto
answer all three ofthese points by ieference to an analysis of the
economy.
Without a more detailed specihcation ofthe relationshipbetween
ideologyandeconomyitisdifhculttoknowhow1herbornresolvesthe
dilemmas.1hetensionhereisfuitheiillustratedbyaconsiderationof
theseconddilemmanotedabove,thatofthedehnitionoftheconcept
ofideologyitself.
' Ideology' will be used here in a very broad sense. It will not necessarily
imply any particular content (falseness, miscognition, imaginary as opposed
to real character), nor will it assume any necessary degree of elaboration and
coherence. Rather it will refer to that aspect of the human condition under
which human beings live their lives as conscious actors i n a world that makes
sense to them to varying degrees. Ideology is the medium through which
this consciousness and meaningfulness operate. (p. 2)
1heibornclearlyiegardsideologyasconstitutinghumansubectivity,
and he quite deliberately breaks with the conception ofideology as
dehcient.'1hebroaddeh nitionofideologyadoptedheredepartsfrom
theusualMarxistone, by not restricting it to forms ofillusion and
miscognition' (p. 5). Heis, ofcourse, correcttoidentify ideology-as-
ciitiqueasacentialplankofMaixisttheory.Indeed,unlessitweiethe
1 58 v.- - . c. ..o.oc.
piimacyofthe economy, i t woulo beoifhcultt oimagine anyothei
featuiesochaiacteiisticofMaixistaccountsofioeology.Maixistshave
oftenattackeothesocio|ogyofknowleogefoiaooptingaconceptionof
ioeologyascoveiinga|lkinosofknowleoge,thusoepiivingtheconcept
ofwhat they see as its vitalciitical eoge. 1o ietuin to oui oiiginal
compaiison, LukacsfeltthatMannheim's woikobscuieotheciucial
oiffeiences between tiue ano false consciousness, while Aooino
suggesteothatMannheimca|leoeveiythingintoquestionbutciiticizeo
nothing.
Constituting the (Human) Subject
Wetuinnowtooneofthecentiale|ementsof1heiboin'stheoiy.the
functionofioeology.1heiboinioentihesfoui(anoonlyfoui)oimen-
sionsofhumansubectivity,anothenaiguesthatioeo|ogy'sfunctionis
toconstiuctthosesubectivities. 'Mythesisisthatthesefouioimensions
makeupthefunoamentalfoims ofhumansubectivity, anothatthe
univeiseofioeologiesisexhaustivelystiuctuieobythefouimaintypes
ofinteipe|lationthatconstitutethesefouifoimsofsubectivity'(p.23) .
We see seveial oifhculties aiising out of 1heiboin's theoietical
position. Inthehistplace,hecomesclosetoaiguingthatthefoimsof
human subectivity determine the foims of ioeology, which woulo
commit him to a pioblematic of the subect as the giouno of all
ioeo|ogy.A seconooifhcultywiththisanootheitheoiiesofinteipell-
ation is theii assumption that the subectis an inoivioua| agent, the
peison, when on the contiaiy the constitution of 'peisons' in late
capitalism ofteniequiies the foimation ofcollective agents such as
business coipoiations, piofessional associations, tiaoe unions ano
tiaoe associations. It is peifectly possible to oesciibe social epochs
(c|assica| Rome oilatecapita|ism) in which legal,social oi ieligious
oehnitions of 'the peison' oo not coincioe with effective economic
agents. 1heiboin's aigument maywoikfoi'natuialpeisons' ,but it
neeostobe shown howitappliesinthecaseofjuiisticpeisons'. One
canfuitheiaskwhetheithefoimationofcoipoiatestiuctuieshastobe
by inteipe|lation. In the thiio place, ioeo|ogy ooes not invaiiably
constitute peisons, it can also oe-constitute them. Foi example, the
laws ofcoverture piecluoeo women fiom peisonhooo on entiy into
maiiiage. It is moie peitinent to c|aim that ioeologies function to
oiffeientiate peisons fiom not-peisons(foiexample, chiloien, mai-
iieo women, slaves ano a|iens). Jhese iemaiks iaise the tiaoitional
phi|osophicalpioblemofwhetheisubectsiequiiebooiesano,inoeeo,
what 'booies' aie. 1he vaiiations on this union ofsubect/booy aie
...av. .c.... ...av. .c. 1 59
extensive. Inmeoievalpoliticalthought, kings haotwobooiesieHec-
tingtheii political ano spiiitua| status. Bycontiast, coipoiations hao
legalpeisonalities, butonlyhctivebooies,whileslaveshaobooiesbut
notpeisons.
Leaving asioethe question ofhow ioeo|ogy constitutes collective
agents,anoaoopting1heiboin'sfiameofiefeiencethatthetheoiyof
ioeologyisconceineowiththehumansubect,onemayacceptthelogic
ofwhathesetsouttoooinhisclassihcationofioeo|ogiesofthesubect
ano still h no the account somewhat incomplete ano ambiguous.
Because1heiboinappeaistotakefoigianteotheunityofbooyano
subect, he ooes not consioei, foi example, how oisease theoiies as
meoicalioeologieshtintohismooelofinteipe|lation. AsFoucaulthas
ieminoeo us, meoical classihcatoiy schemas have enoimous political
signihcance. But aie these aooiesseotooiseases, booies oipeisons:
1he oebate about oisease, illness behavioui ano oeviance comes
eventuallytothepiob|emofthemoialiesponsibilityoftheinoivioual,
anothustothe'cause'ano'motives'ofbehavioui.Howevei,itwoulobe
oifhculttoknowwheietolocate,foiexamp|e,thesociologicalnotion
of 'vocabulaiies of motive' within 1heiboin' s categoiization. Such
vocabulaiiesaienotpiecisely elements of'inclusive-existentialioeol-
ogies',sincetheyoonotlocatepeisonsasmembeisofthewoilo,they
simply specify what is to count as acceptablebehavioui. 1his iaises
anotheiissueconceiningtheclassihcationofioeologiesofthesubect.
theieappeaistobeconsioeiableanouncleaioveilapbetweenboxes 1
ano 4, ano 2 ano 3 in his table. It is not obvious, foi example, why
membeiship of a tiibe (inclusive-histoiica|) shou|o be signih cantly
oiffeientfiommembeishipofasystemoftiibes(positional-histoiical).
1heiboin's appioach to ioeology iepiesentsa oecisive moveaway
fiomthepioblemof thefalsityofioeologicalbeliefstothepioblemof
possibility what aie the possibi|ities ofsubectconstiuction: 1hei-
boin'swoik,likeouiThe Dominant Ideolog Thesis, isthuslessconceineo
withquestionsoflegitimationanoincoipoiationanomoieconceineo
withthequestionofpossibility.Howevei,whatheooesnotaski s. what
aie the vaiiations in the effectivity of ioeological systems, given
oiffeiences intheii appaiatus, in establishingthe possible: Such an
omissionisooogiven thetitleofthewoik,anoasaiesultitisnevei
maoe explicit whatthe poweiofioeologyactually is. Whatiscleaiis
that, foi1heiboin, ioeology is a veiy impoitant social foice. As he
himselfinoicates,theieisaoehniteAlthusseiianimpiintheie.Inoeeo,
hisconceptioncouloalmostbeoesciibeoinAlthussei'swoios. ' Human
societies secieteioeo|ogyas theviyelementano atmospheie inois-
pensabletotheiihistoiicaliespiiationanolife',ano,moiespecihcally,
'ioeology(asasystemofmassiepiesentations)isinoispensableinany
1 60 MAP P I NG I DEOLOGY
societyi fmenaieto beformeo,transformeoanoequippeo,torespono
totheoemanosoftheirconoitionsofexistence'. 1herborn'susageof
interpellation is, howevei, a mooihcation ofAlthusser's conceptthat
comesclosertothetraoitionalstiuctural-functionalsociologicaltheoiy
ofrolesthanheaomits.1gain, 1herbornoiscussesthis parallel, but
biiefyanowithoutmuchattentiontomoierecentcriticalaccountsof
thattheoryfiomwithinsociology.
1he geneial theoiy of ioeology as interpellation, as constituting
human subectivity, therefoie has echoes, notonlyofAlthusser, but
alsoofParsons.Itisalsovulnerabletotheciiticismfrequentlymaoeof
boththeseauthors. thattheiraccounts manifest an undesirable func-
tionalism Parsons, in particular, aoopts the strategy ofioentifying
social neeos ano then explaining the existence of certain social
practicesbyrefeiencetothemannerinwhichtheyservethoseneeos.
1hesametypeoffunctionalistexplanation isuseotoioentifyclass
ioeologies, which, 1herborn contenos, have to be oeriveo from a
theoietical specih cation ofthe necessaiy requiiements ofa mooe of
proouction. 'it mustbetheoreticallyoetermineowhichioeologiesaie
feuoal,bourgeois,proletarian,petty-bouigeoisorwhatever,theques-
tion is notansweiable by historical or sociological inouction alone'
(pp. 515) . Suchoeterminationmeans hnoingthe'minimumsubec-
tion-qualihcation. . . necessaiyforaclassofhumanbeingstoperform
their economically oehneo roles' (p. 55) . A ma|or problem with
1herboin's accountofclass ioeologiesisthatheooesnotaoequately
explainwhy hechoosescertainioeologiesasfunctionallynecessaiy,ano
his lists of ioeological inteipellations may not be theoietically or
empiiicallywell-giounoeo. Forexample, inspecifyingcapitalistclass
ioeologies, he asserts without explanation that bouigeois class ego-
ioeologiesiequire'inoivioualachievement'(p.57),apropositionthatis
contraoicteoinatleastoneaovanceocapitalisteconomy,[apan,where
a coiporate-collectivity orientation amongcapitalistmanagers is the
typical bourgeois interpellation. Furthermoie, 1herborn's assertion
thatworking-classioeologyinvolves'anoiientationtowork,tomanual
labour,incluoingphysicalprowess,toughness,enouranceanooexter-
ity' (p.59) is not appiopriate to late capitalism, givenchanges inthe
occupationalstructurewhichhavebothcreateoasizeablenon-manual
proletariatanobioughtmanywomenintowageoeconomicroles.
1he oifhculties raiseo by this unoesirable form of functionalist
argumentare,ofcourse,similaitothosepiesenteobyrecent(anopast)
Maixistoebatesabouttheroleofclassstruggle.1heearlierAlthusser-
ianformulationsemphasizeothewayinwhichthemooeofproouction
oetermineothefoimofsocialpractices , themooeofpioouctionhas
iequiiements oi conoitions of existence which are piovioeo by
DETERMI NACY AND I NDETERMI NACY 1 61
practicesof vaiiouskinos.1heoifhcultywithsuchargumentswithin
Marxism,paiticularlyacutegiventhecentralityoftheclassstruggleto
Marxist theory,is that they leave no room foiclass struggles genei-
ateoinoepenoentlyoftheiequirementsofthemooeofproouction.
1herbornooesattempttoavoiosomeoftheproblemsraiseobyhis
functionalistana|ysisbymakingtheconceptofioeologyopen-enoeo,
bystressingtheimpoitanceofioeologicalstruggleanooemonstrating
thecontraoictionswithinioeologicalfoims.Heintrooucesanentirely
welcomeelementofcontingencyintotheoebatewhichmakespossible
theanalysisofioeologyasakinooffunctionalcircleinwhichsubects
makeioeologyanoioeologymakessubects.1hiscontingencycanbe
illustrateoina numbeiofways. Foiexample,ioeologiesoonothave
uniform effects, opeiating in a single-minoeo fashion to create
homogeneous subectivities.Atthelevelofthesubect,whomaybeat
the inteisection of a numbei of conficting ioeologies, oiffeient
subectivities for example, worker, husbano or Protestant may
competefoioominance.Furtheimore,contraoictoiinessmayactually
be inheientin the notion ofioeology itself. 1hus, for 1herborn the
cieation ofsubectivity actually involves two processes. ofsubjecting
thesubecttoaparticulaioehnitionofhis role, ano ofqualiying him
for his role. 1he reproouction of any social organization requires
some basic corresponoence between subection ano qualihcation
However,theieisaninherentpossibilityofconfictbetweenthetwo.
For instance, 'new kinos ofqualihcation may be iequireo ano pio-
vioeo, new skills that clash with the traoitional forms ofsubection'
(p.1 7).
Again,anysmoothfunctioningofioeologymaybeinterrupteoby
social struggles. In the case of suboroinate classes, altei-ioeologies
provioe thebasis ofioeological ano, ultimately, class struggle. How-
ever, the oifhcultywith 1heiboin's accounthere is thathe ooes not
provioe a convincingtheoreticaloiscussionofalter-ioeologies. 1hey
areseenaslogicallyaninevitableconsequenceofpositionalioeologies
whichproouceoiffeiences,butthereisnosociologicalaccountofhow
theyaiemaintaineoanohaveeffectsinsocialstruggles.
Further, 1herborn quite iightly emphasizes the way i n which
ioeologies are various ano contraoictoiy. It is not only theinterpel-
lateo or interpellating subects thathave no hxeo unity ano consis-
tency. Ioeologies themselves are equally protean. For analytic
puiposes oifferent ioeologies may be ioentiheo accoroing to theii
source, topic, content oi interpellateo subect. But as ongoing pio-
cessesofinteipellation, theyhave nonatural bounoaiies, nonatural
criteriaoistinguishingone ioeology fromanotheroroneelementof
anioeologyfiomitstotality.Particularlyintooay'sopenanocomplex
I 2 MAPP I NG I DEOLOGY
societies oifferent ioeologies, however oehneo, 'not only coexist,
compete ano clash, but also overlap, affect ano contaminate one
another'(p.79) .
The Dilemmas of Indeterminacy
Contingency, of course, leaos to an inoeterminacy that makes it
oifhcult to say much about ioeological struggle that has general
applicability. Despite 1herborn's belief that there can be a general
theoryofioeology, hesensiblyinsiststhatioeologies, evenwithinthe
capitalistmooe, varyintheircontents,anoespeciallyintheireffects.
For example, he notices that nationalism provioes an interesting
example ofhow a seemingly straightforwaro ioeo|ogical oiscourse
contains numerous contraoictions. 1herborn notes the historical
association between bourgeois revo|utions ano nationalism 'which
becamelinkeotothebourgeoisrevolutionbyprovioinganioeo|ogyof
strugg|ethatcounterposeototheoynasticano/orcolonialpowerastat
of legal|y free ano equal citizens encompassing a certain territory'
(p. 9). But bourgeois ioeology iscomplexanoinconsistent, because
nationalism can be seen to be at ooos with the internationalism
('cosmopolitanism')imp|ieobybourgeoisaoherencetomarketration-
ality ano competitive inoivioua|ism (p. 9). Moreover, 1herborn
recognizes that nationalism, as one ofthe 'formulae ofruling-class
|egitimation' (p.9), proouces inoeterminate outcomes, sometimes
|eaoing suboroinate classes to ra|ly to the 'national interest' ano
support of oominant interests, sometimes forming part of the
'' nationalpopular`traoition'ofstruggle(p.70).
Weenoorsethisargumentanosuggest,contrarytowhatanumber
ofmooernMarxistsprofess, thatnationalismqualihesmostuneasilyas
part ofthe oominant ioeology oflate capitalism, atleastin Britain.
Althoughcapitalism oeve|opeowithin nation-states ano still has an
importantnationalorientation, late capitalism alsohas a signihcant
transnationalcharacterwhichmeansthatthestatusofnationalismasa
bourgeoisioeo|ogyisambiguous. DilIerenteconomicinterestswithin
capitalism ano their associateo c|ass fractions, national ano inter-
nationa|, have therefore createo contraoictory positions within the
oominant ioeology. In sofarasnationalismhaseffectsfor suboroi-
nates, thesearealsocontraoictory. Ontheonehano, nationalism has
oftenformeopartofa popular counter-ioeology. AsHobsbawmhas
cogently reminoeo us, the combination ofpatriotism ano working-
class consciousness hasbeenhistoricallya powerfulagencyofraoical
socialchange,asitwasinBritainintheaftermathoftheSeconoWor|o
DETERMI NACY AND I NDETERMI NACY I 3
WaranoearlierintheChartistperioo.Inrecentyears,nationalismhas
informeo the political programme of the Left, notably in policies
concerning the EEC ano the reimposition of restrictions on the
movement of capital abroao oesigneo to protect popular interests
againstmonopolycapital. Ontheotherhano, wehaveto accountfor
the apparentlyunifyingeffectofnationalismD aresponsetoexternal
threats,notab|ywar.1he' FalklanosCrisis'isobviouslyacaseinpoint.
However,whiletheFalklanosissueoiomobilizeawioecross-sectionof
societybehinoconservative,ingoistsymbols,patriotismisunlikelyto
change the unoerlying popular mooo of'hopelessness, apathy ano
oefeatism' . "Suchepisooic socio-oramas mayhave little consequence
fortheformationofioeologiesthathavelong-runeffects. Inaooition
to Hobsbawm's example ofthe historicalafhnity between working-
classraoicalismano patrioticnationalismincertain perioos,wenote
thatperipheralnationalismwithinperipheralregions~ forexample,
Wales ano Scotlano has oivisive consequencesforthe nation-state
ano coulo not be regaroeo as a oominant ioeology, certainly not a
bourgeoisone.
1he point is that the funoamental ioeological form of inclusive
historicalioeologies,evenwhen speciheomoreclose|yasnationalism,
neeo have no explanatory power in preoicting the outcome of
ioeological struggle. 1here isclearly something ofa oi|emma here
betweenageneraloeterminateanalysis,whichooesnotallowfor the
contingenciesofioeology, anoaninoeterminateanalysis whichooes
not allow genera| claims. In our book we have trieo to show the
contingency of the relationship of ioeo|ogy to capitalist economic
activity.
Empirically it appears to be the case that a capitalist mooe of
proouctioncan coexistwitha greatvarietyofioeologica| superstruc-
tures. In religiousioeologies,thereisCatholicisminFrance,Catholic-
ismanoProtestantismin Hollano, the'civi|religion' ofAmerica, ano
IslamintheCulfStates.Inlegalsystems,thereisthehistoricalproblem
raiseo by Weber that uoge-maoe law' in Britain ano formal law in
Cermany were both compatible with capitalism. In politics, various
politicalsystemsrangingfromFascismtoliberaloemocracyappearto
oevelop alongsioe capitalism.Socialformationswhichsharethesame
capitalistbase thus oisplay a variety ofoi|Ierentioeological systems.
Fromthisperspective,whileitmaybepossibletoarguethatioeology
contributes unoer certain historica| circumstances to the unity of
classes or economic organization (such as family organization ano
Catholicteachingonsexualityinfeuoalism),itisoifh cu|ttoorawany
general conc|usionsfromsuch particular observations. However, to
concluoe that, at the level ofthe social formation, ioeology isalways
1 64 MAP P I NG I DEOLOGY
vaiiableanocontingentbothi ncontentanofunctionmayoveistatetIe
case.
Oneobvious obection is that theie must be some limits to these
vaiiations,whichaiesetbythebasiciequiiementsofthe'conoitionsof
existence'ofamooeofpioouction.Howevei,theioeologicaliequiie-
ments ofcapitalism oo appeai to be unusual with iespect to oth

i
mooes. In The Dominant Ideology Thesis, we noteo the paiaoox that
latecapitalismthe ioeologicalappaiatusisgieatlyextenoe,while

he
economic ano political suboioination ofpeople makes ioeologtcal
incoipoiation incieasingly ieounoant. 1heieaietwoieasonswhywe
believethatioeologicalvaiiationincieaseswiththeoevelopmentoflate
capitalism. ( 1 ) 'oullcompulsion' in eveiyoaylife is aoequate foi the
suboioinationofthewoikei,ano(
2) theieisnoeconomiciequiiement
foiaoominantioeology.Inshoit,capitalismcan'toleiate'contingency
faibetteithananyotheimooeofpioouction.
Peihaps the mooe ofpioouction ought to be
.
ie
b
aioe as est
.
ab-
lishing ceitain bioao paiameteis which set the h

tits oftoeolo
&
cal
vaiiation

Ineailycapitalism,foiexample,theielattonsofpioouc

ton
iequiieceitainlegalsuppoitsinteimsofpiivatepiopeitya
.
nostability
ofeconomiccontiacts,butthesemaybeguaianteeobyavametyoflegal
systems. Atthelevelofthesocialfoimation,ioeologycanbe stuoieo
only, following Webei, in teims of ceitain histoiically spechc, pie-
existingioeologieswhichmay oimaynotcontirbutetothegio
^
thof
capitalistcultuie(thePiotestantEthicthesis) .Ioeologyoesn

tstmply
incoipoiateclasses, itis, iathei, a 'iesouice' ofcollecttve actton. Foi
example, as Maix noteo, ' the bouigeoisie, having mobilizeo in-
oivioualism against feuoalism, h nos 'civil libeities' employeo by
oppositional gioupsagainstcapitalist oomination. Inoivioualism can
thusbeiegaioeoasaiesouiceofpoliticalstiuggle.Fuitheimoie,as

e
aigueoeailiei,ioeology,inthefoimofinoivioualism,maybeeffecttve
inactuallyfoimingthespecihcshapeofcapitalistsociety. Itooes not,
howevei,necessarily havethatfunction.
ItfollowsfiomthisoiscussionthatMaixistsshoulostatethelevelof
abstiaction atwhichioeology islocateo. Ioeology is not a necessaiy
conoition ofexistence ofthe economic base ano, at the levelofthe
socialfoimation,classstiuctuie,politicalconuicts,ethniccomposition,
thenatuieofstateoevelopment,etc

,oeteiminethevaiiableioleano
contentofioeology.1heieisnogeneialtheoiywhichcanspecifythe
functions ano contentofioeologyfoioiffeientsocieties. 1he effec-
tivity of an ioeology is an issue entiiely sepaiate fiom
.
the m

ie
piesence ofan ioeology. 1he effects ofthe appaiatu

ftoeolog

cal
tiansmissionaievaiiable(oepenoingonthelevelofpolticaleoucation
in the woikingclass,thelevel ofclassoiganization,thepiesenceofa
DETERMI NACY AND I NDETERMI NACY
1 65
tiaoitionofwoiking-classiaoicalism,etc. ) . InMaixism,thecapacityof
theISAsanootheisocializinginstitutionstooeteimineclassconscious-
ness,especiallycoipoiateconsciousness,hasbeengieatlyexaggeiateo.
It is not evioent, in any case, that societies iequiie the level of
ioeological suppoit implieo by 1heiboin. As Foucault aigues, the
inoiviouation, constiuction ano oiscipline ofinoiviouals can be se-
cuieobyiegulatoiypiactices anoinstitutions(panopticism)whichoo
notiequiiesubectiveconsciousnessonthepaitofinoivioual

eisons.
1heoiiftofouiaigumentis that1heiboinoveistatesthetmpoit-
ance ofioeology, an oveistatement most piominent in his view of
ioeologyconstiuctingsubectivities.Wewouloaovocateamuchmoie
inoeteiminateappioach. ioeologyhascausallyimpoitanteffectsonly
onsomesocialphenomenaatsometimes. Foiexample, aswetiieoto
showinThe Dominant Ideology Thesis, ioeology ooesnotgeneiallywoik
toincoipoiatesuboioinateclasses.Similaily, ioeologymay oimayn

t
have a iole in the foimation ano maintenance of any economtc
piactices.Oi totakeapositionaovanceoby1heibo

n
,

|yshoulo
one assume that the iole ofioeologyis to foim subecttvtttes: Why,
equally,shouloonenotassumethatsubectivitiesaieonlycont.ngently
foimeo by ioeologyano can,ust as effectively, be cieateo othei
ways:
We believe that 1heiboin is not sufhciently inoeteiminate, ano
seemsmoieoveitohaveallieoveiyoiffeientMaixistanosociological
foims of oeteiminism. We oo not, of couise, wish to say that
inoeteiminacyhasnolimits,apositionofminolessempiiicism,anoina
ieview aiticle ofthis length wecannotattempttotackle the issue of
whatthelimits aie, although wehaveoutlineoapossiblesolutionfoi
Biitain in The Dominant Ideology Thesis. 1heiboin has wiitten an
excellent essay which fiees the stuoy of ioeology of many of its
iigioities.Howevei,insum,wewishhewoulota

kesp

cetosay

oie

a numbei of issues, paiticulaily on the ielattonshtp of the tmplctt


functionalism ofsubectivitiestothecontingentqualitiesofioeology,
on the piecise iole ofthe economy, ano on the mechanisms ofthe
oveioeteiminationofnon-classioeologiesbyclass.
Notes
I . Nicholas Abercrom bie, Stephen Hill and Bryan S. Turner, The Dominant Ideology
Thesis, London 1 980.
2. Goran Therborn, The Ideology ofPower and the Power ofIdeology, London 1 980.
From this point onwards, page references to this book are given i n the text.
3. Goran Therborn, Science, Class and Society, London 1 976
,
p. 404
1 66 MAP P I NG I DEOLOGY
4. Georg Lukacs, The Destruction ofReason, London 1 980.
5. Theodor W. Adorno, Prisms, London 1 967.
6. Louis Althusser,For Marx, London 1 969, p. 232.
7. Ibid. , p. 235.
8. Eric Hobsbawm, 'Falklands Fallout', Marxism Today, January 1 983.
9. Ibid. , p. 1 9.
1 0. Karl Marx, 'The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte', i n Surveys from Exile,
Harmondsworth 1 974.
=
=======

The New Questions of Subjectivity


Goran Therborn
The Dominant Ideolog Thesis! by Nicholas Abercrombie, Stephen Hill
ano Bryan S. 1urner is hrst ofallthe story ofa hunting exploit. It
relates howthe authors hunt oown anohnallykillabeastcalleo'the
oominantioeologythesis'. 1osavesomespacefor oueevaluation of
thisachievement,thebeastwillhereafterbeshorteneotoDI1anoits
killers to AH1. 1hough tolo in the sometimes arring tones of
Sociologese, it is a fascinating story, which this reviewer reaowith
consioerable pleasure. Unfortunately it has become common for
reviews to say far too much about the reviewer's pleasure or ois-
pleasure,orabouthisbrightioeasingeneral,leavingthepoorreaoer
intheoarkabouttheactualobectwhichoccasioneothereview.Before
embarking upon any further assessment, therefore, let us for a
momentallowtheauthorstospeakforthemselves.
Accoroingto AH1. '1here exists awioespreaoagreementamong
Marxists, suchasHabermas, Marcuse, MilibanoanoPoulantzas, that
there is a powerful, effective, oominant ioeology in contemporary
capitalistsocieties anothatthis oominantioeologycreates an accept-
anceofcapitalismintheworkingclass.Itiswiththisoominantioeology
thesisthatourbookis concerneo' (p. 1 ) . ' Ioeology' AH1equatewith
'belief s' (p. 1 88), without any assumption of necessary falseness or
misleaoing content. 1he authors' argumentation starts with two
chapters surveying the theories they criticize ano reect. 1he frst
focusesonthree Marxistwriters, Gramsci, Habermas anoAlthusser,
theseconoonsociological'theoriesofthecommonculture',particu-
larlytheworkof1alcottParsons anothose inHuenceo byhim. AH1
holo thatthere are 'consioerable similarities' inthe accounts ofthe
social oroer given by the neo-Marxist DI1 ano the sociological
common culture theory. It is argueo that Parsons et al. , as well as
1 68 MAPP I NG I DEOLOGY
modern Marxists, tendt ofocusonthe normativeintegrationofso-
cieties, thereby departingfromtheemphasisonnon-normativecon-
straintcentraltoclassicalsocial theory, inDurkheimandWeberasin
Marxhimself.
Historical Argments
1hemainpartofthebookthendevotesonechaptereachtomedieval
feudalism, the early industrial capitalism of nineteenth-century
Britain,andthelatecapitalismofpost-WorldWarII Britain.Deploy-
ingamultitudeofhistoriographic~and,inthethirdchapter,sociologi-
cal references,AH1afhrmthatDI1isaninaccuratetheory.1hus,
underfeudalismreligionwasnot'adominantideologywhichhadthe
consequence of successfully incorporating the peasantry' (p. 9+) ,
rather,'adominantreligiousideologyamongthelandowningfeudal
class hadtheconsequenceofhelpingtheoperationofthe economic
conditions offeudalism' (p. 93), mainly through thecontribution of
Catholicfamilymoralitytotheregulationofinheritanceinland.Early
British capitalism experienced the development of a new dominant
bourgeois ideology, provided by philosophic radicalism, which de-
stroyed'traditionalism'anditssanctioningofsocialandpoliticalauth-
oritybyreferencetonaturallaw(p.96). However,AH1emphasizeas
their most important point thatworking-classcultureand ideology
were all the time largely unpermeated by this dominantbourgeois
ideology. Infeudalismandearlycapitalismtherewasaratherclearly
identiFable, thoughbynomeanscompletely uniFed, dominantideol-
ogy, whichincorporatedthe dominant class, buttheweakness ofthe
apparatus of ideological transmission left the subordinate classes
largelyuntouchedbyit.Inlatecapitalism,however,akindofinversion
hastakenplace.1ransmissionismoreeffective,butthe'limitedideo-
logical unity of previous periods has collapsed' (p. 1 56). State-
interventionistwelfarecapitalism,andthegrantingoftrade-unionand
individualemployeerightsbylargecorporations,indicatetheinternal
inconsistency ofdominant bourgeois ideology and its limited sway
acrossthedifferentfractionsofthedominantclass.AH1concludethat
'late capitalism operates largelywithoutideology' and, leaning upon
MaxWeber'seconomicsociologyandanexpressionofMarx,that' the
coherenceofcapitalistsocietiesisproducedbythedullcompulsionof
economicrelations''(p. 1 65). 'Ourposition',theyexplain,
is that the non-normative aspect of system integration provides a basis of a
society's coherence, irrespective of whether or not there are common
NEW QUESTI ONS OF SUBJ ECTI VI TY 1 69
values. Social integration and system integration can vary independently.
Social classes do have different and conficting ideologies but are, neverthe
less, bound together by the network of objective social relations. (p. i ,
1his is a very serious work on a very important topic. it makes a
valuable contributiontoourunderstandingofsocial order andsocial
domination,twothingswhichinhumanhistoryhavemeantthesame,
alas. SinceAH1havealsobeenaskedtoreviewmyownThe Ideolog of
Power and the Power ofI deolog, itmaybeofinteresttonotetheareasof
convergence with The Dominant Ideolog Thesis. 1he twobooks ap-
pearedinthesameyear,partlyaddressingthe sameproblems,but
werewritten from very different intellectual, political and national
backgrounds,withnoapparentknowledgeofeachother. Bothargue
that existing order/domination is not maintained, to any signiF cant
extent,by a beliefamongthe ruled intherulers'rightto rule. Both
stressthecrucialimportanceofnon-normativeconstraint, thediffer-
entrelationsofdifferentclassestothe sameideology,and thelack of
coherenceandconsistencyofmost ideologies. Itmayalsobethecase
thateach ofthetwoworkswouldhavebeneFtedfromknowledgeand
useoftheother. Manyofmypropositionsandconceptualdistinctions
could have been fruitfully concretized and corroborated by the
empirical readings that AH1 collect and introduce into their dis-
cussion. 1heir exposition could probably have been clarihed and
sharpenedbypartsoftheanalyticalinstrumentarium developedinmy
book. In spite of their partial conHuence, however, DIT and The
Ideolog ofPower . . . remainfundamentally different. In atleastone
sense they are even opposites. For while the latter is, above all, a
constructive effort to develop new tools for grasping the complex
relationsofideologyandpower,DIT ismainlyaworkofdestruction.
Notonlyisitaboutsomethingwhichtheauthorsareouttodestroy.It
endswithacallforsilence aboutideology.'Sincetherealtaskisalwaysto
understand the economic and politicalforces which shape people's
lives,ioomuchhasbeensaidaboutideologyinrecentdecades'(p.1 91 ) .
1hissentenceseemstoimplytwoclaims.thatAH1havesaidvirtually
allthereistosayaboutideology,atleastfortheimmediatefuture,and
that, forall practical purposes, ideology has nothingto dowithhow
economicandpoliticalforcesshapepeople'slives.Ietustesitheweight
oftheseclaims.
Ifenoughhasbeensaidaboutideologywiththepublicationof DIT, it
mustfollowthatenoughhasbeensaidaboutDI1.1hatiswhatAH1
were hunting throughout their book, and most readers will have
noticed, evenaftera hrst reading, thattheir numerous shots scored
several'hits'.Butwhatanimalisit,whosehidetheproudhuntershave
I 70 MAP P I NG I DEOLOGY
hungonthewalloftheSociologyStaffRoom:1hati s notveryeasyto
say. DI1onlygot its namefromits killers,ustbefore the triggerwas
pulleo.
A secono, closerreaoingofDIT revealsacuriousstructure ofthe
book. DI1 is hrst oehneo by general reference to a number of
Marxisttheorists, then itisrefuteobyaseriesofargumentsconcern-
ing what AH1 holo to be false notions about the

pration

f
ioeology in feuoal society ano in early ano late caprtahs

. 1hts
proceoureassumes,withnosystematicattemptatoemonstration,that
thecriticizeonotionsoffeuoalanocapitalistioeologyarethoseofthe
authors whose writings constitute the DI1. DIT contains a host of
references, but the ones oecisive for its authors' argument are
conspicuously absent. A common ano re

pectable proce+ure of
scholarly oebate is hrst to give a clear ptcture

hat ts
.
to be
scrutinizeo anocriticizeo, anothentoshowthelogicalmconsistency
oftheobectofanalysisortooemonstrateitsempiricalinaoequacyor
falseness by bringing evioence to bear against it. For some reason,
however, AH1 have chosen aquiteoifferent path. 1he criticandum,
DI1, is hrst oehneo in three oifferentways. 1hen the authors pool
theirknowleogetocastasmuchooubtaspossibleononeofthethree
obects ofoeh nition. 1he conclusion isthat

DI1is 'empiric

lly false
anotheoreticallyunwarranteo',presumably allthreemeanmgs.1o
most people this willharolybea convincingoemonstraion,

wevr
sympathetic they may feel towaros much ofthe bo

ks antiioealst
thrust. Itremains to be seenwhetherAH1 haveariveoatacorrect
position, even though they have not succeeoeo in bringing their
argumentstogetherinalogicallycompellingway.
Three Defnitions
1hethreeoehnitionsof'the'DI1whichAH1offerarethefollowing.
First,whatwemightcallthe'ioentihableDI1' isoehneobyreference
toknownauthors'suchasHabermas,Marcuse,MilibanoanoPoulant-
zas'(p. I ) , or'Gramsci,HabermasanoAlthusser'(pp. I l ff. ) . Seconoly,
we hno somethinglikea 'stressoehnition'ofDI1. 'Ourargumentis
thattherehasbeenanincreaseoemphasisontheautonomyanocausal
efhcacyofsuperstructuralelements,anoofioeologyi nparticular,in
mooernMarxism. . . . 1hisemphasisonioeologyamountstoaovocacy
ofwhatwehavecalleotheoominantioeologythesis'(p.29). 1hethiro
ano hnal oehnition is of a 'constructeo DI1', a proouct, most
immeoiately,ofAH1'stalentforformulation.
NEW QUES TI ONS OF S UBJ ECTI VI TY I 7 I
The main elements of this thesis are as follows:
1 . There is a dominant ideology . . .
2. Dominant classes 'benefit' from the effects of the dominant ideology . . .
3. The dominant ideology does incorporate the subordinate classes,
making them politically quiescent . . .
4. The mechanisms by which ideology is transmitted have to be powerful
enough to overcome the contradictions within the structure of capitalist
society. (p. 29)
At leasttwominimalrequirementsmustbesatisheoiftheseoehnitions
aretobeuseoinconunctionwithoneanother.itmustbepossibleto
locate,oratleasttooistil,theconstructfromtheworksmakingupthe
ioentihableoehnition,anothe'mooernMarxist'authorswholaysuch
stress on ioeology must be referring to the same thing that AH1
unoerstanobyioeology. Otherwise,therewoulobenobasisatallfor
the strangeequation of'emphasis on ioeology' with 'aovocacyofthe
oominantioeologythesis'.Crucialtothehrstrequirementis thethiro
ofthe elements givenby AH1 intheirconstruct oehnition. the ioea
that'theoominantioeologyincorporatesthe suboroinateclasses' .All
the othersare irrelevant. AH1 themselves holo elements ( I ) ano (2),
anoelement(4) i sobviouslynotpertinenttotheirlateroiscussionof
meoievalfeuoalism.AH1evengiveusalittlehelpherei nclarifying
themeaningoftheconstructoehnition.1heyabsolveMarxanoEngels
ofthe sinofDI1, in spiteofambiguous formulationsinThe German
Ideolog, because in the latter 'there was also an ioeological conHict
involveo in the economic ano political struggle. . . . We conteno,
therefore,thatMarxanoEngelsoionot aooptanincorporationtheory'
(p.8). AccoroingtoAH1' sconstructoehnition,then,thosewhoholoa
'notionofclass struggleattheioeologicalaswellastheeconomicano
politicallevels'(p.8) shouldnot beincluoeoamongtheproponentsof
DI1.
AH1 never bother toargue that the notion ofioeological class
struggle has oisappeareo from the works ofthe DI1 authors they
mention.1hereisatleastonegoooreasonfortheirneglect,however,
foramoment'srefectionwoulorevealthesterilityofanysuchattempt.
1obeginwithAlthusser,hetookpainstoemphasizehisownviewinthe
postscripttohisessayonioeologicalstateapparatuses.
Whoever says class struggle of the ruling class says resistance, revolt and
class struggle of the ruled class. That is why the ISAs are not the realization
of ideology in general, nor even the confict -f ree realization of the ideology
of the ruling class . . . . For if it is true that the ISAs represent the form in
which the ideology of the ruling class must necessarily be realized, and the
form in which the ideology of the ruled class must necessarily be measured
I 72 MAP P I NG I DEOLOGY
and confronted, ideologies are 'born' not i n the ISAs but from the social
classes at grips in the class struggle: from their conditions of existence, their
practices, their experience of the struggle, and so on. 2
Ideology in Western Marxism
AH1inoirectlyaomitthattheyhaosomeoifFcultiesinFttingGramsci
|ntotheirpictureoifFcultiesavoioeoinothercasesbecauseofAH1's
optiontoremain silent. On theonehano, wearetolo thatGramsci
' probably more than any other theorist _has] contr|buteo to the
contemporary oominant ioeology thesis', with his 'conceptions of
hegemony,anoofioeologyascementinganounifying'(p. I +) . Onthe
otherhano,afewlineslateronthesamepage,welearnthat'Gramsci
ooesnotbelievethattheworkingclassiscompletelysuboroinateoany
more than Marx did. He no ioealist . . . . Inoeeo, for Gramsci the
economy is of prime importance. ' Some reaoers will, no ooubt,
wonoerwhyGramsciisincluoeointheDI1company'anymorethan
Marx'.Infact,AH1proceeotogiveananswer.ForGramsci,'oespite
thefactthatthere is a working-class consciousness atsomelevel, its
incorporation within a oominant ioeologytenos to proouce moral
ano political passivity' ' , which can be broken only 'as a result of
struggle encourageo by a masspolitical party', thesuccess ofwhich
'oepenospartlyontheparty'sintellectuals'(p. I 5) . Still,AH1woulobe
unwisetomaketoomuchofanyoistinctionbetweenclassanopartyor
workers ano intellectuals. In Gramsci's view, 'parties are only the
nomenclatureforclasses',asthepoliticalorganizationofthelatter. 'all
membersofapoliticalpartyshouloberegaroeoas|ntellectuals',ano
between the 'spontaneous feeling' ofthe masses ano the politically
'conscious leaoership' there is but a ' ''quantitative'' oiHerence of
oegree, not one of quality'. We shall consioer presently whether
Gramsci's view of the proouction of 'moral ano political passivity'
ustihesAH1'sassimilationofittothe'empiricallyfalseanotheoreti-
callyunwarranteo'DI1. LetusustnotethatAH1oonottakeMarxto
taskforhavingsaiothat'theaovanceofcapitalistroouctionoevelops
a workingclasswhichby eoucation, traoition, habit, looks upon the
conoitions ofthatmooeofproouctionasself-evioentlawsofnature'
(quoteoonp. I ) . IfMarxescapestheirinoictment,thereseemslittle
reasontoincorporateGramsciintotheconstructoefnitionof DI1.
ItshoulobeconceoeothatHabermasanoMarcuseappeartoqualify
betterfortheranksoftheoamneo.But since thathasmoretooowith
theirooubtsaboutclass struggleunoercontemporarycapitalismthan
withanyoenialofideological classstruggle,itwouloseempreferableto
NEW QUESTI ONS OF SUBJECTI VI TY I 73
consioer them in relation to the stressoeFnitionofDI1. 1he case of
Milibano is perhaps the simplest ano most straightforwaro ofall. If
AH1haobeenlessconcerneowiththeirimageascavaliers seuls, they
coulo have enlisteo Milibano in support of their more reasonable
claims.ReferringtoThe German Ideology anoto'theGramscianconcept
ofhegemony' ', or atleast some interpretations ofit, Milibano has
written.
What is involved is an overstatement of the ideological predominance of the
'ruling class' or of the effectiveness of that predominance . . . . It is at least as
true now as it was when the words were written that 'the class which has the
means of material production at its disposal has control at the same time
over the means of mental production'. But it is only partially true . . . that
'thereby, generally speaking, the ideas of those who lack the means of
mental production are subject to it'. The danger of this formulation, as of
the notion of 'hegemony', is that it may lead to a quite inadequate account
being taken of the many-sided and permanent challenge which is directed at
the ideological predominance of the 'ruling class' . . . . 5
Finally,Poulantzas.Againwecanlettheaccuseooefenohimself.
To say that there is a working class in economic relations necessarily implies
a specifi c place for this class in ideological and political relations, even if in
certain countries and certain historical pe
r
iods this class does not have its
own 'class consciousness' or an autonomqus political organization. This
means that in such cases, even i f it is heavily contaminated by bourgeois
ideology, its economic existence is still expressed in certain specific material
politico-ideological practices which burst through its bourgeois 'dis
course' . . . . To understand this, of course, it is necessary to break with a
whole conception of ideology as a 'system of ideas' or a coherent 'discourse',
and to understand it as an ensemble of material practices. This gives the lie
to all those ideologies arguing the 'integration' of the working class . . - .
Construct and Reality
1he Frst anothe thiro ofAH1' soehnitionsoonothttogether.With
thepossibleexceptionsofHabermasanoMarcusebothcomingoutof
oneparticulartraoitionofWesternMarxismtheioentihable or,soto
speak, actually existing DI1ists cannot be covereo by AH1's con-
structeoDI1. 1hisnon-Ftbetweentheioentihable oehnition anothe
construct is also apparent in the fact that part of AH1's evioence
againstthelatteriseitherfullycompatiblewith,oraoirectcorrobor-
ationof, propositionsaovanceobyioentiFableDI1ists.Abrieflistof
illustrationswillsufFce~ inoeeo, itcoulonotbe maoemuchlonger,
1 74 MAP P I NG I DEOLOGY
becauseAH1haveharolyunoerstooothepurposeofAlthusseret at. ,
ano speno most of their time simply talking at a tangent. When
Althusserwanteotoargue thatthe CatholicChurchwasthecentral
ISA in pre-capitalist Europe, he saio. 'It is no accioent that all
ioeologicalstruggle,fromthesixteenthtotheeighteenthcentury. . .
wasconcentrated inan anti-clericalanoanti-religiousstruggle, rather,
this is a function precisely ofthe oominant position ofthe religious
ioeological state apparatus. ' ' Poulantzas hao earlier maoe a relateo
point '1heoominanceofthis_oominant]ioeologyisshownbythefact
that the oominateo classes live their conoitions ofpolitical existence
through the forms of oominant political oiscourse. this means that
oftentheyliveeven their revolt againstthe oomination ofthesystem
withintheframeofreferenceoftheoominantlegitimacy. '
WecannotexpectAH1tohavelookeo forevioencefororagainst
thesenotions. Butinarguingagainsttheirownconstruct, theyhave
come up with some rather telling illustrations of Althusser's ano
Poulantzas'sarguments.AgainsttheioeaofCatholicincorporationof
thepeasantry,forexample,theywrite.
In the Black Mass in the region of Labor in 1 609 the Catholic Mass was
celebrated in reverse by a priest who had his face to the ground while
elevating a black Host. In Catalan witchcraft in the same period, Latin
prayers were recited backwards while in the Midi Feast of Fools, Mass
bouffe and Mass-farce turned the Church's sacred ritual into a public
burlesque. In the absence of a real revolutionary strategy, the peasantry had
to content itself with a purely farcical portrayal of the idea that 'the f rst shall
be last'. (pp. 78-9)
Whentheycometomio-VictorianBritain,AH1invokestuoiesofthe
labour aristocracy to support their view that 'apparently bourgeois
beliefs _ofself-help, improvement,inoepenoence,respectability] hao
oistinctive,corporateanoclassmeaningsfortheproletariat'(p. 1 1 7) .
I nAH1' sopinion,Althusser'sessay' IoeologyanoIoeologicalState
Apparatuses''ismovingtotheconventionalstatementoftheoominant
ioeologythesis . . . . 1hispositionissummarizeowellinAlthusser'sown
woros . 1omy knowleoge, noclasscanholoStatepoweroveravery
longperioowithoutatthesametimeexercisingitshegemonyoverano
intheStateIoeologicalApparatuses'' (p.24; emphasisomitteo).AH1
makenoattempttooisproveAlthusser'sstatement.Buttheyoomake
various points whichinoirectly pertain to it. 1heir oiscussion ofthe
supportiverelationshipbetween Church ano feuoalaristocracy is of
thekinowemightexpectfromanAlthusserianperspective. Again,in
their summary ofWillis'sLearning to Labour (p. 1 50) theyrefertothe
NEW QUESTI ONS OF SUBJ ECTI VI TY 1 75
inoivioualist, achievement-orientateo, hierarchical ano non-manual
values of the school values which seem to involve 'bourgeois
hegemony'overanointheschoolsystem,thecentralISAinAlthusser's
viewofmaturecapitalism.Ofcourse,AH1introouceWillisinoroerto
showtheschool'sfailuretoinooctrinatetheaoolescentworkingclass.
But the evioence coulo equally be useo, not to prove Althusser's
'conventional statement', but at least to make it rather plausible.
Suppose,forexample,thattheschoolhaoembooieotheioeologyof
thisworking-classyouth. 'arefusaltosubmittoauthority,thevalueof
solioaristiccollectivismanothereectionofthevariouselementsofthe
inoivioualistethos,aglorihcationofmanuallabour,anoanawareness
that labour has only a commooity status in the mooern economy,
coupleo with _reection] ofthis fact' . Is it not rather plausible that
bourgeoisstatepowerwoulothenhavebeenineoparoy:
A Question of Stress?
AH1's'stressoehnition'ofDI1- inwhichitisequateowithemphasis
on ioeo|ogy ~ is the loosest of the three but apparently the most
importantto the authors. Whereastheioentihableoehnitionioenti-
hesthe target, anotheconstructprovioesaneasyrouteofattack,as
well as a catchy title for the enterprise, the 'stress oehnition' com-
manos ano connects the other two across all logical hiatuses, sup-
plyingtheenergyanomeaningforthewholepolemic. Itisprecisely
withthe'stress oehnition',however, thattheargumentofDIT breaks
oown.ForAH1oonotreallyseemtohaveappreciateothattheyhave
a much more restricteo oehnition ofioeology than the peoplethey
attack.1owarostheenoofthebookAH1claim. 'Inourargumentwe
havesofarequateoioeology'withbeliefs' (p. 1 88) . 1hatisnotquite
true. In rea|ity, they equate ioeology with normative beliefs, without
making cleartothemselvesthatthere mightbe otherbeliefs about
what exists ano what ooes not, about who one is, about what is
possible ano what is not, ano so on. Quite correctly AH1 assertthat
'thcre is an important oistinction between the acceptance of social
arrangements because they appearust, ano acceptance simply be-
cause they are there, or because they appear as a coercive external
fact'. 'Weoonotunoerstanothiskinoofpragmaticacceptance',they
continue, 'as entailingthepossessionofany setofbeliefs,attituoesor
false consciousness. Insteao pragmatic acceptance istheresultofthe
coercive quality of everyoay life ano ofthe routines that sustain it'
(p. 1 66; emphasisaooeo).
.
Now, AH1's conception ofioeologyis not shareo by the theortsts
1 76 MAP P I NG I DEOLOGY
mentionedi ndefnition one as proponentsofDI1. Marcuse, whose
One-Dimensional Man: The Ideology of Industrial Society would at frst
glance seem the most qualif ed for inclusion under the construct
defnitionofDI1, didnotatalladheretotherestrictivedehnitionof
ideology.Whenhetalkedabouthow'changesinthecharacterofwork
and the instruments of production change the attitude and the
consciousness ofthe labourer, which become manifestinthe widely
discussedsocialandculturalintegration'ofthelabouringclass', hewas
referringto'assimilationinneedsandaspirations,inthestandardof
living,inleisureactivities,inpolitics'.9 1hepointisnotwhetherMarcuse
wasrightorwronginhisanalysisofthisprocessAH1clearlythinkhe
waswrong. 1hepointisthathesawitasanoutcomeofwhatAH1call
'the massive andconstrainingqualityofeverydaylife' (p. 1 66), ofthe
worker'sbeing'incorporatedintothetechnologicalcommunityofthe
administeredpopulation' , bymeansof'anintegrationintheplantitself,
inthematerialprocessofproduction'.'AH1areclosertothemarkin
their discussion of Habermas's concern with legitimation. 1o their
credit, however, they also register that Habermas's concept of
legitimationsometimesextendsbeyondbeliefsofrightandwrong.1o
tha textent,Habrmasesca pesthecriticalsal vosdirectedatDI1(p. 1 6) .
Fromanotherangle,Althusser'sdiscussionofideologywasexplicitly
concerned with, amongotherthings, howwecome'torecognizethat
wearesubectsandthatwefunctioninthepracticalritualsofthemost
elementaryeverydaylife' . ' ' AstoGramsci,the'consent'heanalysedin
relationtohegemonywasneitheranexclusivelynormativeacceptance
inAH1's sense,norsimplyaneverydayroutine.Rather,Gramsciheld
that 'this consent is historically' caused by the prestige (and conse-
quent conhdence) which the dominant group enoys because ofits
position and function in the world of production' . ' While this
formulationmaylenditselftodifferentinterpretations,Gramscicould
alsobequiteexplicitaboutnon-normativecomponentsofideological
hegemony. InarefectionaboutthepossibilityofinterpretingItalian
Fascismasa' passiverevolution' , hewrote.
The ideological hypothesis could be presented in the following terms: that
then; is a passive revolution involved in the fact that -through the legislative
intervention of the State, and by means of the corporative organization -
relatively far-reaching modifcations are being introduced into the
country's economic structure in order to accentuate the 'plan of prod uction'
element. . . . What is important from the political and the ideological point
of view is that it is capable of creating- and indeed does create- a period of
expectation and hope, especially in certain Italian social groups such as the
great mass of urban and rural petty bourgeois. It thus reinforces the
hegemonic system. 13
NE W QUESTI ONS OF SUBJECTI VI TY 1 77
Conceptions of Subjectivity
The Dominant Ideology Thesis shouldbe read with a sense ofhumour.
1hevociferous andvoraciousanimal, whichAbercrombie, Hill and
1urnerclaimtohavehuntedoutofeverylairfrommedievalFranceto
contemporary Britain, islittle morethan ablown-up balloon, against
whichlittlemore thana pinora good pencilisrequired. (Butitisa
balloon which deserves to be punctured. ) Beneath the extravagant
claims, DIT contains some sound sociological sense. Its authors are
quite correct inemphasizingtheusually fractured andcontradictory
characterofdominant ideologies andthe resilientideologicalauton-
omy ofsubordinate classes. 1hey are right to underline the crucial
function of'non-normative aspects ofsystem integration' a stress
alreadydevelopedby DavidLockwoodascoreorsoyearsago. 1heir
bookdoes, however,involveacelebrationofobscurantism which,ifit
weretobecomeinuuential,wouldhaveveryseriousimplications.For
in theirdeclamatoryreferencesto'the dullcompulsion ofeconomic
relations' and their closing statement that 'too much has been said
aboutideologyinrecentdecades',theyarepayingobscurantisthomage
towhatmightbecalleda'black-box'conceptionofhumansubectivity.
Black-boxtheoriesdohavecertainlegitimatefunctionsinscience.they
areeconomic, andtheymakeitpossibletoadvancebycircumventing
terrainsofignorancethataredifhculttopenetrate. Buttoturnsucha
makeshift solution into a principle, some 1 1 5 years after itwas hrst
proposed,seems to meritthe harshdesignation ofa celebration of
obscurantism.Whatofthepeoplewhoare'dullycompelled'tobecome
andtoremainwage-labourers,orsalariedsociologylecturers:Whatdo
theyknow,whatdotheyfeel,whatdotheyhopefor,whatdotheyfear,
what do they consider 'fun' , what do they think is possible or
impossible:Ordotheynothaveanybeliefsatall:Abercrombie, Hill
and1urnerhaveaperfectrighttoregardsuchquestionsasboringor
trivial.Butsocialscienceandhistoriographywouldthemselvesbecome
dullandboringiftheyrestrainedotherpeoplefromtryingtoanswer
them.
AH1remainimprisoned in one ofthetraditional conceptions of
ideology. that of normative beliefs of right and wrong. Modern
analysesofideologyanddiscoursehavetobreakoutof arebreaking
outof thatstrai|acket.Imightbeallowedtorefertomyownbookas
onelittleexample. Insteadofbarricadingitselfagainstthenotionof
subectivity,asAH1propose,historicalmaterialismhastoconfrontit
and accountforits vicissitudes. Unless wetranscendwhat Marxand
Weber knew about the 'dull compulsion' ofthe market, we cannot
comprehendthenewsocialmovements(thestudent,thewomen's,the
I 78 MAPPI NG I DEOLOGY
ecologicalanothe peacemovements),or theactuallyexistinghistory
anopossiblefutuieofthelabourmovement.
Finally,oominantioeologiesneeotobeiescueofiomtheirconvei-
sionintotheses,whetherbyproponentsoiopponents.1heyshoulobe
oevelopeo as hypotheses ofempirical iesearch. Asfaras I can tell,
AH1arequiterightinieectingtheioeathatall-pervasivenormative
ooctrines govern the behaviour ofmembers ofoevelopeo societies.
But, again,itwoulobeobscurantisttoiefrainfrom lookingintothe
oominant ioeologies. Here a comparativeappioach seems to be the
mostfruitful.Incomplexsocieties,what is canbemosteasilyoiscovereo
throughcomparisonwithwhatexistsorhasexisteoelsewheie. Inmy
own ieseaich I have been looking at how political ioeologies have
changeo in Sweoish electoial campaigns fiom l 928 to l 982. In
functioning oemocracies, what is saio ano what is not saio, what is
appealingano whatisregaroeo asacampaignblunoer,tapimportant
aspectsofioeologicalpowerielationsincomplexsocieties.Sincethey
have a behaviouial component, election campaigns also seem more
reliable thaninternational opinion polls. Anotherpromisingroute~
ooubtlessnottheonlyone-istolookattheprevalenceoiabsenceano
thehistoricaltraectoryofceitainconceptsorlabelsofioentihcation.
Forinstance,inSweoishparlancetheiehasbeen no 'miooleclass'or
'miooleestate'[Mittelstand] sinceaboutI 950. butthereare'bourgeois
parties'anoa'workers'movement'(withoutaworkingclass).
With all the respect oue to The Dominant Ideolog Thesis for its
intelligence, eruoition ano souno scepticism ofthe past, my funoa-
mentalobectionisthatitisnotsilencewhichisnowontheagenoa,that
seiiousanalysisofioeologyhastobeginanoisbeginning.Letmeeno
byexpressingthehopethatAbeicrombie,Hillano1urnerwillbiing
theiiunoeniableskillstobeaionthistask.
Notes
1 . London 1 980.
2. Louis Althusser, ' Ideology and Ideological State Apparatuses', this volume,
Chapter 5.
3. Emphasis added.
4. Antonio Gramsci, SelectionsfromthePrisonNotebooks, London 1 97 1 , pp. 227, 1 6, 1 99.
5. Ralph Miliband, Marxism and Politics, Oxford 1 977, p. 53.
6. Nicos Poulantzas, Political Power and Social Classes, London 1 978, pp. 1 6-1 7.
7. Althusser, 'Ideology and Ideological State Apparatuses', p. 000.
8. Nicos Poulantzas, Classes in Contemporar Capitalism, London 1 973, p. 223; original
emphasis.
9. Herbert Marcuse, One-Dimensional Man, London 1 968, p. 39.
10. Ibid. , pp. 37, 39.
I I . Althusser, 'Ideology and Ideological State Apparatuses, p. 1 30.
1 2. Gramsci, Selectionsfrom the Prison Notebooks, p. 1 2.
9
Ideology and its Vicissitudes in
Western Marxism
Terry Eagleton
From Lukacs to Gramsci
1othinkofMarxismasthescientihcanalysisofsocialformations,ano
to think ofit as ioeas inactivestiuggle, willteno to yielo two quite
oifferentepistemologies. In the former case, consciousness is essen-
tiallycontemplative,seekingto'match'or'coiiesponoto'itsobectin
thegieaterpossibleaccuracyofcognition.Inthelatteicase,conscious-
nessismuchmoreobviouslypart ofsocialieality,aoynamicfoiceinits
potentialtransformation.Anoifthisisso,thentoathinkerlikeGeoig
Lukacsitwoulonotseementirelyappropiiatetospeakofwhetheisuch
thought'reects'or'hts'thehistorywithwhichitisinseparablybouno
up.
Ifconsciousnessis giaspeointhiswayasa transfoimativeforce at
onewiththeiealityitseekstochange,thentherewouloseemtobeno
'space'betweenitanothatrealityinwhichfalseconsciousnessmight
geiminate. Ioeascannotbe'untiue'toheirobectiftheyaieactually
paitofit.Inthetcrmsofthephilosophei[.L.Austin,wecanspeakofa
'constative'utteiance, one which aimstooesciibetheworlo,aseither
trueorfalse,butitwoulonotmakesensetospeakofa'peiformative'
statementaseitheicoriectlyoiincorrectly'reecting'reality.Iamnot
describing anythingwhenI promisetotakeyoutothetheatre,orcurse
youforspillinginkonmyshiit. IfIceremoniallynameaship,orstano
withyoubeforeaclergymananosay'Ioo',theseaiematerialeventsin
ieality, actsasefhcacious as ironing my socks, not 'pictuies' ofsome
stateofaffaiiswhichcoulobesaiotobeaccurateormistaken.
Doesthismean,then,thatthemooelofconsciousnessascognitive (or
miscognitive) shoulo be ousteo by an image of consciousness as
performative? Notexactly. foi itiscleaithatthisoppositioncanbeto
1 80
MAP P I NG I DEOLOGY
someoegieeoeconstiucteo.1herei s nopointi nmypromisingt otake
youtothetheatreifthetheatreinquestionwascloseooownfoigross
obscenitylastweekano Iam unawareofthefact. Myactofcuisingis
emptyifwhatI thoughtwasaninkstainonmyshiitisustpartofthe
Horaloesign. All ' perfoimative' actsinvolvecognition ofsome kino,
implicate some sense ofhowthewoilo actually is, it is futile for a
political gioup to hone its ioeas in the struggle with some oppiessive
power if the power inquestion collapseo threeyeais ago ano they
simplyhavenotnoticeo.
In his greatworkHistor and Class Consciousness ( 1 922), the Hun-
garianMaixistGeorgLukacstakesfullaccountofthispoint.'Itistiue' ,
Lukacswritesthere, 'that ieality isthecriteiionforthecoriectnessof
thought.Butrealityisnot,itbecomes~ anotobecomethepaiticipation
ofthoughtisneeoeo. ' ' 1hought,wemightsay,isatoncecognitiveano
creative. intheactofunoerstanoingitsrealconoitions,anoppiesseo
groupoiclasshasbeguninthatveiymomenttofashiontheformsof
consciousnesswhichwillcontiibutetochangingthem. Ano

thisiswhy
nosimple'reHection' mooelofconsciousnesswillieallyoo. '1hought
anoexistence',Lukacswrites,'are notioenticalin thesensethatthey
correspono' to each othei, or iefect' each other, that they run
paialle|' to each otherorcoincioe' witheachother(allexpressions
thatconcealarigioouality). 1heiiioentityisthattheyareaspectsof
oneanothesamerealhistoiicalanooialecticalpiocess. ' 1hecognition
oftherevolutionaiyproletaiiat,forLukacs,ispartofthesituationit
cognizes,anoalteisthatsituationatastioke.Ifthislogicispresseoto
an extreme, then it woulo seem that we never simply know some
'thing', since our act of knowing is has alveaoy transfoimeo it into
somethingelse. atl ingthisooctrine is thatof
sekseIs :ie1clfthatIwasa
momontbeforeIknew it. It woulo seem, in anycase,that this whole
conception of consciousness as essentially active, practical ano oy-
namic,whichLukacsowestotheworkofHegel,willfoiceustorevise
any too simplistic notion offalse consciousness as some lag, gap oi
oisunctionbetweenthewaythingsareanothewayweknowthem.
Lukacs takes ovei fiom aspects ofthe Secono International the
positive, non-peorative sense of the woro ioeology, writing unem-
barrasseolyforMarxism as'theioeologicalexpiessionoftheprolet-
aiiat', ano this is at least one reason why the wioespreao view that
ioeology foi him is synonymous with false consciousness is simply
mistaken. But he retains at the same time the whole conceptual
apparatusofMarx'scritiqueofcommooityfetishism,anothuskeeps
alive a moie ciitical sense ofthe teim. 1he'other' or opposite of
ioeology in this negative sense, however, is no longer piimarily
I DE OLOGY AND I TS VI CI SS I TUDES 1 8 1
'Maixistscience'buttheconceptoftotalit; anooneofthefunctionsof
this concept in his woik is to allow him to oitch the ioea ofsome
disinteresteo social science withoutthereby falling preyto histoiical
relativism.Allformsofclassconsciousnessaieioeological,butsome,so
to speak, are more ioeological than others. What is specihcally
ioeologjcalabouthcbourgeoisie isitsiriahiIJo

grus thestructureof
thecial Iormation as a whole, on account of th di; eIctp
i.ci6cation.Reihcationfragmentsanooislocatesoursocialexperience,
sothatunoeritsinfuenceweforgetthatsocietyisacollectiveprocess
ano come to see it insteao merely as this oi that isolateo obect oi
institution.AsLukacs's contempoiaryKarlKoschaigues, ioeologyis
essentiallyaformofsynecooche,thehgureofspeechinwhichwetake
thepartfoithewhole.Whatispeculiartopioletarianconsciousness,in
its fullestpolitical oevelopment, isitscapacityto 'totalize' thesocial
oioer,foiwithoutsuchknowleogetheworkingclasswillneverbeable
tounoerstanoanotransformitsownconoitions.Atrt:eiecognitionof
itssituationwillbe,insepaiably,aninsightintothesocialwholewithin
whichitisoppressivelypositioneo, sothatthemoments inwhichthe
proletariatcomestoself-consciousness,anoknowsthecapitalistsystem
foiwhatitis,areineffectioentical.
Science, truthoitheory,inotherwoios,arenolongertobestrictly
counteiposeotoioeology,onthecontiary, theyareust'expressions'
of a particular class ioeology, the revolutionaiy worlo-view of the
woikingclass.1ruthisustbourgeoissocietycomingtoconsciousness
ofitselfasawhole,anothe'place'wherethismomentouseventoccurs
isinthe self-awareness oftheproletariat. Since the proletariatisthe
prototypical commooity, forceo to sell its labour-powei in oroer to
survive, it can be seen as the 'essence' of a social oroer baseo on
commooity fetishism, anotheself-consciousnessoftheproletaiiatis
therefoie,asitwere, thecommooityformcomingtoanawaienessof
itself,anointhatacttranscenoingitself.
In coming to write Histor and Class Consciousness, Lukacs founo
himselffaceowithakinoofHobson'schoiceorimpossibleopposition.
Ontheonehano,therewasthepositivistfantasy(inheriteofiomthe
SeconoInternational)ofaMaixistsciencewhichappeaieotoiepiess
its ownhistorical roots, ontheother hano, there was the spectre of
histoiical relativism. Either knowleogewassublimely externaltothe
histoiyitsoughttoknow,oritwasustamatterofthisorthatspecihc
branoofhistoiicalconsciousness,withnomorehrm grounoingthan
that.Lukacs'swayofciicumventingthisoilemmaisbyintrooucingthe
category of sel-refection. 1here are certain forms of knowleoge ~
notably, the seq-knowleoge of an exploiteo class which, while
thoroughly historical, are neveitheless able to laybare the limits of
1 82 MAP P I NG I DEOLOGY
otherioeologies,anos oto hgureasanemancipatoryforcc.3;uth, )n
Lukacs hIstorici-t' erspectivc,s always:e!ati.vr to a particular
historical situation, never a metaphysical affair beyono history al-
together,buttheproletariat,uniquely,issohistoricallypositioneoasto
beableinprincipletounlockthesecretofcapitalismasawhole.1here
is thus no longer any neeo to remain trappeo within the sterile
antithesisofioeo|ogyasfalseorpartialconsciousnessontheonehano,
anoscienceassomeabso|ute,unhistorica|mooeofknowleogeonthe
other. Fornota|lclassconsciousnessisfalseconsciousness,anoscience
issimplyanexpressionorencooementof'true'classconsciousness.
Lukacs'sownwayofphrasingthisargumentisunlikelytowinmuch
unqualih eoal|egiancetooay.1hepro|etariat,heclaims,isapotentially
'universal'class,sinceitbearswithitthepotentialemancipationofall
humanity. Its consciousness is thus in principle universal, but a
universalsubectivityisineffectioenticalwithobjectivity. Sowhatthe
workingclass kmws, fromitsown partial historical perspective,must
beobjective|ytrue.Oneooesnotneeotobepersuaoeobythisrather
granoly Hegelian language to rescue the important insight burieo
withinit.Lukacssees,quiterightly,thatthecontrastbetweenmerely
partialioeo|ogica|stanopointsontheonehano,anosomeoispassion-
ateviewsofthesocialtotalityontheother,israoicallymis|eaoing.For
what this opposition fails to take into account is the situation of
oppresseogroupsanoclasses,whoneeotogetsomeviewofthesocial
systemasawhole,anooftheirownplacewithinit,simplytobeableto
realizetheirownpartial, particularinterests. Ifwomenaretoemanci-
pate themselves, they neeo to have an interest in unoerstanoing
somethingofthegeneralstructuresofpatriarchy.Suchunoerstanoing
isby no meansinnocentoroisinteresteo, onthecontrary, itisinthe
serviceofpressingpoliticalinterests. Butwithout,asitwere, passing
overatsomepointfromtheparticularto thegeneral,thoseinterests
are like|y to founoer. A colonial people, simp|y to survive, may hno
itself'forceo' to inquire into theglobal structures ofimperialism, as
their imperialist rulers neeo not oo. 1hose who tooay fashionably
oisowntheneeofora'global'or'total'perspectivemaybeprivi|egeo
enoughtooispensewithit.Itiswheresuchatotalitybearsurgentlyin
onone'sownimmeoiatesocialconoitionsthattheintersectionbetween
partanowho|eismostsignihcantlyestablisheo.Lukacs'spointisthat
certaingroupsanoclassesneeotoinscribetheirownconoitionwithina
wioercontextiftheyaretochangethatconoition, anoinooingsothey
willhno themse|veschal|engingtheconsciousnessofthosewhohave
aninterestinblockingthisemancipatoryknowleoge.Itisinthissense
that the bugbear of relativism is irrelevant. for to claim that all
know|eogespringsfromaspecihcsocialstanopointisnottoimplythat
I DEOLOGY AND I TS VI CI SSI TUDES 1 83
anyolosocialstanopointisasvaluableforthesepurposesasanyother.
Ifwhatoneis lookingforissome unoerstanoingoftheworkingsof
imperialism as a whole, then one woulo be singularly ill-aoviseo to
consult the Governor General or the Daily Telegaph's Africa cor-
responoent,whowil|almostcertainlyoenyitsexistence.
1hereis, however,a|ogicalprob|emwith Lukacs's notionofsome
'true'classconsciousness.Foriftheworkingclassisthepotentialbearer
ofsuchconsciousness,fromwhatviewpointisthis juogementmaoe:It
cannotbe maoe from the viewpoint ofthe(ioeal) proletariat itself,
sincethis simply begs thequestion, butifonlythatviewpointis true,
thenitcannotbemaoefromsomestanopointexternaltoiteither.As
BhikbuParekhpointsout,toclaimthatonlytheproletarianperspec-
tiveallowsonetograspthetruthofsocietyasawholealreaoyassumes
thatoneknowswhatthattruthis. Itwouloseemthattruthis either
whol|yinternaltotheconsciousnessoftheworkingclass,inwhichcase
itcannotbeassesseoas truthanotheclaimbecomes simplyoogmatic,
oroneiscaughtintheimpossibleparaooxofjuogingthetruthlrom
outsioe the truth itself, in which case the claim that this form of
consciousnessistruesimplyunoercutsitself.
If the proletariat, for Lukacs, is in principle the bearer of a
knowleoge ofthe socia| whole, it hgures asthe oirect antithesisofa
bourgeois class sunk in the mire ofimmeoiacy, unable to totalize its
ownsituation. Itisatraoitional Marxist case thatwhatforestallssuch
knowleoge in the case ofthe mioole class is its atomizeo social ano
economic conoitions. each inoivioual capitalist pursues his own

interest, withlittle orno sense ofhow all ofthese isolateo interests


combineintoatotalsystem.Lukacs,however,placesemphasis,rather,
onthephenomenonofreihcation~ aconceptheoerivesfromMarx's
ooctrine of commooity fetishism, but to which he lenos a greatly
extenoeo meaning. Splicing together Marx's economic analysis ano
MaxWeber'stheory ofrationalization, he argues inHistory and Class
Consciousness thatin capitalistsocietythe commooity-formpermeates
everyaspectofsociallife,takingthe shapeofa pervasivemechaniz-
ation,quantihcationanooehumanizationofhumanexperience. 1he
'wholeness'ofsocietyisbrokenupintosomanyoiscrete, specializeo,
technical operations, each of which comes to assume a semi-
autonomous life ofits own ano to oominate human existence as a
quasi-natural force. Purely formaltechniques ofcalculability suffuse
everyregion ofsociety, from factorywork to political bureaucracy,
journalism to thejuoiciary, ano the natural sciences themselves are
simply one more instance of reiheo thought. Overwhelmeo by an
opaque worlo of autonomous objects ano institutions, the human
subjectisrapiolyreouceotoaninert,contemplativebeing,incapableof
I 8+ MAP P I NG I DEOLOGY
iecognizing any longer in these petiiheo prooucts its own cieative
practice. 1he moment ofrevolutionaiyrecognition airives when the
woikingclassacknowleogesthisalienateoworloasitsownconhscateo
cieation, reclaiming it through political praxis. In the terms ofthe
Hegelian philosophy which unoerlies Lukacs's thought, this woulo
signalthereunihcationofsubectanoobect,toingrievouslyasunoei
by the effects of ieih cation. In knowing itselffor what it is, the
proletariatbecomesbothsubectanoobectofhistory.Inoeeo,Lukacs
occasionally seems to imply that this act of self

consciousness is a
ievolutionarypiacticeallinitself.
WhatLukacs hasineffectoone heieistoreplaceHegel'sAbsolute
Ioea- itselftheioentical subect~obectofhistory~ withthe prolet-
ariat. Or at least, to qualify the point, with the kino ofpolitically
oesirableconsciousnesswhichthepioletariatcould inprincipleachieve
~ whathecalls 'ascribeo' or'imputeo'consciousness. AnoifLukacsis
Hegelianenoughinthis,heisequallysoinhistiustthatthetruthliesin
the whole. Foi the Hegel of The Phenomenolog of Spirit, immeoiate
experienceisitselfakinooffalseoipartialconsciousness,itwillyielo
up its truth only when it is oialectically meoiateo, when its latent
manifolorelationswiththewholehavebeenpatientlyuncovereo. One
might say, then, that on thisviewouiroutineconsciousnessisitself
inherently'ioeological', simplybyviitueofitspartiality. Itisnotthat
thestatementswemakeinthissituationarenecessarilyfalse, itisiather
thattheyaietrueonlyinsomesuperhcial,empiricalway,fortheyare
uogementsaboutisolateoobectswhichhavenotyetbeenincorpor-
ateointotheii full context. Wecan thinkbackheieto theassertion.
'Prince Charlesi s a thoughtful, conscientious fellow' , whichmaybe
trueenoughasfarasitgoes,butwhichisolates the obectknown as
PrinceChailesfromthewholecontextoftheinstitutionofioyalty.Foi
Hegel,itisonlybytheoperationsofoialecticalieasonthatsuchstatic,
oiscrete phenomena can be reconstituteoas a oynamic, oeveloping
whole. Anoto this extentone mightsay that a ceitain kino offalse
consciousness is for Hegel our 'natuial' conoition, enoemic to our
immeoiateexperience.
Foi Lukacs, by contrast, such partialseeing springs from specih c
histoiical causes ~ the process ofcapitalist reihcation - but is to be
overcomein muchthe same way, by theworkings ofa 'totalizing' oi
oialectical reason. Bourgeois science, logic ano philosophy are his
equivalent of Hegel's ioutine, unreoeemeo mooe of knowleoge,
breaking oown what is in fact a complex, evolving totality into
aitihciallyautonomousparts.IoeologyforLukacsisthusnotexactlya
oiscourseuntiuetothewaythingsare, butonetruetothemonlyin a
limiteo, supeihcial way, ignorant of theii oeepei tenoencies ano
I DEOLOGY AND I TS VI CI SSI TUDES I 85
connections. Ano this is anothei sense in which, contrary to wioe-
spreao opinion,1oeologyisnotinhisviewfalseconsciousness inthe
senseofsimpleeiroiorillusion.
1oseizehistoryastotalityistogiaspitinitsoynamic,contiaoictory
oevelopment,ofwhichthepotentialrealizationofhuman powersisa
vitalpart.1othis extent,aparticularkino ofcognition ~ knowingthe
whole ~ is foi both Hegel ano Lukacs a ceitain kino of moral ano
political norm. 1he oialectical methoo thus reunites not only subect
ano obect, but also 'fact' ano 'value', which bourgeois thought has
rippeoasunoer.1ounoerstanotheworloinaparticularwaybecomes
inseparablefromactingtopiomotethefree,fullunfoloingofhuman
creativepoweis.Weaienotlefthighanoory,asweareinpositivistor
empiiicistthought, withaoispassionate,value-freeknowleogeonthe
onehano,anoanarbitrarysetofsubectivevaluesontheothei.Onthe
contiary, the act of knowleoge is itself both 'fact' ano 'value', an
accuratecognitioninoispensableforpoliticalemancipation.AsLeszek
Kolakowski puts the point. ' In this particular case i. e. that of
emancipatory knowleoge] the unoeistanoinganotransformation of
realityarenottwoseparateprocesses,butoneanothesamephenom-
enon.'
Lukacs's writings on class consciousness rank among the iichest,
most original oocuments of twentieth-century Marxism. 1hey are,
nevertheless, subecttoa numberofoamagingcriticisms. Itcoulobe
argueo, foi example, that his theory ofioeology tenos towaros an
unholymixtureofeconomismanoioealism.Economism,becausehe
uncritically aoopts thelaterMaix'simplication thatthecommooity-
formissomehowthesecietessenceofallioeologicalconsciousnessin
bourgeoissociety. Reihcation hguresforLukacsnotonlyasacentral
featureofthecapitalisteconomy,butas'thecentralstiuctuialpioblem
ofcapitalistsocietyinallaspects'.AkinoofessentialismofioeoIogyis
consequently at woik heie, homogenizing what are in fact very
oiffeient oiscourses, stiuctures ano effects. At its woist, this mooel
tenostoreoucebouigeoissocietytoasetofneatlylayeieo'expressions'
ofreihcation, each ofits levels (economic, political,urioical, philo-
sophical) obeoiently miming anorefecting the others. Moreover, as
1heooor Aoorno was later to suggest, this single-minoeo insistence
upon ieihcation as the clue to all crimes is itselfovertly ioealist. in
Lukacs'stexts,ittenostooisplacesuchmorefunoamentalconceptsas
economicexploitation. Much thesame mightbesaioofhis useofthe
Hegelian categoryoftotality, whichsometimes pushestoonesioe an
attention to mooes ofproouction, contraoictionsbetween the foices
ano relations ofpioouction, ano the like. Is Marxism, like Matthew
Arnolo'sioealpoeticvision,ustamatteiofseeingrealitysteaoilyano
l 8 MAP P I NG I DEOLOGY
seeingi twhole:1oparooyLukacs'scasealittle. isrevolutionsimplya
question of making connections? Ano is not the social totality, for
Marxism ifnot for Hegel, 'skeweo' ano asymmetrical, twisteo out of
true by the preponoerance within it of economic oeterminants:
Properlycautiousof'vulgar'Marxistversionsof'base'ano'superstruc-
ture',Lukacswishestooisplaceattentionfromthisbranoofmechanis-
tic oeterminism to the ioeaofthe social whole, but thissocialwhole
then risks becoming a purely 'circular' one, in which each 'level' is
granteoequaleffectivitywitheachoftheothers.
Commooity fetishism, for Lukacs as much as for Marx, is an
obectivematerialstructureofcapitalism,notustastateofmino. But
inHistor and Class Consciousness another,resiouallyioealistnooelof
ioeologyisalsoconfusinglyatwork, whichwouloseemtolocate the
'essence' of bourgeois society in the collective subectivity of the
bourgeois class itself. ' For a class to be ripe for hegemony', Lukacs
writes,'meansthatitsinterestsanoconsciousnessenableittoorganise
the whole ofsociety in accoroance with those interests. ' Whatis it,
then,which provioestheioeologicallinchpinofthebourgeoisoroer:
Isitthe'obective'systemofcommooityfetishism,whichpresumably
imprints itselfon all classes alike, or the 'subective' strength ofthe
oominant class's consciousness: Gareth Steoman [ones has argueo
that,asfarasthelatterviewisconcerneo,itisasthoughioeologyfor
Lukacstakes grip through'thesaturation ofthesocialtotality bythe
ioeological essence ofa pure class subect'."Whatthis overlooks, as
Steoman)onesgoesontopointout,isthatioeologies,farfrombeing
the'subectiveproouctofthewilltopower'ofoifferentclasses' , are
'objective systems oetermineo by the whole feld of social struggle
betweencontenoingclasses'.ForLukacs,asfor'historicist'Marxismin
general,itwoulosometimes appearasthougheachsocialclasshasits
own peculiar, corporate 'worlo-view' , one oirectly expressive ofits
material conoitions of existence, ano ioeological oominance then
consistsinoneoftheseworlo-viewsimposingitsstamp on thesocial
formation as a whole. It is not only that this version ofioeological
powerisharotosquarewiththemorestructuralanoobectiveooctrine
ofcommooityetishism, itisalsothatitorasticallysimplihesthetrue
unevenness ano complexity of the ioeological 'helo' . For as Nicos
Poulantzashasargueo,ioeology,likesocialclassitself,isaninherently
relational phenomenon, it expresses less the way a class lives its
conoitionsofexistencethanthewayitlivesthemin relation to the lived
experience ofother classes. )ustastherecanbenobourgeoisclasswithout
a proletariat, or vice versa, so the typicalioeology ofeach ofthese
classesisconstituteototherootbytheioeologyofitsantagonist.Ruling
ioeologies,aswehaveargueoearlier,mustengageeffectivelywiththe
I DEOLOGY AND I TS VI CI SSI TUDES I 87
liveo experience ofsuboroinate classes, ano the way in which those
subalternclasseslivetheirworlowillbetypicallyshapeoanoinHuenceo
by the oominantioeologies. HistoricistMarxism, inshort, presumes
too organic ano internal a relation between a 'class subect' ano its
'worlo-view'. 1here are social classes such as the pettybourgeoisie
'contraoiction incarnate`, as Marx oubbeo them ~ whose ioeology is
typicallycompounoeoofelementsorawnfromtheclassesbothabove
ano below them, ano there are vital ioeological themes such as
nationalism which oo not 'belong' to any particular social class but
which, rather, provioe a bone ofcontention between them. ' ' Social
classesoonotmanifest ioeologiesinthewaythatinoiviouals oisplaya
particularstyle ofwalking. ioeology is, rather, acomplex, conHictive
helo of meaning, in which some themes will be closely tieo to the
experience of particular classes, while others will be more 'free-
Hoating', tuggeo now this way ano now that in the struggle between
contenoing powers. Ioeology is a realm of contestation ano nego-
tiation,inwhich thereisaconstantbusytrafhc. meaningsano values
arestolen,transformeo,appropriateoacrossthefrontiersofoifferent
classesanogroups,surrenoereo,repossesseo,reinecteo.Aoominant
classmay'liveitsexperience'inpartthroughtheioeologyofaprevious
oominantone. thinkofthearistocraticcolouringoftheEnglishhaute
bourgeosie. Oritma yfashionitsioeologypartlyintermsofthebeliefsof
asuboroinateoclass~asinthecaseofFascism,wherearulingsectorof
hnancecapitalism takes over foritsown purposesthepreuoicesano
anxieties of the lower mioole class. 1here is no neat, one-to-one
corresponoencebetweenclassesanoioeologies,asisevioentinthecase
ofrevolutionarysocialism.Anyrevolutionaryioeology,tobepolitically
effective, woulo have to be a gooo oeal more than Lukacs's 'pure'
proletarianconsciousness. unlessitlentsomeprovisionalcoherenceto
a rich array of oppositional forces, it woulo have scant chance of
success.
1heioeaofsocialclassesas'subects',centraltoLukacs'swork,has
also been contesteo. A class is notust some kino of collectivizeo
inoivioual, equippeowiththesortsofattributesascribeobyhumanist
thought to the inoivioual person. consciousness, unity, autonomy,
self-oetermination, ano so on. Classes are certainly for Marxism
historicalagents; buttheyarestructural,materialformationsaswellas
'intersubective' entities, ano the problem is how to thinkthese two
aspectsofthemtogether.Wehaveseenalreaoythatrulingclassesare
generallycomplex,internallyconHictive'blocs' , ratherthanhomogen-
ous booies, ano the same applies to their political antagonists. A
'class-ioeology', then, is likely to oisplay much the same kino of
unevennessanocontraoictoriness.
1 88 MAP P I NG I DEOLOGY
1heharshestcriticismofIukacs'stheoryLfioeologywoulobethat,
inaseriesofpiogressiveconations, hecollapsesMarxisttheoiyinto
proletaiianioeology,ioeologyintotheexpressionofsome' pure'class
subect,anothisclasssubecttotheessenceofthesocialformation.But
thiscaseoemanossignihcantqualihcation.Iukacsisnotatallblinoto
the ways in which the consciousnessofthe workingclass is 'contami-
nateo' by that of its iulers, ano woulo seem to ascribe no oiganic
'woilo-view' to it in non-ievolutionary conoitions. Inoeeo, if the
proletaiiat in its 'normal' state is little more than the commooity
incarnate,itisharotoseehowitcanbeasubject atall anotheiefore
haiotoseehowexactlyitcanmakethetransitiontobecominga'class
foritsel|. Butthis processof'contamination'ooesnotappeartowork
theotherwayrouno,inthesensethatthedominant ioeologyseemsin
nowaysignihcantlyshapeobyaoialoguewithitssuboioinates.
Wehaveseenalreaoythatthereaiereallytwooisciepanttheoiiesof
ioeology atworkinHistor and Class Consciousness theoneoeriving
fromcommooityfetishism,theotherfromahistoricistviewofioeology
as the worlo-view of a class subect. As fai as the proletariat is
concerneo, thesetwoconceptionswouloseemtocorresponoiespect-
ivelytoits'normal'anorevolutionaiystatesofbeing.Innon-revolutio-
naryconoitions,woiking-classconsciousnessispassivelysubecttothe
effects ofreihcation, we are given noclueasto how thissituationis
activelyconstituted byproletaiianioeology,orofhowitinteractswith
lessobeoiently submissive aspects ofthatexperience. How ooesthe
workerconstituteheiselfasasubectonthebasisofherobectihcation:
Butwhentheclassshifts mysteriously~ tobecomingarevolutionary
subect,ahistoricistproblematictakesover,anowhatwastiueoftheir
iulers thatthey'saturateo'thewholesocialformationwiththeirown
ioeological conceptions ~ can nowbecometrueofthemtoo. Whatis
saiooftheserulers, however,is inconsistent. forthisactive notionof
ioeologyintheircaseisatoooswiththeviewthatthey,too,aresimply
victimsofthestructureofcommooityfetishism. Howcanthemioole
classgoveinbyvirtueofitsunique,uniheoworlo-viewwhenitissimply
subecteo,alongwitbotherclasses,tothestructureofreication:Isthe
oominantioeologyamatterofthebourgeoisie,orof bourgeoissociety:
ItcanbeclaimeothatHistor and Class Consciousness ismarreoby a
typically ioealist overestimation of 'consciousness' itself. 'Only the
consciousnessofthe proletaiiat', Iukacs writes, 'can point to theway
thatleaosoutoftheimpasseofcapitalism','anowhilethisisorthooox
enoughinonesense,sinceanunconsciousproletaiiatishaiolylikelyto
oothetrick,itsemphasisisnonethelessievealing. Foritisnotinthe
hrst place the consciousness ofthe working class, actual oi potential,
whichleaosMarxismtoselectitasthepiimeagencyofrevolutionaiy
I DEOLOGY AND I TS VI CI SS I TUDES 1 89
change.Iftheworkingclasshguresassuchanagent,itisforstructural,
mateiialieasons~ thefactthatitistheonlybooysolocateowithinthe
proouctive process ofcapitalism, so tiaineo ano organizeo by that
processanoutterlyinoispensabletoit,astobecapableoftakingitovei.
In this sense it iscapitalism, notMarxism, which 'selects' the instru-
mentsofrevolutionaryoveithrow,patientlynurtuiingitsownpoten-
tialgraveoigger. When Iukacs obseives thatthe strength ofasocial
formationisalwaysinthelastresorta'spiritual'one,oiwhenhewrites
that 'the fate of the revolution . . . will oepeno on the ioeological
maturity of the pioletariat, i . e. on its class consciousness' , ' he is
aiguablyinoangerofoisplacingthesematerialissuesintoquestionsof
pureconsciousness ano aconsciousnesswhich,asGarethSteoman
)oneshaspointeoout,remainscuriouslyoisembooieoanoetheieal,a
matterof'ioeas'ratherthanpiacticesorinstitutions.
IfIukacs is iesioually ioealist i n the high prioiity he assigns to
consciousness,soishealsoinhisRomantichostilitytoscience,logicano
technology. ' Foimal ano analytic oiscourses aie simply mooes of
bourgeoisreihcation, ustasallformsofmechanizationanorationaliz-
ation woulo seem inherently alienating. !he piogressive, emanci-
patory sioe ofthese processes in the history ofcapitalism is meiely
ignoreo, in an elegiac nostalgia typical of Romantic conservative
thought. Iukacs ooes not wishto oeny that Marxismisa science,but
this science isthe'ioeologicalexpressionofthepioletaiiat', not some
setoftimelessanalytic piopositions. 1hiscertainlyoffersa powerful
challengetothe'scientism'oftheSeconoInternational ~ thebeliefthat
historicalmaterialismisapurelyobectiveknowleogeoftheimmanent
lawsofhistoiicaloevelopment.Buttoreactagainstsuchmetaphysical
fantasiesbyreducing Marxisttheoiytorevolutionaryioeologyisharoly
moreaoequate.ArethecomplexequationsofCapital nomorethana
theoretical'expression'ofsocialistconsciousness:Isnotthatconscious-
nesspartlyconstituted by such theoreticallabour: Anoifonly piolet-
arian self-consciousnesswilloeliverusthetiuth, howoowecome to
acceptthistruthastrueinthehrstplace,ifnotbyacertaintheoretical
unoerstanoingwhichmustberelativelyinoepenoentofit:
IhavealreaoyargueothatitismistakentoseeIukacs asequating
ioeology with false consciousness tout court. Working-class socialist
ioeologyisnot,ofcourse,inhisviewfalse,anoevenbourgeoisioeology
isillusoryonlyinacomplexsenseoftheteim.Inoeeo,wemightclaim
thatwhereasfortheeailyMaixanoEngels,ioeologyisthoughtfalseto
the true situation, foi Iukacs it is thought tiue to a false situation.
Bouigeois ioeas oo inoeeo accurately mirroi the state ofthings in
bourgeois society, butitisthisveiystateofaffaiiswhichissomehow
twisteooutoftrue.Suchconsciousnessisfaithfultotheieiheonature
1 90 MAP P I NG I DEOLOGY
ofthecapitalistsocialoioer,anooftenenoughmakestiueclaimsabout
thisconoition,itis'false'insofaiasitcannot penetrate thisworloof
frozenappeaiancestolaybarethetotalityoftenoenciesanoconnec-
tionswhichunoerliesit. InthebreathtakingcentralsectionofHist01)
and Class Consciousness, 'Reihcation ano the Consciousness of the
Proletariat',Iukacsbololyrewrites the wholeofpost-Kantianphilos-
ophy asasecrethistoiyofthecommooity-form,oftheschismbetween
emptysubectsanopetriheoobects, anointhissensesuchthoughtis
accuiateto the oominantsocialcategoiiesofcapitalistsociety, struc-
tureo by them to its ioots. Bouigeoisioeology is falselessbecause it
oistoits,invertsoroeniesthemateiialwoilothanbecauseitisunableto
press beyonoceitainlimitsstructuraltobouigeoissocietyassuch.As
Lukacswrites. '1husthebairieiwhichconvertstheclassconsciousness
ofthebouigeoisieintofalse`consciousnessisobective,itistheclass
situationitself.Itistheobectiveresultoftheeconomicset-up, anois
neitherarbitrary,subectivenorpsychological. ' ' Wehavehere, then,
yet another oehnition of ioeology, as 'stiucturally constraineo
thought', which runsback atleastas fai as Marx's '1he Eighteenth
Brumaire ofLouis Bonapaite'. In a oiscussion in that text ofwhat
makes ceitain French politicians iepresentatives of the petty bour-
geoisie, Maixcommentsthatitis'thefactthatintheirminostheyoo
notgetbeyono thelimitswhich the pettybourgeoisie]ooes notget
beyono in life'. False consciousness is thus a kino ofthought which
hnos itselfbafHeoanothwarteoby ceitainbaiiiersin societyrather
than in the mino, ano only by tiansformingsociety itself coulo it
therefoiebeoissolveo.
Onecanputthispointinanotherway. 1herearecertainkinosof
errorwhichiesultsimplyfiomlapsesofintelligence orinformation,
ano which can be iesolveo by a further rehnement ofthought. But
whenwe keeprunningup againsta limit tooui conceptions which
stubbornlyrefusestogiveway,thenthisobstructioumaybesymptom-
aticofsome'limit'builtintooursociallife.Inthissituation,noamount
ofintelligenceoringenuity, nomere'evolutionofioeas', willseiveto
get us fuithei forwaio, for what is awiy here is the whole cast ano
fiame ofourconsciousness, conoitioneo as it is by certain material
constiaints. Our social practices pose theobstacle to the veiy ioeas
whichseektoexplainthem,anoifwewanttoaovancethoseioeas,we
willhavetochangeourfoims oflife. ItispreciselythiswhichMarx
arguesofthebourgeoispoliticaleconomists,whoseseaichingtheoreti-
calinquirieshno themselves continuallyrebuffeobyproblemswhich
mark the inscription on the interioroftheir oiscouiseofthe social
conoitionssurrounoingit.
I DEOLOGY AND I TS VI CI S S I TUDES 1 91
Iti s thusthatIukacscanwiiteof bourgeoisioeologyas'something
which is subjectively ustiheo in the social ano historicalsituation, as
somethingwhichcananoshoulobeunoerstooo,i . e. asiight'.Atthe
sametime,objectively, itby-passestheessenceoftheevolutionofsociety
anofails to pinpoint ano express itaoequately. ' ' I oeology is now a
longway fiombeing some mere illusion, ano the same is true ifone
reversestheseterms'obective'ano'subective'.Foionemightequally
claim,soLukacs remaiks,thatbourgeoisioeologyfails'subectively'to
achieve its self-appointeo goals (freeoom, ustice, ano so on), but
exactlyinsofailinghelpstofurtheicertainobectiveaimsofwhichitis
ignoiant. Bywhich he means, piesumably, helping to promote the
histoiicalconoitionswhichwillhnallybringsocialismtopowei.Such
class consciousness involves an unconsciousness ofone's true social
conoitions,anoisthusakinoofself-oeception,butwheieasEngels,as
wehaveseen,tenoeotooismisstheconsciousmotivationinvolveohere
assheerillusion,Iukacsisprepareotoaccoroitacertainlimiteotiuth.
'Despiteallitsobectivefalseness, ' hewiites,'theself-oeceiving'false`
consciousnessthatwehnointhebourgeoisieisatleastinaccoiowithits
classsituation. ' ''Bouigeoisioeologymaybefalsefromthestanopoint
ofsomeputativesocialtotality,butthisooesnotmeanthatitisfalseto
thesituationasitcurrentlyis.
1hiswayofputtingthepointmayperhapshelptomakesomesense
oftheotheiwisepuzzlingnotionofioeologyasthoughttiuetoafalse
situation. Foiwhatseemsspuiiousaboutthisfoimulationistheveiy
ioeathatasituation mightbesaiotobefalse.Statementsaboutoeep-sea
oivingmaybetrueoifalse,butnotoeep-seaoivingitself.AsaMarxist
humanist, however, Iukacs himself has a kino of answer to this
problem.A'false'situationforhimisoneinwhichthehuman'essence'
~ the fullpotential ofthose powers which humanity has historically
oevelopeo is beingunnecessarilyblockeoanoestrangeo, anosuch
uogementsarethusalwaysmaoefiomthestanopointofsomepossible
ano oesirable futuie. A false situation can be ioentiheo only sub-
unctivelyorretiospectively, fromthevantagepointofwhatmight be
possible weiethesethwarting,alienatingforces to be abolisheo. But
this ooes notmean taking one's stanoin theempty space ofsome
speculativefuture,inthemanneiof'bao'utopianism,forinIukacs's
view,anoinoeeointheviewofMaixismingeneral,theoutlineofthat
oesirable futuie can alreaoy be oetecteo in certain potentialities
stirringwithinthepiesent.1hepresentisthusnotioenticalwithitself.
thereis thatwithin itwhich pointsbeyono it, as inoeeo the shape of
everyhistorical present is structuieoby itsanticipation ofa possible
future.
1 92 MAP P I NG I DEOLOGY
Iftheciitiqueofioeologysetsoutt oexaminethesocialfounoationsof
thought,thenitmustlogicallybeabletogivesomeaccountofitsown
histoiicaloiigins.Whatwasthemateiialhistoiywhichgaveiisetothe
notionofioeologyitself:Canthestuoyofioeologyiounouponitsown
conoitionsofpossibility:
!he concept ofioeology, it can be aigueo, aiose at the histoiical
pointwheiesystemsofioeashistbecameawaieoftheiiownpaitiality,
anothiscameaboutwhenthoseioeasweiefoiceotoencounteialienoi
alteinativefoimsofoiscouise.Itwaswiththeiiseofbouigeoissociety,
above all, that the scene was set foi this occuiience. Foi it is
chaiacteiisticofthatsociety,asMaixnoteo,thateveiythingaboutit,
incluoingitsfoims ofconsciousness,isina stateofceaseless H ux, in
contiasttosome moietiaoition-bouno socialoioei. Capitalism sui-
vivesonlybya iestless oevelopmentofthepioouctivefoices, anoin
this agitateosocialconoition new ioeas tumble upon one anothei's
heels as oizzyingly as oo fashions in commooities. !he entiencheo
authoiityofany singlewoilo-viewisaccoioinglyunoeimineobythe
veiynatuieofcapitalismitself.Moieovei,such asocialoioeibieeos
pluialityanofiagmentationassuielyasitgeneiatessocialoepiivation,
tiansgiessingtime-halloweobounoaiiesbetweenoiveisefoimsoflife
ano pitching them togethei in a melee of ioioms, ethnic oiigins,
lifestyles, nationalcultuies. It is exactly this which the Soviet ciitic
Mikhail Bak

htin means by 'polyphony'. Within this atomizeo space,


maikeoby a piolifeiatingoivisionofintellectuallaboui,avaiietyof
cieeos,ooctiinesanomooesofpeiceptionostlefoiauthoiity,anothis
thought shoulo give pause to those postmooein theoiists foiwhom
oiffeience, pluiality ano heteiogeneity aie unequivocally 'piogiess-
ive', Within this tuimoil ofcompeting cieeos, any paiticulai belief
systemwillh noitselfweogeocheekbyowlwithunwelcomecompeti-
tois, anoitsown fiontieis willthusbethiownintoshaipielief.!he
stage is then set foi the giowth of philosophical scepticism ano
ielativismfoitheconvictionthat,withintheunseemlyhubbubofthe
intellectual maiketplace, nosingle way ofthinkingcan claim moie
valioitythananyothei. Ifallthoughtispaitialano paitisan, thenall
thoughtisioeological'.
Inastiikingpaiaoox,then,theveiyoynamismanomutabilityofthe
capitalistsystemthieatentocuttheauthoiitativegiounofiomunoei
itsownfeet, anothisispeihapsmostobviousin thephenomenonof
impeiialism. Impeiialismneeostoasseittheabsolutetiuthofitsown
values at exactly thepointwheiethosevaluesaieconfionting alien
cultuies, ano thiscanpioveanotablyoisoiientatingexpeiience. Itis
haiotoiemainconvinceothatyouiownwayofooingthingsistheonly
possible one when you aie busy tiying to subugate anothei society
I DEOLOGY AND I TS VI CI S S I TUDES 1 93
which conoucts its affaiis in a iaoically oiffeient but appaiently
effective way. !he hction of[oseph Coniao tuins on this oisabling
contiaoiction.Inthisasinotheiways,then,thehistoiicalemeigenceof
the concept of ioeology testihes to a coiiosive anxiety to the
embaiiasseo awaieness that youiown tiuths stiike you as plausible
onlybecauseofwheieyouhappentobestanoingatthetime.
!he mooeinbouigeoisie is accoioingly caught in something ofa
cleftstick. Unableto ietieat toolo-style metaphysicalceitainties, itis
equallyloathtoembiaceafull-bloooeoscepticismwhichwoulosimply
subveit the legitimacy of its powei. One eaily-twentieth-centuiy
attempt to negotiate this oilemma is Kail Mannheim's Ideolog and
Utopia ( 1 929) , wiittenunoeitheinuuenceofLukacs'shistoiicisminthe
political tumultoftheWeimaiiepublic. Mannheim sees well enough
that with the iise ofmioole-class society the olo monological woilo-
view ofthe tiaoitional oioei has oisappeaieo foievei. An authoii-
taiianpiiestlyanopoliticalcaste, whichonceconh oentlymonopolizeo
knowleoge,hasnowyieloeogiounotoa'fiee'intelligentsia,caughton
the hop between conuicting theoietical peispectives. 1he aim of a
'sociologyofknowleoge'willthusbetospuinalltianscenoentaltiuths
anoexaminethesocialoeteiminantsofpaiticulaibeliefsystems,while
guaioingatthesametimeagainsttheoisablingielativismwhichwoulo
level allthese beliefs to one. !he pioblem, as Mannheim isuneasily
awaie, isthatanyciiticismofanothei'sviews as ioeological isalways
susceptible to a swifttu quoque. In pulling theiugoutfiombeneath
one's intellectual antagonist,one is alwaysin oangeiofpulling it out
fiombeneathoneself.
Against such ielativism, Mannheim speaks up foi what he calls
'ielationism', meaning the location ofioeas within the social system
which gives biith to them. Such an inquiiy into the social basis of
thought,heconsioeis, neeonotiuncounteitothegoalofobectivity,
foi though ioeas aie inteinally shapeo by theii social oiigins, theii
tiuthvalueisnotieoucibletothem. !heinevitableone-sioeonessof
any paiticulaistanopointcanbecoiiecteobysynthesizingitwithits
iivals, thus builoingupa piovisional, oynamictotalityofthought. At
thc same time, by a piocess of self-monitoiing, we can come to
appieciatethelimitsofouiownpeispective,anosoattainaiestiicteo
soitofobectivity. Mannheim thusemeigesastheMatthewAinoloof
Weimai Geimany, conceineo to see life steaoily ano see it whole.
Blinkeieoioeologicalviewpointswillbepatientlysubsumeointosome
gieateitotalitybythoseoispassionateenoughtooosowhichistosay,
by 'fiee' intellectuals with a iemaikableiesemblance to Kail Mann-
heim.!heonlypioblemwiththisappioachisthatitmeielypushesthe
questionofielativismbacka stage, foiwe canalways askaboutthe
1 94 MAPPI NG IDEOLOGY
tenoentiousstanopointfiomwhichthissynthesisi s actuallylauncheo.
Isn'ttheinteiestintotalityustanotheiinteiest:
SuchasociologyofknowleogeisfoiMannheimawelcomealteina-
tivetotheoloeistyleofioeologyciitique.Suchciitique,inhisview,is
essentiallyamatteiofunmasking one'santagonist'snotions,exposing
themaslies,oeceptionsoiillusionsfuelleobyconsciousoiunconscious
socialmotivations.Ioeologyciitique,inshoit,isheieieouceotowhat
Paul Ricoeuiwoulo call a 'heimeneutic ofsuspicion', ano is plainly
inaoequatefoithesubtlei,moieambitioustaskofelicitingthewhole
'mentalstiuctuie' which unoeilies a gioup's pieuoices ano beliefs.
Ioeologypeitainsonlytospecihcoeceptiveasseitions,whoseioots,so
Mannheim at one point aigues, maybe tiaceo to the psychology of
paiticulai inoiviouals. 1hat this is something of a stiaw taiget of
ioeologyissuielycleai. Mannheimpaysscantiegaiotosuchtheoiies
asthefetishismofcommooities,wheieoeception,faifiomspiinging
fiompsychologisticsouices, is seen as geneiateoby an entiie social
stiuctuie.
1heioeologicalfunctionofthe'sociologyofknowleoge'isinfactto
oefusethewholeMaixistconceptionofioeology,ieplacingitwiththe
lessembattleo,contentiousconceptionofa'woilo-view'.Mannheim,to
be suie, ooes not believe that such woilo-views can evei be non-
evaluativelyanalyseo, buttheoiiftofhiswoikistooownplayconcepts
ofmystiF cation,iationalizationanothepowei-functionofioeasinthe
nameofsome synopticsuiveyoftheevolutionoffoims ofhistoiical
consciousness.Inasense, then,thispost-Maixistappioachtoioeology
ietuins to a re-Maixist view of it, as simply 'socially oeteimineo
thought'. Anosincethisappliestoanythoughtwhatsoevei,theieisa
oangeioftheconceptofioeologycancellingallthewaythiough.
InsofaiasMannheimdoes ietaintheconceptofioeology,heooesso
inasingulailyunilluminatingway.Asahistoiicist,tiuthfoiMannheim
meansioeasaoequatetoapaiticulaistageofhistoiicaloevelopment,
ano ioeology then signiF es a booy of beliefs incongiuous with its
epoch, outofsyncwithwhatthe ageoemanos. Conveisely,' Utopia'
oenotesioeasaheaooftheiitimeanososimilailyoisciepantwithsocial
ieality, butcapable none the less ofshatteiing the stiuctuiesofthe
piesentanotiansgiessingitsfiontieis.Ioeology,inshoit,isantiquateo
bel|ef,asetofobsolescentmyths,noimsanoioealsunhingeofiomthe
ieal,Utopiaispiematuieanounieal,butshoulobeieseiveoasateim
foithoseconceptualpieFguiationswhichieallyoosucceeoiniealiz-
inganewsocialoioei.Ioeologyemeigesinthislightasakinooffaileo
Utopia,unabletoenteiuponmateiialexistence, anothisoeFnitionof
itthensimplythiowsusbacktothepatentlyinsufhcienteailyMaixian
notionofioeology asineffectual otheiwoiloliness. Mannheimwoulo
i

I DEOLOGY AND I TS VI CI S S I TUDES 1 95


appeaitolackallsenseofioeologiesasfoimsofconsciousnessoftenall
toowellaoapteotocuiientsocialiequiiements,pioouctivelyentwineo
withhistoiicalieality,abletooiganizepiacticalsocialactivityinhighly
e|Iective ways. In his oenigiation of Utopia, which is similaily a
'oistoitionofieality',heissimplyblinoeotothewaysinwhichwhat'the
age oemanos' may be piecisely a thought which moves beyono it.
'1hought',heiemaiks,'shoulocontainneitheilessnoimoiethanthe
iealityinwhosemeoiumitopeiates
,
' ~anioenticationoftheconcept
with its obect which 1heoooi Aooino, iionically enough, will oe-
nounceastheveiyessenceofioeologicalthought.
Intheeno, Mannheimeitheistietchestheteimioeologybeyonoall
seiviceableuse,equatingitwiththesocialoeteiminationofanybelief
whatsoevei,oiunoulynaiiowsittospeciF cactsofoeception.Hefails
to giaspthatioeologycannotbesynonymouswithpaitialoipeispec-
tivalthinkingfoiofwhatthinkingisthisnottiue:Iftheconceptisnot
tobeentiielyvacuousitmusthaveiatheimoiespecihcconnotationsof
poweistiuggleanolegitimation,stiuctuialoissemb|anceanomystilI-
cation.Whatheooesusefullysuggest,howevei,isathiiowaybetween
thosewhowouloholothatthetiuthoifalsityofstatementsissublimely
untainteobytheiisocialgenesis,anothosewhowouloabiuptlyieouce
thefoimei to thelattei. Foi Michel Foucault,itwoulo seem thatthe
tiuthvalueofapiopositionisentiielyamatteiofitssocialfunction,a
ieHex ofthe poweiinteiestsitpiomotes. As the linguists mightsay,
what is enunciateo is wholly collapsible to the conoitions of the
enunciation,whatmatteisisnotsomuchwhat issaio,butwhosaysitto
whom foi what puiposes. What this oveilooks is that, while enunci-
ations aie ceitainly not inoepenoent of theii social conoitions, a
statement such as ' Eskimos aie, geneially speaking,ust as gooo as
anyone else'istiuenomatteiwhosaysitfoiwhateno, ano oneofthe
impoitant featuies ofaclaim such as 'Men aie supeiioito women' is
that, whatevei powei inteiests it may be piomoting, it is also, as a
matteioffact,false.
[ . . . ]
1hekeycategoiyinthewiitingofLukacs'sWesteinMaixistcolleague
Antonio Giamsci is not ioeology but hegemony; ano it is woith
ponoeiingtheoistinctionbetweenthesetwoteims. iam;|

npy
+(!heO ,Q|_v@yiig
'

ins
'''' ''

__ i__~ thoughitistiuethat
he occasionally uses the teim to covei both consent ano coeicion
togethei. 1heieisthusanimmeoiateoiffeiencefiomtheconceptof
ioeology, since it is cleai that ioeologies may be foicibly imposeo.
1hink,foiexample,ofthewoikingsofiacistioeologyinSouthAfiica.
But hegemony is also a bioaoei categoiy than ioeology. it includes
1 96 MAPPI NG I DEOLOGY
il_g,butsnotruucibletoii. Aiulinggrouporclassmaysecure
consenttoitspowerbyioeologicalmeans, butitmayalsoooso,by,say,
alteringthetaxsysteminwaysfavourabletogioupswhosesuppoitit
neeos, or creating a layerofrelatively afHuent, anothussomewhat
politicallyquiescent,workers.Oihegemonymaytakepoliticalrather
than economic forms . the pailiamentaiy system in yer)__ oemoc-
racisisacrucialaspectofsub owct, -incc1sIcrs tLeilluionof
sel|yoern+nent on tIc art oI :he pou]ce. What uniquely ois-
tinguishes the politicalform ofsuch societiesis thatthe people are
supposeotobelievethattheygoveinthemselves,abelief whichnoslave
ofantiquityormeoievalseifwasexpecteotoentertain.Inoeeo,Perry
Anoeisongoes sofaras tooescribetheparliamentarysystem as 'the
hub ofthe ioeologicalapparatus ofcapitalism', to which such insti-
tutionsas themeoia,churchesanopoliticalpartiesplay acriticalbut
complementaryrole.Itisforthisreason, asAnoersonpointsout,that
Gramsciismistakerwhen helocateshegemonyin 'civil society'alone,
iatherthaninthestate,forthepoliticalformofthecapitaliststateis
itselfavitalorganofsuchpower. ' "
Another powerful souice ofpolitical hegemony i s the supposeo
neutrality of the bouigeois state. 1his is not, in fact, simply an
ioeological il|usion. In capitalist society, political powei is inoeed
ielativelyautonomousofsocialanoeconomiclife,as opposeoto the
olitical set-up in pre-capitalist formations. In feuoal regimes, for
example, the nobility who economically exploit the peasantiy also
exeicisecertainpolitical,cultuialanojurioicalfunctionsintheirlives,
sothattherelationbetweeneconomicanopoliticalpowerisheiemore
visible.Unoercapitalism,economiclifeisnotsubecttosuchcontinu-
ouspoliticalsupervision. asMaixcomments,itisthe'oullcompulsion
oftheeconomic', the neeo simply to suivive, which keeps men ano
womenatwork,oivoiceofiomanyfiamewoikofpoliticalobligations,
ieligioussanctionsorcustomaryiesponsibilities.Iti,abghinthis
foinofli cp)iom, cotustopate 'a]]y;tself',anothepolitical
stat uthus take something ofa back seat ,aining the general
stiucturcsxithinhicl\Lsoconomicactivityisconoucteo.1hisisthe
realmaterialbasis ofthebeliefthatthebourgeois stateis supremely
oisinteresteo,holoingtheringbetween contenoingsocialforces , ano
inthissense,onceagain,hegemonyisbuiltintoitsveiynature.
Hegemony, then, isnotust some successful kinoofioeology, but
maybeoisciiminateointoitsvariousioeological,cultuial,politicalano
economic aspects. Ioeology vefc:s spccihcalIyuthwpower
strugglosaelought outut +heleveIofsiniion,mdghsuch
signihctitrs Invo|ved n aF hegemonicprooesses,itis rot1`all
_
es
th+___pa( lv}by"bch-:leissusaIrieo. Singing the National
I DEOLOGY AND I TS VI CI S S I TUDES 1 97
Anthem comesas close to a 'purely'ioeological activity as one coulo
imagine, it woulo certainly seem to fulhl no othei puipose, asioe
peihapsfiomannoyingtheneighbouis.Religion,similarly,isprobably
the most purely ioeological ofthevarious institutions ofcivil society.
Buthegemonyisalsocarrieoincultuial,politicalanoeconomicforms
~innon-oiscursivepracticesaswellasinrhetoricalutterances.
Withcertainnotableinconsistencies,Giamsciassociates hegemony
withthearenaof'civilsociety' , bywhichhemeansthewholerangeof
institutionsintermeoiatebetweenstateanoeconomy. Piivatelyowneo
televisionstations,thefamily,theBoyScoutmovement,theMethooist
Church,infantschools,theBritishLegion,theSun newspaper.allof
thesewoulocountashegemonicapparatuses,whichbinoinoiviouals
totherulingpowerbyconsentratherthanbycoercion. Coercion,by
contiast,isreserveotothestate,whichhasamonopolyon'legitimate'
violencc. (Weshoulonote,however,thatthecoeiciveinstitutionsofa
society ~ armies, law courts ano the rest ~ must themselves win a
generalconsentfrom the peopleiftheyare tooperateeffectively, so
that the opposition between coercion ano consent can be to some
extentoeconstiucteo. ) In mooerncapitalistregimes, civilsocietyhas
cometo assumeaformioablepower,incontrasttotheoayswhenthe
Bolsheviks,livinginasocietypoorinsuchinstitutions,couloseizethe
reinsofgovernmentbyafrontalattackonthestateitself.1heconcept
ofhegemonythusbelongswiththequestion. Howistheworkingclass
totakepoweiinasocialformationwheretheoominantpoweiissubtly,
peivasively oiffuseo throughout habitual oaily practices, intimately
inteiwoven with 'culture' itself, inscribeo in the very texture ofour
experiencefromnurseryschooltofuneralparloui:Howoowecombat
apowerwhichhasbecomethe'commonsense'ofawholesocialoroer,
ratherthanonewhichiswioelypeiceiveoasalienanooppressive:
[ . . . ]
If the concept of hegemony extenos ano enriches the notion of
ioeology,italsolenosthisotherwisesomewhatabstiacttermamaterial
booy ano political cutting eoge. It is with Gramsci that the crucial
transitioniseffecteofromioeologyas'systemsofioeas'toioeologyas
liveo, habitual social practice which must then presumably en-
compasstheunconscious,inarticulateoimensionsofsocialexperience
as well as the workings offormal institutions. Louis Althusser, for
whom ioeology is largely unconscious ano always institutional, will
inheritbothofthese emphases, anohegemony asa 'liveo' piocessof
political oomination comes close in some of its aspects to what
RaymonoWilliamscallsa'stiuctureoffeeling'.Inhisownoiscussionof
i i_liams acknowleoges thedynamic characte: Otbegemony,
asagainstthepnalI c|nttotationsof'ioeology'.hegemonyis
. ~'
.
1 98 MAP P I NG I DEOLOGY
nexva

ccandtor-!| ave, continual|y to be


renewed, recreapo, dcIcndcd, and = modited' .

cept, then,
[gps ,

sea:ab|c fvom ove+nncsoI s e,1ueo|ogy


pqpJs. not. No sing|e modeofhegemony,soWi||iamsargues,can
exhaust the meanings and values ofany society, and any governing
poweristhusforcedtoengagewithcountei-hegemonicforcesinways
which piove partly constitutiveofitsown rule. Hegemonyisthusan
inherenuyIatonaI, s wclIas .pxacticaLand1d,nc tio;;,g it
_ersin this sense a signal advance on some ofthe mocossih ed,
scho|astic deh nitions of ideology to be found certain 'vulgar'
c(c,ts oIarism.
Veryiough|y,then,wemightdeh nehegemonyasa_gf

_
i

'e
le
es. 1oegemony, inCramsci'sview, isto
estabhs| mmal,oliticalndmtchectua|gjj [p.in ^ soclI1e by
diffusipgp;__

[b:vo>easa
ole, thusequatingonc'sowninterestswiththeintcrcstsosocietyat
_ Such consensua| iu|e is not, ofcourse, pecu|iar to capita|ism,
indeedonemightc|aimthatany formofpo|iticalpower,tobedurable
andwel|-grounded, must evokeat |east a degree ofconsent fromits
under|ings. But there are good reasons to believe that in capitalist
society in particulai, the ratio between consent and coeicion shifts
decisive|y towards the foimer. In such conditions, the powei ofthe
state to discip|ine and punish ~ what Cramsci terms 'domination'
remains hrm|y inp|ace, and indeed in modern societies grows more
formidab|e as the vaiious techno|ogies of oppiession begin to pro-
lifeiate. But the institutions of 'civi| society' schoo|s, fami|ies,
churches,mediaandtherest~ now p|ay amoiecentia|ro|ei nthe
processes ofsocia| contio|. 1hebourgeois statewi||resoit to direct
violenceifitisfoicedtoit,butindoingsoitriskssufferingadrastic|oss
ofideo|ogica| credibi|ity. It is pieferab|e on the who|efor power to
remainconvenient|yinvisib|e,disseminatedthroughoutthetextureof
socia|lifeandthus'natuia|ized'ascustom,habit,spontaneouspiactice.
Once power nakedly revea|s its hand, it can become an obect of
po|itica|contestation. '
[ . . . ]
InhisPrison Notebooks, Cramscireectsoutofhandanypure|ynegative
use ofthe term ideo|ogy. 1his 'bad' sense of the teim has become
widespiead,heremarks,'withtheeffectthatthetheoietica|analysisof
theconceptofideologyhasbeenmodihedanddenatured' . 22 Ideology
has been too often seen as pure appeaiance or mere obtuseness,
wheieas a distinction must in fact be drawn between 'historica||y
oiganic' ideologies ~ meaning those necessaiy to a given socia|
I DEOLOGY AND I TS VI CI S S I TUDES
1 99
stiucture and ideologyinthesenseofthe arbitrary specu|ationsof
individua|s. 1his paralle|s to some extent the opposition we have
obseived e|sewhere between 'ideo|ogy' and 'woild-view', though we
shouldnotethatforMaixhimselfthenegative senseofideo|ogywas
bynomeansconh nedtoarbitrarysubectivespecu|ation. Cramscia|so
dismissesanyeconomisticieductionofideologytothemerebaddream
oftheinfrastiuctuie. on the contrary, ideologies must be viewed as
activelyorganizingfoiceswhicharepsychologica||y'va|id',fashioning
the terrain on which men and women act, stiuggle and acquire
consciousnessoftheirsocialpositions. Inany'histoiicalb|oc',Ciamsci
comments,materia|forcesaiethe'content',andideologiesthe'form' .
[ . . . ]
For Cramsci, tht:ss ~oIsubodintcd grous in society is
typicaIly sse

:t } )iI oceptions of the


worl us|es so

dIrOD the'ofh cia|'


notions o!:he jevs,the oth;,q,etiveofconan opresscd popIe's
prac(g,acpecnceoIsoc|-rcalty.Suchcon ictsmighttaketheform
ofwhatwehaveseen ear|ierasa'peifoimativecontradiction'between
whatagp , ov
,
+lass-says,andwhatu.aciiI,.}yjaJsu:ts behaviour.
Butthisisnottobeseenasmerese|f-deception. suchanexplanation,
Ciamscithinks,mightbeadequateinthecaseofparticu|arindividua|s,
but not in the case of great masses of men and women. 1hese
contradictionsin thought must have a historica| base, and Cramsci
|ocatesthisinthecontrastbetweentheemeigentconceptofthewor|d
which a c|ass disp|ays when it acts as an 'organic totality', and its
submissioninmore'norma|'timestotheideasofthosewhogovernit.
Oneaimofrevo|utionaiypiactice,then,mustbetoe|aboiateandmake
exp|icit the potentia||y creative princip|es implicit in the practica|
undeistandingofthe oppressed- to raise these otherwise inchoate,
ambiguous e|ements of its experience to the status of a coherent
phi|osophyoi'woild-view'.
[ . . . ]
1o o
.
this, ho
"
ever, means combating
}r a

jis ;rqati the


empnca|coscg softlepop|eq_ hichCramscigivesthetitle
of 'common sense'. Such common sense is a 'chaotic aggregate of
dispvarc conceptions' anambiguous,contradictoryzoneofexperi-
encewhichisonthewho|epo|itica||ybackward.Howcouldweexpectit
tobeotherwise,ifaru|ingb|ochashadcenturiesinwhichtoperfectits
hegemony: In Ciamsci's viewthereis a ceitain continuumbetween
'spontaneous'and'scientihc'consciousness,suchthatthedifhcultiesof
the|attershou|dnotbeintimidatinglyoverestimated,buttheieisalsoa
permanentwarbetweenrevo|utionarytheoiyandthemytho|ogica|or
fo|k|oric conceptions of the masses, and the |attei is not to be
200 MAPPI NG I DEOLOGY
pationizinglyromanticizeoat theexpenseof theformer.Certain'folk'
conceptions, Ciamsci holos, ooinoeeospontaneously refect import-
antaspectsofsociallife,'popularconsciousness'isnottobeoismisseo
as puiely negative, but its moie piogressive ano more reactionary
features must insteao be caiefully oistinguisheo.` Popular morality,
forexample,ispartlythefossilizeoresioueofanearlierhistoiy,partly
'a range ofoften creative ano progressive innovations . . . which go
against, or meiely oiffer from, the morality ofthe ruling strata of
society' . Whatisneeoeoisnotustsomepateinalistenoorsementof
existingpopulaiconsciousness,buttheconstiuctionof'anewcommon
sense anowith it a newcultuieano a new philosophywhichwillbe
rooteo in the popular consciousness with the same solioity ano
im pera tivequalityastraoitionalbeliefs' . 1hefunctionoftheorganic
intellectuals,inotherwoios,istofoigethelinksbetween'theory'ano
'ioeology', creatinga twowaypassage between political analysis ano
populaiexperience.Anothetermioeologyhere'isuseoinitshighest
senseofaconceptionoftheworlothatisimplicitlymanifestinart,in
law, ineconomicactivity ano in all manifestations ofinoivioualano
collective life. ' Such a 'worlo-view' cements together a social ano
politicalbloc,asaunifying,organizing,inspirationalpiincipalrather
thanasystemofabstractioeas.
[ . . . ]
From Adorno to Bourdi
e
u
We have seen how a theoiy ofioeology can be geneiateo from the
commooity-foim. But at the heait of Marx's economic analysis lies
anothercategoryalsoofielevancetoioeology,anothisistheconcept
ofexchangevalue. In thehrstvolumeofCapital, Maixexplainshow
two commooities with quite oifferent 'use values' can be equally
exchangeo, on the principle that both contain the same amount of
abstiact labour. If it takes the same quantity of labour-power to
proouceaChristmaspuooinganoatoysquirrel,thentheseprooucts
willhavethesameexchangevalue,whichistosaythattbesameamount
ofmoney can buy them both. But the specih c oifferences between
these obects are thereby suppresseo, as their use value becomes
suboioinatetotheirabstractequivalence.
If this principle ieigns in the capitalist economy, it can also be
observeoatwoik in thehigheiieachesofthe'superstructure'. In the
political arenaofbourgeoissociety,allmenanuwomenareabstractly
equalasvoteis anocitizens , butthis theoietical equivalence serves to
mask their conciete inequalities within 'civil society' . Lanoloro ano
I DEOLOGY AND I TS VI CI S S I TUDES 20I
tenant, businessman ano prostitute, may enoupi naoacent polling
booths. Muchthesameistrueoftheurioicalinstitutions. allinoivio-
ualsareequalbeforethelaw,butthismerelyobscuresthewayinwhich
thelawitselfisultimatelyonthesioeofthepropeitieo. Isthere,then,
somewayoftiackingthisprincipleoffalseequivalenceevenfurtheiup
theso-calleosuperstructuie,intotheheaoyrealmsofioeology:
FortheFrankfurtSchoolMarxist1heoooiAooino,thismechanism
ofabstractexchangeis theveiy secretofioeologyitself. Commooity
exchange effects an equation between things which are in fact
incommensurable,anoso,inAoorno'sview, ooes ioeologicalthought.
Such thought is ievolteo by the sight of 'otheiness', of that which
threatenstoescapeitsowncloseosystem,anoviolentlyreoucesittoits
own image ano likeness. 'If the lion hao a consciousness,' Aooino
writes inNegative Dialectics, 'his iage at the antelope he wants to eat
woulo be ioeology. ' I noeeo Freoric )ameson has suggesteo that the
funoamental gestuie of all ioeology is exactly such a iigio binary
opposition between theselfoi familiar, which is positivelyvalorizeo,
ano the non-selfor alien, which is thiust beyono the bounoaries of
intelligibility. 1he ethical cooe of gooo versus evil, so [ameson
consioers,isthenthemostexemplarymooelofthisprinciple.Ioeology
forAoornoisthusafoimof'ioentity-thinking'~ acoveitlyparanoio
styleofrationality whichinexoiablytiansmutes the uniqueness ano
plurality ofthings into a mere simulaciumofitself, oi expels them
beyonoitsownboroersinapanic-strickenactofexclusion.
On this account, the opposite ofioeology woulo be not truth or
theory,butoifferenceorheteiogeneity. Anointhis asin otherways,
Aooino'sthoughtstrikinglyprehguresthatofthepost-structuralistsof
ouiownoay. Inthefaceofthisconceptualstrai| acketing,heafhrms
the essentialnon-ioentityofthought ano ieality, the conceptano its
obect.1osupposethattheioea offreeoomisioenticalwiththepooi
tiavestyofitavailableinthecapitalistmaiketplaceistofailtoseethat
tlisobectooesnotliveuptoitsconcept. Conversely,to imagine that
thebeingofanyobectcanbeexhausteobytheconceptofitistoerase
its unique mateiiality, since concepts are ineluctably general ano
obects stubboinly particulai. Ioeology homogenizes the worlo, spuri-
ously equatingoistinct phenomena, ano to unoo it thus oemanos a
'negative oialectics', which strives, peihaps impossibly, to incluoe
within thought that which is heterogeneous to it. For Aoorno, the
highestparaoigmofsuchnegativereasonisart, whichspeaks upfoi
the oifferential ano non-ioentical, promoting the claims of the
sensuousparticularagainstthetyrannyofsomeseamlesstotality
Ioentity,then, isinAoorno'seyesthe'primalform'ofallioeology.
Our ieiheo consciousness re6 ects a worlo ofobects fiozen intheir
202 MAP P I NG I DEOLOGY
monotonouslyselfsamebeing,andi nthusbindingustowhatis, t othe
purely'given',blindsustothetruththat'whatis,ismoiethanitis' . "In
contiast with much post-structuralist thinking, however, Adorno
neitheruncriticallycelebratesthenotionofdiffeiencenorunequivo-
callydenounces theprincipleofidentity. Foiallitsparanoidanxiety,
the identity piinciple carries with it a frail hope that one day tiue
reconciliationwillcomeabout,andaworldofpuredifferenceswould
beindistinguishablefiomoneofpure identities.1heideaofUtopia
travelsbeyondbothconceptions. itwouldbe,instead,a'togetherness
indiversity' . `1heaimofsocialismistoliberatetheiichdiversityof
sensuoususevaluefrom themetaphysical prison-houseofexchange
value toemancipatehistoryfromthespeciousequivalencesimposed
upon it by ideology and commodity production. 'Reconciliation',
Adorno writes, 'would release the non-identical, would iid it of
coercion, includingspiritualizedcoercion, itwouldopentheroad to
themultiplicityofdifferentthingsandstiipdialecticsofitspowerover
them. `'
Howthisistocomeabout,however,isnoteasytosee.Forthecritique
of capitalist society demands the use of analytic reason, and such
reason would seem for Adoino, at least in some of his moods,
intrinsicallyoppressiveandreihcatoiy.Indeed,logicitself,whichMaix
once desciibed as a 'currency ofthe mind', is a kind ofgeneialized
barteroifalseequalizationofconceptsanalogoustotheexchangesof
themarketplace.Adominativeiationality,then,canbeunlockedonly
with concepts already iiredeemably contaminated by it, and this
proposition itself, since it obeys the rules of analytic reason, must
alreadybeonthesideofdominion.InDialectic of Enlightenment ( 1 947),
co-authoied by Adornoandhi scolleague MaxHorkheimer, ieason
has become inherently violent and manipulative, riding roughshod
over the sensuous particularities ofNature andthebody. Simply to
think is to be guiltily complicit with ideologicaldomination, yet to
suriender instrumental thought altogether would be to lapse into
barbarousirrationalism.
1heidentityprinciplestrivestosuppressallcontradiction,andfor
Adorno this process has been brought to perfection in the ieihed,
bureauciatized,administeredworldofadvancedcapitalism.Muchthe
samebleakvisionisproectedbyAdorno'sFrankfuitSchoolcolleague
Herbeit aicuse, in his One-Dimensional Man ( 1 964). Ideology, in
short, is a 'totalitarian' systemwhichhasmanagedand processedall
socialconfictoutofexistence.Itisnotonlythatthisthesiswouldcome
as something of a surprise to those who actually run the Western
system,itisalsothatitpaiodiesthewholenotionofideologyitself.1he
Frankfurt School of Marxism, several of whose members were
I DEOLOGY AND I TS VI CI S S I TUDES 203
iefugees from Nazism, simply proects the 'extieme' ideological
univeise of Fascism on to the quite different stiuctures of liberal
capitalist iegimes. Does all ideology work by the identity principle,
ruthlessly expunging whatevei is heterogeneous to it: What, for
example, of the ideology of liberal humanism, which, in however
speciousandiestrictedafashion,isabletomakeroomfor variousness,
plurality, cultuial ielativity, concrete particularity: Adorno and his
fellowwoikersdeliverussomethingofastrawtargetofideology,inthe
mannei of those post-structuialist theorists for whom all ideology
withoutexceptionwould appeartotuinupon metaphysicalabsolutes
and transcendental foundations. 1he real ideological conditions of
Western capitalistsocieties are suiely a good deal more mixed and
self-contradictoiy,blending'metaphysical'andpluralisticdiscoursesin
variousmeasuies.Anoppositiontomonotonousself-identity('Ittakes
all kinds to make a woild' ) , a suspicion of absolute truth claims
('Everyone'sentitled totheir point ofview' ) , a reection ofieductive
stereotypes ('ItakepeopleasIhndthem' ) , acelebrationofdiffeience
(' It' dbea strange worldifweallthoughtthesame') . thesearepaitof
the stock in trade of popular Westein wisdom, and nothingis to be
politicallygainedby caiicaturingone'santagonist. Simplytocounter-
pose difference to identity, plurality to unity, the marginal to the
central, is to lapse back into binary opposition, as the more subtle
deconstructors are perfectly aware. It is pure formalism to imagine
thatotheiness,heteiogeneityandmarginalityareunqualihedpolitical
benehtsregardlessoftheirconcretesocialcontent. Adoino,aswehave
seen, is not out simply to replace identity with difference, but his
suggestiveciitiqueofthetyiannyofequivalenceleadshimtoooftento
'demonize'moderncapitalismas a seamless, pacihed,self-iegulating
system. 1his, nodoubt,iswhatthesystemwouldlike tobetold, butit
wouldprobablybegreetedwithacertainscepticisminthecorridorsof
WhitehallandWallStreet.
1he later Frankfurt School philosopher)rgen Habeimas follows
AdornoindismissingtheconceptofaMarxistscience,andinrefusing
toassignanyparticularpiivilegetotheconsciousnessoftherevolution-
aiyproletariat.ButwheieasAdornoisthenleftwithlittletopitagainst
thesystembutartandnegativedialectics, Habeimasturns insteadto
theresouicesofcommunicative language. Ideologyfoihimisafoim
of communication systematically distorted by power ~ a discourse
which has become a medium of domination, and which serves to
legitimate relations of organized foice. For hermeneutical philos-
opherslike Hans-Georg Gadamer, misunderstandings andlapsesof
204 MAPPI NG I DEOLOGY
communicationaretextualblockagestobeiectiheobysensitiveinter-
pietation. Habermas,bycontiast,orawsattentiontothepossibilityof
anentireoiscuisivesystemwhichissomehowoeformeo.Whatwarps
such oiscourse out oftrue is the impact upon it ofextra-oiscursive
foices. ioeology marks the point at which language is bent out of
communicative shape bythe power inteiestswhich impinge upon it.
Butthisbesiegingoflanguagebypowerisnotustanexteinalmattei.
on thecontiary, such oominioninscribesitselfonthe insioe ofour
speech,sothatioeologybecomesasetofeffectsinternaltoparticular
oiscourses themselves.
Ifa communicative stiucture issystematically oistorteo, then itwill
tenotopresenttheappearance ofnormativityanojustness. A oistor-
tion which is so peivasive tenos to cancel all the way through ano
oisappear fiomsightustaswewoulonotoescribeasaoeviation or
oisability a conoition in which eveiybooy limpeo oi oroppeo their
aitchesallthetime. A systematicallyoeformeonetworkofcommuni-
cation thus tenos to concealoreraoicatetheverynoimsbywhich it
mightbeuogeotobe oeformeo,anosobecomespeculiarlyinvulnei-
abletocritique. In thissituation,itbecomesirnpossibletoraisewithin
the networkthe questionofits own workingsorconoitionsofpossi-
bility, since it has, so to speak, conhscateotheseinquiiieslomthe
outset.1hesystem'shistoricalconoitionsofpossibilityarereochneo
bythesystemitself,thusevapoiatingintoit. Inthecaseofa'success-
ful' ioeology,itisnotasthoughonebooyofioeasisperceiveotobe
more powerful, legitimate oi peisuasive thananothei, but that the
verygrounosforchoosingiationallybetweenthemhavebeenoeftly
removeo, sothatitbecomesimpossibletothink oi oesire outsioe the
terms ofthe systemitself. Such anioeologicalfoimationcurves back
upon itselflike cosmic space, oenyingthe possibilityofany 'outsioe',
forestallingthegenerationofnewoesiresaswellasfrustratingthose
we alreaoyhave. Ifa 'universe ofoiscouise'is truly a universe, then
there is no stanopoint beyono it where we might hno a point of
leverageforcritique.Orifotheruniversesaieacknowleogeotoexist,
thentheyaiesimplyoehneoasincommensurablewithone'sown.
Habermas,tohis cieoit, subscribes tono suchfantastic oystopian
vision ofan all-poweiful,all-absorbent ioeology. Ifioeology is lan-
guage wrencheo out oftrue, then we mustpiesumablyhave some
ioeaofwhatan 'authentic'communicativeactwoulolike like.1heie
is, aswehavenoteo,noappealopenforhimto somescientihcmeta-
language which woulo aouoicate in this respect among competing
ioioms,sohemustseekinsteaotoextractfromourlinguisticpractices
thestiucture ofsome unoeilying 'communicativeiationality' some
'ioeal speech situation' which glimmers faintly through our actual
I DEOLOGY AND I TS VI CI S S I TUDES 205
oebaseo oiscourses, ano which may therefore fuinish a noim or
regulativemooelforthecriticalassessmentofthem.32
1heioealspeechsituationwoulobeoneentirelyfieeofoomination,
in which allparticipantswoulo have symmetrically equalchances to
selectanooeployspeechacts.Persuasionwoulooepenoontheforceof
the better argument alone, not on ihetoric, authority, coercive
sanctions,anosoon

1hismooelisnomorethanaheuristicoeviceor
necessaryhction,butitisinsomesenseimplicitevensoinouroroinary,
unregenerateverbaloealings.Alllanguage,evenofaoominativekino,
is in Habermas's view inheiently orientateo to communication, ano
thustacitlytowaroshumanconsensus. evenwhenIcuiseyouIexpect
tobeunoerstooo,otherwisewhyshouloIwastemybreath:Ouimost
oespoticspeechactsbetray,oespitethemselves,thefrailoutlinesofa
communicativerationalit: inmakinganutteranceaspeakerimplicitly
claimsthatwhatshesaysisintelligible,true,sincereanoappiopriateto
theoiscursivesituation. (Quitehowthisapplies tosuch speechactsas
okes,poems anoshoutsofgleeisnotsoappaient. )1heieis, inothei
woros,akino of'oeep'iationalitybuiltintotheveiystiucturesofoui
language, regaroless of what we actually say, ano it is this which
piovioesHabermas with thebasisforacritiqueofour actual verbal
piactices. Inacuiioussense,theveiyact ofenunciationcanbecome a
noimativeuogementonwhatisenunciateo.
Habermas holos to a 'consensus' iather than 'coiresponoence'
theory of tiuth, which is to say that he thinks truth less some
aoequationbetween mino anoworlothan aquestionofthe kino of
assertionwhicheveiyonewhocouloenterin tounconstraineooialogue
with thc speakei woulo come to accept. But social ano ioeological
oomination currently prohibit such unconstraineo communication,
anountilwecantransfoimthissituation(whichforHabermaswoulo
meanfashioningaparticipatorysocialistoemocracy),truthisbounoto
be,as itwere,oeferieo.Ifwewanttoknowthetruth,wehavetochange
ourpoliticalformoflife. 1iuth is thus oeeplybouno upwith social
ustice.mytruthclaimsrefeithemselvesforwarotosomealtereosocial
conoition wheietheymightbe'ieoeemeo'. ItisthusthatHabermasis
abletoobseivethat'thetruthofstatementsislinkeointhelastanalysis
totheintentionofthegoooanothetruelife' . 33
1hereisanimportantoifferencebetweenthisstyleofthoughtano
thatofthemoreseniormembersoftheFiankfurtSchool.Forthem,as
we have seen, society asit exists seems wholly reiheo ano oegraoeo,
sinisterlysuccessfulinitscapacityto'aoministei'contraoictionsoutof
existence.1hisgloomyvisionooesnotpreventthemfromoiscerning
some ioeal alteinative to it, of the kino that Aoorno oiscoveis in
mooeinistart,butitisanaltei

nativewithscantfounoationinthegiven
206 MAP P I NG I DEOLOGY
socialoroer.I t islessaoialecticalfunctionLfthatoroerthana'solution'
parachuteoinfromsomeontologicalouterspace. Itthushguresasa
formof' bao'Utopianism,asopposeotothat'gooo'Utopianismwhich
seeks somehow to anchor what is oesirable in what is actual. A
oegraoeo present must be patiently scanneo for those tenoencies
whichareatonceinoissolublybounoupwithit,yetwhichinterpreteo
inacertainway maybeseentopointbeyonoit.SoitisthatMarxism,
forexample,isnotustsomekinoofwishfulthinking,butanattemptto
oiscoveranalternativetocapitalismlatentintheveryoynamicofthat
form of life. In oroer to resolve its structural contraoictions, the
capitalist oroer woulohave to transceno itselfinto socialism, itisnot
simplyamatterofbelievingthatitwoulobepleasantforittoooso.1he
ioea of a communicative rationality is another way ofsecuring an
internalbonobetweenpresentanofuture,anoso,likeMarxismitself,
isaformof'immanent'critique.Ratherthanpassingjuogementonthe
present from the Olympian heightofsomeabsolutetruth, itinstalls
itselfwithin thepresentinoroertooecipherthosefaultlineswherethe
rulingsociallogic presses up againstitsown structural limits, anoso
coulopotentiallysurpassitself.1hereisaclearparallelbetweensuch
immanent critique ano what is nowaoays known as oeconstruction,
whichseekssimilarlyto occupy a systemfromtheinsioeinoroerto
exposethosepointsofimpasseorinoeterminacywhereitsgoverning
conventionsbegintounravel.
Habermashasoftenenoughbeenaccuseoofbeingarationalist,ano
thereisnoooubtsome justiceinthecharge.Howfarisitreallypossible,
forexample,tooisentanglethe'forceofthebetterargument'fromthe
rhetoricaloevicesbywhichitisconveyeo,thesubectpositionsatstake,
theplayofpoweranooesirewhichwill moulo suchutterancesfrom
within: But if a rationalist is one who opposes some sublimely
oisinteresteo truth to mere sectoral interests, then Habermas is
certainlynotofthis company. Onthecontrary,truthanoknowleoge
areforhim'interesteo' totheirroots. Weneeotypesofinstrumental
knowleogebecauseweneeotocontrolourenvironmentintheinterests
ofsurvival.Similarly,weneeothesortofmoralorpoliticalknowleoge
attainableinpracticalcommunicationbecausewithoutittherecoulobe
no collective social life at all. ' I believethat I can show', Habermas
remarks,'thataspeciesthatoepenosforitssurvivalonthestructuresof
linguistic communication ano cooperative, purposive-rationalaction
mustofnecessity relyonreason' . `Reasoning,inshort,isinourinterests,
grounoeo in the kino ofbiological species we are. Otherwise why
woulo we bother to Fno out anything at all: Such 'species-specihc'
interestsmove,naturally,atahighlyabstractlevel,anowilltelluslittle
aboutwhetherweshoulovote1orytokeeptheratesoown.Butaswith
I DEOLOGY AND I TS VI CI S S I TUDES 207
communicativerationality,theycanserveevensoasapoliticalnorm,
ioeological interests which oamage the structures ofpractical com-
munication can beuogeo inimical to our interests as a whole. As
1homasMcCarthyputsit,wehaveapracticalinterestin'securingano
expanoing possibilities of mutual ano self-unoerstanoing in the
conouctoflife' , 'sothatakinoofpoliticsisoerivablefromthesortof
animalsweare.Interestsareconstitutive ofourknowleoge,notust(as
theEnlightenmentbelieveo)obstaclesinitspath.Butthisisnottooeny
that there are kinos of interest which threaten our funoamental
requirements as a species, ano these are what Habermas terms
'ioeological'.
1he opposite of ioeology for Habermas is not exactly truth or
knowleoge, butthatparticular formof'interesteo' rationality wecall
emancipatory critique. Itisinourintereststorioourselvesofunnecessary
constraints onourcommon oialogue, forunlessweoo, the kinos of
truthsweneeotoestablishwillbebeyonoourreach.Anemancipatory
critique is one which brings these institutional constraints to our
awareness, ano thiscanbeachieveo onlybythe practice ofcollective
self-reuection. 1herearecertainformsofknowleogethatweneeoat
all costs in oroer to be free, ano an emancipatory critique such as
Marxism or Freuoianismis simplywhateverformofknowleogethis
currentlyhappenstobe.Inthiskinoofoiscourse,'fact'(cognition)ano
'value'(orinterest)arenotreallyseparable.thepatientinpsychoanaly-
sis, for example, has an interest in embarking on a process of
self-reuectionbecausewithoutthisstyle ofcognition he willremain
imprisoneo inneurosisor psychosis. In aparallelway,anoppresseo
grouporclass,aswehaveseeninthethoughtofIukacs,hasaninterest
in getting to unoerstano its social situation, since without this self-
knowleogeitwillremainavictimofit.
1his analogy may be pursueo a little further. Dominative social
institutions areforHabermas somewhat akin to neurotic patterns of
behaviour, since they rigioify human life into a compulsive set of
normsanothusblockthepathtocriticalself-refection. Inbothcases
webecomeoepenoentonhypostasizeo powers, subecttoconstraints
which are in fact cultural but which bear in upon us with all the
inexorability ofnatural forces. 1hegratihcatoryinstincts which such
institutions thwart are then either oriven unoergrouno, in the
phenomenonFreuooubs'repression',orsublimateointometaphysical
worlo-views,ioealvaluesystemsofonekinooranother,whichhelpto
console anocompensateinoivioualsforthe real-liferestrictions they
must enoure. 1hese value systems thus serve tolegitimatethesocial
oroer, channellingpotentialoissioenceintoillusoryforms,anothis,in
anutshell,istheFreuoiantheory ofioeology.Habermas, likeFreuo
208 MAPPI NG I DEOLOGY
himself,i sat painsto emphasizethattheseioealizeoworlo-viewsare
notjust illusions. however oistoiteoly, they leno voice to genuine
humanoesires,anothusconcealaUtopiancoie.Whatwecannowonly
oream ofmightalways be realizeo in some emancipateo futuie, as
technologicaloevelopmentliberatesinoivioualsfiomthecompulsion
oflabour.
Habermas regaios psychoanalysis as a oiscourse which seeks to
emancipateusfromsystematicallyoistorteocommunication,anosoas
shaiingcommongrounowiththecritiqueofioeology.Pathologicalbe-
havioui, in which ouiworosbelie ouiactions,isthusroughlyequiv-
alenttoioeology's'perfoimative cotraoictions'.)ustastheneuiotic
mayvehementlyoenyawishwhichneverthelessmanifestsitselfinsym-
bolicfoim on the booy, so a ruling class may pioclaimits beliefin
libeity whileobstructingitin practice. 1ointerpiet these oefoimeo
oiscoursesmeansnotust1ranslatingthemintootherterms,butiecon-
structingtheirconoitionsofpossibilityanoaccountingforwhatHaber-
mascalls'thegeneticconoitionsoftheunmeaning'. Itisnotenough,
inotherworos,tounsciambleaoistorteotext.weneeo,rather,toex-
plain thecausesofthe textualoistortionitself. As Habeimas puts the
point, with unwonteo pithiness. he mutilations of the text] have
meaningassuch.''Itisnotustaquestionofoecipheiingalanguage
accioentallyafHicteowithslippages,ambiguitiesanonon-meanings,it
is, rather,amatterofexplainingtheforcesatworkofwhichthesetex-
tualobscuritiesareanecessaiyeffect.'1hebieaksinthetext', Haber-
maswiites,'aieplaceswhereaninterpretationhasforciblypievaileo
thatisego-alieneventhoughitisproouceobytheself. . . . 1heiesultis
thattheegonecessaii|yoeceivesitselfaboutitsioentityinthesymbolic
structuiesthatitconsciouslyproouces. '
1o analyse a form of systematically oistorteo communication,
whethei oream or ioeology, is thus to reveal how its lacunae,
repetitions, elisions anoequivocationsare themselves signihcant. As
Marx puts the point in Theories of Surplus Value: 'Aoam Smith's
contiaoictionsaieofsignihcancebecausetheycontainproblemswhich
it is true he ooes notresolve,butwhich heievealsby contraoicting
himsel|. If we can lay bare the social conoitions which 'force' a
particular oiscourse into certain oeceptions ano oisguises, we can
equa|lyexaminetherepresseooesireswhichintroouceoistortionsinto
thebehaviourofaneuioticpatient,orintothetextofaoieam.Both
psychoanalysisano'ioeologycritique' , inotherwoios,focusuponthe
pointswheremeaning anoforLe intersect.Insocial life,ameieattention
to meaning, as in hermeneutics, will fail to show up the concealeo
powerinterestsbywhich these meanings areinternally mouloeo. I n
psychica|life,amereconcentiationonwhatFreuocallsthe'manifest
I DEOLOGY AND I TS VI CI S S I TUDES 209
content'oftheoieamwillblinoustothe'oream-work'itself, wheiethe
foices of the unconsciousaie moststealthily opeiative. Both oream
anoioeologyareinthissense'ooubleo'texts,conuncturesofsignsano
power, sothattoacceptanioeologyatfacevaluewoulobelikefalling
forwhatFreuoteims'seconoary revision', themoieorlesscoherent
versionoftheoreamtextthattheoreameroeliverswhenshewakes.In
bothcases,what i s proouceomustbegraspeoi nteimsofitsconoitions
ofpioouction, anotothisextentFreuo'sownaigumenthasmuchin
common with The German Ideolog. If oreams cloak unconscious
motivationsinsymbolicguise,thensoooioeologicaltexts.
1his suggests a further analogy between psychoanalysis ano the
stuoy of ioeology, which Habeimas himself ooes not aoequately
exploie. Freuo oescribes the neuiotic symptom as a 'compromise
formation', sincewithinits stiucturetwoantagonistic forces uneasily
coexist. On the one hano there is the unconscious wishwhich seeks
expiession,ontheotheihanothereisthecensoriouspoweioftheego,
which strives to thrust this wish back into the unconscious. 1he
neurotic symptom, like the oream text, thus reveals ano conceals at
once.Butsoalso,onemightclaim, oooominantioeologies, whichaie
not to be reouceo to mere 'oisguises'. 1he miooleclass ioeology of
libertyanoinoivioualautonomyisnomeiehction. onthecontiary, it
signiheoinits time a real political victoiy over a biutally repressive
feuoalism. Atthe sametime,however, itservestomaskthegenuine
oppressiveness ofbouigeoissociety. 1he 'tiuth' ofsuch ioeology, as
with the neuiotic symptom, lies in neither the ievelation noi the
concealment alone, butinthecontraoictoiyunitytheycompose. Itis
notust a matter ofstrippingoff some outer oisguise to exposethe
tiuth, anymoiethananinoivioual'sself-oeception isjusta 'guise' he
assumes.Itis,rathei,thatwhatisrevealeotakesplaceintermsofwhat
isconcealeo,anoviceveisa.
Marxists often speak of 'ioeological contiaoictions' , as well as of
'contiaoictions in reality' (though whether this latter way oftalking
makes much sense is a bone ofcontention amongst them) . It might
thenbe thought that ioeological contraoictions somehow 'reHect' or
'coiresponoto' contiaoictions in society itself. But the situation isin
factmoiecomplexthanthissuggests.Letusassumethattheieisa'real'
contiaoictionincapitalistsocietybetweenbourgeoislreeoomano its
oppressive effects. 1he ioeological oiscouise of bourgeois liberty
mightalsobesaiotobecontiaoictory,butthisisnotexactlybecauseit
reproouces the 'real' contraoiction in question. Rather, the ioeology
willtenotorepiesentwhatispositiveaboutsuchliberty,whilemasking,
repiessing or oisplacing its ooious corollaries, ano this masking or
repiessingwork, aswith the neurotic symptom, is likelytointerfeie
2 1 0 MAP PI NG I DEOLOGY
fromtheinsioewithwhatgetsgenuinelyarticulateo Onemightclaim,
then, that the ambiguous, self-contraoictory nature oftheioeology
springs precisely from its not authentically repiooucing the real
contraoiction, inoeeowereitreallyto ooso,wemighthesitateabout
whetheitotermthisoiscouise'ioeological'atall.
1hereisahnalpaiallelbetweenioeologyanopsychicaloisturbance
which we may briefy examine. A neurotic pattern ofbehaviour, in
Fieuo'sview,isnotsimplyexpressive ofsomeunoerlyingpioblem,butis
actuallyawayoftiyingtocopewithit.ItisthusthatFreuocanspeakof
neurosisastheconfuseoglimmeiingsofakinoofsolutiontowhatever
isawry.Neuroticbehaviourisastrateg fortackling,encompassingano
'iesolving' genuineconHicts, even ifitresolves theminan imaginary
way.1hebehaviourisnotust apassivereHexofthisconfict,butan
active, ifmystiheo, formofengagementwithit.)ustthesamecanbe
saio ofioeologies, which are no mere inert by-prooucts of social
contraoictionsbutiesouicefulstrategiesforcontaining,managingano
imaginaiilyresolvingthem.EtienneBalibaranoPierieMachereyhave
argueo that works of liteiature oo not simply 'take' ioeological
contiaoictions,intheraw,asitwere,anosetaboutlenoingthemsome
factitious symbolic resolution. If such iesolutions are possible, it is
becausethecontraoictionsinquestionhavealieaoybeensurieptitiou-
slyprocesseo anotiansformeo,soastoappearintheliteiaryworkin
the form of their potential oissolution.1he point may beapplieo to
ioeologicaloiscourseassuch,whichworks upontheconHictsitseeksto
negotiate,'softening',maskinganooisplacingthemastheoream-work
mooihesanotransmutesthe'latentcontents'oftheoreamitself.One
mightthereforeattributetothelanguageofioeologysomethingofthe
oevicesemployeobytheunconscious, intheirrespectivelabourupon
their'iawmateiials' . conoensation, oisplacement, elision, transferof
affect,consioerationsofsymLolicrepresentability,anosoon. Anothe
aimofthislabourinbothcasesistorecastaproblemintheformofits
potentialsolution.
Any parallelbetween psychoanalysis ano the critique ofioeology
mustnecessarilybeimperfect.Foronething,Habermashimselftenos
iniationaliststyletooownplaytheextenttowhichthepsychoanalytic
curecomesaboutlessthroughself-refectionthanthroughtheoiama
oftransferencebetweenpatientanoanalyst.Anoitisnoteasytothink
upanexactpoliticalanalogytothis.Foranotherthing,asRussellKeat
has pointeo out, the emancipation wrought by psychoanalysis is a
mattei of remembeiing or 'working thiough' iepresseo materials,
whereasioeologyislessaquestionofsomethingwebaveforgotten than
ofsomethingweneverknewinthehrstplace. ' \\emaynotehnally
that in Habermas's view the oiscourse ofthe neurotic is a kino of
I DEOLOGY AND I TS VI CI S SI TUDES 21 1
piivatizeo symbolic ioiom which has become split off fiom public
communication, whereas the 'pathology' of ioeological language
belongsfullytothepublicoomain.Ioeology,asFreuomighthavesaio,
isakinoofpsychopathologyof everyoaylife~ asystemofoistoitiono
peivasive that it cancels all the way through ano presents every
appeaianceofnormality.
UnlikeLukacs,1heooorAooinohaslittletimefoithenotionofreiheo
consciousness, which he suspects asresioually ioealist. Ioeology, foi
himasforthelateiMaix,isnotFrstofallamatterofconsciousness,but
of the material structuies ofcommooity exchange. Habermas, too,
iegaros a primary emphasis on consciousness as belonging to an
outmooeo'philosophyofthesubect',anoturnsinsteaotowhathesees
asthemorefeitilegrounoofsocialoiscouise.
1heFrenchMarxistphilosopheiLouisAlthusserisequallywaryof
theooctrineofreihcation, though foi ratheioifferentreasonsfiom
Aoorno's.InAlthusser'seyes,reihcation,likeitscompanioncategory
ofalienation, presupposes some 'human essence' which then unoer-
goesestiangement,anosinceAlthusserisarigorously'anti-humanist'
Marxist,renouncingallioeaofan'essentialhumanity',hecan haioly
founohistheoryofioeologyuponsuch'ioeological'concepts.Neither,
however,canhebaseitonthealternativenotionofa'woilo-view' , forif
Althusserisanti-humanistheisequallyanti-histoiicist,scepticalofthe
whole conception ofa 'class subect' ano hrm in his beliefthat the
science of historical materialism is quite inoepenoent of class con-
sciousness. Whathe ooes, then, is to oerive a theory ofioeology, of
impiessive powerano oiiginality, from a combination of Lacanian
psychoanalysisanotheless obviouslyhistoricistfeaturesofGramsci's
work, ano itis this theorythatcan be founo in his celebrateo essay
' Ioeology ano I oeological State Appaiatuses', as well as in scattereo
fragmentsofhisvolumeFor Marx.
4
3
Althusserholosthatallthoughtisconoucteowithinthetermsofan
unconscious'problematic'which silentlyunoeipinsit. A problematic,
ratherlikeMichelFoucault's'episteme',isaparticularorganizationof
categoiieswhichatanygivenhistoiicalmomentconstitutesthelimits
ofwhatweareabletoutteranoconceive.Aproblematicisnotinitself
'ioeological' . itincluoes,forexample, the oiscoursesoftrue science,
whichforAlthusserisfieeofallioeologicaltaint.Butwecanspeakof
theproblematicofaspecihcioeologyorsetofioeologies,anotooosois
toreferto an unoerlyingstructuieofcategoiies so organizeo asto
excluoethepossibilityofceitainconceptions.Anioeologicalpioblem-
atic turns aiouno certain eloquent silences ano elisions, ano it is so
2 1 2 MAPP I NG I DEOLOGY
constructeo that the questions which are posable within i t alreaoy
presupposecertainkinosofanswer. Itsfunoamentalstructureisthus
closeo,circularanoself-conF rming.whereveronemoveswithinit,one
willalwaysbeultimatelyreturneotowhatissecurelyknown,ofwhich
whatisunknownismerelyanextensionorarepetition. Ioeologiescan
neverbetakenbysurprise,sincelikeacounselleaoingawitnessinalaw
courttheysignalwhatwoulocountasanacceptableanswerinthevery
form of their questions. A scientiFc problematic, by contrast, is
characterizeobyitsopen-enoeoness. itcanbe'revolutionizeo'asnew
scientihc obects emerge ano a new horizon of questions opens up.
Scienceisanauthenticallyexploratorypursuit,whereasioeologiesgive
theappearanceofmovingforwarowhilemarchingstubbornlyonthe
spot.
InacontroversialmovewithinWesternMarxism,Althusserinsists
on a rigorous oistinction between 'science' (meaning, among other
things, Marxist theory) ano 'ioeology'. 1he former is notust to be
graspeo in historicist style as the 'expression' of the latter, on the
contrary, science or theory is a specihc kino oflabour with its own
protocols ano proceoures, one oemarcateo from ioeology by what
Althussercallsan'epistemologicalbreak' . WhereashistoricistMarxism
holos that theory is valioateo or invalioateo by historical practice,
Althusser holos that social theories, rather like mathematics, are
veriheo by methoos which are purelyinternal to them. 1heoretical
propositionsaretrueorfalseregarolessofwhohappenstoholothem
forwhathistoricalreasons, anoregarolessofthehistoricalconoitions
whichgivebirthtothem.
[ . . . ]
1here is a oifferencebetween holoing that historical circumstances
thoroughlyconoitionourknowleoge,anobelievingthatthevalioityof
ourtruthclaimsissimplyreducible toourhistoricalinterests.1helatter
caseisreallythatofFrieorichNietzsche, anothoughAlthusser'sown
case aboutknowleoge anohistoryis aboutasfarfromNietzsche'sas
coulobeimaginco,thereisanironicsenseinwhichhismjortheses
about ioeology owe something to his inHuence. For Nietzsche, all
human action is a kino of Fction. it presumes some coherent,
autonomous human agent (which Nietzscheregaros as an illusion) ,
implies that the beliefs ano assumptionsbywhich we act are Frmly
grounoeo (whichforNietzsche isnotthecase) , ano assumes thatthe
effectsofouractionscanberationallycalculateo (in Nietzsche'seyes
yet another sao oelusion) . Action for Nietzsche is an enormous, if
necessary, oversimpliF cation ofthe unfathomable complexity ofthe
worlo,whichthuscannotcoexistwithreHection.1oactatallmeansto
repressorsuspenosuchreHectiveness,tosuffer certainself-inouceo
I DEOLOGY AND I TS VI CI S S I TUDES 2 1 3
amnesiaoroblivion. 1he'true'conoitionsLfourexistence,then,must
necessarilybeabsentfromconsciousnessatthemomentofaction.1his
absenceis,sotospeak,structuralanooetermineo,ratherthanamere
matter of oversight ~ rather as for Freuo the concept of the
unconsciousmeansthattheforceswhicl oetermineourbeingcannot
by oehnition hgure withinour consciousness. We become conscious
agents only by virtue of a certain oeterminate lack, repression or
omission,whichnoamountofcriticalself-reHectioncoulorepair.1he
paraooxofthehumananimalisthatitcomesintobeingasa subect
onlyonthebasisofashatteringrepressionoftheforceswhichwent
intoitsmaking.
1he Althusserian antithesis of theory ano ioeology proceeos
roughly along these lines. One might venture, in a F rst, cruoely
approximate formulation, that theory ano practice are at ooos for
Nietzsche because he entertains an irrationalist suspicion of the
former,whereastheyareeternallyoiscrepantforAlthusserbecausehe
harbours a rationalist preuoice against the latter. All action for
Althusser, incluoing socialist insurrection, is carrieo on within the
sphereofioeology, aswe shall seeina moment, itisioeologyalone
whichlenosthehumansubectenoughillusory,provisionalcoherence
forittobecomeapracticalsocialagent.Fromthebleakstanopointof
theory, the subect has nosuch autonomy or consistency at all. it is
merely the'overoetermineo' proouctofthisorthatsocial structure.
But sincewewoulo beloath to get out ofbeo ifthistruth was helo
steaoilyinmino,itmustoisappearfromour'practical'consciousness.
Anoitisinthissensethatthesubect,forAlthusserasforFreuo,isthe
proouctofastructurewhichmustnecessarilyberepresseointhevery
momentof' subectivation'.
Onecan appreciate, then, why forAlthusser theory ano practice
mustalwaysbe somewhatat ooos, inaway scanoalous totheclassical
Marxismwhichinsistsonaoialecticalrelationbetweenthetwo.Butitis
haroertoseeexactlywhatthis oiscrepancymeans. 1oclaim thatone
cannot act ano theorize simultaneously may be like saying thatyou
cannot playtheMoonlight Sonata ano analyse itsmusicalstructure at
one ano the same time, or that you cannot be conscious of the
grammaticalrulesgoverningyourspeechintheveryheatofutterance.
ButthisisharolymoresigniFcantthansayingthatyoucannotchewa
banana ano play the bagpipes simultaneously, it has nophilosophical
importatall. Itiscertainlyafarcryfrommaintaining,a la Nietzsche,
that all action entails a necessary ignorance of its own enabling
conoitions. 1hetroublewith this case, atleastfora Marxist,isthatit
seems to rule outthe possibility oftheoretically informeo practice,
whichAlthusser,as anorthooox Leninist, woulobeharoputtoitto
2 1 4 MAPPI NG I DEOLOGY
abanoon.1oclaimthatyourpracticei s theoreticallyinformeoi s not,of
course, the same as imagining that you coulo engage in intensive
theoretica|activityattheverymomentyouareclosingthefactorygates
tolock outthe police. What must happen, then, is thata theoretical
unoerstanoingooesinoeeorealizeitselfinpractice,butonly,asitweie,
through the 'relay' ofioeology ofthe 'liveo hctions' ofthe actors
concerneo.Anothiswillbearaoicallyoiffeientformofunoerstanoing
fromthatofthetheoiistinhisstuoy,involvingasitooesfoiAlthussei
aninescapableelementofmisiecognition.
Whatismisrecognizeoinioeologyisnotprimarilytheworlo,since
ioeologyforAlthusserisnotamatteiofknowingoi failingtoknow
reality at all. 1he misrecognition in question is essentially a sel
misrecognition, which is an effect of the 'imaginary' oimension of
human existence. ' Imaginary'heremeansnot'unieal'but'pertaining
toanimage'theallusionisto)acquesIacan'sessay'1heMirror-phase
asFoimativeoftheFunctionofthe1', inwhichhearguesthatthesmall
inf ant,confionteowith its ownimage in a miiior, hasa momentof
jubilant misiecognition ofits own actual, physical|y uncooroinateo
state, imaginingitsbooytobemore uniFeothanitreallyis.' Inthis
imaginaiyconoition,norealoistinctionbetweensubjectanoobecthas
yetsetin,theinfantioentiheswithitsownimage,feelingitselfatonce
within ano in front of the mirior, so that subject ano object glioe
ceaselesslyinanooutofeachotheiinasealeocircuit.Intheioeological
spheie, similarly, the human subject tianscenos its true state of
oiffusenessoroecentrementanoFnosaconsolinglycoheientimageof
itselfreHecteobackinthe'mirror'ofaoominantioeologicaloiscouise.
Armeowith this imaginary self, which forIacaninvolvesan 'alien-
ation'ofthesubject,itisthenabletoactinsociallyappropiiateways.
Ioeology can thus be summarizeo as 'a repiesentation of the
imaginaiy relationships of inoiviouals to theii real conoitions of
existence'. Inioeology,Althusserwiites,'menooinoeeoexpiess,not
theielationbetweenthemanotheiiconoitionsofexistence,butthe way
they livethe relationbetweenthemanotheirconoitionsofexistence.
this presupposes both a ieal ielation ano an 'imaginm)" 'lived' ie-
lation. . . . Inioeology, theiealrelationis inevitably investeo in the
imaginaiyrelation. Ioeo|ogyexistsonlyinanothioughthe human
subect, anotosay thatthe subectinhabitstheimaginaryistoclaim
that it compulsive|y iefers the worlo back to itself. Ioeology is
subect-centieoor'anthropomorphic'.itcausesustoviewtheworloas
somehow naturally orientateo to ouiselves, spontaneously 'given' to
thesubject,anothesubject,conversely,feelsitselfanaturalpartofthat
reality, claimeo ano requireo by it. 1hrough ioeo|ogy, Althusser
iemarks, society'interpellates'oi'hai|s'us,appearstosingleusoutas
I DEOLOGY AND I TS VI CI S S I TUDES 2 1 5
uniquelyvaluableanoaooressusbyname.Itfosterstheillusionthat
itcoulonotgetonwithoutus, aswecanimaginethesmallinfantbe-
lievingthatifit oisappeaieo thenthewoilo woulo vanish alongwith
it. In thus'ioentifying' us, beckoning us personallyfromthe ruck of
inoivioualsano turningitsfacebenignlytowarosus, ioeo|ogybiings
usintobeingasinoivioualsubjects.
All ofthis, from thestanopointofa Marxistscience,is in fact an
illusion,sincetheoismaltruthofthematteristhatsocietyhasnoneeo
ofmeatall. Itmayneeosomeone tofulhlmyiolewithinthe processof
pioouction, butthere is no reason whythisparticularperson shoulo
be me. 1heoryisconsciousofthesecretthatsocietyhasno'centre'at
all, being no moie than an assemblage of'stiuctures' ano 'regions',
anoi t i sequallyawarethatthehumansubjecti sjustascentieless,the
mere 'bearei' ofthesevarious structures. Butfoipuiposivesociallife
to get unoei way, these unpalatable truths must be maskeo in the
iegisterofthe imaginary. 1he imaginary isthusinonesense clearly
false. it veils from our eyes the way subjects ano societies actually
work.Butitisnotfalseinthesenseofbeingmeieaibitiaiyoeception,
sinceitisawhollyinoispensableoimensionofsocialexistence,quiteas
essentialaspoliticsoreconomics.Anoitisalsonotfalseinsofarasthe
real waysweliveouiielationstoouisocialconoitionsareinvesteoin
it.
1hereareanumbeiof logicalproblemsconnecteowiththistheory.
1obeginwith, how ooesthe inoivioualhuman being recognizeano
respono to the 'hailing'whichmakesita subjectifitis nota subject
alreaoy: Are not iesponse, recognition, unoerstanoing, subjective
faculties, sothat one woulo neeo to be a subject alreaoy inoroerto
become one:1othisextent, absuioly, thesubjectwoulo havetopre-
oate its own existence. Conscious of this conunoium, Althusser
aiguesthatweareinoeeo'always-alreaoy'subjects,eveninthewomb.
our coming, so to speak, has always been prepareofor. But ifthis is
true then it is haio to know what to make of his insistence on the
'moment' ofinteipellation, unless this issimplya convenienthction.
Anoitseemsoootosuggestthatweare'centreo'subjectsevenasem-
biyos. Foranotherthing,thetheoryrunsheaolongintoalltheoilem-
masofanynotionofioentitybaseouponself-reHection. Howcanthe
subjectrecognize itsimagein the miiror asitself,ifitooes notsome-
how recognize itself alreaoy: 1heie is nothing obvious or natuial
aboutlookingina mirror ano concluoingthattheimage one sees is
oneself.Woulotherenotseema neeoheiefoiathiro, highersubject,
who coulo compare the real subjectwithits reHection ano establish
that the one was tiuly ioentica| with the other: Ano how oio this
higheisubjectcometoioentifyitself:
2 1 6 MAP P I NG I DEOLOGY
Althusser'stheoryofioeo|ogyinvo|vesat|easttwo crucialmisreao-
ingsofthepsychoana|yticwritingsof [acquesIacan notsurprisingly,
giventhesiby||ineobscurantismofthe|atter.1obeginwith,Althuss-
er'simaginarysubjectrea|lycorresponostotheIacananego,whic
.
hfor
psychoana|ytictheoryismere|ythetipoftheicebergofthese|f. Itb the
ego,forIacan,whichisconstituteointheimaginaryasaunih eoentrty,
the subect 'as a who|e' is the split, lacking, oesiring effect of the
unconscious,whichforIacanbe|ongstothe'symbo|ic'aswe|lasthe
imaginary oroer. 1he upshot ofthis misreaoing, then, is to renoer
Althusser'ssubectagooooea|morestab|eanocoherentthanIacan's,
since thebuttoneo-oownegois stanoinginhere for theoishevel|eo
unconscious. For Iacan, the imaginary oimension of our being is
punctureoanotraverseobyinsatiableoesire,whichsuggestsasubect
rathermorevo|ati|eanoturbu|entthanA|thusser'sserenelycentreo
entities.1hepo|iticalimp|icationsofthismisreaoingarec|ear.toexpe|
oesire from the subectis to mute its potentia||y rebe||ious c|amour,
ignoringthewaysinwhichitmayattainitsal|otteop|aceinthesocia|
oroer on|y ambiguous|y ano precarious|y. Althusser, in effect, has
proouceo an ioeo|ogy of the ego, rather than one of the human
subect,anoacertainpoliticalpessimismisenoemicinthismisrepre-
sentation. Corresponoingto this ioeo|ogica|misperceptionofhis on
the sioeofthe'|itt|e'orinoivioua| subectis a tenoentious interpre-
tation ofthe 'big' Subect, the governing ioeologica| signihers with
which the inoivioual ioentihes. In A|thusser's reaoing, this Subect
wou|o seem more or less equiva|ent to the Freuoian superego, the
censoriouspowerwhichkeepsusobeoient|yin ourp|aces,in Iacan's
work, however, this ro|e is p|ayeo by the 'Other', which means
something|ikethewho|ehe|oof|anguageanotheunconscious.Since
this, in Iacan's view, is a notorious|y e|usive, treacherousterrain in
which nothingquite stays in p|ace, the re|ations between it ano the
inoivioua| subect are a gooo oea| more fraught ano fagi|e than
A|thusser'smooe|wou|oimp|y. Onceagain,thepo|itica|imp|ications
ofthismisunoerstanoingarepessimistic.ifthepowerwhichsubjectsus
issingu|aranoauthoritarian,more|iketheFreuoiansuperegothan
the shifting, se|f-oivioeoIacanian Other, the chances ofopposingit
effective|ywouloseemremote.
IfAlthusser'ssubectwereassp|it,oesirousanounstab|easIacan's,
then the process of interpel|ation might hgure as a more chancy,
contraoictoryaffairthanitactua||yooes.'Experienceshows',A|thusser
writeswith so|emnbanality,'thatthepractica|te|ecommunicationof
hai|ings is suchthatthey haro|y evermiss their man. verba| ca||or
whistle, theonehai|eoalways recognizesthatitisrea||y himwhois
being hai|eo. ' 1he factthat Iouis A|thusser's frienos apparently
I DE OLOGY AND I TS VI CI S S I TUDES
2 1 7
nevermistookhischeeryshoutofgreetinginthestreetisoffereohere
asirrefutableevioencethatthebusinessofioeo|ogica|interpe||ationis
invariablysuccessfu|.Butisit:Whatifwefai|torecognizeanorespono
totheca||oftheSubect:Whatifwereturntherep|y.'Sorry,you'vegot
the wrong person': 1hatwe haveto be interpe|lateo assooe kino of
subectisc|ear.thealternative,forIacan,wou|obetofa||outsioethe
symbo|icoroera|togetherintopsychosis.Butthereisnoreasonwhywe
shou|oa|waysacceptsociety'sioentih cationofusasthisparticular sort
of subect. A|thusser simply runs together the necessity of some
'genera|' ioentih cation with out submission to specihc socia| roles.
1hereare, aftera||,manyoifferentwaysinwhichwecanbe'hai|eo',
ano somecheery cries, whoops ano whist|es may strike us as more
appea|ing than some others. Someonemaybea mother, Methooist,
house-workeranotraoeunionista||atthesametime, anothereisno
reasontoassumethatthesevariousformsofinsertionintoioeo|ogywi||
bemutua||yharmonious.A|thusser'smooelisagooooealtoomonistic,
passingovertheoiscrepant,contraoictorywaysinwhichsubectsmay
be ioeo|ogica||y accosteo ~ partially, who||y, or haro|y at a|| ~ by
oiscourseswhichthemse|vesformnoobviouscohesiveunity.
AsPeterDewshasargueo,thecrywithwhichtheSubectgreetsus
musta|waysbeinterpreted; anothereisnoguaranteethatwewil|oothis
in the 'proper' fashion." How can I know for sure what is being
oemanoeoofme,thatitisI whoambeinghai|eo,whethertheSubect
has ioentiheo mearight: Ano since, forIacan, I canneverbe fu||y
present as a 'who|e subect' in any ofmy responses, how can my
accessiontobeinginterpel|ateobetakenas'authentic':Moreover,if
theresponseoftheOthertomeisbounoupwithmyresponsetoit,as
Iacanwou|oargue,thenthesituationbecomesevenmoreprecarious.
InseekingtherecognitionoftheOther,Iam|eobythisveryoesireto
misrecognize it, grasping it in the imaginary mooe, so the fact that
thereisoesireatworkhere afactwhichA|thusserover|ooks means
thatIcanneverquitegrasptheSubectanoitscal|astheyreal|yare,
ustasitcanneverquiteknowwhetherI have'tru|y'responoeotoits
invocation. InIacan'sownwork,theOtherustsignih esthisultimate|y
inscrutable nature ofa|| inoivioua| subects. Noparticular other can
everfurnishmewiththeconhrmationofmyioentityI seek, sincemy
oesireforsuchconh rmationwil|a|ways'gobeyono'thish gure,anoto
writetheotherasOtherisIacan'swayofsignallingthistruth.
1hepolitica|b|eaknessofAlthusser'stheoryisapparentinhisvery
conceptionofhowthesubectemergesintobeing.1heworo'subect'
litera||ymeans 'thatwhich|iesbeneath',inthesenseofsomeu|timate
founoation,anothroughoutthehistoryofphi|osophytherehavebeen
a number ofcanoioatesfor this function. It is on|y in the mooern
2 1 8 MAPPI NG I DEOLOGY
perioothattheinoivioualsubjectbecomesi nthissensefounoational.
Butitispossiblebyaplayonworostomake'whatliesbeneath'mean
'whatis keptoown', ano partofthe Althusseriantheoryofioeology
turns on this convenient verbal slioe. 1o be 'subjectih eo' is to be
'subjecteo' . we become'free', 'autonomous' human subjectsprecisely
by submitting ourselves obeoiently to the Subject, or Law. Once we
have'internalizeo'thisLaw,maoeitthoroughlyourown,webeginto
act it out spontaneously ano unquestioningly. We come towork, as
Althusser comments, 'all by ourselves' , without neeo of constant
coercive supervision, ano it is this lamentable conoition that we
misrecognizeas our freeoom. Inthe woros ofthe philosopher who
stanos behino all ofAlthusser's work- Baruch Spinoza~ men ano
women 'h ght for their slavery as if they were h ghting for their
liberation'(PrefacetoTractatus Theologico-Politicus) . 1hemooelbehino
thisargumentisthesubjectionoftheFreuoianegotothe superego,
sourceofallconscienceanoauthority.Freeoomanoautonomy,then,
wouloseemtobesheerillusions. theysignifysimplythattheLawisso
oeeply inscribeo in us, so intimately atone with our oesire, that we
mistakeitforourownfreeinitiative. But thisisonlyonesioe ofthe
Freuoiannarrative.ForFreuo,theegowillrebelagainstitsimperious
master if his oemanos grow too insupportable, ano the political
equivalent of this moment woulo be insurrection or revolution.
Freeoom,inshort,cantransgresstheveryLawofwhichitisaneffect,
butAlthussermaintainsasymptomaticsilenceaboutthismorehopeful
corollary of his case. For him, as even more glaringly for Michel
Foucault, subjectivity itself woulo seem just a form of self-
incarceration, ano the question ofwhere political resistance springs
from mustthus remain obscure. Itis thisstoicismin the face ofan
apparently all-pervasive power or inescapable metaphysical closure
whichwillHowintothecurrentofpost-structuralism.
[ . . . J
Whatever its Haws ano limits, Althusser's account of ioeology rep-
resents one of the ma|or breakthroughs in the subject in mooern
Marxist thought. Ioeology is now not just a oistortion or false
reHection,ascreen whichintervenesbetweenourselvesanorealityor
an automatic effectofcommooity proouction. Itisan inoispensable
meoium forthe proouction ofhuman subjects. Among the various
mooes ofproouction in any society, there is one whose task is the
proouction offorms ofsubjectivity themselves, ano this is quite as
materialanohistoricallyvariableastheproouctionofchocolatebarsor
automobiles. Ioeology is not primarily a matter of 'ioeas' . it is a
structure which imposesitselfupon us witLout necessarily havingto
pass through consciousness at all. Vieweo psychologically, itis lessa
I DEOLOGY AND I TS VI CI S S I TUDES
2 1 9
system of articulateo ooctrines than a set of images, symbols ano
occasionally concepts which we 'live' atan unconscious level. Vieweo
sociologically, it consists in a range ofmaterial practices or rituals
(voting,saluting,genuH ecting,anosoon)whicharealwaysembeooeo
in material institutions. Althusser inherits this notion ofioeology as
habitual behaviour ratherthanconsciousthoughtfrom Gramsci, but
hepressesthecasetoaquasi-behaviouristextremeinhisclaimthatthe
subject'sioeas'are hismaterial actionsinserteointomaterialpractices
governeo by material rituals which are themselves ehneo by the
materialioeological apparatus . . . ' . Oneooesnotabolishconscious-
nesssimplybyahypnoticrepetitionoftheworo' material' .I noeeo,in
thewakeofAlthusser'sworkthistermrapiolyowinoleotothemerest
gesture, grossly inateo in meaning. If everthing is 'material', even
thoughtitself,thentheworolosesalloiscriminatoryforce.Althusser's
insistence on thematerialityofioeology~ thefactthatitisalwaysa
matterofconcretepracticesanoinstitutionsisavaluablecorrectiveto
Georg Lukacs's largely oisembooieo 'class consciousness' , but it also
stemslomastructuralisthostilitytoconsciousnessassuch. It forgets
thatioeologyisamatterofmeaning,anothatmeaningisnotmaterial
inthesensethatbleeoingorbellowingare.Itistruethatioeologyisless
aquestionofioeas thanoffeelings, images,gutreactions, butioeas
often hgure importantly within it, as is obvious enough in the
'theoreticalioeologies'ofAquinasanoAoamSmith.
Iftheterm' material'suffersunoueinationatAlthusser'shanos,so
alsoooestheconceptofioeologyitself.Itbecomes,ineffect,ioentical
withliveoexperience, butwhetherallliveoexperiencecanusefullybe
oescribeo as ioeo|ogical is surely oubious. Expanoeo in this way,the
conceptthreatenstoloseallprecisepoliticalreference.IflovingGoois
ioeological,thenso,presumably,islovingGorgonzola.OneofAlthuss-
er'smostcontroversialclaims~ thatioeologyis'eternal', anowillexist
eveninCommunistsociety~ thenfollowslogicallyfromthisstretcheo
sense ofthe woro. Forsince there will be human subjects anoliveo
experience unoerCommunism,thereisbounotobeioeologyaswell.
Ioeology, Althusser oeclares, hasnohistory~ aformulation aoapteo
from The German Ideolog, but harnesseo to quite oifferent enos.
1houghitscontentsare,ofcourse,historicallyvariable,itsstructural
mechanisms remain constant. In this sense, it is analogous to the
Freuoian unconscious . everyone oreams oifferently, but the oper-
ationsofthe'oream-work'remainconstantfromonetimeorplaceto
another. It is haro to see how we coulo ever know that ioeology is
unchanging in its basic oevices, but one telling piece of evioence
againstthisclaimisthefactthatAlthusseroffersasageneral theoryof
ioeologywhatisarguablyspecihctothebourgeoisepoch.1heioeathat
220 MAP P I NG I DEOLOGY
ourfreeoomanoautonomylie i nasubmissiontotheIawhasi t sources
in EnlightenmentEurope. InwhatsenseanAthenianslaveregaroeo
himselfasfree, autonomousanouniquelyinoiviouateoisa question
Althusser leaves unanswereo. If ioeological subects work 'all by
themselves',thensomewouloseemtooosorathermorethanotheis.
Iikethepooi,then,ioeologyisalwayswithus,inoeeo,thescanoalof
Althusser's thesisforoithoooxMarxism isthatitwillactually outlast
them Ioeology is a stiucture essential to the life of all histoiical
societies,which'seciete`itorganically,anopost-ievolutionaiysocieties
woulo be no oifferent in this respect. But there is a slioing in
Althussei'sthoughtherebetween threequiteoifferentviewsofwhy
ioeologyisinbusinessinthehrstplace.1hehistofthese,aswehave
seen,isessentiallypolitical .ioeologyexiststokeepmenanowomenin
theiiappointeoplacesinclasssociety.Soioeologyinthis sensewoulo
notlingerononceclasseshaobeenabolishco,butioeologyinitsmore
functionalistorsociologicalmeaningcleailywouloInaclasslesssocial
oroer,ioeologywoulocariy onitstaskofaoaptingmenanowomento
theexigenciesofsociallife.itis'inoispensableinanysocietyifmenare
tobeformeo,transfoimeo anoequippeotoresponototheoemanosof
theirconoitionsofexistence' `' Such a case, as we bave seen, follows
logicallyfiomthissomewhatoubiouslystretcheosenseoftheterm,but
there is also anothei reason why ioeology will persist in post-class
society,whichisnotquiteatonewiththis Ioeologywillbenecessaryin
such a future, as it is necessary now, because of the inevitable
complexity ano opaqueness of social processes. 1he hope that in
Communism such processes might become tiansparent to human
consciousness is oenounceo by Althusser as a humanist eiioi. 1he
workingsofthesocialoroerasawholecanbeknownonlytotheoiy,as
farasthepracticallivesofinoivioualsgo,ioeologyisneeoeotoprovioe
themwithakinoofimaginary'map'ofthesocialtotality, sothatthey
can hno theii way arouno it. 1heseinoivioualsmay also, ofcouise,
haveaccesstoascientihcknowleogeofthesocialfoimation,butthey
cannotexeicisethisknowleogeintheoustanoheatofeveryoaylife.
1hiscase,wemaynote,introoucesahithertounexamineoelement
intotheoebateoverioeology.Ioeology,sotheargumentgoes,spiings
fiom a situation in which social life has becometoocomplex to be
giaspeoasawholebyeveryoayconsciousness.1hereisthustheneeo
for an imaginary mooel of it, which will beai something of the
oversimplifyingielationtosocialrealitythatamapooestoanactual
terrain Itisacasewhichgoesbackatleastasfaras Hegel, forwhom
ancientGreecewas asocietyimmeoiatelytranspaientasawholetoall
its members. In the mooern peiioo,however,theoivisionoflabour,
the fragmentation of social life ano the proliferation ofspecializeo
I DEOLOGY AND I TS VI CI SS I TUDES 221
oiscourses have expelleo us from that happy garoen, s o that the
concealeoconnectionsofsocietycan be known only totheoialectical
reason ofthe philosopher. Society, in the terminology ofthe eight-
eenth centuiy, has become 'sublime'. it is anobectwhich cannot be
represented. Forthepeopleasawholetogettheiibearingswithinit,itis
essentialtoconstructamythwhichwilltranslatetheoreticalknowleoge
intomoiegraphic,immeoiateterms.Wemusthaveanewmytho|ogy',
Hegelwiites,
but this mythology must be in the service of Ideas; it must be a mythology of
Reason. Until we express the I deas aesthetically, that is, mythologically, they
have no interestf orthepeople; and conversely, until mythology is rational the
philosopher must be ashamed of it. Thus in the end enlightened and
unenlightened must clasp hands: mythology must become philosophical in
order to make people rational, and philosophy must become mythological
in order to make the philosophers sensible.
. . . ]
Hegel's myth, then, is Althusser's ioeology, at least in one of its
versions Ioeology aoapts inoiviouals to their social functions by
piovioing them with an imaginary mooel of the whole, suitably
schematizeo ano hctionalizeo for theii puiposes. Since this mooel is
symbolic anoaffective iather than austeielycognitive,itcan furnish
motivationsfoiactionassomemeretheoreticalcomprehensionmight
not. Communistmen ano women ofthefutuiewill require such an
enablinghctionustlikeanyoneelse,butmeanwhile,inclasssociety,it
seivestheaooitionalfunctionofhelpingtothwaittiueinsightintothe
social system, thus reconcilinginoivioualsto their locations within it.
1he'imaginaiymap'functionofioeology,inotherworos,fulhlsbotha
political ano a sociological iole in the present, once exploitation has
beenovercome,ioeologywill liveoninitspurely'sociological'function,
ano mystihcationwill yielo to the mythical. Ioeologywill stillbein a
ceitain sense false, but its falsity will no longerbe in the seivice of
oominantinterests.
IhavesuggesteothatioeologyisnotforAlthusserapeoiativeterm,
but this claim now requires some qualihcation. It woulo be more
accuratetosaythathistextsaiesimplyinconsistentonthisscore.1heie
aretimesinhisworkwhenhespeaksexplicitlyofioeologyasfalseano
illusory,pace thosecommentatorswhotakehimtohavebrokenentirely
with such epistemological notions.`` 1he imaginaiy mappings of
ioeologicalhctions arefalsefiomthestanopointoftheoietical know-
leoge,inthesensethattheyactuallygetsocietywrong.Soitisnotheie
simply aquestionofseq-misiecognition, aswe sawinthe case ofthe
imaginary subect. On the other hano, this falsity is absolutely
inoispensable ano performs a vital social function. So although
222 MAPPI NG I DEOLOGY
ioeologyisfalse,it i s notpejoratively so. Weneeopiotestonlywhensuch
falsehooo is harnesseo to the purpose of repiooucing exploitative
socialrelations. 1heieneeobenoimplicationthatin post-revolution-
ary society oroinary men ano women will not b equippeo with a
theoretical unoeistanoing of the social totality, it is ust that this
unoerstanoingcannotbe'liveo',sothatioeology isessentialhere too.
Atother times,howevei,Althusser wiites asthough terms like 'tiue'
ano 'false' are quite inapplicable to ioeology, since it is no kino of
knowleoge at all. Ioeology implicates subects, but for Althusser
knowleogeisa'subectless'process,soioeologymustby oehnitionbe
non-cognitive. Itisamatterofexperience ratherthaninsight,anoin
Althusser's eyes it woulo be an empiiicist error to believe that
experiencecouloevergivebiithtoknowleoge. Ioeologyis asubect-
centieoviewofreality, ano as far astheory is concerneo, the whole
perspectiveofsubectivityisbounotogetthingswrong,viewingwhatis
intruthacentrelessworlofiomsomeoeceptively'centreo'stanopoint.
But though ioeology is thus false when vieweo from the external
vantagepointoftheory,itisnotfalse'initsel|~ forthissubectiveslant
onthewoiloisa matterofliveoielations iatherthan controveitible
propositions.
Anotherwayofputtingthis pointistosaythatAlthusseroscillates
betweenarationalist anoapositivist viewofioeology. Fortherationalist
mino, ioeology signihes error, asopposeo to thetiuth ofscience or
reason, forthe positivist, only ceitainsorts ofstatements (scientihc,
empirical)areverilable,anootheismoralpiescriptions,foiinstance
~ arenotevencanoioatesforsuchtruth/f alsityuogements.Ioeologyis
sometimes seen as wiong, ano sometimes as noteven piopositional
enoughtobe wiong. When Althusserrelegatesioeologyto the false
'other' of true knowleoge, he speaks like a iationalist, when he
oismissestheioeathat(say)moralutterancesareinanysensecognitive,
hewiiteslikeapositivist.Asomewhatsimilartensioncanbeobseiveo
in the woik ofEmile Duikheim, for whose The Rules of Sociological
Method ioeologyis simply an irrationalobstructiontoscientihcknow
leoge,butwhoseThe Elementary Forms of Religious Lfe viewsreligionas
anessentialsetofcollectiverepiesentationsofsocialsolioarity.
_.

|
Althusser'sthinkingaboutioeologyisonafairlygranoscale,revolving
on such 'global' concepts as the Subect ano ioeological stateappar-
atuses, wheieas the French sociologist Pierre Bouroieu is more
conceineotoexaminethemechanismsbywhichioeologytakesholoin
everyoaylife.1otacklethispioblem, BouioieuoevelopsinhisOutline
ofa The01Y ofPractice ( 1 977) theconceptofhabitus, bywhich hemeans
the inculcation in men ano women ofa set ofourable oispositions
I DEOLOGY AND I TS VI CI SS I TUDES 223
whichgeneratepaiticularpractices.Iti sbecauseinoivioualsinsociety
actinaccoroancewithsuchinternalizeosystemswhatBouroieucalls
the'culturalunconscious'thatwecanexplainhowtheiiactionscanbe
obectively regulateo anohaimonizeowithoutbeinginanysensethe
result of conscious obeoience to iules. 1hrough these structureo
oispositions, human actions may be lent a unity ano consistency
without any reference to some conscious intention. In the very
' spontaneity' ofour habitual behaviour, then, we reproouce ceitain
oeeply tacit noims ano values, ano habitus is thus the relay or
tiansmissionmechanismbywhich mentalanosocialstiucturesbecome
incainate in oaily social activity 1he habitus, rather like human
languageitself,isanopen-enoeosystemwhichenablesinoivioualsto
cope with unforeseen,ever-changingsituations, itis thus a 'strategy-
generatingpiinciple'whichpermitsceaselessinnovation,ratherthana
iigiobluepiint.
1heteimioeologyisnotparticularlycentraltoBouioieu'swork,but
ifhabitusisielevanttotheconcept,itisbecauseittenosto inoucein
socialagents such aspiiationsanoactionsas are compatiblewith the
obectiverequirementsoftheirsocialcircumstances. Atitsstrongest,it
rulesoutallothermooesofoesiringanobehavingassimplyunthink-
able.Habitusisthus'historyturneointonatuie',anofoiBouioieuitis
throughthismatchingofthesubectiveanotheobective,whatwefeel
spontaneouslyoisposeotoooano what oursocialconoitionsoemano
ofus, thatpowersecuresitself.Asocialoroeistrivestonaturalizeits
own arbitiaiinessthioughthis oialecticofsubectiveaspirationsano
obectivestructures,oehningeachin termsoftheother, so thatthe
'ioeal'conoitionwoulobeoneinwhichtheagents'consciousnesswoulo
havethesamelimitsastheobectivesystemwhichgivesrisetoit.1he
recognition oflegitimacy, Bouroieu states, 'is the misrecognition of
aibitrariness'.
What Bouioieu calls doxa belongs to the king ofstable, traoition-
bounosocialoroerinwhichpoweiisfullynatuializeoanounquestion-
able, sothatno social arrangementoifferentfrom the piesentcoulo
even be imagineo. Here, as it weie, subect ano obect merge
inoistinguishablyintoeachother.Whatmatteisinsuchsocietiesiswhat
'goeswithoutsaying',whichisoetermineobytiaoition, anotraoitionis
always 'silent',not leastaboutitselfastraoition.Anychallengetosuch
ooxa is then heterodox, against whichthe given oroei must assert its
claimsinaneworthodoxy. Suchorthoooxyoiffersfromooxainthatthe
guaroiansoftraoition,ofwhatgoeswithoutsaying,arenowcompelleo
tospeakintheiiownoefence,anothusimplicitlytopiesentthemselves
assimplyonepossibleposition,amongothers.
Social life contains a number of oifferent habitus, each system
224
MAP P I NG I DEOLOGY
appiopriate to what Bouroieu terms a 'helo'. A helo, heargues in
Questions de sociologie ( 1 980), isacompetitivesystemofsocialielations
which functions accoioing to its own internal logic, composeo of
institutionsorinoivioualswhoarecompetingfoithesamestake.What
is geneially at stake in such helos is the attainment of maximum
oominancewithinthem aoominancewhichallowsthosewhoachieve
itto confei legitimacy on othei participants, or towithoraw it fiom
them. 1o achieve such oominanceinvolvesamassing the maximum
amountoftheparticularkinoof'symboliccapital'appropiiatetothe
helo, ano forsuch power to become 'legitimate'itmustcease to be
recognizeofoiwhatitis. Apowerwhichistacitlyratheithanexplicitly
enoorseoisonewhichhassucceeoeoinlegitimatingitself.
Any suchsocialheloisnecessarily stiuctuieoby asetofunspoken
iulesfoiwhatcanbevaliolyuttereoorperceiveowithinit,anothese
rules thus operate as a mooe of what Bouroieu terms 'symbolic
violence'. Since symbolic violence is legitimate, it geneially goes
uniecognizeoas violence. Itis,BouroieuremaiksinOutline ofa Theor
of Practice, 'the gentle, invisible form of violence, which is nevei
recogniseo as such, ano is not so much unoergone as chosen, the
violenceofcieoit,conhoence,obligation,peisonalloyalty,hospitality,
gifts, gratituoe, piety. . . . `' I nthe helo of eoucation, foi example,
symbolic violence operates not so much by the teacher speaking
'ioeologically'tothestuoents,butbytheteacheibeingpeiceiveoasin
possessionofanamountof'culturalcapital'whichthestuoentneeosto
acquiie. 1he eoucational system thus contributes to repiooucing the
oominantsocialoioernotsomuchbytheviewpointsitfosters,butby
this iegulateooistiibutionofculturalcapital. AsBouioieu argues in
Distinction ( 1 979), asimilarformofsymbolicviolenceisatwoikinthe
whole Felo ofcultuie, where those who lack the 'correct' taste are
unobtiusively excluoeo, relegateo to shame ano silence. 'Symbolic
violence' is thus Bouioieu's way ofiethinking ano elaborating the
Gramscianconceptofhegemony, anohiswoikasawholerepresents
anoiiginalcontiibutiontowhatonemightcallthemiciostructuies'of
ioeology, complementing the more geneialnotions ofthe Maixist
traoitionwith empiiically oetaileoaccountsofioeologyas 'everyoay
life' .
Notes
I. Georg Lukacs, Histmy and Class Consciousness, London 1 971 , p. 204.
2. Ibid., p. 204.
.
3. ' Historicism' in its Marxist sense is elegantly summanzed by Perry Anderson as an
I DEOLOGY AND I TS VI CI SSI TUDES 225
ideology in which 'society becomes a circular "expressive" totality, history a homo
geneous fow of linear time, philosophy a self-consciousness of the historical process,
class struggle a combat of collective "subjects", capitalism a universe essentially defned
by alienation, communism a state of true humanism beyond alienation' (Considerations
on Wester Marxism, London 1 976, p. 70).
4. Bhikhu Parekh, Marx's Themy ofIdeology, London 1 982, pp. 1 71 -2.
5. Like most analogies, this one limps: the Hegelian Idea i s really its own creation,
whereas the proletariat, far from being self-generating, is for Marxism an effect of the
process of capital.
6. Leszek Kolakowski, Main Currents ofMarxism, Oxford 1 978, vol. 3, p. 270 (my
parenthesis).
7. Lukacs, Histmy and Class Consciousness, p. 83. For useful discussions of Lukacs's
thought, see A. Arato and P. Breines, Th Young Lukics, London 1 979, ch. 8; and
Michael Lbwy, Georg Lukacs - From Romanticism to Bolshevism, London 1 979, part 4.
8. Lukacs, Histmy and Class Consciousness, p. 52.
9. Gareth Stedman Jones, The Marxism of the Early Lukacs: An Evaluation', New
Left Review, 70, NovemberlDecember 1 97 1 .
1 0. Nicos Poulantzas, Political Power and Social Classes, London 1 973, part 3 , ch. 2 . I t
should be pointed out that Lukacs does i n fact hold that there are heterogeneous 'levels'
of ideology.
1 1 . See Ernesto Laclau, Politics and Ideology in Marxilt Thmy, London 1 977, ch. 3.
12. Lukacs, Histmy and Class Consciousness, p. 76.
13. Ibid., p. 70.
1 4. See Lucio CollettiMarxism and Hegel, London 1 973, ch. 1 O.
15. Lukacs, Histmy and Class Consciousness, p. 54.
16. Ibid. , p. 50.
17. Ibid., p. 69.
1 8. Karl Mannheim, Ideology and Utopia, London 1 954, p. 87. There are suggestive
critiques of Mannheim in Jorge Larrain, The Concept ofIdeology, London 1 979; and in
Nigel Abercrombie, Class, Structure and Knowledge, Oxford 1 980. See also Bhikhu
Parekh's essay in R. Benewick, ed. , Knowledge and Belief in Politics, London 1 973.
19. Perry Anderson, ' The Antinomies of Antonio Gramsci', New Lfe Review, 1 00,
November 1 976/January 1 977.
20. Raymond Williams, Marxism and Literature, Oxford 1 977, p. 1 1 2. For a historical
study of political hegemony in eighteenth- and nineteenth-century England, see
Francis Hearn, Domination, Legitimation, and Resistance, Westport, CT 1 978.
2 1 . See my The Ideology ofthe Aesthetic, Oxford 1 990, chs 1 and 2.
22. Antonio Gramsci, Selections from the Prison Notebooks, ed. A. Hoare and G.
Nowell-Smith, London 1 97 1 , p. 376.
23. See, on this topic, Alberto Maria Cirese, 'Gramsci's Observations on Folklore', in
Anne Showstack Sassoon, ed. , Approaches to Gramsci, London 1 982.
24. Quoted in Cirese, ' Gram sci's Observations', p. 226.
25. Gramsci, Prison Notebooks, p. 424.
26. Ibid. , p. 328.
27. See FredricJameson, The Political Unconscio'l, London 1 98 1 , pp. 1 14-1 5.
28. See Theodor W. Adorno, Aesthetic Themy, London 1 984.
29. Theodor W. Adorno, Negative Dialectics, London 1 973, p. 1 61 .
30. Ibid., p. 1 50.
3 1 . Ibid., p. 6.
32. See Jurgen Habermas, Th Themy of Communicative Action, 2 vols, Boston, MA
1 984.
33. Quoted by Thomas McCarthy, The Critical Themy ofJiirgen Habermas, London
1 978, p. 273.
34. Quoted i n Peter Dews, ed. , Habermas: Autonomy and Solidarit, London 1 986,
p. 5 1 .
35. McCarthy, The Critical Themy ofJiirgen Habermas, p. 56.
36. Quoted ibid., p. 201 .
226 MAPP I NG I DEOLOGY
37. Jiirgen Habermas, Knowledge and Human Interests, Cambridge 1 987, p. 2 1 7.
Habermas's account of Freud has been in my view justly criticized as excessively
rationalistic.
38. Ibid., p. 227.
39. Karl
.
Marx, Theories ofSurplus Value, vol. 1 , Moscow n. d. , p. 1 47.
40. See Etienne Balibar and Pierre Macherey, ' On Literature as an Ideology Form', i n
Robert M. Young, ed. , Untying the Text, London 1 98 1 .
4 1 . Russell Keat, The Politics ofSocia I Themy, Oxford 1 98 1 , P . 1 78.
42. For excellent accounts of Althusser's thought, see Alex Callinicos, Althusser's
Marxism, London 1 976; Ted Benton, The Rise and Fall ofStructural Marxism, London
1 984; and Gregory Elliott, Althusser: The Detour ofTheory, London 1 987.
43. See this volume, ch. 5.
44. For a coruscating account of Western Marxism, see Perry Anderson, Considerations
on Western Marxism, London 1976.
45. Lacan's essay can be found in this volume, ch. 4; and i n his
E
crits, London 1 977.
See also Fredric Jameson, ' Imaginary and Symbolic in Lacan', Yale French Studies, 55/56,
1 977.
46. Louis Althusser, For Marx, London 1 969, pp. 233-4.
47. See Colin MacCabe, 'On Discourse', Economy and Society, 8, 3, August 1 979.
48. Louis Althusser, Lenin and Philosophy, London 1 97 1 , p. 1 74.
49. Peter Dews, Logics ofDisintegration, London 1 987, pp. 78-9.
50. Althusser, Lenin and Philosophy, p. 1 69 (emphasis added).
5 1 . Althusser, For Marx, p. 235.
52. Quoted by Jonathan Ree, Philosophical Tales, London 1 958, p. 59.
53. See Althusser's unpublished essay of 1 969, 'Theorie, Pratique Theorique et
Formation Thcorique, Idcologie et Lutte Idcologique', quoted by Elliott, Althusser,
pp. 1 72-4.
54. Pierre Bourdieu, Outline ofa Themy ofPractice, Cambridge 1 977, p. 1 92.
! 0
Feminism, Ideology, and
Deconstruction: A Pragmatist
View
Richard Rorty
Neither philosophy in general, nor deconstruction in particular, should
be thought of as a pioneering, path-breaking, tool for feminist politics.
Recent philosophy, including Derrida's, helps us see practices and ideas
(including patriarchal practices and ideas) as neither natural nor
inevitable - but that is all it does. When philosophy has fnished showing
that everything is a social construct, it does not help us decide which
social constructs to retain and which to replace.
MostintellectualswouloliketoF nowaysofoininginthestruggleof
theweakagainstthestiong.Sotheyhopethattheirpaiticulargiftsano
competences can be maoe relevantto that struggle. 1he teim most
frequentlyuseoinrecentoecaoestofoimulatethishopeis'critiqueof
ioeology' . 1he ioea is that philosophers, literary critics, lawyers,
historians,anootherswhoaregoooatmakingoistinctions, reoesciib-
ing,anorecontextualizingcanputthesetalentstouseby'exposing'or
'oemystifying'piesentsocialpractices.
ButthemostefFcientwaytoexposeoioemystif yanexistingpractice
woulo seem to be by suggesting an alternative piactice, iather than
criticizing the current one. In politics, as in the Kuhnian mooel of
theory-changeinthesciences,anomalieswithinoloparaoigmscanpile
upinoehnitelywithoutprovioingmuchbasisforciiticismuntilanew
optionisoffereo.' Immanent'criticismoftheolopaiaoigmisrelatively
ineffective.Morespecihcally,themosteffectivewaytocriticizecurient
oescriptions ofa given instance ofthe oppression ofthe weak as 'a
necessaiyevil' (thepoliticalequivalentof' anegligible anomaly') is to
explainustwhyitisnotinfactnecessaiy,byexplaininghowaspeciFc
228 MAPPI NG I DEOLOGY
institutional change woulo eliminate it. 1hat means sketching an
alternativefutureanoascenarioofpoliticalactionthatmighttakeus
fromthepresenttothefuture.
MarxanoEngels makethispointinThe German Ideolog whenthey
criticizeFeuerbachforchanging'theworocommunist',whichinthe
realworlomeansthefollowerofaoehniterevolutionaryparty,intoa
mere category' .
!
1heirconhoencethat theircriticisms ofthe German
philosophical traoition substituteo reality for illusion, science

for
fantasy,wasgreatlystrengtheneobythefactthattheyhaoarevolutton-
arypartyanoaprogrammeaconcretepropos

labouthowtoprovie
empirical verihcation oftheir claim that certam contemporary evils
(e. g. income oifferentials, unemployment) were unnecessary ones.
1heoifferencebetweentheirsituationanooursisprincipallythatno
onenowwantstherevolutiontheyhaoinmino,nolongerooesanyone
want to nationalize the nans of proouction or to abolish private
property.SothecontemporaryLeftlacksthesortofpartyanothesort
ofscenariothatbackeoupMarxanoEngel's claimthattheirthought
was 'scientihc' ratherthan 'Utopian' thevoiceofrealityratherthan
fantasy.
1he closest we leftist intellectuals i n the rich oemocracies come
nowaoays to having such a party ano a programme is the feminist
movement. But on its political sioe feminism lookslike a reformist
ratherthanarevolutionarymovement. Foritspoliticalgoalsarefairly
concrete ano not oifhculttoenvisagebeingachieveo, these goals are
argueoforbyappealstowioespreaomoralintuitionsaboutfairness.So
contemporary feminist politics is more analogous to eighteenth-
century abolitionism than to nineteenth-century Communism.
Whereasitwasveryoifhcultinthenineteenthcenturytoenvisagewhat
thingsmightbelikewithoutprivateownership,itwasrelativelyeasyin
the eighteenth ano early nineteenth centuries to envisage a worlo
withoutslavesanotoseeslaveryasustaleftoverofabarbarousage
morally repugnant to wioely helo intuitions. Analogously, it is rela-
tivelyeasyto envisageaworlowithequalpayforequalwork, equally
shareooomesticresponsibilities,asmanywomenasmeninpositionsof
power,etc. , anotoseepresentinequitiesasrepugnanttowioelyshareo
intuitions about what is right anoust. Only in sofaras femnsm is
more than a matterofspecihcreforms isitanalogoustonineteenth-
centuryCommunism.
Feministsareinthefollowingsituation. likeMarxanoEngels,they
suspectthatpiecemealreformswillleaveanunoerlying,anounnecess-
ary,evillargelyuntoucheo.ButunlikeMarxanoEngels,theycannot
easilysketcharevolutionarypoliticalscenarioorapost-revolutionary
utopia. 1he result is a lot of talk about philosophical revolutions,
F EMI NI S M, I DEOLOGY, DECONSTRUCTI ON 229
revolutions in consciousness; these revolutions, however, are not re-
Hecteo at anything that Marx ano Engels woulo recognize as 'the
material level'. So itis easyto imagine Marx ano Engels makingthe
same kino offun ofa lot ofcontemporaryfeminist theory thatthey
maoe of Hegel

Feuerbach, or Bauer. 1he feminist theorists, they


mightsay, havemaoe'feminist'into 'a merecategory' , norcanthey
hopeto oo more, aslongas thetermooes notsignify' follower ofa
oehniterevolutionar party'.
1heseconsioerationsleaoonetoaskwhetherfeministscankeepthe
notion of 'critique of ioeology' without invoking the oistinction
between'matter'ano'consciousness'oeployeoinThe German Ideolog.
1hereisalarge ano oepressingliteratureaboutthe equivocity ofthe
term'ioeology' , thelatestexampleofwhichisthehrstchapterof1erry
Eagleton'sIdeolog.
3
Eagleton reectsthefrequentsuggestionthatthe
termhasbecomemoretroublethanitisworth,anooffersthefollowing
asaoehnition. 'ioeasanobeliefswhichhelptolegitimatetheinterests
ofarulinggrouporclassspecihcallybyoistortionanooissimulation' .
Asanalternativehesuggests'falseoroeceptivebeliefs'thatarise' not
fromtheinterestsofaoominantclassbutfromthematerialstructure
of society as a whole
,
. 1he latter formulation incorporates the
material/non-material contrastcentraltoThe German Ideolog. Butitis
oifhcultforfeministstoappropriatethiscontrast,whichgotwhatever
concreterelevanceithaofromtheexplicationof'materialchange'by
reference to Marx's eschatologicalhistory ofchanges intheorganiz-
ationofmechanismsofproouction.1hathistoryislargelyirrelevantto
theoppressionofwomenbymen.
Ifhowever, weoropthematteronsciousnessoistinctionanofall
back on the hrst of the two oehnitions of 'ioeology' I quoteo from
Eagleton, we come into conHict with the philosophical views about
truth, knowleoge, ano obectivityheloby mostofthe contemporary
feministintellectualswhohopeto puttheirgifts anocompetencesto
work criticizing masculinist ioeology. For 'oistortion' presupposes a
meoiumofrepresentationwhich,intruoingbetweenusanotheobect
unoerinvestigation,proo ucesanappearancethatooesnotcorrespono
totherealityoftheobect.1hisrepresentationalismcannotbesquareo
either with the pragmatist insistence that truth is not a matter of
corresponoence to the intrinsicnatureofreality,orwith theoecon-
structionistreection ofwhat Derrioacalls 'the metaphysics ofpres-
ence' . Pragmatists ano oeconstructionists agree thateverythingis a
social construct, ano that there is no point in trying to oistinguish
between the 'natural' ano the 'merely'cultural. 1hey agree thatthe
questioniswhichsocialconstructsto oiscaroanowhichto keep, ano
thatthereisnopointinappealingto'thewaythingsreallyare'inthe
230 MAP P I NG I DEOLOGY
courseof strugglesoverwhogetstoconstructwhat.Bothphilosophical
schoolscanagreewithEagletonthat'iftherearenovaluesanobeliefs
notbounoupwithpower,thenthetermioeologythreatenstoexpano
tothevanishingpoint'.But,unlikeEagleton,bothhnothisareasonto
beoubiousabouttheutilityofthenotionof'ioeology' (atleastifitis
supposeotomeanmorethan'asetofbaoioeas' ).
1he oistinction that runs through The German Ideology between
Marxistscienceanomerephilosophicalfantasyisanexcellentexample
ofaclaimtohavereacheowhatDerrioacalls' afullpresencewhichis
beyonothereachofplay' . AsagoooMarxist,Eagletonhastoechothe
stanoaroright-wingcriticismsofDerrioawhenhesaysthat'thethesis
that objects are entirely internal to the oiscourses which constitute
themraisesthethornyproblemofhowwecouloeverjuogethataois-
coursehaoconstructeoitsobjectvalioly'anogoesontoask'ifwhatvali-
oatesmysocialinterpretationsarethepoliticalenostheyserve,howam
I tovalioatethoseenos:
,
"Youcannottalkabout'oistorteocommuni-
cation'or'oistortingioeas'withoutbelievinginobjectsexternaltoois-
courses, ano objects capable of being accurately or inaccurately,
scientiFcallyormerelyfantastically,representeobythoseoiscourses.
Something,therefore,hastogive.Ieministintellectualswhowishto
criticizemasculinistioeology,anotouseoeconstructiontoooso,must
( 1 ) thinkofsomethingnewfor'ioeology'tomean, or (2) oisassociate
oeconstructionlomanti-representationalism,fromtheoenialthatwe
can answer the question 'have I constructeo theobjectvalidly (asop-
poseo,forexample,tousefullyforfeministpurposes):' , or(3) saythat
thequestionofwhethertheircriticismsofmasculinistsocialpractices
are 'scientiF c'or'philosophicallywell grounoeo',likethequestionof
whethermasculinismhas'oistorteo'things,isbesioethepoint.
1hebestoptionisthelastone. 1hehrstoptionissimplynotworth
thetrouble, anoI oonotthink thatthe seconocanbeoone atall. It
seemstomeunfortunatethatsomepeopleioentiheowithoeconstruc-
tion have trieo to reconstitute the Marxist matterconsciousness
oistinction as when oe Man saio that 'it woulo be unfortunate to
confusethematerialityofthesigniherwiththematerialityofwhatit
signiFes',anowentontooehne'ioeology'as'theconfusionoflinguistic
withnaturalreality, ofreferencewithphenomenalism'. 1hewayto
rebut the accusation that literary theory, oroeconstruction, is 'obli-
vious to social ano historical reality' is to insist that 'constitution of
objectsbyoiscourse'goesallthewayoown,anothat'respectforreality'
(socialanohistorical, astrophysical,oranyotherkinoofreality)isust
respectforpastlanguage,pastwaysofoescribingwhatis'really'going
on. ' ' Sometimes such respect is a gooo thing, sometimes itis not. It
oepenosonwhatyouwant.
FEMI NI S M, I DEOLOGY, DECONSTRUCTI ON 2 31
Feminists wanttochangethe social worlo, so they cannothavetoo
much respect for past oescriptions of social institutions. 1he most
interestingquestionabouttheutilityofoeconstructionforfeminismis
whether,onceNietzsche,Dewey,Derrioa,et at. haveconvinceousthat
thereisnothing'natural' or'scientihc'or 'objective' aboutany given
masculinist practice or oescription, ano that all objects (neutrinos,
chairs, women, men,literarytheory, feminism) aresocialconstructs,
thereisanyfurther assistancethatoeconstructioncanofferinoecioing
whichconstructstokeepanowhichtoreplace,orinhnoingsubstitutes
forthelatter.Iooubtthatthereis.
It is often saio that oeconstruction offers 'tools' which enable
feminists to show, as Barbara[ohnson puts it, that 'the oifferences
between entities (prose ano poetry, man ano woman, literature ano
theory,guiltanoinnocence)areshowntobebaseoonarepressionof
oifferenceswithin entities,waysbywhichanentityoiffersfromitsel|.
Z
1he question of whether these oifferences were there (huooleo
togetheroeepoownwithintheentity,waitingtobebroughttolightby
oeconstructing excavators), or are there in the entity only afterthe
feministhashnisheoreshapingtheentityintoasocialconstructnearer
her heart's oesire, seems to me ofno interest whatever. I noeeo, it
seems to me an important part of the anti-metaphysical polemic
common to post-Nietzcheans (pragmatists ano oeconstructionists
alike) is to argue that this hnoing-vs-making oistinction is oflittle
interest. So I oo not see that it is to any political purpose to say, as
[ohnsonooes, that'_o]ifferenceisaformofwork totheextentthatit
plays beyonothecontrolofanysubject'. Itjustooesn'tmatterwhether
Goooroains,or themassofproouctiveforces'oialecticallyunfolos,or
oifference plays, beyono the control ofanyofus. Allthatmatters is
whatwecanootopersuaoepeopletoactoifferentlythaninthepast.
1hequestionofwhatultimately,oeepoown,oetermineswhetherthey
will or will not change their ways is the sort of metaphysical topic
feministscansafelyneglect.
1o sum up. anything that philosophy can oo to free up our
imagination a little is all to the political gooo, for the freer the
imaginationofthepresent,thelikelieritisthatfuturesocialpractices
willbeoifferentfrom past practices. Nietzsche's, Dewey's, Derrioa's,
ano Davioson's treatments ofobjectivity, truth, ano language have
freeousupabit,asoioMarx'sanoKeynes'streatmentsofmoneyano
Christ'sanoKierkegaaro'streatmentsoflove.Butphilosophyisnot,as
the Marxist traoition unfortunately taughtus to believe, a source of
tools for path-breaking political work. Nothing politically useful
happensuntil peoplebegin saying things neversaiobefore thereby
permittingus to visualize new practices, as opposeoto analysingolo
232
MAP P I NG I DEOLOGY
ones. 1hemoralofKuhnianphilosophyofsciencei s important.theie
isno oiscipline calleo 'critique' thatone can practise togetstrikingly
better politics, any moie than there is something calleo 'scientihc
methoo' thatonecan apply inoioei to getstiikinglybetter physics.
Critique of ioeology is, at best, mopping-up, rathei than path-
bieaking. It ispaiasiticonpiophecyratherthanasubstitutefoi it. It
stanost otheimaginativepioouctionofnewoescriptionsofwhathas
been goingon(e. g. ofwhatmenhavebeenooingtowomen)asLocke
(who oesciibeo himself as 'an unoei-labourei', clearing away the
iubbish) stooo to Boyle ano Newton. 1he picture of philosophy as
pioneeiis pait ofa logocentric conception ofintellectual work with
whichwefansofDerrioashoulohavenotruck.
One reason why many feminists iesistthis piagmatistview ofthe
politicalutilityofphilosophyisthatmasculinismseemssothoioughly
builtintoeveiythingweooanosayincontempoiarysocietythatitlooks
asifonlysomeieallymassive intellectualchangecoulobuogeit.Solots
offeministsthinkthatonlybytakingonsomegieatbigintellectuaIevil
ofthesortthatphilosophersspecializein spotting(somethingonthe
scale of logocentrism, or 'binarism', or 'technological thinking')
inteipreting this evil as intrinsically masculinist ano masculinism as
stanoingorfallingwithit~ canthey achieve theraoicality ano scope
theirtaskseemstooemano.Withoutsuchanalliancewithacampaign
against some laige philosophical monstei, the campaign against
masculinism seems to them ooomeo to some form of complicity in
presentpractices.
1hisviewseemstometogettheielativesizesallwiong.Masculinism
isa muchbiggeranohercermonsteithan anyofthelittle,parochial
monsteiswithwhichpiagmatistsanooeconstructionistsstiuggle. Foi
masculinismistheoefenceofthepeoplewhohavebeenontopsince
thebeginningofhistoiyagainstattemptstotopplethem,thatsoitof
monsterisveiyaoaptable, ano Isuspectthatitcansurvivealmostas
wellin an anti-logocentric asina logocentric philosophicalenviion-
ment. It is true that, as Deiiioa has acutely noteo, the logocentric
traoitionisbounoupinsubtlewayswiththeorive forpuritytheorive
toescapecontaminationbyfemininemesses~ symbolizeobywhathe
calls 'the essentialanoessentially sublimehgure ofviiilehomosexu-
ality' . ' Butthatorivefoipuiityanothat'sublimehgure'aielikelyto
suiviveinsomestillmoiehighlysublimateofoim evenifwephilos-
opherssomehowmanageanovercoming(oievenustaVenuindung) of
metaphysics.
Pragmatismconsioeieoasasetofphilosophicalviewsabouttiuth,
knowleoge, obectivity, ano language isneutialbetweenfeminism
anomasculinism.Soifonewantsspecihcallyfeministooctiinesabout
FEMI NI S M, I DEOLOGY, DECONSTRUCTI ON 233
thesetopics,piagmatismwillnotprovioethem. Butfeministswho(like
MacKinnon)thinkofphilosophyassomethingtobepickeoupanolaio
oownas occasionoemanos, iatheithanas a poweiful ano inoispen-
sableally,willhnoinpiagmatismthesameanti-logocentricooctrines
theyhnoinNietzsche, FoucaultanoDeirioa.1hemainaovantageof
thewaypragmatistspiesenttheseooctiinesisthattheymakeclearthat
theyarenotunlockingoeepsecrets,secretsthatfeministsmustknowin
oroerto succeeo. 1hey aomitthatalltheyhavetoofferisoccasional
bits ofad hoc aovice aovice about how to reply when masculinists
attempttomakepiesentpracticesseeminevitable.Neitheipragmatists
noi oeconstiuctionists can oo moie for feminism than help iebut
attempts to grouno these practices on something oeeper than a
contingent histoiicalfact~ the fact that the people with the slightly
largermuscleshavebeenbullyingthepeoplewiththeslightlysmallei
musclesfoiaveiylongtime.
Notes
1 . Robert C. Tucker, ed. , The Marx-Engels Reader, 2nd edn, New York 1 978, p. 1 67.
2. For a good expression of this fantasy-reality contrast, see Engel's 'Socialism:
Utopian and Scientifc', in Tucker, The Marx-Engels Reader, pp. 693-4.
.
3. F
?
r a defationary account of the Marxist use of 'ideology', see Daniel Bell, 'The
Misreading of Ideology: The Social Determination of Ideas in Marx's Work', Berkeley
Joural ofSoczology 35, 1 990, pp. I-54. This article helps to make clear why Marx would
have found the phrase 'Marxist ideology' objectionable, and how inseparable Marx's use
of 'ideology' was from his characterization of his own thought as 'scientific'.
4. Terry Eagleton, Ideology, London 1 99 1 , p. 30. I cite the fifth and sixth of
Eagleton'S series of progressively fuller and sharper distinctions. For further discussion
of this book, see Richard Rorty, 'We Anti-representationalists', Radical Philosophy 60,
1 992, pp. 40-42.
5. As Catharine MacKinnon says, the history of the relations between men and
women (unlike the history of sexuality -'the history of what makes historians feel sexy') is
fat: ' [UJnderneath all of these hills and valleys, these ebbs and flows, there is this
bedrock, this tide that has not changed much, namely male supremacy and the
subordination of women' (MacKinnon, 'Does Sexuality Have a History?', Michigan
Quarterly ReVIew 30, 1 99 1 , p. 6). That subordination runs through the centuries like a
monotone (and so usually inaudible) ground bass - the sound of men beating up on
women. No dramatic orchestration seems possible.
6. I offer an account of pragmatism as anti-representationalism in a foreword to
John Murphy, Pragmatism: from Pierce to Davidson, Boulder, CO 1 990; and also in the
introduction to Richard Rorty, Objectivity, Relativism and Truth, Cambridge 1 992. For the
parallels between Davidson's anti-representationalism and Derrida's anti-metaphysics,
see Samuel Wheeler, ' Indeterminacy of French Interpretation: Derrida and Davidson',
In Ernest Le Pore, ed. , Truth and Interpretation: Perspectives on the Philosophy ofDonald
Davidson, Oxford 1 986, pp. 477-94.
7. Eagleton, Ideology p. 7.
8. Jacques Derrida, Writing and DifJerence, Chicago 1 978, p. 279.
9. Eagleton, Ideology, p. 205.
10. Paul de Man, The Resistance t o Themy, Minneapolis, MN 1 986, p. I I
I I . Wallace Stevens said that the imagination is the mind pressing back against reality.
234 MAP P I NG I DEOLOGY
Derrida and Dewey both help us see that this amounts to pressing back against the
imagination of the past.
1 2. Barbara Johnson, The Critical Diference, Baltimore, MD 1 980, pp. x-xi. See the use
of the passage from Johnson by Joan Scott in her 'De constructing Equality-vs.
Difference: Or, the Uses of Poststructuralist Theory for Feminism', in Marianne Hirsch
and Evelyn Fox Keller, eds, Conflicts in Feminism, New York 1 990, pp. 1 37-8.
1 3. Johnson, The CriticalDiference, p. xi.
14. I develop this analogy between contemporary feminism and the New Science of
the seventeenth century at somewhat greater length i n 'Feminism and Pragmatism',
Michigan Quarterly Review 30, 1 99 1 , pp. 231 -58.
15. A good example of this charge of complicity is Drucilla Cornell's criticism of
Catharine MacKinnon in Beyond Accommodation: Ethical Feminism, Deconstruction and the
Law, New York 1 99 1 , ch. 3. Cornell thinks that although MacKinnon 'superfcially rejects
the dream of symmetry, which measures us against the male norm', she nevertheless
'cannot but fall into that very old dream given the limits of her own theoretical discourse,
which necessarily repudiates the feminine as femininity because she can only 'see' from
her own masculinist perspective' (p. 1 5 1 ) . Cornell thinks that more philosophical
refection (of a specifcally deconstructionist sort) than MacKinnon wishes to engage in
will be needed to avoid complicity with masculinism. She also thinks that MacKinnon
betrays feminism's distinctive ethical standpoint by reducing feminism to a power grab.
My sympathies are with MacKinnon. I cannot see anything wrong with power grabs, and
am less sanguine about the political utility of deconstructionist philosophy than is
Cornell. (For more doubts about this utility, see Thomas McCarthy, 'The Politics of the
I neffable: Derrida's Deconstructionism', The Philosophical Forum 2 1 , 1 989, pp. 1 46-68.
For MacKinnon's view that ' men are the way they are because they have the power' and
that 'women who succeed to male forms of power will largely be that way too', see
Catharine MacKinnon, Feminim Unmodied, Cambridge, MA 1 987, p. 220. )
16. I agree with Cornell that one of Derrida's central contributions to feminism is that
'he explicitly argues that fundamental philosophical questions cannot be separated from
the thinking of sexual difference' (Beyond Accommodation, p. 98). Indeed, I should go
further and say that Derrida's most original and important contribution to philosophy is
his weaving together of Freud and Heidegger, his association of 'ontological difference'
with gender difference. This weaving together enables us to see for the frst time the
connection between the philosophers' quest for purity, the view that women are
somehow impure, the subordination of women, and 'virile homosexuality' (the kind of
male homosexuality that Eve Sedgwick calls 'homo-homosexuality', epitomized in Jean
Genet's claim that 'the man who fucks another man is twice a man' ). Compared to this
insight (which is most convincingly put forward in Derrida's 'Geschlecht 1' ), the grab bag
of easily reproduced gimmicks labelled 'deconstruction' seems to me relatively un
important.
! !
Ideology, Politics, Hegemony:
From Gramsci to Laclau and
Mouffe
Michele Barrett
Giamsciissomethingofapaiaooxiniaoicalpoliticalthought.Onthe
one hano, his woik is much aomiieo as the most sympathetic
tieatment, within the classical Maixist tiaoition, of cultuial ano
ioeological politics. He has become the aoopteo theoiist of, foi
example, the Euiocommunist stiategy in Italy, Spain ano othei
countiiesano,inBiitain,theinspiiationfoimanyofthosewhowishto
iealign Iabouipolitics in a new ano iealistic mooe. His appioach to
ioeology, his theoiy ofhegemony, his accountofthe ioleofintellec-
tuals,hisinsistenceontheimpoitanceoftacticsanopeisuasionanohis
oetaileoattentiontoquestionsofcultuie,anothepoliticsofeveiyoay
cultuie,haveallbeentakenupenthusiasticallybyageneiationsickof
the moializingiulesano piecepts ofboth the MaixistIeninistano
Iabouiistlefts.
Yet,intheoieticalteims,Giamsci'swoikhasposeomanyuniesolveo
_
uest_in the aiea ofa theoiy of ioeology paitlybecause (like
Maix, peihaps) his biilliant insights often stano alone oi in some
tensionwitheachotheiItisnotcleai,totakeanexampleIshalloiscuss
inmoieoetail,exactlyhowhisappioachtoioeologytiesinwiththenow
celebiateooehnitionanouseoftheioeaofhegemony.Moiegeneially,
Giamsci'sthoughthastakenonaniconicsignihcancefoithecontem-
poiaiyIeft,both intellectualanocultuial,butitisalsoGiamsci~ at
leasttheGiamsci ieaobyEinesto IaclauanoChantal Mouffe~ who
stanos at the ciucial bieaking point ofMaixism as a viable political
theoiy. 1hislatteiaigument, whichhangsonthecentialstatusofthe
conceptofclassinMaixisttheoiyanopolitics,willoccupymuchofthis
236
MAP P I NG I DEOLOGY
chaptei.As weshallsee,averyimpoitantfeatuieofthatdebatei s the
questionofwhetherparticularideologiesnecessarlypertaintodtffei-
ent social classes , or whether this imputation ofthe'class-belonging'
natureofpoliticalideologyisamistake.
Gramsci, as isnodoubtknown toallieadeis, wrotemostofwhathas
come down to us as thebody ofhis writings in the extiaordinarily
coeicive ciicumstances of an Italian Fascist prison. 1he conditions
under which he wrote, including his progiessively poor health,
obviously have a bearing on the natuie ofthe texts we have, and a
furtherimportantconsiderationisthe factthat his woiksincorporate
manystrategies anddetoursrelatedtotheprisoncensor.1hesebald
factsexplain, to some extentanyway, therelativelylragmentaiyand
'open'natureofthesecrucialwritings.
If we look hrst at one passage fiom the Prison Notebooks wheie
Gramsci addresses directly the concept ofideology in the Marxist
tiadition, we Fnd thefollowing points made. Gramsciiefers to the
'negativ

jgudgcncn

'thath

s (er

oneously)becomeattachedto
the mcaningofideology Maixtstphtlosophy, here we shouldtake
noteof)oigeLarrain'spointthat,hrstandforemost,Grausc

mustbe
identihedastakinga'poi)ie'ratherthan'critical'stanco:t tgy.
Gramscisuggests~ thoughno(uIe in these woids- that the weak
understandingofideolog JMaixistt
,
b\:ghtcanIebla

onthose
who},vseenidco[yasmeielydeteiminedbyaneconomiclasc
thevc!ore' 'purc' appearance,uscless,rubbishetc. ' nfh iegaio he
lines IimsehupwitbKorsch's critiqueoI'vulgav-Marxism' . Gramsci
then stresses that 'historically organic ideologies' ~ those that are
' necessary' haveapsychologicalvalidityandthey'cieatetheteirain
onwhichmenmove, acquireconsciousnessoftheiiposition, stiuggle
etc. ' . itisthisattentionto' psychologicalvalidity'thathasmadeGramsci
insomesensesuniqueintheMarxisttradition.
In the same brief, but highly condensed, set of theses Gramsci
suggests that 'organic' ideologies can be distinguished from the
polemics of individual ideologues, and he qisttg s byn
ideologyasthe'necessarysupeistiuctureofa particua

and
idcologyin t}ense ofthe 'aibitrar
)
elucub;;i' ofinttuals.
GramscIerstoMarviewthat'apopu};yJc{in_o]enhasthe
sameeneigyasamaterialfoice' ,andconcludesthe passagewithmc
foll6wingrma1statement.
The analysis of these propositions tends, I think, to reinforce the conception
of historical bloc in which precisely material forces are the content
I DEOLOGY, POLI TI CS , H EGEMONY
237
and ideologies the form, though this distinction between form and content
`aspurIyatCaciitvalue; since the material forces would be inconceivable
historically without form and the i
I
ogles-wouiCe mdviduananti'e,
without themateriar
f
es:l --.. -

Adifhcultyinconsideringtheselinkedtheses isthatevensuchashoit
passagecontainssomecomplex,butdistinct,shiftsofposition.1helast
sentencewouldbe enoughonitsowntomarkGramscioutas acleai
'historicist',butthisistrickytoassesswhenitfallsattheendofapara-
graphinwhichthenowclassically 'Gramscian' ideathatiolqgy is a
'teirainqjggle' ,|ernsuggested~ aviewthatsits iatheiill11h
the

1isoricist tendency to think in teims of 'expressive totalities' .


Another pioblem is that fiequently Giamsci is not explicit about
whethersomethingisorisnottobethoughtofasan'o:ganicideology',
hence his discussions ofcultural and intellectual struggle are often
somewhatambiguous. (1hisisnotacriticism,butitceitainlyhasabear-
ingonthefactthatGramsci's workhasbecomesucharichheldfordif-
feientinterpietations. ) 1hese ambiguitiessuiioundeven fairlybasic
questions. Itisoftenassumed,forexample,thatGramsci'sgeneraldis-
cussonsofculturalandintellectualphenomenaarecouchedundeithe
rubiicofideology,butthisisnotexactlyoinecessaiilythecase.Itisnot
clearwhetheiGramsci's u:ninatingclassihcationofdifferentlevelsof
'maki

s
-

eofthewoil' fromphilosophytofolkloie shouldbc


uughtofasatreatmentofideologyoinot. Gramscidistinguishes,in
another famous passage from the Prison Notebooks, between philos-

9
_y, i(|g,(cmmons:sc and!olkIotasconcptionsofthewov|d
withv

ryingdecreasing)degreesofsystematicityandcoherence.Phil-
soplilesintellectualorder,whichreligionand commonsense
donot,'becausetheycannotbereducedtounityandcoheienceeven
withinanindividualconsciousness,letalonecollectiveconsciousness'.
Gramsci goesontosaythat'Everyphilosophicalcurrentleavesbehind
asedimentationofcommonsense`. thisisthedocumentofitshistoii-
caleffectiveness. . . . c_(;;e` istI;e{q llore o[phi|osophy,
and is always half-way between folkloie propeily speaking and thc
philosophy, science and economics ofthe specialists.Common sense
createsthefolkloreofthefuture. '
-

Jbus we have hierarcLy of forms, in which philosophies ~
systematicbodies ofthoughtwhichcanbeespousedcoheiently take
their place above religion, which is subectto philosophical criticism.
'Common sense' wil| take many forms,but is a fragmented body of
precepts , 'folklore'he describes as'rigid' popularformulae. Gramsci
pointsoutthattheiemaybeconsiderableconuictbetweentheselevels,
noting that theie may be contradictionsbetween the philosophy one
238 MAP P I NG I DEOLOGY
espouses at a systematic (iational) level and one's conduct as detei-
mined by 'common sense'. Hence we airive at Gramsci's notion of
contiadictoryconsciousness'andof__ _pt_intellectual
.

oand'i aiv himself, as is now incrcuingly


p;ia from the new translations of his cultural
wiitings, devoted consideiable attention to populai cultuie and
ideology,rangingovertopicsasdiverseasarchitecture,popularsongs,
serialhction,detectivehction,opeia,journalism,andsoon.
Yet it iemains somewhat uncleai how far Gramsci is thinking of
thesevariousphenomenaas ideology. Gramscidiscussestheseforms
under the heading of philosophy, but most people have tended to
assumethattheyareideologicalforms.Aratherimpiessionisticuseof
the concept ofideology can occui with impunity in Giamsci's ap-
proach,largelybecausehehastakentheexplanatoryweightfromthe
shoulders ofideology. 1his hecan do asinturnhe deploys another
concepttocarrythetheoreticalbuidenthatinotheiwritersistakenby
theconceptofideoloJIusinordciioseehowGramsci'streatment
of ideology meshes in with the tradition, we have to take it in
conunction with its companion term ~ hege

qy. Although the


Italian word egemonia was often seen as synonymous with Giamsci's
contribution,itsroots,asPerryAndersonandotheishaveemphasized,
layindebatesoveithepioletariat's needfoi 'hegemony' (peisuasive
inHuence) over the peasantry in the pre-revolutionary period in
Russia.
1he conce_t of' hey is the organizing focus of Gramsci's
thought on politics and ideoIcgy, and his distinctive usage has
iendeied it the hallmaik of the Gramscian approach in general.
Hegemony is best un
.
derstood

rganiza

io

_
0csel the
processes through whrch boidmated forns oI concioae
constructedwithoutrecou

vicio. herulingbloc,
zccording to Gvamsi,operutes not only in the political sphere but
throughoutthewholeofsociety.Gramsciemphasizedthe'lower' less
systematic levels ofconsciousness and apprehension oftheworld,
and in particular he was inteiested in the ways in which ' populai'
knowledge and cultuie developed in such a way as to secure the
participationofthemassesinthepioectoftherulingbloc.
At this oint it is worth remaiking a signihcant difference of
interpretation abouthegemony. Itis notcleaiwhether Gramsci uses
hegemonystrictlytorefertothenon- _rcive(ideological:)aspectsof
the organization of consent, oihether hc uses it to explore the
relationship between coercive and non-coercive forms of securing
consent.StuartHallet al. suggestthatGramsci'sfundamentalquestion
howcanthestaterulewithoutcoercion: isonethatcauseshimto
I DEOLOGY, POLI TI CS , HEGEMONY
239
drawattentiont onon-coerciveaspectsofclass iule.But, theyargue,
thisisbecauseo[h

tindeilyinginterestintherelationship between the


stateand'civilsociety' . it((hoductofadetachedinterestinthe
_ ..i

i ntheabstiact.PeiryAndeisongives

thisquestion asomewhatdifferentinHection,henotes thatGramsci's


use ofhegemony is inconsistent, sincesometimes he uses it to mean
consentiatheithan coercion, atothertimes itseems to mean a syn-
ndeison'sexplanationbasedonhisviewthatstate
poweiIS ne iincnpin'ofbourgeois hegemony istosaythatGramsci
'slipped'towardsfocusonconsentpartlyasaresultofthedifhcultiesof
gettingthecoercion-relatedaigumentspastthepiisoncensor.
Leavingthison onesidefor a moment, we cansaythatGramsci's
emphasis was on hegemony in ielatig (o a jolitical and cultural
strate

yfor socialism,and thiswasalsowherehisgreatestinterestlay.


|sptoI'wrofposition'and'warofmanoeuvre'foimtheheart
ofaconceptualizationofstrategythatinvolvesclassesmoving,onthe
analogy of trench waifare, to better vantage points and 'positions' .
hencethe'warofposition'isthebattleforwinningpoliticalhegemony,
thesecuringofconsent,thestruggleforthe'headuine`ofthe
peopleandnotmerelytheirtransitoryobedienceoielectoralsupport.
'Waiofmanoeuvre',bycontrast,comesatalaterstage.itistheseizing
ofstate power, but (in directopposition to the Leninist tradition of
political thought) cannot take place except in a situation where
hegemonyhasalreadybeensecured.
1his model ofsocialist stiategy had built into it a theory of the
political function of intellectu|ls. Gramsci did not see these as
expressive ofparticulla

e oraslockedintospecihcandsocially
dehned roles, he saw intellectuals as important actois on the held
whereclassconHictis'playedout'attheideologicallevel. Inpaiticular,
he sawthehegemonic process~ fiom the Left, that is as one that
wouldinvolvedetaching'traditionalintellectualsfromtheirbaseinthe
iulingblocanddevelopingwhathecalled'oiganic'n[Iectuls oIthc
woikingclass.
...
: ` `
Giamscis view of these piocesses is one that folds a theory of
ideology, construed mainly as the varying forms of popular and
systematicknowledgediscussedeailier,intoamoregeneialpolitical
andcultuialproectthathetheorizes intermsofthebroaderconcept
ofhegemony. His inteiestintherelationbetween the stateandcivil
societyleadsdirectly tohisworkonwhathasbeencalledthesocially
ceionImgftions oideoIogy anu1le waysti Wich consent is
ecurat. non \oIct1eeI
_ -
j. . .]
Gramsci has come into his own as theexponent,par excellence, ofa
2fO
MAP P I NG I D'OLOGY
/
eon-deierminisiiciheoryoIideology.SiuariHall'sariicleon'Iaseand
supcsiii:ciuve' as,uennively, Iaid'ouiiheiermsoIihe deIaieon
deierminismwiihiniheMarisiiheoryoIideology.HallreadsGramsci
+s delivering a 'olemic againsi a reduciionisi accouni oIihe suer-
siruciure`,andhearguesihaiGramscihasshoypowcaiialismis
noijusiasysiemoIroduciion,IuiawholeIorm he
su

uwucs, m Hall's reading o' G+amsci, are viiali nihai ihey


drawculiurezt.dcjvilsocieiyinioincreasingconIorntywiihiheneeds
oI caIial. 1hey enlarge caiialisni' reat:ngnew iypes oJ
ino:vId ual ;}_;_pgoihevariousins iitutioi:s
ci1ocieiy such ;S ihe Iamily, law, educution, cultural insiiiuiions,
Churcaoliiicalariies.1hisisnoiamaiteroIeconomiciniersi
aloneIorGrac s conomicreduciionismandconceiualizes
h

ony

'\!
i

. Yei, con

ludes
Siuari Ha1l, rams vew ihe suersiruciures do all ihis[9
caiial'.
___.,...~ `
T|c:e is,however,anissueihaiwasnevereniirelyariiculaiedwithin
iheclassical MarisiiradiiionIuionwhich some asecisoIGramsci's
ideashaverecenilyIeenIroughiioIearwiihsirikingconsequences.
ihisisihequesiionoIwheiherornoiideolog|esshoIqIedescriIedas
'class Ielnging'..s we shall see, iheeloraiion ofihis issuc lr
boughiaboui a majorchallenge io Marism, which Ernesio Laclau
andChanialMouIIearguehasnowIeensuerseded.Iiisanissueihai
wasneverraisedwiihiniheMarisiiradiiionIecauseiiwasiakenIor

ranied ih

iyhaieveryouvth

o:y o{oIo

gityuldb

ie

.aroundsoctalclassasiheesseniialandIormaiivecaiegoryoIanass
ofc+iialism.Henceiiwouldnoireally maiieriIyousawideologiesas
l . ''
txpH o; )liheconsciousnessoIariicularsocialclasses (ihe mosi
common,iI'hisioricisi`,varianioIiheosiiie apvo+H) ,oriIyousaw
ideology usmysiiFcaiionservingclassinieresi.Iiwouldineiihercase,
and wiih oiher defnitmns ioo, bczxiomaiic ihai in an analysis oI
caiialismiheroleaudIunciionoIideologywasconsiruediniermsoI
socialclass.IiisreciselyihisihaihasnowIeenroIlemaiizeoaiavery
[undamenial level, wiih consequences ihaiare oIoIvious inieresi io
feminisis and oihers who have Ieen quesiioning ihe siaius oI class
analysiswiihreIerenceioihecomeiingiheoreiicalandoliiicalclaims
ihaiariseIromoihersalienisocialdivisions.
Class and Non-Class Political Ideologies
LeiusIeginIylookingaiiheIormulaiionsoIErnesioLaclau'sPolitics
and Ideology in Marxist Theor ( 1 977), noiing ai ihe ouisei ihai ihe
I DEOLOGY, POLI TI CS, HEGEMONY 241
argumenimadeinihaiIookhasrovedIarmoreacceiaIleiomosi
MarisisihanihoseoIhis laierworks,andariicularlyHegemony and
Socialist Strategy ( 1 985), co-auihored wiih Chanial MouIIe.' Laclau`s
earlier iei was concerned wiih ihe roIlem oI 'reduciionism' in
Marisioliiicaliheory, andin ariicularhewas criiicaloIihose who
hadiendedioseeoliiicalideologyeclusivelyas,almosiIydeFniiion,
classideology.
1o 'reduce' , hilosohically seaking, isio elaina henomenon
ihaiaearsiniermAIyinvoking(orreducingiiio)someihingelse~
iermB.WiihinMarism,iheroIle;I rduciionismhasIeenacuie,
Ior a classic elanaiorysvaigy ias _ |q s,yha(a ariicular
p[enouc:on(oftcnanwIwardone such as workingclassconserva-
Im,raci-ur homohoIia)isreally causedIy, orIunciionalio, ihe
overriding dynamic oF class and css conici. Marxsm !as n
monoolyonihissiyleoIc

ireamle,hasan
evenmore ronounced iendencyiowardselanaioryreduciionism.
Bui wiihin Marisi iheory ihe issue has in receni years Ieen a
much-debaiedone, ariicularlyinresonseioihequesiionoIgender
and raceas comeiing elanaiory Iaciors in ihinking a tlhc
gcneitonoIsocialinequaliiy.'Inanycase,Laclauwasinieresiedin
ihe ways inwhich Marisis had ignored asecis oIoliiicalideology
ihaididnoihiinioananalysisinwhicholiiicalideologywaselained
Iy,orreducedio,iheeIIecisoIsocialclassinieresis.
AkeyhgureinihisdeIaiewas NicosPoulanizas,whoseaiiemiio
demarcaie 'ihe secibciiy oI ihe oliiical' in Marisi iheory mei in
general ierms wiih Laclau`s aroIaiion. According io Laclau, how-
ever, ihe enormous coniriIuiion made IyPoulanizaswas viiiaiedIy
'ihe generalassumiionihaidominaieshiswholeanalysis.ihereduc-
iionoIeveryconiradiciionioaclassconiradiciion,andiheassignmeni
o

a+assIelongin
.
g

ioeveryideologicalelemeni'. ' 'Laclaurooseda


difIereni,andeniirclyoriginal, aroach.HearguedihaiAlihusser's
ihe

ryoIiheinierellaiion(hailing)rocessihroughwhichideological
suIeciswereconsiruciedcouldIealiedioiheanalysisoIoliiical
ideology. 1his would enaIle us io see ihai non-class ideological
elemenis oeraied, Ior eamle, in ihe iniegraiion oI oular-
democraiic ihemes inio Iascisi ideological conhguraiions and ihai
ihese rocesses mighi, hisiorically, Ie eiiherindeendenioIclassor
ariiculaiedwiih class Iui were in no circumsiances reducible io class
ideo

ogies.Hesuggesiedihaiie

ouldIeundersiood,in
ariicularhisioricalinsianceswhichhedescrie,asiheariiculaiionoI
'oular-democraiic' elemenis in oliiical discourse raiher ihan (as
had Ieen common in Marisioliiicalanalysis) ihe naiura[olitical
discourse oI eireme conservaiive grous` By'oular-democraiic'
242
MAP P I NG I DEOLOGY
Laclaumeansthattheioeologyaooresseo,anothereforeconstituteo,
its subects as 'the people' rather than as 'the working class'. Laclau
ustihably claimeo that his rethinking of Fascism gave 'a perfect
oemonstrationof thenon-classcharacterofpopularinterpellations' . '
:
Interestingly, then, Laclau was at pains in Politics and Ideolog in
Marxist Theor nottooeparttooraoicallyfromthereceiveowisoomof
Marxism. Atonepoint he explicitly rehearses the ooxa' Weoo not
inteno to cast ooubt on the priority ofproouctionrelations in the
ultimateoeterminationofhistoricalprocesses' .'`aformulationthathe
woulo now reect entirely. Even more interesting, perhaps, is the
formulation he arriveo at to express the relationshipbetween the
non-classioeologicalelementsthathehaosoilluminatinglyuncovereo
anothetraoitionalgrounoofclassstruggle. Ina passagethatreveals
the extent to which, in that perioo, he hao not as yet emancipateo
himself from the logic of Marxism's theoretical closure, he veers
himselftowarosaperverseformofreouctionism.
The popular-democratic interpellation not only has no precise class content, but is the
domain ofideological class struggle par excellence. Every class struggles at the
ideological level simultaneously as class and as the people, or rather, tries to
give coherence to its ideological discourse by presenting its class objectives as
the consummation of popular objectives. ' 14
1hisisinterestingpreciselybecauseittakesawaywhat, withtheother
hano,Laclauhaoustgivenus .insteaoofallowingustosavourthefull
inoepenoenceofthenon-classelementsofpoliticalioeologythatheso
eloquentlyexplaineo,weareenoineoheretorestore'classobectives'as
thestriven-for,ifhiooen,agenoaofpopular-oemocraticappearances.
WeshallreturntotheseambivalencesinoiscussingLaclau'slaterwork.
Meanwhile, it mustbe emphasizeo thatLaclau'sbook although
highly contentious hao a terriFc impact on work in the Felo of
politicalioeology. Colin Mercer'sstuoy onItalianFascismwoulobe
one example. Merceroiscusses the fascinating material, brought to
light byMariaMacciocchi among others, about Mussolini's operatic
events where women swappeo their golo weooing rings (in the
interestsoftheproouctionofarmaments)forironbanossymbolizing
their marriage to Il Duce. Mercer theorizes this ano many other
instances as a 'sexualization' ofthe social sphere ano an'aestheticiz-
ation' of politics, seeing these as strategies that enableo popular-
oemocraticoiscoursestocirculatelreelywithinFascistpoliticalioeol-
ogy. 1his he regaros as a 'testament to Gramsci's assertion that in
regimesofthisnature,theterrainsofthepeople anoofculture areofkey
strategic importance ano are foregroneo' , ano he conHby
I DEOLOGY, POLI TI CS, HEGEMONY 243
quotingGramsci'sworosthatinthesecircumstances'politicalquestions
areoisguiseoasculturalones' . '
Nothingcoulo make more clearthe thornyquestionthatcontinues
tooog
.
the issue ofpolitical ioeology ano 'class belonging' . Mercer's
quotatronfrom Gramsci, the oarlingoftheanti-reouctionistschool,
reveals to us a Gramsci who certainly takes ioeology, culture ano
jopulismseriously,butultimatelyasacoverfor'political'(forwhicL:
practice reao class) politics. Here les the basis for much of the
continuingoisagreementovertheinterpretationofGramsci.
-artHall'sworkonhatcherism'asapoliticalioeologyisperhaps
one ofthemostwell-knownattempts to useLaclau's insights in the
contextofaGramscianinterpretationofcontemporaryBritishpoli-
tics. ' Oneofthemostaccessibleroutesintothisstyleofthinkingmight
betoconsroerthethemeofpatriotismoecisively'captureo'by Mrs
1hatcher at the outbreak of the Falklanos War as a Conservative
party-political ioentihcation, which it hao not previously been. 1he
successofthishasbeenstriking,totheextentthattheioeaofa'patriotic
socialism'hasbecomesomewhatanomalousinBritain.Wehaveforso
longnowhearotheinsistenceonanioentitybetweenthegovernment
ano the nation that, as MargaretDrabblerecentlyremarkeo,weare
actuallysurpriseotoencountertheoloparliamentaryexpression' Her
Ma|esty'sLoyalOpposition'.
StuartHallhasanalyseohatcherism'asapoliticalioeologywhich
'combines th
.
e resonant themes
.

ism nati

n, family,
outy,authorrty,stanoaros,traortronasmwrttbcaggressrvethemes
ofa rev

ve

_)ni ~ self-interest, competitive inoivioualism,


anti-statrsm. !nhissuccessivewritingsinthisareaHallhaselaborateo
thesearguments,originallyoevelopeoinaovance oftheelectionofthe
1hatchergovernmentanoaooresseo,historically,totheconsequences
fortheLeftofthecollapsing' post-warconsensus'ofBritishpolitics.In
theearlierstatementsofhisanalysis,Hallconcentrateoonexplaining
how1hatcherismwasnottobeseenassomeerrorL juogementonthe
partofthemasses,whohaofallenforapoliticalrightwingthatoionot
representtheirtrueinterests,butshoulobeseenintermsfioeological

_
elopm
_
hat ha
.
o spoken to real conoitions, expCr
contradictions:e hvesofthepeople anothenrecasttheminnew
terms. 1heterm 'authoritarian populism'was oevelopeo to tryano
exploretheseioeas.
1hatcherism was 'hegemonic' in its intention (if not successful as
such)inthatitsproectwas to restructurethewholetexture ofsocial
life,toalterthe entire formationofsubectivityanopolitical ioentity,
rather than simply to push through some economic policies. In
GramscianmooeStuartHallsummarizeothispoliticalintention.
244 MAPPI N G I DEOLOGY
'Thatcherite politics are 'hegemonic' i n their conception and project: the
aim is to struggle on several fronts at once, not on the economic-corporate
one alone; and this is based on the knowledge that, in order really to
dominate and restructure a social formation, political, moral and intellec
tual leadership must be coupled to economic dominance. The Thatcherites
know they must 'win' in civil society as well as in the state. , 1 8
StuartHallisnoteworthyfoihavingoevoteoconsioerableattentionto
the inHection of 1hatcherite themes, both 'oiganic 1ory' ano the
aggressiveneo-libeialstranosoftheioeology,inpoliticalconstructions
of genoei, family ano sexuality ano with regaro to racism ano the
politics of ethnicity. So, ifhis analysis was frequently oirecteo, as I
believeitwas,toanauoienceof'theLeft'(paiticulalythosewhoclung
tothehopethatonemoiningtheywoulowakeupanohnothatitwas
all a bao oream ano the working class hao come to its senses), it
neverthelessaooiesseo'theLeft' asa groupthatisinsignihcantways
internallyoifferentiateoanooivioeobygenoeranoiace.1hatStuait
Hall's interpretation of 1hatcherism occasioneo so much criticism
from the Left is, to my mino, symptomatic of the political weight
carrieobythetheoryofioeology. Bob)essopanoothers,inalengthy
criticaloiscussionofHall'swork,aigueothatoneofhismainerrorswas
'ioeologism',oiatenoencytoneglectthe' structuralunoerpinnings'of
1hatcheiism in his concentration on ioeological processes ano his
analysisofpatentlyioeologicalinstitutionssuchasthemeoia. ' "1hisis
theclassicchargeofioealismano,asweshallsee,itsuifacesagreatoeal
incontemporaryoebatesaboutioeology. Hall'srepl y~thathefounoit
'galling' to be accuseo of ioeologism simply for tactically orawing
attentiontoimportantanospecihcallyioeologicalaspectsof1hatcher-
ism isanaptone. ForclassicalMaixistsany seriousconsioeiationof
ioeologyis,inp:actice,nearlyalwaystooserious.
Post-Marxism
It might seem a long way from oebates about whether oi not all
elementsofapoliticalioeologyshoulobeoesignateoasclass-bounoto
the positionoescribeobythis subheaoing.Yet this is the enopointof
IrnestoLaclau's traectory (so far), ano itmarks the veryinteresting
pointatwhichciiticalargumentsmaoewithinMarxismhavecoincioeo
with some important 'post-structuiali st' ioeas in such a way as to
challengetheviabilityof rarxis

asas
/
stematictheoiy.Itseemstome
that we can speak ofa paraotgm shtft'eie, howevei loosely such
. _:,'
I DEOLOGY, POLI TI CS , HEGEMONY 245
expressions areoften useo,sincethe philosophical proect of post-
structuralistthought,whilstscarcelywinningoverallcomers,biought
aboutarethinkingofMarxistcertaintiesthatvergesonama|ortrans-
foimation.' Ioeology'isakeyelementofthis,inoeeoinmyviewitisa
central focus oftheoebates, preciselybecause ofthe epistemological
ano political weight that theories of ioeology have cariieo within
Marxism.
In consioering such a shift it is woith noting a prophetic point
maoe by Laclau in his eailier book, where he suggests, following
Althussei, that theoietical problems aie never, strictly spea|ing
'solveo' . theyaie'superseoeo'. 1hisisbecauseiftheycan be solveo
withinthetermsoftheexistingtheory,theyarenot'theoretical'prob-
lemsassuchbut,rather, empiiicalorlocaloifhcultiesofapplyingthe
theoietical framewoik in that particular case. By oehnition, says
Laclau,iftheieisagenuinetheoieticalpioblem' (i. e. oneinvolvingan
inconsistencyinthelogicalstructureofthetheoiy)
,
then the onlyway
forwaro is to accept that 'itcannot be resolveo within the systems of
postulates of the theory' , which woulo mean that the theoietical
system woulo then go into internal contraoiction oi conHict. Fiom
this, suggests Laclau, the 'only way foiwaro is to oeny the system of
axiomsonwhichthetheoiyisbaseo. thatis,tomovefromonetheor-
eticalsystemtoanothei'.Ano,ashecoriectlypointsout,theoriginat-
ingproblemis'oissolveo'inthenewsystemratherthan'solveo'within
thetermsoftheo|o. '
1here i slittle point in ieaoing Laclau ano Mouffe'sHegemony and
Socialist Strategy ifyou refuse to countenance the starting point that
Marxism is one among several geneial theoiies that are not now
viable. theystatecategoricallyintheintroouctionthatustastheera
ofnormativeepistemologieshascometoaneno, sotoohastheeraof
versaloiscourses.'1he arguments thatLaclauanoMouffe biingto
bearonMarxismarecentralthemesofpost -structuialistthought,ano
they form part ano parcel ofthat more general theoretical perspec-
tive. Attimes, theiiarguments are specihcally inoebteo to those of
Derrioa(particularly),orLacan.LaclauanoMouffe havethemselves
constiucteo,intheh elo ofMarxismanopoliticaltheory, theses that
are complementaiyto,butoistinctfrom, arguments thatothers have
oevelopeo elsewheie~ be this inliterarycriticism, psychoanalysis or
economics, for example. It is important to note the oepth ofthe
theoretical critique of Marxism thatLaclau ano Mouffe aie posing.
1heynowbelievethattheories such as Marxismaienotviableongen-
eralgrounos, ano it is inappiopiiate in my viewfoiMarxists tore-
spono to their arguments, as some have, with excoriation ofthem
personallyas lapseo,ex- oranti-Marxists.
246 MAPPI NG I DEOLOGY
Foi Laclau and Mouffe,Maixismisfoundedonapolitical'imagin-
aiy' . itisaconceptionofsocialismthatiestsontheassumptionthatthe
interestsofsocialclassesaiepie-given,theaxiomthatjewkingclass
islotho_oIoyicu!Jattdpliti

yilg)ti( ct;j,'and the


Wv that politics will become pointless after a ievolution has
founded a new, and homogeneous, social oidei. In one sentence
desciibingthisacobinimaginaiy'befoieitshnalstagesofdissolution,
LaclauandMouffecondensesomecentialthemesofpost-stiuctuialist
thought. 'Peopled with universal` subects and conceptually built
around Histoiy in the singulai, it has postulated society` as an
intelligiblestiucturethatcouldbeintellectuallymasteredonthebasis
ofcertainclass positions and reconstituted, as arational, tianspaient
oidei, thioughaIoundingact ofa political chaiactei. ' ` Itis woith
noting heie the allusions to post-structuialist ciitiques of 'foun-
dationalism' in the epistemology of social and political theoiy, the
ciitiqueofthe (Cartesian) modeloftheunihed subect,theciitiqueof
histoiy as a monolithic and unilineai piocess, the glancingblow at
phallociacy in the iefeience to masteiy, and so on. Itis alsowoith
notingthat'theimaginaiy'(as opposed tothe moieeveiydayuse of
'imaginaiy'asanadective)is,ofcouise,aLacanianconcept,andone
thatwilltiailpaiticulaiiesonancesfoisomeieadeis. '
Laclau and Mouffe insistthatthey aie not obliterating Maixism
withouttiace(animpossiblepioect,ofcouise,foigoodDeiiidians),
butaiei nsomesenseswoikingthioughit. theyaiepost-Marxistaswell
asos/-Maixist.1his,asweshallsee,hasledtosomeTtIcs ol1heiibook
sayg ih1aclauandMouffeaiethemselvesnotieallyfieefromthe
residuesoftotalizingandessentialistthoughtthattheyhaveacquired
ontheiilongtiampthioughMaixism. (Onemightask. ifyouwantto
endupwithatheoiyoftheiainbowcoalition,whypickKautskyasthe
placetostait:)
1hesubstantiveaigumentsofHegemony and Socialist Strategy pivoton
Laclau and Mouffe's ieading of Ciamsci, and heie, as they say,
'everythingdependsonhowideologyisconceived' . `1heiiaccountof
Cramsci'stheoiyofideologyandhegemonystiessesinitially,anyway
~ his bieak with the ciitical conception ofideology, in favour ofa
positive(whichtheycall'material')perspective,andhisijectionofthe
deteiministicbase/superstiucturemodelofideology. 1heyinsist,too,
thatforCiamsci'theideologicalelementsaiticulatedbyahegemonic
Iassdonothaveanecessaiyclassbelonging'.
Cramsci is a pivotal hguie for Laclau and Mouffe because he
repiesentsthefurthestpointthatcanbereachedwithinMaixismand
the intrinsic limitations ofthe theoietical pioblematic. Foi even the
'articulatoiy'ioleofthewoikingclassis, intheirieadingofCiamsci,
I DEOLOGY, POLI TI CS, HEGEMONY
247
assigned to it on the basis of economic location, and thus has a
necessaryiatheithan theiipiefeiiedcontingentchaiactei.Ciamsci's
viewistheiefoie,inthelastanalysis,as'essentialist'one. Itisessential
withiegaidtothe piivileged position ofthe woikingclass, and with
iegaidto'thelastiedoubtofessentialism. theeconomy'.
1heiiownconclusions,biacinglyheaded' FacingtheConsequences',
aietodenythattheeconomyisself-iegulatedandsubecttoendogen-
ouslaws,todenythatsocialagentsaieconstituted,ultimately,inaclass
coie, andtodenythatclasspositionis;cssa)ly+inkedto'irtte;y`
1hepio]osIIi6nsfhe ncwhcovycanbeieducedto two, atitsmost
simple. 1heyare ( 1 ) ageneralphilosophicalpositionon'theimpossi-
bility of society', explicated in the chaptei entitled 'Beyond the
PositivityoftheSocial',and(2) atheoiizationoftheissueofagencyin
radical demociatic politics, in an epoch wheieclass essentialism has
givenway to the pluialist demands ofthe 'newsocialmovements'~
feminism,anti-racism, lesbianandgayiights,ecology,peace,etc.
The Impossibility of Society
he Impossibility of Society' is the title of an aiticle published by
Ernesto Laclau in 1 983, piehguiingthe moie detailed argument on
this theme to appear inHegemony and Socialist StrategyY Laclau and
Mouffe aiemakingaDeiiidean point heie. notthattheie is nosuch
'thing'as society, but astheyputit,echoingDeiiida'sfamousIl n'y a
pas de hors-texte ' '' ciety''isnotavalidobectofdiscouise.'
Whatdotheymeanbyt!rs'i!is5 pnheiraigument,
anditmightbehelpfultoquotethepassageatgieateilength,sinceit
contains a numbei ofkey allusions and some chaiacteristic 'moves'
1hey wiite. he incomplete charactei of eveiy totality necessaiily
leadsustoabandon,asateriainofanalysis,thepiemiseof"societ" asa
sutuied and self-dehned totality. Society` is not a valid obect of
discouise. 1

e isno si_e underlyingprinciplenxing andhence


constituting the whole hmu oI oiffevences. '" The hrst and most
oovousomioexract 1ron|h|sisiIeijectio+ofa model ofsociety
asatotality.Maixistshave,itistrue,diffeiedastohowfaitheythought
ofsocietiesasintegiatedtotalities,butcertainlytheyhavetendedtosee
thematleastasboundedentities. Inrecentyeais,howevei,thisnotion
ofasocial'totality'hascomeundeiienewedsciutinyandieHection.In
sociology, too, theie has been a diift towaids what we might call
anti-totality models, with the iise of moie micio-sociological and
phenomenological appioaches . Anothei aspectofthis would be the
reconsideiationnowundeiwayofmodelsofsocialentitiesthatweie,
248 MAPPI NG I DEOLOGY
effectively, based onindividual nation-states . as i f 'the socology of
Britain' oi 'ofI ndia' weiea viable proect in an incieasingly global
socialenviionment.AnthonyCiddenshas piovided incisivecritiques
ofthe naive assumptions undeilying some conceptions of'societies',
andindeed, theslogan hinkglobally, actlocally'hasrecentlybeen
helduptosociologistsasabetteimodelfoithedisciplinethansomeof
th;pieviousones. `
. . . |
Laclau and Mouffe do not iest at a critique of the idea of social
' totality' , but move into a moie fundamental philosophical iathei
thansociological ~setofargumentsaboutthe'impossibility'ofsociety.
Befoiegoingintothese,itmightbeusefultosummaiizetheschemaof
inteilinked concepts that they propose foithe analysis ofsocial re-
lations.1heydeb nefouiteims~articulation; discourse, moment, element
ofwhich thesecond,'discouise',has geneiatedthe mostcontioversy.
Articulation is deb ned as 'any practiceestablishinga ielation among
elementssuchthattheiiidentityismodib edasaiesultoftheaiticula-
rory practice' , discourse is 'the structured totality resulting fiom the
aiticulatoiy piactice' , moments aie 'diffeiential positions, in so faias
they appeai aiticulated within a discouise' , and an element is 'any
difference that is notdiscursivelyarticulated' ` 1he mostimportant
oint to note aboutthese deb nitions is that theveiyextended defi-
nition of 'discouise' by Laclau and Mouffe does not, as has been
immediatelyconcludedbyseveralmateiialists,iepiesentavertiginous
leap intoidealism. 1he concept ofdiscouise i ntheir hands is a ma-
teiialist one that enables them to iethink the analysis ofsocial and
histoiical phenomena i n a diffeient fiamewoik. 1heii concept of
discourse has been developed in a mode ofexplicitcriticism ofthe
assumptionstiaditionally goveiningdiscussionofthe'material/ideal'
split in Maixist theoiy,and thus cannot (oi at least should not) be
assimilated automatically to one position within a polaiity that they
haveexplicitlyreected. It has somethingin commonwithFoucault's
useof'discouise', butthereaieimportantdiffeiences too. As I shall
claiifylatei, whateverthe pioblems associated withtheiiconcept of
discourse,Laclau andMouHe,in theiigeneialepistemologicaloiien-
tation,donotoccupythe'idealist'and'relativist'boxesintowhichtheii
ciiticshavetiiedtopushthem.
Depaiting,foithemoment,fromthecontentiousdeb nitionof'dis-
couise'inHegemony and Socialist Strategy, Iwanttoco_nsidertheielated
setofpiopositionsputforwaidinthebookasto the'impossibility'of
societyand iepiesented, in the passage undeioiscussion,bythe sen-
tence heieo single undeilying_pcIplc, g and hence
cnstithe wIEeIdIFciences. ' What does i t mean foi
I DEOLOGY, POLI TI CS , HEGEMONY 249
themtosaythat'absolutebxity'ofmeaning(andabsolutenon-b xity)is
notpossible: A complication with theii argument is that, as well as
cariyingitsownconsiderableweight,itdeploysconceptsdrawnfiom
otheitheoristswhoseimpoittoLaclauandMouffe'saigumentwillbe
diffeientially undeistood by readeis. I propose to look at two key
concepts ofthis type, as a way intoLaclau and Mouffe's aigument.
:-anddif.
Suture is a teim whose cuiient theoietical use is drawn fiom
Lacanian psychoanalysis and has been developed, as Laclau and
Moulfe desciibe,` i n semiotic blm theoiy. Conventionally, in
English, meaning 'stitch', theteimsutuie is iendeied by the Oxford
English Dictionary as '|e__gy_t lips of a wound', and this
oiiginal suigical meaning is given a neatand modein gloss in
Landiy and Maclean'siemaik that 'a sutuie` marks the absence of
a foimer identity, as when cutHesh heals butleaves a scai maiking
diffeience' . `` Laclau and Mouffe piesent us with a body politic
whose skin is peimanently split open, necessitatingceaseless duty m
mc emeigerrcyioomfor t[e suigeons ofhegemonywhose fate it is
to try and closc, tempo:arily and with difhculty, the gaps. ,1his
paientnevei makes it to the recoveiy waid. ) 1heii iefeience w
Stephen Heath's account of suture stiesses a 'd

movet'
Jetween on the one hand a Laca

I
.

hose hallmaik is vi
and lack, and nhe othei had the simultaneous possib

of
coheience oi ofthatlack. 1heii applicationoftheconcept
ofsutuieto the~of politicscairies with it an idea that Deirida's
work on deconstruction has made inHuential. the tiaces ofthe old
c=nno|be.desroyedlut remain as scdinenta:y deposits even,and
indcj# ese(

iaJly, yl)icthencw s trying havdes1o exHude 1hc old.


(Deconstiuction being the method of uncoveiing these buiied
tiaces. ) 1hus Laclau and Mouffe say. ' Hegemonic practices aie
sutuiing in so fai as theii beld of opeiation is deteimined by the
openness ofthe social, by the u|til[__;)
eviy
signib er. 1his oiiginal lack pieciselywhatthe hegemonicpiactices
tytoFlli n. ' 1hey conclude thattheclosuiei mplicu i the idea ofa
totallysuturedsocietyisimpossible.`'
1he'ultimate bxity ofmeaning' is, explain Laclau and Mouffe, a
pioposition that has been challenged bya poweiful stiand ofphilo-
sophicalthought' fiomHeideggeitoWittgenstein'and, mostimport-
antlypeihapsfoi ouipuiposes,bythepost-stiuctuialistphilosophei
[acquesDeiiida.1hisisnotthemomenttoattemptasummaiyofhis
views, but one might usefully refer here to Derrida's oveiaiching
insistence on meaningas positionaliatheithanabsolute.De:idahas
elaboratedatheoryoflanguageasthin]p]y|g
:
-
_
ndof
250 MAP P I NG I DEOLOGY
linguistic ncaning as consgd thioug[tionsofiffeience
wj|n-a1:ain.

Diference has come to stand, in a bioad iange of modern social


theory,astheexemplaiofthisappioachtolanguageandasthemaik
ofareectionofabsolutemeaningoi,asLaclauandMouffeputitheie,
of ulizte xijof meaning. At this point i ntheiraigumentthey
qute Deirida'sgeneializationoftheconceptofdiscouise,inWriting
and Diference, asanappioachthatis 'coincidentwith thatofoui text'.
Deiiidawrites.
This was the moment [he gives as temporal examples the works of
Nietzsche, Freud and Heidegger] when language invaded the universal
problematic, the moment when, in the absence of a centre or origin,
everything became discourse -provided we can agree on this word - that is
'
to say, a system in which the central signifed, the original or transcendental
signifed, is never absolutely present outside a system of differences. The
absence of the transcendental signifed extends the domain and the play of
signifcation infnitely.35
Hence,foiLaclauandMoufFe,adiscourseis'constitutedasanattempt
todominatetheheldofdiscuisivity,toaiiesttheHowofdifferences,to
constructacentie',andtheydescribethe'piivilegeddiscuisivepoints
ofthispaitialhxation'asnodal points, ),ith refeiencetoLacan'spoint de
calfTprlge";: s iJlai f; meaningi nachain) . `
As fai as the impossibility ofsociety i s conceined, we can see in
LaclauandMouffe's peispective aveiyclose andpoweiful fusingof
LacanandDeiiida.1heimagesandmetaphorscutaciossthedivisions
ofpsychoanalytic, philosophicalandpoliticalhelds,

___g
principle is the analysis of a tension between the alwasalred
(indeed,essentially)spIItuno ,e

notmunage to hx itselfin the intelligible and instituted foims ofa


society, the social only exists, howevei, as an effoit to constiuct that
impossibleobect. '``'Society'istheimpossibleobectoftheopeiations
ofthesocial, ustas,wemightsay,the'[acobinimaginaiy'hguiedasan
emptyandillusoiypiospectfortheopeiationsofthepolitica|.
The Unsatisfactory Term 'New Social Movements'
If, in theii constitution of 'society' as an impossibility, Laclau and
Mouffediawontheideasofotheipost-stiuctuialistthinkeissuchas
DeiiidaandLacan,itwillbeconcededevenbytheiisteinestciiticsthat
I DEOLOGY, POLI TI CS, HEGE MONY 25 I
intheiianalysisofthe 'newsocialmovements'theyhavedeliveiedan
oiiginal andhighlyinHuentialdevelopmenti npolitical thought. An
obviousexplanationoftheenoimouscuiientinteiestintheiiwoi ki s
thatitspeakstoapioblem theweighttobeattachedtosocialclassas
op_osedtootheisalieii uivisionssuchasgender,ethnicityoiage,foi
example thathas exeicisedanaoiholdon both academicanalyses
adoniactical political activity acioss the traditional Right/Left
spectium.
Ontheacadem|cfiont,wehaveseenavarietyofdebatesaioundthis
topic, laigely (not surprisingly) in Maixisanttieatments ofsociology,
politics and economics. Paitly these debates concein the massive
ietheorizationiequiiedtoapplyMaix'sownconceptsanddesciiptors
to societies whose class stiuctuies and ielationships have changed
iadicallyintheensuingcentuiyheieonecouldpointschematicallyto
the debates aiound the woik on class of Erik Olin Wright and
Caichedi,aroundthequestionsthatcontinuetoarisefromthewritings
of Poulantzas on politics and class and fiom the ievolution in
'rethinking Maixism' speaiheaded by the economists Steve Resnick
and Rick Wolff, and indeed one could also mention the maoi
developments knownundertheumbiellaheadingof'iationalchoice
theoiy'asitcontinuestosweepaciosstheheldofwhatwemightstill,
iatherloosely, call Marxism. Inallofthesedebates, theiehasbeena
potentialfoiengagementwiththeactualitiesofnon-class divisions,but
(toexpressthesituationtactfullyLishasiemainedmmanyinstancesa
potentialiatheithananettletobegiasped.
Partly, too, academic debates around class have taken place in a
consciousdialoguewiththewoikoffeministsandthewritingsofthose
who have sought toiethinkclass inielation to the naorconcein of
national identity and nationalistpolitics, a as in ielation to the
ist+es oIethnicityand cistn. Itisperhaps woithstiessinghowrich
andvaiiedthechallengeto'classpiimacy'hasbecomeinsocialscience.
whole schools of thought now exist devoted to the ways in which
housing, for example, oi life-cycle effects, cut acioss cheiished
assumptionsaboutthedeterminingeffectsoIsocial class. Soitseens
veryceavtht a iaoicalnewtheoiizationofpolitics,inwhichtheiconic
factoiof classisdiamaticallyshiftedfro::i isp;iygos|iotr wouId
be of gieat inteiestto nnypeople. (Why Laclau and MoufFe'sbook
has been taken upsoextensively inliteiarycriticaltheoryis a moie
complexquestion,whichIwillnottakeupheie.)
Intermsofpiactical politics, theiecanbenodoubtthatHegemony
and Socialist Strategy addresses a pioblem of tiemendous pertinence
and signihcance. 1his is, peihaps, mostobviouslytiue ofthebelea-
gueiedLeft,whichhashad,i navaiietyofcontexts,toiethinknotonly
252 MAP P I NG I DEOLOGY
its images of class themselves but the iole i t should occupy i n'left'
politics moie geneially, wheie it is incompetition with the claims of
enviionmentalism,gayiights, feminism,anti-iacism,andsoon.Aswe
nodoubtallknow,disputeonthisquestionhasconceinedtheLeftveiy
deeplyiniecent yeais. 1he'coalitionpolitics'toemeigefiomsomeof
thesepoliticalinteiactions,ofw+TpcHpsthemostnotableexample
in iecent yeais has been the [esse [ackson campaign foi the US
piesidencyi nI 988, aieexactlywhatthebookaddiessesatatheoietical
level.Civen,howevei,thatithasbeentheRightandcentie(ceitainlyi n
Biitain and the USA) that have aiticulated some of these new
connections and meanings, we should not suppose at all that the
phenomenonisiestiictedtothepoliticsoftheLeft.
Laclau and Mouffe, piesumably sensitive to the piedicted chaige
thattheyaie moving iightwaids, suggestthattheiiiconoclasm about
socialclasspavesthewayfoianewpoliticaliadicalism.
The rejection of privileged points of rupture and the confuence of
struggles into a unifed political space, and the acceptance, on the contrary,
of the plurality and indeterminacy of the social, seem to us the two
fundamental bases from which a new political imaginary can be con
structed, radically libertarian and infnitely more ambitious in its objectives
than the classic left.
At the most elementaiy level the teim 'new social movements' is
unsatisfactoiy,to Laclau andMouffe amongotheis,inthatitencodes
itsownhistoiicmaiginality.1heseaie,piecisely,'new'movementsin
thattheyaienot class movements,andthisiefeiencebacktoclasswill
iemaintheieaslongasweusethatstyleofnomination. Whatisbeing
iefeiiedtoisthephenomenon,whichLaclauandMouffetiytolocate
histoiicallyinthewebofpost- I 945changesinlabouipiocess,stateand
cultuial diffusion, ofnew antagonisms beingaiticulated, in a novel
way,i nielationtoincieasinglynumeioussocialielations. Inpiactice,
the teim gioups togetheistiuggles as diveise as uiban, ecological,
anti-authoiitaiian, anti-institutional, feminist, anti-iacist, ethnic, ie-
gionaloithatofsexualminoiities' . `" Laclauand Mouffe seein these
stiuggles the aiticulation of antagonisms in a wide iange of sites
beyond the tiaditional woikplace in which class conHict has been
situated by Maixism, and they point, foiexample, to consumption,
seivicesandhabitatasteiiainsfoithesenewconHicts.
As well as extending such antagonisms fai beyond the limits
conventionally opeiating in Maixist analyses, they suggestthat the
buieauciatizationofpostwai(Westein,industiialcapitalist)societyhas
given iise to newfoims ofiegulation olsocial ielations. 1hey thus
iecast the aiguments ofFoucault and Donzelotby seeing as 'conse-
. . , . r . . . . . . . . 1 . . . . . . . . . . . u. .. z . . . .1. . .. .. , .. . , , . L t .1. . ..,. . . . . . , . 1
I DEOLOGY, POLI TI CS , HEGEMONY 253
multiple1oimsof vigilanceandiegulationi nsocialielationswhichhad
pieviouslybeen conceived as foimingpaitofthe piivate domain'.
Acknowledgingthefamiliaipoliticalambiguitiessuiioundingpolitical
iesistanceina'welfaiestate'context,LaclauandMouffe see,amongst
thevaiiousfactoisinplayinsuchstiuggles,anewlyaiticulatedbioad
spheieofsocial'iights'.Categoiiessuchas ustice' and'equality'have
been,i nasense,l;|ed.uvtbc qulatedwithin
ademociaticpoliticaldiscouise.LaclauandMouffeconl
_]
:hat
commodibcation and buieauciatization, and the iefoimulation ofa
libeialdemociatic political ideology, in which we
shouldundeistandtheexpansionofsocialconHictandtheconstitution
ofnewpoliticalsubects,whichintuintheydesciibeas'amomentof
deepeningofthedemociaticievolution' . ''
1hey add, howevei, that a thiid aspect of the new 'hegemonic
foimation of the post-wai peiiod' plays an impoitant iole. the
expansion of mass communication and the ietieat of tiaditional
cultuial identities. Laclau and Mouffe see, in the ambiguities of a
cultuial massib cationthatinteipellates subectsastheoietically equal
consumeisaswellaspiovidingsome elementswithsubveisivepoten-
tial, a geneial homogenization ofsocial life. 1hey point, in a veiy
inteiestingpassage,tothefactthatiesistancetothishastendedtotake
thefoim ofa'piolifeiationofpaiticulaiisms' andthe'valoiisationof
diffeiences" ' , especially those geaiedtothecieationofnewcultuial
identities. In these demands foi autonomy, sooften slighted bythe
Left foi theii appaient individualism, Laclau and Mouffe see a
iefoimulationofthedemandfoi'libeity'oneofthecentialthemesof
thedemociaticimaginaiy.'
InconsideiingLaclauandMouffe' saigumentingeneial,onemight
wanttodiawattentiontoakeyemphasisonwhattheydesciibeas'the
logic ofequivalence' . 1his can be explained as follows . the Fiench
Ran impoitant moment in the development of a
demociaticimaginaiyinthatitusheiedoutahieiaichicalsocialoidei
('iuledbyatheological-politicallogicinwhichthe socialoideihadits
foundationi ndivinwill') wheiepolitical discouise couldonlybethe
iepetitionandiepioductionofinequality.(Astiikinginstanceofthisis
thenotoiious English hymn veise he iich man in hiscastle,/1he
pooimanathisgate,/Codmadethem,highoilowly,/Andoideied
theiiestate. ') Heie let mequotea ciucial sentence fiom Laclau and
Mouffe. hisbieakwiththeancien regime, symbolisedbytheDeclai-
ationofthe Rights ofMan, would piovide the discuisiveconditions
whichmadeitpossibletopioposethediffeientfoimsofinequalityas
illegitimateandanti-natuial, andthusmakethemequivalentasfoims
ofoppiession. ''`1husthe'logicofequivalence'isboin.wehavemoved
fiom H socialov)n ects aie di1feientiallv.but!atcTiilIv.
254 MAP P I NG I DEOLOGY
positioned, to a social oidei i n which the demociatic pioect can
articulate itselfi na political discouise which takesthosediffeiential
positionings as an obect of struggle. So the demociatic ievolution
biings about a logic of equivalence, a logic of the compaiison of
subects that aie, essentially, constiued as equals, through its new
discouiseof'iights','libeity'and'equality'.
1hereaieambiguitiesattheheartofLaclauandMouffe'suseofthe
ideaof'equivalence'.Foionething,itisnotcleaihowthe'anti-natuial'
element of the demociatic imaginary could evei opeiate without
lapsing into the humanism and essentialism that they consistently
deploie. Secondly,thereisamoieconfusingambiguityastowhether
'equivalence'isbeingconstiuedassimilaito'equality',whichisattimes
implied,oiwhetheiLaclauandMouffe'slogicofequivalenceismoie
appiopiiately captuiedwithiefeienceto thechemical use ofequiv-
alencetodenotethepiopoitionalweightsofsubstancesequalintheir
chemical value. 1his would emphasize a notion ofequal value, but
intioducingthetensionbetweenequalityand piecisely~ diference is
difhculttosquaiewiththe'onemanonevote'[sic] logicofdemociatic
equality.
1heieis,howevei,noambiguityononecentialpointofthelogicof
equivalence, and this is the secondaiy place that class occupies with
iegaidtothepiioicategoryofthedemociaticimaginaiy.Laclauand
Mouffewiitethatsocialistdemandsaienotonly'amomentinternalto
thedemocraticrevolution'butaie'onlyintelligibleonthebasisofthe
equivalential logicwhichthelatteiestablishes
,
.''1heywiiteeailierof
Maixthathehadsoughttoiethinksocialdivisiononanewprinciple
thatofclass butthatthiswasundeiminedfiomthestaitby'aiadical
insufhciency,aiisingfromthefactthatclassoppositionisincapableof
dividingthetotalityofthesocialbodyintotwoantagonisticcamps',and
they comment that Maix's sociological predictions (about capitalist
societybecoming incieasingly polaiized) were an effoit to pioect a
futuiesimplihcationonasocial woildthatinMaix'sowntimedidnot
htaciudeclass-ieducedmodel.'1hus,i ngeneral,wehaveanaccount
ofMaixism's preoccupation with class as anaiticiilation ofpolitical
demandswhosepieconditionslayinthedemocraticievolutionofthe
centuiybefoie. HenceLaclauandMouffeseenoneedforsubsequent
antagonisms,andthe'new'socialmovementsaiticulatingthedemands
ofthoseoppiessedbythem,tocedeplacetoclassonthebasisthatsocial
class is a founding principle. It is only, in theii analysis, one of
numeious contiadictions that may by aiticulated within the pai-
ameteisofdemocraticpoliticaldiscouise.
I DEOLOGY, POLI TI CS , HEGEMONY 255
Post-Marxism, Discourse and Ideology
Severalmaoiconsideiationspiesentthemselvesinthinkingaboutthe
issues raisedbyHegemony and Socialist Strategy. I havetwo ieasons foi
takingitsciitiqueofMarxismveiyseiiously,andbothofthemrelateto
longstandingdifncultieswiththeaigumentsofMaixism. thehrstisthe
questionofsocialclass,inapoliticalenviionmentwheieitisincieas-
inglyobvioustoeveiyoneexceptthedogmatistsofthefarRightandfai
Left that social inequalities and political diffeiences simply cannot
plausibly be subsumed under oi ieduced to the question ofclass.
Hence any attempt to advocate new ways ofthinking about these
diffeientpoliticalstiugglesshouldbewelcomedandconsideied.
Secondly,LaclauandMouffe'sargumentaddiesses,althoughnotin
a piedictableway (as I shallexplain), thevexedquestion ofhowto
theoiizetheconceptofideology.I saythisisvexed,butitsvexatious-
nesshasapaiticulaihistoiyandwillbeofmoiesaliencetosomethanto
otheis.Within,ioughly,'socialist'veisionsoffeminismtheiehasbeen
anattempttousetheconceptofideologytotheoiizetheoppiessionof
women incapitalistsociety, butthis has iemained pioblematic,since
that theoiy is itself embedded i n an analysis that not only aigues/
assumestheprimacyofclassbutalsonoimallyconstiues ideologyina
deteiministmodel suchasthemetaphoiof'base andsuperstiucture' .
1heensuingpioblemwasiaisedbytheargumentsof aneailieibookof
mine i n which, accoiding to[ohanna Biennei and Maiia Ramas,
'ideology is Barrett's deus ex machina, hei means ofescape fiom the
vexing dilemma of the Marxist-ieductionist/dual systems idealist
impasse ofsocialist-feminist thought'. What, they and othei critics
wantedtoknow,wasthemateiialbasis inacapitalistsociety~ ofthis
ideologythatoppiessedwomen:'LaclauandMouffe,inieectingthe
'class-essentialist' logic ofMaixism, in providing so many arguments
against the automatic piivileging ofclass in Marxist analysis, have,
albeitveiycontentiously,struckattheheartofthispioblem.
In partthis isa ciisisof'class politics' and, as RichaidWiighthas
noted i n a reviewofthe diveigentresponses ofBaiiy Hindess and
EllenWood,ithaspioducedpolaiieactions .apiagmaticappioachto
classthathasbeenshoinofthetheoieticalpretensionoftheMaixist
model, andaieafhimationofclassicalclasspolitics.'1heieasonthe
polaiityhas developedisbecausetheposition ofaiguingindetailfoi
thecomplexitiesand specihcitiesofgendeiinrelationtoclass,against
the ceaseless reheaisal ofso-called ieceived truths about class, is an
unenviable one, andthe 'centre'ofthedebatehas, incieasingly, been
evacuated. It is not without interest that the theoretical models
attempting to reconcile conHicts between the claims of class and
256 MAP P I NG I DEOLOGY
gendei,astheseemeigei nsocialscienceanyway,havepiovedunequa|
tothetaskofdealingwiththe'newei'(tosome)questionsofethnicity
andiacism.AsIhavesuggestedelsewheie,itisasifexistingtheoiiesof
social stiuctuie, alieady taxed by attempting to think about the
inteiielationsofclassandgendei,havebeenquiteunabletointegiatea
thiidaxisofsystematicinequalityintotheiiconceptualmaps.Anditis
easytopoint,bycontiast, totheveiitableexplosionofwoikthatdoes
combine these thiee inteiests (the 'holy tiinity' of class, iace and
gendei)indisciplinesandgenieswheiethesestiuctuial/moiphologi-
calconstiaintsdonotholdbacktheexploiationofnewissues.
It mightbe ielevant to add, heie, that the geneial oiientation of
Laclau's eailiei woik ieecting the 'class-belonging' dimension of
political ideology has pioved a usefulfiamewoikfoithinkingabout
politicaldiscouiseinanuancedmannei. Ihavepieviouslymentioned
the inuence ofthatwoikon the exploiation, by Colin Meicei and
StuaitHall amongotheis, ofnationalism (the Ciamscian 'national-
populai'), patiiotism and 1hatcheiism, foi examp|e. 1he idea of
' po|itical discouise' , as aconceptthatcanaccommodate avaiietyof
gioups,demandsandinteiestsastheyaieaiticulated,openstheway
foian analysis ofgendeithatwasby dehnition maiginalized inthe
'ieectionofclass'schoolofthoughtaboutpoliticalideology.Wehave
ceitainlyseen, diawing|ooselyonthe ideas of'eailyLaclau', seveial
analyses ofcontempoiaiy politica| discouise as gendeied. they con-
sidei the ways in which, foi example, feminism and anti-feminism,
constiuctionsof'family'andsexuality,oiaiticulationsanddenialsof
women'siepioductiveiights,hguieinthediscouises."
Itiemainstobeseen,howevei,howfaiHcgcmonand Socialist Strategy
iea|ly does caiiy thiough its iconoclastic pioect of the complete
dismantlingofclasspiivilege.1osaythisisnottomakeacheappointof
theoideiof'caughtyouusingthewoidsociety'buttoaddiessamoie
seiiousissuethatsuifacesinielationtothemajoiityofpost-stiuctuialist
woik.1hisistheintiusion,oiietuinindisguise,ofelements(oftenof
the kindthatpostmodeinistsiefeitoas' metanaiiatives') whichhave
beenexplicitlyieectedelsewheieinthetextsinquestion.
Asfaias Lac|auandMouffe aieconceined, weieveitheietothe
questionoftheiipost-Maixism.Letmetakeasanexamplethesection
oftheiiaigumentwheietheysetoutthehegemonictiansfoimationof
thepostwaisocialoidei, i nwhichthey|ocatetheemeigenceofnew
social antagonisms andtheiiaiticulation in newsocial movements.`
Faifiomsubsciibingtoalogicof'contingency',thesequenceoftheii
piopositions, and the mode| of causality expounded i n them, aie
entiielychaiacteiisticofthetiaditionalpatteinsofMaixistthought. If
wetakethe sequence ofthe aigument hist, itisastonishingthat i n
I DEOLOGY, POLI TI CS , HEGEMONY 257
theiihistovicalieconstiuctionof thenewhegemonicsocialfoimation~
they automatically move hist to the 'economic pointofview' which,
diawingonthewoikofMichelAglietta,theyanalyseinteimsofthat
mostoithodoxofMaixistconcepts,commodihcation.1henwehavea
biiefiegistiationofenviionmentalanduibanissues,though,inteiest-
ingly, the aigumentheie does notopeiate by meansofany concept
equivalent to commodihcation. Net (and by contiast we hnd the
conceptofbuieauciatizationmobilized)LaclauandMouffe move,in
fact, to the state, and then on to politica| aiticulation and the
iefoimulation of libeial-demociatic ideology. 1he classical Maixist
mind-set~ economy, thenstate,thenideology,then'cultuie'~ isthen
fully completed in the addition of the 'impoitant aspect' of mass
communicationanditsnewcultuialfoims.So,whateveitheiitheoieti-
cal piotestations about the economy as 'thelastiedoubtofessential-
ism', it is undoubted|y tiue that i n one ofthe iaie places wheie a
substantive social/histoiical account is offeied in the book it exactly
iepioduces, in its own oideiing, that economistic and deteiminist
logic.
Asdoesthecontentoftheaigument, too, atthis point. 1hethesis
about capitalist development i n this peiiod is conceined with the
expansion ofcapitalist ielations into pieviously non-capitalist aieas,
but it iests on an extiaoidinaiy constiuction of capitalism as being
about'commodihcation'butnotnecessaii|yabout|aboui/capitalcon-
tiadictions. 1heywiite.'1odayitisnotonlyasselleisoflaboui-powei
tIat the individual issuboidinatedtocapital,butalsothiough bis oi
hei incoipoiation into a multitude ofothei socialielations. cultuie,
fiee time, illness, education, sexandeven death. 1heieispiactically
no domain of individual oi collective life which escapes capitalist
ielations . ' ' 1he entiie discussion ofthis phenomenon is it:teiesting
in that it is unciitically couched within a Maixist ieading of this
histoiicalpiocessthathaslongbeenchallenged ontheonehandby
the Foucault'Donzelot position ofthe histoiical emeigence of 'the
social', and on the othei by feminist insistence on the non-capitalist
powei ielations at play in the woild of the ' piivate domain'. So,
althoughLaclauandMouffe gestuiei nthediiection offeminismby
noting the suboidination of women i n tiaditional community net-
woiks, they adopt a highly 'functionalist' and 'ieductionist' and
classicallyoithodox' Maixist'foimulationaboutthewelfaiestateand
theiepioductionoflaboui-powei,andonewhichhasbeenexplicitly
ciiticizedbyfeminists. Andwhatisinteiestingabouttheiiconstitution
of'capitalism'isthatitiemains anelementalandundehnedagentin
the aigument~ yet an agentwhose existence theyhave, i n geneial
teims,challenged.
258 MAP P I NG I DEOLOGY
IfallthisistosaythatLaclauandMouffe aie'stilltooMaixist' a
position taken in Landiyand Maclean'sieadingofthe text` ~ itisa
fai ciyfiom theusual tenoi ofiesponsestothebook. Mostofthese
havetakenthefoimofpolemicalengagementwiththeapostasy,fiom
a Maixist point of view, of Laclau and Mouffe' s aiguments. Ellen
Wood, to take oneofheiciiticismsat iandom,accusesthemof'not
only a bieathtaking misieading ofMaix, but also a veiy substantial
failuieofieasoning'.'Manyofthesedebatesaie conceined, whichI
am not, with a doxological iestatement of the piimacy of class to
Maixisttheoiy andpiactice, but some issuesaiewoith iecapitulating
biiey. Oneoftheseisthe questionofmateiialism, and the issue of
whethei Laclau and Mouffe's ieection of the discuisive/non-
discuisive distinction necessaiily makes them 'idealist' . I have sug-
gestedeailieithatitdoes not, andthattheiiuse ofthecategoiy dis-
couise is defensible i n ielation to what people like to call 'the ieal
woild'. theelementaiypointtomakeisthatdiscouiseis 'ieal'.Intheii
ieplytoaciitiqueby NoimanCeias,LaclauandMouffe explain,with
some examples, the sense in which they use the teim 'discouise',
whichis debnedi nthebookas thestiuctuiedtotalityiesultingfiom
aiticulatoiypiactice. Fiistofall but itis asouiceofsomemisundei-
standing theyincludewithinthecategoiyofdiscouisebothlinguis-
tic and non-linguistic phenomena discouiseis nota textoispeech
oisimilai.1heteimis piincipallyconceinedwithmeaning, andthey
give the example (which Ceias nnds ' pationizing' but otheis have
founduseful)offootball.
If I kick a spherical object in the street or if I kick a ball in a football match,
the physical fact is the same, but its meaning is different. The object is a foot
ball only to the extent that it establishes a system of relations with other
objects, and these relations are not given by the mere referential ma
teriality of the objects but are, rather, socially constructed. 55
1heexample is helpful in that it answeis those who thinkthattheii
useoftheteimdiscouiseisinsomewayathieattoontologicalieality.
theydonotdisputeiefeientialmateiiality('thediscuisivechaiacteiof
anobectdoesnot,byanymeans,implyputtingitsexistence intoques-
tion') butinsistthatthemeaningofphysical obects mustbeundei-
stood by appiehension of theii place in a system (oi discouise) of
sociallyconstiuctediules.Whatappliestofootballs,wecouldadd,ap-
pliestotanks,policehoises,ails,hghteibombeis,andanyotheima-
teiialappuitenances ofthe suppiessionofthewoikingclass. Laclau
and Mouffe aie not 'collapsing' oi 'dissolving' eveiything into dis-
couise. they aieinsistingthatwe cannot appiehend oi think ofthe
I DEOLOGY, POLI TI CS , HEGEMONY 259
non-discuisive othei than in contextualizingdiscuisivecategoiies,be
theyscientihc,politicaloiwhatevei.
Relatedtothisisthequestionofielativism. Itissometimesassumed
thatLaclauandMouffemustbetakingupapositionofepistemological
ielativism,butnothingcouldbefuitheifiomthecase.Asmayieadily
be noted, although 'tiuth' is always theoieticallycontextual in theii
fiameofiefeience, theieisnoshoitageoftiuthclaims in theiiown
theoieticaldiscouise.Oneinteiestingexampleheieistolookattheii
tieatmentofthequestionofideology,foisolongastumblingblockin
teimsoftheassignationofiealinteiests,coiiectconsciousness,andso
on. LaclauandMouffe'sattachmenttoepistemologicalsecuiityissuch
thatthey eventakeon, within the teims oftheiiown model, theold
conundiumaboutwhetheipeoplecanbesaidtobe' oppiessed'ifthey
themselves donotthink they aie. 1hisis thesubectofa fascinating
distinction thatthey diawbetween 'suboidination' and 'oppiession' .
thefoimeisimplymaiksasetofdiffeientialpositionsbetweensocial
agents,wheieasthelatteiiequiiesapointexterior tothediscouisefiom
whichfoi'oppiession'toexistthediscouiseofsuboidinationcanbe
inteiiupted. Andust foi those whostillseeielativism as indexically
linked to piivileging the discuisive, let me quote theii dehnition of
'ielationsofdomination' . 'thoseielations. . . whichaieconsideiedas
illegitimatefiomthepeispective,oiintheudgement,ofasocialagent
exteinaltothem'.Faifiombeing'ielativist',theseconhdentfoimu-
lations, spoken natuially fiom the position oftheudging exteinal
agentiatheithanthatoftheudges,eiionthesideofbeinghaidto
ustifyinepistemologicalteims.
SoitispeihapsnotsuipiisingtohndLaclauandMouffeoffeiingus
a defence ofthe 'ciitical' , 'epistemological' view ofideology, but of
couise a fundamentally iefoimulated one. 1heie aie points in the
aigumentofHegemony and Socialist Strategy wheieonecansaythatfoi
Laclau and Mouffe something is 'essentially' of such and such a
chaiactei, and this is an impoitant iecognition. A key point of
inteiaction between epistemology and the geneial conceins I have
indicated about ideology can be found in the conclusion ofLaclau's
aiticle he Impossibility ofSociety' . Heie Laclau claiihes the solid
epistemologooftei antsntialism' . ' Wecannotdo
t1c concept of misic nition, piecisely because the veiy
asseition that the identity nd homogeneity of social agents is an
illusion" cannot be foimulated without intioducing the categoiy of
misiecognition. ' Hence Laclau concludes that both the categoiy of
idcqoyand.tb at oJ_ji jiq

c:) :ctaincd,butby1nc:ting
their r|dilinp nent. he suggests that'the idJg_c_|yo |.not
consistofthemisienitionofapositivessenccanillusionastoieal
260 MAP P I NG I DEOLOGY
classinteiests,forexample], but ex

onsist
oftIe non-vccogiitionof aou ca positivity,of
thp

t_pan.y utlmute-s ure. ' 1he s

bstantivethesisput
foiwardhere~ thatideologyisavainattempttotmposeclosuieona
social woild whose essential chaiacteristic is the inb nite play of
difIeiencesandtheimpossibilityofanyultimatehxingofmeaning ~ is
thuscouchedinafiamewoikinwhichthetiaditionaldistinctionwithin
Maixismbetweenknowledgeandideological'misrecognition'is(para-
doxicallytosome)ietained.
Ingeneial,peihapsitwouldbeagoodthingforMaixiststolookat
the woild, even ifonly foi anexpeiimental (butitwould have to be
open-minded) period, thiough the glasses ofLaclau and Mouffe. It
certainlyisa difIeientplace,anddespiteal l theiehnedanddetailed
aigumentsabouttheiithesesoneisleftwithasensethatthesepeople
have woken up one moining and, simply, seen 'society' diffeiently.
1hisisapossibleinterpietationofPaulHiist'sdiffeientiationbetween
himselfandAlthusser.'Heconceivessocialielations. . . I,ontheother
hand,consideisocialielations . . . .'Whatmakesthepassageinteiest-
ingistheasseition,coolandieHectivewithonlyahintoftheex cathedra,
ofasimplediffeienceofview.Muchaiguedoveiinthepast,butnowa
diffeienceofvisioniatheithanopinion.
Peihapsonecoulddrawananalogywiththenoimalcurveonwhich
IQ testing iests. Leave asidefoithe moment the moiass ofdetailed
pioblems about whethei IQ tests aie cultuie-bound, or iacist, and
considei the moie fundamental question of whether intelligence
occuisthioughthe populationon thebasisofa'noimaldistiibution'
withiegiessiontothe mean. Stiictly speaking, thiscannotand could
notbe pioved, but people continue to 'measuie IQ' on a basis that
makes sense only if this assumption is tiue. Some of Laclau and
Mouffe'sargumentscanbeiesponded toatthelevelofwhetheithey
aiesubstantivelyaccuiate(ifyoulike,thelevelofwhetheiIQtestingis,
within its own terms, obective), but some of theii aiguments are
chaiacteiistically'post-stiuctuialist'inthattheyliftusoutoftheframe
of iefeience in which we began (of denying, oi queiying, the
pioposition about the noimal curve, and hence delegitimating the
wholeexeicise) . 1hemostinterestingexampleofthistypeofaigument
is the tieatment, in Hegemony and Socialist Strategy, ofthe issue of
'positivity'and'negativity'inasocialcontext,anditistoheiethatIwant
toioundoffthisdiscussion.
It is curiously distuibing to encountei the woid ' positive' as a
negativeterm,butthisisindeedhowitbguiesinLaclauandMouffe's
text. Whatdoesitmeantoadvocateamovement'beyondthepositivity
` =--*
ofthesocial':I havetiiedto explicate earlierwhatismeantbythisi n
I DEOLOGY, POLI TI CS, HEGEMONY 261
thecontextofthei mpossibilityLf'society',andof thepiopositionthat
thesocialisalwaysanattemptatsutuieiatherthanacompleteclosuie.
Inmoiegeneialteims,however,LaclauandMouffe aieinhaimony
withastiandofmodeinphilosophythatmightgoundertheheadings
ofacelebiationofnegativity,aceitain nihilism,adelighti ndestiuc-
tion/deconstruction, an emphasis on meaninglessness. All these cui-
ientscanbefound,asismentionedinthebook,inmodernEuiopean
philosophy,fiomSaitre'sexistentialismtothemoie'negative'sideof
thephenomenologicaltiadition,i nHeidegger,Nietzscheandpartsof
Wittgenstein. In this sense, contempoiaiy post-stiuctuialism has a
longhistoiyintwentieth-centuryEuropeanphilosophy,andthisisthe
contextinwhichweneedtoieadLaclauandMouffe. Whatisuniqueto
themisthe pioectofa rigoious ie-engagementoi ieieadingofthe
Maixisttraditionofpoliticalthoughtthroughthelensoftheseideas.
AttheheaitoftheiiproectisaiecognitionthatMaixismdeliveis
someelementsofthis'negative'woild-view,butis,i ncontiast,byand
laigewhat1impanaiohascalled'tiiumphalist'initsoiientation. Marx-
ismwasboinofaconb dentmoment,indeedanimpeiialistone,andit
speaksthat'Victoiian'senseofconquestofthenatuialwoildi nMaix's
foundingideasabouthumannatuieandhumanlaboui. `AsLaclau
puts it. 'it would be absurd to deny that this dimension ofmastery/
tianspaiency/iationalism ispresentin Maixism' . Ratheidisaimingly,
Laclau,in summaiizingthe'negative' dimension ofMarxismthathe
b ndsinspiiing(negativity,stiuggle,antagonism,opacity,ideology,the
gapbetweentherealandthesensual),commentsthatfoithisreading
tobepossible,onehastoignoieatleasthalfofMaix'swoik. 'Itisfor
thisieasonthatHegemony and Socialist Strategy is'post- Maixist'.Laclau,
intheslightlylateraiticlefromwhichIamnowquoting,seesthenega-
tive dimension as the founding one. 'it the moment ofnegativity]
shonefoiustabriefmomentintheoreticaldiscouise,onlytodissolve
aninstantlateiintothefullpositivitywhichieabsoibedit~positivityof
historyandsocietyastotalisationsoftheiipaitialpiocesses, theposi-
tivityofthesubect~ thesocialclasses asagentsofhistoiy'.Laclau's
toneiselegiachere,andindeedhegoesontociteStalinastheendpoint
oftheafbimationofpositivityi nMaixism.
1heiecanbenodoubtthattheciitiqueof'positivity'andthecritique
ofessentialist thought, which are applied by Laclau and MoufIe to
Maixism, aie aspects of a bioadei challenge to a wide vaiiety of
thought. 1he article to which I have ust iefeiied is, in fact, a
consideiationbyLaclauofpointsofcompaiisonbetweenthis'reading'
ofMaixism (now 'post-Maixism') and psychoanalysis. Here, Laclau
offerssomelinksbetweentheLaclau/Mouffeconceptionofhegemony
(dislocation,theattemptatsuture)andaLacaniannotionof'lack',and
262 MAP PI NG I DEOLOGY
heiecommends a possible conHuenceofpost-Maixism and psycho-
analysis'aioundthelogicofthesignib eiasalogicofunevennessand
dislocation' . ' WhatLaclaudoesnotmentionatthispoint,howevei,is
thatthis ieadingofpsychoanalysisiequiresustoignorenotusthalf
but almost all of 'psychoanalysis', and take up a stiictly Lacanian
inteipretation. Foiabout 90 peicentofpsychoanalysis is buidened
withaleadenweightofessentialismanditis,infact,onlytheLacanian
iewoikingofthetheoiythathasstiippeditofthesepositivities .Hence
it could be moie appiopiiate to be discussing a conHuence of
'post-psychoanalysis'withpost-Maixism.
Atthis pointwemighttuintoCharles[encks'susefulcommenton
'thepaiadoxicaldualism'thatthehybridteim' postmodeinism'entails .
itis,hewiites,atoneandthesametimethecontinuationofmodernism
anditstianscendence.SoitiswithLaclauandMouffe,whoseworkin
some iespects remains locked inside a Maixist fiamewoik and in
otheis breaks outintoan altogetherdiffeientphilosophicalfiameof
iefeience.Andifyouconcludethatthe'axioms'ofMaixism,paiticu-
laily with iegaid to the ielationships between class, ideology and
political discouise, aie not self-evidently tiue in the contempoiaiy
world, then their challenge to Maixism's class essentialism will iep-
resentaconsiderableciackingindeed,collupse oftheMaixistmodel.
Notes
1 . Antonio Gramsci, Selections from the Prison Notebooks, eds, Quintin Hoare and
Geoffrey Nowell-Smith, London: Lawrence & Wishart 1 976, pp. 376-7.
2. Ibid. , pp. 325-6.
3. Ibid.
4. Antonio Gramsci, Selections from Cultural Writings, eds, David Forgacs and
Geoffrey Nowell-Smith, London: Lawrence & Wishart 1 985.
5. Perry Anderson, 'The Antinomies of Antonio Gramsci', New Left Review 1 00,
1 976-7.
6. Stuart Hall, Bob Lumley and Gregor McLennan, 'Politics and Ideology: Gramsci',
in Centre for Contemporary Cultural Studies, On Ideology, London: Hutchinson 1 984;
originally pubd in Working Papers in Cultural Studies 10, 1 977. I am indebted i n this
account to the exposition of Gramsci in this admirably clear essay.
7. Anderson, 'Antinomies', p. 49.
8. Stuart Hall, Rethinking the "Base and Superstructure" Metaphor', in Jon
Bloomfield, ed. , Class, Hegemony and Party, London: Lawrence & Wishart 1 977, pp. 65-6.
9. Ernesto Laclau, Politics and Ideology in Marxist Theory: Capitaism, Fascism, Populism
London: New Left Books 1 977; and Hegemony and Socialist Strategy, London: Verso 1985.
1 0. See the discussion of reductionism as a major problem i n Marxist 'explanations' of
women's oppression in Michele Barrett, Women's Oppression Today: The Marxist/Feminist
Encounter, 2nd edn with new Introduction, London: Verso 1 988, pp. 23 ff. A more recent
trend is to clear away the entire problem of reductionism, by abandoning the focus on
pre-given interests characteristic of classical Marxism; see, for example, Barry Hindess,
'The Problem of Reductionism', in Politics and Class Analysis, Oxford: Basil Blackwell
I DEOLOGY, POLI TI CS , HEGEMONY 263
1 987; and LesJohnstone, 'Class and Political Ideology: A Non-reductionist Solution?' , i n
Marxism, Class Analysis and Socialist Pluralism, London: Allen & Unwin 1 986.
I I . Laclau, Politics and Ideology, p. 1 1 3.
1 2. Ibid., p. 1 42.
1 3. Ibid., p. 1 35.
1 4. Ibid. , pp. 1 08-9.
I S. Colin Mercer, 'Fascist Ideology', in James Donald and Stuart Hall, eds, Politics and
Ideology, Milton Keynes: Open Univeristy Press 1 986, p. 237.
1 6. See Stuart Hall and Martin Jacques, eds, The Politics of Thatcherism, London:
Lawrence & Wishart 1 983; and especially Hall's 1 979 essay 'The Great Moving Right
Show'; Stuart Hall, The Hard Road to Renewal, London: Verso 1 988.
1 7. Hall, 'Great Moving Right Show' , p. 29.
18. Stuart Hall, 'Authoritarian Populism: A Reply', N ewLeJt Review 1 5 1 , 1 985, p. 1 1 9.
1 9. Bod Jessop et al. , 'Authoritarian Populism, Two Nations and Thatcherism', New
Left Review 1 47, 1 984.
20. Hall, 'Authoritarian Populism' , p. 1 20.
2 1 . Laclau, Politics and Ideology, pp. 60-61 .
22. See, for example, Ellen Meiksins Wood, The Retreat from Class: A New 'True'
Socialism, London: Verso 1 986; Norman Geras, 'Post-Marxism?', New Left Review 1 63,
1 987.
23. Laclau and Mouff e, Hegemony and Socialist Strategy, p. 2.
24. ' In the sense given to this term by Jacques Lacan (and generally used substan
tively) : one of the three essential orders of the psycho-analytic feld, namely the Real, the
Symbolic and the Imaginary . . . :. For further exposition of the concept, see J.
Laplanche and J. - B. Pontalis, The Language ofPscho-Analysis, London: Hogarth Press
1 973, p. 2 1 0.
25. Laclau and Mouffe, Hegemony and Socialist Strategy, p. 67.
26. Ibid.
27. Ernesto Laclau, 'The I mpossibility of Society', Canadian Journal of Political and
Social Theory, 7, I and 2, 1 983.
28. Laclau and Mouffe, Hegemony and Socialist Strategy, p. I I I ; Jacques Derrida, Of
Grammatology, trans. G. C. Spivak, Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press 1 974,
p. 1 58.
29. Laclau and Mouffe, Hegemony and Socialist Strategy, p. I I I .
30. John Urry, unpublished talk at the Universityo fSurrey, 1 990.
3 1 . Laclau and Mouffe, Hegemony and Socialist Strategy, p. 1 05.
32. Ibid., p. 88, n. I .
33. Donna Landry and Gerald Maclean, 'Reading Laclau and Mouffe' (forthcoming).
34. Laclau and Mouffe, Hegemony and Socialist Strategy, p. 88, n. I .
35. Ibid., p . 1 1 2 ; Jacques Derrida, 'Structure, Sign and Play', i n Writing and Diff erence,
London: Routledge & Kegan Paul 1 978, p. 280.
36. Laclau and Mouffe, Hegemony and Socialist Strategy, p. 1 1 2.
37. Ibid.
38. Ibid., p. 1 52.
39. Ibid., p. 1 59.
40. Ibid., p. 1 62 ; see also Jacques Donzelot, The Policing of Families, London:
Hutchinson 1 980.
4 1 . Laclau and Mouffe, Hegemony and Socialist Strategy, p. 1 63.
42. Ibid., p. 1 64.
43. Ibid., p. 1 55.
44. Ibid., p. 1 56.
45. Ibi d. , p. 1 5 1 .
46. Johanna Brenner and Maria Ramas, 'Rethinking Women's Oppression', New Left
Review 1 44, 1 984, pp. 68-9.
47. Richard Wright, review, RethinkigMarxism 1 , 2, 1 988, p. 1 70.
48. Barrett, Women's Oppression Today, p. x.
49. See Stuart Hall' s work, especially Politics ofThatcherism; Gill Seidel, ed. , The Nature
264 MAP P I NG I DEOLOGY
of the Right, Amsterdam: John Ben jamins 1 988; Ruth Levitas, ed. , The Ideology of the Nw
Right; and MicheleJean et al. , ' Nationalism and Feminism i Quebec, i R Hamilton}nd
M. Barrett, eds, The Politics oj Diversily, London: Verso 1 986.
50. Laclau and Mouffe, Hegemony and Socialist Stra1egy, pp. 160 ff.
5 1 . Ibid., p. 1 61 .
5 2 . Donzelot, Policing oj Families; Leonore Davidoff and Catherine Hall give a
different account of the gendered character of the 'private sphere' in Family Fortunes,
London: Hutchinson 1 987.
53. Landry and Maclean, 'Reading Laclau and Mouff e'.
54. Wood, RetreatJromClass, p. 59.
55. Ernesto Laclau and Chantal Mouffe, 'Post-Marxism without Apologies' (A Reply
to Norman Geras), New LeJt Review 1 66, 1 987, p. 82.
56. Laclau and Mouffe, Hegemony and Socialist Strategy, p. 1 54; see also Richard Rorty,
Consequences ojPragmatism, Minneapolis: Minnesota University Press 1 982, pp. 166-7.
57. Laclau, ' Impossibility of Society', p. 24.
58. See Sebastiano Timpanaro, On Materialism, London: Verso 1 980.
59. Ernesto Laclau, 'Psychoanalysis and Marxism', in The Trials ofPsychoanalysis, ed.
Franoise Meltzer, Chicago University Press 1 988, p. 1 43.
.
60. Ibid., p. 1 42.
6 1 . Ibid. , p. 1 44.
62. Charles Jencks, What Is Post-moderism? London: Academy Editions 1 986, 1; 7.
======== !
[

Doxa and Common Life : An


Interview
Pierre B ourdieu and Terry Eagleton
Tcrr) aglcton Hello and welcome. Pierie Bourdieu and I will
discuss some of the themes in our new books ~ piimarily his book,
Language and Symbolic Power, butalsomybook,I deology. l Andthenwe
willinvitequestionsandcomments.
Iwouldliketowelcomeyou,Pierre,ononeofyourtooraievisitsto
this country. Weare delighted toseeyouandtohavethesetranslated
essays. Oneofthethemesofyourworkisthatlanguageisasmuch or
is perhaps more - an instrument of power and ofaction than of
communication. 1hisisathemethatinfoimseverythingyouwritein
thisbookandthatleadsyoutobepropeilyhostile,asIwouldseeit,to
any mere semiotics. Youwanttolookinsteadatwhatyou call at one
point'thesocialconditionsoftheprod' andalso,I
suppose, a7oios ti;iof utterances. In other
words, youareavgungthat what matteis in:alk lndiscourse,isnot
somepoweiinheientin languageitself,butthe kind ofauthority or
1egitimacy with which it is backed. And that leads you to mobilize
concepts that, I think, many ofus are very familiarwith fromyour
otherwork- such as 'symbolic power', 'symbolicviolence' , 'lipguistic
capital'andtherest IvuIh!cuaskyouxether!havegotthisiight
..o+.-.|.|~these piocesses might relate to the concept of
ideology-aretheysynonymous,oiideologyforyousomethingquite
different: 1he concept ofideology does sometimes crop up in your
woik,butitisnotacentralconcerni nthisparticulaibook.
What follows is an edited transcript of a discussion -one in a series of Talking Ideas'
between Pierre Bourdieu and Terry Eagleton that took place at the Institute of
Contemporary Arts, London, on 15 Ma y 1 991 +
266 MAP P I NG I DEOLOGY
PicrrcBourdicu 1hankyoufoiwhatyousayaboutmybook,inonly
afewsentences youhavesummaiizedits main intention,soitis now
easierfoimetoansweithequestion. Infact,Itendtoavoidthewoid
'ideology' because, as your own book shows, it has very often been
misused,oiusedinaveiyvaguemannei. Itseemstoconveyasoitof
disciedit.1odesciibeastatementasideologicalisveiyoftenaninsult,
so that this asciiption itself becomes an instrument of symbolic
domination. I have tried to substitute concepts like m|
.
__qqmi
nation' os_ymolicp,owcr'.o: sbolic vio};'_oi the concept of
ideoinoidertotrytocontiolsomeoftheuses, oiabuses,towhich
itissubect.1hioughtheconceptofsymbolicviolenceI trytomake
visibleanunpeiceivedfoimofeveiydayviolence.Foiexample,heiein
thisauditoiiumnowI feelveiyshy, I amanxiousandhavedifbculty
foimulating my thoughts. I am under a strong foim of symi
violencewhichisrelatedtothe l

t tlattlelgageistdI
dont1eelcac it++onoIhis audience.I thinkthattheconceptof
ideoJogy couldnot convcy thai, oi itwoulddosoin amoiegeneral
mannei. Sometimes we mustiefurbish concepts b ist, to be moie
piecise,andsecond,tomakethemmoiealive.Iamsuieyouagieethat
theconceptofideologyhasbeensousedandabusedthatitdoesnot
woik any moie. We no longeibelieve in it, and it is impoitant, foi
example in political uses, to have concepts that aie efbcient and
effective.
T 1hispromptsmetoexplainwhyIstillwiiteaboutideology,even
thoughI agieewithwhatyousayaboutthefrequentvaguenessofthe
concept and that theie aie many diffeient notions of ideology in
circulation. Mybookwaspaitlyanattempttoclaiifytheconcept.Ialso
thinktheieaieieasonsnowwhytheconceptofideology seems tobe
supeiHuousoiiedundant,andI tiytolookattheseinmybooktoo.
Oneisthatthetheoiyofideologywouldseemtodependonaconcept
ofrepiesentation, and ceitain models ofiepiesentation have been
calledinto question and therebyalso, soitis thought,the notion of
ideology.Anotheiieason~ peihapsamoreinteiestingone~isthatitis
oftenfeltnowthatinoideitoidentifyafoimofthoughtasideological
youwould need tohave some kind ofaccesstoabsolutetiuth. Ifthe
idea of absolute tiuth is called into question then the concept of
ideologywouldseemtofalltothegroundwithit.
1hereaietwofuitheireasonswhyitseemsthatideologyisnolonger
afashionableconcept. Oneiswhathasbeenca|led'enlightenedfalse
consciousness' ,namely, thatina postmodein epoch the idea that we
simplylabouiundeifa|seconsciousnessistoosimp|e thatpeopleaie
actually much more cynically oi shiewdlyawaie oftheii values than
DOXA A ND COMMON LI FE 267
Jat would suggest. 1his again calls the concept of ideology into
question. Finally, there is the aigumentthat what keeps the system
goingislessihetoiicoidiscouisethan,asitweie,itsownsystemiclogic.
theideathatadvancedcapitalismwoiksallbyitself,thatitdoesn'tany
longer need to pass thiough consciousness to be validated, that it
somehow secu:esitsown iepioduction. I actually am dubious about
whetheiallofthatissufb cienttoditchtheconceptofideology.Iaccept
theieisaforceinthosevariouspoints,butIsupposeoneieasonIwant
toietaintheconceptofideo|ogyisthatI dothinktheieis something
that coiiesponds to the notion of false consciousness, and I am
inteiestedinyouiownwoikinthatiespect.CanIputitthisway.when
youuse conceptslike doxa, spontaneousbeliefoi opinion, thenina
sense those aieopeiatingas notionsofideology foiyou,inthatdoxa
wouldseemunquestionableandnatuial.Ontheotheihand,doesthat
allowyoutotalkaboutfalseconsciousnessinthescnseoffalsenotions
orpropositionsthatactuallysustainunustsystemsofpowei: Doyou
wanttotalkaboutfalseconsciousnessonlyinteimsofnatuializationoi
univeisalization, oi would you want to talk in moie epi stemological
termsabouttheielationoffalseoitrueideastosocialieality.
PB I agiee with the hist part ofyoui ieasoning the doubts you
expressed abouttheconceptofideology. I agreeand can expand on
youiobections. Inpaiticulai,Ithinkthatoneofthemainusesofthe
conceptofideologywastomakeastiongbieakbetweenthescientist
andothers.Foiexample,AlthusseiandthoseinHuencedbyhimmade
aveiyviolentsymbolic use ofthe concept. 1hey usedit as a soitof
religiousnotionbywhichyoumustclimbbydegieestothetiuth,nevei
beingsuretohaveachievedthetiueMaixisttheoiy.1hetheoiistwas
abletosay'Youaieanideologist'.Foiexample,Althusserwouldiefei
disparagingly to the 'so-called socia| sciences' . It was a mannei of
making visible a soit ofinvisible sepaiation between the tiue know-
ledgethepossessoiofscienceandfalseconsciousness.1hat,Ithink,
is veryaiistocratic indeed, oneofthe reasonswhy I don'tlikethe
woid'ideology'isbecauseoftheaiistocraticthinkingofAlthussei
So now to move on to moie familiai giound. why do I thinkthe
notionofdoxaismoreuseful:Manythingsthataiecalledioeologyin
Maixist tiadition in fact opeiate in a veiy obscuie mannei. Foi
example,Icouldsaythatalltheacademicsystems,alltheeducational
systems,aieasoitofideologicalmechanism,theyareamechanismthat
pioduces an unequal distribution of peisonal capital, and they
legitimate this pioduction. Such mechanisms are unconscious. 1hey
aieacceptedandthatissomethingveiypoweiful,whichisnotgiasped,
inmyview,inthetiaditionaldeh nitionofideoIogyasrepresentation,
268 MAPPI NG I DEOLOGY
as falseconsciousness.I thinkthatMaixism,i nfact,iemainsa oitof
Caitesian philosophy,inwhichyouhaveaconsciousagentwhoisthe
scholai, the leained peison, andtheotheiswho don't haveaccessto
consciousness. We have spoken too much aboutconsciousness, too
much in teims ofiepiesentation. 1he

social w

ild

teimsofconsciousness,it;rmsofpiactces,mecapj.
.|,.w

ccept

i+

wingthem,
ndthat whatiscalledideology. In myviewwe mustwoikwitha
philosophy of change. We must move away fiom the Caitesian
philosophyoFtheMaixisttiaditiontowaidsadiffeientphilosophyin
which agentsaienotaimingconsciouslytowaidsthings,oimistakenly
guided by false iepiesentation. I think all thatis wiong, andI don't
believeinit.
T IfI haveundeistoodyou,theconceptofdoxaiswhatmightbe
called a much moie adequatetheoiy ofideology. But I have two
woiiiesaboutthatiefoimulation, whichIwouldliketoexplain.Oneis
thattheconceptofdoxastiessesthenatuializationofideas.While this
doesallowyoutolookatq

scioushaj) __'tjttoo;p.'
claimthatallsymbolicviolenceoiideologyisactuallynat

lize hat
is,an'ieole vaycc sceptical, of
those values and beliefs, and neveitheless continue to confoim to
them: Don'tyouiathei oveistiess, i notheiwoids,thenatuializing
functionofideologyoidoxa:Andsecondly,aieyounoti ndangeiof
accepting too quickly the idea that people do legitimate pievailing
foimsofpowei:1heieaiepiesumablydiffeientkindsoflegitimation,
allthewayfiom anabsoluteinteinalizationofiulingideastoamoie
piagmaticoiscepticalacceptance.Whatioomdoesyouidoctiineleave
foithatkindofdissent,ciiticismandopposition:
PB 1hat is a veiy good question. Even in the most economistic
tiadition that we know, namely Maixism, I |]) tbcapac-or
iesistance,asacapacityofconsciousness,was oveiestimated.Ifeaithat
whu1J!absa.ockgriechooente1nlectuals,
especiallyfoithemoiegeneious,left-wingintellectuals. I amseenas
pessimistic, as discouiaging the people, and so on. But I think it is
betteitoknowthetiuth,andthefactisthatwhenweseewithouiown
eyes peoplelivinginpooiconditions suchasexisted,whenI wasa
youngscholai,amongthelocalpioletaiiat,thewoikeisinfactoiiest
iscleai that theyaiepiepaiedtoaccept much moie than wewould
havebelieved. 1hatwasaveiystiongexpeiiencefoime. th) l
withagieatdeal,andthisiswhatI meanbydoxathat (
u e_cp_ _pgv1-,uanexampletaken
fiomouisociety.Whenyouaska sample ofindividualswhataiethe
D OXA AND COMMON LI FE
269
main factois ofachievementatschool, the fuitheiou go down the
socialscaletJenoy gifts -Hc moie
iheybeIieveti" tse'wno'afesuccessflare'naturany-e-ndwed ;{th
intellectualcapacities. Andthe moietheyaccepttheiiown exclusion,
themoietheybelievetheyaiestupid,themoietheysay,'Yes, Iwasno
good at English, I was no good at Fiench, I was no good at
mathematics. ' Nowthatisafact inmyviewitisanappallingfact one
that intellectualsdon' tlike toaccept,butwhichthey mustaccept. It
doesn'tmeanthatthedominatedindividualstoleiateeveiything,but
asenmuchmorc1hanvc1ccvcaiio nucn mc thanth
lnow1idablemechnism, Iikc the meI s,sten - a
ondeiful instiumentofideology, much biggei and moie poweiful
thantelevisionoipiopaganda.1hatisthemainexpeiienceI wantto
convey.Whatyousayaboutthecapacityfoidissentisveiyimpoitant,
thisindeedexists,butnotwheiewelookfoiit ittakesanotheifoim.
T Yes, you dotalkaboutwhatyoucall 'heteiodoxy', whichis an
oppositional kindoflanguage. What Maixists call pessimismi nyoui
woik,youyouiselfwouldsee,piesumably,asiealism.Onemayagiee
withthat,butontheotheihandI knowthatyou don'twanttosound
toomuchlikeMichel Foucault. You don't wish, by viitueofstiessing
that mateiial iealism, to move into a theoiy of powei which you
youiselfhave ciiticized, I think quite piopeily, as too abstiact, too
metaphysical,tooall-peivasive,andyouwanttoleaveioomfoisome
kindofpoliticalopposition.Myobectiontotheideaofdoxaisthatyou
seem to be savin that theie is inteinalization of dominant and
~ ' :" ' '```` `` ` '+ ,,'"" .. L"_""',.,,,"."'I-,_.n'" ,;-],, ^1*P ^-
oiessivebeliefs, buttheieisalso,inasecondmovemert,somethin
a1ebiokun gBi
+n'ttL

|.
|

icA A:aiicauvngi, !utI-uonot


itselfamoiecontiadictoiyaffaii:1hatis,can peoplebelieveand not
believe,oibelieveatdiffeientlevels:
PB No. 1hat isielatedtothepiogiammeofthephilosophyofman
wehave,ofthephilosophyofaction,andsoon.Iwouldsaythataslong
as you think i n teims ofconsciousness, false consciousness, uncon-
sciousness, andso on, youcannotgiasp themainideologicaleFects,
whichmostofthetimeaietiansmittedthioughthebody.1hemain
mechanismofdominationopeiatesthioughtheunconsciousmanipu-
lationofthebody.Foiexample,I haveustwiittenapapeiaboutthe
piocessesofmaledominationinaso-calledpiimitivesociety.1heyaie
thesameasinouisociety,butalotmoievisible. Inthefoimeicasethe
dominated peisons, thewomen, acquiie domination thiough bodily
education. I couldgointodetail foiinstance,giilsleaintowalkina
deteiminatemannei,they leain tomove theiifeetinapaiticulaiway,
270
MAP P I NG I DEOLOGY
theyleaint ohide theii bieasts. When they leaint ospeak, they don't
say'I know' , they say'Idon'tknow'.Eoiexample,ifyouaska
"
oman
foi diiections, she will say 'I don't know',ve
_9 |
piocess, bu__ge)) |j,p| J e .
1anguuge,hroughthebody,thiough atti tu

;,,,t
,

_
.,
cus: t1 isnotmechanistic,itdoes
-.:ieftouonclosn
_
soon as wethinkm thoseteims, it
becomes cleaithat the woikofemancipation is veiy difhcult, it is a
questionofmentalgymnasticsasmuch asconsciousness-iaising.And
asintellectualsweaienotusedtothat.Icallitascholasticbias~abiasto
whichweaieallexposed..:Ii

stt
only
thioughconsciousness.AndthatiswheieI diffeifiomEoucaut,and
wo+i .... aconvast with his impoitant concept of discipline.
Discipline, in Eiench at least, points towaids something exteinal.
Disciplineisenfoicedbyamilitaiystiength,youmustobey.Inasense
itiseasytoievoltagainstdisciplinebecauseyouaieconsciousofit.In
fact, I thinkthatinteimsofsymbolicdomination,iesistanceismoie
difhcult,sinceitissomethingyouabsoiblikeaii,somethingyoudon't
feelpiessuiedby, itiseveiywheieandnowheie,andtoescapefiom
thatisveiydifhcult.Woikeisaieundeithiskindofinvisiblepiessuie,
h
l
ch:f t
t
,
o
:;;
nechanismofsymbolicviolence,dominationtendstotakethefoimof
amoieeffective, andinthissensemoiebiutal,meansofoppiession.
Considei contempoiaiy societies in which the violence has become
soft,invisible.
TE Iwouldsuggesttheieisakindofiionytheie,becauseontheone
handyouaieieactingagainstwhatyouseeasanexcessiveemphasison
consciousness. I thinkthatisiight,butsomeoftheMaixisttiadition
has iegisteied that too. At the same time that you weie developing
thesetheoiies, the Maixisttiaditionitself, in thewoikofAlthussei,
whateveiitslimits,wastiyingtoshifttheconceptofideologyon toa
much less conscious, and much moie piactical, institutional place,
whichinawaycomescloseipeihapstoyouiownposition.
I would like to considei the point about political opposition oi
pessimismfiomadiffeientpeispective,onethatinfoimsavitalaieaof
youiwoiknow. Youtalkveiyboldlyand, I think,veiyimaginatively,
'
_
9.8 \7||bc riccorthcalueoF utia
.
nces'yi
'
e
foimation' anq ibeaelytransose .. awhoc t!!lc
l

ge
,
i
'''
o
'

'''/0!ulv. 3phei cs, andyou speakofthe


held ofstiuggle in which people tiy to amass an amountofcultural
capital, whetheiineducationoitheaitsoiwhatevei.Ithinkthisisveiy
DOXA AND COMMON LI FE 271
illuminating, notleastyouistiessthati nlookingatthe phenomenon
ofait,wecan'tgodiiectly to thewholesocialheld,but havetopass
through thepaiticulaiaitisticcultuialheldhist. I thinkthatisenoi-
mouslyuseful.Howevei,couldn'titbeaiguedthatyoucomeoutwith
a notion ofthe whole of human piactice, action and language as a
wai, in which playeis will tiy toinciease theii stakes, to investmoie
effectively tothe detiiment ofothei playeis: 1hat is atiuedesciip-
tionofmanyheldsofouiexpeiience,bu_ej ut,mso
discouise,otheifoiias_,ctiop
hichyou couldn'tconceptualizeso
_(p_i(i (eims:
PB You aie youiselfgivinga good example ofthe fact that such
foims exist, thiough youi sympathetic engagement with my ideas!
Anyway, thatis animpoitantquestion,andone that I askmyself, I
agiee that it isa pioblem. I don'tknow why I tend to think in those
teims~ I feel obliged to by ieality. My sense is that the kind ofex-
changewe aie nowengaged inis unusual. Wheie this happens, itis
the exception based on what Aiistotle called ko 'philia'] ~ oi
fiiendship, to usea moie geneial expiession. 0o is, accoidingto
Aiistotle, aneconomicexchangeoisymbolicexchangethatyoumay
havewithinthefamily,among paientsoiwithfiiends. I tendtothink
thatthestiuctuie o[_g;pjth|g_ _
,chtbnt-compctitinn ..... . .. ___ 99!
i
9|!0... ... V .
jnevit_}c . It is evidentin the economicheld, but evenin the ieligious
heldyouwill hnd the desciiption isiight. In mostbelds,wemayob-
seivewhatwech_otionIovmmuIatinofdiffev
ent foims of capital (ieligious capital,ccon capital, andso on),
and tthey aie, the un distoited communication ie-
feiiedtobyHabeimasisalwaysanexception.Wecanachievethisun-
distoitedcommunicationonlybyaspecialeffoitwhenextiaoidinaiy
conditionsaiefulhlled.
Iwouldustaddawoidonthe

Ig(y): liguisticexchange
and economic excha

g, whichyouiefeiiedtoust now. 1his anal-


ogy,i nmy view,isveiy fiuitful i nundeistandingmany phenomena
thatcannotbetieatedsimplyascommunication,aslanguagepioduc-
tion. Some English philosopheis, like Austin, made a point ofthis,
they sawthe piesence ofveiy impoitant things in language like
givingoideis,foiexample,oimakingannouncements~ whichdonot
confoimtothecommunicationmodel. Manythingscannotbeundei-
stoodinteimsofpuiecommunic q; anpvoic
om a

nalogJ

1joly togiaie and to give to an insight of


analyticalphilosophyasociologicalfoundation which itlacks. I don't
ciiticizeAustin, I saythathedoesnotgiveafullaccountofthesocial
272
MAPPI N G I DEOLOGY
conditionsofpossiLilityofthepiocesshedesciiLesSo,thoughI may
seemveiyfaifiomthisphilosophyoflanguage,Iaminfactveiyclose.
TE Cleaily,youaiethinkingsociologicallyasmuchassemiologically.
RunningthioughoutthewholeofyouiwoikisasoitofsteadysuLtext
which isa deep preoccupationwiththe conditions ofyourownwoik
itself oimoregenerally,withthedifhcultyofasociologicaldiscourse
that seeks, forwhatevei good, potentially emancipatoiy, reasons to
analysethccommonlife.1hatis,theieisaveiypoweifulcommitment
i nyourwoik notalwaysexplicit,LutpiesentasakindofsensiLility -
towhat one might inadequatelycall 'the commonlife' . 1his isone of
many ways inwhichyoui woikpaiallelsthatofRaymondWilliamsi n
thiscountiy.Butofcouiseitisdifhcultfoiasociologistinvolvedina
highly specialized discouiseto take that commonlife as an oLectof
analysisor even ofcontemplation. You, like myself, don'tcomefiom
anintellectualLackgiound, anditseemsto methatyouiwoikis very
inteiestingLecauseitismaikedLy thetensionLetween some senseof
commonvalue that has nothingtodo with intellectin the hist place,
andtheotheidimension whichisveiymuchtoanalyse theacademic
institutionthesocialconditionofintellectualsanditsimplications Do
you think this Liogiaphical circumstance helps to explain youi
preoccupations:
PB What you say is very sympathetic and generous. You have
expressed my personalfeelingexactly. I tiy to puttogetheithe two
paits ofmylife, as many hist-geneiation intellectuals do.
.
Some use
differentmeans~foiinstance,theyhndasolutioninpoliticalaction,in
some kind of social iationalization. My main proLlem is to try and
undeistandwhathappenedtome. MytiaectorymayLedesciiLedas
miiaculous, I suppose anascensiontoaplacewheieIdon' tLelong.
And so to Le aLle to live i n a woild that is not mine I must try to
undeistandLoththings .whatitmeanstohaveanacademicmind~ how
suchiscreated~ andatthesametimewhatwaslostinacquiiingit. For
thatieason,eveni fmywoikmyfullwoikisasortofautoLiography,
it is awoikfoipeople whohavethe samesoitoftiaectoiy, andthe
sameneedtoundeistand.
TE Wehave sometimeforquestions oicomments. Would anyone
liketotakeupanyofthepointsiaisedinthediscussion:
I t has been advanced as an argument against the 'concept ofideology that Marxism
credited people with too much abiliy to recognize the truth, and that those further
down the social scale are less likely to recognize it. Isn't it more the case that people
further down that scale don't have the economic power that would enable them to go to
discussion groups and escape from the narrow circle oftheir home lfe and recognize
DOXA AND COMMON LI F E 273
other possibilities? Do you think the part this has to play is more signifcant than
intellectual capabilities - that people have the potential to recognize the wider truths,
but their economic and family situations prevent them from reaching them?
T I aigue inmyLook that the fullLusiness ofinternalizing,legiti-
mating the authoiitative power is itself a complex mattei which ie-
quiies capacity, intelligence. A degiee ofcieativityis needed evento
acceptthatoneisLeingdehnedinanegativeway,aslowonthescaleor
asoppiessed. And itisa paiadox, I think,that

e
v
dominantpoweiisnevei ustaea: ~oftakingitinto
youi-cI!obe,l|csta!!nabouImustlc thme c-ven-!1.
;I;;ani owet, to dehnebemseIvesi nielationto
il. I wouldhavethoughtthat muchofPieiieBouidieu'swoikisaLout
theconditionsinwhichpeoplecanorcan'tacquiiecapital.
PB 1heieisasoitofde facto divisionoflaLouiofsocialproduction
withrespectto mjorvaiietiesofexperience. Veiyoftenthe peisons
whoaieaLleto speakaLoutthesocialwoildknownothingaLoutthe
socialwoild, and the people who doknow aLoutthesocialwoildaie
notaLletospeakaLoutit.IfsofewtiuethingsaiesaidaLoutthesocial
woild, the reason lies in this division. Foi example, doxa implies a
knowledge,apracticalknowledge.Woikeisknowalot. moiethanany
intellectual,moiethananysociologist.Butinasensetheydon'tknow
it,theylacktheinstiumenttogiaspit,tospeakaLoutit.Andwehave
thismythologyoftheintellectual whoisaLletotiansfoimhisdoxic
expeiiences, hismasteiyofthesocialworld,toanexplicitandnicely
expressed piesentation. 1hat is a very difhcult pioLlem foi social
ieasons. Foi example, if the intellectual tiies to iepioduce the
expeiience ofa woikei, as i n Franceaftei 1 968, he encounteis the
experienceofawoikeiwholacksthehaLitsofanintellectual.Manyof
thethingsheisappalledataieinfactquiteiun-of-the-mill.HemustLe
aLletoincludei nhisvisionadesciiptionofthewoikei'sexperience
thefactthatitisanexpeiiencefiomhis pointofview. Andthatisveiy
difhcult.Oneoftheieasonswhyintellectualsdon'tpayattention,inmy
view,isthattheyhaveveiymanyinteiestsielatedtocultuialcapital.I
willgiveyouanexample.I wasalwaysshockedLywhatMaixsaidaLout
Proudhon, hewasveiyhaidonhim. Marxsaid. ' HeisastupidFrench
petty-Louigeois' , thatProudhononlywiitesaestheticsfiomthepoint
ofviewoftheCieek aesthetes, thatPioudhonwasveiynaive. Maix,
foihispait,leaintCieek,whenhewaseighteenhewasaLletowiitein
Cieek. He condescended to Pioudhon as a pooily educated petty-
Louigeois,wheieasMaixhadhadtheclassicaleducationLehttingthe
sonofahighfunctionaryofthePiussianmonaichy. Suchdistinctions
aieveryimportant. WhenyoulookfoitheciumLsofMaixism,they
274
MAP P I NG I DEOLOGY
aie theie. 1hey come liom the
-
aiiogance olthe intellectual
cult_rI

capitulhe behavioui antbcu:anysivu


;
gles ocIrng
paitiesaieielatedt thatntellectualshatea

se
.

ieis

hey
`
ve,oitantto knowallthese thmgs, and so,
.
loithatiea

on, the
piocess ol sell-ciiticism,
.
whi
'
h
'
ne c

n
.
piact

se by studymg the
intellectual academic mmd, b vrtal t b as rt weie, a necessaiy
peisonalc.nditionloianykindolcommunicationonideology.
Can I shift your attention to the arts for a moment. I am interested in the way the
ideology ofsymbolic capital rests on arts and aesthetics, which you attack in both
distinctions. At the "end ofyour book you aTgue that people across the social scale
subscTibe to the univeTSal classifcation sstem. They by into Kantian aesthetics /Tom
the top to th bottom ofthe social range. What happens to the economy of symbolic goods
when taking into account, say, Fredric] ameson' s claim that theTe is a prolferation of
new cultural codes? Ifit i tTue that theTe i a pmliferation ofnew codes, how does it
relate to your analysis ofsymbolic power?
PB 1hatisadilhcultquestion.Inmyview,theieaiehigheimaikets,
places i nwhichthe dominantcode iemains absolutely elhcient, and
these places aie wheie the main games aie played ~ that is, the
academic system (in Fiance, the Ciandes coles system, the places
liom which the executives aie selected) . Since ! have woiked on
cultuialthemes,!willaddiessthesei nmyanswei. Wehaveaieheaisal
ol the old idea that mass cultuie, populai cultuie, and so on, is
giowing, that people aie blind to that, that they aie unconsciously
attachedtothe dilleience olcultuies. Itis a loim oldominantchic
among intellectuals to say 'Look at these caitoons, ' oi some othei
cultuialitem, 'do they not display gieat cultuial cieativity: ' Such a
peisonissaying'Youdon'tseethat,but! do, and!amthehisttoseeit. '
1hepeiception maybe valid, buttheie isa n oveiestimation olthe
capacityolthesenewthingstochangethestiuctuieolthedistiibution
olsymboliccapital.1oexaggeiatetheextentolchangeis,inasense,a
loim ol populism. You mystily people when you say 'Look, iap is
gieat. ' 1he question i s. does thisuusic ieally change the stiuctuieol
thecultuie:! thinkitishnetosaythatiapisgieat,andi nasenseitis
betteithanbeingethnocentiicandtosuggestthatsuchmusichasno
value,buti nlactitisamanneiolbeingethnocentiicwhenyoufoiget
what iemains the dominant loim, and that you still can't iealize
symbolicpiohtslyomiap,inthemainsocialgames.!ceitainlythinkwe
mustpayattentiontothesethings,buttheieisapoliticalandscientihc
dangei i noveiestimatingtheii cultuialelhcacy. Depending on the
placei nwhich! speak,!couldbeononesideoitheothei.
You say that symbolic violence is violence. What do you mean by that?
DOXA AND COMMON LI FE 275
PB ! believe that violence takes moie sophisticated loims. One
exampleisopinion polls atleastinFiance. (! wastoldthatheieitis
dilleient,butinFianceopinionpollsaieamoiesophisticatedloimol
giaspingopinion than the simple contact between political men and
theiiaudience. ) Opinionpolls aiean eapJp(Ic kind+1manpu-
lationwe have been oscussinga new loimolsymbolicviolenceloi
whichnobodyhaslulliesponsibility. Iwouldnccotwohouis tocll yot.
howi lssime the milpiilaiio is so complex. ! think that no
moiethantenpeopleundeistandwhathappens noteventhepeople
who oiganize the polls. Foi example, the political men - those in
goveinment don'tknowhowthe piocess opeiates,andittheieloie
goveinsthem. ItisacomplexstiuctuiewithalotoldilIeientagents.
ouinalists, opition-pollmakeis,intellectualswhocommentonpolls,
1Vi ntellectuals (whoaieveiyimpoitanti nteimsolpoliticalellect),
political men, and so on. All these peisons aie in a netwoik ol
inteiconnections, and eveiyone mystihes the otheis and mystihes
himsellbymystilyngtheotheis. Nobodyisconsciousolthepiocess,
and itwoiks i nsuch a manneithatno onecould say thatFiance is
simply goveinedby opinion poll. 1o undeistand that, you need an
instiument much moie sophisticated than the methods tiaditionally
used.Isaythattoalltheunionleadeis.! tellthem.youaielate,weaie
thiee wais on, you aie thiee class wais too late, you hght with
instiuments suitedtotheclass stiuggleolthenineteenthcentuiyand
youhaveinliontolyoulo;ns.op.o.w.crhatcr)~!!:lvalcd
I was very interested to hear the reference to the 'rst-generation intellectual', and to
the trajectory ofsuch a person. For obvious reasons it i still a fairly rare breed; but
since that breed is now itself at the age ofbreeding, what about the children ofsuch
people? Do thy become second-generation intellectuals? Do they merge seamlessly into
the middle classes or do they form some kind ofsubculture? I am asking this ofboth of
you, partly because my own experience makes me despair ofwhat seems to happen -the
subsequent generation appears both to lose the strengths ofthe working-class tradition
and somehow never completely goes into the middle-class tradition - and I would be
interested in the comments ofsuch frst-generation intellectual on this.
TE Well, my childien wouldn't touch an intellectual with a baige-
pole' Ithinktheyiegaideducationasbouigeoisideology,whichisveiy
convenientloithem!Youaieiight.1heieissomethinginwhatyousay
aboutbeingneitheionethingnoitheothei,but! don'tseewhythat
should necessaiily be a souice oldespaii. I think that could be an
rnteiestingpositiontobein, couldn'tit: Suchageneiation,olcouise,
aienotwoiking-classanymoieustastheiipaientsaien'tanylongei
woiking-classbuttheyhavealsoseentheiipaientsinactionandhave
apiopeisuspicionolintellectuals. Inotheiwoids,theydon'tthinkthat
theansweiistobeanintellectual.
276 MAPP I NG I DEOLOGY
I'd like to pick up on a point Pierre Bourdieu was making about the young intellectual
talking about rap, and shrting the focus to culture. Don't you think that with yo
;
;r
notion of'habitus' you are in danger ofobfuscating the basic economic determinants of
people's possibiliiy for emancipation - by talking about capital and culture an
d
ideology, when, ultimately, if they haven't got the means to go an read a book then they
don't get emancipated in that way? The other thing I would like to question is the
notion of doxa. Ifpeople interalize their own domination, and in a sense it i
subconscious and they are happy with ii, then don't you run into trouble tring t
justify the idea of emancipation?
PB AieyousayingthatyoususpectI havea soitofintellectualbias
andthattheieisonlyonewaytoescape:Is thatyouiimpiession:
You criticize the young intellectual for talking about rp as if this was a means of
emancipation; but in your notion of 'habitus' you are incorporating culture U a
determinant, and it could be that focusing on culture in that wy shrts the emphasis
from economic determinants that do still provide access to means for emancipation.
TE Iwouldliketofoimulatethepointlikethis.Youiconcentiation
oncultuieisshiftingthe cmphasis awayfiomtheeconomicdeteimi-
nantsthatpieventpeoplefiombeingemancipated.Youaieieactingto
economismbyliftingeconomicimageiyintothecultuialspheieiathei
than by iegisteiing the weightofthe mateiial and economicwithin
cultuie.
PB Maybeyouaieright. I tendtobendthesticktoomuch,asMao
1se-tungsaid,whiletiyingtocoiiectthepieviousbias.Inthisdomain
thedominantciiticalvisionisi ndangeiofeconomism.Itendtoinsist
upontheotheiaspects,butmaybeI amwiong.Eveni fi nmyhead I
haveabetteibalance,Itend,inexpositionolmyideas,toinsistonthe
lesspiobable,lessvisible,aspect soyoumaybeiight.
TE 1hesecondpointisinteiesting aboutpeopleinteinalizingand
sofeeling happy with theii oppiession. Wouldn'tone haveto aigue
thattheycannotbeieallyhppyiftheyaieoppiessed:
But r you are talking about the subconscious - if part ofyour subconscious habitus
determines how you are -then it becomes ver diffcult to change it. Fair enough, you
can't attribute happiness, but at the same time you can't attribute sadness; whereas
Marxism and ideology would want to retain the notion ofthe actor fghting against
something that seems wrong. With doxa you lose that; you don't begin to wonder what
the point i there is no drive to emancipation.
PB I think this question ofhappiness isveiyimpoitant.1he doxic
attitude does not mean happiness, it means bodily submission,
unconscious submission, which may indicate a lot of inteinalized
tension,alotofbodilysuffeiing.Iamcuiientlyconductingasuiveyin
whichIinteiviewpeisonsofindeb nitesocialstatusthosewhooccupy
DOXA AND COMMON LI FE
277
placesthataiesubecttopoweifulcontiadictions.AndItiytobemoie
Sociatic than is usualvhen makingpositivistic suiveys . I tiytohelp
themtoexpiesswhattheysuffei. I havediscoveiedalotofsuffeiing
which had been hiddenby this smooth woikingofhabitus. Ithelps
people toadust,butitcausesinteinalizedcontiadictions. Whenthis
happens,somemay,foiinstance,becomediugaddicts.Itiytohelpthe
peison whoissuHeiing,to make theii situationexpliciti na soitof
socioanalysisconductedinafiiendlyandsuppoitiveway.OftenwhenI
dothat, theindividualsexpeiienceasoitofintellectualpleasuie,they
say'Yes,Iundeistandwhathappenstome. ' Butatthesame timeitis
veiysad. I lackthepositiveconhdencethatpsychoanalysts have, they
expectconsciousnesstobeataleofsadness,andiespondwithsadness
whentheindividualsays'Lookwhathappenedtome. Isn'titteiiible:'
1osomeextentsocialwoikislikethat. whenyoudoit,itpunishesyou.
1hisisasituationthataiisesveiyoften,anditdoesnotcontiadictwhat
I sayaboutdoxa. Onemaybeveiywelladaptedtothisstateofaffaiis,
andthepaincomesfiomthefactthatoneinteinalizessilentsuffeiing,
which may b nd bodily expiession, in the foim ofself-hatied, self-
punishment.
Note
1 . Pierre Bourdieu, Language and Symbolic Power, Cambridge 1 99 1 ; Terry Eagleton,
Ideology, London 1 991 .
3
Postmodernism and the Market
Fredric] ameson
Linguistics has a useful scheme that is unfoitunately lacking in
ideologicalanalysis.itcanmaikagivenwoidaseithei'woid'oi'idea'
byalteinatingslashmaiksoibiackets.1husthewoidmarket, withits
vaiiousdialectpionunciationsanditsetymologicaloiiginsintheLatin
foitiadeandmeichandise,ispiintedas/maiket/.ontheotheihand,
theconcept,asithasbeentheoiizedbyphilosopheisandideologues
downthioughtheages,fiomAiistotletoMiltonFiiedman,wouldbe
piinted maiket.Onethinksfoiamomentthatthiswouldsolveso
manyofouipioblemsindealingwithasubectofthiskind,whichisat
oneandthesame timeanideology andasetofpiacticalinstitutional
pioblems, untiloneiemembeisthe gieat ankingandpinceimove-
mentsoftheopeningsectionoftheGrundri55e, wheieMaixundoesthe
hopes and longings foi simplib cation of the Pioudhonists, who
thoughttheywouldgetiidofallthepioblemsofmoneybyabolishing
money,withoutseeingthatitistheveiycontiadictionoftheexchange
system thatis obectib edand expiessed in moneypiopei andwould
continuetoobectifyandexpiessitselfinanyofitssimpleisubstitutes,
likewoik-timecoupons. 1heselast,Maixobseivesdiyly,wouldundei
ongoingcapitalism simply tuin back into money itself, and all the
pieviouscontiadictionswouldietuini nfoice.
So also with the attempt to sepaiate ideology and ieality. the
ideology of the maiket is unfoitunately not some supplementaiy
ideational oi iepiesentational luxuiy oi embellishment that can be
iemoved fiom the economic pioblem and then sent ovei to some
cultuialoisupeistiuctuialmoigue,tobedissectedbyspecialistsovei
theie. Itis somehow geneiated by the thingitself, as its obectively
necessaiy aftei-image. somehowboth dimensions mustbeiegisteied
togethei,intheiiidentityaswellasintheiidiffeience.1heyaie,touse
POSTMODERNI S M AND THE MARKET 279
a contempoiaiy butalieady outmoded language, semi-autonomous .
which means, i fi t i s t o mean anything, that they aie not ieally
autonomousoiindependentfiomeachothei,buttheyaienotieallyat
one with each othei, eithei. 1he Maixian concept ofideology was
always meant toiespectand to ieheaise and Hex the paiadox ofthe
meie semi-autonomy of the ideological concept, foi example, the
ideologiesofthemaiket,withiespecttothethingitself oiinthiscase
thepioblemsofmaiketandplanninginlatecapitalismaswellasinthe
socialistcountiies today. ButtheclassicalMaixianconcept(including
theveiywoidideolog, itselfsomethingliketheideologyofthething,as
opposed to its ieality) often bioke down in piecisely this iespect,
becomingpuielyautonomousandthendiiftingoffassheei 'epiphe-
nomenon'intothewoildofthesupeistiuctuies,whileiealityiemained
below,theieal-lifeiesponsibilityofpiofessionaleconomists.
1heieaie,ofcouise,manypiofessionalmodelsofideologyinMaix
himself. 1he following one fiom the Grundri55e and tuiningon the
delusions of the Pioudhonists has been less often iemaiked and
studied,butisveiyiichandsuggestiveindeed.Maixisheiediscussing
aveiycentialfeatuieofouicuiienttopic,namely,theielationshipof
theideasandvaluesofyeedomandequalitytotheexchangesystem.
and he aigues,ust like Milton Fiiedman, that these concepts and
values aie ieal and obective, oiganically geneiated by the maiket
systemitself,anddialecticallyaieindissolublylinkedtoit. Hegoeson
toadd~Iwasgoingtosaynowunlike MiltonFiiedman,butapausefoi
ieection allows me toiemembei thateven these unpleasantconse-
quencesaiealsoacknowledged,andsometimesevencelebiated,bythe
neo-libeials~ thatinpiacticethisfieedomandequalitytuinouttobe
unyeedomandinequality.Meanwhile,howevei,itisaquestionofthe
attitude ofthe Pioudhonists to this ieveisal, and oftheii miscom-
piehension oftheideological dimension ofthe exchange systemand
howthatfunctionsbothtiueandfalse,bothobectiveanddelusional,
whatweusedtotiytoiendeiwiththeHegelianexpiession'obective
appeaiance' .
Exchange value, or, more precisely, the money system, i s indeed the system
of freedom and equality, and what disturbs [the Proudhonists] in the more
recent development of the system are disturbances immanent to the system,
i . e. , the very realization of equaliy and freedom, which turn out to be
inequality and unfreedom. It is an aspiration as pious as it is stupid to wish
that exchange value would not develop into capital, or that labor which
produces exchange value would not develop into wage labor. What
distinguishes these gentlemen [in other words, the Proudhonists, or as we
might say today, the social democrats] from the bourgeois apologists is, on
the one hand, their awareness of the contradictions inherent in the system,
280 MAP P I NG I DEOLOGY
and, on the other, their utopianism, manifest i n their failure to grasp the
inevitable difference between the real and the ideal shape of bourgeois
society, and the consequent desire to undertake the superfuous task of
changing the ideal expression itself back into reality, whereas it is in fact
mere! y the photographic image [Licktbild] of this reality. 1
Soitisverymuchaculturalquestion(inthecontemporarysenseofthe
word), turning on the problem ofrepresentation itself. the Pr

ud-
honistsarerealists,wemightsay,ofthecorrespondencemodelvarety.
1hey think (along with the Habermasians today, perhaps) that
.
the
revolutionaryidealsofthebourgeoissystem~ freedomandequahty ~
arepropertiesofrealsocieties,andtheynotethat,whilestillpresentin
theUtopianideal imageorportraitofbourgeoismarketsociety,these
same features are absentandwoefully lacking when we turn to the
realitywhich sat as the modelforthat idealportrait. It willthenbe
enough to change and improve the model and make freedom and
equality hnally appear, for real, in Hesh and blood, in the market
system.
. .
But Marx is, so to speak, a modermst, and this particular theo-
rizationofideology~ drawing,onlytwentyyearsaftertheinventionof
photography, on very contemporary photogr

phi

hgur

(wh

re
previouslyMarxandEngelshadfavouredthe
.
pictor

ltrattion,
.
wit
itsvariouscameraobscuras~ suggeststhatthetdeologrcaldimensronrs
intrinsically embedded within the reality, which secretes it as a
necessary feature of its own structure. 1hat dimension is thus
profoundlyimaginaryinarealandpositivesense,tha
.
tistosay,ite

ists
andisrealinsofarasitisanimage,markedanddesttnedtoremarnas
such, itsveryunrealityandunrealizabilitybeingwhatisrealaboutit. I
thinkofepisodesinSartre'splayswhichmightserveasusefultextbook
allegoriesofthispeculiarprocess .forexam ple,thepassionatedesireof
Electrato murderhermother,which,however, turnsoutnottohave
beenintendedforrealization. Electra,afterthefact,discoversthatshe
did notreallywant her mother dead (dead, i . e. dead inreality) ,
whatshewantedwastogoonlonginginrage andresentmenttohave
her /dead/. And so it is, as we shall see with those two rather
contradictory features ofthe market system, freedom and equality.
everybodywantstowantthem,buttheycannotberealized. 1heonly
thingthatcanhappentothemisforthesystemtatgenerat

st
.
hemto
disappear,therebyabolishingthe'ideals'alongwithterea|ity
.
itself.
Buttorestoreto'ideology'thiscomplexwayofdealrngwrthrtsroots
inits own socialrealitywould mean reinventing the dialectic, some-
thingeverygenerationfailsinitsownwaytodo.Ourshas,indeed,
.
not
eventried,andthelastattempt,theAlthusserianmoment,longstnce
POSTMODERNI S M AND THE MARKET
281
passed under the horizon along with the hurricanes
.
of yesteryear.
Veanwhile,I havetheimpressionthatonlyso-calleddrscoursetheory
hastriedtohllthevoidleftwhentheconceptofideologywasyanked
alongwiththerestofclassicalMarxismintotheabyss.Onem

yreadily
endorse Stuart Hall's programme based, as I understand rt, on the
notionthatthefundamentallevelonwhichpoliticalstruggleiswagedis
thatofthestruggleoverthelegitimacyofconceptsandideologies.that
political legitimation comes from that.

nd that, for example,


1hatcherismanditsculturalcounterrrevolutronwerefoundedfullyas
muchonthedelegitimation ofwelfare-stateorsocial-democratic(we
usedtocallitliberal)ideologyasontheinherentstructuralproblemsof
thewelfarestateitself.
1hisallowsmetoexpressmythesisinitsstrongestform,whichisthat
the rhetoric of the market has been a fundamental and central
component ofthis ideological struggle, this struggle for the legiti-
mation or delegitimation of left discourse. 1he surrender to he
variousformsofmarketideology~onthe1e)t,I mean, nottomentron
everybody else has been imperceptible but alarmingly universal.
Everyoneisnowwillingtomumble,asthoughitwereaninconseq

en-
tial concession in passing to public opinion and current received
wisdom(orsharedcommunicationalpresuppositions),thatnosociety
can function efbciently without the market, and that planning is
obviously impossible. 1his is the second shoe ofthe destiny ofthat
olderpieceofdiscourse,'nationalization',whichitfollowssometwenty
yearslater,ustas,ingeneral,fullpostmodernism(part.cula

lyinthe
political held) has turned out to be the sequel, contrnuatron, and
fulhlmcntoftheoldhfties'end ofideology'episode. Atanyrate,we
were then willing to murmur agreement to the increasingly wide-
spreadpropositionthatsocialismhad nothing to dowitnationaliz-
ation,theconsequenceisthattodaywehndourselveshavrngtoagree
tothepropositionthatsocialismreallyhasnothingtodowithsocialism
itselfanylonger. he marketisinhuman nature'is theproposition
thatcannotbeallowedtostandunchallenged, inmyopinion,itisthe
mostcrucialterrainofideologicalstruggleinourtime.Ifyouletitpass
becauseitseemsaninconsequentialadmissionor,worseyet, because
you've reallycome tobelieve inityourself, inyour 'heart ofhearts
.
',
thensocialismand Marxismalikewillhaveeffectivelybecomedelegi-
timated,atleastforatime.Sweezyremindsusthatcapitalismfailedto
catchoninanumberofplacesbeforeithnallyarrivedinEngland,and
thatiftheactuallyexistingsocialisms godownthe drain, therewillbe
other, better, ones later on. I belicve this also, butwe don't haveto
makeitaself-fulhllingprophecy.InthesamespiritIwanttoaddtothe
formulationsandtacticsofStuartHall's'discourseanalysis'thesame
282 MAPP I NG I DEOLOGY
kindofhistoiical qualib ei. the fundamental levelonwhich political
stiuggleiswagedisthatofthelegitimacyofconceptslikeplanning oithe
market ~ atleastright now and inouicuiientsituation.Atfutuietimes,
politicswilltakemoieactivistfoimsfiomthat,ustasithasdonei nthe
past.
It must bnally be added, on this methodological point, that the
conceptual fiamewoik ofdiscouise analysis although allowing us
conveniently, in a postmodein age, to piactise ideological analysis
withoutcallingitthat isnomoiesatisfactoiythantheieveiiesofthe
Pioudhonists.autonomizingthedimensionofthe/concept/andcalling
it'discouise' suggests thatthis dimension is potentially unielated to
ieality and can be left to Hoat off on its own, to found its own
subdiscipline and develop its own specialists. I still piefei to call
/maiket/ what it is, namely, an ideologeme, and to piemiseabout it
whatone must piemise about all ideologies . that, unfoitunately, we
havetotalkabouttheiealitiesfullyasmuchastheconcepts.Ismaiket
discouisemeielyaihetoiic:Itisandisn't(toieheaisethegieatfoimal
logicofthe identity ofidentityandnon-identity) , andto getitiight,
youhavetotalkaboutiealmaiketsustasmuchasaboutmetaphysics,
psychology,adveitising,cultuie,iepiesentations,andlibidinalappai-
atuses.
But this means somehow skiiting the vast continent of political
philosophyassuch,itselfakindofideological'maiket'i nitsowniight,
inwhich,asinsomegiganticcombinationalsystem,allpossiblevaiiants
and combinations of political 'values' , options and 'solutions' aie
available,onconditionyouthinkyouaiefieetochoose amongthem.
In this gieat empoiium, foi example, we may combine the iatio of
fieedomtoequalityaccoidingtoouiindividualtempeiament,aswhen
state inteivention is opposed because ofits damage to this oi that
fantasy ofindividual oi peisonal fieedom. oi equality is deploied
because its values lead to demands foi the coiiection of maiket
mechanisms and the inteivention of othei kinds of 'values' and
piioiities.1hetheoiyofideologyexcludesthisoptionalityofpolitical
theoiics, not meiely because 'values' as such have deepei class and
unconscioussouicesthanthoseoftheconsciousmindbutalsobecause
theoiy is itselfa kind offoim deteimined by social content, and it
ieectssocialiealityinmoiecomplicatedwaysthanasolution'ieHects'
its pioblem. What can be obseivedatwoikheieis the fundamental
dialectical law of the deteimination of a foim by its content ~
something not active in theoiies oi disciplines in which theie is no
diffeientiationbetweenalevel of' appeaiance'andalevel of'essence',
andi nwhichphenomenalikeethics oisheeipoliticalopinion assuch
aiemodihablebyconsciousdecisionoiiationalpeisuasion.I ndeed,an
POSTMODERNI S M AND THE MARKET
283
extiaoidinaiyiemaikofMallaim' i l n'existed'ouveita laiecheiche
mentale que deux voies, entout,OU bifuiquenotie besoi n, a savoii,
l'esthtiqued'unepaitetaussil'conomiepolitique'suggeststhatthe
deepeiafhnitiesbetweenaMaixianconceptionofpoliticaleconomyin
geneialandtheiealmoftheaesthetic(as,foiinstance,inAdoino' soi
Benamin's woik) aie to be located pieciselyheie, in the peiception
shaiedbybothdisciplinesofthisimmensedualmovementofaplaneof
foimandaplaneofsubstance(touseanalteinativelanguagefiomthe
linguistHelmslev) .
1his would seem toconFimthetiaditionalcomplaintabout Maix-
ismthatitlacksanyautonomouspoliticalie ectionassuch,something
which,howevei,tendstostiikeoneasastiengthiatheithanaweak-
ness. Maixism is indeed not a political philosophy of the Weltan
schauung vaiiety, and in no way 'on all fouis' with conseivation,
libeialism, iadicalism, populism, oi whatevei. 1heie is ceitainly a
Maixistpiacticeofpolitics,butpoliticalthinkinginMaixism,whenitis
notpiacticalinthatway,hasexclusivelytodowiththeeconomicoigan-
ization ofsociety and howpeopleco-opeiateto oiganize pioduction.
1hismeansthat'socialism'isnotexactlyapoliticalidea,oi,ifyoulike,
thatitpiesupposestheendofaceitainpoliticalthinking.Italsomeans
thatwe do haveouihomologuesamongthebouigeoisthinkeis,but
theyaienottheFascists(whohaveveiylittleinthewayofthoughti n
thatsense,andhavei nanycasebecomehistoiicallyextinct)but,iathei,
theneo-libeialsandthemaiketpeople. foithemalso,politicalphilos-
ophy iswoithless (atleast onceyou get iid ofthe aiguments ofthe
Maixist,collectivistenemy), and 'politics' nowmeans simply thecaie
andfeedingoftheeconomicappaiatus(inthiscasethemaiketiathei
than the collectively owned and oiganized means of pioduction) .
Indeed, I willaigue the pioposition thatwe have much i ncommon
withtheneo-libeials,i nfactviituallyeveiything savetheessentials '
But the obvious must bist be said, namely, that the slogan ofthe
maiket not only coveis a gieat vaiiety of diffeient iefeients oi
conceinsbutisalsoviituallyalwaysamisnomei.Foionething,nofiee
maiket exists today in the iealm of oligopolies and multinationals .
indeed, Calbiaith suggested long ago that oligopolies weie oui
impeifectsubstrtutefoiplanningandplanib cationofthesocialisttype.
Meanwhile,onitsgeneialuse,maiketasaconceptiaielyhasany-
thngtodowithchoiceoifieedom,sincethoseaiealldeteiminedfoi
us in advance,whetheiwe aie talkingaboutnew modelcais,toys, oi
televisionpiogiammes . we selectamongthose, no doubt, but wecan
scaicelybesaidtohaveasayinactuallychoosinganyofthem. 1husthe
homology with fieedom is at best a homology with pailiamentaiy
demociacyofouiiepiesentativetype.
284 MAPPI NG I DEOLOGY
1hentoo,themaiketi nthesocialistcountiieswouldseemtohave
moie to dowith pioductionthanconsumption, sinceitisabove all a
question ofsupplyingspaie paits,components,andiaw mateiials to
othei pioduction units that is foiegiounded as the most uigent
pioblem(andtowhichtheWestein-typemaiketisthenfantasizedas
solution) . But piesumably the slogan of the maiket and all its
accompanying ihetoiic was devised to secuie a decisive shift and
displacement fiom the conceptuality of pioduction to that of
distiibution and consumption. something it iaiely seems in fact to
do.
Italsoseems,incidentally,toscieenouttheiatheiciucialmatteiof
piopeity, with which conseivatives have had notoiious intellectual
difbculty. heie, theexclusion of'theustihcationofoiiginal piopeity
titles'` will be viewed as a synchionic fiaming that excludes tle
dimensionofhistoiyandsystemichistoiicalchange.
Finally,itshouldbenotedthatintheviewofmanyneo-libeials,not
onlydowenotyethaveafieemaiket,butwhatwehaveinitsplace(and
whatis sometimesotheiwisedefendedas a 'fiee maiket'againstthe
Soviet Union) namely, a mutual compiomise and buyingoffof
piessuiegioups,specialinteiests,andthelikeisinitself,accoidingto
theNewRight,astiuctuieabsolutelyinimicaltotheiealfiee maiket
and its establishment. 1his kind ofanalysis (sometimes called public
choice theoiy) is the iight-wing equivalentoftheleftanalysis ofthe
media and consumeiism (in othei woids, the obligatoiy theoiy of
iesistance,theaccountofwhatinthepublicaieaandthepublicspheie
geneiallypieventspeoplofiomadoptingabetteisystemandimpedes
theiiveiyundeistandingandieceptionofsuchasystem).
1heieasonsfoithesuccessofmaiketideologycantheiefoienotbe
sought in the maiket itself (even when you have soited out exactly
whichofthesemanyphenomenaisbeingdesignatedbythewoid).But
it is best to begin with the stiongest and most compiehensive
motaphysicalveision,whichassociatesthemaiketwithhumannatuie.
1hisviewcomesinmany,oftenimpeiceptible,foims,butithasbeen
convenientlyfoimalizedintoawholemethodby CaiyBeckeiinbis
admiiably totalizing appioach. 'I am saying that the economic ap-
pioach piovidesavaluableunib edfiamewoikfoiundeistandingall
humanbehavioi. '`1hus,foiexample,maiiiageissusceptibletoakind
ofmaiketanalysis. 'Myanalysisimpliesthatlikesoiunlikesmatewhen
thatmaximizestotalhouseholdcommodityoutputoveiallmaiiiages,
iegaidlessofwhetheithetiaitishnancial(likewageiatesandpiopeity
income), oi genetical (like heightand intelligence) , oi psychological
(likeaggiessivenessandpassiveness) . 'Butheietheclaiifyingfootnote
isciucialandmaiksabeginningtowaidsgiaspingwhatisreallyatstake
POSTMODERN I S M AND THE MARKET
285
i nBeckei's inteiesting pioposal . 'Letmeemphasize again that com-
oodityoutputisnotthesameasnationalpioductasusuallymeasuied,
butincludes childien, companionship,health, andavaiietyofothei
commodities. ' What immediately leaps to the eye, theiefoie, is the
paiadox ofthe gieatest symptomatic signibcance foi the Maixian
theoieticaltouiistthatthismostscandalousofallmaiketmodelsisin
iealityapioductionmodel 'I nitconsumpt|onisexplicitlydesciibedas
thepioductionofa commodity oia specibc utility, inotheiwoids,a
use value which can be anything fiom sexual giatibcation to a
convenientplace to take itout on youi childien ifthe outsidewoild
piovesinclement.HeieisBeckei'scoiedesciiption.
The household production function framework emphasizes the parallel
services performed by frms and households as organizational units.
Similar to the typical frm analyzed in standard production theory, the
household invests in capital assets (savings), capital equipment (durable
goods), and capital embodied in its 'labor force' (human capital of family
members). As an organizational entity, the household, like the frm,
engages in production using this labor and capital. Each is viewed as
maximizing its objective function subject to resource and technological
constraints. The production model not only emphasizes that the house
hold is the appropriate basic unit of analysis in consumption theory, it also
brings out the interdependence of several household decisions: decisions
about family labor supply and time and goods expenditures in a single
time-period analysis, and decisions about marriage, family size, labor force
attachment, and expenditures on goods and human capital investments in
a life cycle analysis.
The recognition of the importance of time as a scarce resource in the
household has played an integral role in the development of empirical
applications of the household production function approach.7
IhavetoadmitthatIthinkonecanacceptthis,andthatitpiovidesa
peifectlyiealisticandsensibleviewnotonlyofthis humanwoildbutof
all ofthem, goingbacktothe eailiesthominids.Letmeundeiscoiea
fewciucialfeatuiesoftheBeckeimodel.thebististhcstiessontime
itselfasaiesouice(anotheifundamentalessayisentitled'A1heoiyof
theAllocationof1imo' ). 1his is, ofcouise,veiymuchMaix'sownview
oftempoiality,asthatsupiemelydisengagesitselffiomtheGrundrisse,
wheiebnally all value is a mattei oftime. I also wantto suggestthe
consistency and kinshipbetween this peculiai pioposal and much of
contempoiaiytheoiyoiphilosophy,whichhasinvolvedapiodigious
expansioninwhatweconsideitobeiationaloimeaningfulbehavioui.
Mysenseisthat,paiticulailyafteithediffusionofpsychoanalysisbut
alsowiththegiadualcvapoiationof'otheiness'on a shiinkingglobe
286 MAP P I NG I DEOLOGY
and i n a media-suffused society, veiy little iemains that can be
consideied 'iiiational' in the oldei sense of 'incompiehensible' . the
vilest forms of human decision-making and behavioui toituie by
sadistsandoveitoicovertfoieigninteiventionbygovernmentleaders
are now for all of us comprehensible (in teims of a Diltheyan
Verstehen, say), whatevei we think ofthem. Whethei such an enoi-
mouslyexpanded conceptofReason then hasanyfuitheinoimative
value(asHabeimasstillthinks)inasituationinwhichitsopposite,the
iirational, has shiunk to viitual non-existence, is anothei, and an
inteiesting,question.ButBeckei'scalculations(andthewoiddoesnot
atallinhimimplyHomo economic us, butiatheiverymuchunieHective,
eveiyday, 'preconscious'behaviouiofall kinds) belonginthatmain-
stieam,indeed,thesystemmakesmethinkmoiethananythingelseof
Saitieanfieedominsofaiasitimpliesaiesponsibilityfoieveiything
wedo Saitieanchoice(which,ofcouise,inthesamewaytakesplace
onanon-self-consciouseveiydaybehaviouiallevel)meanstheindivid
ualorcollectivepioductionateveiymomentofBeckei's'commodities'
(whichneednotbehedonisticinanynaiiowsense,altiuismbeing,foi
example,ust such a commodity oi pleasuie) . 1he iepiesentational
consequencesofaviewlikethiswillnowleadusbelatedlytopionounce
the woid postmodernism foi the hist time. Only Saitie's novels,
indeed(andtheyaresamples , enoimous,unhnishedfiagments), give
anysenseofwhatarepiesentationoflifethatinteipretedandnariated
eveiyhumanactandgestuie,desiieanddecision,intermsofBeckei's
maximization model would look like. Such iepiesentation would
ievealawoildpeculiailywithouttianscendenceandwithoutpeispec-
tive (death is here, foi example, ust anothei mattei of utility
maximization),andindeedwithoutplotin anytiaditional sense,since
allchoiceswouldbe equidistant andonthe same level. 1he analogy
withSartre,howevei, suggeststhatthiskindoIieading~ whichought
tobeveiymuchademystifyingeyeball-to-eyeballencounteiwithdaily
life,withnodistanceandnoembellishments~ mightnotbealtogethei
postmoderninthemoiefantasticsensesofthataesthetic.Beckeiseems
to have missed the wildei foims of consumption available i n the
postmodern,whichiselsewheiecapableofstagingaviitualdeliiiumof
theconsumptionoftheveiyideaofconsumption. inthepostmodein,
indeed,itistheveiyi deaofthemaiketthati sconsumedwiththemost
piodigious gratihcation, as it were, a bonus oi suiplus of the
commodihcationpiocess. Becker'ssobeicalculationsfall fai shoitof
that,notnecessaiilybecausepostmodeinismisinconsistentorincom-
patiblewithpoliticalconseivatismbut,iathei,piimarilybecausehisis
hnallyapioductionandnota consumptionmodelatall,ashasbeen
suggestedabove.ShadesofthegieatintroductiontotheGrundrisse, i n
POSTMODERNI S M AND THE MARKET
287
which pioduction tuins intoconsumptionanddistiibutionandthen
ceaselessly ietuins to its basic pioductive foim (in the enlaiged
systemic categoiy of pioduction Marx wishes to substitute foi the
thematicoianalyticone) ' I ndeed,itseemspossibletocomplainthatthe
cuiientcelebiantsofthemaiketthetheoreticalconservatives~failto
showmuchenoymentoijouissance (aswewillseebelow, theiimaiket
mainly serves as a policeman meant to keep Stalin fiom the gates,
wheieinadditiononesuspectsthatStalinintuinismeielyacodewoid
forRoosevelt).
Asdescription, then, Beckei's modelseems to meimpeccable and
veiyfaithfulindeedtothefactsoflifeasweknowit,whenitbecomes
presciiptive, ofcouise, wefacethe most insidious foims ofieaction
(my two favouiite piactical consequences are, hist, that oppiessed
minorities only make itwoiseforthemselves by hghtingback, and,
second,that'householdpioduction',i nhisspecialsenseseeabove], is
seiiouslylowe
.
iedinpioductivitywhenthewifehasaob). Butitiseasy
tosee howthrs should be so. 1he Beckei model is postmodeininits
stiuctuie as a tianscoding, two sepaiate explanatoiy systems aie
combinedheiebywayoftheassertionofafundamentalidentity(about
whichitisalways piotestedthatitisnot metaphorical, thesuiestsign of
anintenttometaphorize) .humanbehavioui(pre-eminentlythefamily
or the oikos), on the one hand, the himoienteiprise, on the othei.
Much foice and claiity are then geneiated by the iewiiting of
phenomenalikespaietimeandpeisonalitytiaitsi nteimsofpotential
rawmateiials. Itdoesnotfollow,however,thatthehguralbiacketcan
then be iemoved, as a veil is tiiumphantly snatched fiom a statue,
allowingonethentoieasonaboutdomesticmatteisintermsofmoney
oi the economic as such. But thatis veiy piecisely how Beckei goes
about'deducing'his piactical-political conclusions. Heietoo, then, he
falls shoitofabsolute postmodeinity,wheiethe tianscodingpiocess
has as a consequence the suspension ofeveiything that used to be
'liteial' . Beckei wants to marshal the equipment of metaphor and
hguialidentihcation,onlytoietuininahnalmomenttotheliteiallevel
(which has in the meantime, in late capitalism, evapoiated out fiom
underhim) .
WhydoI hndnoneofthis particulailyscandalous, and whatcould
possiblybeits' piopeiuse' :AswithSartie,inBeckeichoicetakesplace
within an alieady pie-given enviionment, which Sartie theoiizes as
such(hecallsitthe'situation')butwhichBeckei neglects. Inbothwe
haveawelcomeieductionoftheold-fashionedsubect(oiindividual,
oiego),whoisnowlittlemoiethanapointofconsciousnessdiiectedon
tothestockpileofmateiialsavailableintheoutsidewoild,andmaking
decsronsonthatinformationwhichaie'iational'i nthenewenlaiged
288 MAPPI NG I DEOLOGY
senseofwhatanyotheihumanbeingcould undeistand (inDilthey's
sense,oiinRousseau's,whateveiyotheihumanbeingcould'sympath-
ize' with). 1hat means that we aie fieed fiom all kinds of moie
piopeily'iiiational' mythsaboutsubectivityandcantuinouiatten-
tiontothatsituationitself,thatavailableinventoiyofiesouices,which
istheoutsidewoilditselfandwhichmustnowindeedbecalledHistoiy.
1heSaitieanconceptofthesituationisanewwayofthinkinghistoiy
assuch. Beckeiavoidsanycompaiablemove,foigoodieasons.Ihave
impliedthatevenundeisocialism(asineailieimodesofpioduction)
peoplecanveiywellbeimaginedopeiatingundeitheBeckeimodel.
What will be diffeient is then the situation itself. the natuie ofthe
'household', the stock ofiaw mateiials, indeed, the veiy foim and
shape ofthe 'comnodities' theiein to be pioduced. Beckei's maiket
thus by no means ends upasust anothei celebiation ofthe maiket
system but, iathei, as an involuntaiy iediiection of oui attention
towaidshistoiyitselfandthevaiietyofalteinativesituationsitoffeis.
Wemustsuspect,theiefoie,thatessentialistdefencesofthemaiket
iniealityinvolveotheithemesandissuesaltogethei.thepleasuiesof
consumptionaielittlemoiethantheideologicalfantasyconsequences
availablefoiideologicalconsumeiswhobuyintothemaikettheoiy,of
whichtheyaienotthemselvesapait. I ndeed,oneofthegieatciisesi n
thenewconseivativecultuialievolution andbythesametokenone
of its gieat inteinal contiadictions was displayed by these same
ideologueswhensomeneivousnessbegantoappeaioveithesuccess
withwhichconsumeiAmeiicahadoveicomethePiotestantethicand
was able to thiow its savings (and futuie income) to the winds in
exeicising its newnatuieas the full-time piofessional shoppei. But
obviously you can' t have it both ways, theie is no suchthing as a
booming,functioningmaiketwhosecustomeipeisonnelisstafFedby
Calvinists and haid-woiking tiaditionalists knowingthe value ofthe
dollai.
1hepassionfoithemaiketwasindeedalwayspolitical,asAlbeitO.
Hiischman's gieat bookThe Passions and the Interests taught us. 1he
maiket,b nally,foi'maiketideology',haslesstodowithconsumption
thanithas to dowithgoveinmentinteivention,andindeedwiththe
evilsoffieedomandhumannatuieitself.Aiepiesentativedesciiption
ofthefamousmaiket'mechanism'ispiovidedbyBaiiy.
By a natural process Smith meant what would occur, or which pattern of
events would emerge, from individual interaction in the absence of some
specifc human intervention, either of a political kind or from violence.
The behaviour of a market is an obvious example of such natural
phenomena. The self-regulating properties of the market system are not
POSTMODERN I S M AND THE MARKET
289
the product of a designing mind but are a spontaneous outcome of the price
mechanism. Now from certain uniformities in human nature, including, of
course, the natural desire to 'better ourselves,' it can be deduced what will
happen when government disturbs this self-regulating process. Thus Smith
shows how apprenticeship laws, restraints on international trade, the
privileges of corporations, and so on, disrupt, but cannot entirely suppress,
natural economic tendencies. The spontaneous order of the market is
brought about by the interdependency of its constituent parts and any
intervention with this order is simply self-defeating: 'No regulation of
commerce can increase the quantity of industry in any part of society
beyond what its capital can maintain. It can only divert a part of it into a
direction which it otherwise would not have gone'. By the phrase 'natural
liberty' Smith meant that system in which every man, provided that he does
not violate the (negative) laws of justice, is left perfectly free to pursue his
own interest in his own way and bring both his industry and capital into
competition with those of any other man. s
1he foice, then, ofthe concept ofthe maiket lies in its 'totalizing'
stiuctuie,astheysaynowadays .thatis,initscapacitytoafFoidamodel
ofa social totality. It offeis anothei way ofdisplacing the Maixian
model. distinct fiomthe nowfamiliaiWebeiian and post-Webeiian
shift fiom economics to politics, fiom pioduction to powei and
domination.Butthedisplacementfiompioductiontociiculationisno
less a piofound and ideological one, and it has the advantage of
ieplacing ,the iathei antediluvian fantasy iepiesentations that ac-
companiedthe'domination'modelfiom1 984 andOriental Despotism all
the way to Foucault naiiatives iathei comical foi the new post-
modeinage- withiepiesentationsofawhollydiffeientoidei. (Iwill
aigue in a moment that these aie not piimaiily consumptive ones,
eithei. )
What we bist need to giasp, howevei, aie the conditions of
possibilityofthisalteinateconceptofthesocialtotality.Maixsuggests
(again, in the Grundrisse) that the ciiculation ofmaiket model will
histoiicallyandepistemologicallypiecedeotheifoimsofmappingand
offeithebistiepiesentationbywhichthesocialtotalityisgiasped.
Circulation is the movement in which general alienation appears as general
appropriation, and general appropriation as general alienation. Though
the whole of this movement may well appear as a social process, and though
the individual elements of this movement originate from the conscious will
and particular purposes of individuals, nevertheless the totality of the
process appears as an objective relationship arising spontaneously; a
relationship which results from the interaction of conscious individuals, but
which is neither part of their consciousness nor as a whole subsumed under
them. Their collisions give rise to an alien social power standing above them.
290 MAP P I NG I DEOLOGY
Their own interaction (appears) as a process and force independent of
them. Because circulation is a totality of the social process, it is also the frst
form in which not only the social relation appears as something indepen
dent of individuals as, say, i n a coin or an exchange value, but the whole of
the social movement itself. 9
What is iemaikable about the movementofthese ieHections is that
theyseemtoidentifytwothingswhichhavemostoftenbeenthoughtto
be veiy diffeient fiom each othei as concepts. Hobbes's 'bellum
omnium contia omnes' and Adam Smith's 'invisible hand' (heie
appeaiing disguised as Hegel's 'iuseofieason' ) . I would aigue that
Maix's conceptof'civilsociety'issomethinglikewhathappens when
these two concepts (like mattei and anti-mattei) aie unexpectedly
combined. Heie,howevei,whatissignihcantisthatwhatHobbesfeais
is somehow the same as what gives Smith conhdence (the deepei
natuieofHobbesianteiioiisi nanycasepeculiailyilluminatedbythe
complacencyofMiMiltonFiiedman'sdehnition. ' Alibeialisfunda
mentally feaiful ofconcentiated powei.
.
' 1he conception ofsome
feiocious violence inheient in human natuie and acted out in the
Englishievolution,whenceitistheoiized('feaifully')byHobbes,isnot
modihedandamelioiatedbyHiischman's'douceuiducommeice' . it
isiigoiouslyidentical(inMaix)withmaiketcompetitionassuch.1he
diffeienceisnotpolitical-ideologicalbuthistoiical.Hobbesneedsstate
powei to tame and contiol the violence of human natuie and
competition, inAdamSmith (andHegelonsomeotheimetaphysical
plane) the competitive system, the maiket, does the taming and
contiollingallbyitself,nolongeineedingtheabsolutestate.Butwhat
iscleaithioughouttheconseivativetiaditionisitsmotivationbyfeai
andbyanxietiesinwhichcivilwaioiuibanciimeaiethemselvesmeie
hguies foi class stiuggle. 1he maiket is thus Leviathan in sheep's
clothing. itsfunctionisnottoencouiageandpeipetuatefieedom(let
alonefieedomofapoliticalvaiiety)but,iathei,toiepiessit,andabout
suchvisions,indeed,onemayievivetheslogansoftheexistentialyeais
the feai of fieedom, the Hight fion fieedom. Maiket ideology
assuiesusthathumanbeingsmakeamessofitwhentheytiytocontiol
theiidestinies (socialism is impossible') andthatweaie foitunate in
possessing an inteipeisonal mechanism the maiket which can
substitute foi human hubris and planning, and ieplace human de-
cisionsaltogethei.Weonlyneedtokeepitcleanandwelloiled,andit
nowlikethemonaichsomanycentuiiesagowillseetousandkeep
usi nline.
Why this consoling ieplacement foi the divinity should be so
univeisallyattiactiveatthepiesenttime,howevei,isadiffeientkindof
POSTMODERNI S M AND THE MARKET 291
histoiical question. 1he attiibution ofthe new-found embiace of
maiketfieedomtothefeaiofStalinismandStalinistouchingbutust
slightly misplaced in time, although ceitainly the cuiient Culag
Industiy has been a ciucial component in the 'legitimation' ofthese
ideologicaliepiesentations(alongwiththeHolocaustIndustiy,whose
peculiaiielations totheihetoiicoftheCulagdemand closeicultuial
andideologicalstudy).
1hemostintelligentciiticismeveioffeied meonalonganalysisof
the sixties I oncepublished' I owetoW| adCodzich,whoexpiessed
Sociatic amazement at the absence, fiom my global model, of the
SecondWoild,andinpaiticulaitheSovietUnion.Ouiexpeiienceof
peiestioikahasievealeddimensionsofSoviethistoiythatpoweifully
ieinfoice Codzich's point and make my own lapse all the moie
deploiable, soI willheiemake amendsby exaggeiatingintheothei
diiection. My feeling has, in fact, come to be that the failuie ofthe
Khiushchev expeiiment was not disastious meiely foi the Soviet
Union, but somehow fundamentally ciucial foi the iest of global
histoiy,andnotleastthefutuieofsocialismitself. IntheSovietUnion,
indeed,weaiegiventoundeistandthattheKhiuschevgeneiationwas
thelasttobelieveinthepossibilityofaienewalofMaixism,letalone
socialism. oi iathei, the othei way aiound. that it was theii failuie
whichnowdeteiminestheutteiindiffeiencetoMaixismandsocialism
ofseveialgeneiationsofyoungeiintellectuals.ButI thinkthisfailuie
wasalsodeteiminantofthemostbasicdevelopmentsinotheicountiies
aswell, andwhileonedoesnotwanttheRussian comiadestobeaiall
theiesponsibilityfoiglobalhistoiy,theiedoesseemtometobesome
similaiitybetweenwhattheSovietievolutionmeantfoitheiestofthe
woild positively and the negative effects ofthis last, missed, oppoi-
tunity to iestoie that ievolution and to tiansfoim the Paity in the
piocess. Boththeanaichismofthesixtiesi ntheWestandtheCultuial
Revolution in China aie to be attiibuted to that failuie, whose
piolongation, long aftei the end of both, explains the univeisal
tiiumph ofwhat Sloteidjk calls 'cynical ieason' i n the omnipiesent
consumeiismofthepostmodeintoday.Itistheiefoienowondeithat
suchpiofounddisillusionmentwithpoliticalpiaxisshouldiesultinthe
populaiityoftheihetoiicofmaiketabnegationandthesuiiendeiof
humanfieedomtoanowlavishinvisiblehand.
None of these things, howevei, whichstill involve thinking and
ieasoning, goes veiy fai towaids explaining the most astonishing
featuieofthisdiscuisivedevelopment,namely,howthedieaiinessof
businessandpiivatepiopeity,thedustinessofentiepieneuiship,and
the well-nigh Dickensian Havoui oftitle and appiopiiation, coupon-
clipping, meigeis, investment banking, and othei such tiansactions
292 MAPPI NG I DEOLOGY
(afteithecloseLftheheioic,Liiobbei-baion,stageLfbusiness)should
inouitimehavepiovedtobesosexy.Inmyopinion,theexcitementof
theoncetiiesomeoldhftiesiepiesentationofthefieemaiketdeiives
fiom its illicitmetaphoiical association with a veiy diffeient kind of
iepiesentation,namely,themediathemselvesintheiilaigestcontem-
poiaiyandglobal sense(includingan infiastiuctuie ofallthe latest
mediagadgetsandhightechnology). 1heopeiationisthepostmodein
onealluded toabove, inwhichtwosystemsofcodesaieidentihed in
suchawayas toallowthelibidinaleneigiesoftheonetosuffusethe
othei, without, howevei (as i n oldei moments of oui cultuial and
intellectualhi-toiy), pioducingasynthesis,anewcombination,anew
combinedlanguage,oiwhatevei.
HoikheimeiandAdoinoobseivedlongago,intheageofiadio,the
peculiaiityofthestiuctuieofacommeicial'cultuieindustiy'inwhich
thepioductsweiefiee. ' ` 1heanalogybetweenmediaandmaiketisi n
factcementedbythismechanism.itisnotbecausethemediaaielike a
maiket that the two things aie compaiable, iathei, itisbecause the
'maiket' is as unlike its 'concept' (oi Platonic idea) as the media aie
unlike theii own concept that the two things aie compaiable. 1he
media offei fiee piogiammes i nwhosecontent andassoitmentthe
consumei has no choice whatsoevei but whose selection is then
iebaptized'fieechoice'.
Inthegiadualdisappeaianceofthephysicalmaiketplace,ofcouise,
andthetendentialidentihcationofthecommoditywithitsimage(oi
biandnameoilogo), anothei, moie intimate, symbiosisbetweenthe
maiketandthemediaiseffectuated,i nwhichboundaiiesaiewashed
ovei (in ways piofoundly chaiacteiistic ofthe postmodein) and an
indiffeientiation of levels giadually takes the place of an o|dei
sepaiation between thing and concept (oi indeed, economics and
cultuie,baseandsupeistiuctuie) .Foionething,thepioductssoldon
themaiketbecometheveiycontentofthenediaimage,sothat,asit
weie,thesameiefeientseemstomaintaininbothdomains. 1hisisveiy
diffeient fiom a moie piimitive situation i n which to a series of
infoimational signals (news iepoits, feuilletons, a:ticles) a iidei is
appended touting an unielated commeicial pioduct. 1oday the
pioductsaie,asitweie,diffusedthioughoutthespaceandtimeofthe
enteitainment(oievennews)segments,aspaitofthatcontent,sothat
in a fewwell-publicized cases (most notably the seiiesDyastl4) itis
sometimes not cleai when the naiiative segment has ended and the
commeicialhasbegun(sincethesameactoisappeaiinthecommeicial
segmentaswell).
1hisinteipenetiationbywayofthecontentisthenaugmentedina
somewhat difIeient way by the natuie of the pioducts themselves .
POSTMODERNI S M AND THE MARKET 293
one'ssense,paiticulailywhendealingwithfoieigneiswhohavebeen
enlIamedbyAmeiicanconsumeiism,isthatthepioductsfoimakind
of hieiaichy whose climax lies veiy piecisely in the technology of
iepioduction itself, which now, ofcouise, fans outwell beyond the
classical television set and has come i ngeneial to epitomize the new
infoimationaloicomputeitechnologyofthethiidstageofcapitalism.
Wemusttheiefoiealsopositanotheitypeofconsumption.consump-
tionofthe veiypiocess ofconsumptionitself, aboveandbeyondits
content and the immediate commeicial pioducts. It is necessaiy to
speakofakindoftechnologicalbonusofpleasuieaffoidedbythenew
machineiy and, as it weie, symbolically ie-enacted and iitually
devouied at each session ofofhcial media consumption itself. It is
indeed no accident that the conseivative ihetoiic that often used to
accompany the maiket ihetoiic in question heie (but that in my
opinioniepiesentedasomewhatdiffeientstiategyofdelegitimation)
had to do with the end of social classes ~ a conclusion always
demonstiated and 'pioved' by the piesence of 1V in the woikeis'
housing. Much ofthe euphoiiaofpostmodeinism deiives fiomthis
celebiation of the veiy piocess of high-tech infoimatization (the
pievalenceofcuiienttheoiiesofcommunication, language, oisigns
beinganideologicalspinoffofthismoiegeneial'woildview' . 1hisis,
then,asMaixmighthaveputit,asecondmomentinwhich(like'capital
ingeneial'asopposedtothe'manycapitals')themedia'ingeneial'asa
unihed piocess aie somehow foiegiounded and expeiienced (as
opposedtothecontentofindividualmediapioections) , anditwould
seem to be this 'totalization' that allows a biidge to be made to
fantasy-images of'themaiketin geneial' oi'themaiketas a unihed
piocess'.
1hethiidfeatuieofthecomplexsetofanalogiesbetweenmediaand
maiketthatundeiliesthefoiceofthelattei'scuiientihetoiicmaythen
belocatedi nthefoinitself.1hisistheplaceatwhichweneedtoietuin
to the theoiy of the image, iecalling Cuy Deboid's iemaikable
theoietical deiivation (the image as the bnal foim of commodity
ieihcation) . ' At this point the piocess is ieveised, and it is notthe
commeicial pioducts of the maiket which in adveitising become
imagesbut,iathei,theveiyenteitainmentandnaiiativepiocessesof
commeicialtelevision,whichaie,intheiituin,ieihedandtuinedinto
somanycommodities. fiomtheseiialnaiiativeitself,withitswell-nigh
foimulaicandiigidtempoialsegmentsandbieaks,towhatthecameia
shots do to space, stoiy, chaiacteis, and fashion, and veiy much
includinganewpiocessofthe pioductionofstaisandcelebiitiesthat
seems distinctfiomtheoldeiandmoiefamiliaihistoiicalexpeiience
ofthese matters and that now conveiges with the hitheito 'seculai'
294 MAP P I NG I DEOLOGY
phenomenaofthefoimeipublicspheieitself(iealpeopleandevens
in youi nightly news bioadcast, the tiansfoimation of names into
something like news logos, etc. ) . Many analyses have shownhowthe
news bioadcasts aie stiuctuied exactly like naiiative seiials, mean-
while,someofusinthatotheipiecinctofanofhcial,oi 'high',cultuie
have tiied to show the waning and obsolescence of categoiies like
'rction'(inthe senseofsomethingopposedtoeitheithe'liteial'oithe
'factual' ) . But heie I think a piofound modibcation of the public
spheie needstobetheoiized. theemeigenceofanewiealmofimage
ieality which is both hctional (naiiative) and factual (even the
chaiacteisintheseiialsaiegiaspedasieal'named'staiswithexteinal
histoiies to iead about), and which now ~ like the foimei classical
'spheie of cultuie' becomes semi-autonomous and oats above
ieality,withthisfundamentalhistoiicaldiffeiencethatintheclassical
peiiodiealitypeisistedindependentlyofthatsentimentalandioman-
tic'cultuialspheie',wheieastodayitseemstohavelostthatsepaiate
modeofexistence 1oday,cultuieimpactsbackoniealityi nwaysthat
makeanyindependentand,asitweie,non- oiextiacultuialfoimofit
pioblematical(inakindofHeisenbeigpiincipleofmasscultuiewhich
inteivenes between youi eye and the thing itself), so that hnally the
theoiistsunitetheiivoicesinthenewdoxathatthe'iefeient'nolongei
exists.
At any iate, i n this thiid moment the contents of the media
themselveshavenowbecomecommodities,whichaiethen Hungout
onsomewideiveisionofthemaiketwithwhichtheybecomeafbliated
until the two things aie indistinguishable. Heie, then, the media, as
whichthemaiketwasitselffantasized,nowietuinintothemaiketand,
bybecomingapaitofit,sealandceitifythefoimeilymetaphoiicaloi
analogicalidentihcationasa'liteial'ieality.
What must hnally be added to these abstiact discussions of the
maiketisapiagmaticqualihei,asecietfunctionalitysuchassometimes
shedsawholenewlight stiikingataluiidmid-levelheight onthe
ostensiblediscouiseitself.1hisiswhatBaiiy,atthe conclusion ofhis
usefulbook,bluitsouti neitheidespeiationoiexaspeiation, namely,
thatthe philosophical testofthe vaiious neo-libeialtheoiiescanbe
appliedonlyinasingle fundamentalsituation,whichwemaycall(not
withoutiiony)'thetiansition fiom socialism tocapitalism' . ' Maiket
theoiies, i n othei woids, iemain Utopian in so fai as they aie not
applicable to this fundamental piocess of systemic 'deiegulation' .
Baiiyhimselfhasalieadyillustiatedthesignibcanceofthe udgement
inan eailieichapteiwhen, discussingtheiationalchoicepeople,he
pointsoutthattheidoalmaiketsituationisfoithemas Utopian and
uniealizable undei piesent-day conditions as, foi the Left, socialist
POSTMODERNI S M AND THE MARKET
295
ievolution oi tiansfoimation in the advanced capitalist countiies
today.Onewantstoaddthattheiefeientheieistwofold. notmeiely
the piocesses in the vaiious Eastein countiies which have been
undeistood as an attempt to ie-establish the maiket in one way oi
anothei,butalso those effoitsin theWest, paiticulailyundeiReagan
and1hatchei,todoawaywiththe'iegulations'ofthewelfaiestateand
ietuintosomepuieifoimofmaiketconditions.Weneedtotakeinto
accountthepossibilitythatbothoftheseeffoitsmayfailfoistiuctuial
ieasons, but we also need to point out tiielessly the inteiesting
development that the 'maiket' tuins out hnally to be as Utopian as
socialism has iecently been held to be. Undei these ciicumstances,
nothing is seived by substituting one ineit institutional stiuctuie
(buieauciatic planning) foi anothei ineit institutional stiuctuie
(namely,themaiketitself).Whatiswantedisagieatcollectivepioect
inwhichanactivemajoiityofthepopulationpaiticipates,assomething
belonging to itand constiuctedby its own eneigies. 1he setting of
socialpiioiities also known inthe socialistliteiatuie as planning~
would havetobeapait ofsuchacollectivepioect.Itshouldbecleai,
howevei,thatviituallybydehnition themaiketcannotbeapioectat
all.
Notes
I . Marx and Engels, Collected Works, vol. 28, New York 1 987, p. 1 80.
2. ' Only two paths stand open to mental research: aesthetics, and also political
economy.' Stephane Mallarme, 'Magie', in Variationssurunsujet, in Oeuvres completes, Paris
1 945, p. 399. The phrase, which I used as an epigraph to Marxism and Form, emerges
from a complex mediation on poetry, politics, economics, and class written in 1 895 at the
very dawn of high modernism itself.
3. Norman P. Barry, On Classical Liberalism and Libertarianism, New York 1 987, p. 1 3.
4. Ibid. , p. 1 94.
5. Gary Becker, An Economic Approach to Human Behavior, Chicago 1 976, p. 1 4.
6. Ibid., p. 2 1 7.
7. Ibid. , p. 1 4 1 .
8 . Barry, 0 n Classical Liberaliull, p. 30.
9. Marx and Engels, Collected Works, vol. 28, pp. 1 3 1 -2.
1 0. Milton Friedman, Capitalism and Democracy, Chicago 1 962, p. 39.
I I . See Albert O. Hirschman, The Passions and the Interests, Princeton, NJ 1 977, part I .
1 2 . 'Periodizing the Sixties', i n Th Ideologies ofTheory, Minneapolis, M N 1 988, vol. 2,
pp. 1 78-208.
1 3. T. W. Adorno and Max Horkheimer, Dialectic of Enlightenment, trans. John
Cumming, New York 1 972, pp. 1 61 -7.
1 4. See Jane Feuer, 'Reading Dynast: Television and Reception Theory', South
Atlantic Quarterly, 88, 2, September 1 989, pp. 443-60.
1 5. Guy Debord, The Societ ofthe Spectacle, Detroit, MI 1 977, ch. I .
1 6. See Barry, On Classical Liberalism, pp. 1 93-6.
] [
How Did JIarx Invent the
Symptom?
Slavoj
Z
izek
Marx, Freud: The Analysis of Form
AccoidingtoLacan, itwasnone othei than Kail Maixwhoinvented
thenotionofsymptom.IsthisLacanianthesisustasallyofwit,avague
analogy,oidoesitpossessapeitinenttheoieticalfoundation:IfMaix
ieallyaiticulatedthenotionofthesymptomasitisalsoatwoiki nthe
Fieudian b eld, then we must ask ouiselves the Kantian question
conceining the epistemological 'conditions ofpossibility' ofsuch an
encountei.howwasitpossiblefoiMaix,i nhisanalysisofthewoildof
commodities,topioduceanotionwhichappliesalsototheanalysisof
dieams,hysteiicalphenomena,andsoon:
1heanswei isthattheiei sa fundamentalhomologybetween the
inteipietativepioceduieofMaixandFieudmoiepiecisely,between
theiianalysisofcommodityandofdieams. Inbothcasesthepointisto
avoidthe piopeilyfetishistic fascination ofthe 'content' supposedly
hiddenbehindthefoim. the'seciet'tobeunveiledthioughanalysisis
notthecontenthiddenbythefoim(thefoimofcommodities,thefoim
of dieams) but, on the contiaiy, the 'secret' of this form itself. 1he
theoietical intelligence of the foim of dieams does not consist i n
penetiating fiomthemanifest contenttoi ts'hidden keinel', to the
latentdieam-thoughts, itconsists inthe answei to thequestion. why
havethelatentdieam-thoughtsassumedsuchafoim,whyweiethey
tiansposedintothefoimofadieam: Itisthesamewithcommodities.

the ieal pioblem is not to penetiate to the 'hidden keinel' of the


commoditythedeteiminationofitsvaluebythequantityofthewoik
consumedin its pioduction~ butto explain whywoikassumedthe
foimofthevalueofacommodity,whyitcanafbimitssocialchaiactei
onlyinthecommodity-foimofitspioduct.
HOW D I D MARX I NVENT THE S YMPTOM? 297
1henotoiiousiepioachof'pansexualism'addiessedattheFieudian
inteipietation of dieams is alieady a commonplace. Hans-[tigcn
Eysenck, aseveieciiticofpsychoanalysis,longagoobseivedaciucial
paiadoxintheFieudianappioachtodieams. accoidingtoFieud,the
desiie aiticulated in a dieam is supposedtobe asa iule, atleast~
unconsciousandatthesametimeofasexualnatuie,whichcontiadicts
themajoiityofexamples analysedbyFieudhimself,staitingwiththe
dieam he chose as an intioductoiy case to exemplify the logic of
dieams, the famous dieam of Iima's inection. 1he latent thought
aiticulatedinthisdieamis Fieud's attempttogetiidoftheiesponsi-
bilityfoithefailuieofhistieatmentofIima,apatientofhis,bymeans
o
.
faigumentsofthetype'itwasnotmyfault,i twascausedbyaseiiesof
cricumstances. . . ' , but this 'desiie', the meaning of the dieam, is
obviouslyneitheiofa sexualnatuie (it iathei conceins piofessional
ethics)noiunconscious(thefailuieofIima'stieatmentwastioubling
Fieuddayandnight) . '
1hiskindLfiepioachi s basedLna fundamentaltheoieticaleiioi.
theidentib cationoftheunconsciousdesiieatwoikinthedicamwith
the 'latentthought' ~ that is, the signib cationofthe dieam. Butas
Fieudcontinually emphasizes,there is nothing 'unconscious' in the 'latent
dream-thought' : thisthoughtisanentiiely'noimal'thoughtwhichcanbe
aiticulatedinthesyntaxofeveiyday,commonlanguage,topologically,
itbelongstothesystemof'consciousness/pieconsciousness' , thesubect
is usually awaie of it, even excessively so, it haiasses him all the
time. . . . Undeiceitainconditionsthisthoughtispushedaway, foiced
out of the consciousness, diawn into the unconscious ~ that is,
submitted to the laws of the ' piimaiy piocess`, tianslated into the
'language ofthe unconscious'. 1he ielationship between the 'latent
thought'andwhatiscalledthe'manifestcontent'ofadieam thetext
ofthedieam,thedieami nitsliteialphenomenality~ istheiefoiethat
betweensomeentiiely'noima|',(pie)consciousthoughtanditstians-
lationintothc'iebus'ofthedieam.1heessentialconstitutionofdieam
is thus not its 'latent thought' but this woik (the mechanisms of
displacement and condensation, the bguiation of the contents of
woidsoisyllables)whichconfeisonitthefoimofadieam.
Heiein,then,liesthebasic misundeistanding. i fweseekthe'seciet
ofthedieam'i nthelatentcontenthiddenbythemanifesttext,weaie
dootedtodisappointment.lIy;F
9d

some entiiely'norma|`~albei|
usuallyunpleasant~ thought,thenatuieofwhichismostlynonscxual
anddeb nitelynot'uncons

ious'.1his'noimal',conscious/pieconscious
thought is not diawn towaids the unconscious, iepiessed simply
becauseofits'disagieeable'chaiacteifoitheconscious,butbecauseit
achievesakindof'shoitciicuit'betweenitandanotheidesiiewhichis
298 MAP P I NG I DEOLOGY
a|ieadyiepiessed,|ocatedi ntheunconscious,a desire which has nothing
whatsoever to do with the 'latent dream-thought' . 'Anoima|tiainofthought'
noimal and theiefoie one which can be aiticulated in common,
eveiyday|anguage.thatis,i nthesyntaxofthe'secondaiypiocess'-'is
on|ysubmittedtotheabnoimalpsychica|tieatmentofthesoitwehave
been desciibing' - to the dieam-woik, to the mechanisms of the
'piimaiypiocess' 'ifanunconsciouswish,deiivedfiominfancyand
i nastateofiepiession,hasbeentiansfeiiedontoit'.
It is this unconscious/sexua| desiie which cannot be ieduced to a
'noimal tiain of thought' because it is, fiom the veiy beginning,
constitutive|y iepiessed (Fieud's Urverdrangung) becauseit has no
'oiigina|'i nthe'noimal'|anguageofeveiydaycommunication,i nthe
syntaxoftheconscious/pieconscious, its onlyplaceisinthemechan-
isms ofthe 'piimaiy piocess' . 1his is why we should not ieduce the
inteipietationofdieams,oisymptomsingeneial,totheietians|ation
ofthe '|atent dieam-thought' into the 'noimal', eveiyday common
|anguage of inteisubective communication (Habeimas's foimula) .
1hestiuctuieisa|waystiip|e,theieaiea|waysthree elementsatwoik.
the manifest dream-text, the latent dream-content oi thought and the
unconscious desire aiticu|ated in adieam. 1his desiie attaches itse|fto
the dieam, it inteicalates itself in the inteispace between the |atent
thought and the manifest text, it is theiefoie not 'moie concealed,
deepei' i nie|ationto the|atentthought, itisdecided|ymoie'onthe
suiface' , consisting entiiely of the signib ei's mechanisms, of the
tieatmenttowhichthe|atentthoughtissubmitted.Inotheiwoids,its
on|yp|aceisintheform ofthe'dieam' . theiea|subectmatteiofthe
dieam(theunconscious desiie)aiticu|atesitse|finthedieam-woik,in
theelaboiationofits'latentcontent'.
AsisoftenthecasewithFieud,whathefoim
_
atesasanempiiica|
obseivation (although of'quite suipiising fiequency') announces a
fundamental,univeisa|piincip|e.hefoimofadieamoithefoimin
which it is dieamt is used with quite suipiising fiequency foi
iepiesenting its concealed subect mattei
,
. ` 1his, then, is the basic
paiadox ofthe dieam. the unconscious desiie, that which is sup-
posed|yitsmosthiddenkeinel,aiticu|atesitse|fpiecise|ythioughthe
dissimu|ation woik of the 'keine|' of a dieam, its |atent thought,
thiough the woik ofdisguising this content-keinel by means ofits
tianslation into the dieam-iebus. Again, as chaiacteiistica||y, Fieud
gavethis pai

doxits bnal foimu|ationin afootnote added in alatei


edition.
I used at one time to fnd it extraordinarily diffcult to accustom readers to
the distinction between the manifest content of dreams and the latent
HOW DI D MARX I NVENT THE S YMPTOM?
299
dream-thoughts. Again and again arguments and objections would be
brought up based upon some uninterpreted dream in the form i n which it
had been retained in the memory, and the need to interpret it would be
ignored. But now the analysts at least have become reconciled to replacing
the manifest dream by the meaning revealed by its interpretation, many of
them have become guilty of falling into another confusion which they cling
to with an equal obstinacy. They seek to fnd the essence of dreams in their
latent content and i n so doing they overlook the distinction between the
latent dream-thoughts and the dream-work.
At bottom, dreams are nothing other than a particular form of thinking,
made possible by the conditions of the state of sleep. It is the dream-work
which creates that form, and it alone is the essence of dreaming - the
explanation of its peculiar nature.4
Fieudpioceedsheiei ntwostages.
Fiist,wemustbieak theappeaianceaccoidingto which a dieam is
nothingbutasimp|eandmeaning|essconfusion,adisoideicaused
byphysiologicalpiocessesandassuchhavingnothingwhatsoeveito
dowith signib cation. Inotheiwoids, wemustaccomp|ishaciucia|
step towaids ahermeneutical appioach andconceive the dieam asa
meaningful phenomenon, as something tiansmitting a iepiessed
messagewhich hastobediscoveiedbyaninteipietativepioceduie,
1henwemustgetiidofthefascinationinthiskeine|ofsignib cation,
inthe'hiddenmeaning'ofthedieam~ thatistosay,in thecontent
concealedbehindthefoimofadieam~andcentieouiattentionon
this foim itse|f, on the dieam-woik to which the 'latent dieam-
thoughts'weiesubmitted.
1he ciucial thing to note heie is that we b nd exactly the same
aiticulationintwostageswithMaix,inhisanalysisofthe'secietofthe
commodity-foim'.
Fiist,wemustbieaktheappeaianceaccoidingtowhichthevalueof
a commodityoependsonpuiehazaid on an accidenta|inteip|ay
betweensupplyanddemand,foiexamp|e.Wemustaccomp|ishthe
ciucia| step of conceiving the hidden 'meaning' behind the com-
modity-foim, the signibcation 'expiessed' by this foim, we must
penetiatethe'seciet'oftheva|ueofcommodities.
The determination of the magnitude of value by labour-time is therefore a
secret, hidden under the apparent fluctuations in the relative values of
commodities. Its discovery, while removing all appearance of mere acciden
tality from the determination of the magnitude of the values of products,
yet in no way alters the mode in which that determination takes place.5
300 MAPP I NG I DEOLOGY
ButasMaixpointsout,theiei s aceitain'yet' .theurmaskingofthe
seciet is not suffcient. Classical bouigeois political economy has
alieady discoveied the 'seciet' ofthe commodity-foim, its limitis
thatitisnotabletodisengageitselffiomthisfascinationintheseciet
hiddenbehindthecommodity-foim~ thatitsattentioniscaptivated
by laboui as the tiue souice of wealth. In othei woids, classical
politicaleconomyisinteiestedonlyincontentsconcealedbehindthe
commodity-foim,whichiswhyitcannotexplainthetiueseciet,not
thesecietbehind thefoimbutthe secret of this form itsel. Inspiteofits
quitecoiiectexplanationofthe'secietofthe magnitudeofvalue' ,
thecommodityiemainsfoiclassicalpoliticaleconomyamysteiious,
enigmaticthingitisthesameaswiththedieam.evenafteiwehave
explaineditshidden meaning,itslatentthought,thedieamiemains
an enigmatic phenomenon, whatisnot yetexplainedis simplyits
foim,thepiocessbymeansofwhichthehiddenmeaning_isguised
itselfinsuchafoim.
Wemust,then,accomplishanotheiciucialstepandanalysethegenesis
ofthecommodity-foimitself.Itisnotsufb cienttoieducethefoimto
theessence,tothehiddenkeinel,wemustalsoexaminethepiocess -
homologous tothe'dieam-woik'~ bymeansofwhich the concealed
contentassumessucha foim,because,as Maixpointsout. 'Whence,
then,aiisestheenigmaticalchaiacteiofthepioductoflaboui,assoon
asitassumesthefoimofcommodities:Cleailyfiomthisfoimitself.
,

It is this step towaids the genesis ofthe foim that classical political
economycannotaccomplish,andthisisitsciucialweakness .
Political economy has indeed analysed value and its magnitude, however
incompletely, and has uncovered the content concealed within these forms.
But it has never once asked the question why this content has assumed that
particular form, that is to say, why labour is expressed i n value, and why the
measurement oflabour by its duration is expressed in the magnitude of the
value of the product.
The Unconscious of the Commodity-form
Why did theMaixiananalysisofthe commodity-foim which,prima
facie, conceinsapuie|yeconomicquestion excitsuchanin uencein
thegeneialbeldofsocialsciences,whyhasitfascinatedgeneiationsof
philosopheis,sociologists,aithistoiians, andotheis:Becauseitoffeis
a kind of matiix onabling us to geneiate all othei foims of the
HOW DI D MARX I NVENT THE S YMPTOM? 301
'fetishistic inveision' . i t i s as i f the dialectics ofthe commodity-foim
piesentsuswithapuie~ distilled,sotospeak~veisionofamechanism
offeiing us a key to the theoietical undeistanding of phenomena
which, atb istsight,havenothingwhatsoeveito dowiththebeld of
political economy(law,ieligion, and soon) . Inthecommodity-foim
theieisdeb nitelymoieatstakethanthecommodity-foimitself, andit
was piecisely this 'moie' which exeited such a j.:_,,,;
atzon 1hetheoieticianwho has gone fuithesti nunfoldingthe
,
iveisal ieach ofthe commodity-foim is indubitably Alfied Sohn-
Rethel, one of the 'fellow-tiavelleis' of the Fiankfuit School. His
fundamentalthesiswasthat
the formal analysis of the commodity holds the key not only to the critique of
political economy, but also to the historical explanation of the abstract
conceptual mode of thinking and of the division of intellectual and manual
labour which came into existence with it.8
Inotheiwoids,inthestiuctuieofthecommodity-foimitispossibleto
bnd the tianscendental subect. the commodity-foim aiticulates in
advance the anatomy, the skeleton of the Kantian tianscendental
subect that is, the netwoik of tianscendental categoiies which
constitutetheapiioiifiameof'obective'scientibcknowledge.Heiein
lies the paiadox of the commodity-foim. it this innei-woildly,
'pathological' (in the Kantian meaning ofthe woid) phenomenon ~
offeisus a key to solvingthe fundamentalquestionofthe theoiy of
knowledge. obectiveknowledgewith univeisa}ya|idity- IOy:,_this
p,
]
h
l_
Afteiaseiiesofdetailedanalyses,Sohn-Rethelcametothefollowing
conclusion. the appaiatus ofcategoiies piesupposed, impliedby the
scientihc pioceduie (that, of couise, of the Newtonian science of
natuie),thenetwoikofnotionsbymeans ofwhichitseizesnatuie,is
alieadypiesentinthe social effectivity,alieadyatwoikinthe actof
commodityexchange.Befoiethoughtcouldaiiiveatpuieabstraction,
the abstiaction was alieady at woik in the social effectivity of the
maiket. 1he exchange ofcommodities implies a double abstiaction.
the abstiaction fiom the changeable chaiactei ofthe commodity
duiing the act ofexchange and the abstraction fiom the conciete,
empiiical,sensual,paiticulaichaiacteiofthecommodity(intheactof
exchange, the distinct, paiticulai qualitative deteimination of a
commodityis not taken into account, a commodity is ieducedto an
abstiact entity which iiiespective ofits paiticulainatuie, ofits'use
value' possesses'thes

mevalue'asanotheicommodityfoiwhichitis
beingexchanged) .
302 MAP P I NG I DEOLOGY
Befoie thouglt could ariive at the idea ofa puiely quantitative
determination, a sine qua non of the modein science of natuie, puie
quantitywasalreadyatwoikinmoney,thatcommoditywhichiendeis
possible the commensurability ofthe value ofallother commodities
notwithstanding theii paiticular qualitative determination. Befoie
physicscouldaiticulatethenotionofapuielyabstiactmovement going
on in a geometiic space, independently of all qualitative deermi
nationsofthe movingobects,thesocialactofexchange had

eady
iea|izedsucha'puie',abstiactmovementwhichlea vestotal|yintactthe
concrete-sensual piopeities of the obect caught in movement. the
tiansfeience of pioperty. And Sohn-Rethel demonstiated the same
abouttheielationshipofsubstanceanditsaccidents,aboutthenotion
ofcausalityoperativeinNewtonianscience~ inshoit,aboutthewhole
networkofcategoriesofpuieieason.
Inthisway,thetianscendentalsubect,thesuppoitofthenetofa
piiori categoiies, is confionted with the disquieting fact that it
depends, in its very foimal genesis, on some inner-woildly, 'patho-
logical' piocess ~ a scandal, a nonsensical impossibility fiom the
tianscendentalpointofview,i nsofai as theformal-tianscendentala
piiori isbydeb nitionindependentofall positive contents. a scandal
coirespondingpeifectlytothe'scandalous' chaiacteioftheFieudian
unconscious, which is also unbeaiable fiom the tianscendental-
philosophical peispective. 1hat is to say, if we look closely at the
ontologicalstatusofwhatSohn-Rethelcallsthe'iealabstiaction' [das
reale Abstraktion] (that is, the act of abstiaction at woik in the veiy
effective piocess of the exchange of commodities), the homology
between its status and that ofthe unconscious, this signifyingchain
which peisists on 'anothei Scene',is stiiking. the 'real abstraction' is the
unconscious of the transcendental subject, the suppoit of obective-
universalscientihcknowledge.
Ontheonehand,the'iealabstiaction'isofcouisenot'ieal'inthe
sense of the ieal, effective piopeities of commodities as mateiial
obects.theobect-commoditydoesnotcontain'value'inthesameway
asitpossessesasetofpaiticulai piopeitiesdeteiminingits'usevalue'
(its foim, coloui, taste, and so on) . As Sohn-Rethel pointed out, its
natuieisthatofapostulate impliedbytheeffectiveactofexchange in
otherwoids,thatofaceitain'asif[als ob] : duiingtheactofexchange,
individualsproceedas f thecommodityisnotsubmittedto physical,
mateiial exchanges, as if it is excluded fiom the natural cycle of
geneiationandcoiiuption,althoughontheleveloftheii'conscious-
ness'they'knowveiywell'thatthisisnotthecase.
1heeasiestwaytodetecttheeffectivityofthispostulateistothinkof
thewaywebehavetowaidsthematerialityofmoney.weknowveiywell
HOW DI D MARX I NVENT THE S YMPTOM? 303
thatmoney, like all othermaterialobects,suffeistheeffects ofuse,
thatitsmateiialbodychangesthioughtime,butinthesocialeffctivity
of the maiket we none the less treat coins as if they consist 'of an
immutable substance,asubstanceovei which time has nopower,and
which stands in antithetic contiast to any mattei found in natuie' . '
Howtemptingto iecall heie the formula offetishistic disavowal . ' I
knowveiywell,butstill . . . ' . 1othecurient exemplib cations ofthis
foimula ('I know that Mothei has not got a phallus, but still . . . I
believeshehasgotone] ' , 'I knowthat[ewsarepeoplelikeus, butstill
. . . theieissomethingin them]
,
) we mustundoubtedlyaddalso the
vaiiantofmoney. 'I knowthatmoneyisa mateiialobectlikeothers,
butstill. . . itisasi fitweremadeofaspecialsubstanceoveiwhichtime
hasnopowei] ' .
Heie wehave touched a pioblem unsolved by Maix, that ofthe
material chaiacteiofmoney. notoftheempiiical,materialstuffmoney
ismadeof,butofthesublime mateiial,ofthatothei'indestiuctibleand
immutable' body which persists beyond the corruption ofthe body
physical this othei body ofmoney islikethecoipse ofthe Sadeian
victim which enduies all toiments and survives with its beauty
immaculate.1hisimmaterialcorpoialityofthe'bodywithinthebody'
givesusaprecisedebnitionofthesublimeobect,anditisinthissense
onlythatthe psychoanalyticnotionofmoneyasa 'pie-phallic' , 'anal'
obect is acceptable ~ piovided that we do not foiget how this
postulated existence of the sublime body depends on the symbolic
oider. the indestiuctible 'body-within-the-body' exempted fiom the
effectsofwearandtearisalwayssustainedbythe guaiantee ofsome
symbolicauthority.
A coin has it stamped upon its body that it is to serve as a means of exchange
and not as an object of use. I ts weight and metallic purity are guaranteed by
the issuing authority so that, i fby the wear and tear of circulation it has lost
in weight, full replacement is provided. Its physical matter has visibly
become a mere carrier of its social function.
U
If, then, the 'ieal abstiaction' has nothing to do with the level of
'reality',oftheeffectiveproperties,ofanobect,itwouldbewiongfoi
that ieason to conceive of it as a 'thought-abstraction', as a process
takingplaceinthe 'inteiioi'ofthe thinkingsubect. inielationtothis
'inteiioi', theabstiaction appeitainingto theactofexchangeisin an
iiieducible way exteinal, decentied ~ oi, to quote Sohn-Rethel's
concise formulation. heexchangeabstiactionis not thought,butit
hastheform ofthought'.
Heiewehaveoneofthepossibledeb nitionsoftheunconscious.the
form of thought whose ontological status is not that of thought, that istosay,
304 MAP P I NG IDEOLOGY
the foim ofthought exteinal to the thoughtitself~ i n short, some
OtheiSceneexteinaltothethoughtwheiebythefoimofthethought
isalreadyaiticulatedinadvance.1hesymbolicoideiispieciselysucha
foimaloideiwhichsupplementsand/oidisiuptsthedualielationship
of'exteinal'factualrealityand'inteinal'subectiveexpeiience, Sohn-
RethelisthusquiteustibedinhisciiticismofAlthussei,whoconccives
abstiactionas apiocess takingplaceentiielyin thedomainofk.w-
ledge, andfoithatieasoniefusesthe category of'iealabstiaction'as
theexpiessionofan'epistemologicalconfusion' . 1he'iealabstiaction'
isunthinkableinthefiameofthefundamentalAlthusseiianepistemo-
logicaldistinctionbetween the 'ieal obect' and the 'obectofknow-
ledge'insofaiasitintioducesathiidelementwhichsubveitstheveiy
beldofthisdistinction. theformofthethoughtpieviousandexternal
tothethought inshoit.thesymbolicoider.
We are now ableto formulatepieciselythe'scandalous'natuie of
Sohn-Rethel's undeitaking foi philosophical ieection. he has con-
fiontedtheclosedcircleofphilosophicalieHectionwithanexteinal
placewheieitsfoimisalieady'staged'.Philosophicalieectionisthus
subectedtoanuncannyexpeiiencesimilaitotheonesummarizedby
theoldoiientalformula'thouaitthat' .theie,intheexternaleffectivity
oftheexchange piocess, isyour proper place, theieisthetheatiein
whichyouitruthwaspeifoimedbefoieyoutookcognizanceofit. 1he
confiontationwiththisplaceisunbearablebecausephilosophyassuch
is defned by itsblindnesstothisplace.itcannottakeitintoconsideration
withoutdissolvingitself,withoutlosingitsconsistency.
1hisdoesnotmean,ontheotheihand, thateveiyday'piactical'con-
sciousness,asopposedto thephilosophical-theoieticalone thecon-
sciousnessoftheindividualspaitakingintheactofexchange isnot
also subected to a complementary blindness. Duiing the act ofex-
change,individualspioceedas'piacticalsolipsists',theymisrecognize
the socio-syntheticfunctionofexchange. thatisthelevel ofthe'ieal
abstiaction'astheformofsocializationofpiivatepioductionthrough
themediumofthemarket.'Whatthecommodityowneisdoinanex-
changeielationisy;ctica]_ sism~ iiiespectiveofwhattheythink
andsayaboutit. ' ' ' Suchamisiecognitionisthe sinequanon oftheeffec-
tuationofan actofexchange ifthepaiticipantsweretotakenoteof
thedimensionof' iealabstiaction' ,the'effective'actofexchangeitself
wouldnolongeibepossib| e.
Thus, i n speaking ofthe abstractness of exchange we must be careful not to
apply the term to the consciousness of the exchange agents. They are
supposed to be occupied with the use of the commodities they see, but
occupied in their imagination only. It is the action of exchange, and the
HOW DI D MARX I NVENT THE S YMPTOM?
305
action alone, that is abstract . . . the abstractness of that action cannot be
noted when it happens because the consciousness of i ts agents is taken up
with their business and with t he empirical appearance of things which
pertain to their use. One could say that the abstractness of their action is
beyond realization by the actors because their very consciousness stands in
the wa y. Were the abstractness to catch their minds their action would cease
to be exchange and the abstraction would not arise. 1 2
1hismisiecognitionbiingsaboutthebssuieoftheconsciousnessinto
' practical' and 'theoretical' . the piopiietoi paitaking in the act of
exchangeproceedsasa'piacticalsolipsist' . heoveilookstheuniveisal,
socio-syntheticdimension ofhisact,ieducingittoacasualencountei
ofatomized individuals in the maiket. 1his 'iepiessed'social dimen-
sion ofhis act emerges theieupon in the foim ofits contraiy - as
univeisal Reason tuined towaids the obseivation of natuie (the
netwoik of categoiies of 'puie ieason' as the conceptual fiame of
natuialsciences) .
1heciucialparadoxofthisrelationshipbctweenthesocialeffectivity
ofthecommodityexchangeandthe'consciousness'ofitisthat- touse
againa concisefoimulationbySohn-Rethel ~ 'thisnon-knowledgeof
the ieality is pait of its veiy essence' . the social cffectivity of the
exchangeiocessisakindofiealitywhi
.
pp|onconon
thattheindiviualspvtaIgntmcnotawareofitspiopehgic,that
is, a kind of reality whose ver ontological consistenc implies a certain
non-knowledge of its participants if we come to 'know too much', to
pieice thetruefunctioningofsocialieality,this reality would dissolve
itself.
1hisisprobablythefundamentaldimensionof'ideology' . ideology
is not simply a 'false consciousness' , an illusoiy iepiesentation of
ieality,itis,iathei,thisiealityitselfwhichisalieadytobeconceivedas
'ideological' 'ideological' u a social realit whose very existence implies the
non-knowledge of its participants as to its essence that is, the social
effectivity,theveiyrepioductionofwhichimpliesthattheindividuals
'do not know what they aie doing'. 'Ideological' i not the 'fal5e
consciousness' ofa (social) being but this being itself in so far as it is supported by
'false consciousness'. 1huswehavehnallyieachedthedimensionofthe
symptom, because one of its possible dennitions would also be ' a
formationwhoseveiyconsistcncyimpliesaceitainnon-knowledgeon
rhepartofthesubect'.thesubectcan'enoyhissymptom' onlyinso
fai as its logrc escapes him the measuie of the success of its
inteipietationispreciselyitsdissolution.
306 MAPPI NG I DEOLOGY
The Social Symptom
How, then,canwedefnetheMaixiansymptom:Maix'inventedthe
symptom' (Lacan) by means ofdetectinga ceitain hssuie, an asym-
metiy,aceitain' pathological'imbalancewhichbeliestheunivei

aIism
ofbouigeois'iightsandduties'.1hisimbalance,faifiom annoi.cing
the 'impeifect iealization' oftheseuniveisalpiinciples~ that is, an
insufhciency to be abolished by fuithei development ~ functions as
theii constitutive moment. the 'symptom' is, stiictly speaking, a
paiticulai element which subveits its own univeisal foundation, a
species subveiting its own genus. In this sense, we can say that the
elementaiy Maixian pioceduie of 'ciiticism ofideology' is alieady
'symptomatic'.itconsists in detectingapointofbieakdownheterogene
ous to a given ideological held and at the same timenecessary foi that
heldtoachieveitsclosuie,itsaccomplishedfoim.
, 1his pioceduie thus implies a ceitain logic of exception. eveiy
ideologicalUniveisal foiexample,fieedom,equality is'false'inso
faiasitnecessaiilyincludesaspecihccase whichbieaksitsunity,lays
openitsfalsity.Fieedom,foiexample.auniveisalnotioncompiisinga
numbei of species (fieedom ofspeech and piess, fieedom ofcon-
sciousness, fieedom ofcommeice, political fieedom, and so on) but
also,bymeansofastiuctuialnecessity,aspecihcfieedom (that ofthe
woikeitosellfieelyhisownlabouionthe maiket) whichsubveitsthis
univeisalnotion. 1hat is to say, this fieedomis the veiy oppositeof
effective fieedom. by selling his laboui 'fieely', the woikei loses his
fieedom ~ the ieal content of this fiee act of sale is the woikei's
enslavementtocapital.1heciucialpointis,ofcouise,thatit ispiecisely
this paiadoxical fieedom, the foim ofits opposite, which closes the
ciicleof'bouigeoisfieedoms'.
` 1hesamecan alsobeshownfoifaii,equivalentexchange,thisideal
of the maiket. When, i n pie-capitalist society, the pioduction of
commoditieshasnotyetattaineduniveisalchaiactei~thatis,whenitis
stillso-called' natuialpioduction'whichpiedominates~ thepiopiie-
toisofthe means ofpioduction aiestillthemselvespioduceis (as a
iule,atleast) . itisaitisanpioduction,thepiopiietoisthemselveswoik
and selltheiipioducts on the maiket. Atthis stageofdevelopment
theie is noexploitation (in piinciple, atleast~ that is, i fwe do not
consideitheexploitationofappientices,andsoon) , theexchangeon
themaiketisequivalent,eveiycommodityispaiditsfullvalue.Butas
soonaspioductionfoithemaiketpievailsintheeconomicedifceofa
given society, this generalization is necessaiily accompanied by the
appeaianceofanew,paiadoxicaltypeofcommodity.thelabouifoice,
the woikeis who aie not themselves piopiietois of the means of
HOW DI D MARX I NVENT THE S YMPTOM?
307
pioductionandwhoaie consequentlyobliged tosell onthemaiket
theiiownlabouiinsteadofthepioductsoftheiilaboui.
Withthisnewcommodity,theequivalentexchangebecomesitsown
negation ~ the veiy foim of exploitation, of appiopiiation of the
suiplus-value. 1he ciucial point not to be missed heie is that this
negation is stiictly interal to equivalent exchange, not its simple
violation. the laboui foiceis not 'exploited' in the sense thatits full
valueis notiemuneiated, in piinciple,atleast,the exchangebetween
labouiandcapitaliswhollyequivalentandequitable.1hecatchisthat
the labouifoiceis a peculiai commodity, the use ofwhich laboui
itself pioducesaceitainsuiplus-value,anditisthissuiplusoveithe
valueofthelabouifoiceitselfwhichisappiopiiatedbythecapitalist.
We have heie again a ceitainideological Univeisal, thatofequiv-
alentandequitableexchange,andapaiticulaipaiadoxicalexchange -
thatofthelabouifoicefoiitswages~which,pieciselyasanequivalent,
functionsastheveiyfoimofexploitation.1he'quantitative'develop-
ment itself, the univeisalization ofthe pioduction of commodities,
biings about a new 'quality', the emeigence of a new commodity
iepiesenting the inteinal negation of the univeisal piinciple of
equivalentexchangeofcommodities, inotheiwoids,it brings about a
symptom. AndintheMaixianpeispective,Utopian socialismconsistsi n
the veiy belief that a society i s possible i n which theielations of
exchangeaieuniveisalizedandpioductionfoithemaiketpiedomi-
nates,butwoikeisthemselvesnonethelessiemainpiopiietoisoftheii
means of pioduction and aie theiefoie not exploited i n shoit,
' Utopian' conveys a beliefin the possibilityofa universality without its
symptom, without the point of exception functioning as its inteinal
negation.
1his is also the logic of the Maixian ciitique of Hegel, of the
Hegeliannotionofsocietyas aiationaltotality. as soon as wetiyto
conceivetheexistingsocialoideiasaiationaltotality,wemustinclude
in it a paiadoxical element which, without ceasing to be its inteinal
constituent, functions as its symptom subveits the veiy univeisal
iationalpiincipleofthistotality.FoiMaix,this'iiiational'elementof
the existing society was, ofcouise, the pioletaiiat, 'the unieason of
ieasonitself (Maix), the point at which the Reason embodiedinthe
existingsocialoideiencounteisitsownunieason.
Commodity Fetishism
In his attiibution ofthe discoveiy of symptom to Maix, Lacan is,
howevei, moie distinct. he locates this discoveiy i n the way Maix
308
MAPPI NG I DEOLOGY
conceived thepassage liom leudalismt ocapitalism. 'Onehast olook
loi the oiigins ol the notion olsymptom not in Hippociates but in
Maix, in the connection he was hist to establishbetween capitalism
andwhat:- the goodold times, whatwecalltheleudaltimes. ' ' `1o
giasp thelogicolthis passage liom leudalism tocapitalismweve
hist to elucidate its theoietical backgiound, the Maixian notion ol
commodityletishism.
Inahistappioach,commodityletishismis'adehnitesocialielation
between men, that assumes, in theii eyes, the lantastic loim ol a
ielationbetweenthings'. 1hevalue olaceitaincommodity,which is
`ellectively an insignia ol a netwoik ol social ielations between
pioduceis ol diveise commodities, assumes the loim ol a quasi-
'natuial' piopeity olanothei thing-commodity, money. we say that
thevalueolaceitaincommodityissuch-and-suchamountolmoney.
Consequently,theessentialleatuie olcommodityletishism doesnot
consist olthe lamous ieplacement ol men with things ('a ielation
betweenmenassumestheloimolaielationbetweenthings' ), iathei,
it consists oiain misiecognition w})} _ cnce; )hc(
bt uctuiednetworkaolits elements. eaJlya

ucu:mIft, an ellect the n

k ton bcren
elements,appeaisas animmediatepiopeityolone oltents,
as ilthispiopeityalsobelongs to itoutside its ielation withothei
elements.

uch amisiecognitioncantakeplaceina'ielationbetweenthings'as
wellasina'ielationbetween men' Maixstatesthisexplicitlyapiopos
olthesimpleloimolthevalue-expiession.CommodityAcanexpiess
itsvalueonlybyieleiiingitselltoanotheicommodity,B,whichthus
becomesitsequivalent. inthevalueielationship,thenatuialloimol
commodityB(itsusevalue,itspositive,empiiicalpiopeities)lunctions
as a loim olvalue olcommodity A, in othei woids, the body olB
becomesloiAthemiiioiolitsvalue.1otheseieHections,Maixadded
thelollowingnote.
In a sort of way, it is with man as with commodities. Since he comes into the
world neither with a looking-glass in his hand, nor as a Fichtian philos
opher, to whom ' I am l' is suffcient, man frst sees and recognizes himself
in other men. Peter only establishes his own identity as a man by frst
comparing himself with Paul as being of like kind. And thereby Paul, just
as he stands in his Pauline personality, becomes to Peter the type of the
genus homo. 1 5
1his shoit note anucrpates i n a way the Lacanian theoiy ol the
miiioi-phase.onlybybeingieHectedinanotheimanthatis,insolai
HOW D I D MARX I NVENT THE S YMPTOM? 309
asthisotheimanolleisitanimageol i tsunitycantheegoaiiiveatits
sell-identity,identityandalienationaiethusstiictlycoiielative.Maix
puisuesthishomology.theotheicommodity(B)isanequivalentonly
insolaiasAielatestoitastotheloim-ol -appeaianceolitsownvalue,
onlywithinthisielationship. Buttheappeaiance~ andheieinliesthe
ell

ctolinveisionpiopeitoletishism~ theappeaianceisexactlyop-
posrte.AseemstoielatetoBasil,loiB, tobeanequivalentolAwould
notbea 'ieHexivedeteimination' (Maix) olA~ thatisas ilB would
already in itsel be the equivalent ol A, the piopeity ol 'being-an-
equivalent'appeaistobelongtoitevenoutsideitsielationtoA,onthe
samelevelasitsothei'natuial'elFectivepiopeitiesconstitutingitsuse
value.1otheseieHections,Maixagainaddedaveiyinteiestingnote.
Such expressions of relations in general, called by Hegel refex-categories,
form a very curious class. For instance, one man is king only because other
men stand in the relation of subjects to him. They, on the contrary, imagine
that they are subjects because he is king. 1 6
' Being-a-king'i sanellectolthenetwoikolsocialielationsbetweena
'king'andhis' subects',but~ andheieistheletishisticmisiecognition-
to the paiticipants ol this social bond, the ielationship appeais
necessaiilyinaninveiseloim. theythinkthattheyaiesubectsgiving
thekingioyaltieatmentbecausethekingisalieadyinhimsell,outside
the ielationship to his subects, a king, as il the deteimination ol
'being-a-king' weiea 'natuial' piopeity olthe peison ola king. How
canonenotiemindonesellheie olthelamousLacanianalhimation
thatamadmanwhobelieveshimselltobeakingisnomoiemadthana
king who believes himsell to be a king who, that is, identihes
immediatelywiththemandate'king':
Whatwehaveheieisthusapaiallelbetweentwomodesolletishism,
andtheciucialquestionconceinstheexactielationshipbetweenthese
two levels. 1hat is to say, this ielationship is by no means a simple
homology. wecannoiayibat Iics 1n whichpioductiooloithe
maiketpiedominates~ ultimately,ihatIs,incapitalistsocieties 'itis
with man as with commodities' . Piecisely the opp6s1om-
modityletishismoccuisincapitalistsocieties,butincapitalismiclations
between men aie dehnitely not 'letishized' , what we have he:eaie
iela
.
ti

ns
.
betvecn ee' eoplc,

cacn Iollowin his oi her iopei

gotsuc iiiievcst.Jhcp.edominant and deteimining loim ol theii


mteiielationsisnotdominationandseivituebutacontiactbetween
lieepeoplewhoaieequaI inthe

oIthelaw. 1tsmoocIis tbemaiket


exchange. heie, two sub|ects meet,ihcii relon isIrce olall the
lumbeiolveneiationoltheMastei,oltheMastei'spationageandcaie
loihissubects,they meetastwopeisonswhoseactivityisthoioughly
3 1 0
MAPPI NG I DEOLOGY
deteiminedbytheioisticinteiest, eveiyoneofthemio;edsasa
good utilitaiian, the o| person i> foi him wholly
.
deliveied ofall
mysticalauia, allhesees inhispaitneiisanotheisubectwhofo

lows
hisinteiestandinteiestshimonlyinsofaiashepossessessometh,ng ~
acommodity- thatcouldsatisfysomeofhisneeds.

1hetwofoimsoffetishismaiethusincompatible: insocietiesinwhich
commodity fetishism ieigns, the 'ielations between men' aie totally
de-fetishized,whileinsocietiesinwhichtheieisfetishismin'ielations
between men'~ inpie-capitalistsocieties- commodityfetishismisnot
yetdeveloped,becauseitis'natuial'pioduction,notpioductionfoithe
maiket,whichpiedominates.1hisfetishisminielationsbetweenmen
has to becalledby itspiopei name. whatwehaveheieaie,as Maix
points out, 'ielations ofdomination and seivitude' that is to say

pieciselytheielationofLoidshipandBond

gein

egeliansense,
t
and it is as if the ietieat of the Mastei rn caprtalism was only a
displacement: asifthcde-fetishizationinthe'ielationsbetweenmen'was
paidfoibytheemeigenceof fetishisminthe'
'
elation

betw

enthings'
bycommodityfetishism.1heplaceoffetishismhasustshtftedfiom
inteisubectiveielationstoielations'betweenthings' .theciucialsocial
ielations,thoseofpioduction,aienolongeiimmediatelytianspaient
inthefoimoftheinteipeisonalielationsofdominationandseivitude
(oftheLoidandhisseifs,andsoon), theydisguisethemselvestouse
Maix'saccuiatefoimula- 'undeitheshapeofsocialielationsbetween
things,betweenthepioductsof laboui' .
.
1hisiswhyonehas tolookfoithediscoveiyofthesymptommthe
way Maixconceived the passage fiom feudali

m to capit

lis

. With
theestablishmentofbouigeoissociety,theielationsofdommatronand
seivitude aie repressed: foimal|y, we aie appaiently conceined with
fiee subects whose inteipeisonal ielations aie dischaiged of all
fetishism, theiepiesse_j___thjoftI)eeiistce p)qq_ ,tip;i
andseivitude emegesinasyhi t de[cal
ali,and

_hissymp
.
tom,thepoi
.
nt
ieliecrsel_pl
ielationsbetweenthings'. ' Instead ofappeaiingat all events as theri
lticaIice social ielati; beteniuals )e
s|ndeishpe

onsb
things'_hei

we
aveapiehnithehysteiicalsymptom,ofthe'hysteraof
conveision'piopeitocapitalism.
Totalitarian Laughter
Heie Maix is moiesubveisivethanthemaoiityofhiscontempoiaiy
ciiticswho discaidthedialecticsofcommodityfetishismasoutdated.
HOW D I D MARX I NVENT THE S YMPTOM? 3 1 1
this dialectics can still helpus to giasp the phenomenonofso-called
'totalitaiianism'. Letustake asouistaitingpointUmbeito Eco's The
Name of the Rose, pieciselybecausetheieis somethingwiongwith this
book.1hisciiticismdoesnotapplyonlytoitsideology,whichmightbe
called onthemodelofspaghetti Westeins spaghetti stiuctuialism.a
kind of simplihed, mass-cultuie veision of stiuctuialist and post-
stiuctuialistideas(theieisnohnalieality,wealllivei nawoildofsigns
iefeiiingtootheisigns. . . ).Whatshouldbotheiusaboutthisbookis
itsbasicundeilyingthesi s. thesouiceoftotalitaiianismisadogmatic
attachment to the ofhcial woid. the lack of laughtei, of iionic
detachment.AnexcessivecommitmenttoCoodmayinitsellbecome
thegieatestEvil .iealEvilisanykindoffanaticaldogmatism,especially
thatexeitedinthenameofthesupiemeCood.
[- . . ]
Fiist, this idea ofanobsessionwith (a fanatical devotion to) Cood
tuining into Evilmasksthe inveiseexpeiience, which is much moie
disquieting. howanobsessive,fanaticalattachmenttoEvilmayinitself
acquiie the status ofan ethical position, ofa position which is not
guidedby oui egoistical inteiests. Consideionly Mozait's Don Cio-
vanniattheendoftheopeia,whenheisconfiontedwiththefollowing
choice. ifheconfesseshissins,hecanstillachievesalvation, ifhepei-
sists, hewillbedamnedfoievei. Fiom the viewpointofthepleasuie
piinciple,thepiopeithingtodowouldbetoienouncehispast,buthe
doesnot,hepeisistsi nhisEvil,althoughheknowsthatbypeisistinghe
willbedamnedfoievei. Paiadoxically,withhishnalchoiceofEvil,he
acquiiesthestatusofanethicalheio-thatis,ofsomeonewhoisguided
byfundamentalpiinciples 'beyondthepleasuiepiinciple'andnot ust
bytheseaichfoipleasuieoimateiialgain.
WhatisieallydistuibingaboutThe Name of the Rose, howevei,isthe
undeilyingbeliefin thelibeiating, anti-totalitaiian foiceoflaughtei,
ofiionicdistance. Ouithesisheieisalmosttheexactopposite ofthis
undeilyingpiemissofEco's novel. ___contempoiaiyso_iptig,ge_o
ciatjc (qtalitain Iaightcv,+iony, aie, soto
spe aitofthegame.1he iulngidcologyis-not-mca

tobctaken
seiiousl Lqthegieatestdagei [; ttalitarianismis
peole \vhg takitdeqgJijn in _Eco'snovel, pooiold
[oige, tl; p_ q_qJq_g;aticbeliefwhodoesnotlaugh,isiathei
atiagichguie. outdated,akindofliving dead,aiemnantofthepast,
ceitainly not a peison iepiesenting the existing social and political
poweis.
Whatconclusionshouldwediawfiomthis:Shouldwesaythatwe
liveinapost-ideologicalsociety: Peihapsitwouldbebettei,bist,totry
tospecifywhatwemeanbyideology.
31 2 MAP P I NG I DEOLOGY
Cynicism as a Form of Ideology
1hemostelementarydeb nitionofideologyisprobablythewell-known
phrasefromMarx'sCapital: 'Sie wissen das nicht, aber sie tun es' -'they do
not know i, m they are doing it'. 1heveryconceptofideologyimpliesa
kind of basic, constitutive naivety. the misrecognition of its own
presuppositions, ofits own efIective conditions, a distance, a diver-
gencebetweenso-calledsocialrealityandourdistortedrepresentation,
ourfalseconsciousnessofit. 1hatiswhysucha 'naive consciousness'
canbesubmittedto a critical-ideological procedure.1he aim ofthis
procedure isto lead the naive ideological consciousness toa pointat
whichitcanrecognizeitsowneffectiveconditions,thesocialrealitythat
itis distorting, and through this very act dissolve itself. In the more
sophisticatedversionsofthecriticsofideology thatdevelopedbythe
FrankfurtSchool,forexampleitisnotustaquestionofseeingthings
(that is, social reality) as they 'really are', of throwing away the
distortingspectaclesofideology,themainpointistoseehowthereality
itselfcannotreproduceitselfwithoutthisso-calledideologicalmystifi-
cation. 1he mask is not simply hiding the real state of things, the
ideologicaldistortioniswrittenintoitsveryessence.
Web nd,then,theparadoxofabeingwhichcanreproduceitselfonly
i nsofarasitismisrecognizedandoverlooked. themomentweseeit'as
it really is', this being dissolves itself into nothingness or, more
precisely, itchangesintoanotherkindofreality.1hatiswhywemust
avoidthesimplemetaphorsofdemasking,ofthrowingawaytheveils
whicharesupposedtohidethenakedreality.
. . . ]
Butallthisisalreadywellknown.itistheclassicconceptofideologyas
'falseconsciousness',misrecognitionofthesocialrealitywhichispartof
this reality itself. Our question is . Does this concept of ideology as a
naive consciousness still apply to today's world: Is it still operating
today:IntheCritique ofCynical Reason, agreatbestselleri nCermany,
l c
PeterSloterdqkputsforwardthethesisthatideology'sdominantmode
of functioning is cynical, which renders impossible or, more
precisely,vain theclassiccritical-ideologicalprocedure.1hecynical
subectisquiteawareofthedistancebetweentheideologicalmaskand
thesocialreality,buthenonethelessstillinsistsuponthe mask. 1he
formula, as proposedby Sloterdik,wouldthen be. 'they knowvery
wellwhattheyaredoing,butstill,theyaredoingit'.Cynicalreasonisno
longernaive,butis a paradoxofanenlightenedfalse consciousness.
oneknowsthefalsehood very well, oneiswellaware ofa particular
interesthiddenbehindanideologicaluniversality,butstillonedoesnot
renounceit.
HOW DI D MARX I NVENT THE S YMPTOM? 3 1 3
We must distinguishthis cynicalposition strictly from what Sloter-
dikcallskynicism. Kynicismrepresentsthepopular, plebeianreection
ofthe ofb cial culture by means ofirony and sarcasm. the classical
kynical procedure is to confront the pathetic phrases ofthe ruling
ofb cialideology its solemn, gravetonality~ with evcrydaybanality
and to hold them up to ridicule, thus exposing behind the sublime
noblesse oftheideologicalphrasestheegotisticalinterests,theviolence,
thebrutal claims to power. 1his procedure, then, is more pragmatic
thanargumentative.itsubvertstheofhcialpropositionbyconfronting
it with the situation ofits enunciation, it proceeds ad hominem (for
example, when a politician preaches the duty ofpatriotic sacribce,
kynicismexposesthe personalgainheismakingfromthesacribceof
others) .
Cynicismi s the answerofthe rulingculturet othiskynicalsubver-
sion. itrecognizes,ittakesinto account, theparticularinterestbehind
theideologicaluniversality,thedistancebetweentheideologicalmask
and the reality, but it still bnds rcasons to retain the mask. 1his
cynicismisnotadirectpositionofimmorality, itismorelikemorality
itselfputintheserviceofimmorality~themodelofcynicalwisdomisto
conceive probity, integrity, as a supreme form of dishonesty, and
moralsasasupremeformofproigacy,thetruthasthemosteffective
formofalie.1hiscynicismisthereforeakindofperverted'negationof
thenegation' oftheofb cialideology. confronted with illegalenrich-
ment, witbrobbery, thecynical reactionconsists in saying that legal
enrichmentisalotmoreeffectiveand,moieover,protectedbythelaw.
AsBertoltBrechtputsitinhisThreepenny Opera: 'whatistherobberyof
abankcomparedtothefoundingofanewbank:'
Itisclear, therefore, that confrontedwith such cynical reason,the
traditional critique of ideology no longer works. We can no longer
subect the ideological text to 'symptomatic reading', confronting it
with its blank spots, with what it must repress to organize itself, to
preserveitsconsistency-cynicalreasontakesthisdistanceintoaccount
inadvance. Isthentheonlyissuelefttoustoafbrmthat,withthereign
ofcynical reason, we bnd ourselves in the so-called post-ideological
world:EvenAdornocametothisconclusion,startingfromthepremiss
th

id
Q).
i
!!
ic

ea
' . @!;9' 3 !
aimto
th

tr
! !1
n
~
im
(l)
a
]!


s
!l
a c yaken.

talitarian ideologno
longerhasthispretension.Itisnolongermeant,evo:}autm,to
be taken seriously- itsstatusisust that ofa meansofmanipulation,
purely __ al an_

stl, its rule is secured not by its truth


valuebutbysimpleextra-ideologicalviolenceandpromiseofgain.
It is here, at this point, that the distinctionbetween symptom and
3 1 4
MAP P I NG I DEOLOGY
fantasy mustbeintioducedinoideitoshowhowtheideathatw(ivein
apost-ideological society pioceeds a lrttle tooquickly. cynical ieason,
withallitsiionicdetachment,leavesuntouchedthefundamentallevel
ofideologicalfantasy, thelevelonwhichideologystiuctuiesthesocial
iealityitself.
Ideological Fantasy
Ifwe wantto giasp this dimensionoffantasy, we mustietuin tothe
Maixianfoimula'theydonotknowit,buttheyaiedoingit' ,andpose
ouiselves aveiy simple question.
'
ie_is t
-

q_qc

li|
lon,i nthe'knowing' oii nthe'doing' theiealiy)sl[Athistsrght,
h w i+s gcaluisinthe'knowing'.Itis
a mattei ofa discoidance between what people aie effectively doing
andwhattheythinktheyaiedoing ideologyconsistsintheveiyfact
thatthepeople'donotknowwhattheyaieieallydoing' , thattheyha
\
e
afalseiepiesentationofthesocialiealitytowhichtheybelong(tedrs-
toitionpioduced,ofcouise, bythesameieality).L

stakeagat
.
te
classicMaixianexampleofso-calledcommodityfetrshtsm.moneyrsI
iealityustanembodiment,acondensation,amateiializa
.
tionofan

t-
woikofsocialielations thefactthatitfunctionsasaumveisalequrv-
alentofallcommoditiesisconditionedbyitspositioninthetextuieof
social ielations. But to the individuals themselves, this function of
money tobetheembodimentofwea|th ap

eaisas a

immediat

,
natuial piopeity ofa thing called 'money', as rfmoney ts alieady
itself, in its immediate mateiial ieality, the embodiment of wealth.
Heie,wehavetouchedupontheclassicMaixistmotiveof 'ieihcation' .
behind the things, the ielation between things, we must detect the
socialielations,theielationsbetweenhuman subects.
ButsuchaieadingoftheMaixianfoimulaleavesoutanillusion,an
eiioi,adistoitionwhichisalieadyatwoikinthesocialiealityitself, at
thelevelofwhattheindividualsaiedoing, andnotonlywhattheythink
oiknow theyaiedoing.Whenindividualsuse money,theykno

ve
'
y
well that theie is nothing magical about it that money, rts
mateiiality, is simply anexpiessionofsocial ielations. 1he eveiyday
spontaneous ideology ieduces money to a simple sign giving the
individualpossessingitaiighttoaceitain paitofthe social pioduct.
So,onaneveiydaylevel,theindividualsknowveiywellthattheieaie
ielations between people behind the ielations between things. 1he
pioblemisthatintheii socialactivityitself,inwatteyaieoing, t|ey
aie acting as if money, in its mateiial ieality, rs the rmmedrate
embodimentofwealthas such.1heyaiefetishists inpiactice,notin
HOW D I D MARX I NVENT THE S YMPTOM? 3 1 5
th
eoiy. What they 'do not know', what they misiecognize, is the fact
that in theii social ieality itself, in theii social activity in the actof
commodityexchangetheyaieguidedbythefetishisticillusion.
1omakethiscleai,letusagaintaketheclassicMaixian motiveofthe
speculativeinveisionoftheielationshipbetweentheUniveisalandthe
Paiticulai.1heUniveisalisustapiopeityofpaiticulaiobectswhich
ieallyexist,butwhenweaievictimsofcommodityfetishismit app;
asiftheconcieteconteomnoulymsuscxmc) isanexpiession
ofitsabstiactuniveisality(itsexchangevalue)~ theabstiactUniveisal,
the Value, appeais as a iealSubstancewhich successivelyincainates
itselfi naseiiesofconcieteobects. 1hatisthebasicMaixianthesis.itis
alieady the effective woild ofcommodities which behaves like a
Hegeliansubect-substance,likeaUniveisalgoing thiough aseiies of
paiticulaiembodiments.Maixspeaksabout'commoditymetaphysics',
about the 'ieligion of eveiyday life' . 1he ioots of philosophical
speculativeidealismaiei nthesocialiealityofthewoildofcommodi-
ties,itisthiswoildwhichbehaves'idealistically' oi,asMaixputsitin
thehistchapteiofthehisteditionofCapital:
This inversion through which what is sensible and concrete counts only as a
phenomenal form of what is abstract and universal, contrary to the real state
of things where the abstract and the universal count only as a property of the
concrete - such an inversion is characteristic of the expression of value, and
it is this inversion which, at the same time, makes the understanding of this
expression so difficult. I f I say: Roman law and German law are both laws, it
is something which goes by itself. But if, on the contrary, I say: 'THE Law,
this abstract thing, realizes itself in Roman law and in German law, i. e. in
these concrete la ws, the interconnection becomes mystical.
1hequestiontoaskagainis. Wheieistheillusionheie:We mustnot
foiget that the bouigeois individual, in his eveiyday ideology, is
dehnitely not a speculative Hegelian. he does not conceive the
paiticulaicontentasiesultingfiomanautonomousmovementofthe
univeisalI dea. Heis,onthecontiaiy,agoodAnglo-Saxonnominalist,
thinkingthattheUniveisalisapiopeityofthePaiticulai thatis,of
ieally existing things. Value in itselfdoes not exist, theie aieust
individual things which, among othei piopeities, have value. 1he
pioblem is that i n his piactice, i n his iealactivity, he acts as ifthe
paiticulaithings(thecommodities)weieustsomanyembodimentsof
univeisalValue. 1oiephiase Maix.He knows ver well that Roman law
and German law are just two kinds oflaw, but in his practice, he acts as if the
Law it5el; this abstract entity, realizes itsel in Roman law and in German law.
Sonowwehavemadeadecisivestepfoiwaid,wehaveestablisheda
newwaytoieadtheMaixianfoimula'theydonotknowit,buttheyaie
3 I MAP P I NG I DEOLOGY
doingit' .t|.ei||usionisnotonthesideofknowledgeitis alre_onthe
side ofieality itse|ff what th p_l

aj doipg. Whatthey donot


knows thattIeii scia|:aiiy itself, their activiy, is guided by an
i||usion, by a fetishistic inversion. What they over|ook, what they
misrecognize, is not the reality but the i||usion which is stiucturing
theiirea|ity,theiirea|socia| activity.1heyknowveiywe|lhowthings
real|yare,butsti|| theyaredoingitasiftheydidnotknow.1hei||usion
is theiefore doub| e. it consists i n over|ooking the il|usion which is
stiucturing oui rea|, effective relationship to rea|ity. And this ovei-
|ooked,unconsciousil|usioniswhatmaybeca||edtheideological fantasy.
If oui concept of ideo|ogy remains the c|assic one in which the
|||usion is located in know|edge, then today's society must appeai
post-ideo|ogica|.theprevailingideo|ogyisthatofcynicism,peop|eno
longei be|ieve in ideologica| truth, they do not take ideo|ogical
propositionsseiious|y.1hefundamenta||evelofideo|ogy,however,is
not of an i|lusion masking the real state of things but that of an
(unconscious) fantasy structuringoui socia| iea|ity itself. And at this
leve|, weareofcouisefaifiombeingpost-ideo|ogica|society.Cynical
distanceisustoneway~ oneofmanyways- tob|indouise|vestothe
structuringpowerofideo|ogicalfantasy.evenifwedonottakethings
seiious|y, evenifwekeepanironica|distance,we are still doing them.
It is from this standpoint that we can accountforthe formu|aof
cynica|reasonproposedby Sloterdik. 'theyknowverywe||whatthey
aredoing,butsti||,theyaredoingit'. Ifthei||usionweieonthesideof
knowledge,thenthecynica|positionwou|diea|lybeapost-ideologica|
position,simplyapositionwithouti||usions. 'they knowwhattheyaie
doing, and they aie doingit' . But ifthe p|ace ofthei||usionis in the
realityofdoingitse|f, then this formulacanbe iead in quite another
way.'theyknowthat,i ntheiractivity,theyarefo||owingani||usion,but
stil|, they are doing it' . For examp|e, they know that their idea of
Freedom is masking a particularformofexploitation, but they sti||
continuetofo|lowthis ideaofFreedom.
The Objectivity of Belief
Fromthisstandpoint,itwou|da|sobeworthrereadingthee|ementary
Marxianformulationofso-cal|edcommodityfetishism.inasocietyin
whichtheproductsofhuman|abouracquiretheformofcommodities,
the ciucialrelations between peop|e take on the foim ofre|ations
betweenthings,betweencommoditiesinsteadofimmediatere|ations
betweenpeop|e, wehave scia|re|ationsbetweenthings. Inthe l 90s
and l 970s,thisvvlo|e prob|ewuoiscredie o`Althusseiian
HOW DI D MARX I NVENT THE SYMPTOM?
3 l 7
anti-humanism. 1heprincipa|reproachoftheA|thusserianswasthat
the Marxian theory of commodity fetishism is based on a naive,
ideo|ogica|,epistemologica||yunfoundedoppositionbetweenpersons
(human subects) and things. But a Lacanian ieading can give this
formu|ationa new, unexpectedtwist. thesubveisivepowerofMarx's
approachliesprecise|yi nthewayheusestheoppositionofpeisonsand
things.
[ . . + ]
The point of Marx's analysis is that things (commodities) themselves believe in
the place of subjects: it is as if a|| their be|iefs, superstitions and
m

apysical mystications, supposed|y surmountedby the rationa|,


utihtarranpersona|ity, are embodied i nthe 'socia| re|ations between
thing

' . 1heyno|ongeibelieve,but the things themselves believe for them.


1hrs se

ms a|sotoea
.
basic Lacanianproposition, contrarytothe
us

a|thesr

tha
.
ta be|iefrs somethinginterioi and knowledge some-
thmgexterror(mthesensethatitcanbeverihedthroughanexterna|
proceduie) . Rathei,itisbe|iefwhichisradical|yexterior,embodiedi n
thepractica|, efIective piocedureofpeople. Itissimilarto1ibetan
prayer
.
wheels. youwriteaprayeionapieceofpaper,putthero||ed
papermtoa wheel, andturnitautomatica||y,without thinking (or,i f
youwa
'
ttopr

ceed
.
accordingtotheHege|ian'cunningofreason',you
attachrttoawmdmr||,sothatitismovedaroundbythewi nd). I nthis
way, the whee| itselfis praying for me, instead of me - oi more
precise|y, I myse|famprayingthroughthemediumofthewhe|. 1he
beautyofita|listhatinmypsycho|ogica|inteiiorityI canthinkabout
"
hateveiIwant,Icanyie|dtothemostdirtyandobscenefantasies,and
rtdoes not mattei because~ to use a good o|d Stalinist expression
whateverIamthinking,objectively Iampraying.
[ . .]
'Law is Law'
1he|essontobediawnfromthisconcerningthesocia|he|disabovea||
thatbe|ief, farfrombeingan'intimate', purely menta| state, isalways
materialized in our effective socialactivity. beliefsupports the fantasy
whichregulatessocia|iea|ity.LetustakethecaseofKafka. itisusua|ly
said thatin the 'irrationa|' universe ofhis nove|s, Kafkahasgivenan
'exaggerated' ,' fantastic','subective|ydistoited'expressiontomodein
bureaucracyandthefate oftheindividua|withinit. Insayingthiswe
over|ook the ciucia| fact that it is this very 'exaggeration' which
articulates the fantasy regu|ating the libidinal functioning of the
'effective','iea|'bureaucracyitse|f.
3 1 8 MAPPI NG I DEOLOGY
1he so-called ' Kalka's univeise' i s not a 'lantasy-image ol social
ieality'but,onthecontiaiy,themise en scene ofthe fantas which is at work
in the midst of social realit itself: weallknowveiywellthatbuieauciacyis
not all-poweilul, but oui 'ellective' conduct in the piesence ol
buieauciatic machineiy isalieady iegulatedbya belielinits almigh
tiness. . . . In contiast to the usual 'ciiticism ol ideology' tiying to
deduce the ideological loim ol a deteiminate society liom the
conunction olits ellective social ielations, the analytical appioach
aimsaboveallattheideologicallantasyelbcientinsocialiealityitsell.
Whatwecall'socialieality'isinthelastiesoitanethicalconstiuction,
it i s suppoited by a ceitain if (we act as if we believe in the
almightinessolbuieauciacy,as i thePiesidentincainatestheWillol
the People, as if the Paity expiesses the obective inteiest ol the
woikingclass . . . ) . Assoonasthebeliel(which,letusiemindouiselves
again, is deb nitely notto be conceivedata ' psychological' level. itis
embodied,mateiialized,intheellectivelunctioningolthesocialheld)
islost,theveiytextuieolthesocialb elddisintegiates. 1hiswasalieady
aiticulatedbyPascal,oneolAlthussei'spiincipalpointsolieleiencein
hisattempttodeveloptheconceptol' Ideological StateAppaiatuses'.
AccoidingtoPascal,theinteiioiityolouiieasoningisdeteiminedby
theexteinal,nonsensical'machine'-automatismolthesignihei,olthe
symbolicnetwoikinwhichthesubectsaiecaught.
For we must make no mistake about ourselves: we are as much automaton as
mind . . . . Proofs only convince the mind; habit provides the strongest
proofs and those that are most believed. It inclines the automaton, which
leads the mind unconsciously along with it. 2
0
HeiePascalpioducestheveiyLacaniandebnitionoltheunconscious.
'the automaton (i. e. thedead, senselesslettei), which leads the mind
unconsciously[sans le savoirJ withit'.Itlollows,liomthisconstitutively
senselesschaiacteioltheLaw,thatwemustobeyitnotbecauseitis ust,
goodoievenbenehcial,butsimplybecause it is the law thistautology
aiticulates the vicious ciicle ol its authoiity, the lact that the last
loundationoltheLaw'sauthoiityliesinitspiocessolenunciation.
Custom i s the whole of equity for the sole reason that i t i s accepted. That is
the mystic basis of its authority. Anyone who tries to bring it back to its frst
principle destroys it.2 1
1he only ieal obedien

ce, then,i s an'exteinal' one. obedience out ol


conviction is not ieal obedience because it is alieady 'mediated'
thiough oui subectivity ~ that is, we aie not ieally obeying the
authoiitybutsimplylollowingouiudgement,whichtellsusthatthe
HOW D I D MARX I NVENT THE S YMPTOM? 3 1 9
authoiity deseives to be obeyed in so lai as it is good, wise,
beneb cent . . . Even moie than loi oui ielation to 'exteinal' social
authoiity, this inveision applies to oui obedience to the inteinal
authoiity olbeliel. it was Kieikegaaid who wiote that to believe in
Chiistbecauseweconsideihimwiseandgoodisadieadlulblasphemy
- itis,onthecontiaiy,onlytheactolbelielitsellwhichcangiveusan
insightinto his goodness andwisdom. Ceitainlywe must seaich loi
iationalieasonswhichcansubstantiateouibeliel,ouiobediencetothe
ieligious command, but the ciucial ieligious expeiience is thatthese
ieasonsievealthemselvesonlytothosewhoalieadybelieve webnd
ieasons attesting oui beliel because we alieady believe, we do not
believebecausewehaveloundsulbcientgoodieasonstobelieve.
'Exteinal'obedience to the Lawisthus not submission to exteinal
piessuie, to so-called non-ideological 'biute loice', but obedience to
theCommandinsolaiasitis'incompiehensible',notundeistood,in
solaiasitictainsa'tiaumatic','iiiational'chaiactei.lailiomhidingits
lullauthoiity,thistiaumatic,non-integiatedchaiacteioltheLawisa
positive condition ofit. 1his is the lundamentalleatuie olthe psycho-
analyticconceptolthesuperego: aninunctionwhichisexpeiiencedas
tiaumatic, 'senseless' ~ that is, which cannot be integiated into the
symbolic univeise ol the subect. But loi the Law to lunction
'noimally',thistiaumaticlactthat'customisthewholeolequityloithe
sole ieason that it is accepted' the dependence olthe Law on its
piocessolenunciationoi, touse aconceptdevelopedbyLaclauand
Moulle,itsiadicallycontingent chaiactei~ mustbeiepiessedintothe
unconscious, thiough the ideological, imaginaiy expeiience ol the
'meaning'oltheLaw,olitsloundationin[ustice,1iuth(oi,inamoie
modeinway,lunctionality) .
It would therefore be a good thing for us to obey laws and customs because
they are laws . . . . But people are not amenable to this doctrine, and thus,
believing that truth can be found and resides in laws and customs, they
believe them and take their antiquity as a proof of their truth (and not just of
their authority, without truth).22
Itis highly signihcant that we hnd exactlythe same loimulation in
Kalka's Trial, at the end ol the conveisation between K. and the
piiest.
' I do not agree with that point of view,' said K., shaking his head, 'for if one
accepts it, one must accept as true everything the door-keeper says. But you
yourself have suffciently proved how impossible it is to do that.' 'No,' said
the priest, 'it is not necessary to accept everything as true, one must
320 MAPPI NG I DEOLOGY
only accept i t as necessary." A melancholy conclusion,' said K. ' It turns lying
into a universal principle. '23
Whatis'iepiessed',then,isnotsomeobscuieoiiginoftheLawbutthe
veiyfactthattheLawisnottobeacceptedastiue, onlyasnecessaiy -
thefactthatits authoriy is without truth. 1henecessaiystiuctuialillusion
whichdiivespeopletobelievethattiuthcanbefoundinlawsdesciibes
pieciselythemechanismoftransference: tiansfeienceisthissupposition
ofa1iuth,ofaMeaningbehindthestupid,tiaumatic,inconsistentfact
oftheLaw. In otheiwoids,'tiansfeience'names the viciousciicleof
belief.