edited and with an introduction by Cary Nelson and lawrence Grossberg

vettrSt:J~ 5 \ tJ(J ~ ~ 12I

\

University

I

Urbana and Chicago

of Illinois Press

current provisional take. instead of undertaking once more the line of pure theoretical critique and refutation. marked by the emergence of the New Right. first . marxism has failed to renovate its own thinkIng sufficiently to explain how modern capitalism remains in beHig and sustains its hegemonic position in industrialized societies. Confronting and understanding Thatcherisrn may be the price we have to pay for a real advance In theoretical enlightenment within the Marxist problematic. or position. While I believe The Poverty of Theory to have been an ill-judged. in recent years. Much of this has taken the form of elaborate deconstructions of the classical marxist theory of ideology. so that the whole results in the most barbarously hybrid language). where skillful argument and serious exemplification-were the modes required. without ever once touching ground and without reference to a single concrete case or historical example. the impact of structuralism in the early 1970s. and specifically to the current political conjuncture in Britain. which mirrors in its very extremism the object it is criticizing (the project of Althusserianism). with respect to theorizing the domain of ideology. is only the latest. most prestigious example of this backlash. Second. conducted by way of brilliant but crude polemic and caricature. we have abandoned the problems of concrete historical analysis. The Poverty of Theory. this period of intense theorization has also engendered its opposite-a rigorous critique. However. The paper takes off from and reflects on this heightened period of theoretical contestation.' It is possible-indeed. it clearly has a point. Therefore. in the course of the argument it summarizes a number of positions in the recent debate on ideology. Edward Thompson's book. on a number of those debates. First. roughly. I have attempted in this paperagain in summary fashion-to refer some of the substantive emergent positions in the debate about ideology to the analysis of a concrete political problem. the accession to power. usually on words already borrowed from the French. We have been passing through a veritable deluge. Its structure is simple. intemperate enterprise. it represents a summary of my own. in the pursuit of theory for its own sake. and the charge that. it had been widely attempted-to pile up one sophisticated speculative theoretical construction on top of another (meanwhile compounding the puns. This paper is summary in several senses. of the hyperabstraction and overtheoreticism that has characterized theoretical speculation since. without attempting to elaborate arguments or detail objections.Stuart Hall The Toad in the Garden: Thatcherism among the Theorists Until now.

. "backward. even where the actual reality of imptementation was extremely patchy.. Above all.in the Conservative party an~ then in two successive governments. Basical~y. (1?rincipally in the f~rm of reformist Labo~r governments) cameWIth brief interludes-cto dominate the British social formation in the 1960s ~nd 1?70s. It did not. and improved conditions for the less well-off-the only terms on WhICh the historic compromise could operate. too unmodernized. Harold Wilson made a bold attempt to consolidate this hegemony of social democracy by harnessing a number of different sectors within Stuart Hall a broad alliance or historical bloc composed of "workers by hand and brain" (an unlikely social alliance. a n~w ~nd of unwri~ten social contract emerged through WhIC~~ bargain. race. and alarms that frequently accompanies the struggles for the formation of a new hegemonic stage. The underlying conditions for this stabilization did not exist. settled period of reform capitalism under social democratic management. it was social democracy. both to harness the working classes to t~e ~o~oratIst bargains through the trade unions and. high wag. Had this attempt succeeded.not. but a kind of explor~tory te~t can be made. That~her and t~e political philosophy ("Thatcherism") she represents. which stretched from the skilled white-coated machinist on the shop floor to the forward-looking company management team) and linking it with the "white heat" of the new technology behind a corporatist state. Labor. reformist goals and strategies tended ~o set the objectives for the political scene. however. industrial conflict. But the more fundamental forces dictating the political direction in the Conservative party were those . crises. the SItuation was characterized by a profound. the Left accepted to work broadly within th: t~rms of a modifi~d capitalism and within the Western bloc sphere of strategic ~nfluenc~. One phase of hegemony had disintegrated. paternal.In I~Sm~re. . was struck between the different con~ctIng SOCIalInterests In society. Britain-one of the oldest and now one of the weakest links in the capitalist chain-began to polarize under the conflicting pressures that had eroded the basis of the earlier settlement. and the commitment to full employment as the terms of peaceful compromise between capital and labor. In return. finding within it at least a fundamental commitment to the free-:~terpnse system. then in the countercultural social movements around the Vietnam War.rst? let me briefly and schematically characterize the political conjuncture. This followed the immediate postwar period of "restoration" In which fundamental. It_ispossib~e fo~quite different actual political regimes to function In and dominate a historic compromise of that type." within the framework of U.. the many real differences of emphasis and a number ofbI~ter political and industrial struggles which marked the political scene fr. obliged in a crisis to defend the system it had never intended to transform. at the same time. conservatIs~. The Right-marginalizing their more reactionary and free-market elements-settled for the welfare state . understand.Ital corporatist arrangements that developed as the basis of economic policy and planning ~n the period. By "dominate" I mean that Labour came.om time to time. the society entered that era of contestations. If that IS so.a temporary interloper. at the turn of the century. and thereby to inform our practice so that we may transform It. world hegemony and an expanding Atl~~cis~. the ethic of possessive individualism and rugged co~petItI~n that afforded them ideological cover. These elements were combined WIth the more traditional. the Keynesian management of economic poli~y. that seemed best able to manage the new big-state/bigcaP. of course.DespIte. penetration. As the world economic recession began to deepen. of the Liberal party as the alternative party of government and the rise of Labour in its place.ocrac!. this cannot be answered In detail WIthin th~ scope ?f a si~gle paper. they were permitted to air their recidivistic social doctrine~ (~e hangem-and-flogem brigade) and to push a version of crude economic 10dividualism and the petit-bourgeois ethic of competition against what they regarded as the too well bred Tory squirearchy. strikes.. many traditional free-market ideological elements had gravitated from their traditional liberal home to the Conservative party. treating the Issue In a summary fashion. discipline them through Labour's historic alliance with the unions. And that IS what IS attempted here. too tied to a traditional worldwide imperial financial role. it would have created the historical conditions for a long.t range. not. But in the period of the postwar compromise. ~ histon~ compromrse.on ideology exhibit~ thegreates. and finally (during the Conservative interregnum of Edward Heath) in the industrial conflict and militancy of the early 1970s-and the social-democratic-dominated consensus that had stabilized the British political scene up to that point began to fracture and its legitimacy to evaporate. The political character of the postwar period In Bntain was defined by the "settlement" arrived at in the 19~Os. moral and social values. . Both in the heartland of economic life-wages. The internal contradictions inscribed in the historic compromise from its inception began to emerge-first. But. The British economy and the whole industrial structure were too weak. production.demonstrable aspects. traditional social roles a~d mores-the society declined into crisis. Let out on a tight leash at party conferences. union militancy. for the moment. was forced more and more into the role of disciplining its own working class. capitalist imperatives were restored to their rightful position under the aegis of Harold Macmillan's Conservative regime in the "amue~t 1950s.ms of a~ountIng for the nse of the New Right and the extraordinary PO~tIcal C?nj~n~ture to which it has led? Obviously. This was the moment of the New Right.S. for the first time In British history." and undercapitalized to generate the huge surpluses required both to sustain the capital accumulation and profitability processes and cream off enough to finance the welfare state. organic Tory tradition to compose the highly contradictory formation that modern conservatism became. "settled" or contained. materialize out of thin air. to look like an alternative majority party of government. Ever since the disappearance. comprehensive education. for a range of structural factors that cannot be entered into here variants of social dem. and explanatory power In t~t. underlying consensus or compromise on the fundamental social and economic framework within which conflicts were. Fi. In the early 1960~. The purpose of theorizing is not to enhance one's Intellectu~ or academic reputation but to enable us to grasp. . then which of the various positions in the current debate . in the social and political upheavals of the 1960s. The 9-uestIOnI pose IS simple. and explain=to produce a more adequate knowledge of-the historical world and It~ processes. of Mrs. permissiveness. these neoliberal elements were decidedly pushed to the margins of the party.es. and so on-and in the emergent arenas of social life-crime.

dertaken by the government and m tants and the umons were uncreeping elements of state c~pitali::e~~:sh w~r~ made to break with the 1Odustry. ~nder Heath. free-market.series of speeches "organic intellectuals" of PThYat has. of a distinctly shaky and shadv v ousmg boom.ati~~' corpor~tist management strategies. trade union bar aini ' Keynesian demand management of and big-state/big-capital combi.w~ich state 10 the operations of the free market' e 10." The mission ofThatcherism was to reconstruct an alternative ideological bloc of a distinctively neoliberal. It was with his retiremen . It gained ascendancy first by contesting and defeating the old guard-the party guardians. family.expobsed. ~~~t~~::~~r~~~vert~-~irdKeith Joseph. but it seems to me a claim. but from the public POliticJ'p~o~t~rom/he ideological leadership of the 0 emerged as the public figure best ~~~ont ~art~ leader.clC?sero the t the nsmg anarchic elements in iet ' the ~eed for social discipline against black immigrants-these volatilsoc~e y. It is true that in the diffic~l. Its mission was to stem the anticapitalist tide it believed had been allowed to gather impetus during the 1960s-the view. " ~elfare.nal Toryism.and to restore a more free-market a eC?l!le normal ~n British The penod began with a runa h ' . in economic and political life. Law and ord~~ng the Conserv:ativ~s . (1970-74). this meant reversing the trend to state-subsidized welfare. free market into the homespun idioms Jf .of life 10 . and to break the incremental curve of working-class power and bargaining strength. widespread social assistance s~t co. to put it summarily. of course. th~t Mrs. around which Thatcherism in its ascendancy managed to cohere the semblance of ideological unity. Its second historic mission was to reverse the dominant trends in British society.competItive economic regime. Of course. "breaking the spell of the welfare state. competition-or-bust spirit of the Yet when Thatcheris~I~~~~ns or rehe~sals o~ Thatcherism. and the early Heath period as vivfd ant' . Englishness. underpinning profitability. Thatcherism has never achieved absolute domination in electoral terms. the popularity in free market.d-~~der. without. including that of Mr leading ideologue. and the stron law-an IS OCuS?':l race.and ~despread bankruptcies as nomic community. The period endede~:~ c.h~:~e of the European ecow~ek and the government brought d WI . made tentatively in 1979 when I predicted successfully Thatcherism's quite unexpected victory in the election of that year. be39 Stuart Hall .vere t e order of the day. and nation. when the sig~s of crisis years of Mr: H~ath's government were some significant departures mwe~e clearly beginning to show. restoring private enterprise and the imperatives of the free market and offree-market forces. that has. in the prophetic title of a pamphlet from the Centre for Policy Studies (of which more will be said later)." Until its magical aura of invincibility began to depart. radically different from older ave ominated the party throughout the postwar period-or. is a versions of conservatism that h gICdal force. This contradictory structure of ideas. that no bright young person would be caught dead going into business-and also to crack the whole pattern of social expectations predicated on increased state support-or what was called. The government retains the support of somewhat less than a majority of the British electorate-the scale of the 1983 victory was undoubtedly fictitiously magnified by the Falklands episode and by the split in the ranks opposite.crac~. keeping wages in check. whi~h they saw as built into a IOn of the government in ower mo. by now habituated to Keynesian recipes for dealing with crises in the economic life. if anything. rather. Thatcher monetarism and the gospel of the e 0 an~ ate the high nostrums of of the Tory householder. a virulent racism directed against very much to the fore in the elec~i~nements of the populist program were 1 state-trade union bargaining links w~. via the trade unions. th~ the Heath government but who -w. . ervention of a limited kind the economy. 0 a been rmrusters in called the trend toward "state no~ Da~asc~s-like. achieving universal success at any point in this historic venture. The aim was to reconstruct social life as a whole around a return to the old values-the philosophies of tradition. to transform the underpinning ideologies of the Keynesian state and thus disorganize the power bloc. tions of the electorate by his high h d na e some crucial sectouch.attempting to adapt conservatism to th '. The most novel aspect of Thatcherism was indeed the very way in which it combined the new doctrines of the free market with some of the traditional emphases of organic Toryism. combining the different elements of conservatism in a radically distinctive and original way. reversing the balance of power and restoring the prerogatives of management. w at~ver the actual complexthe leadership stakes withitthe C· Publicly. corporatlsn:t was buried. possessive individualist kind. What concerns us more specifically here are the reversals at which Thatcherism aimed in the area of social thought or the ideological domain. and control. been strengthened and confirmed rather than disproved by the passage of time. there neoli?~ral political pole. Joseph remains one of the key . and breaking the power the working class had come to exercise in society. and M~s. a splurge of new banks industry tuned up for the mor: c~:ety. is best captured in the paradoxical slogan the political theorist Andrew Gamble coined on its behalf: "Free market and strong state. repudiated what they ~onjuncture dominated by soci~o~~ sm. though radically distinct political and ideole: . Enoch Powel[~~:' h~e~ospectIvelY. On matters of policy. rolling back the tide of state intervention. Its first historic mission was not to bend and subvert but to contest and disperse the social democratic corporatist consensus that had dominated the political scene since the end of the Second World War and to disorganize the common sense-the political taken-forgranted-ofthe British postwar political settlement. This judgment could be and has been contested. ntI: 1Odustry?~ a three-day miners' union..e ements of ~raditIo.e ~70kFor a time. before setting about winnin rans o~e the Conservative party back to what Gramsci would carr ~~d ~:ansfo~nl1~gthe country. d Thatcherism thus won and t f d first. c ensm ut he alie t d . this formation had made enormous advances. This was conceived on no narrow economistic basis. I shall come ment of party" -later It is s ffici s organizational moment" -the "moit ~wes much to and 'integra~es c~ent ~ere to say that :r~atcherism. breaking the curve of public spending and the public sector. patriarchalism. Many have inte own 10 a e~d-on collision with the this period of Mr.an e man~er and. WIth a . respectability. "creeping corporatism" of all r t y emerged It ~as plt~hed against the Heath. nation. It was 10 the prelude period to as the leading ideologue of an in onservatrve party th~t Joseph first emerged in which the "new philoso h "n~r-party revolution. And it was led b di ti ecet.n~ltlOns . capital. the patricians-and the old doctrines.lack of the common bloc.' governments. the head-on confrontations with industrial en.

not only turned the tables but begun to reconstruct the social order. Even in the period of accident-prone government. Some of this movement may be temporary and may well revert. This account. of the Labour party's social base. enlisting popular consent among significant sections of the dominated classes. and policy circles. abandoning their traditional loyalty to Labour. which we came to assume were part and parcel of the very conditions of survival of British capitalism-big-state/big-capital corporatist strategies of management and the other corporatist features that late-capitalist economies seem to impose on the free play of market forces-are in the process of being either dismantled or reworked into new combinations. Even that is too crudely quantitative a measure. does not contradict the fact that. conceived not in terms of outright victory but more in terms of the mastery of an unequal equilibrium. The fact is that Thatcherism has succeeded in reversing or putting into reverse gear many of the historic postwar trends. On the other hand. The rate of inflation has been reduced and public expenditure cut." the private right to dispose of one's own wealth." we find instead significant differences of ideological formation within the so-called dominant classes. Thatcher has consistently run into difficulties. with respect to the various theories of ideology. Substantial sections of the skilled and semiskilled industrial classes. and longer-term gamble for support. such as we find in or derive from Marx and Engels's German Ideology. however abbreviated. for example-though powerfully articulated in the field of entrepreneurship. no politician in the parliamentary electoral system lasts forever. One sign of this ideological success is the effective penetration into and dismantling of parts of the heartland. This is the aspect of the phenomenon that. It set out to and has effectively become a populist political force. the ideological effectivity of Thatcherism in defining new contours in political language and calculation is striking. This points up the degree to which so-called concrete historical or empirical work is always inscribed by particular theories. a continuing level of unemployment of over three million) have come to compound her many tactical blunders and errors. successfully presenting itself as a force on the side of the people and moving into a commanding. ideology cannot function on its own.Stuart Hall tween the Labour party and the newly formed Liberal Social Democratic Alliance. positively won space. There has been a striking reversal of values: the aura that used to attach to the value of the public welfare now adheres to anything that is private-or can be privatized. and the fact that it has not swept everything before it. Many things affirmed in Thatcherite ideology have not materialized in the so-called real world. Thatcherism has. we should not mistake an ideological reading for an analysis ofthe conjuncture as a whole. and that there are many significant points or pockets of resistance (the national health service. qualitatively and without question. in crude electoral support terms. there are common features that different accounts would recognize at least as posing common problems requiring explanation to the different theoretical perspectives. remains one). the Labour party has only just managed. the equation between freedom and the free market. indeed. We have. it is not possible to give a theoretically neutral account. stoic. to come level in the opinion polls-a position not strong enough to reverse the overwhelming majority Thatcherism has secured in Parliament. Quite rapidly in the wake of her second historic victory at the polls in 1983. this must suffice as an account of the phenomenon to be explained. especially in the less deindustrialized parts of the country. not just of political debate in parliament. Mrs. What is particularly significant for our purposes is Thatcherism's capacity to become popular. have become the terms of trade. in these areas. It has changed the currency of political thought and argument. now questions of "value for money. ) Despite the above qualification. position in society through a combination of the imposition of soc~al discipline from above-an iron regime for Iron Times-and of populist mobilization from below-the combination I have elsewhere charactenzed 40 as "authoritarian populism" (to which I shall return later). (No prizes are awarded to the reader who identified the Gramscian concepts that have informed my reading of the conjuncture. Many of the trends and tendencies in postwar British society. is not. such as at the crest of the Falklands adventure. Where previously social need had begun to establish its own imperatives against the laws of market forces. taking the period of political contestation from the successful contest for the leadership of the party to the present. but the economy has not been revitalized nor unemployment reduced nor the money supply effectively constrained." Small businesses are rapidly being set up and almost as rapidly going to the wall. Petit-bourgeois-type social values. Nevertheless. the leading political and ideological force. as well as in the restoration of family values and the traditional roles for women-so far lack what might be called a "crudely material effect. for example. Whereas in that theory we would expect a broad coincidence or correspondence between "ruling class" and "ruling ideas. the press. the mainstream. Of course. or leading. Nevertheless. in less than a decade. with no perfect or consistent class symmetry in the way these ideological formations are distributed among classes. and a majority of the unemployed-to name only some social categories-have gone over to Thatcherism in the last two elections. value for money. a large sector of the working-class urban vote. A major ideological reversal is in progress in society at large. It has begun to dismantle and erode the terms of the unwritten social contract on which the social forces settled after the war. but in the thought and language of everyday calculation. been required to speak of an internal contestation 41 . most requires explanation. Thatcherism has. I think there is still enough ground for saying that the conjuncture I have just outlined is only partially and inadequately explained by the application of what we would call the "classic variant" of the marxist theory of ideology. No government is perfect. as some of the longer-term strategic failures (for example. But for the absolutely critical decade in which Britain has absorbed the full impact of world capitalist recession. the journals'. Inadequate as it is. and not only at the fever-pitch high points. The claims in the economic arena are not that "monetarism works" but that "there is no alternative" -a sober. a significant percentage of organized trade unionists. The description of the conjuncture is already ordered and organized by a set of concepts. theoretically innocent. Thatcherism has become. especially among those sectors of the society whose interests it cannot possibly be said to represent in any conventional sense of the term. of course. and the sacred character of the rates.

has emerged as the result of an extended ideological struggle within the ruling bloc. or as a 0i:f~~I~J~~~~~I~~ econo!Dic.weakness abo~~ ~~~~~s~. Wit~~n the gap opened 1:1: ~e~e between theoretical prediction and hi~torico-e~pmchal reality ISm:i~e ~. at least in its more abstract and general form.re ~~s~~~:l 're~tions. I have already noted that Thatcherism is a quite distinct.than predicted to perc~aie mass consciousness· the unemployed. to go marching through history with monetarism imprinted (in Poulantzas's memorable phrase) "like a number plate on its back. b. Keynesianism)and actively working on the discursive space. historically novel. the paternal duties the privileged owe to the lower orders. are propositions equally foreign to classical marxism. The latter point is not. only in a new and challengmg fo~. precipitating a rupture in their traditional discourses {laborism.d d ithi the sociomasochlstIC per- :!~~ =E~f~~~~f. found expression.~o~:e~~~e~i:i ~~t~h~!~S:~~~I~~~i~a~nde predictab~. Between a quarter and a third of the British working class. ¥~s determined by strict material factors.~~ ~~~~o~k~ concrete empirical developm ent ?tf cl.: into working-class heads. the idea of the internal fractioning of the ideological universe of the dominant classes. society as an orderly hierarchy of "powers. confronte with this historical fact is the recourse to "false consciousness. Indeed. Far from one whole unified class outlook being locked in permanent struggle with the class outlook of an opposing class. ~n:~~~~c~ th hole dilemma of classical marxist t eory m our h po~itical action." We are looking here at a significant shift in thinking. e ~~e~s~~ndafous Indictment of~he system. fractured. Thatcherism would be understood as in no significant way different from traditional conservative ruling ideas.:~~I~I~~nb:rC:~~)lI. 42 and so on..Stuart Hall between one set of ruling ideas and another. a ainst the odds. 43 . Thatcherism. h~"yeb~en ~empor~IY d a ainst their real material interests and POSItlO~. In the classical perspective. d The traditional escape clause for classical marxism. welfarism. Similarly. lv bri d d sical accounts of false consciousness have e ectrve y n ge . Tha~chens~lthus ~~~s for the classical marxist theory of ideology ~ long-standmg pro em 0 IStorical analysis. or as acceptab . "reality" would be tran~ferred directl. the demise of the Liberal party and its replacement by Labour. as the socialization of labor progressively created the condltIO~. the organic unity of the English people." The masses. its lack of adequate explanat°iaJ~. (The concrete analysis of ideological formations in the Eighteenth Brumaire is quite a different question.2:~~~~ ~s~~~~E~i.~~ of t be more multivariate the automatic connec Ion e b i~eal factors less determinate. Mass unemployment c~n. and novel combination of ideological elements. the occupancy or mastery of which alone enables it to become a leading popular ideological force.) The conventional approach suggests that the dominant ideas are ascribed by and inscribed in the position a class holds in the structure of social relations and that the position of dominance is guaranteed elsewhere-by class location." constitutionalism. It is not assumed that these ideas should positively have to win ascendancy (rather than being ascribed it) through a specific and contingent (in the sense of open-ended. we would expect the bourgeoisie as a "whole" class. of course. that is. conservatism was obliged to reconstitute itself as a mass political ideology capable of winning a majority in terms of electoral support. the coincidence between the "English genius" and traditionalism. . are still by no mean~ autom~tI~~ ~~i~~ ~:n:~~~ }~~:~~~:~. faced with the emergence of mass democracy. I . Traditionally. Is this a mere historical aberration-one of classical marxism's "little local difficulties"? Far from it. who might have b~en expecte 0 pierce the veil ofillu'sion first. to live their relation to their real Cr~?lt:ons °f~a::~l ~~!~n~:p:~ti~ ~~ ~~~~J:1s~: ~~~c~~~~fse~h:. has traditionally voted conservative in this century. however defined. and the partial displacement of one by the other. than the classical theory would have us e- ~:J lieve. wei:u!~:~Pthe German Ideology calls their "monopoly over t~e ~~~~!'o¥~e~tal production. In this way-from the ab~orption of the imperial theme br Disli Chamberlain and Saintsbury in the 1880s and 1890s. the most significant period in the reconstruction of modem conservatism prior to the advent of Thatcherism is the period from the closing decades of the nineteenth century to the early decades of the twentieth century when. ~:~~ ~f ~~l~s~~ ~ould be dispelled. l~g 0 t d . ep~n. always already inscribed with "its" ideology.~E:t :~k:~~~_~.:~~!~~~r::altemative" that is ~o~ more very little.cal ers ective employed. ~or ~a~s solidarity and enlightenment-would take wing at last (even 1 time 0 arrive appr~~~~:~~I~~1t~0~e~:s l~~e~eal with the surprisi~g fact that mass unemployment has taken a much longer time .~~~thter~~~r~o~~ hIt rial factors begin once more to exert t eir e ec. specific. not totally determined) process of ideological struggle. or the suggestion that ideas may have to enter into a process of vigorous polemic and contestation in order to become the normative-normalized structure of conceptions through which a class "spontaneously" and authentically thinks or lives its relations to the world. distinct from other combinations through which the dominance of the English ruling classes has. to the ~eat ~~~alization" of the Baldwin era in the 1920s and 1930s-conservatlsm. h I 1.ng classes of the advance d capt a IS w. ~ m erpre. Some of the ideological elements currently being recast by Thatcherism are precisely the ones that coalesced into modern conservatism-nation before class.n!s am ." Thdepopula~ ~se have been ideologically duped by the omman classes. historically.}h: IOs~~S ide~logi~a~!~e~e~~.ont sCl~~~~:sg~npd Jeither Lukacs's dis.m t e struc ll. ti nd empirical conSCIOusnessnor t e more c astmction between 0 jec rve a ff . came to exert a powerful hegemony over key sectors of t~e popular classes one it has not subsequently lost. and fragmented the territory of the dominated classes. reformism. too. I?or~ vanable tha~ sup~?se ·n th~ same fact can be read or made sense of III different ways. therefore. we are obliged to explain an ideology that has effectively penetrated. the scales would fall from wCorkers ~Yte1: an}!:~ nerva's Owl-the great denouement promised by the ommu. It is also the result ofthe positive reorganizing of certain key elements in the discourses of the Right-partly an effect of the disorganizing of a previously settled formation.

Hence the lines of attachr. the reformist tradition has always bee~ well founded. can simply be thoroughly and systematically duped into misrecognizing entirely where their real interests lie. race). that the real world indelibly imprints its meanings and interests directly into our consciousness. What we know now ISthat ther~ ISno ~mtary logic of inference or deduction from one to the other. as orgaruc entities.nent and . of a situation. the reasoning and calculation of other social groups. The problem is that interests are not only not gIve~ as an objective feature of a structure of positions in a social system to WhIChwe are ascnbed (and from which then dangle the appropriate forms of consciousness>: but they change historically (Marx himself spoke of "new needs").Stuart Hall False consciousness had been-rightly-subjected to a rigorous epistemological critique. The "monopoly of the means of mental production" -or of 44 the "cultural apparatuses.w as to ~hich will always prevail. With their predisposition to construct the pure. though there are people willing enough to deploy the false consciousness explanation to account for the illusory behavior of others.. Even less acceptable is the position that. "we"-the privileged-are somehow without a trace of illusion and can see.a hegemonic position over them. t without also arguing that material factors univocally det~rmine ideology or that class position represents a guarantee that a c~ass Will hav~ the a~propriate forms of consciousness. But they are not sufficient= because they are not sufficiently determinate-to ac?oun~ for th~ a. reasonable. I add two somewhat more political critiques. "multiaccentual". This resembles too palpably a self-excusing strategy to make much claim on our credulity as. credible. or as Volosmov woul~ say of all discourse. constituted. alongside the revolutionary political tradition in Britain (which has always. It is therefore possible to hold both the proposition that material interests help to structure ideas and the proposition . It becomes the horizon of the taken-for-granted: what the world is and how it works.ctual empirical disposition and movement of ideas in real ~Istoncal ~~us. indeed sayable or thinkable. would be that class interest. for historically specific reasons. but this does not mean that the production and transformation of ideology in society could proceed free of or outside the structuring lines of force of power and class.a serious explanation of a mass historical phenomenon. its classifications do acquire not only the constraining power of dominance over other modes of thought but also the inertial authority of habit and instinct.that posi~ion in the social structure has the tendency to influence the direction of SOCIalhought. ~ well articulated through a set of institutions deeply embedded m the culture of the dominated classes.inte~depende~ce can run counter to and crosscut or interrupt the lmes of sohdanty and resistance between capital and labor. as effectively and plau- ==v= 45 . Class. Yet it is a fact that. more worryingly. social collectivities have more ~han one set of interests' and interests can be and frequently are contradictory. IS not the only determinant of social interest (e. The proposition-outside of the very rudimentary form of psychological sensationalism with which.g. namely. Nor does it follow that interests-including material ones (whatever they are)-have no part in determining t~e play of ideas ~thin ~hi~h different groups figure out the world and theIr. The social distribution of knowledge is skewed. and material factors are useful. under certain historical conditions (those that have so far largely prevailed in British history). ~he logics of different ideological formations remain polyvocal. interests are themselves constructed. the essence. the distribution of the available codes with which to decode or unscramble the meaning of events in the world. It is a highly unstable theory about the world which has to assume that vast numbers of ordinary people. embedded in a long tradition of historical evolution and SOCIal ompromIse. Workers in a social system have both ~h~ i~terest of advancing and improving their position and advantages WIthI~ It and of not losing their place. and the languages we use to construct interests. They are both dependent on and exploited by the capitalist system. even mutually e~clusive. within the given vocabularies of motive and action available to us. in the name of materialism. then it must be because there is a "cloud of unknowing" that obscures the unilateral truth of the real. to frame within their circumference of thought. More Impo~nt. and able.ncesm It. transitively. right through into the truth. Their dominance lies precisely in the power they have to contain within their limits. we would have to accept that. irrelevant to this acquisition over time of symbolic dominance vis-a-vis other less coherent and comprehensive accounts of the world. mentally equipped in much the same way as you or I. it has occasionally been bolstered-does not contain any developed account of the actual mechanisms by which material factors ever and always reproduce their prescribed knowledge. for all practical purposes. whereas "they"-the masses-are the dupes of history. Ruling ideas may dominate other conceptions ofthe social world by setting the limit to what will appear as rational. been comparatively weak). This is by no means-as the deconstructionists would have us believe-a reason for throwing over altogether some of the insights of the classical marxist explanation. Ideologies may not be affixed. (Marx understood this actually c~ntradI~tory ~asis ~~ class consciousness better than subsequent marxists. of course. Ruling or dominant conceptions of the world do not directly prescribe the mental content of the illusions that supposedly fill the heads of the dominated classes. class position. then. role and allt. to their appropriate classes. gender. But the circle of dominant ideas does accumulate the symbolic power to map or classify the world for others. there are very few who are ever willing to own up that they are themselves living in false consciousness! It seems to be (like corruption by pornography) a state always reserved for others." to use a more modern phrase-is not. even necessary.. starting p_oints in the analysis of any ideological formation. What is more. or. m and through the Ideological process. And if we cannot see them. are bound to reflect the unequal relations of power that obtain in the area of symbolic production as in other spheres.gUl. A somewhat modified position. And since the social institutions most directly implicated in its formation and transmission-the family/school/media triplet-are grounded in and structured by the class relations that surround them. It assumes an empiricist relation of the subject to knowledge. Nor do they have 'literally to displace other ideas with illusions in order to acquire . We have only to look to discover its truths. There is no prescriptive la. disembodied essence of the revolutionary proletarian as a substitute for their own distilled moral outrage). of the mechanisms by which the transparency of the real could be obscured under conditions of false consciousness. not infinitely open-ended. but essentially plural in character.

out in detail how much this owes to the ways in WhICh. The lEA put ~any Tha~cherite conceptions into public currency long before they were ~Ither fashlOna~le.sibly to classify the world for working people and to make sense of certain courses of action and support. indeed. And what canbe said h~re ~f reform~s. state apparatuses-regardless of what he considered the purely formal question of wh~ther they belonged to the state or not.) ." which-leaving SCIenceto one SIde-is usually quite enough for ideology. ~o use the.the leadership of the Conservative party and the wmnmg of the election I~ 19~9.stru~e and ~~ space in civil society itself. for example. however unexpectedly. of the unrverse but "makes good sense.nd reflects Gramsci). as other available traditions. Or. were the tren_ches and fortificatlOn_s. What IS stnki~g about Thatcherism is precisely its capacity to 'enter into . equally cogently and plausibly.ve neglected to point . and f<?rtificatIO. The first thing to ask about an "organic" ide~logy that. In what free-marketeers regard as the dark days of Keynesian social democracy. between the succes~ion.. the think tanks and business schools from which the assault on the existing hegemony inside the power bloc was launched. especially the seminal "Ideological State Apparatuses" essay. no~ into the revolutionary discourse. This is not a matter of ideology alone. Both impose on the same contradictory elements alternative inferential logics. from which the counteroffensive ~o the reigning consensus was launched. They helped to make the "intolerable" thinkable. .nsof CIVIl society as the means of forging a considerable Ideolo~cal and intellectual authority outside the realm of the state proper and. the ascendancy over serious. these organizations prepared the ground. (~he ~e~rts and minds the lEA set out to capture were not only informed pubhc opmion generally but quite specifically key senior civil servants. as part of an mternal contestation against key elements within the power bloc.' " One could say the same about the later formation of the Centre for Policy Studies by Sir Keith Joseph.market analysis was indispensable for understanding and solving economic tasks and problems. tW? fundamentally different processes are being descnbed. to note the role of so-called private apparatuses such as the Institute for Economic Affairs.the advance outposts in civil society itself. and It can now realistically claim to have played a leading role in constructing the new orthodoxy and to have "created the post-war focus for the demons~ation that . ascribed to the state. to take another aspect. discursively. and social thinking-already making headway among leading econormc Journalists like Peter Jay and Samuel Brittan and among key state intellectuals in the economic departments-directly into the mainstream of ~he C?nservative party. the re~arkable war I!l 'Yh1ch Thatcherism has gradually colonized the mass tabloid press (Britain IS the most densely served mass newspaper-reading public in the world) s~ that the principal front-runners (excluding The Mirror)-T_heSun. before-a~ a necessary condition to-taking formal power tn the state. but it is extremely Important. trenches.cultie. in the t. the proposition that ideology is always materialized in con~rete practices and rituals and operates through specific apparatuses. in family policy.POI~ts of c~ndensation where alternative free-market. What IS required here is to understand how under different concrete conditions. which op- Stuart Hall erated as the think tank that supported his U-turn into monetarism and directly harnessed the free-fl~ating currents of free-m~rket econo~ic. In the period of the propaganda. Thatch~r to. in the administrative apparatuses of local and central government-and even more so in the specifically ideological apparatuses. which has stood in contemporary debate as the locus classicus of an alternative theorization. Thatcher herself. monetanst theoretical ideologies were concretely applied to one practical problem after another. How does the phenomenon of Thatcherism stand in light of that argument? Some of Althusser's key insights are positively confirmed· for example. they were the base for the strategic regrouping of state intellectuals and academics. symbolic g unity of the nation. be organized. T_he~~ll: The Star The Express-vie with each other in the extremity of their vivid identific~tions with and glorification of Thatcherism as a philosophy and the symbolic person of Mrs. Is this merely a quibble? I think not. .m-as indigenous a working-class ideology under certain histoncal conditions as the revolutionary logic-can and has also to be said and shown for Thatcherism. I cannot enter here in detail into this matter. They are "s~t~" by vi~~e of their functlOnthe function. The structures that underpin a reformist definition o~t~~ wor!d dra~ their roots from the us/them way of structuring the social divisions in S?Clety that both feed a corporate sense of class belongingness and are no~nshed. is to be found in the work of Althusser. We have spoken of Thatcherism's extensive work of ideological transformations. Both are ways of orgamzmg. By "true" I do not m~an universally co. interests and experiences. hese new concep~IOn~ have been concretely materialized through t the practices of state regulation m the apparatuses of the state-in education in schooling.rrect as a law. ~ot false but real. or (for the epistemologically squeamish) real enough. All of this represents a progressive ascendancy. info~ed.r~formt~t. or directly attached to any political party or faction. neoliberal cause. the common rooms. But ~e ha.reasury. And they were al~o the key sites-the popular press is strategic in this part ?f the process--m the translation of doctrine and philosophy into the terram of practice and policy and the popular idiom of practical accomplishments. over the apparatuses of opinion formation in the society at a number o~differen~ strat~gtc levels and it is precisely where the Althusserian formation runs mto diffi. such as we might find in The German Ideolo~.'? This institution was committed not only to advancing "the truths of classical political economy" but also to the validity of Adam Smith's philosophical view that "the instinct of man is to 'tru~k and barter in markets. Despite the apparent SImilarities of phrasing (due in part to the fact that both Althusser's a~d my thinking on this point has been influen_ced by a. and popular mass opinion exerted through these apparatus~s a~d agencies provI~d concrete rallying points for disabused anti-Keynesian mtelle~tuals and. knit c0!lfhctmg cla~ses an? SOCIal roups into the larger. which was set up in the dark days ofthe 1950s to advance the free-market. br the cross-class-c':ltting lines of allegiance that. subverted-as they saw it-by incorrect Keynesia!l nostrum~. now into the . The first (Althusser s 47 . of sustainmg the reproduct~on o~ !he social relations of production" in and through ideology. of Mrs. The most c?gent critique of some of the classical propositions of the marxist theory of Ideology. the perceptions and conceptions of th~ dommated clas~es can. for ex~mple. succeeds in organizing substantial secnons of the masses and mobilizing them for political action is not what is false about it but what abo_utit is true. Althusser would argue that these are all ideological.

ways of trying to secure the materialism of ideology without reductionism. Everything suggests that we must conceptualize the process by which the dominant ideology reproduces itself as a contradictory and contested one. the whole discourse of Thatcherism combines ideological elements into a discursive chain in such a way that the logic or unity of the discourse depends on the subject addressed assuming a number of specific subject positions. that is. working through interpellation. But it cannot retrospectively correct the damaging theoretical effects Althusser's more functionalist way of conceptualizing the "reproduction" of ruling class consensus had on the main line of argument in his original essay and in those who have attempted to follow its protocols too strictly. of the speaker to the spoken. of the discourse. Moreover. In other cases. contains not one but two related. to realize. we are driven to attend to the capacity of new political discourses to articulate themselves on and through the fractured. or the "concerned patriot". In many instances. to bring about. but it can be shown."? They succeed in establishing their hegemony "at the same time through an internal struggle to overcome the contradictions of the bourgeois class fractions and to produce unity within the bourgeoisie as ruling class.. Althusser. or else new discourses have emerged that secure real points of identification. self-interested. rather than searching for the always already essentially reactionary working-class subject (to set against his/her opposite. These have arisen through some process. self-sufficient taxpayer-Possessive Individual Man (sic).Stuart Hall "Ideological State Apparatuses" essay) is the use of existing apparatuses to reproduce the already given ruling ideology. yet distinct. Of course." The unification of the ruling class "is always 'incomplete' and always 'has to be resumed. or to appropriate to itself existing. this latter approach requires us to sustain the state/civil society distinction and not to conflate the two. Indeed. carries quite the wrong connotations. Now anyone who is genuinely interested in the production and mechanisms of ideology must be concerned with the question of the production of subjects and the unconscious categories that enable definite forms of subjectivity to arise. as well as connecting one site of articulation with another: the liberty-loving citizen is also the worried parent. struggling to get out. authorial individual subject. This question of ideology and the production of subjects has unrolled in the wake of Althusser's destruction of the integral." with its strong functionalist associations.. the careful manager of the household budget. It is clear that the discourses of the New Right have been engaged precisely in this work of the production of new subject positions and the transformation of subjectivities. of course. but appears to be produced freely and spontaneously as the popular consent to power. In the Lacanian rereading of Freud. the respectable housewife. by which new positions have interrupted and partially displaced older ones. necessarily contradictory structures of formed subjectivities. such interpellations may already be in place. The process must be conceptualized in terms of the continuous production and transformation of ideology. there might be an essential Thatcherite subject hiding or concealed in each of us. " The discourses of Thatcherism are constantly in this way formulating new subjectivities for the positions they are constructing. The discourse can only be read or spoken unproblematically ifit is enunciated from the imaginary position of knowledge of the self-reliant. The differences therefore touch what I regard as the key issue-the problem of explaining the popular consent to Thatcherism. derived from Lacan. translated into English in Economy and Society): the "consensus effects of the ruling class" -its ideology-cannot be regarded "as a simple given fact. The question at issue is not whether this interpellative process is central to that through Which ideology has its effects. subsequently acknowledged the error of emphasis in the "Ideological State Apparatuses" essay (in an original footnote and in his "Notes on the ISA's" [1977]. And far from allowing us to collapse the distinction. the always already essentially revolutionary worker). in the plenitude of their knowledgeable relation to knowledge. already formed interpellations. For example. off and connote one another in a chain of linked interpellations that constitute the Imaginary-the condition for the so-called unity. since civil society is such a key site in the production of consensus. the second (mine) is the struggle and contestation for the space in which to construct an ideological hegemony. central to the mechanism of ideology itself." these imaginary positions. which is what Althusser was borrowing from and the source that has since provided 49 . It is Althusser's functionalism that drives him to give an overintegrative account of ideological reproduction and to collapse the state/ civil society distinction as if it were without real or pertinent effects. to work on the ground of a formed common sense. of course. depth. But is seems more probable that Thatcherism has been able to constitute new subject positions from which its discourses about the world make sense. Althusser's essay. His appeal to Lacan 48 is the attempt-via Lacan's rereading of the psychoanalytic tradition in light of structuralism and Saussure-to fill the empty space created by the structuralist dethronement of the "I" of enunciation. the subject origin of ideological discourse that is at the heart of traditional conceptions of ideology. or what Pecheux and Henry call the "preconstructed". the term "reproduction. The fact is that a position of ideological authority and leadership-of intellectual and moral ascendancy-constructed by harnessing the lines of force and opinion in the apparently "free space" of civil society has a remarkable durability. in terms of the condensations Thatcherism has to some extent been able to effect. or the native Briton. that ideology is material because it operates in and through the production of subjects. the solid English citizen "proud to be British . It is the second formulation that provided the site of a very extensive reconstruction of classical marxist theories-the proposition. or the subject passionately attached to individual liberty and passionately opposed to the incursion of liberty that occurs through the state. There is no space to demonstrate in detail how this reconstitution of subject positions is actually accomplished discursively. but rather how we are to understand the process. as a system of exactly defined institutions which would automatically duplicate the violent rule of the same class or which would have been installed by the clear political consciousness of this class of particular purposes defined by its function. or the respectable housewife. and staying power because the adhesion it wins among the people is not coerced.' " This goes some way toward correcting the functionalism of the original essay (though it still does not adequately tackle the state/ civil society distinction). trigger.. and thus to interpellate already formed subjects in new discursive relations. as it might be if the state were directly involved. through the process Laclau has described as "condensed connotation.

The positive positions taken in this paper are thus compatible with the general emphases (not necessarily the particular epistemological positions or other formulations) on discourse contained in. the mirror phase. "4 These "other relations" have since been wholly absorbed into that great nonessentialist Essence. Now it may be that. the traditional material/ideal. we know very well that relations existed between the bourgeois family and the functioning of judicial authorities and categories in the nineteenth century that can be analyzed in their own right. Throughout. it seems. What Thatcherism poses is the problem of understanding how already positioned subjects can be effectively detached from their points of application and effectively repositioned by a new set of discourses. These psychoanalytic processes are understood to provide the matrix of always unstable. etc.. they are also. at one and the same time. They are the mechanism of entry into language itself. say. of course. always contradictory locations or orientations with respect to meaning and language. however. including. But. and so on. of course. it will be seen that we do not in any way refuse the advances made by the development of the analysis of the discursive. no longer unified but a place of constant displacement through the fracturing effects of repression-all subsequent discursive operations play. many of Foucault's insights into the operations of the discursive deeply refresh and inform our understanding of how ideological formations work. This is at one with Foucault's project: to explain how it is that "one particular statement appeared rather than another. Across this subjective space-which is. representation. and working-class respectability-an apparently nonpolitical factor that has the effect of stabilizing and securing to the Right a whole range of other discourses. even where he positively refuses the concept of ideology itself. these positionings are fundamentally secured through the resolution in infancy and early childhood of some of the primary psychoanalytic processes-the Oedipus complex.Stuart Hall the principal site of subsequent theorization. independently of all discourse . meaning. which. It does not. would the true disciples make now of Foucault's observation that discursive relations "must be distinguished from what we might call primary relations . But there is all the difference in the world between the capacity to use Language as such and the appropriation and imaginary identity with particular languages and their specific ideological and discursive universes." Subject. in a radical way. accomplished in the same series of resolutions. the work that is done through these unconscious resolutions (Freud). in many areas the problematic of ideology has itself been displaced into the analysis of the diversity of discursive practices and formations as such. operate their own enunciative modality. primary narcissism. petit-bourgeois.. of course. has been banished into a symptomatic silence by later "true Foucaultians. they have their own repertoire of concepts. and the field of infant sexuality is clearly such a key domain in the formation of subjectivity. From what has already been said. This is directly connected with the influence of Foucault." It does not follow that social practices are only discourses.) Leaving the deep epistemological questions aside for now (Foucault's position then seemed closer to the realist philosophical position I myself adopt than to the full-blown. and hence with respect to ideology itself. entry into which was sealed forever with the original resolution of Oedipal identifications.. may be described between institutions. the points that establish the imaginary place of knowledge in what then seems an empirically verifiable relation to the world. They establish through their regularities a "space of formation" in which certain statements can be enunciated. the social exists within the semiotic. since the securing of sexual identity is. Discursive formations (or ideological formations that operate through discursive regularities) "formulate" their own objects of knowledge and their own subjects. techniques. A thorough assessment of the strengths and limits of Foucault's work is not possible within the scope of this essay. of the Father. that final Kierkegaardian trace in the Foucault episteme. in the discourses of both middle-class. The problem before us is the rather different question of how subjects could be induced to begin to enunciate their relation to the world in quite different meaning or representational systems. the political. I have been speaking of ideology. there is little doubt of the critical importance of the processes referred to above for the interpellation of gender-a factor not only of key social and ideological importance in itself but one that becomes reinscribed in or relayed through a wide variety of other domains. follow that the whole of the process of discursive positioning can be read off from those primary positionings or conceived largely as simply recapitulating the system.e. base/superstructure dichotomies of classical marxist theories of ideology as well as their ascription of a dependent position to ideology in the ensemble of social practices. the primary mechanisms of the repression that becomes the basis of all apparently stable subjective identifications. neo-Kantianism into which it has subsequently been drawn). The Body. This is precisely a historically specific level of application of the interpellative aspects of ideology that is not adequately resumed or explained by the transhistorical speculative generalities of Lacanianism. but one can make certain indications. and rearranges another. one constellation constantly interrupts. social forms. The entry into Language as such-and hence into Culture/Ideology-does begin to occur at that stage in the formation of subjectivity itself. finally.. ... the entry into complicity with the law of patriarchy. however full of interesting fluctuations. Patriarchal positions are absolutely central. to explain how it is we are formed as subjects and how we ever come to enter language. are driven by their own logics. and thus into Culture. These-in the now famous formulations of discourse theory-are. This would be to convert a polemical claim (i. constitute their own way of acknowledging what is true and excluding what is false within their own regime of truth. And since these different aspects to the formation of subjectivities are treated as identical or homologous. Foucault's Archeology of Knowledge-a text that.. No social practice exists outside of the domain of the semiotic-the practices and production of meaning. Lacanian psychoanalysis has been utilized. for example. displaces. or Althusser's "big S. After all. The level of abstraction at which the theory is operating (even if it were correct) fiO is largely incommensurable with the nature of the object it is being wheeled in to explain. critically." (What. This necessarily modifies. the ideological matters and has real effects) into an explanatory one-but with the effect of tipping the explanation from one one-sided em51 . as points of condensed articulation.

the f'!-ctthat knowledge/ power descnbed as bypassing Ideology IS the problematic of ideology-and note l~stead that these gains . on the one hand. It i~ quite another if they pass continually on dIff~ren~tracks. sexuality-has remfor.stance are ot~e~ s~ch false-concrete. They precisely crisscross the social body.>eenac:hieved in Foucault's recent work on particular discursive ~ormatlOns (hIS work on the disciplinary archipelago in Discipline and. on the other.are made at the cost of a radical dispersal of the n?tion of power. these questions of articulation are also posed. false-consciousness way) to the central issue of popular consent. Of course. It is not given. is a conception of difference without a conception of articulation. which seems utterly without reference to any such point of condensation or articulation as the state (Foucault is highly ambiguous on this point.ses'. by reading Foucault through ~emda . Hegemony points to a way of conceptualizing the emergence of Thatcherism in terms of the struggle to gain ascendancy over a whole social formation. but it is possible to establish some indications as to the superiority of hegemony over other concepts in approaching the task of historical explanation and analysis. Great 1OSI~tS have 1. Unless. as a discursive formation. a matter ofintellectual diversion.) ThIS IS. to Gramsci. human nature. in turn." he adds.am when he writes: "I choose 'practices' [rather than discourses] bec~lUS~ seems ~ess trapped in the reality side of the knowledge/reality disIt ~~nctlOnthan 'discour. ." " ~ave aside suc~ o~dities-f~r example." like that of "party. women. often achieved. ~nd a permanently radical gloss is dubiously attached to It SImply because It contains the magical terms "power" "resistance" and "plebeian. I mean more than institutionally constrained actions and I mean more than s. But precisely a certain unity has been constituted out of this diversity. h~e Gary WIckham 10 a recent article in Economy and Society. The question of hegemony brings us.!lsh greatly outdistanc~ng. he included those more than things m the definition. ~e state and political relationships (what was referred to earlier as t~e ques~IOn of the "consent to power") is not tackled but sidestepped by distributing p<?wer"everyw~ere. Nevertheless. diffi~ult problem of the relation between the lateral powers in the SItes of civil society and social relations and the vertical powers of. on their way to an infinite plurality of ~estlDatlOns. to achieve the commanding position on a broad strategic front. of course.lDFouca~lt. This seems to dissolve ~he ~eal theoretical gams mad~ by the rec?gnition of difference. through a complex series or process of struggle. m. the economy.tions of the more fashionable volumes on sexuality).(To make It mo~e perplexing." The techniques and strategies of power thus become. the shaky historical generahz<l. though his disciples are not). are highly amenable to a Foucaultian type of analysis. Hegemony is constructed. The advantages of the concept of hegemony lay above all in the directness of its address (and not in a lopsided. that is. against the tendency to dispersal.. The problem with Foucault. It entails the critical passage of a system of domination into the authority of a leading bloc. There is no moment in which the powers that cohere in the state can ever exhaustively resume those that are dispersed through the plurality of practices in society.Pu.ced the return to the concrete. the "necessary noncorrespondence o~discu. no sovereign unity of discourse then unfolds: the moment of "state.." is not a final one. nonessential Essences in Foucault s discourse. to achieve positions ofleadership in a number of different sites of social life at once. It cannot 53 . national identity. ." "By practices. of plurality m dI~course. And it leads to an equally generalized Durkheimean concept of social control-except that it is now refashioned as discipline. psychiatry. in my judgment. it is not possible within the scope of this paper to deal with Gramsci comprehensively. to put it brusquely. Thus I agree with WIckh. Foucault sometimes seemed to read himself in ~hat way!) It IS one thing to speak of the switches and relays through w~Ich one discursive practice interrupts another. But his work s~m~times seems t<?appe~r ~o command allegiance for spurious and ext~nsic reasons. advanced game for academic deconstructionists.. Without quite having to acknowledge the claims oft~at old and rather unfashionable form of knowledge that used to l?e ~alled HIStOry.. but at the expense of a concept ofpowe~ that ISgeneralized and essentialized. morality. representing a distinct phase. the play of discourse becomes nothing but a high-level. as we have noted. say. and the logics of an organic conservatism. TheIr specIficIty-law:. I no~e that the same objection is recognized even by tho~e. the moment of the passage of power into the state and its condensation there into a definite system of rule is a critical historical moment.owledge.) "By practices here I [Wickham] mean common groupings of techniques and discourses" -an emphasis I much prefer. Again.edicine. either in the existing structure of society or in the given class structure of a mode of production. as conceived in classical political theory. . As this analysis of Thatcherism clearly shows. multiaccentual character of ideologypushing them over the bnnk into the gospel of absolute diversity.which is capable not only of organizing its own base through the construction of alliances between different sectors and social forces.~ic~ is ?utside of~. It subverts our tendency to treat power as an imposed system of coercive constraint from above.Thatcherism reqUlf~Sprecisely suc~ an al!al~sis. 1~ fact. so to speak." (Presumably. crime. And there are different points of application through which. highly specific. of the nones~ent~hst.is i~ the knowledge side.m th~ sear~h fo~ a none~sentialist account. as the complexity of one discourse after another is perpetually unraveled. or rather through WhIChwe endlessly constrain one another.rsive practices has been driven. More difficult to absorb or take into account are the extremes to WhICh. hke tralI~s m the night. and ~esI. whose pr?Ject IS to go beyond or to out-Foucault Foucault. the discursive relations of power cannot be constituted exclusively on the terrain of the state." its "microphysics. this constituted regime of truth has been secured to certain political positions. a very Durkheimean concept of powerthat abstract force or ~ollectlve conscience in society that constrains us all. ~ut thedeep a~d. provided we understand that it is the contradictory unity so constructed and held that rules-not the rules of diversity alone. has remained a plurality of discourses-about the family. To put the point more concretely: the particular ways in which Thatcherism has stitched together a contradictory juncture between the logics of the market and possessive individualism.An ascending analysis of power-"starting from its infinitesirnal mechanisms. law. Another advantage is the critique of essentialism implicit in all of Gramsci's formulations." is all very well. but which has as a central feature of that process the construction and winning of popular consent to that authority among key sectors of the dominated classes themselves. a conception of power without a conception of hegemony.Stuart Hall phasis ~o its oppos~te. (The Body.?mething . Thatcherism.

above all. hn~s and in certain directions"? This is a conception of the field of ideologies in 55 . And the achievement of hegemony never has only one character. . writing in a coded way about the historical tasks of the revolutionary party and of the communist and workers' movements. religious. or what Gramsci elsewhere calls "revolution/restoration. It is the various outcomes of these struggles. once achieved. as a "cultural battle to transform ~~e p~pular mentality".ti~estin art. the ~ven ground and dispositions of a culture"-itselfthe comple~ re~~t ofpreVlo1l:s struggles." The role of "organic ideologies." He sees it also in terms of its historical functions: its role in "preserving the ideological unity of an entire social bloc". there co-exist many systems and currents ?f philosophical thought and how these currents are born." The process of contestation and struggle "is developed in a series of ideological."struggle of pohtI~al hegemonies' of opposing directions. only a predominant tendency! it is always "destruction and reconstruction" (the latter "already under way m the very moment of destruction"). episodic common sense." and that consequently "laissez-faire liberalism is a political program designed to change-so far as it is victorious-a state's leading personnel and to change the economic program of the state itself. which have evolved their own organic intellectual strata and passed through their moment of party. and the processes of ideology. the points offurt~er unrolling and development. posing all questions around which th~ struggle rages. "5 The broadening of a system of domination into a wider social authority is thus." even.. The processes of ideology are conceived by GramSCI m different ways: as an "educative task". of the development of all the 'national' energies. making . "various revolutions" within an unfolding process. introduced and maintained by legislative and coercive means.. even more appositely. too. the constant movement toward the national or universal level. the Gramscian analYSISof a c~nJuncture proceeds not from the invocation of the given "laws of economic development" but from an analysis of the "current relations of force. of course. for Gramsci.ci's concept ~fheg~mony ~th the qualifying idea that it is ideological ar~ doing a gr~at disservlc~ to his breadth of thought." ~d can thus "gain the upperhand. In the Modern Prince. These forces . Gramsci argued. but hegemony as a concept is not ethical or cultural alone. perhaps (the example is the French Revolution). ~n either the first or the last instance.. and. ideological. tied in with the critique of economism.. the doctrine to whose philosophical foundations neoliberalism aims to return.certam." a process that for him is analytically irreversible. "the political forces which are struggling to conserve and def~nd f14 Stuart Hall the existing structure itself are." which influence and modify their actions.. philosophical. Typically.." something that must be able to "become the interests of other subordinating groups too. how It happens that in all periods. since it is by definition something that mclude~ and transcends "the corporate limits of the purely economic class.. depending on how a vanety of struggles are conducted. for Gramsci. Nothing in our time (certainly nothing from the Left) so closely matches Gramsci's description of how in a crisis. must be constantly and ceaselessly renewed. acquire consciousness oftheir position. Gramsci was. hegemony cannot be economic alone. and why in the process of diffusion they fracture along . the 9uestion o~ hegemony cannot be purely ideological. are those that conceptualize the relationship between the broader processes of the struggle.dIffused. moral. Gramsci observes that "laissez-faire. reenacted. Common sense is itself a structure of popular Ideology. as systems of ideas but in a broad context: "on condition that the word is used in its high~st sense of a conception of the world tha~ is implicitly J?at. how they ~re .On the other hand. since the balance of social forces on which it rests is ~ubject to continuing evolution and development. is not a once-and-for-all predetermined process: one must distinguish. Central to this is the notion of various forms and intensities of struggle. are Gramsci's passing remarks about laissez-faire. seek to refashion and transform. Gramsci asks instead. "various moments or levels. . For Gramsci. struggle. however." those that seek to propagate themselves throughout society and create a new form of national-popular will for some immense historical task.) But his terms of analysis clearly have great analytic purc~ase on the analysis of Thatcherism. first in the ethical field and then m that of the political proper. and. Gramsci uses the term "ideology" in what may now seem a classical sense. This implies a conception of the process of social ~eproduct~on as continuous and contradictory-the very opposite of a functional achievement. as a . Hegemony. is to intervene in the terrain of ordinary. since it must have as ItS foundation the domination of a particular social bloc "in the decisive nucleus of economic activity. not on a corporate but on a 'universal plane' and thus creating the hegemony of a fundamental social group over a series of subordinate groups-the motor force of a universal expansion. incessant and persistent efforts . Common sense. of providing individuals and groups with their various "conceptions of the world. not the reinscription in place of what already exists.be constructed once and for all.. the grven dISI?osItlons of their mental life.. which construct or transform hegemony. that determII?-esthe t."? Directly op~osed to the moni~tic not~on of"t~e do~inant ideology." This. in law in economic activity and in all manifestations of individual and collective life. contradictory. to interrupt." "intervals of varying frequency. make imperative the accomplishment of certain historical tasks. and transform in ~ mor~ systematic dire~tion the practical consciousness of the masses.tature of the unstable equilibrium on which the authority of a sO~Ialbloc IS founded ~nd that also defines its weak or unstable points. at a narrower level. The culturalist reading of Gramsci has done profound dam~ge. renovate. political and juridical polemics whose concreteness can be estimated by the extent to which they are convincing and shift the previously existing disposition of social forces.' So. as a means to "organize human masses and create the terrain on which men move. etc. too. (Note. reflecting previous forms of hegemony and earher unstable equilibria"-becomes the object that organic ideologies." All those who therefore gloss Grams. and cultural dimensions of the struggle for hegemony." always already in place. reflecting the traces of previous systems oft~O~ght that have sedimented into everyday reasoning. is a form of state 'regulation. Gramsci is deeply alive to the ethical." The application could not be more precise. a spontaneous conception ofthe world.?» This Gramsci equates with the "passage from the structure to the sphere of the complex superstructures. but equally germane to this inquiry.?" Less well known than the essays from which the earlier passages were taken. intellectual. .. propagate itself throughout society=bringing about not only the unity of economic and political aims but also intellectual and moral unity.

He [or she] is a precis of all . 1978). 57 . British society in .. the "stratified deposits" of popular philosophy. precisely marxism s failure. 195. but the problematic of marxism. fractured character-the "disjointed and episodic" character of common sense. But he understands the contradictory formations of consciousness: ' for example. their structuration. is now taken to be primary-becomes the nucleus of a new ideological and theoretical complex. 1981).this century. or intersecting currents or formations. What was previously secondary and subordinate. p. "The Study of Philosophy. this is at the opposite extreme from the notion of whole class outlooks confronting the already formed whole class outlooks of another fundamental group. "what matters is the criticism to which such an ideological complex is subjected by the first representatives of the new historical phase-which makes possible a process of differentiation and change in the relative weight that the elements of the old ideologies used to possess. QUintin Hoare and Geoffrey N. Dispensing with this last vestige of essentialism. more systematic exemplification: first. without guarantees. undernourished abstractions). The key question-Foucault's. p. (New York: Pantheon. how much he anticipates-albeit in a language not yet reconstructed through loans from structuralism. and without further." Gramsci. 6 7 B 9 10 11 Grarnsci.' nature of personality. their differentiation. Michel Foucault. third." It should be clear from these selective references. which contains "Stone Age elements and principles of a more advanced science. I end. and fourth. 45. prejudices from all past phases of history at the local level and institutions of a future philosophy. at least. would have taken some pleasure from the unexpected nature of this next (last) dialectical twist. Gramsci asserts. up until now. 181-82 Grarnsci. analyze capitalist social formations in order to point out strategic lessons for the socialist movement-Gramsci's-turns out to have the most to tell us about how to analyze one of the most historically reactionary and regressive hegemonic-seeking formations to aPI?ear in. 160. but in a decisively non-Foucaultian formulationis their fracturing: What determines their lines of diffusion. The Emerging Louis Althusser. 1972).?'? The whole of Laclau's subsequent elaboration of articulation/disarticulation is contained in the nucleus of that thought. in Prison Notebooks. The Poverty of Theory (New York: Monthly Review Press. second.ho." Consensus (London: Economy and Society 12:4 (1983). with a paradox: a theory designed primarily to I' !1 Edward Thompson. Grarnsci. Gramsci. "Notes on the ISA's. "II Each individual. overlapping. an open-ended project of critical thought. Prison Notebooks: (New York: International Publishers. their rearticulation? Again. the past. to renovate adequately its own thinkin~ to . p.explain su~ciently . Smith 1971). or even incidental. 324. how original some of his conceptions are-the rich concept of hegemony has absolutely no equivalent among the other theorists considered here (for example. Understanding Thatcherism may be the price we have to pay for a real advance in theoretical enlightenment within the marxist problematic. which structures the whole of Gramsci's discourse and thought: the commitment to the project of socialist transformation that distinguished marxism as a living theory. since it has been.: ~odern ?a1?italism remains in being and sustams ItS hegemonic pOSItIOnm industrialized societies that has been so signally lacking. "is the synthesis not only of existing relations but of the history of these relations. Foucault's conceptions of power and resistance appear thin. Gramsci. p. the "strangely composite. Gramsci. I am referring to the final set of references-not the terminology and doctrinal content of classical marxism. Gramsci is not blind to the site of the problems modem theorists signify through references to "the subject." though he does not use the same terms. the split between the conception of the world which is "logically affirmed" and that which is "implicit in his mode of action". from the many other academically closed discourses that presently struggle to hegemonize the intellectual world. lEA. This may not be as gloomy a ~onclusIOn ~s l~ ap~ars at first SIght. trans. Gramsci says. p. therefore. Institute for Economic Affairs. p.Stuart Hall terms of conflicting. 178. or psychoanalysis-many of the actual advances in theorizing these later developments have brought. how Gramsci is able both to promulgate a novel theorization of ideology by locating it within a broader set of historical and political processes and retain what the other alternative theorizations quite lack. discourse and linguistic theory. the social character of subjectivity-"man is to be conceived as a historical bloc"and its composite. Selections. The old collective will dissolve into its contradictory elements since the subordinate ones develop socially. 168. how far removed Gramsci is from the traditional or classical versions of the marxist conceptions of ideology. pp. The Archaeology of Knowledge Antonio Gramsci.