Derrida's Ante and the Call of Marxist Political Philosophy
Richard E. Joines
However, the form of my gesture would seem to include, at a minimum, the demand that one read, a demand which remains, for its part, at once theoretical and practical: it asks that people take into account the nature and form--I would go so far as to say the avowed intention--of this gesture.
-- Jacques Derrida1
I am happy to have found a reader once again. In general, my writings have been read very poorly. I fear the superficial reader.
-- Carl Schmitt2
The homogenizing of European man is the greatest process that cannot be obstructed: one should even hasten it. The necessity to create a gulf, distance, order of rank, is given eo ipso--not the necessity to retard this process.
-- Friedrich Nietzsche3
1. The gestures that begin Jacques Derrida's "Marx & Sons," his response to a collection of essays by Marxists that attempt to confront his Specters of Marx (Ghostly Demarcations, ed. Michael Sprinker), should be familiar enough to any reader of Derrida. It is not the first time he apologizes for the inadequacy of his remarks, notes that his text is merely a promise of a deeper engagement at a later date, expresses a desire to face up to his responsibilities. But there are aspects of Derrida's gestures in "Marx & Sons" that if we have not paid much attention to them yet, it is time to do so. Derrida makes two things clear: (1) neither Specters of Marx nor "Marx & Sons" are "voluntary" discourses: "Specters of Marx was already meant to be, after its fashion, a kind of 'response,' and only a response--as much to a direct invitation as to an urgent injunction, but also to a longstanding demand" ("MS," p. 213) and (2) Derrida's Marxist critics have not read him carefully--their responses are inadequate to his political/philosophical intervention.
2. What strikes one as extremely generous, almost to the point of being unexplainable, is why Derrida has bothered to respond to his Marxist critics. Derrida's provocative political volley has not only gone unreturned, in that no proper response has been offered, but it has not even been adequately recognized. For while these Marxists in their "dogmatic slumber," as Derrida says, feel at points "threatened" by Derrida's discourse, they have not yet fully understood the nature of the threat. While they feel "betrayed" now and again that Derrida has not discussed what they consider the "major issues" of Marxism, they are all too willing to feel "a sense of comradeship" (Aijaz Ahmad)4 with Derrida, desperate as they are to welcome someone of Derrida's stature into their fold simply because he discusses Marx, even if they cannot quite make sense of what he says. Derrida writes: "Their aim is to convince themselves, or to affect to believe, that they are dealing with something familiar, at a juncture in which, no longer finding the usual landmarks, they cannot, after all, claim to be confronting an enemy from the right, a 'class enemy'" ("MS," p. 253). What Derrida is trying to tell his Marxist readers, though perhaps in vain, is that they should be a little less welcoming to this stranger. An enemy does not have to wear the uniform of old to still be an enemy. "Hello, I am a wolf, and my sheep's clothing only appears to be sheep's clothing," Derrida almost says. "Welcome, fellow sheep," say the Marxists.
3. In fact, these two things (compulsory discourse, inept reading) are aspects of the same situation, if read according to a style of reading proper to political philosophy, a style Derrida hints that his proper readers (which perhaps excludes the bad sons and daughters of Marx whose proprietary feelings for Marx make them incapable of such reading) should adopt to read not only this discourse ("Marx & Sons") but everything else--as practices of the art of esotericism. We should heed Derrida's demand that we read the nature and form of his text and seek his avowed intention, for as Leo Strauss, the twentieth-century political philosopher notorious for rediscovering and practicing this almost forgotten art, writes, "The study of the literary question is [. . .] an important part of the study of what philosophy is. The literary question properly understood is the question of the relation between society and philosophy." If Derrida speaks/writes "under compulsion" (involuntarily, by invitation, on topics not of his own choosing, under time/space restrictions, etc.), it might be prudent to wonder if like Plato (who Derrida misreads strategically in Dissemination), Derrida considers "The proper work of a writing" to be "to talk to some readers and to be silent to others."5 Plato's/Socrates' greatest political work, whose theme is justice, "is not altogether voluntary," Strauss notes, for Polemarchus interrupts Socrates' intention to pray to the goddess and orders Socrates to join him in discussion. Strauss lets us know that if we are to understand the true (esoteric) teaching on justice, we ought to read The Republic, delivered under duress, compulsion, and coercion, by paying less attention to the What than to the How, by postponing (différer) concern with the most serious questions in order to become engrossed in the study of "a merely literary question."
4. Aijaz Ahmad, who read Derrida "in flight," is correct to wonder, "what kind of a text is it that Derrida has composed?" Derrida responds,
Indeed, one understands nothing about this text [Specters of Marx] if one fails to take into account the specificity of its gesture, of its writing, composition, rhetoric and address--in a word, everything a traditional reader in a rush would have called its form, or tone, but which I, for my part, consider inseparable from its content. ("MS," p. 230)
If in Derrida's text form and content are inseparable, and if this combination eludes the traditional reader, we need to become untraditional readers who understand how to read for hints and indications, how to distinguish between the What and the How. If Derrida is a competent and consistent esotericist who uses such methods in his writing as incomplete or unattributed citations, intentional contradictions and inconsistencies, provisional assumptions, and seemingly diversionary digressions, he does so because he knows what Plato knew about the danger of Socrates' philosophizing openly in the marketplace. To recognize Derrida not only as a practicing esotericist but also as an enemy, not merely of Marxism but of any Left or egalitarian politics, demands that enough evidence be produced that such a judgment becomes inevitable. My aim here is not to suggest that Derrida is Marxism's primary enemy, or even finally its most interesting one. However, I want to suggest that perhaps Marxist readers whose primary concern is (to use that unfashionable term) the "real" world ought to be more cautious when approaching a figure like Derrida and ought to play closer attention to questions of rhetoric. If Derrida were merely part of an ensemble of ludic practices that "obscure the production practices of capitalism--which is based on the extraction of surplus labor,"6 he could be dealt with as we are used to dealing with other ideological mystifications. But Derrida is more serious than that. He is, as Leo Strauss claimed to be, a political philosopher, and it would serve us best to know what that means and to read him as such.
5. What Derrida has offered Marxists in Specters of Marx, and perhaps in his recent texts treating law and politics, is an invitation to a certain political philosophy and an invitation to rethink "the concept of the political" at "the end of history" in the time of "the last man." This invitation to a repoliticization has not been answered in an adequate manner. Derrida did not intend his discourse on Marx to be a "reconciliation," as Ahmad thinks. Had it been, he notes, he "would have proceeded very differently." He knew Specters of Marx "would above all fail to please those 'Marxists' who are comfortably installed in their proprietorial positions, and identified by themselves with themselves." But in a world "out of joint," Derrida's book, or so it seems to "Marxists," "does not come from the enemy," or, as Derrida clarifies, "from an identifiable enemy." Derrida sees that his engagement with Marxists, despite his best, if necessarily oblique, efforts, was a failure. It was, he says, "by way of anticipation of the reactions--variegated, to be sure, but, on this point, similar and eminently predictable--of possessive Marxists (for example, Eagleton, Spivak and Ahmad), watching over orthodoxy as if over a patrimony," that he announced that his book would not please anyone, that it would be (like Nietzsche's Thus Spoke Zarathustra) for all and none. While able to predict the "Marxist" reaction(s) to him as making a "belated-rallying-to-Marxism," his attempt, contretemps, to rally Marxists to a repoliticized political thinking was a perlocutionary failure, for these particular Marxist readers neither recognized Derrida as an enemy nor, because they read Derrida "traditionally," were they able to engage Derrida as his enemy. "The chrono-logic of the contretemps was, if I may say so, preprogrammed," Derrida writes in quite a remarkable admission, but its programming failed (at least thus far) to achieve its intended effects, for he failed to get "Marxists" to think any differently about anything concerning the political, class, or revolution ("MS," p. 227). But why should Marxists have to think differently about such issues? They need not, unless part of the praxis of Marxism includes understanding what a political philosopher such as Derrida does to such terms and how his stratagems transform these concepts so that they never reach their intended destination.
6. Derrida claims he preferred to "rush headlong into defeat [courir à l'échec]," to face up to a rout ("MS," p. 214), but there can be no defeat where there has been no battle. Derrida, the careful reader of the political theologian Carl Schmitt, crown jurist of the Third Reich, still, despite these Marxists' inability to read him, tries to rally the troops of his enemy by alerting them about their lack of unity. If Marxism is in a state of civil war, Marxism will be unable either to recognize or confront its enemies. Derrida tells these Marxists that "each sets out from a different political philosophy and politics" ("MS," p. 215). This ought to seem obvious enough to anyone familiar with the interminable debates and disagreements about fundamental Marxist concepts between post-marxists, cultural Marxists, advocates of identity politics, Red Collectives, Neo-Spinozist communists, sociologists of class, analytical Marxists, and so on.
7. While certain Marxists have done Derrida the "honor" of addressing him, they have not properly responded to his raising the stakes: is Marxism a political philosophy--qua ontology, qua metaphysics? "No one agrees with anyone else on that subject," Derrida points out. This disarray among enemy troops would be of no particular interest to any political philosopher who was not Schmittian (as is also the case with Strauss, Fukuyama, and Huntington for whom the political requires a real antagonism of friend and foe). Why would a foe care if his enemy were too busy with its own civil wars to go to battle? When Derrida repeats that there will be no future without Marx, he speaks with Schmitt, indicating that the political distinction between friend and enemy has been all but eliminated in the age of global capitalism and the Last Man. Even Marxists, Derrida implies, do not recognize themselves as anyone's enemy, except each other's, as they fight over who deserves their orthodoxy and inheritance. Nor can they engage an enemy on the field of political philosophy when they congratulate themselves that Marxism "has never been a philosophy as such," when there is no basic agreement concerning the things under discussion: "philosophy, politics, political philosophy, the philosophical, the political, the politico-philosophical, the ideological and so on" ("MS," p. 216). Derrida knows Marx was a philosopher, if at times a bad one, if at times he desired to be a scientist instead. If Marx fails as a philosopher, it is because he too often fails to read "untraditionally" and decode political philosophy. Marxists have inherited this practice. The defeat Derrida is rushing headlong into is not his own but Marxism's, for his provocations have failed to generate a worthy foe out of a Marxism that is, he says, "a babel of tongues verging on meaninglessness." He has perhaps even failed to find a worthy individual combatant amidst the obtrusive richness of "these idiomatic, untranslatable differences" ("MS," p. 217).
8. There can be no repoliticization if there is no clear and existential demarcation between friends and enemies. Derrida qua Schmittian knows that in a depoliticized world, nothing is very interesting--the world is full of mere "entertainment." Derrida, following Schmitt's counsel (who in his own way follows Nietzsche's), attempts to "raise the ante" and to make "things more interesting" by following the advice of "Love your enemies." However, it is difficult to love a weak or incompetent enemy who does not realize war is being waged upon him. It may be easy to battle a confused enemy or to win a war against a divided state, but Derrida is not interested in what is easy. It is nobler to fight a serious opponent: win or lose, the battle proves there are still meaningful political antitheses over which people are willing to kill or die. Derrida, however, is in an embarrassing position: he has to tell his Marxist opponents they have been routed in a battle they neither knew was going on (at least since the publication of Specters of Marx) nor whose rules of engagement they understood. Derrida's book, "initially a lecture, delivered at a specific moment" under conditions not of his choosing, "'took a position' in response to a significant invitation in a highly determinate context," yet virtually no one seems to have understood what Derrida intended to question: the "political," the "philosophical," and their relations to "Marx" ("MS," p. 217). Few Marxists even seem to think these topoi questionable, despite the fact that there is no agreement on their meanings in the Marxist camp. Derrida's frustration at this is more palpable in "Marx & Sons" than is his amusement, especially when he indicates that perhaps his audience can only respond to manifestos, not to a spectral hypo/thesis that takes a position "without presenting itself in the present" ("MS," p. 219). However, it ought to be possible to learn to read Derrida properly in order to present a unified front, or to exorcize this ghost.
9. The three basics of political philosophy that Derrida is interested in developing into a political dialogue by means of his text Specters of Marx involve the question-form of political philosophy, repoliticization, and the "perverformative." He may already be asking too much not only of Marxists but of all political moderns by invoking "the question of the question." Derrida's attempt "to reawaken questions mesmerized or repressed" puts him, whether he knows it or not, whether the Marxists who "have never considered Derrida a man of the Right" know it or not, in a hidden dialogue with Leo Strauss. For Strauss, the disasters of modern politics made it necessary to return (a form of repentance) to the noble question form of ancient political philosophy (what is the good? what is the best regime?). He set himself against the base calculative efforts of modern political philosophers who sought to plan human satisfaction on an all-too-human scale and who valued the body and the belly over virtue and the soul.
10. For the modern many, Marxists included, who assume answers to political things but have forgotten the questions, Derrida's attempt at philosophical repoliticization appears as depoliticization. For Derrida, the theoretical-and-political "disasters" of modernity and Marxism prove the need to return to the question-form of philosophy. They prove the Enlightenment project has failed, and thus dictate the need for a new political thinking (which is, paradoxically, both a return to ancient political practice and stratagems and an "arrivant" from the spectral, indeterminate, yet proleptically-created future). The greatest danger here is that neither Derrida's epigones, who think Derrida's project is about deconstructing texts, nor his foes, who think more or less the same thing, are likely to be in a position to grasp what Derrida intends when speaking of "the repoliticization that I would like to see come about" ("MS," p. 223). The danger is that hardly anyone seems to understand how deeply invested Derrida is in the same political project as Nietzsche, Schmitt, Strauss, and even the one Derrida seems to so easily and gingerly handle--Francis Fukuyama. This is not understood because these political philosophers are either unread by epigone and foe, or, if read, are read as badly as Derrida complains he has been read.
11. Something that Derrida does not recognize, though he is quite capable of doing so after a little homework of his own, is that this habit of bad reading is a kind of Marxist inheritance. The worst aspect of Marx was his tendency to do exactly what Derrida accuses the "Marxists" of doing: dismissing or belittling the things--the questions--that disturbed his slumber: "To put it coldly and categorically, everything would seem to suggest that it is not possible to raise questions and express concern about a determinate politics or a determination of the political without promptly being accused of depoliticization in general" ("MS," p. 223). (As if Socrates--or Plato--were attempting to depoliticize the Greeks by getting them to wonder publicly "what is the best regime?") In Theories of Surplus Value, as in other texts, instead of engaging his foes, such as Adam Smith, philosophically or politically, Marx engages them empirically and scientifically. When reading Smith's Wealth of Nations, Marx can only see errors, but, since Marx nowhere seems to have read Smith's Theory of Moral Values (it is mentioned only once in a quote by a bishop about Hume, buried in a footnote in Capital, Vol. 1),7 Marx is blind to how Smith the moral philosopher might be practicing the philosophical art of esotericism. Instead of assuming that Smith could have deeper interests at heart in performing capitalist apologetics, Marx judges Smith according to Marx's own new found orthodoxy. Marx's reading of Smith, and others, does not provide a careful political or philosophical consideration of the texts examined. One is subjected, instead, to a litany of insults. Marx says Smith "mixes up different things," that he confuses and remains unclear on things, is naïve, perplexed, does not grasp what things are, etc.8
12. When Smith, an influential 18th century linguist and rhetorician and a writer well-versed in the art of eloquence, contradicts himself, Marx is overjoyed at finding Smith's error instead of suspecting that such contradictions could indicate, perhaps, some esoteric content present only between the lines. Smith was widely admired in England and America as a stylist and a lecturer who understood the tricks of his trade and who knew how to beguile some while speaking clearly to others. As Strauss writes, "If a master of the art of writing commits such blunders as would shame an intelligent high school boy, it is reasonable to assume that they are intentional, especially if the author discusses, however incidentally, the possibility of intentional blunders in writing."9 What Marx cannot see is how Smith, as rhetorician, ethicist, and moralist, by writing as he does pedagogically attempts to create "virtuous men" who acquire the habit of submitting to a "natural hierarchy" of "gentlemen" who realize their "freedom" in the public, political, or commercial sectors. These "gentlemen" differ little from Nietzsche's or Derrida's "philosophers of the future" who, by being liberated from the rules and restraints of "virtue" and by being beyond good and evil, are free to establish rank ordering (rangordnung).
13. Marx does not account for the possibility of deliberate manifest blunders in the texts he reads. This is not to insist that Smith's practice of eloquence makes him an esotericist, but it is to note that Marx never once assumes that manifest blunders are anything other than errors to pounce on and correct. What Marx could have learned from Machiavelli but did not is that, as Leo Strauss restates Machiavelli's restatement of a universal rule, "if a prudent and strong enemy commits a manifest blunder, there will always be fraud beneath it."10 Strauss makes much of Machiavelli's manifest blunders and Machiavelli's readings of the manifest blunders of others. Quoting the Discourses (III, 48), Strauss notes that in the same passage that Machiavelli warns that a leader of an army should never assume his enemy's seeming error is anything but a fraud or deception, Machiavelli himself commits a blunder by noting that certain blunders are committed out of panic or cowardice. Strauss's reading of Machiavelli's blunder (here and elsewhere, tracing out misquotations, misstatements, contradictions, etc.) is premised on the notion that Machiavelli is a careful and prudent enemy engaged in "spiritual warfare." In comparison, Marx seems a schoolmarm slapping knuckles for errors of form. Marx, and his sons and daughters, are not attuned to this way of reading blunders--judging only in terms of orthodoxy and "truth"--nor are they attuned to silences which can be more explicit than any statements can be.
14. In asserting he is not "for" depoliticization, Derrida is silent about what he means by "the repoliticization that [he] would like to see come about," though he says of repoliticization that it is a thing "desirable to do." In order to understand this silence, one needs to have done one's homework; otherwise, translating Derrida's implications and intentions is nearly impossible, especially where he notes that "an old conception of the political has, in itself, been depoliticized or is depoliticizing." Derrida, like Machiavelli, is an enemy of old modes and orders, but by "old" Derrida does not mean "ancient;" his "old" is "Enlightenment," "liberal," or "modern." His Nietzschean/Schmittian stance is barely concealed, but it is altogether invisible to a reader ignorant of what Derrida means "today" when he writes of where political philosophy is heading (L'autre cap). Jameson ably recognizes the "augustly parasitical activity" of deconstruction's "philosophical explication de texte" and bumps up against Derrida's esotericism.11 Derrida marks this, availing himself of the silence of the commentator, by allowing Jameson to say what Derrida will not utter about repoliticization, that "it is energetically future-oriented and active" ("MS," p. 223).
15. The most exoteric statement on the kind of project of repoliticization that Derrida seems to be involved in (his appeals to create a New International, his impatient waiting for those who are to come--the philosophers of the future) comes from the Straussian Stanley Rosen's work on Nietzsche. Rosen writes of "Nietzsche's constant recognition of the impossibility of arriving at the past by any route other than that of the future."12 Derrida's "re/turn" to political philosophy is Nietzschean (he has always admitted so, yet this admission has meant little politically) in its active future orientation. Rosen writes,
Nietzsche employs the same crucial doctrines, will to power and eternal return, in an intrinsically inconsistent manner, corresponding to two distinct ends. First we must be liberated from the past by the active nihilism. Next we must be stimulated to overcome the nihilistic dimension of activism in the creative act of overcoming or transvaluation. (MENZ, p. 6)
This creation of new values, this future orientation, can only be accomplished by the philosophers of the future--of whose number Derrida already counts himself (in Politics of Friendship) though he knows he is merely part of the bridge. Rosen writes, "A radically new society requires as its presupposition the destruction of the existing society; Nietzsche is succeeding in enlisting countless thousands in the ironical task of self-destruction, all in the name of a future utopia." Whereas radical democrats and advocates of identity politics embrace Nietzschean relativism and perspectivism as well as his exoteric teachings about power as counter-hegemonic praxes in their own quest for democracy (where democracy is usually what is best for "us"), Nietzsche knows, Rosen notes, that "The first step in the destruction of the West is not war, and not even armed insurrection, but the initiation of the process of transforming human values."13
16. Neither Nietzsche nor Derrida are "conservative" or identifiable enemies from the Right. They seem quite user-friendly to a non-Marxist Left. Both know the impossibility of literally returning to ancient old modes and orders. Therefore, they must hasten the process of homogenizing all struggles and identities. They must proceed further into decadence (equality of all values) in the name of "progress" in order to accelerate the process of self-destruction, which leads to the necessity of founding new modes and orders. (How else to translate the history of "deconstruction?") As Rosen notes, "The more persons who can be convinced that they are modern progressives (or even postmoderns), the quicker the explosion" ("NR," p. 191). Given the success of Derrida's haunting of contemporary post-marxisms (his influenza), there seems to be nothing to impede this process. Understanding his political orientation and his rhetorical stratagems might allow us to understand Derrida's "perverformativity" better than simply judging his interpretations as heterodox errors and help us prevent that which Derrida so anxiously, patiently awaits.
17. Derrida reminds us in "Marx & Sons" that he has "never gone to battle against Marxism or the Marxists" (nor, he says, has he ever spoken of or on behalf of "deconstructionism" ["MS," p. 265, note 28]), so his text should in no way be read as an attempt at "reconciliation." "Had my major concern been 'reconciliation,'" he notes, "I would have written a very different book" ("MS," p. 225). At this failure to read, Derrida sighs and smiles, but his "laughter becomes, so to speak, at once frank and serious" when Marxists, who seem to agree on very little, agree that Derrida has come over to their side "now" in an attempt at a tardy reconciliation, or worse opportunistically, or worse still when "Marxists" fear they are being dispossessed of their patrimony.
18. Derrida makes several oblique offerings about how he ought to be read. Where the "Marxists" are offended by his tone, Derrida intimates that they are tone deaf: "To be entitled to isolate and thus criticize a tone, of its fusion with concept, meaning and performativity . . . one must have, if I may say so without appearing offensive, a finer ear for the differential, unstable, shifting qualities of a tone--for example, the tonal values that signal irony or play, even at the most serious moments, and always in passages where the tone is, precisely, inseparable from the content" ("MS," p. 234). Shifting qualities of tone can combine gravity and levity, as Machiavelli's and Montaigne's do. Derrida's tone, his seeming irreverence, heterodoxy, and willingness to break the laws of Marxism, signals his practice of "the gay science." Strauss writes of Machiavelli, "If it is true that every complete society necessarily recognizes something about which it is absolutely forbidden to laugh, we may say that the determination to transgress that prohibition sanza alcuno rispetto, is of the essence of Machiavelli's intention" (ToM, p. 40). Strauss refers to aphorism 1 of The Gay Science, and Derrida seems to as well in his questioning, without any respect, the law of filiation among the "serious" and "faithful" "Marxists." There Nietzsche writes,
Gradually, man has become a fantastic animal that has to fulfill one more condition of existence than any other animal: man has to believe, to know, from time to time why he exists; his race cannot flourish without periodic trust in life--without faith in reason in life. And again and again the human race will decree from time to time: "There is something at which it is absolutely forbidden henceforth to laugh."14
One needs to have spent only a little time around certain Marxists to know that Marx is a thing at which one does not laugh.
19. Derrida's real threat to Marxist filiation is that he does not seem to take Marx seriously enough. He mixes gravity and levity in a "quasi-impossible combination" (ToM, p. 40) that "Marxists" have difficulty reading. Derrida writes,
I am not in the process of saying that, if Marxism is faring so poorly, especially in the academy, the blame lies with the "Marxists," or a few academic "Marxists," let alone with some of those I have just mentioned (Spivak, Eagleton, or Ahmad). That, as one can imagine, would assuredly be saying too much. The problem, alas, has very different dimensions. Let us only say that now that the harm has been done, and the causes and effects being what they are, the symptomatic modes of behavior I have just described do not help matters any, as one says, or contribute to setting things right. ("MS," p. 223-24)
Derrida knows this is a blunder, a pious fraus: if Marxism is doing well anywhere, it is in the academy. If Marxism fares poorly, it is in its relation to a certain political philosophy that practices the art of esotericism. It cannot meet such political philosophy as a prudent and strong enemy on a field of battle or of tone, nor on a field of "questions of a psychoanalytic type" ("MS," p. 235). Geoff Waite, whose book Nietzsche's Corps/e tackles the problem of Left-Nietzscheanism, concurs with this critique, noting, in his essay "On Esotericism," that Marxism has for too long remained prelinguistic and prepsychoanalytic. It has maintained a "studied disinterest in, or simple ignorance of, the ancient tradition of exo/esotericism (first openly codified by Machiavelli) wherein falsity, illusion, and ideology are produced and manipulated by some subjects consciously so as to be incorporated by others unconsciously. The epistemological and political costs to Marxism of this disinterest and ignorance," Waite claims, "have been enormous, almost irredeemable; and this failure demands rectification." Marxism has no way to "read the psyche that is prepared to manipulate other psyches unconsciously by means of eloquent silence."15 Thus our failure to vanquish Derrida--or Citibank.
20. A "Marxist" complaint about Derrida's book is that it avoids class politics. Derrida is again put in the embarrassing position of explaining his silence (though his explanation has its own silence). Derrida notes that he does not believe social class has disappeared, only that the notion of class, or its traditional concepts or criterion, are "problematic," not outdated or irrelevant: "If I had wanted to say that I believed there were no more social classes and that all that struggle over this subject was passé, I would have" ("MS," p. 236). As Strauss writes of Machiavelli,
The rule which Machiavelli tacitly applies can be stated as follows: if a wise man is silent about a fact that is commonly held to be important for the subject he discusses, he gives us to understand that that fact is unimportant. The silence of a wise man is always meaningful. It cannot be explained by forgetfulness. . . . One can express one's disagreement with the common view by simply failing to take notice of it; this is, in fact, the most effective way of showing one's disapproval. (ToM, p. 30)
If Derrida does not mention "class" or any number of topoi deemed crucial for Marxists, he, like Machiavelli, is perhaps suggesting "by this silence that these subjects are unimportant for politics" (ToM, p. 31). By his silence, Derrida indicates, for those with ears to hear, that he finds Marxist common sense about the political to be wrong. The question becomes, if not class, then what? What will be the organizing principle, the thing that binds (fascio) and gives unity to the New International, "which is already a reality" ("MS," p. 239)? If we are to stand up against this New International, we need to hear what is hidden in Derrida's silence.
21. One does not have to have unreconstructed, orthodox Marxist theories of class and politics to perceive Derrida's New International as potentially dangerous and threatening. Derrida's ambiguous descriptions of the New International in Specters of Marx and in "Marx & Sons" signal a desire for new modes and orders that should strike fear in any liberal or democrat's heart, for these are not the new modes and orders of a "mere Fortinbras" as Derrida chides Ahmad for believing ("MS," p. 263, note 15). Nor is this "fascism" in its vulgar form, as we have come to know it. To think it so is only the result "of a massive failure to read and analyze" ("MS," p. 264, note 22). Derrida continues, "This rudimentary misunderstanding might by itself warrant my breaking off all further dialogue until certain 'homework' was done." My intention here is to do such homework and to suggest the New International, whose platform is ancient, Nietzschean, and comprehensively nihilist, is more threatening than any mere fascism.
22. The New International is more than "another dimension of analysis and political commitment [ ] that cuts across social differences and oppositions of social forces" ("MS," p. 239). It is that, certainly, and one may recognize in it what has come to be known as "radical democracy," yet "radical democracy" is too often but part of the ironic Nietzschean/Derridean putsch to "radicalize" democracy--to make all standpoints equal, to convince political theorists that they are "progressive" in their "postmodernism." When all standpoints have equal validity, nothing is of the highest value. What has been misunderstood as "progress" is in fact "nihilism," a process of decadence and loss of faith in any higher goals under the guise of democratic "values:" "What looks to Nietzsche's Dionysian disciples like freedom is to Nietzsche's Apollonian vision amor fati--the Spinozist acceptance of fate, or what we may bluntly call slavery," writes Rosen ("NR," p. 200). The goal of the New International, which is hiding in the light in Politics of Friendship, is the creation of the philosophers of the future (in the present) who can will new values. Nietzsche, and perhaps Derrida, knows that he will not make it to the promised land (some are born posthumously), to the time following the destruction of those opposite yet still egalitarian political systems--capitalism and communism. Rosen writes,
Zarathustra has no genuine disciples because he still lives in a time of decadence. In order to produce genuine disciples, Zarathustra must first destroy his own time, but hence too himself. . . . Zarathustra, like Nietzsche, must throw himself into the revolutionary maelstrom as an act of creative exaltation--or if one prefers, of faith. This, incidentally, is the direct paradigm for the Nietzscheanization of Left. ("NR," p. 204)
But Derrida is not simply Nietzschean; he is also Schmittian, and Schmitt's presence haunts not only Politics of Friendship and "Force of Law" but also Specters of Marx.
23. Derrida gave the lectures that became Politics of Friendship about three years before delivering either of these other lectures/texts. Derrida quotes and writes explicitly about Schmitt in Politics of Friendship, but by Specters of Marx and "Force of Law," Schmitt has been so incorporated into Derrida's discourse (or Derrida has been encorpsed by Schmitt) that Derrida does not even mention Schmitt's name. Yet, in "Marx & Sons," Derrida reminds his Marxist interlocutors that the New International is concerned with singular situations (what Schmitt refers to as Ernstfall, extreme cases). In assessing, or judging, those singular situations, "there is, by definition, no pre-existing criterion or absolute calculability" (or as Schmitt says, "Sovereign is he who decides on the exception"16). For Schmitt and Derrida, political decisions are not about parliamentary debates or ballot boxes ("Or that one had to choose: to be 'for' or 'against' Marx, as in a polling booth," Derrida writes ["MS," p. 231]). The New International is not about democracy; it is about fashioning a new prince whose "analysis must begin anew every day everywhere, without ever being guaranteed by prior knowledge" ("MS," p. 239-40).
24. Derrida takes on Schmitt's decisionism in his efforts at repoliticization without naming Schmitt whose political history makes Heidegger look like a fighter in the Resistance. Thus, it ought to be clear why Derrida has not been preoccupied with legitimate descent: "I have even learned to cultivate and publicly defend my indifference to this subject, to explain the 'logic' of that indifference, and to go so far as to make of it a kind of ethical and political first principle" ("MS," p. 232). Specters of Marx, Derrida writes, "'deconstructs' the law of filiation" in its reading of Hamlet. However, it might be wiser to consider that this play is, for Derrida, less about the father-son lineage he mentions than it is about potential regicides by nephews--a constant theme in Machiavelli. Derrida does not present himself as a "true heir" but notes, "Preoccupation with legitimate descent is a feeling that I do not find within myself" ("MS," p. 232). This, of course, allows him to engage in a performative interpretation of Marx with none of Hamlet's hesitancy, but this is only the most conspicuous aspect of his text. Such stratagems are obviously necessary when one--cautiously, knowingly--takes one's political and philosophical bearings (cap) from such politically-suspect figures as Nietzsche, Heidegger, and Schmitt.
25. Lest one have misunderstood Derrida's harping on the "undecidable" all these years as merely a textual or referential problem, Derrida, echoing Schmitt, reminds us, "The 'undecidable' has never been, for me, the opposite of decision: it is the condition of decision wherever decision cannot be deduced from an existing body of knowledge as it would be by a calculating machine" ("MS," p. 240). Or, as Schmitt writes in Political Theology:
The exception is more interesting than the rule. The rule proves nothing; the exception proves everything: it confirms not only the rule but also its existence, which derives only from exception. In the exception the power of real life breaks through the crust of a mechanism that has become torpid by repetition. (PT, p. 15)
Political decisions partake of the irrational and of the spontaneous, not the calculative. The rule of law, parliamentary debate, and legalistic justice are machines of a State with no sovereign and no ideals. It is this absence that Derrida wishes to fill by his turn to Schmitt and his commitment to repoliticization. If there is no "truth" in a democratic, legislated, majority-ruled (i.e., decadent) world, perhaps a sovereign might rise to make everything new again.
26. Derrida's position on "revolution" should be seen in the same light as his silence on "class:" "To say that I seek to 'discredit revolution both as a political strategy for the present and as a social aspiration for the future' [as Tom Lewis writes] is a blatant counter-truth." If Derrida is a Nietzschean or Schmittian revolutionary, then we can understand what he means when he writes, "I have invested the word 'revolution' with a positive, affirmative value, even if the traditional figure and imageries of revolution seem to me to call for certain 'complications'" ("MS," p. 242). This, he hints, is what he means by "messianicity without messianism," those "revolutionary moments that interrupt not only states of conservation, but even processes of reform." These Ernstfall do not, Derrida explicitly says, add up to "Utopianism." "Messianicity," which Derrida regards "as a universal structure of experience," is "anything but Utopian: it refers, in every here-now, to the coming of an eminently real, concrete event, that is, to the most irreducibly heterogeneous otherness. Nothing is more 'realistic' or 'immediate' than this messianic apprehension, straining forward toward the event of him who/that which is coming" ("MS," p. 248). Him who/that which is coming? This waiting is "an active preparation, anticipation against the backdrop of a horizon, but also exposure without horizon, and therefore an irreducible amalgam of desire and anguish, affirmation and fear, promise and threat" ("MS," p. 249).
27. Derrida notes that this waiting is only "apparently passive:" "I cannot calculate everything, predict and program all that is coming, the future in general, etc., and this limit to calculability or knowledge is also, for a finite being, the condition of praxis, decision, action and responsibility" ("MS," p. 249). This state of ignorance is the necessary presupposition of philosophy. As Rosen says, the content of Nietzsche's revolutionary doctrine remains undefined, but "the esoteric teaching is intended to persuade the right persons to facilitate the work of the charmed multitude" ("NR," p. 206). This messianic political "event" depends on fortuna: it "can either come to pass or not," but it "is inseparable from a promise and an injunction that call[s] for commitment without delay, and, in truth, rule[s] out abstention." Thus the threat--Derrida and his co-philosophers of the future are waiting-by-preparing the field for "him who/that which is coming," preparing the throne and preparing themselves to be advisers to the Prince who will establish new modes and orders, preparing for what Nietzsche calls "the secret kingship of the philosopher" (WP 428).
28. Derrida's "messianicity without messianism is not a watered-down messianism . . . It is a different structure" that makes use of "a theory of speech acts" (such as esotericism, sigetics, acroamatics, proleptics, and illocutionary and perlocutionary acts). It includes a taking into account "a paradoxical experience of the performative of the promise (but also of the threat at the heart of the promise) that organizes every speech act." That threat, which has a similar structure to Machiavelli's announcement to the actual Prince that he better understands the art of being a Prince, or this "waiting without waiting," is political preparation "for someone or something that, in order to happen or 'arrive,' must exceed and surprise every determinate anticipation" ("MS," p. 250). This "someone or something" will exceed our imagination, educated as it has been on modern/Enlightenment rationality.
29. Marxists argue that we are unable to imagine communism before its arrival, but "the someone or something" that follows hard upon the messianic event Derrida speaks of will usher in an opposite unimaginable concept of the political and establish the rangordnung of Nietzsche's ancient desires. Derrida's "appeal for an International whose essential basis or motivating force [is] not class, citizenship, or party" ("MS," p. 252) should be read and understood as a threat to any potential international organized around such concepts. Marxists witnessed the actualization of a similar, yet philosophically inadequate, threat in the twentieth century,17 but the new Messiah waited for (without waiting) will make Hitler and Mussolini look like rank amateurs. Marxists have the ability to recognize the content of this messianicity, yet they stubbornly persist in the delusion that Derrida is speaking of "something familiar," and that he is not a "class enemy." Certainly, he is not. He is worse, and we call him "comrade" at great risk to creating a communist future.
30. If Derrida were threatening us with a monstrous event unthinkable according to our determinate ways of thinking, why would he publicly announce such a thing? Why publish it for everyone to read? "Why not," as Derrida asks of himself, "describe the universal structure in question without even mentioning the messianic?" ("MS," p. 254). This is a self-criticism Derrida "brings forward against [him]self," but only (borrowing Strauss's metaphor) "between the lines." If he announces the presence of esotericism, announces he has secrets, where is the mystery? What is the harm in an open secret? The answer lies in the eloquent esotericist's assumption of the right to tell lies, to mobilize pious frauds, and to publish secrets. The esotericist knows that in the age of positivism, historicism, and the Last Man either no one will bother to read their encrypted writings, or, if some should happen to read them, these "enlightened" readers will neither fully understand the mysteries nor will they believe that open secrets have any power or pose any threat. That few read Strauss or are aware of his teachings on esotericism except his own students and their students (some of whom have occupied Cabinet positions) should be verifiable by making a study of syllabi from political science or philosophy courses, and that few read Nietzsche or Derrida esoterically is equally verifiable by perusing the critical readings of them. Aristotle, when berated by Alexander for making his teachings known, said his writings were published and not published. When Strauss was confronted with questions about revealing the secrets of the few before an audience of the many in his published work, he is reported to have said that he was afraid that the original meaning of philosophy would be lost forever without such frank discussion of its principles and practices. Such frank and public, if still circumspect and enigmatic, discussion of esotericism is necessary to break out of the horizon of historicism, to think according to the terms of the ancients, to practice politics and philosophy in the way of the ancients, to educate the perfect Prince, and to establish the best regime. Derrida is a friend of this esoteric "community without community" and his secrets are just as encrypted.
31. Derrida notes that the "messianic" is a "relatively arbitrary or extrinsic" term. That is, it is purely exoteric, signaling to those "in the know" that the structure of this thought "has merely rhetorical or pedagogical value." This is an "old" word and "if it comes to be understood someday, it should be possible to talk about this not only without reference to traditional messianism or a 'Messiah,' but even without the 'without'." However, beneath this exoteric term (this adianoeta), "beneath this arbitrary choice and pedagogical usefulness, there lurks, perhaps, a more irreducible ambiguity" ("MS," p. 254). This hidden sense intends to prime disciples and potential disciples in the way Rosen claims Nietzsche works ("the philosopher of the future will say 'my judgment,' not 'Nietzsche's judgment'" ["NR," p. 206]) and to have the perlocutionary effect of "getting us" to do his bidding. It may also work as a call to arms for those already "in the know" or who have "faith" in this unimaginable event that will appear on the horizon from the future.
32. It is this "faith" which is "part of the structure of the social bond" (fascio) that is the true basis of the New International ("MS," p. 255). By "faith" Derrida means "thinking" (Heidegger's denken), "which cannot be reduced to philosophy, scientific theory, or knowledge in general, although to say so is not to exclude or denigrate them." It is a "thinking" that "calls for the coming of an event, i.e., calls precisely for that which 'changes'" ("MS," p. 257). For Marx, communism is the real movement that abolishes the present state of things. Derrida's "thinking" is also a real movement to abolish the present state of things, but these two real movements have different means and ends and move in opposite directions towards the future. Derrida notes, "I do not myself mourn, and feel no nostalgia at all, truly none at all, for what has just vanished from the face of the earth after having usurped the figure of communism" ("MS," p. 259). Schmitt did not regard communism as a good political enemy either. He thought of it as something dangerous, a partisan "tyranny of values" that sought to impose its politics by force and threatened to eliminate not just the enemy but also all life. In this, finally, it was no different from the Enlightenment and capitalism. Proper enemies do not destroy their foes--that, according to this ancient style of thought would be the end of the political. The possibility for repoliticization, for grosse politics in Nietzsche's terms, is today "on the agenda" following the death of communism and the rebirths of nationalisms and religious fundamentalisms. Samuel Huntington's essay "The Clash of Civilizations?" serves to remind us (its perlocutionary intention) that there are still nations and civilizations willing to kill or die for ideals, myths, and faiths which mean more to them than capitalist profit and to warn us of the dangers of ignoring this opportunity for repoliticization. However, says Derrida, the disappearance of communism and the globalization of capitalism (i.e., the age of the Last Man that Fukuyama bemoans, not celebrates), "does not prevent me from analyzing the paradoxical symptoms of a geopolitical mourning, or trying to articulate them with a new logic of the relations between the unconscious and politics" ("MS," p. 259). By "articulate" he means "program," and by "new logic," esotericism. Specters of Marx, he says, is "precisely, the 'delineations' of new things" ("MS," p. 260).
33. "Marx & Sons" ends with an aside addressed to Antonio Negri, fellow reader of Spinoza. He asks Negri to regard "ontology" "as a password . . . a shibbloeth [sic], which pretends to mean what the word 'ontology' has always meant" ("MS," p. 261). This could be "a coded language" they could use "like Marranos." "In philosophical company," perhaps even among "Marxists," "we could act as if we were still speaking the language of metaphysics or ontology, knowing full well, between us that this was not at all so." Derrida has, he "confesses," "secretly present[ed] himself as a sort of Marrano" in a few of his texts--and was not, Derrida smiles, "Marx himself, Marx the liberated ontologist, [ ] a Marrano?" If "the sons of Karl himself knew nothing" about this, nor his daughters, a certain Marx is still a worthy political philosopher and foe, and, however tangentially, through a process of filiation, so are his heirs who "would have been Marranos . . . so well disguised, so perfectly encrypted, that they themselves never suspected that that's what they were!" ("MS," p. 262). They may have even "repressed it, denied it, disavowed it" just as they have repressed, denied, and disavowed that Marx was a political philosopher and Marxism a political philosophy.
34. Derrida's intention, his attempt at repoliticization, is this challenge to awaken the political philosophy forgotten or repressed by Marxists who whether they know it or not "incarnate or metempsychosize the ventriloquist specters of their ancestors" ("MS," p. 262). Marxists are, perhaps, possessed by Marx's daemon, but they are too often deaf to its voice, or, perhaps its voice points them in the wrong direction. Derrida's eloquent if oblique presentation of himself as "enemy" is an attempt to re-awaken a strong and prudent adversary worth battling. My study of Derrida and his relation to political philosophy is an attempt to do the same thing: to urge the creation of a Marxist political philosophy that will not only prevent the arrival of that messianic "someone or something" Derrida awaits but that can usurp that place and end human prehistory in the creation of a truly human history.
35. "It is an old maxim," said Lenin, "that in politics one often has to learn from the enemy. And at revolutionary moments," he said, "the enemy forces correct conclusions upon us in a particularly instructive and speedy way."18 Derrida is hardly the worst enemy Marxists face, but Marxism's inability to read Derrida except for his deviations from orthodoxy may be symptomatic of a larger failure on the political front. Obviously Derrida is "wrong" about as many things Marxists are concerned with as Adam Smith was about economics and exploitation, but correcting their errors does not change the world. Capitalism--its personifications and its institutions--is Marxism's primary enemy, and though in large part it runs according to its own logic, there are political philosophers and others "behind the scenes" whose teachings--however "incorrect"--serve to naturalize the structure of capitalist states, their hierarchies and inequalities, and serve to naturalize the ideology that there is not an alternative. What we as Marxists need to understand is how and why such political philosophers, as seemingly different as Derrida and Strauss, teach that in a world where "truth" no longer has any ground the creation of a new ground becomes a matter of deciding and a matter of who decides.
36. Marxism, brilliant as it is in comprehending the science of economics and the "truth" of exploitation, flounders too often when it comes to the psychology of politics. We are, with good reason, baffled as to why the "workers of the world" cannot see exploitation "hiding in the light." To end the present state of things in the creation of an egalitarian and culturally-rich future, Marxists must pay as much attention to literary and philosophical questions as we do to economic questions, for ideas, as Marx sometimes knew, are also powerful things. In order to take on Derrida as foe, Marxists needs to learn how to recognize his texts' political lineage and intentions better than we have. Derrida carries a virulent strain of Nietzscheanism that continues to infect even those who have never read him. Geoff Waite writes, "To settle accounts with Nietzsche/anism, communists must develop a theory of esotericism--and intentionality--that Marx apparently could not, or did not, himself provide."19
37. In this century, when we have witnessed repeated and continuous mass manipulations on the national scale in politics and on a global scale in consumer capitalism, literary theorists--including Marxist literary theorists--have consistently banished the concept of intention from their methods. This is not to say literary theorists have had nothing to say about intention, only that it has been construed as a naïve, nostalgic, and stupid thing that critics need not concern themselves with in their reading of "texts." The first task in the elaboration of a communist theory of esotericism is to establish intention and intentionality as valid interpretive categories. Such a theory must take seriously the notion that not only do certain authors have political intentions for their works but that these intentions inhere potentially in the structure of their texts in such a way as to affect readers in politically enabling or disabling ways. As Kenneth Burke knew, the form of a text, its rhetoric, must be studied, for form can induce a dream state in an audience "while the artist oversees the conditions which determine this dream. He is the manipulator of blood, brains, heart, and bowels which, while we sleep, dictate the mold of our desires."20
38. A communist theory of esotericism must think intention differently, but if it is to avoid continually stumbling over the block of "meaning," it must risk learning from the enemy--especially from Straussians--and from other sources likely to give Marxists the willies. Strauss's reading of the logographic Plato is altogether different from Derrida's reading of the logocentric Plato. Plato's Socrates may appear to privilege speech over writing, but that is only the exoteric level of the text, and Derrida is guilty of identifying what Plato taught most frequently and conspicuously with Plato's true teaching--unless, of course, as I contend, Derrida is also an esotericist and does not mean what he says most frequently and conspicuously.
39. This communist theory of esotericism would court ridicule unless in its paranoia it can pile up sufficient evidence to demonstrate that its interpretations are beyond a simple dismissal. To do this, we must learn to read what has been written between the lines. Most on the Right and Left debate within a liberal paradigm. What communists, who ought to be as anti-liberal as Marx was, can learn from the deeply anti-liberal Platonist Right, which is neither fascist nor conservative, is how deceptive and futile the debates occurring in that liberal paradigm are. We accuse our foes, such as Derrida, of forgetting the economic, or history, or class, yet they know well enough what fools they make of us when we mistake appearances for essences, when we read exoterically what was written esoterically, when our polemical engagements with anti-Marxist texts miss the mark by countering with the "truth" of exploitation while we are getting pummeled by philosophical and political punches we never see coming.
40. Reading closely, slowly, and carefully will not end exploitation, but neither will reading superficially, quickly, and carelessly. Neither properly understanding the market nor properly decoding Derrida will, by themselves, change the world, but as dialecticians, we need to see how the spread of one is connected to the dissemination of the other. More times than I care to remember, when younger graduate students find out about my interest in Marx and question why I bother to read Marx, and I have asked them if they have read Marx, they reply, "No, but I've read Specters of Marx." Nothing is less useful (has less use value) to Marxism than Derrida, and though Derrida's stock is falling in certain markets, Derridean commonsense is still creating armies by means of books. The blunt force of polemic will stop neither capitalism nor Derrida's virus. We need subtler weapons and we need to learn how to wield them.
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1 Jacques Derrida, "Marx & Sons," in Ghostly Demarcations: A Symposium on Jacques Derrida's Specters of Marx, ed. Michael Sprinker (NY: Verso, 1999), p 220; hereafter abbreviated "MS."
2 Carl Schmitt to Robert Kempner, his Nuremberg interrogator, "Schmitt at Nuremberg," Telos 72 (1987).
3 Friedrich Nietzsche, Will to Power, trans. Walter Kaufmann (NY: Vintage, 1968), p. 898; hereafter abbreviatedWP.
4 Aijaz Ahmad, "Reconciling Derrida: Specters of Marx and Deconstructive Politics," in Ghostly Demarcations: A Symposium on Jacques Derrida's Specters of Marx, ed. Michael Sprinker (NY: Verso, 1999), p. 88-109.
5 Leo Strauss, "On Plato's Republic," in The City and Man (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1978), p. 52, 53.
6 Mas'ud Zavarzadeh, "Post-Ality: The (Dis)Simulations of Cybercapitalism," Transformation 1 (1995), p. 1.
7 Karl Marx, Capital, Vol. 1 (NY: Vintage, 1977), p. 768.
8 Karl Marx, Theories of Surplus Value (Moscow: Progress Publishers, 1963), Part I, p. 68 ff.
9 Leo Strauss, Persecution and the Art of Writing (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1988), p. 30.
10 Leo Strauss, Thoughts on Machiavelli (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1958), p. 35; hereafter abbreviated ToM.
11 Fredric Jameson, "Marx's Purloined Letter," in Ghostly Demarcations: A Symposium on Jacques Derrida's Specters of Marx, ed. Michael Sprinker (NY: Verso, 1999), p. 34-35.
12 Stanley Rosen, The Mask of Enlightenment: Nietzsche's Zarathustra (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1995), p. 7; hereafter abbreviated MENZ.
13 Stanley Rosen, "Nietzsche's Revolution," in The Ancients and the Moderns: Rethinking Modernity (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1989), p. 190; hereafter abbreviated "NR."
14 Friedrich Nietzsche, The Gay Science (NY: Vintage, 1974), p. 75.
15 Geoff Waite, "On Esotericism," Political Theory 26.5 (1998), p. 609.
16 Carl Schmitt, Political Theology, trans. George Schwab (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1985), p. 5; hereafter abbreviated PT.
17 I refer the reader to Leo Strauss's lecture from 1941,"German Nihilism," Interpretation 26 (1999), pp. 353-78.
18 V. I. Lenin, Collected Works (Moscow, Progress Publishers, 1974), vol. 8, p. 218.
19 Geoff Waite, Nietzsche's Corps/e: Aesthetics Politics, Prophecy, or, the Spectacular Technoculture of Everyday Life (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 1996.), p. 105.
20 Kenneth Burke, Counter-Statement (Berkeley, University of California Press, 1968), pp. 36-37.
Contents copyright © 2001 by Richard E. Joines.
Format copyright © 2001 by Cultural Logic, ISSN 1097-3087, Volume 3, Number 1, Fall, 1999.