ENDGAME • Joseph W.H. Lough, Ph.D. • Filosofski fakultet Tuzla • Blog: http://www.newconsensus.org/blog • Twitter: @jwhlough • email: email@example.com • phone: +387 603375497 • Office Hours: 10-Noon, MW, Urban
Review • Winston’s Problem and Our Own • why might we be eager to identify the agent of social and historical emancipation? • in what world would that agent have been formed? • in what world would we (who recognize that agent) have been formed?
Review • The Subject-Object of History • Aristotle (Hegel/Marx): free thought and action are predicated on substantive freedom • I Kant (Lenin/Lukács): freedom is transcendental and needs to be objectified/historicised
Review • Winston’s Problem and Our Own • What is the cause for Winston’s despair? • How does Winston solve the subject-object problem? • How might Winston have solved the subject-object problem?
Review • Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room • What is Mark-to-Market Accounting? • What mechanisms mediate social relations in Enron’s world? • What mechanisms mediate social relations following the largest bankruptcy in world history?
Preview • Directional Dynamism in History • Long-Term Cycles • Short-Term Cycles • The Post-War Epoch and Our Pessimism
Preview • Endgame • The characters • The story • What does it mean? • What might it mean?
Preview • Walmart: the high cost of low prices
Directional Dynamism • Long-Term Cycles
Directional Dynamism • Short-Term Cycles
Directional Dynamism • What happens when the piston in a combustion engine seizes? • What happens in history when the tension between forces and relations of production disappears?
Directional Dynamism • Resistence or opposition does not give rise to determinate directional movement
Endgame • Who are the characters? • Ham • Clov • Nagg • Nell
Endgame • What happens in the story?
Endgame • What does it mean?
Endgame • Let us say that victory in WWII was purchased at an inconceivably high price in personnel, material, and surviving infrastructure • But let us say that one power emerges almost unscathed, enjoying unprecedented wealth and productive capacity • But let us say that there is no one left to benefit from this wealth and productivity
Endgame • If WWI and WWII were products of shifts in cycles of capital accumulation • What might have been “the solution” to these cycles and the resulting wars? • Were these solutions anywhere on the horizon in the 1960s?
Endgame • Did the “failure of reason” to address the causes for mass death prevent these causes from expanding? • Did either our pessimism or continuing war and conflict cause the “engine of history” to “seize”? • Did it bring the dialectical dynamic of history to a stop?
Endgame • Even in the absence of a subject-object, an Agent, to drive history, history is nevertheless unfolding • Even in the absence of an emancipatory agent or subject, history continues to proceed forward • Where is it going? • Who is driving it? • To what end?
Endgame • Let us say that we can recognize the pattern of history • Let us say that we can also recognize the limited character of this pattern • And let us say that we can therefore appreciate why our “endgame” is not THE ENDGAME
Endgame • Is there a way out? • Is there a way through?
Endgame • If value is structured in our society by the self-domination of labor . . . • If freedom would entail the conditions that make for freedom . . . • And if freedom would entail the end of labor . . . • Is there a way through?
Endgame • What kind of “freedom” did Cold War artists, writers, and intellectuals foreground? • In what ways did this foregrounding of “empty” or “negative” freedom promote repression in the “West”?
Endgame • If freedom entails the reduction of labor and the conditions that make for freedom, what does this make of . . . ? • race • ethnicity • nationality • religion • gender • gender preference
Preview • Walmart: the high cost of low prices • Office Hours: MW, 10-Noon, Urban • Open University, M 1-4, American Corner: Karl Marx in America