Thursday, October 24, 2013

The Future of Marxian Inspiration by Peter Sloterdijk

Reconstructing the Marxian inspirations means entering into the ghostly history of concepts which – as a force that has become a state, a spirit that has become technique, and as all intertwining money – are sucking at the life of individuals more than ever before.  Without a doubt, Marx’s future theoretical fame will be linked to his achievements as the conjurer of dead labor. The core of his critique of political economy is necromancy: as the hero who descends to the realm of the dead to contend with the shadows of values, Marx remains uncannily relevant also for the present.

The undead – which walks among humans as the value of money and which, as a laughing communicator, strips the living of time and souls –rules advanced societies today almost without  pretext. Work, communication, art, and love belong now here entirely to the endgame of money. These form the substance of contemporary media and experiential time. And because money requires time for its utilization, so-called great history is also continuing in some eerie way; it is a game that is always played for extra time. Yet such history is no longer the conversation of the living with the dead about the goodness of the world, but the ever more thorough pervasion of the living by the the specter of the Economy.

The money soul peers ever more undisguised out of the human subjectivity of our time: a society of bought buyers and of prostituted prostitutes is making an ever wider and comprehensive place for itself across the globe. Classic liberal laissez-faire is becoming explicit as the postmodern sucking and letting oneself be sucked. Telecommunications is increasingly difficult to distinguished from tele-vampirism. Tele-viewers and tele-suckers draw from a liquefied world which hardly knows what a resistant or autonomous life might be.

Is it not possible that a time is coming when those who do not wish to speak of vampirism should also be silent about philosophy? If that is the case, it would most definitely be the time of Marx’s second chance.

From Philosophical Temperaments; From Plato to Foucault.; Columbia University Press, 2013

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