I propose that Althusserianism
catalyzes a major shift in the critical reception of Jorge Borges among critics and scholars on the Argentine left.
What Liu does, in a nutshell, is to turn Althusserianism
and Maoism (as appropriated by Althusser) against their own heads, painstakingly ferreting out their blindness and callousness.
As with Foucault there was an appropriation of some features of Marxism (especially Althusserianism
), a conception of holism/particularism; an appreciation that the laws governing economic tendencies are historically contingent, and a concern for institutional forms of power as they arose from divergent conflicts or from market processes.
Connell's critique of Althusserianism
in its French and British varieties, including the influential works of "cultural studies" associated with the Birmingham School, unpacked and unmade the key assumptions of structuralism.
Like Callinicos, Zizek finds this focus to be the limitation of Althusserianism
, but on very different grounds.
The later chapters of Geoghegan's book give compelling accounts of Rudolph Bahro and Andre Gorz, much more recent thinkers who have perhaps received less attention in the Anglophone world than is their due, overshadowed as they have been either by Althusserianism
or the resurgence of interest in figures such as Benjamin and Adorno.
Here, caustically, Thompson refers to Althusserianism
as a general police action within ideology, as Stalinism at the level of theory.
I was then going through a phase of high Althusserianism
and rather boldly suggested his conception of the economy and class relationships was more Adam Smith than Karl Marx, and to sharpen the accusation, pressed home the charge of economic reductionism.
In fact, the originality of his intellectual and political trajectory might best be thought of, as Badiou suggested at Cerisy, as a kind of prolonged formalization of the experience of 1968, when students like Ranciere, trained in the Althusserian science of revolution (a knowing science that must be transmitted to an unknowing "people") watched Althusserianism
go up in flames on the barricades, as the "people" themselves took collective matters into their own hands.
For while there is no point in denying its declining influence during the 1980s and 1990s, Althusserianism
has exhibited an impressive 'staying power' in the face of more recent post-structuralist, postmodernist trends.
In the first case, the development of the theory of ideology through the vicissitudes of the Frankfurt School, Althusserianism
and Jameson leave the rudimentary concept of false consciousness far behind.
If the theoretical prestige of Althusserianism
in corners of western Europe had been connected with the passing prestige of the Chinese cultural revolution in the '60s and '70s, the sharp decline of it a decade or so later was equally closely connected with the passing of modish Maoism in Paris and the elimination of the Gang of Four within China itself.