By Rajagopalan Radhakrishnan
Publication by way of Radhakrishnan, Rajagopalan
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Extra info for Diasporic Mediations: Between Home and Location
13 The double bind here is that structure both enables and delimits possibilities for change. Moreover, there is no clear-cut, qualitative distinction or opposition between the subject's free will and intentionality and the instrumental materiality of structure, for we know now that the subject itself is structural through and through. The prestructuralist episteme gave us the comforting illusion that the self or subject of history was in authorial and unilateral command over the processes that shape history, but the structuralist and the poststructuralist subject finds itself more constituted than ever before.
Here again, Althusser, who had contributed so much to our understanding of "contradiction" and "overdetermination" at the level of the diagnostic critique, chooses to purify his positive/scientific knowledge of these very anomalies and ambiguities. It was as though science were to enter the scene as a total answer to these problems. My tentative explanation is that in an unwitting manner, Althusser continues the scientific imperative in structuralism that lives and dies by binary oppositions.
This seemingly correct and "obvious" subject, Althusser tells us, is a structural effect interpellated by ideology. " The subject, after all, turns out to be the problem and not the answer. And it is to this subjectideology connection that I turn next, and my reference again will be Althusser. " The Changing Subject / 11 Althusser adopts the terms of Marx's The German Ideology, but develops his thesis of ideology as "radically different" from the positivist and historicist thesis of Marx: For on the one hand, I think it is possible to hold that ideologies have a history of their own (although it is determined in the last instance by the class struggle); and on the other, I think it is possible to hold that ideology in general has no history, not in a negative sense (its history is external to it), but in an absolutely positive sense.
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