Esther’s Space- journey through my life

February 26, 2007

Louis Altheusser- I am but a subject of the structure

Filed under: THEORY 330 — estherspace @ 8:08 am

I’m going to guess that we have stepped away from non-structuredness for a moment. I feel like I ‘got’ Altheusser, for the most part. I’m going to contribute this to the beautiful translator. I love him.

Okay, it seems to me that Altheusser argues that in order to survive, any social contruct needs to re-create the means of reproducing itself. (Wow, it isn’t an easy concept to articulate). Basically, in a non-ideological example, I will use humans. People make people. But if the A people make B people that cannot make C people, there will very quickly be no more people. Cool. Got it.

I think that I agree with much of what Altheusser is arguing. It seems obvious to me that society, religion, education, etc. are all self-propagating machines. Not that it is necessarily a negative thing, for I’m not sure that there’s much of an option. It does seem a bit depressing, however, that we are so ingrained in this ideological re-creation of ‘the machine’ that there is no means of escape or transcending it. Or maybe it’s the individualist society that I have been raised in. Oh, I see, there is not individualism, as is addressed by Altheusser’s later statement, “ideology hails or interpellates individuals as subjects” (1504). Later, he states, “a subjected being, who submits to a higher authority, and is therefore stripped of all freedom except that of freely accepting his submission” (1507). How depressing, but I suppose it is the truth.

Okay, now I feel like I have something, I’m ready to build, off to the institution currently most responsible for creating robotic machines of people with no original ideas, yay!

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1 Comment »

  1. […] 1494). Esther addresses this in her blog, where she argues that there is no feasible solution to Althusser’s problem. She also discusses a previously mentioned limitation of the theory by stating that reading his […]

    Pingback by .: Carnival 2 :. — March 24, 2007 @ 4:52 pm


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