XLII

A good description of the “postmodern” subject, and in particular, the “intersectional” subject:

“Pluralism, relativism, and individualism work together and reinforce each other, but for heuristic purposes we may treat them separately. Pluralism signifies causal indeterminacy—an emphasis on the simultaneity of diverse social phenomena as well as their interrelationship and interaction without, however, any regard for their relative efficacy or causal significance. Ultimately such indeterminacy degenerates into vulgar pluralism: everything, somehow, causes everything else and yet no single thing has any determinative power at all. […] Relativism embraces a historicist-hermeneutic view of knowledge whereby what we know is relative to our own culture and what we know of history is doubly constrained by a communication gap between cultures. Ultimately this view degenerates into vulgar relativism, a collective solipsism that reduces history to a literary genre or an exercise in translation: knowledge of history exists, if at all, only in fragments and impressions (or agglomerations of the same) whose validity, uncertain in any case, declines precipitously with any attempt to move beyond the struggle for communication to statements of fact aspiring to the status of scientific explanation. Individualism is anthropocentric; it places an autonomous human being at the center of historical explanation and conceptualizes history from the perspective of the consciousness and practice of individuals. Ultimately such ‘humanism’ degenerates into vulgar individualism: history as a struggle of ‘people,’ undifferentiated in their uniqueness, struggling for fundamental yet amorphous ‘freedoms’ against an oppressive but confoundedly hydra-headed ‘power.'” (Robert Resch – Althusser and the Renewal of Marxist Social Theory)

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