Review ¾ Idéologie et appareils idéologiues d'État (Notes pour une recherche) 108

Louis Althusser ↠ 8 Free read

Review ¾ Idéologie et appareils idéologiques d'État (Notes pour une recherche) 108 ✓ Puede decirse ue Ideología y aparatos ideológicos del Estadoes ya un clásico en la bibliografía moderna sobre el tema de las ideologías Este texto se enmarca en la concepción althusseriana según la cuIdeológico y por otra parte la ideología cumple la función general de cohesión del todo social Posiciones éstas ue comparte con otros pensadores como Nicos Pualantzas en gran parte de su obra al menos Daniel Vidal y otros El contenido de este ensayo se. I had to consult wikipedia to understand Althusser's point

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Desenvuelve incluso en el centro mismo de la polémica en torno a la oposición ciencia vs ideología y en la noción de corte epistemológico instancias ambas ue han enfrentado a Althusser con una crítica ue no por profunda y decidida deja de ser iluminado. Take 1 Power lies in the immanent whole of both the economic base and political superstructure not just in the economic baseBefore Althusser Marxists always leaned on a conspiratorial notion of power as embedded in authority and of domination as emanating from the top to the bottom of a social pyramid This vulgar class analysis would see power vested in the sovereign then the new masters the owners of the means of production via the state form The state protects the property of the bourgeoisie through the repressive state apparatuses and the ideological state apparatusesAlthusser moved away from this reductionism to the material base The superstructure and the base are not only overdetermined they are inseparable Power is immanent in the whole There is no conspiracy from the masters The master is everywhere Power in this view is a Spinozist conception of democracy as the empowerment of the self supports the constituent power the people against institutions and other forms of bureaucratic and administrative control The way to overcome dispersed power is to reclaim power where it is dispersed the Ideological State ApparatusesISAs such as the Church schools etcTake 2 Ideology has a material existenceKeep this bit in mind Ideas or representations etc which seem to make up ideology do not have an ideal or spiritual existence but a material existenceIdeological State Apparatuses are realizations of ideologies; as Althusser says While discussing the Ideological State Apparati and their practices I said that each of them was a realization of an ideologyRealization would imply exactly that ideal or spiritual existence which precedes or causes its material existence — that which Althusser had denied as a possibility mere moments ago Thus instead of being something realized in an apparatus it is subseuently returned to as always existing in an apparatus I now return to this thesis an ideology always exists in an apparatus and its practice or practices Their existence is materialAn ideology always exists in an Apparatus and an Ideological State Apparatus is a realization of an ideology Paradoxically ideology thus always exists in precisely that which is its realization as a material existence— of which it is neither cause nor effectWe see the same paradox in Spinoza's ethics Proposition XXXIII Things could not have been brought into being by God in any manner or in any order different from that which has in fact obtainedIn note II But in eternity there is no such thing as when before or after; hence it follows solely from the perfection of God; that God never can decree or never would have decreed anything but what is; that God did not exist before his decrees and would not exist without themGod is not and cannot be an actor separate from act Both ideology and God are Lacanian inspired absent causes that are immanent in their effects in a Spinozist sense; that is to say they solely exist after the fact in a retroactive manner as their effects namely the effect of their material effects Spinoza points put that humans are insistent on Imagining God as a transitive cause that precedes his decrees when he is in fact a cause immanent in its his effects This Structural Causality is only found in Marx besides SpinozaThus in this matter to be a Spinozist is exactly the same as to be a MarxistTake 3 There is nothing outside of ideologyFor Althusser ideology is like Lacan's Symbolic order it is how a human subject constructs theirreality after entering language culture the Symbolic order This reality is not the Real which is what always escapes symbolization but it is the subject's representation of their Imaginary reality Such a subject can never hit the Real as they're always attempting to do so within the Symbolic order hence they're always in ideology read in the Symbolic orderThis differs from how ideology was understood in traditional pre Althusserian Marxism For Marx ideology was a kind of false consciousness one that thought it knew reality but only really knew something it imagined for someone inside of ideology they cannot see the reality outside it; the subject could however get out of ideology which for Marx obscures reality thereby understanding reality eg by seeing the real economic base of ideology or the superstructure Marx's ideology is nothing but outside for science and reality once we have a scientific grasp of reality then we are not in ideology; you're only in ideology when you're out of a scientific understanding of reality and vice versaFor Althusser like Lacan however this is impossible because such a subject relies on language is in the Symbolic order; rather the subject can only approach the Real by representing the processes society economics history institutions etc which interpellate it as ideological To take a highly ‘concrete’ example we all have friends who when they knock on our door and we ask through the door the uestion ‘Who’s there’ answer since ‘it’s obvious’ ‘It’s me’ And we recognize that ‘it is him’ or ‘her’ We open the door and ‘it’s true it really was she who was there’ To take another example when we recognize somebody of our previous acuaintance re connaissance in the street we show him that we have recognized him and have recognized that he has recognized us by saying to him ‘Hello my friend’ and shaking his hand a material ritual practice of ideological recognition in everyday life – in France at least; elsewhere there are other rituals In this preliminary remark and these concrete illustrations I only wish to point out that you and I are always already subjects and as such constantly practice the rituals of ideological recognition which guarantee for us that we are indeed concrete individual distinguishable and naturally irreplaceable subjects The writing I am currently executing and the reading you are currently performing are also in this respect rituals of ideological recognition including the ‘obviousness’ with which the ‘truth’ or ‘error’ of my reflections may impose itself on you

Characters Idéologie et appareils idéologiques d'État (Notes pour une recherche)

Idéologie et appareils idéologiques d'État Notes pour une recherchePuede decirse ue Ideología y aparatos ideológicos del Estadoes ya un clásico en la bibliografía moderna sobre el tema de las ideologías Este texto se enmarca en la concepción althusseriana según la cual toda práctica social se desenvuelve en un medio. I shall therefore say that where only a single subject such and such an individual is concerned the existence of the ideas of his belief is material in that his ideas are his material actions inserted into material practices governed by material rituals which are themselves defined by the material ideological apparatus from which derive the ideas of that subject Ideology and Ideological State Apparatuses by Louis Althusser is my first foray into Marxism and I gotta say I enjoyed myself I don’t pretend to be an expert on economic systems nor can I claim that socialism is superior or inferior to other systems But what I like is how complete Marxism seems as a world view; almost all of human culture and civilization can be viewed under its lens Louis Althusser an important Marxist of the last century wrote this work to define and describe what he called ‘Ideological State Apparatuses’ or ISA These are distinct from traditional State Apparatuses such as government the police and the army which he redefined as Repressive State Apparatuses RSA The difference being that where RSAs rule through violence ISAs rule through ideology The institutions of the latter are church school family science law and most surprisingly for me art Let’s run through the argumentIf a society can exist because of its economy or ‘modes of production’ then it needs to reproduce those modes to continue to survive To accomplish this the State constructs apparatuses to perpetuate the modes of production irrespective of who’s in charge The eternal thing is the State; humans come and go An example is the concept of wages workers receive currency for their work so they may eat and reproduce workers The created apparatuses can be divided into two camps infrastructure and superstructure where the former is the operating economy ex capitalism and the latter are the ISAs and RSAs Both of these systems are the source of State Power Now the reason State superstructure needs both an RSA and ISA is because the State cannot rule on force or ideology alone—both are needed and preferably married RSAs are part of the public sphere falsely perceived to be ‘accountable’ and the ISAs are part of the private one falsely perceived to be ‘autonomous’ While it’s true ISAs can challenge RSAs they for the most part are in alliance as the ISA receives support and shielding from the RSA while the RSA receives legitimization from the ISA It’s worth noting that while the Church was classically the most powerful ISA today it is AcadamiaIn short Ideological State Institutions manufacture and institutionalize ideologies necessary for the State to operate Scary stuff Thus Althusser argues that ideology is both imaginary and unconscious it does not reflect reality and is not actively chosen by us This is the key point as ideology is traditionally portrayed as a world view that people actively choose themselves But instead what’s happening is that people who are forced to labor in alienated conditions accommodate their surroundings with ideological justification ex individualism in a capitalism society honor is a warrior society etc In turn the ISA’s take hold and propound these ideologies so the gears can keep turning Now when Althusser called ideologies imaginary he meant that they do not accurately reflect a person’s relationship with their environment We see ourselves as autonomous and empowered individuals when they are in fact oppressed subjects Ironically he also argues that ideology is fundamentally material in that it manifests in ritualscustomroutineeveryday action So we don’t just think these fictions we give them substance by playing them out This is a self reinforcing system that is difficult to break and harder to perceiveOne effect produced by all these is the transformation of all individuals into State subjects But because we are born into this system at and in many ways before birth all individuals are always already subjects Althusser even claims that those in charge are subjects to the same State Apparatuses which make them ‘The Subject’ to which the rest of us are subject It gets even crazier when we apply these terms to other power dynamics for example in Christian religion all Christians are subjects to God who is in this system the Subject Suggesting God is ultimately subordinate to the theological apparatus he created You may ask why anyone would join this system even unconsciously but the important thing is that the State Apparatus allows people to self dictate within the system In other words it’s a structure that people can ‘work by themselves’ hence it is self reproducing The illusion of freedom combined with stability is tempting enough even when it entails class oppressionOf course the classic Marxist conclusion to all this is that the proletariat must overthrows these systems both State power and the State Apparatuses At this point though Althusser only briefly and mechanically prescribed this antidote I smelled a hint of fear in his writing He mentions how Lenin when leading his revolution could dismantle both the State power and RSAs but tormented over the ISAs which are ingrained in both the culture and people’s psyches It’s because society doesn’t exist merely in institutions but in people’s history in their imaginations and in their hearts Old roots run deep Anyways while all this was interesting enough the ramification in art is what interests me most How art has embedded in it cultural axioms that I should be aware of both as clichés but also as potentially oppressive elements Sexism racism class insensitivity; you know the drill Not completely unknown to me but seeing it here in this Marxist framework was important I shall do my part to overthrow the capitalist oppressors one book review at a time