Similarly, as Lacan showed, if Marx was the first structuralist,
that was because globalised capitalism offered the best example of the
structure of structuralists: a set of relations between exchange values
determined by their differences and mutual relations, a symbolic universe
without an exterior, a language without a metalanguage, an Other without an Other and a closed and unidimensional system comprised only of
one qualitative dimension and its quantitative variations and proportions,
devoid of otherness and negativity…
However, in addition to what is cognitively reflected, there is what
is symptomatically discovered: the covered-discovered by the reflection,
the extimate processes that underlie external or internal states, the
production of the product and the enunciation of the enunciated, but also
the negativity of positivity, the misery of wealth and the abstract character
of the most concrete. The discovery is made in the same reflection, in
the open and hollow structure, in the imperceptible matter that must be
calculated through the microscope of ‘abstraction’. It is here, in the
abstract, mathematical, empty and unfounded material structure, where
we discover that the most apparent is the least apparent, that the evident
is contradictory, that the whole is not-all, that the Other is barred and that
the king is naked, that he is a proletarian, a subject without attributes,
except to be alive…  What is important here is that the structure
and its economic materiality appear in Marx as what they are: precarious,
transitory, crossed by history, by conflicts and contradictions, by tensions
and struggles, by movement and by life, by disrupting desires and
corrosive drives and also, on a genetic level, as products of negation,
destruction and alienation, expropriation and privatisation, exploitation
and pauperisation, fetishisation and reification. We can reject some of
these conceptualisations, but we cannot deny that they designate in a
more or less accurate and adequate manner what is revealingly embodied
by the proletarian and understood as the historical truth of capitalism, as
a symptom of how bourgeois society strips and reveals to Marx everything
that he discovers.

 

Lacanizing Marxism: the Effects of Lacan

in Readings of Marx and Marxist Thinkers
David Pavón Cuéllar

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