Nature is not natural and can never be naturalized — Graham Harman

Friday, March 4, 2011

Shiny, Shiny, Shiny Boots of Marxism

Peter Gratton makes a good case for Latour's new book performing an analysis of fetish and fact and fact-as-fetish. This is ostensibly a redo of Bill Pietz's argument about fetishism in Fetishism as Cutlural Discourse. Pietz and Latour both do historical accounts of the Portuguese encounter with West African societies and the etymology of the fetisso.

The supposed unmasking of the other as a fetishist begins the long march towards cynical reason, via the Enlightenment critique of “superstition” and, Latour would add, the Marxist critique of this critique (“Who educates the educators?”).

Gratton then links to my thinking on a deconstructive view that (in the words of two of my colleagues) “corrects the errors” of theological interpretations of Derrida. Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition...