Thursday, December 13, 2007

Critical Theory and Politics-Left and Right:

Right and Left Nostalgias, from blah-feme

What is it about theorising that draws such venom from the right? I have been thinking about this for some time now, and it has taken on some urgency recently (see post below). What brings me to ask this question is, perhaps, something to do with my fidelity to the idea that theory and left-wing politics are not merely connected or comfortable bedfellows, but that left-wing politics is, ontologically as it were, born of theory, fundamentally reliant on it and refuses the separation of theory and practice, seeing that separation as a symptom of hegemony. In this sense, then, the right is right (as it were) to hate theory, to sniff in it the narcissism of leftist nostalgia (as they would have it). The left, they would put it, is stuck to the image of a coherent and catch-all theory of the social in which humans and agents will circle in a tight and closed system of mutuality. Of course, they are right in one sense: the left's attachment to theory has also been about an attachment to a fetishized notion of theory as somewhat removed form the sphere of action by dint of its overarticulation, its over-investment in the Symbolic.

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