Monday, February 7, 2011

Kojin Karatani lecture

Karatani succinctly critiques Marx's idea of social formation based on modes of production rather than on modes of exchange.  Interesting but not new propositions such as Marx was an anarchist (Lecture 2.6, 4:40) and Hegel was an ideologist par excellence of the superpower nation-state (Lecture 2.8, 3:03), and a re-presentation of Kant as an idealist revolutionary exemplar of the world republic (Lecture 2.8, 0:07).  However, the world republic remains necessarily "transcendent" in his point that this Kantian categorical imperative somehow imbuing the "federation of nations to contain nations" beginning with the United Nations may be realized in "a higher form" after some catastrophe otherwise disappear in the continuing devastation wrought by capitalist states.  In other words, the regulative Idea is retroactively transcendent in its proactive immanence.  And this is an inverted view of what's been the historical experience.  He points to possible intra-State revolutions via inter-nation-state revolutionary battles and their divesting of state sovereignty impelled by "movement from below," by this "gradual process of simultaneous revolution."  In this scenario, although divestment of the State and of capitalism may very well go hand in hand with bottom-up revolutionary gradualism, this being the realization of some higher form of socialism, the Hegelian "cunning of reason" may return to produce thus to politico-economically extract only the most human regulative exchanges. 

Check out his insightful books.  Available are: Transcritique: On Kant and Marx (2003), Architecture as Metaphor: Language, Number, Money (1995), Origins of Modern Japanese Literature (1993).