By Gregory Elliott
Louis Althusser was once most likely probably the most complicated - and the main arguable - of the "maitres de penser" to emerge from the turbulent Parisian highbrow scene of the Nineteen Sixties. in the course of a protracted profession, Althusser completed broad reputation, notoriety and, ultimately, effacement. but his paintings is still an incredible aspect in modern philosophy and cultural critique. This quantity, timed to coincide with the English-language booklet of Althusser's autobiography, "The destiny Lasts an extended Time", assesses the significance and impression of "Althusserianism", either with regards to, and past, the controversies of his political profession and the occasions of his own biography. one of many imperative goals of the ebook is to situate Althusser and his texts in the wider histories and cultures to which they belong, drawing on individuals from a variety of backgrounds and geographical destinations. therefore E.J. Hobsbawm contextualizes Althusser's Marxism; Pierre Villar assesses Althusserian historiography; Paul Ricoeur probes Althusser's conception of ideology; Axel Honneth articulates his relation to the significant rival faculties of Marxism within the Sixties and Seventies; Peter Dews examines his family members to the structuralist university; David Macey casts a sceptical eye over his alliance with Lacan; Francis Mulhern explores the range of Anglophone "Althusserianism"; and Gregory Elliott responds to Althusser's research of his personal case background. The booklet concludes with a bibliography of Althusser's research of his personal case background.
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From Pushkin’s major works Boris Godunov (1825) and Eugene Onegin (1833), both of which analyze remorse for an unjustifiable murder, to Dostoevsky’s Crime and Punishment (1866), and then to Aleksandr Blok’s Retribution (1919), the classics of Russian literature provide spectacular templates for mourning, shame, and repentance. Rediscovering these classical examples after a long period of revolutionary enthusiasm, the lateSoviet culture produced its own ways of coming to terms with the horrible past.
Writing history does not imply resolving its warped contradictions in a smooth, functional narrative. Making sense of the memory of the past does not require sharing its weird presumptions. We do not need to comprehend the murderer’s motives in order to mourn his victim, though many mourners do know the desire to understand what happened, and why, and what it meant. At the end of the twentieth century, many influential thinkers, particularly in the field of economics, connected socialist ideas with Stalinism and claimed that striving for full equality and universal justice logically leads to state-sponsored terror.
Tortured life is a temporary condition, though if the torture is skillfully performed, it can be drawn out over a prolonged period of time. This life can survive and recover, but the posttraumatic consequences are unavoidable. Soviet people were not just objects of ideological manipulations and violent coercion on the part of the institutions of the state. These institutions were also created and run by people who shared the same nature—class, ethnic, and human—as those who were tortured or murdered in the gulag.