Formation and deconstruction: a visit to the Museum of French Ideology

Wassily Kandinsky, Study of Color: Squares with Concentric Rings, 1913.


Commentary on the recently published book by Paulo Arantes

It takes anger and patience / to blow into the lungs of power / the fine deadly dust, ground / by those, who have learned much, / who are exact, by you (Hans Magnus Enzensberger).

“Today philosophy is in a state of siege… what to do?… nothing less than a Leninist question in an Adornian setting, something like Brecht waiting for Godot” (Paulo Arantes).

On a popular online shopping site, two of three book reviews Training and deconstruction listed as “terrible” (one star). In the first of these, it is said that the book is “destroyer of everything” and a “confusion based on Marxism”; the second evaluator says that “the book is practically useless” and “structured in caricatures, making it possible to perceive that the author did not read the work of his antipodes”, and even more so he uses “the anachronistic concept of ideology”.

In addition to these enraged customers, there were many frankly indignant reactions to Paulo Arantes' latest book, which compiles essays published between 1989 and 1995. A review (not of the book, but of the interviews given by the author in “lives” recent) goes so far as to say that Paulo would be lamenting the end of Western universality, thus approaching the new right-wing reactionaryism. Several other reactions appeared when the book was announced, even before it was published.

It could have been a “I haven’t read it, but I’m already laughing” by Claude Lefort, who, when asked if he had taken notice of Paulo Arantes’ latest book (A French overseas department) in a 1994 interview, said: “I have not read the book, but from what I managed to gather, I imagine that it is a pamphlet whose author is a Marxist at the same time sophisticated and backward, who seeks to imitate the Marx of the german ideology to persuade Brazilian students that they were victims of French imperialism. Frankly, I confess I laughed.”[I]

Most of the current reactions, recycling the usual responses to the usual Marxist accusations (falsely projected in the book), came from researchers, students and professors who deal with a respectable field of philosophy, the subject of theses, courses and congresses. , and which, however, already in the subtitle of the book, appears defamed as “ideology”. An affront without size, after all, academic cordiality does not allow such emphatic criticisms and privileges the construction of “theoretical affinities” – amidst the fierce competition of academic capitalism, “cooperation” is everything.

Now, it just so happens that the author, to his own surprise, found what he thought was a museum piece revived – hence the ironic and relatively modest subtitle of his book, indicating the potential outdatedness of his own writings. It is worth as an anecdote that Christian Laval, a sociologist strongly inspired by Foucault's theory, once told about one of his many trips to Brazil, that time as a supposed “specialist in Foucault” (which sounded strange to him), and said he was surprised with the level of devotion of Brazilian academics to contemporary French philosophy. despite the pathos “marginal” and “anti-canonical”, it can hardly be denied that it gives ruler and compass to our mainstream intellectual, so that it is likely that Brazil is currently the nation par excellence of the “French Ideology” – basically very Brazilian.

The more restricted (and politically petty) scope of disputes between theories is not the way to approach Paulo Arantes's book, after all, he consciously avoids such debates, aware of their unproductiveness. The Wednesday Seminar itself, organized by him since 2001, is nonetheless a training space (intellectual, political) where experience circulates and a certain detachment is learned in relation to Theory (with a capital T), so that thinking works better and so that progress can be made on the issues that really matter. Deleuzians, Trotskyists, anarchists, PT, Foucauldians, social democrats, Adornians, orthodox Marxists, Kurzians, Keynesians, Leninists, militant militants, confused intellectuals, dazzled high school students, disappointed activists, others with blood in their eyes, young veterans, old beginners, and so on

The optimism of the will is constantly opposed to the pessimism of the intelligence, and vice versa: even in the “Adornian scenario”, the “Leninist question” must be asked, so that the nicht mitmachen, the “non-participation” of the critic, does not become a comfortable self-lobby, and also so that militancy does not conform to the thoughtless automatism of frenetic activism. Some say that there is a bend in a river, others that it is a rich source of oxygen for mental life and political imagination. When someone comes to present their research, it can either be someone from the university, regardless of their background (from anthropology to public health), but a certain militant vein (or eye) is fundamental, or it can be someone who has never set foot in the university , but which elaborates its own struggle experience and which, groping the limits of politics, is often able to better glimpse aspects of reality that are opaque to those who are narcissistically blunted by their own worldview.

In this context, what matters most is what the person has to tell – a bit in the Benjaminian sense of the term – and since there is no time limit for the exhibitions, things can go on until dawn. A special interest in empiricism then emerges, not in the positivist sense, but in the broad sense of experience, which in turn becomes matter for reflection and debate.

One then learns that an excess of theory overshadows experience and hinders discernment. Three by two, whenever someone falls into the temptation of resurrecting some doctrinal Fla x Flu (there are countless of them), Paulo utters the phrase, to general bewilderment: “As North American pragmatists would say, theory doesn't matter.” Although the original inspiration is certainly "Antonio Candido's notorious aversion to Theory",[ii] it is likely that its motto, which could also be that of the Seminar, was something like that phrase by Goethe that Adorno used as an epigraph in his The essay as a form: "Destined to see the enlightened, not the light."

Materialism, basically, is basically this: it matters less about the theory and more about what it clarifies (Roberto Schwarz also used to say that the best way to defend his theory is to explain something with it). Hence a certain impression of “eclecticism” in Paulo Arantes, also strong in books such as The new time of the world. The most orthodox accuse him, astonishingly, of being “post-modern”, or of simply hiding his theoretical assumptions (which would denote, according to some, a low level of fidelity in relation to Theory; now, precisely, Paulo’s fidelity is with another thing).

In a debate a few years ago, Paulo gave his own version of that phrase by Goethe that Adorno had identified as the soul of the essay. At a certain point in the debate, he says: “people get uncomfortable if I don't show the categorical origin from which the high comes”. Exchanging light for throwing stones (we are talking, of course, about a “merciless critic of everything that exists”, just like Marx’s demand), the idea is the same: it doesn’t matter where the stone comes from, what matters is that it hit the target (also the criticism bleach), or in Foucault’s metaphor, as long as the arrow reaches “the heart of the present” – and the material composition of the arrow may well be quite diverse. No wonder, it is as an essayist with a handful that the author assumes his resourcefulness as a sniper, whose violence consists in simply saying things as they are (didn't Rosa Luxemburgo say that “saying what is remains the most revolutionary act”? ).

That said, Paulo's “eclecticism” is less bound up with an academic exercise like “look how close Adorno is to Derrida” etc., and rather something demanded by the subject itself. But let's get back to the book. The worst way to look at it is to think of it as a revival of a stale and pointless Marxism-type doctrinal dispute. versus post-structuralism, to be fought until the end of time, but much less does the author seek friendly syntheses. The truth is that whoever expects to find in this book the usual clichés about French post-structuralism (atrocities such as: the “irrationalists” who destroyed universality, reason, etc., etc.) will be disconcerted when reading it.

Much less will the reader find melancholy sighs for good Modernity, an unfinished project (were it not its own antinomies that produced what it became?). For example, the essay that opens the book (the longest and which brings, for the first time and in its proper sense, the term “French Ideology”), published in 1990, begins precisely not with the pathos transgressive of post-68 philosophy, but with French philosophy returning to the “values ​​of the Republic”, to democracy, to morality, to law: “for the umpteenth time we return to Kant and the manifestations of adherence to the cosmopolitan irradiation of Illustrated Europe”.

The path followed is complex and goes through several oscillations that mark the adventures of French intellectuals (the book begins with the present date [1989, 1990], but goes back to the 1930s of Alexandre Kojève), including some national sieves in its geopolitical mapping of international ideas (as protagonists, in addition to France, Germany and above all the United States import; Brazil also occupies a crucial place, as a peripheral filter that gives the ideological import its own bizarre tone, without, however, failing to, with this, revealing the hollowness of ideas – as Schwarzian criticism already pointed out).

The perspective from which the author departs is relatively foreign to researchers in philosophy, namely, a sociology of intellectuals mixed with the materialist history of ideas – something that marks an entire period of Paulo Arantes’ production from the late 1970s to the mid-1990s, especially books like Resentment of the Dialectic e A French overseas department. Coming from a professor of philosophy, even more from USP, whose natural task would be, until the end of his life, to provide an internal explanation of the text, refraining from judging the world, this is a very unorthodox book, even more so in terms of the style.

For a more in-depth discussion on how a notion of ideology already present in Resentment…, I refer to the Afterword by Giovanni Zanotti, which, over almost 50 pages, provides the reader with the complete map to place these texts in the context of Paulo Arantes' work.

For those who have been reading Paulo's stuff for a while, this book, in addition to the Afterword, presents only one thing that is really new: the title. A title that is nonetheless enigmatic, after all Derrida's “deconstruction” is practically not addressed in the book, at least directly; but even less is the formation (Concerning the book, much has been said about “deconstruction”, but no one has questioned the “formation” and what the hell it does there in the title). Of course, with the exception of the fact that the problem of “formation” is a permanent vanishing point in Paulo Arantes' work.

But the conjunction “and” is also curious, which does not appear in any other title of Paul. Adorno had also learned from one of the idiosyncrasies of Peter Suhrkamp, ​​his editor, never to put “e” in titles, something loose and that allows linking anything with anything.[iii] But the “e” in Formation and deconstruction it is also curious, as there is a (wrong) tendency to interpret it as a “against”, something like “Basic versus deconstruction”: on the one hand, the Brazilian critical tradition is evoked with its essays on national formation, but also the Education Hegelian; on the other, the French philosophy of deconstruction.

That is, on the one hand, Brazil, a “future-oriented” peripheral nation; on the other side, France, the very cradle of political modernity which, however, was announcing, through an indirect apology, its downfall. Well, a mere opposition would give rise to a kind of Fla x Flu, but that's not what it's about. It is still necessary to establish the link between the terms.

Literally, if we put in the title “Formation and deconstruction also…”, the combination could sound like a “rise and fall” narrative. Almost that, although such a reduction would be too easy. But naming the horse, if philosophy came to constitute in fact ideology, means that it is not simply a categorical error, but has a real ballast to be identified, so that it, even if apologetic and involuntarily, has its reference (despite the attempt to purge the referent) in the historical process. As the author often insists, “the mechanisms of social adjustment have an intellectual counterpart”.

Read retrospectively, that is, taking into account what was elaborated by Paulo Arantes over the 30 years that followed after the writing of those texts that make up the present book, and bearing in mind the social and historical experience that serves as the basis for the French Ideology, it begins to become clear, if it is possible to formulate it so directly, that Deconstruction is the same age as the New Time of the World. And if we ask ourselves: what was beginning to become clear in that last decade of the XNUMXth century, simultaneously with the disintegration of the Soviet Bloc, but in terms of national temporality?

What was explicit, also in Roberto Schwarz's intuitions, was basically that the national formation was finished, that is, contrary to what the myth of “interrupted formation” or “incomplete formation” said (so that there would always be a thread of thread of the process to be resumed), it was verified, contrary to the progressive illusion of Democratic Reconstruction, that there was no longer any cumulative process to be carried out and that Brazil had entered a new historical logic, in which the future no longer plays a role. significant role.

For this reason, the Deconstruction announced by the French Ideology did not need to be ashamed of its critics, since there was in it, deep down, something of “realism”, after all the great nouns on top of which Formation moves (consciousness, history, to say the least). in the classic dead dog) had been objectively withered. What would become a “left without a future” was outlined, although not infrequently this was done in a frankly apologetic way, Lyotard being probably the most strident case. As he himself said, “we have, compared to Adorno, the advantage of living in a more energetic, more cynical, less tragic capitalism.”[iv]

It is quite a long way, in the balance between pro and con, for this apotheotic convergence between transgression and conformism to be established, but there was a very concrete ballast for the emergence of that “post-utopian condition”, as “those who feel visibly more relieved with the end-of-line climate we find ourselves in.”[v] Once the anguish was over, a certain accelerationist euphoria transfigured “the renewed hegemony of the forces of capital into a kind of affirmative triumph”[vi], reintroducing a monumental defeat as victory. Lyotard appears under Paulo's sights also in the middle of the conversation in the thread:“what was dr. Lyotard? An avant-garde expedient, of course, but at that point a second-hand barrel organ, which consisted of presenting as a transgression the guiltless plunge into the phantasmagoric world of the commodity, itself the bearer of explosive libidinal intensities (...).” (Idem)

This type of reversal takes place in several ways, and it is above all to which the critic pays attention. Quite interesting is one made by Derrida himself, in a text that was mentioned by Paulo only in one of his interviews now (and which does not appear in the book). This is a 1984 article entitled No Apocalypse, Not Now (Full Speed ​​Ahead, Seven Missiles, Seven Missives). Derrida addresses the relationship between literature (which he identifies with the death of the referent as a possibility of absolute fiction) and the Atomic Age. The prose is unpalatable mainly due to the relative lightness marked by a frisson aesthetic with which he treats the end of the world as a possibility and at the same time announcing the “Apocalypse of the Name” etc.

But this is the kind of thing that, Paulo Arantes insists, must be taken seriously (ultimately, he agrees with Derrida, but with the opposite sign). When Derrida says that the nuclear age is a “literary” age, or rather, the literary age par excellence, he is claiming that the Bomb converted the world into a “fiction”, making deconstruction proper possible; it institutes a suspension of everything, a epoche total: “The atomic age is not an epoch, it is the epoche absolute; it is not absolute knowledge and the end of history, it is the epoche of absolute knowledge.”[vii] The end of the referent is understood as the absolute end of the “archive” (in this case, of human history itself).

In Derrida's terms: “Here we are hypothetically dealing with a total destruction and no remnants of the archive. This destruction would occur for the first time and would have no proportion in common with, for example, the burning of a library, even that of Alexandria, which gave rise to so many written reports and nourished so much literature. The hypothesis of this total destruction values ​​deconstruction, guides its steps; it becomes possible to recognize, in the light, so to speak, of this hypothesis, this fantasy, or ghost, the characteristic structures and historicity of the discourses, strategies, texts, or institutions to be deconstructed. This is why deconstruction, at least what is being advanced today in its name, belongs to the nuclear age.. And to the age of literature”.[viii]

It's not exactly a coincidence a certain compliment from the artificiality, which translates as a praise of fiction (in the sense of the “Literary Absolute”), or of the “simulacrum”, as it will be said later, but also as a celebration of technology (let us remember, for example, the conversion of everything into a machine in the Anti-Oedipus of Deleuze and Guattari, which will be continually resurrected, for example in Haraway's "cyborg" or in Preciado's dildo ontology[ix]). In case we want to follow the path opened by Paulo, the hypothesis to be tested is the idea that the Age of Deconstruction (which Derrida calls the Age of Literature) is, par excellence, the Technological Age (not by chance the same one in which it will be announced the “end of man”).

Like technology itself, which makes everything obsolete, Deconstruction, despite being unrelated to XNUMXth century progressivism, also understands itself as “advance”, in the face of which everything that is not identical with itself is a sign of backwardness. In any case, as can be seen, there is a decisive difference between what Paulo Arantes calls “Deconstruction” (in a broad sense) and what other critics, Marxist or not, will understand as “postmodernism”, although dates and aspects coincide. .

In a lecture at the time when The new time of the world was about to be published, Paulo Arantes went so far as to say that that change in the experience of historical time that he was describing actually had an antecedent in what Jameson, analyzing postmodernism, had called “the cultural logic of late capitalism”. As “postmodernism” was open to a lot of confusion, in addition to being a term that had been demoted to an insult (not infrequently devoid of content), Paulo avoided it, but the rupture of the era indicated by Jameson, when he said that people were “unlearning to think historically” (so that past and future ceased to organize mental life), was part of the same process. He was interested in the emergence of a new “regime of historicity”, in the terms of François Hartog, essentially “presentist”.

The difference is that Jameson, like many others, understood the phenomenon as a pathology, a so to speak “superstructural” phenomenon in the traditional sense of the term: ultimately, therefore, something reversible. But what Paulo Arantes said had more serious implications. Since the superstructure is something more than a mere layer that could be torn off from social reality, what was altered was the very structure of historical and social time.

But let's return to our tentative interpretation of the book's title. Formation and deconstruction it poses a duality and, as we know, dualities are constitutive of contradictory processes, which serve as an engine for Formation. This same engine, however, stripped of its positive/cumulative momentum, will operate a Logic of Disintegration.[X] Deconstruction, in turn, as is well known, seeks the very dissolution of dualities (understood as “binarisms”, the very essence of Western Metaphysics, etc.). Now, risking a little, we can say that Paulo Arantes's title has a speculative content, in a way that he sets up – if involuntarily, it doesn't matter – a duality between duality and non-duality, the movement of a passage from two to zero.[xi]

In his doctoral thesis (Hegel: the order of time), defended in France in 1973 (that is, at the height of what is being called here French Ideology), until the idea of ​​Formation versus Deconstruction might make sense. Especially in the footnotes, there appear some counter-attacks directed at the militant anti-Hegelianism of French philosophy at the time (in the now published book, half of the essays are on French interpretations of Hegel, but the approach differs from that of the order of time). It is worth noting: at that moment, Paulo Arantes wrote a thesis that, in philosophical terms, deals with the relationship between work and the future in Hegel (basic elements of Education)[xii] at the exact time when this relationship begins to be undone in the world (the labor crisis has a date, and as the author recently suggested, the process of desubstantialization of capital triggered by it can also be understood as the real social ground of Deconstruction as the end of the referent).

It is important to emphasize that, in Paulo Arantes' periodization, the dates of both the New Time of the World and Deconstruction (in their historical objectivity, so to speak) vary: sometimes 1945 (the world after the Bomb and the Field), sometimes the 1970s (work crisis and historical ceiling of the value valorization machine, which in fact then becomes, more and more, the fictionalize its reproduction, as in Baudrillard's simulacrum). In any case, Paulo Arantes writes that thesis on Hegel precisely at the moment when the climate of history was changing for good and in which, as he now recognizes, “our Education through Waiting had gone awry”.[xiii]. An education that, contrary to the “explosion of impatience” announced by the presentism of desiring philosophies, was also “intellectual work ethics in the vein”[xiv] – a real Concept Solitaire. It could very well be that something like a mismatch was already being detected there.

At the time, the opposition “New Sensitivity x Old Sociological Reason” also set the tone of the mismatch that made that patience obsolete, “grimace” par excellence, like all waiting, after all its content serves as a kind of food, sustenance of a sober vigil , which gives the hallucination. In Bloch's terms: “Waiting is boring. But also drunk. […] Against waiting [das warten], helps hope [das Hoffen], with which you have not only something to drink, but something to cook with.”[xv] The desiring impatience could very well be the engine of a revolutionary impetus, but in the absence of ballast for its movement, and translated “culturally”, it was also the announcement that the future was just that and nothing more.

There remained, then, compensation for the frustrated wait. Still in the thread: “I saw many of our, let's say more airy Western Marxists (by desire? by Jabor's films?), compensate for the frustrations of the April Package and other authoritarian debris with some Odara intensity or something like that. I'm not talking about dust (incidentally, nothing against it), but about ideological dust, that is, remembering that the indirect apology personified by the French Ideology ran rampant in the high post-tropicalist and other spheres. Indirect apology or false negativity or even affirmative negativity, I don't know, of that reverse fetishization of those laggard vanguards on the European scene, gesticulation and mimicry of the extinct surrealist impulse to conquer the forces of ecstasy for the revolution.” (thread, p. 226)

As you can see, the story is long and the implications are many. And it is clear that since then a lot has changed, also in the ideological scenario. Is a “surrealism in an end-of-the-line festive mood” still in operation as “a kind of unburdened sigh in full alienation”?[xvi] Come on, one hour shame hits, and with redoubled guilt. Sade's coldness, whose fantasy inspired Artaud, Bataille and Blanchot, gives way to the purest compassion and empathy. Return of the “doctrine of the moral lackeys of the bourgeoisie”, as Adorno and Horkheimer said about the comings and goings of the moral dialectic?

To be verified, but what is certain is that Deconstruction has become an “ethic” (as announced by Derrida himself), and one in the name of the oppressed. His fight then becomes against an Idea colonizing (still in the 1990s, Paulo Arantes already saw the “celebratory transfiguration of the disintegration of the Third World in ontological triumph against imperial entelechies” [thread, P. 205]). The colonial apocalypse produced by the expansion of the commodity production system is converted into a serious case, as we say today, of “epistemicide”, and Deconstruction will then become, in the Age of Recognition, symbolic repair.

In the face of “epistemic” oppression, deconstructing then means “decolonizing” (the head and the language, above all) – and then it was only a step for the “decolonial” discourse to become the jargon of the manager of a cultural institution, and from there to the mouth of the public. people. Of course, leaving intact and unmentioned the social and historical nexus of what made the colonial horror possible, after all understanding it would be a relapse into Eurocentrism. As we are speaking from the periphery of capitalism, it is evident that what Deconstruction has to say about the third world matters. The fact is that it was through its acclimatization in the fields American college students (in the hands, for example, of Homi Bhabha and Gayatri Spivak) that it gained its momentum“anti-imperialist”, so strong that even academics on the periphery of capitalism were eager to ignore their own local, certainly redneck, intellectual tradition in favor of a more advanced and cosmopolitan one. theory decolonial.

Already some 25 years ago, Paulo Arantes analyzed the third-worldist adventure of Deconstruction: “it is within this framework that induces the type of indirect apology that we have just identified at work in the French Ideology of the mid-eighth apogee of the 70s (dazzling brightness of a star extinct) that one can review the deconstructionist ABC from another angle: here the sign of a disastrous panorama is also sublimated and inverted. Because the success of Deconstruction (do you remember Roberto's characterization, Deconstruction as a vulgarly empirical description of the present and its procession of mistakes and disappointments?) has a lot to do with another shipwreck of the time, the dismantling or disillusionment that left the objectless third-worldism. We cannot forget that, for better or for worse, the Parisian left bank was the capital of third-worldism, that it was born and died there. Or rather, he died to rise again in the form of highly codified, albeit primal, phraseology. In the absence of a real object, or on the other hand, when the periphery reveals its prosaic face (which left Pasolini truly disconsolate), the tropism that ultimately also dragged his negative heroes into the sphere of influence of unattended consumption, there was no Parisian ideologue who didn't invent a third world for himself. First, the latest products of political fantasy (from the Carnation Revolution to the Iran of the Ayatollahs, in which poor Foucault got bogged down, pardon the pun), then the internal third-world of the new social movements, now the outskirts mutineers. Of course, the list ends with the current status of postcolonial criticism, which we are well known for. Thus, it can be said that a large slice of French Ideology is imaginary third-worldism (and all sorts of demagogic mischief that it inspires). I'm not exaggerating, no. Just remember the intellectual corpse, over which Structuralism rose in life, then Post-Structuralism, etc.: Sartre, isn't it? Proper name of a philosophy of consciousness (horror!) where the place of the Resistant was gradually occupied by the Colonized. But Algeria was real, and so was Cuba, as was Vietnam and Palestine later on. When the object disintegrated, no one was interested in Imperialism and class struggle anymore, but in its transfiguration in the form of Discourse. It is only a matter of translating, or rather, implying, Logocentrism and its correlates by the West (or canon), and we are done, namely, we are all avant-garde” (the thread, P. 220-221).

As is well known, “deconstruction” has gone from philosophical jargon to everyday language. It is possible that something of its use gives news of the transformations of the French Ideology, which is no longer restricted to national limits. The critique of ideology, if there is still room for it, must point out the mechanisms of social adjustment even where “resistance” is apparently preached, an adaptation to the course of the world also where opposition is enacted. As Deleuze and Guattari defended in the anti-edipus, it was not a case of “withdrawing from the world market”, but of “going in the opposite direction, that is, going even further in the movement of the market, of decoding and deterritorialization”.

The alleged reason: “perhaps the flows are not yet sufficiently decoded, from the point of view of a theory and practice of flows with a high schizophrenic content”. Therefore, one must “accelerate the process”.[xvii] As Lyotard said, capitalism has indeed become more cynical and less tragic, and “getting your hands dirty” has become a banality, far removed from Sartre's drama and the conflict between Hugo and Hoederer. But today the pathos of Transgression and his flirtation with “evil” has changed sides, and we know very well whose hand he is in.

In view of this, “deconstruction” (and this is what seems to indicate its common use), understood as deconstruction of the self, becomes performance moral: a big show off of how good one is, and nothing more than that announce the current discursive revolutions, which, like all phraseology, is indifferent to the content of what is said. The fact is that it doesn't matter whether you are proud cynicism or the avant-garde of the pure: then and now, and this is crucial when we consider mental phenomena, ideology is also, as a mechanism for shielding reality, a form of relief of conscience.

*Felipe Catalani is a doctoral candidate in philosophy at USP.


Paulo Arantes. Formation and deconstruction: a visit to the French Ideology Museum. São Paulo, Publisher 34, 2021, 336 pages.


[I] Paulo Arantes' response: “How delicious my French was”.

[ii] Paulo Arantes, “Provisions of a literary critic on the periphery of capitalism” in Otília and Paulo Arantes, Direction of Formation. São Paulo: Paz e Terra, 1997, p. 38.

[iii] Theodor Adorno, “Titel” in Noten zur Literature. Frankfurt am Main: Suhrkamp, ​​2003, p. 327.

[iv]Jean-François Lyotard, Dispositifs pulsionnels. Paris: Éditions Galilee, 1994, p. 100.

[v] Paulo Arantes, Formation and deconstruction: a visit to the Museum of the French Ideology. Sao Paulo: Ed. 34, 2021, pp. 119-120.

[vi] Paulo Arantes, the thread. São Paulo: Paz e Terra, 1996, p. 212.

[vii] Jacques Derrida, “No Apocalypse, Not Now (Full Speed ​​Ahead, Seven Missiles, Seven Missives)” Diacritics, Vol. 14, No. 2, Nuclear Criticism (Summer, 1984), p. 27.

[viii]Same, p. 27 (emphasis mine).

[ix] “It is also possible to generalize the notion of 'dildo' to reinterpret the history of philosophy and artistic production. For example, writing, as described by Jacques Derrida, would be nothing more than the dildo of the metaphysics of presence. In the same way, following Walter Benjamin, we could say that a museum of replicas of works of art would have a dildological status in relation to the production of the work of art in the era of technical reproducibility.” Precious, contrasexual manifesto. São Paulo: n-1 editions, 2014, p. 50. The reference to Benjamin only makes sense if we understand him as an unrestricted enthusiast of the end of the artistic “aura”, but let's leave the discussion aside. In any case, it is only a case of emphasizing that the dildo as a “construct” or “technique” (which would be capable of dissolving the separation between nature and technique/culture) is equivalent to Derrida's notion of literary artifice as absolute fiction. autonomization of language as coextensive with the autonomization of technique.

[X] On the relationship between duality and a “negative dialectic” in the Brazilian sense of the term, see Paulo Arantes, Feeling of the Dialectic. São Paulo: Paz e Terra, 1992.

[xi] For a more detailed commentary on what we understand by dialectics in Paulo Arantes (and in Roberto Schwarz): CAUX, L. P; CATALANI, F. “The passage from two to zero: duality and disintegration in Brazilian dialectical thought (Paulo Arantes, reader of Roberto Schwarz)”. Magazine of the Institute of Brazilian Studies, (74), 2019, pp. 119-146

[xii] On the basis of what Hegel called Bildungstrieb, which in the book appears translated as “formation-impulse”, there is a process in which “from the suspension of the immediate desiring negation, a new temporal order arises; the work process institutes a new relationship, practical and theoretical, to time: the good infinity of the return to oneself, which defines the logical form of the work process, replaces the bad infinity of the natural cycle. A retrospection – the subject remembers and internalizes – that safeguards and accumulate the acquired […].” Paulo Arantes, Hegel: the order of time. São Paulo: Hucitec, 2000, p. 237 (emphasis mine).

[xiii] Paulo Arantes, “From night to day”, In: Coletivo DAR. (Org.). Talking Power: Drugs and Autonomy.São Paulo: Literary Autonomy, 2016, p. 146.

[xiv] Idem.

[xv] Ernst Bloch, tracks . Frankfurt am Main: Suhrkamp, ​​1985, p. 11.

[xvi]To understand what is at stake when one says “surrealism” here, it is also interesting to read Paulo Arantes's essay on Sartre's quarrel with the surrealists in Resentment of the Dialectic, “Anachronisms in the Intellectual History of Negation”.

[xvii] Deleuze and Guattari, the anti-edipus. Sao Paulo: Ed. 34, p. 318.

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  • Franz Kafka, libertarian spiritFranz Kafka, libertarian spirit 13/06/2024 By MICHAEL LÖWY: Notes on the occasion of the centenary of the death of the Czech writer
  • The society of dead historyclassroom similar to the one in usp history 16/06/2024 By ANTONIO SIMPLICIO DE ALMEIDA NETO: The subject of history was inserted into a generic area called Applied Human and Social Sciences and, finally, disappeared into the curricular drain
  • About artificial ignoranceEugenio Bucci 15/06/2024 By EUGÊNIO BUCCI: Today, ignorance is not an uninhabited house, devoid of ideas, but a building full of disjointed nonsense, a goo of heavy density that occupies every space
  • João Cândido and the Revolt of the Whipwhip revolt 23/06/2024 By PETRÔNIO DOMINGUES: In the current context, in which there is so much discussion about State reparations for the black population, the name of João Cândido cannot be forgotten
  • A look at the 2024 federal strikelula haddad 20/06/2024 By IAEL DE SOUZA: A few months into government, Lula's electoral fraud was proven, accompanied by his “faithful henchman”, the Minister of Finance, Fernando Haddad
  • The collapse of Zionismfree palestine 80 23/06/2024 By ILAN PAPPÉ: Whether people welcome the idea or fear it, Israel's collapse has become predictable. This possibility should inform the long-term conversation about the future of the region
  • Letter to the presidentSquid 59mk,g 18/06/2024 By FRANCISCO ALVES, JOÃO DOS REIS SILVA JÚNIOR & VALDEMAR SGUISSARDI: “We completely agree with Your Excellency. when he states and reaffirms that 'Education is an investment, not an expense'”
  • Return to the path of hopelate afternoon 21/06/2024 By JUAREZ GUIMARÃES & MARILANE TEIXEIRA: Five initiatives that can allow the Brazilian left and center-left to resume dialogue with the majority hope of Brazilians
  • Chico Buarque, 80 years oldchico 19/06/2024 By ROGÉRIO RUFINO DE OLIVEIRA: The class struggle, universal, is particularized in the refinement of constructive intention, in the tone of proletarian proparoxytones
  • Why are we on strike?statue 50g 20/06/2024 By SERGIO STOCO: We have reached a situation of shortage of federal educational institutions