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"Specter" is the first noun one reads in The Manifesto of the Communist Party. But that's just the beginning. Once you start to notice them, there is no counting all the ghosts, spirits, specters and spooks that crowd Marx's text. If they are to count for something, however, one must question the spectropoetics that Marx allowed to invade his discourse. In Specters of Marx, Derrida undertakes this task within the context of a critique of the new dogmatism and "new world order" that have proclaimed the death of Marxism and of Marx.
Noting its resemblance to the manic discourse that prevails in what Freud called the triumphant stage of mourning work, Derrida likens this jubilant and obscene display ("the body is rotting in a safe place; long live capitalism") to an exorcism and a conjuration. This disavowal attempts to neutralize a spectral necessity, but also the future of a "spirit" of Marxism. Derrida argues that there is more than one spirit of Marx and it is the finite responsibility of his heirs (and we are all heirs of Marx) to sift through the possible legacies, the possible spirits, reaffirming one and not the other.
How, Derrida asks, does this critical discernment relate to the deconstructive demand of responsiblity? This question leads the book across the geopolitical and technoscientific space in which the deafening disavowal of Marx is being proclaimed today. He articulates a stunning reading of Marx's "spectrography" not only with the chain of a deconstructive discourse but also with the themes of inheritance and messianism.
This major new book from a renowned French philosopher represents his first important statement on Marx. Within the context of a critique of the new dogmatism and "new world order" that have proclaimed the death of Marxism, Derrida explores the seemingly haunted language used in Marx's The Manifesto of the Communist Party.
|note on the text|
|1||injunctions of marx||3|
|2||conjuring - marxism||49|
|3||wears and tears: (tableau of an ageless world)||77|
|4||in the name of the revolution, the double barricade (impure "impure impure history of ghosts")||95|
|5||apparition of the inapparent: the phenomenological "conjuring trick"||125|