Welcome to Bookmarker!

This is a personal project by @dellsystem. I built this to help me retain information from the books I'm reading. Currently can only be used by a single user (myself), but I plan to extend it to support multiple users eventually.

Source code on GitHub (MIT license).

115

Silence in Debris: Towards an Apophatic Marxism

12
terms
4
notes

this is definitely the sort of essay that non-academic types hate but i actually loved it (though i did kinda have to force myself to keep reading after the first few mentions of "apophatic")

Miéville, C. (2018). Silence in Debris: Towards an Apophatic Marxism. Salvage, 6, pp. 115-144

(adjective) given to tears or weeping; tearful / (adjective) tending to cause tears; mournful

115

The breakdown of old algorithms occasions epistemological crisis; hence liberalism's panicked lachrymosity, the outrage of denied entitlement, conspiracism and self-righteousness.

hahaha i love his writing

—p.115 by China Miéville
notable
4 months, 1 week ago

The breakdown of old algorithms occasions epistemological crisis; hence liberalism's panicked lachrymosity, the outrage of denied entitlement, conspiracism and self-righteousness.

hahaha i love his writing

—p.115 by China Miéville
notable
4 months, 1 week ago

(noun) the act of performing more than is required by duty, obligation, or need

117

contradictions and superpluses, the unconscious, the unsayable. They are not supererogatory to reality: to the contrary. Nor ca they be so to those who strive to change it.

—p.117 by China Miéville
notable
4 months, 1 week ago

contradictions and superpluses, the unconscious, the unsayable. They are not supererogatory to reality: to the contrary. Nor ca they be so to those who strive to change it.

—p.117 by China Miéville
notable
4 months, 1 week ago

(adj, theology) (of knowledge of God) obtained through negating concepts that might be applied to him

120

the discourse o f the limits of words, of what is not and cannot be said. Its name comes from the Greek term meaning 'negation' or 'denial'. It is called apophasis.

—p.120 by China Miéville
notable
4 months, 1 week ago

the discourse o f the limits of words, of what is not and cannot be said. Its name comes from the Greek term meaning 'negation' or 'denial'. It is called apophasis.

—p.120 by China Miéville
notable
4 months, 1 week ago

(noun) an expression of real or pretended doubt or uncertainty especially for rhetorical effect / (noun) a logical impasse or contradiction / (noun) a radical contradiction in the import of a text or theory that is seen in deconstruction as inevitable

120

Uncertainties, aporia, scepticisms and the shifting incompleteness to which they lead - the negative space of thought -should constitute collective politics alongside affirmations and suggestions.

—p.120 by China Miéville
notable
4 months, 1 week ago

Uncertainties, aporia, scepticisms and the shifting incompleteness to which they lead - the negative space of thought -should constitute collective politics alongside affirmations and suggestions.

—p.120 by China Miéville
notable
4 months, 1 week ago

(adj) (of knowledge of God) obtained through defining God with positive statements.

120

Positive theology speaks claims about the divine - that God is Father, love, beauty, good. This, the via positivia, the positive way, is called cataphatic, from the Greek for 'affirmation'.

—p.120 by China Miéville
unknown
4 months, 1 week ago

Positive theology speaks claims about the divine - that God is Father, love, beauty, good. This, the via positivia, the positive way, is called cataphatic, from the Greek for 'affirmation'.

—p.120 by China Miéville
unknown
4 months, 1 week ago

(noun) an ultimate end (from Greek)

121

According to this via negativa, God is ineffable, so far beyond quotidian language as to be incommunicable. All that can be said, in the negative way is what the telos of its concern is not

—p.121 by China Miéville
notable
4 months, 1 week ago

According to this via negativa, God is ineffable, so far beyond quotidian language as to be incommunicable. All that can be said, in the negative way is what the telos of its concern is not

—p.121 by China Miéville
notable
4 months, 1 week ago
128

July 1917, Petrograd. The mood tense and militant. There was popular hunger for action, even insurgency. The Bolshevik leadership were more cautious. They prepared an appeal for the front page of their paper Pravda, pleading for readers not to come onto the streets. But with scant hours to go, late at night, they realised that Petrograd's masses would not heed their injunction: the next day would bring great demonstrations. Ignored, disobeyed, the words would be an embarrassment. But there was neither time nor focus to replace it, nor any certainty of what the party line should be. The offending piece was simply cut.

Thus on 4 July 1917, when Pravda hit the streets, its front page was a masterpiece of unintended activist apophasis, rich in what Catherine Robson has said of poetry is the 'aura of unmarked space'. In the centre of the page was a white, textless hole.

[...]

It is from scraps and practices, then, from hints and intuitions, that we might construct an apophatic Marxism, certain of the indispensability of silence, and of the limits of certainty.

amazing story

—p.128 by China Miéville 4 months, 1 week ago

July 1917, Petrograd. The mood tense and militant. There was popular hunger for action, even insurgency. The Bolshevik leadership were more cautious. They prepared an appeal for the front page of their paper Pravda, pleading for readers not to come onto the streets. But with scant hours to go, late at night, they realised that Petrograd's masses would not heed their injunction: the next day would bring great demonstrations. Ignored, disobeyed, the words would be an embarrassment. But there was neither time nor focus to replace it, nor any certainty of what the party line should be. The offending piece was simply cut.

Thus on 4 July 1917, when Pravda hit the streets, its front page was a masterpiece of unintended activist apophasis, rich in what Catherine Robson has said of poetry is the 'aura of unmarked space'. In the centre of the page was a white, textless hole.

[...]

It is from scraps and practices, then, from hints and intuitions, that we might construct an apophatic Marxism, certain of the indispensability of silence, and of the limits of certainty.

amazing story

—p.128 by China Miéville 4 months, 1 week ago

(adjective) prophetic, oracular; describing or predicting what will happen in the future

129

And it is afraid, too, of the vatic and exhortatory.

on Apophatic Marxism

—p.129 by China Miéville
uncertain
4 months, 1 week ago

And it is afraid, too, of the vatic and exhortatory.

on Apophatic Marxism

—p.129 by China Miéville
uncertain
4 months, 1 week ago
129

[...] there is little reason to suppose that some putatively pure, 'mere' Marxism should be any healthier. A strictly cataphatic Marxism is, at best, in denial. A Marxism afraid of silence is a Marxism afraid of the declaratory. It is afraid of politics. It is afraid of the human, and of the fear that it perceives in itself.

And it is afraid, too, of the vatic and exhortatory. Apophatic Marxism might be not only more curious and rigorous, but more subtle and effective in its interventions than any silenceless Marxism. Apophasis may not be sufficient, but it is necessary.

as with a lot of his writing, you kind of just have to take it on faith (rather than being presented with arguments) but it's so beautifully written that you're often willing to

—p.129 by China Miéville 4 months, 1 week ago

[...] there is little reason to suppose that some putatively pure, 'mere' Marxism should be any healthier. A strictly cataphatic Marxism is, at best, in denial. A Marxism afraid of silence is a Marxism afraid of the declaratory. It is afraid of politics. It is afraid of the human, and of the fear that it perceives in itself.

And it is afraid, too, of the vatic and exhortatory. Apophatic Marxism might be not only more curious and rigorous, but more subtle and effective in its interventions than any silenceless Marxism. Apophasis may not be sufficient, but it is necessary.

as with a lot of his writing, you kind of just have to take it on faith (rather than being presented with arguments) but it's so beautifully written that you're often willing to

—p.129 by China Miéville 4 months, 1 week ago

the part of theology concerned with death, judgment, and the final destiny of the soul and of humankind

132

There are those for whom such apophatic Marxist eschatology is dereliction.

—p.132 by China Miéville
notable
4 months, 1 week ago

There are those for whom such apophatic Marxist eschatology is dereliction.

—p.132 by China Miéville
notable
4 months, 1 week ago
132

When in The German Ideology, Marx insists that communism is not 'an ideal to which reality will have to conform itself' but 'the real movement which abolishes the present condition', it is precisely the immanence of a radical alterity that precludes its being spoken. Whatever Marx may at times have thought, or thought he thought, was possible, whatever passing glimmers of vision one might glean from him, it is no surprise that he never, despite Engels' pleas, wrote 'the famous Positive, what you "really" want'. Because '[w]hat we have here,' as Colon O'Connell astutely puts it in 'Marxism and the Logic of Futural Discourse', 'is an image of the future primarily based on the via negativa'.

How could it be otherwise? Social totality is fractured and fractious, but as David McLellan says, '[i]f all ideas were a product of contemporary social reality' - and they are - 'then a detailed projection of those ideas into a distant future was bound to result in idealism - ideas that were completely imaginary since they lacked an empirical referent'. It is not that no notions can be entertained, as he rich traditions of utopianism attest: it is to insist that whatever their undoubted uses, as dreamwork, provocation, thought experiment or myth, and no matter how things ultimately turn out, such projection cannot, properly, be rigorous predictions. Our thinking is a function of our reality: the beyond, definitionally, is unthinkable. [...]

love this

—p.132 by China Miéville 4 months, 1 week ago

When in The German Ideology, Marx insists that communism is not 'an ideal to which reality will have to conform itself' but 'the real movement which abolishes the present condition', it is precisely the immanence of a radical alterity that precludes its being spoken. Whatever Marx may at times have thought, or thought he thought, was possible, whatever passing glimmers of vision one might glean from him, it is no surprise that he never, despite Engels' pleas, wrote 'the famous Positive, what you "really" want'. Because '[w]hat we have here,' as Colon O'Connell astutely puts it in 'Marxism and the Logic of Futural Discourse', 'is an image of the future primarily based on the via negativa'.

How could it be otherwise? Social totality is fractured and fractious, but as David McLellan says, '[i]f all ideas were a product of contemporary social reality' - and they are - 'then a detailed projection of those ideas into a distant future was bound to result in idealism - ideas that were completely imaginary since they lacked an empirical referent'. It is not that no notions can be entertained, as he rich traditions of utopianism attest: it is to insist that whatever their undoubted uses, as dreamwork, provocation, thought experiment or myth, and no matter how things ultimately turn out, such projection cannot, properly, be rigorous predictions. Our thinking is a function of our reality: the beyond, definitionally, is unthinkable. [...]

love this

—p.132 by China Miéville 4 months, 1 week ago
133

There are those for whom such apophatic Marxist eschatology is dereliction. On the left, some insist that blueprints for a realistic alternative, the more precise the better, will be the most effective mobiliser. [...]

[...] The request that capitalism be replaced with 'something nicer' should be criticised - for its tweeness, its mannered, unthreatening cuteness in place of the fire and salt the moment demands. Its apohasis, however, is by far its best element.

Such unsaying is not evasion but respect, taking seriously the scale of potential, of alterity necessary and possible beyond capitalism, escaping 'realistic', articulable, reformist visions truncated by the real, actually-existing hope. It is thus, to appropriate from the eschatology of the theologian Jurgen Moltmann, a hope against hope. Its horizon, like that he recalls from his youth, 'is a boundary which does not confine but rather invites one to go beyond'.

It is in such unsaying, rather than in anxious left assurance that the world can be said, that true radical Prometheanism inheres.

—p.133 by China Miéville 4 months, 1 week ago

There are those for whom such apophatic Marxist eschatology is dereliction. On the left, some insist that blueprints for a realistic alternative, the more precise the better, will be the most effective mobiliser. [...]

[...] The request that capitalism be replaced with 'something nicer' should be criticised - for its tweeness, its mannered, unthreatening cuteness in place of the fire and salt the moment demands. Its apohasis, however, is by far its best element.

Such unsaying is not evasion but respect, taking seriously the scale of potential, of alterity necessary and possible beyond capitalism, escaping 'realistic', articulable, reformist visions truncated by the real, actually-existing hope. It is thus, to appropriate from the eschatology of the theologian Jurgen Moltmann, a hope against hope. Its horizon, like that he recalls from his youth, 'is a boundary which does not confine but rather invites one to go beyond'.

It is in such unsaying, rather than in anxious left assurance that the world can be said, that true radical Prometheanism inheres.

—p.133 by China Miéville 4 months, 1 week ago

(noun) Gnosticism) the spiritual universe as the abode of God and of the totality of the divine powers and emanations. / (in Christian theology) the totality or fullness of the Godhead which dwells in Christ.

135

a fullness, pleroma, redemption and justice we sense but can't quite articulate

—p.135 by China Miéville
unknown
4 months, 1 week ago

a fullness, pleroma, redemption and justice we sense but can't quite articulate

—p.135 by China Miéville
unknown
4 months, 1 week ago

(adjective) supernatural mysterious / (adjective) filled with a sense of the presence of divinity; holy / (adjective) appealing to the higher emotions or to the aesthetic sense; spiritual

136

from a systematic approach to the numinous, this bleaker apophasis follows

—p.136 by China Miéville
uncertain
4 months, 1 week ago

from a systematic approach to the numinous, this bleaker apophasis follows

—p.136 by China Miéville
uncertain
4 months, 1 week ago

(verb) depict or describe in painting or words; suffuse or highlight (something) with a bright color or light

137

it is sacralisation, rather than an always-already failing linguistic striving in, and for the limning of, social hell

—p.137 by China Miéville
strange
4 months, 1 week ago

it is sacralisation, rather than an always-already failing linguistic striving in, and for the limning of, social hell

—p.137 by China Miéville
strange
4 months, 1 week ago

an ancient religious movement that has to do with duality? "an elaborate dualistic cosmology describing the struggle between a good, spiritual world of light, and an evil, material world of darkness"

138

Marxist convergence with the negative theology of hell, as well as of Heaven, is not Manichean: it is apophatic precisely in that it abjures any secularised symmetry of Good and Evil, for social totality.

—p.138 by China Miéville
notable
4 months, 1 week ago

Marxist convergence with the negative theology of hell, as well as of Heaven, is not Manichean: it is apophatic precisely in that it abjures any secularised symmetry of Good and Evil, for social totality.

—p.138 by China Miéville
notable
4 months, 1 week ago