Thursday, December 30, 2010


nalt2, summarizing some tendencies in Althusser.
6. Ideology "in general" "has no history" [i.e. no actual content, no concrete origin in wrong perceptions etc.], although specific ideologies do. Ideology in general is always "imaginary", representing a non-historical "reality". Imagination is "eternal" [i.e. makes the same continuing, permanent, and wrong relations between people and social reality, the famous "imaginary relationship of individuals to their real conditions of existence".] Ideology is a representation of this imaginary relationship. It is not just an illusion which can be easily dispelled by a correct interpretation, not just a lie to fool subordinate classes, not just the result of a necessary alienation - ideology is needed in social life. Ideology does not just misrepresent the real nature of capitalist society - the relation of individuals to the realities is necessarily "imaginary distortion".

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