Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Wednesday 2pm Section

Donna Haraway writes "Cyborg politics is the struggle for language and the struggle against perfect communication, against the one code that translates all meaning perfectly, the central dogma of phallogocentrism. That is why cyborg politics insist on noise and advocate pollution, rejoicing in the illegitimate fusions of animal and machine. These are the couplings which make Man and Woman so problematic, subverting the structure of desire, the force imagined to generate language and gender, and so subverting the structure and modes of reproduction of 'Western' idendty, of nature and culture, of mirror and eye, slave and master, body and mind. 'We' did not originally choose to be cyborgs, but choice grounds a liberal politics and epistemology that imagines the reproduction of individuals before the wider replications of 'texts'." (176).

Her position to me is quite fascinating from the psychoanalytic perspective, which she tends to lump in with Marxism and other theoretical practices as failing to challenge or, more radically, merely reinscribing the dominance of the ontological phallogocentric order. It is interesting to me in how it negotiates and elides its own desire, insofar as desire is the grounds for any political project. In this sense, we can see that while Haraway explicitly wants to challenge existing structures of desire, those same structures, insofar as we are structured by desire, must have produced her desire for this kind of radical politics. This raises some interesting questions.

To what extent can we say that all political aims are mappable onto existing structures of desire, mediated by the Man/Woman binary and all its symbolically intertwined ramifications? And if one's politics is to abrogate and disrupt that structure, is there a way we can understand this? What is our model? Or is this the very superficial impossibility delineated by a conservative symbolic order to protect itself from radical change?

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