Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Ipseity, Alterity & the conjuration of the Subaltern.

Can Critical  Philosophy, post Godhra, still be considered a Baudelairian exorcism of ipseity, rather than a Baudrillardian ethic of alterity, when answers randomly canvassed, from the most ideologically diverse theorists of the Subaltern, to the question 'where is the toilet?' all so consistently cash out as 'my mouth'?
 Take Sumit Sarkar- outside and shoot him- no, I jest, I jest- that's the job of the Naxalites- but, seriously folks, he was right to point out that Subaltern Studies stopped being about really marginalized folk- tribals and manual scavengers and so on- and turned into Foucaldian whining about Eurocentrism- so his approach to answering the question 'where is the toilet?' begins with a recognition that the disposal of 'number two' is a subaltern form of WORK. Since Subaltern studies gobshiterry should be about genuine subalterns, like manual scavengers (bhangis), the mouth of a Subaltern Studies savant is indeed the nearest toilet.
Ranajit Guha's approach is more 'roundabout' (as the Austrian Economists would say) and Spivak's is more Literary Capital intensive but both reach the same conclusion because Guha lectures in Vienna and  the word toilet comes from the French toilette and Spivak can speak French, so basically, yes, the nearest toilet is her mouth.

No change there then.
Personally, I blame David Cameron.
That boy aint right.

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