Thursday, October 27, 2011

Both (Hybridity, and a mention of Homi K.)

Wealthy persons generally speaking live in a more congenial, pleasant world. Unless I am badly mistaken they seem to have better manners, a pleasanter existence. And they are wealthy because they made more money. Thus it can be argued that making money is just an excuse for getting along with others, a mere preliminary to entering the more pleasant world and leaving behind the unpleasantness of a dog-eat-dog existence. But alas. All that flies in the face of another competing view or argument, that it is already a dog-eat-dog world and it is self-interest that rules. So, considering two possible views, how do we know which is the correct one? Which?

It's both. Both are correct, and I would argue that in many, many cases it is not a matter of one or the other. It is a bit more like the "fuzzy logic" thinking Brad Kosko wrote about, and that the Japanese feel comfortable about --- it is a bit of both. It is not an "or" but an "and." I would like to adopt Homi K. Bhabha's term hybridity here. There is a tendency to accept one view or the other rather than see the hybridity and grasp the one view "and" or "with" the other, harder since, of course, that is slightly more complex.  A successful analysis of capitalism needs badly to be even handed, because of the simple fact that the nature of these things is simply beyond all the binaries we normally get hung up with.

In my work, this concept of "hybridity," and also of "ambiguity" (again the Bhabha correlation) is quite important, actually. Capitalism, rather than being one thing or the other, is usually both. Let's understand the real nature of capitalism rather than rushing to extremes and being so sure we are right about that.

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