So I’m in this Deleuzian reading group right now and it’s generating some really fascinating conversation. Lots of the discussion so far has been around the metaphor of the rhizome (click here for a quick break-down of what a rhizome is and sketches on how it might work as a methodology; also, feel welcome to post on Schizophrenic Summer, our group blog). Anyway, one of the problems that Deleuze and Guattari have with the majority of philosophy and more generally the whole of scholarly inquiry, is that it is overwhelmingly and detrimentally obsessed with linear history. Their goal is to fix points of origin and show how things are related in a straight-forward cause-and-effect line.
I bring this up because I’ve been thinking about the rhetoric of Post-Marxism. Or Post-Structuralism. Postmodern. And I just finished reading an article about social movements and “post-identity.”
All these “Posts” retain the rhetoric of modernism’s sense in progress — in an end destination, a final point of accomplishment, whether that’s Utopia, Communism, or Whatever.
Think about all the other places it continues to pop up: Neo-conservatism. Neo-liberalism. Neo-Neo-Post-Post.
What type of rhetorical detritus remains when “post” or “neo” is attached to an “older” concept? Why is our society sporting so many of these “post” movements? What is the atmosphere that cultivates these, um, neologisms?
We want to move beyond, but the “post” implies we haven’t . . .