It was very interesting to see Anderson's discussion of the arc of Lyotard's work, and I felt that it helped put a few things in perspective for me. Upon going back and looking closely at his essay with the aim of comparing his ideas to those of later writers, I read a few things into his essay that I hadn't previously. Primarily, what was of interest to me this time around was his take on history, and the impact upon it of the loss of hierarchy within language games. What I noticed was that at the end of that section of the essay (the one we read) he seems to place his faith in the maintenance of society in the ability of people to basically choose what I read to be the correct discourses for legitimation. He seems to believe that a culture's common sense will guide it away from "barbarity", but makes little acknowledgment of external forces (like the complex, organized, power structures of late capitalism, let's say) in having any effect on this decision process. I as well am wary of the highly deterministic element in a lot of marxist analysis, but on average, effects in a large group of people are somewhat predictable, and I can easily see a culture affirming discourses Lyotard might be less than thrilled about. Reading about his decline into melancholy, and considering the positions that postmodern theorists took after the total death of established communism in the 80's, I felt that maybe this two and two fit together. Did anyone else have a similar experience, and feel that Anderson helped link together some of the theory we've been reading so far, making more sense of it in terms of its environment?
By morefuntocompute - Posted on 1 October 2007 - 1:06pm.