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Letters: Response to Archard; Response to Elliott





Parataxis: modernism and modem writing
is a new journal devoted to the critical
rethinking of modernism and the publication of contemporary writing.

At a time when the concept of modernism has come to seem merely historical, and when the critical vocabulary of
modernism itself has been collapsed into
that of postmodernism, Parataxis aims to
aprovide substantial discussion of the
legacies of modernism, while refusing to
characterise modernism as that which is
simply past.

The journal will appear three times a
year: the first issue in Spring 1991.

The editors welcome ideas for potential contributions. These and other enquiries should be sent to the editors:

An International Conference
on Rights in China

Because of pressure of work, Martin Barker
has resigned from the Radical Philosophy
Editorial Collective, on which he has served
since 1977, including a long stint as reviews editor.

Readers may remember his articles on
‘Kant as a Problem for Marxism’ (RP 19);
‘Racism: The New Inheritors’ (RP 24);
‘Empiricism and Racism’ (RP 33) and ‘Mass
Media and Ideology’ (RP 46).

Martin’s editorial skill and energy is
now being focused on the new Magazine
For Cultural Studies.

Members of the editorial collective will
miss his incisive and sometimes controversial interventions in our debate. And all
of us are grateful for his many years of hard

Simon Jarvis, Sidney Sussex College,
Cambridge CB2 3HU
Drew Milne, Department of English,
Edinburgh University, DavidHume Tower,
George Square, Edinburgh EH8 9JX

Friday and Saturday, 21-22 June 1991
The School of Oriental and African
Studies, University of London
Organised by June 4th China Support
Group and The Contemporary China
Institute, SOAS
Sessions on: The Concept of Rights in
China; Censorship and Propoganda; Eastern Europe, the USSR and China; Chnia
and the UN.

For further details, please write to:

Rights in China Conference
clo The Contemporary China Institute
Thornhaugh Street
Russell Square

Dear Radical Philosophy,

Dear Radical Philosophy,

Dear Radical Philosophy,

I suppose a book as consciously against the
stream as my Socialist Reasoning can expect hostile and tangential reviews, and
perhaps I should not expect that, in a single
paragraph on it, any of the three main
arguments of the book should be mentioned
– viz. that the analysis of capitalism is the
argument for socialism, that this is logically
kosher since facts can imply values, and
that classical Marxism must be revised to
show the vital place of issues of peace,
ecology and thoroughgoing democracy in
that argument today. But David Archard’ s
claim (in ‘Friends and Enemies of Liberalism’, Radical Philosophy 57, p. 32) that
the book is ‘mainly directed at the left’ is
grossly misleading. All its criticisms of the
left are to be found on about 10% of its
pages, and, I hope, couched in language a
good sight more comradely than that habitually used by post-Marxists against those
of us who believe in class politics.

I regret but am not too surprised that
Andrew Collier objects to my review of his
Socialist Reasoning. He does himself describe two of his six chapters as ‘mainly
aimed at utopian currents on the recent left’

(p.175). However, my main argument was
not so much that his book argues with the
left, as that it argues on the left. In choosing
to show how we should argue for socialism
Collier presupposes rather than presents a
case for socialism. My own feeling – which
is not necessarily rooted in ‘post-Marxism’

or a scepticism about class politics – is that
this kind of attitude is a luxury political
philosophy cannot at present afford.

Thank you for the obituary of Louis
Althusser, written by Gregory Elliott in
Radical Philosophy 57. Lyrical, short and
profound. I would dedicate the following
lines from Fran<;ois Villon to our 'doux
maitre a la science pure et dure':

David Archard
Department of Philosophy and Politics
University of Ulster at Jordanstown

Pretentious maybe. But there are more
people around who deeply feel his loss
than one might imagine.

Je congnois que pauvres et riches,
Sages et fous, pretre et lais,
Nobles, vilains, larges et chiches,
Petits et grands, et beaux et laids,
Dames a rebrasses collets,
De quelconque condition,
Portant atours et bourrelets,
Mort saisit sans exception.

Andrew Coates
Ipswich, Suffolk

Andrew Collier
Department of Philosophy
University of Southampton

Radical Philosophy 58, Summer 1991

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