Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Kritik ideologi

Ideologi, seperti juga agama, atau sebaliknya -- agama, seperti juga ideologi -- harus dikritik.

Ia mencipta pembiusan pada fikiran, cuba mensemulajadikan (naturalize) kewujudannya, dan mencipta kesedaran palsu pada penganut dan, kadang-kadang, penentangnya.

Ia memberikan legitimasi pada hegemoninya -- menghalalkan manipulasi kuasa dan sumber ekonomi; menghalalkan kewujudannya sebagai sesuatu yang "wajar" atau "baik", malah sesuatu yang "bermoral".

Tetapi apakh itu ideologi? Terry Eagleton, pengarang buku tentang teori dan analisa ideologi, menulis, dengan meminjam pandangan seorang pemikir politik Martin Seliger: "sets of ideas by which men [and women] posit, explain and justify ends and means of organised social action, and specifically political action, irrespective of whether such action aims to preserve, amend, uproot or rebuild a given social order."

Lihat huraian ringkas Eagleton di sini atau beli bukunya yang ini.

Atau setidak-tidaknya melihat takrif asasnya di sini. Dan kalaulah Wikipedia boleh diharapkan sebagai satu sumber rujukan, boleh juga lihat di sini.

Di negara jiran, sebuah buku berjudul Kritik Ideologi dihasilkan oleh Francisco Budi Hardiman tetapi sayangnya tidaklah komprehensif, asyik-asyik dengan pemikiran Jurgen Habermas.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

1. Liberal Concepts of Ideology

What is ideology? The term was likely coined by the French thinker Claude Destutt de Tracy at the turn of the nineteenth century, in his study of the Enlightenment. For De Tracy, ideology was the science of ideas and their origins. Ideology understands ideas to issue, not haphazardly from mind or consciousness, but as the result of forces in the material environment that shape what people think. De Tracy believed his view of ideology could be put to progressive political purposes, since understanding the source of ideas might enable efforts on behalf of human progress.

Ideology today is generally taken to mean not a science of ideas, but the ideas themselves, and moreover ideas of a particular kind. Ideologies are ideas whose purpose is not epistemic, but political. Thus an ideology exists to confirm a certain political viewpoint, serve the interests of certain people, or to perform a functional role in relation to social, economic, political and legal institutions. Daniel Bell dubbed ideology ‘an action-oriented system of beliefs,’ and the fact that ideology is action-oriented indicates its role is not to render reality transparent, but to motivate people to do or not do certain things. Such a role may involve a process of justification that requires the obfuscation of reality. Nonetheless, Bell and other liberal sociologists do not assume any particular relation between ideology and the status quo; some ideologies serve the status quo, others call for its reform or overthrow.

On this view, ideology can shape law, but a variety of ideologies might be vying for legal mastery; there is no necessary connection between law and a particular ideology. Law need not be understood as compromised, since law being ideological might just refer to the institutions of popular sovereignty, where public policy reflects citizens' principles and beliefs; ideology would in that case just be a shorthand way of referring to the views of citizens that are legitimately instantiated in the laws of the land. Nonetheless, Bell argued that a postwar consensus on capitalism and liberal democracy might spell the ‘end of ideology.’

2. Radical Concepts of Ideology

A more critical understanding of law's relation to ideology, and the role and purposes that ideology serves, is found in the writings of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels. Like De Tracy, Marx and Engels contend that ideas are shaped by the material world, but as historical materialists they understand the material to consist of relations of production that undergo change and development. Moreover, for Marx and Engels, it is the exploitative and alienating features of capitalist economic relations that prompt ideas they dub ‘ideology.’ Ideology only arises where there are social conditions such as those produced by private property that are vulnerable to criticism and protest; ideology exists to inure these social conditions from attack by those who are disadvantaged by them. Capitalist ideologies give an inverted explanation for market relations, for example, so that human beings perceive their actions as the consequence of economic factors, rather than the other way around, and moreover, thereby understand the market to be natural and inevitable. Members of the Frankfurt School such as Jurgen Habermas drew on the Marxist idea of ideology as a distortion of reality to point to its role in communication, wherein interlocutors find that power relations prevent the open, uncoerced articulation of beliefs and values.

Thus ideology, far from being a science, as De Tracy contends, or any set of action-oriented beliefs as Bell puts it, is rather inherently conservative, quietist, and epistemically unreliable. Ideology conserves by camouflaging flawed social conditions, giving an illusory account of their rationale or function, in order to justify and win acceptance of them. Indeed, on this view of the ideological role of law, in a just society there would be no need for a mystifying account of reality, and thus no need for law. The concept of law as ideology is thus central to the Marxist view that law will wither away with the full flowering of communism.

The negative view of ideology taken by Marxists might suggest a crude conception where legal ideology is a tool cynically wielded by the powerful to ensure submission by the powerless. However, it offends the ‘conception of right,’ Marx argues, if ‘a code of law is the blunt, unmitigated, unadulterated expression of the domination of a class.’ And because ideology such as law takes a formal and normative form, the powerful are in its grips too, persuaded by an account of the inevitable and just order from which they profit. Moreover, ideology is no mere fiction; it is produced by real social conditions and reflects them. Ideology thus must succeed in constituting a consensus about capitalism, and it must do so by giving expression to capitalism's recognizable features. Equality before the law, for example, is both elicited by, and reflects, the reality of capitalist economic relations, even if it is an equality that is formal and incomplete. Consent will not be forthcoming if legal ideology bears no relation whatsoever to the social conditions it seeks to justify. The idea that ideology inverts reality is important here. In his camera obscura metaphor in The German Ideology, Marx contends that reality appears upside down in ideology, much like the photographic process provides an inverted image. The inverted image is telling; it is a recognisable depiction of reality, even if it is at the same time a distorted one. Karl Mannheim elaborated further on the idea of the complex relation between reality and ideology by pointing to the human need for ideology. Ideologies are neither true nor false but are a set of socially conditioned ideas that provide a truth that people, both the advantaged and the disadvantaged, want to hear.

In the 1920s, American jurisprudence came under the influence of another version of the critical view of ideology and law. The school of legal realism abandoned Marx's specifically historical materialist explanation, but took up the idea that social forces outside the law are central in determining what the law is. Realists opposed traditional ‘formalist’ accounts of adjudication, where judges are understood to rely on uniquely and distinctively legal materials in rendering their judgments. Instead, the realists contended that law is inherently indeterminate, and thus judicial decisions must be explained by factors outside the law. Ideology emerges as one kind of realist explanation, where judicial decisions are the effect of political ideas, be they of the judge, the legal profession more generally, societal elites, or majority public opinion. The realists aligned their critique of law with a progressive politics. The inevitable influence of factors external to the law meant that social and political changes augured by the emerging welfare state were no threat to the purity of law. Indeed, the expanding regulative power of the administrative state would make it more likely that the influences on the law were now those of popular sovereignty and social justice, rather than the more nefarious influences of the past.

The view that law is a reflection of ideology was taken up again in the 1970s and 80s, with the emergence of the Critical Legal Studies movement. Critical Legal Studies was a radical movement of lawyers shaped by a number of influences: the Marxist and realist traditions; the philosophical perspective of ‘deconstruction;’ and the politics of issues such as feminism, environmentalism and anti-racism. The movement takes up the realist idea that law is fundamentally indeterminate, and echoes Marxist views about the ways in which the interests of the powerful shape law. Exponents offer some astute observations about the way law is taught and practiced to give the misleading impression of law's certainty and legitimacy. Particular legal doctrines are targeted for papering over the inconsistent and arbitrary features of legal decision-making; the rule of law, for example, is criticized for a na├»ve view of the form of law as unaffected by law's content and the social context in which law operates. The indeterminacy of law can produce a variety of results; Duncan Kennedy, for example, points out the surprising ways in which the ideology of formal legal reasoning can remedy injustice, even if ideology often disables such remedies as well.

(Sumber: Christine Sypnowich, 2001, 'Law and Ideology', Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)

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Anonymous said...

(source: Chronicle Review, 20 Oct 2006)

OBSERVER
Terry Eagleton, the Wanderer

By JEFFREY J. WILLIAMS

Literary theorists, and probably other scholars, might be divided into two types: settlers and wanderers. The settlers stay put, "hovering one inch" over a set of issues or topics, as Paul de Man, the most influential theorist of the 1970s, remarked in an interview. Their work, through the course of their careers, claims ownership of a specific intellectual turf. The wanderers are more restless, starting with one approach or field but leaving it behind for the next foray. Their work takes the shape of serial engagements, more oriented toward climatic currents. The distinction is not between expert and generalist, or, in Isaiah Berlin's distinction, between knowing one thing like a hedgehog and knowing many things like a fox; it is a different application of expertise.

Stanley Fish, for instance, might seem a protean public commentator, but he has actually "hawked the same wares," as he once put it, returning to certain issues of interpretation as well as to the texts of John Milton over the course of his career. J. Hillis Miller, on the other hand, has morphed over a long career from a traditional commentator on Dickens and 19th-century British literature to phenomenological readings of modernist poets and novelists, then shifted again to become the primary American proponent of deconstruction, and more recently has taken on the role of defender of the humanities, ethics, and the future of literary studies.

While the difference between the two types might seem a conscious choice, it is probably more an expression of disposition. Settlers gravitate toward consistency, stability, and depth, looking for different facets of the same terrain, whereas wanderers are pulled toward the new and the next, finding the facets that motivate them in different terrain. It is perhaps a relation to time: Settlers are drawn to Parmenidean sameness, wanderers to the Heraclitean flux.

Terry Eagleton has been a quintessential wanderer. Eagleton is probably the most well-known literary critic in Britain and the most frequently read expositor of literary theory in the world. His greatest influence in the United States has been through his deft surveys, variously on poststructural theory, Marxist criticism, the history of the public sphere, aesthetics, ideology, and postmodernism. His 1983 book, Literary Theory: An Introduction, which made readable and even entertaining the new currents in theory and which has been reprinted nearly 20 times, was a text that almost every literature student thumbed through during the 80s and 90s, and it still holds a spot in the otherwise sparse criticism sections of the local Barnes and Noble. His public position in Britain is such that Prince Charles once deemed him "that dreadful Terry Eagleton." Not every literary theorist has received such public notice.

Though Eagleton is only in his early 60s, a conference this past summer at the University of Manchester, where Eagleton is a professor of cultural theory, took stock of his prodigious work and career. I attended the conference — I was on a panel that interviewed him and am responsible for his pages in The Norton Anthology of Theory and Criticism — looking for a handle to encapsulate his career, but instead found a kaleidoscope of themes, topics, and fields. The speakers at the conference remarked on his interest in Irish literature; his focus on aesthetic theory; his use of humor; his early engagement with French Marxism; his engagement with feminism; his forays in fiction and drama; his slide from theory to journalism; his path as a scholarship boy; his debunking of high culture; his criticism of postmodernism; and his playfulness. His work encompasses a carnival of themes.

Eagleton's wandering is not idiosyncratic, though, but presents a microcosm of the changes in criticism over the past 40 years. Like Zelig or Forrest Gump, Eagleton seems to have been there at all the crucial moments. He began precociously during the 1960s, publishing three books in his twenties as a rising figure on the British New Left, consistently declaring his Marxist stance. Then he embraced French structuralist theory, bringing the dense theoretical edifice and idiom of the Marxist philosopher Louis Althusser to Britain in Criticism and Ideology (1976), his one book not in plain language. After that he became the primary expositor and popularizer of theory, in Marxism and Literary Criticism (1976), Literary Theory, The Function of Criticism (1984), The Ideology of the Aesthetic (1990), and Ideology: An Introduction (1991). In his downtime, he also published a novel and plays, notably the brilliant Saint Oscar (1989), on Oscar Wilde, which was made into a film starring Stephen Rea and which was shown at the conference. Before the term was bandied about, Eagleton had become a major public intellectual.

Through the 1990s, he departed from his synoptic overviews to diagnose the fate of theory, and his diagnosis was not good. In The Illusions of Postmodernism (1997), Idea of Culture (2000), and After Theory (2003), he excoriated the relativism of recent theory, the vacuity of identity politics, and the inflation of culture over society, although in the last book he offers a more hopeful, humanist note, defending the value of theoretical reflection and calling for the study of religion and ethics. He became an almost curmudgeonly gadfly, not as a radical reborn as a neoconservative but as an old radical bemoaning the misguidedness of the young. Like two of his erstwhile enemies, Fish and Walter Benn Michaels, he thinks the current infatuation with culture and identity is dead wrong.

In another way, he ascended to the position of leading man of letters, with books on Irish literature, the English novel, and tragedy, alongside his assessments of theory, and he has been a dauntingly prolific reviewer (many collected in Figures of Dissent [2003]). Ironically, while holding a sail to the critical winds, Eagleton seems a throwback to more traditional men of letters like Edmund Wilson. Eagleton's career may also have something to do with the difference between the British and American scenes, the former still resisting academic professionalism and valuing the amateur, the American taking a more professionalized, academic bearing. (At the conference, most of the British critics simply talked, the virtue of which can be spontaneity and engagement with the audience, the deficit randomness and little scholarly anchoring, whereas the Americans read papers, the virtue of which can be a more thought-through argument, the deficit an arcane immersion.) The difference probably derives from the more permeable wall between academic and public in Britain, where Eagleton has written regularly for The Guardian, the London Review of Books, and many other mainstream venues. There is still a prominent public sphere for literary criticism in Britain, whereas in the United States, despite the bruiting of the public intellectual, there is a wide chasm between the rarefied heights of The New Yorker and the small magazine.

One distinctive trait of Eagleton's work is his style. Rather than high academic ponderousness, it employs deft synopses and punchy polemics. Eagleton is a master of the one-liner, sometimes to encapsulate a difficult theory ("deconstruction is the death drive on the level of theory") and often to issue a devastating put-down ("Stanley Fish is the Donald Trump of American academia, a brash, noisy entrepreneur of the intellect"). In "The Politics of Style," an essay on Fredric Jameson, the leading Marxist critic in the United States, Eagleton observes that Jameson appropriates a wide range of philosophical thoughts, recombining them in a dense dialectical process. Eagleton likewise has a talent for covering a remarkable range, but he digests ideas in a centrifugal process, spinning out the husks from the kernels. Consequently reading Jameson can be like reading Hegel or Adorno, while reading Eagleton is more like reading Anthony Lane, the virtuoso film reviewer for The New Yorker; you read their reviews to come upon cheeky lines as well as crisp summaries, and there have not been many jokes in the corpus of contemporary theory.

In "Why I Write," George Orwell discerned four primary motivations of a writer: ego, aesthetic appreciation, to record history, and politics. Orwell notes that any writer can be motivated by all of these, but that he eventually chose to write for politics. In his remarkably unrevealing memoir, The Gatekeeper (2001), Eagleton suggests a curious addition to Orwell's list: obsessiveness, almost to the degree of addiction. He confesses that he is almost embarrassed when he talks to colleagues who have difficulty writing: "Instead of finding myself unable to write books, I find myself unable to stop," and he muses that "perhaps there is somewhere in the world an Authors Anonymous, where the overproductive can gather discreetly in small supportive groups, able to declare without shame that they have just binged on a theoretical treatise or knocked off four essays in a row." While one could see settlers as compulsively focused and wanderers as addicted to motion, the strange habit of writing is perhaps a disposition common to any successful literary critic or other scholar.

Eagleton has consistently opted for Orwell's fourth aim, averring socialist politics, in fashion or out. As he once remarked about high literary theory, "At the level of method, pluralism should reign, because what truly defeats eclecticism is not a consistency of method but a consistency of political goal."

Jeffrey J. Williams is a professor of English and literary and cultural studies at Carnegie Mellon University, and editor of the minnesota review. His most recent book is the collection Critics at Work: Interviews, 1993-2003 (New York University Press, 2004).