Ideology and Post-structuralism after Bernard Stiegler

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Turner, Ben (2016)

What is the objective of ideology critique today? A unique answer to this question can be found in the work of Bernard Stiegler: the object of ideology critique is stupidity. Stiegler’s work will be situated with regard to the study of ideology and post-structuralism, reframed as respective versions of a dichotomy between critical and neutral theories, to show how Stiegler’s conception of ideology encompasses both. How he thinks ideology 'after' post-structuralism will be explored through his reading of Deleuze and Guattari. First, by seeing how Stiegler capitalises upon the theoretical developments of Deleuze and Guattari to rethink the notion of ideology. Second, by seeing how this understanding of ideology is folded back on their work, in order to discern how post-structuralism can be critiqued by a theory of ideology that utilises its views. From the perspective of his reading of desire in Deleuze, Guattari, and Freud, Stiegler shows how ideology destroys the desire to rethink ideas, and enforces stupidity. Third, after Stiegler’s theoretical labour, we arrive at a notion of ideology dichotomised between the critical and the stupid, tasking critique with the invention of new forms of desire, and the struggle against stupidity.
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