Journal of Philosophy: A Cross-Disciplinary Inquiry

Volume 8, Issue 20, Fall 2015

Joseph Weiss
Pages 77-88

The Reproduction of Subjectivity and the Turnover-time of Ideology
Speculating with German Idealism, Marx, and Adorno

This essay aims to lay the grounds for further exploration into how Louis Althusser’s conception of ideological interpellation might relate to the contemporary stage of neo-liberal capitalism. While bearing in mind Althusser’s framework, I mainly focus on how both Marx’s conception of the turnover-time (Umschlagszeit) of circulation and T.W. Adorno’s conception of the war-torn process of negative dialectics bring to the fore the moment when the unity of subjectivity ruptures. Through an examination of the process of reproduction, we not only observe how much German Idealism’s appeal to the unity of apperception was already structured by the logic of the commodity-form, we also witness how modern subjection has always been caught up in a speculative fetishism that disavows the negativity of experience, prioritizes time over space, and remains in thrall to the ever-accelerating speed of the totality. This indicates that the historical transformations in the temporal and spatial organization of subjectivity may, on the one hand, strengthen subjectivity by upsetting the capacity or desire to answer the so-called “hail” of the State, but may also, on the other hand, increase its malleability to domination.