A Cyborg Manifesto
Science, technology and socialist-feminism in the late twentieth century
A provocative, comprehensive argument about the politics and theories of ‘postmodernism’ is made by Fredric Jameson (1984), who argues that postmodernism is not an option, a style among others, but a cultural dominant requiring reinvention of left politics from within; there is no longer any place from without that gives meaning to the comforting fiction of critical distance. Jameson also makes clear why one cannot be for or against postmodernism, an essentially moralist move. My position is that feminists (and others) need continuous cultural reinvention, postmodernist critique, and historical materialism; only cyborg would have the chance. The old dominations of white capitalist patriarchy seem nostalgically innocent now: they normalized heterogeneity, into man and woman, whit and black for example. ‘Advanced capitalism’ and postmodernism release heterogeneity without a norm, and we are flattened without subjectivity, which requires depth, even unfriendly and drowning depths. It is time to write ‘the death of the clinic’. The clinic’s method required bodies and works; we have texts and surfaces. Our dominations don’t work by medicalization and normalization any more; they work by networking, communications redesign, stress management. Normalization gives away to automation, utter redundancy. Michel Foucault’s ‘ Birth of clinic’ (1963)
A practice at once both spiritual and political that linked guards and arrested anti-nuclear demonstrators in the Alameda County jail in California in the early 1980s. Without explicit irony, adopting the spaceship earth/whole earth logo of the planet, photographed from space, set off by the slogan ‘Love your Mother, the may 1987 mothers and others day action at the nuclear weapons testing facility in Nevada none the less took account of the tragic contradictions of views of the earth. Demonstrators applied for official permits to on the land from officers of the Western Shoshone tribe, whose territory was invaded by the US government when it built the nuclear weapons test ground in the 1950s. Arrested for trespassing, the demonstrators argued that the police and weapons facility personnel, without authorization from the proper officials, were the trespassers. One affinity group at the women’s action called them selves the Surrogate Others; and in solidarity with the creatures forced to tunnel in the same ground with the bomb, they enacted a cyborgian emergence from the constructed body of large, non-heterosexual desert worm.
The central role of object relations versions of psychoanalysis and related strong universalizing moves in discussing reproduction, caring work and mothering in many approaches to epistemology underline their authors’ resistance to what I am calling postmodernism. For me, both the universalizing moves and these versions of psychoanalysis make analysis of ‘women’s place in the integrated circuit’ difficult and lead to systematic difficulties in accounting for or even point argument has been developed.
The conjunction of the Green Revolution’s social relations with biotechnologies like plan genetic engineering makes the pressures on land in the Third World increasingly intense. AID’s estimates used at the 1984 World Food Day are that in Africa, women produce about 90 per cent of rural food supplies, about 60-80 per cent in Asia, and provide 40 per cent of agricultural labor in the Near East and Latin America.
Capitalism and racism are usually structurally male dominant.