Hauntology and the Cambridge School

I'm not really old enough to get into this 'hauntology' biznezz. Nostalgia can only go so far when ur in yr early twenties. Sure, I've been transported to foggy past worlds by records such as Untrue and Suburban Tours, but I've also been to Ybor City on the back of Separation Sunday. On the whole, it's difficult for me to believe that the present is somehow inauthentic, cannibalistic, whatever. Then again, I probably don't understand all this very well. Clearest exposition of hauntology I've read is in a piece on The Invisibles, for Jebus's sake! Still, this is the internet. You are positively encouraged to pontificate on stuff you know nothing abt!

Anyways. Was reading James Tully's account of Locke's property theory just now, and got to the part where he hits back against Marxist readings of Locke as the founder of bourgeois liberalism. Tully is a pretty fervent disciple of the Cambridge School (he shouts out Foucault, Pocock and Skinner often enough), and his project is to rescue the radical Locke -- the Locke who, for example, argued against absolutist private property. The Locke who was on the side of Christopher Hill's Levellers and E.P. Thompson's working class. Because that's what Skinner's method is all abt. You look to the past to discover those defunct ideologies that could serve as alternatives to present day moral and political assumptions.

Interesting parallel, innit? Might just be a parallel. Hauntology is a pretty loose concept, seems to me. Just a disposition, a vague despair, escapism, if ur being particularly unkind. Bet you can find those feelings throughout history. The idea could also probably loop together a mass of unrelated modern phenomena. But what do I know! Simon Reynolds's new book will hopefully set me straight on the subject...

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