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mind notes ..

.. and fragments. I just found this. Louis Althusser managed an academic career with manic depression (what psychiatrists called ‘manic depressive psychosis’). Here I am drawing attention to an event, in an otherwise productive career. Still, his methodology and ability stood out for me. And though I’ll never be as influential as Althusser, it did give me a ding of hope that if he could give seminars and have a regular following of students, or struggle with completing a large text (and yet still have his texts reach people in Latin America), then I can persist with my nonlinear brain.

. . .

Althusser was treated for a major depressive episode in a clinic, shut away from the May-June political upheavals of 1968 in France (Balibar 2014) [ On the Reproduction of Capitalism: Ideology and Ideological State Apparatuses ].

His illness impacted on his ability to finish a text and while he finished many large chapters, it was released to journals in a fragmented fashion — as a “partial montage” (Balibar 2014, ix). Althusser conceives of everyday philosophy as resignation, “forms of submission to the ‘ideas of the ruling class’” (Marx) (2014, 11). However, transformations are possible and the everyday person can be conceived as a philosopher to the extent that she understands the socialist utopia she is working towards. Her mind is therefore active in this pursuit (Althusser 2014).

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