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What is meant by "totality"?

+2 votes
asked Jan 10, 2011 by enkidu (7,610 points)

1 Answer

+1 vote
The overall process and intricacies of social (re)production. The entire institutional bulwark that impresses these particular social relations on individual consciousness.

Basically, everything within the bounds of the generative framework of *this* human society. A lot of anarchists make a big deal out of it because the fundamental theses of the anarchist critique, altogether, move anarchists, in their best moments, to pose themselves against every established institution in this specific epoch of our species. We have no ground from which to favor what is powerful, what is socially decisive in this world.
answered Jan 10, 2011 by madlib (3,770 points)
i would only add that this meaning for "totality" has most recently been used by john zerzan, so there is an anti-civ flavor to current usage of it.

i don' t believe that "we have no ground from which to favor what is powerful, what is socially decisive in this world" is part of the answer to this question. just to be clear. i'm pretty sure that zerzan, at least, doesn't say that we are powerless in this way.
I've never read much of Zerzan. I was speaking more about how, when you get down to the core of the anarchist's judgment concerning the institutions of this society… "Nothing in this world finds favor in our eyes." (or however the old nihilist adage goes) often does apply to most anarchists who are serious about *anarchy*. And therefore, its not surprising that the word "totality" might be thrown around often. That may not figure into resolving the query at hand, but I said it anyway. :)