Not-Remotely-Daily-Quote #31

“That historical explanation cannot deal in absolutes and cannot adduce sufficient causes greatly irritates some simple and impatient souls. They suppose that, since historical explanation cannot be All, it is therefore Nothing; it is no more than a consecutive phenomenological narration. This is a silly mistake. For historical explanation discloses not how history must have eventuated but why it eventuated in this way and not in other ways; that process is not arbitrary but has its own regularity and rationality; that certain kinds of event (political, economic, cultural) have been related, not in any way one likes, but in particular ways and within determinate fields of possibility; that certain social formations are – not governed by ‘law’ nor are they the ‘effects’ of a static structural theorem – but are characterised by determinate relations and by a particular logic of process. And so on. And a great deal more. Our knowledge may not satisfy some philosophers, but it is enough to keep us occupied.”

– E P Thompson, pp.67-68, The Poverty of Theory (a fantastic shredding of that vile and simple-minded little idealist Althusser, albeit from a fellow Stalinist)

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