Università degli studi di Milano-Bicocca
Abstract: The reading of some passages of Reading the Capital by Louis Althusser suggests that Althusser would have recognized in Merleau-Ponty the possibility of structural causality, however folded into a – certainly conscious and intentional – ontology of the imaginary: it is in this imaginary that we mystify but, at the same time, an adequate way to think about the relationship between structure-infrastructure-superstructure can be seen. This confrontation with Merleau-Ponty’s ontology is perhaps linked to Althusser’s late admission that he had built an imaginary Marxism. This phrase, rather than a weakness of the Althusserian argument, would define a political and methodological option: a progressive and perhaps never completed approach to Marx, in a reading that intentionally remains in the state of prolegomena and, at the same time, is carried out in an uninterrupted detour aimed at tracing the problematic in his philosophical surroundings (as will happen in the case of Spinoza, Machiavelli, Lucretius and Epicurus). The construction of the object of Capital would require a passage into the imagination, as if it were necessary to pass from there and almost pause a bit in order to build, starting from it, the nucleus of a philosophy for Marxism. In the latter case, the detour in the imagination and, of course, its demystification is presented as a renewed version of the critique of the ideology and as a repetition or relaunch, by Althusser, of the same Marxian gesture.
Keywords: Althusser, Marx, Merleau-Ponty, Ideology, Structure.