chapter  10
7 Pages

The last instance

Resnick and Wolff at the point of heresy
ByWarren Montag

Stephen A. Resnick and Richard D. Wolff insisted on deriving the concept of overdetermination from a careful reading of L. Althusser's actual account of this concept. The point of heresy Althusser sets has not been recognized, but has appeared to readers as the index of a problem whose solution was already at hand: the economy is determinant in the last instance, and the last instance will never come. Althusser's paradox marks the site of an absence, namely the absence of a theory of causality adequate to Marx's discoveries. Heresy in this sense would be to choose one or the other of the alternatives he has set before us to deny the existence of the lack that our impatience refuses to acknowledge. Resnick and Wolff's intransigent defense of the importance of restoring "the lonely hour of the last instance never comes" to its proper and unsurpassable place what we call Althusser's point of heresy succeeded in affirming the efficacy of paradox.