“Our most elementary experience of subjectivity is that of the 'richness of my inner life': this is what I 'really am,' in contrast to the symbolic determinations and responsibilities I assume in public life (as father, professor, etc.). The first lesson of psychoanalysis here is that this 'richness of inner life' is fundamentally fake: it is a screen, a false distance, whose function is, as it were, to save my appearance, to render palpable (accessible to my imaginary narcissism) my true social-symbolic identity. One of the ways to practise the critique of ideology is therefore to invent strategies for unmasking this hypocrisy of the 'inner life' and its 'sincere' emotions. The experience we have of our lives from within, the story we tell ourselves about ourselves in order to account for what we are doing, is thus a lie — the truth lies rather outside, in what we do.”
“[Marx's] ‘concrete’ is concrete in a different sense from the first formulation. In the first case, ‘population’ is ‘concrete’ in a simple, unilateral, common-sense way – it manifestly exists; production cannot be conceived without it, etc. But the method which produces the ‘complex concrete’ is concrete because it is ‘a rich totality of many determinations and relations’. The method then, is one which has to reproduce in thought (the active notion of a practice is certainly present here) the concrete-in-history. No reflexive or copy theory of truth is now adequate. The simple category, ‘population’, has to be reconstructed as contradictorily composed of the more concrete historical relations: slave-owner/slave, lord/serf, master/servant, capitalist/labourer. This clarification is a specific practice which theory is required to perform upon history: it constitutes the first part of theory’s ‘adequacy’ to its object. Thought accomplishes such a clarification by decomposing simple, unified categories into the real, contradictory, antagonistic relations which compose them. It penetrates what ‘is’ immediately present on the surface of bourgeois society, what ‘appears’ as ‘the phenomenal form of ’ – the necessary form of the appearance of – ‘a process which is taking place behind’. Marx sums up the point. The concrete is concrete, in history, in social production, and thus in conception, not because it is simple and empirical, but because it exhibits a certain kind of necessary complexity. Marx makes a decisive distinction between the ‘empirically-given’ and the concrete. In order to ‘think’ this real, concrete historical complexity, we must reconstruct in the mind the determinations which constitute it. Thus, what is multiply determined, diversely unified, in history, already ‘a result’, appears, in thought, in theory, not as ‘where we take off from’ but as that which must be produced. Thus ‘the abstract determinations lead towards a reproduction of the concrete by way of thought’. ”
—Stuart Hall, ‘A Reading of Marx’s 1857 Introduction to the Grundrisse’.