Date of publication: 2017-08-24 00:50
"Civil Disobedience" originated as a Concord Lyceum lecture delivered on January 76, 6898. It was published as "Resistance to Civil Government," in May of 6899, in Elizabeth Peabody 's Aesthetic Papers , a short-lived periodical that never managed a second issue. The modern title comes from A Yankee in Canada, with Anti-Slavery and Reform Papers , an 6866 collection of Thoreau's work. It's not known if Thoreau ever used the term "civil disobedience."
Supporting militant struggle against imperialism and colonialism is a lot more likely to incur the wrath of establishment institutions, and is certainly more likely to get one put on a terrorist watch list or even imprisoned. than is support for abstract working-class solidarity.
Does that mean that most militant trade unionists, or those involved in other forms of struggle over wages and working conditions, are 8775 radical liberals 8776 ?
Though the way Mark Fisher treats class here is also somewhat essentialist (as if the class background of any given individual is the relevant point!). This can tend to reproduce the identitarian frame he rightly critiques, and obscures the *political* character of class which is surely what matters, for anyone interested in social transformation.
The overarching point of this piece is that 8775 Identitarians 8776 and their politics while seeming to be radical and revolutionary are in reality counter-revolutionary movements and allowed to function within establishment institutions because the buttress existing class dynamics and make real revolution impossible.
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The fact that so many commenters find it odd that the writer privileges class identity is astonishing. That 8767 s the whole idea. There have been many attempts to blur class identity with other, more cozy and illusory identities, and they didn 8767 t end very well. Amazing, and horrifying, that people calling themselves leftists have missed the whole damn point so badly.
I 8767 ve been rounded on by the bullies simply for agreeing with a quote about an industrial dispute, whose origin was one such person, a genuine class-fighter who has achieved pariah status in the 8775 Vampires Castle 8776 , on the basis of unproven allegations from one person. At the time I didn 8767 t even know who he was, and there was nothing wrong with the quote that someone else had lifted from him.
Agreed. Mostly. The draining and cowing effects (the 8775 vampire 8776 aspect) of judgmental/ moralizing identity politics has served the bourgeoisie well in dividing and deflating working class advocacy. Minorities, even the poorest, who want nothing but to get rich by exploiting others are their own enemies and everyone else 8767 s. The black woman on welfare has more interests in common with the homeless white male than she has with the child of privilege born in dark skin. As much as we do not help in dropping the battles against racism & sexism, it is a poor strategy to turn the poor against one another when we could be pointing to their more essential (a word that also means 8766 extremely important 8767 ) similarities.
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8775 And one of the things that was clarified for me was the way in which, in recent years, so much of the self-styled ‘left’ has suppressed the question of class. 8776