University of Cambridge > > Department of Sociology Seminar Series > Renewing Radical and Revolutionary Political Strategies: a reflection on sense and nonsense

Renewing Radical and Revolutionary Political Strategies: a reflection on sense and nonsense

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The paper reflects on varying ways in which the dominance of capitalist social relations has been ‘performed’, and radical or revolutionary political strategies stifled as a result. In particular, it reflects on the way in which accusations of co-option by capitalist interests have been levelled at radical movements and the way in which autonomous forms of social and economic organisation that emerge in the interstices of capitalist social relations are criticised as insignificant or unsustainable. I suggest that these critiques are nonsense and perform capitalist dominance in two ways. First, they are contingent on contested theoretical positions that have directed debate from the practical to the academic. Second, because mainstream political discourses that deride alternative ‘norm entrepreneurs’ as either quacks or hypocrites deny the possibility of social change and erroneously suggest the significance of an individual’s critique is contingent on their social status. The paper illustrates the ways in which nonsense of this kind has affected recent revolutionary political movements, including Occupy, and tentatively suggests ways it might be escaped


Organisers: Jeff Miley and David Lane

This talk is part of the Department of Sociology Seminar Series series.

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