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POETRYETC  2005

POETRYETC 2005

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Subject:

Re: "Expressive anti-politics"

From:

Lawrence Upton <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Poetryetc provides a venue for a dialogue relating to poetry and poetics <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Thu, 31 Mar 2005 15:58:58 +0100

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (55 lines)

He speaks of "liberals" and later "the left". What does he mean?

Later he speaks of "progressives" What does that mean?

Clearly it fits the present system because "liberals are an opposition party" - so it's the present model of organised pretend persuasion he wants with a view to each side taking its turn at state violence.

[There are no beliefs stated. We are urged to go back in time and find ideas. Towards the end he offers a few tactical issues; but there is no overview]

This is reinforced given his worry that bad ideas might be recycled. Ideas therefore are commodities to consume

He tells us that "The left is often identified, in the press and in popular imagination, as a series of marches."

Then, having made a good case for marches, he argues with that simplification of the left as if it were true; and later argues against marches and direct action

"The left needs to think about long-term and broader ideas of change." He says. I'd be very surprised if the left weren't, assuming I know what he means by the left

And then there's a jump and he condemns romanticisation of protest and the 60s. Quite right too, but he's hardly demonstrated it's a major problem. The link between what is happening now and the 60s is generally made by the newspapers

He says "It may be easy to overstate the resonance of such tactics today, but a romanticism about them does exist among those who still believe in street protests."

All of them? Apparently so, according to him

And then he goes on to prove his point on the basis of one reference to Tom Hayden

Another group quoted say nothing about the 60s, but he ventriloquises them: these activists seemed in the clutches of 1968

To him. Because it suits him

And from there the sky is the limit: "Itís remarkable how much these protesters live in another era." - 

It's remarkable how little evidence he has

"Over and over, they use Martin Luther King Jr.ís words to justify their actions."

An awful lot of people quote King. Bush has used Winston Churchill and Margaret Thatcher. It doesnt mean he gives a damn what they said

He rejects what he claims as one lesson from history only to offer another of his own. Well, he's a bit shaky as an historian: "itís far more important at this historical moment that we build.". When is a moment not historical? 

Such phrases are usually used by people who either know no history or are about to abuse it

Eventually, after more of this nonsense, he gets round to condemning what he calls antipolitics.

I think he wants to be elected or in with those who are. He wants to "win real power" and play the game:

" These thinkers didnít just think; they put ideas into action. They attended international conferences"

Wow. International conferences. Theyre always effective

Maybe what worries him about the 60s is the strand of opinion which saw both sides as con men


> 
>   http://www.prospect.org/web/page.ww?section=root&name=ViewWeb&articleId=9389
> 

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