Raids on Human Consciousness: Writing, Anarchism, and Violence
However one looks at violence -- as an instrument of bureaucracy or ideology; as a product of racial, gender, or class antagonisms; or as the inevitable result of power politics -- it is an integral part of every social system and is one of the most pressing problems of our tortured century.
In Raids on Human Consciousness Arthur Redding examines the contention that violence, be it the mass product of revolutionary uprising or a private sadomasochistic indulgence, may be taken to instill in those who commit it the capacity for radical change.
Conscious that mainstream theory considers violence deviant, a departure from the normal equilibrium of social and aesthetic structures, while other critiques take it to be integral to any dynamic system, Redding begins with the anarchist inquiry into the relationship of violence to the imaginary representation of modern communities. He explores the "public images" of anarchism in literature and popular culture and emphasizes the diverse strategies by which modern writers encounter, derive, deflect, and manipulate fantasies of political violence.
Redding recognizes that language fails when confronted with the extreme suffering of human bodies. Acknowledging that flesh is subject to war, torture, and everyday brutality -- violations to which language can never do justice -- he nonetheless finds it urgent to reclaim language on the far side of suffering.
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New Left ( along with sociological texts that concerned themselves with these
developments ) and contemporary critical theory . Herbert Blau , for instance , has
demonstrated that concerns that were integral to artists and social activists of the
Everybody talks about it : the debatability of revolutionary violence was a
common strand to all factions of the New Left . It might even be said that by the
end of the decade distinctly hardened attitudes toward the potential and function
I want , as a reminder , once again to orient this discussion and what follows in
terms of what I have argued to be its matrix , the agonizing legacy of the
unrealized possibilities of the 1960s Left . Clearly , as Jameson argued , the
emergence of ...