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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What becomes a failure for political action , so uneasy with the serial
contradiction of its own policy , becomes in fiction a wealth of imagined
possibilities , even as we might view it today , along the lines of Laclau and
Mouffe , 14 as a seminal ...
... culture itself falls into the world , and the result is not its disappearance but its
prodigious expansion , to the point where culture becomes coterminous with
social life in general : now all the levels become “ acculturated , ” and in the
society of ...
Land waxes caustic : Attach yourself to the molar aggregates and you become
like Mussolini , but attach yourself to the untamed molecular flows and you
become like Hitler . The historical impact of this oedipal usage of the National