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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The Dream Life of Political Violence : Satire , Georges Sorel , and the Myth of
Violence To me it is clear that war is linked at a very deep level , and in a way we
are only beginning to perceive , with man ' s sense of religion , justice , beauty
Satire reminds us , from the paradoxically privileged speaking position of the
satirist , of the inviolability of that order and the impossibility of entirely removing
oneself from it . When it aims its sights at progressive impulses , satire points out
At the extreme pole where satire gives way to outrage and a compulsively
rebellious urgency is instilled by means of a felt — rather than nervously aloof -
bodily violation , as in the more sophisticated experiments in Artaud ' s theater of