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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talk about the past , the war , neither to the friend with whom he shares a common
alienation nor to the reader . Rather , he comments on the difference between
what he has famously termed the “ structure of feeling ” — detailed in Culture and
Sorel , however , lights upon an essentially agonistic structure to Marx ' s thought
which we should bear in mind , for it would permit ... Marx emphasizes the modes
of production as organizing the structures of domination in the capitalist world .
by Caudwell , maintains that violence has become economic , structural ,
dissipated , or sublimated but is violence ... to see the violence that is already
endemic , albeit rendered invisible by the reification of the structures of political