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Learning and Doing

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Cross-posted from The Blog and the Bullet.

Marco, a graduate student in Western Australia, blogs:

So many people have written about what’s wrong with the world, but very few are writing about what people are doing to change the world. Getting politicised requires: a) learning about what’s wrong with the world, and b) knowing what to do about it. So many people reach A; You know, they read Noam Chomsky and all about the horrors of capitalism and the like, but they never learn or become convinced of their own power to intervene in reality and change things because often they’re not exposed to the rich history of people’s movements and what they’ve achieved, and all the creative things that people are doing in the present… Therefore, in my work, my focus is on activists and what people are doing to change the world, instead of just coming up with another theory of capitalism and how fucked it is.

Take Marx for example. As Harry Cleaver points out (see article here), Marx was more interested in writing about capitalist domination, and not in working class subjectivity! Like Cleaver, I would argue that this is the entirely wrong starting point! The starting point of my work is not capitalism, but the revolutionary subjectivity of those challenging capitalism, and it is for precisely this reason that I am studying social movements.

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