Rough Theory

Theory In The Rough

At Least I’m Consistent…

My day might have had a serene beginning, but it went rapidly downhill from there… ;-P Trying to regain focus this evening, I stumbled across some rather old notes I had taken, and was struck (again, evidently…) by a quotation from William Morris’ A Dream of John Ball:

I pondered all these things… how men fight and lose the battle, and the thing that they fought for comes about in spite of their defeat, and when it comes turns out not to be what they meant, and other men have to fight for what they meant under another name…

In my notes I glossed this quotation: Within a social context that shapes political struggle into this form, the goal of critical theory is to make possible a different kind of politics – one in which progressive social movements understand their own context well enough to orient political practice to genuinely emancipatory goals. In a dynamic social context, only an analysis of dynamic structures can help social movements learn to fight for what they mean – instead of discovering, after the fact, that they were the unwitting agents of domination in this dynamic form.

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