Saturday, January 12, 2013

Praxis makes perfect

Paul Rosenberg in Al Jazeera:
Everyone has an ideology, whether they know it or not. But when your ideology has you - that's when you're an ideologue. It's not a matter of "extremism" but of rigidity and blindness - detachment from reality. Which is why Barack Obama is one of the most ideological presidents we've ever had. And being imprisoned in his "pragmatist" ideology is key to his numerous pragmatic train wrecks, as well his less-noted failures to even take on several really big, really significant problems....[C]ommon sense is no match for cultural hegemony, what political theorist Antonio Gramsci essentially described as ideology in drag as common sense. Obama's root problem is his deep unwillingness to engage in hegemonic struggle, to face his adversaries' failures, call them out by name, and show how we can do better.
I've noticed that too. If you're looking around for a little hegemonic struggle, don't even bother looking at the White House. It turns out that Barack Obama is totally different from Angela Davis, can you beat that? It's like he's not even a Marxist, for Pete's sake! Oh, wait...

Then again imagine, if you will, that you're the Marxist president of the United States and that David Gregory, say, asks you on camera one Sunday morning what you're up to. Do you come out and tell him you're all about hegemonic struggle? "Gosh, Dave, I guess I'm pretty much focused on that hegemonic struggle, or I guess I should say counter-hegemonic, since I aim less at taking hegemony over than at dissolving it, so the working class can start producing its own organic individuals and culture, know what I'm saying?" Or do you waffle into that world of undifferentiated change and problems don't have an R or a D next to them, etc., etc.?

Thought so.

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