15 May 2021

Subjectivity as the Beginning of the End

Richard Gombin
The Origins of Modern Leftism (1971)
trans. Michael K. Perl (1975)
on the Situationists:

p. 72—"This incorporation of the subjective dimension in the revolutionary quest is a completely new phenomenon in the tradition of the labour movement...
...the struggle of the subjective broadens the front of the old class struggle. ...this notion [is] completely foreign to Marxism..."
It's worth pausing to consider the last bit, ca. 50 or so years on, in light of PoMo, Intersectionality, etc., where this point is acknowledged only to widely varying degrees. Also to reiterate a point which those movements make abundantly clear, and which the Situationists didn't always acknowledge: subjectivity is messy, infinite regress is the rule, and hence this veritably railroads movements into "total contestation," incremental/single-issue work being impossible this way.

[from a post-it, 2018]

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