Thursday, July 19, 2007

Quote: Struggle Mightily, But Ideologize Ye Not Confrontation

Struggle activates capacities, resources, ideals, and solidarities. As such, it tells us about a vital disposition, about dignity. In struggle, death is neither pursued nor desired. That is why the meaning of dead comrades is never clear, and always painful. When confrontation is ideologized, this dramatic character of struggle is banalized to the point of being postulated as exclusionary.

When this happens, there is no room for research. As is generally acknowledged, ideology and research have opposite structures: the first is constituted from a set of certainties, the second only on the basis of a grammar of questions.

Nevertheless, struggle -- the necessary and noble struggle -- does not in itself lead towards the exaltation of confrontation as the dominant meaning of life. There is no doubt that the limits may appear somewhat narrow in the case of an organization in permanent struggle, such as a piquetero organization. Yet to take this point for granted would be to prejudge.

Unlike the militant subjectivity that is usually sustained by the extreme polarization of life -- by the ideologization of confrontation -- the social practices that seek to construct another sociability are highly active in trying not to fall into the logic of confrontation, according to which the multiplicity of experience is reduced to this dominant signifier.

Confrontation by itself does not create values. It does not go beyond the distribution of the dominant values.

The results of a war show who will appropriate existence -- that is, who will have the property rights as they relate to existing goods and values.

If struggle does not alter the 'structure of meanings and values,' we are only in the presence of a change of roles, which is a guarantee of survival of the structure itself.

-- Colectivo Situaciones

(This group is a collective of people in Argentina that identify as "researcher-militants." To avoid a potential misreading to which I think this quote might be prone when read in certain contexts different from that which produced it, my understanding is that it is not advocating blanket avoidence of confrontation per se in the course of struggle, but rather warning against the ideologization of confrontation and its exultation as the supreme value of struggle.)

No comments: