Friday, October 15, 2010

Quote: Movement Intellectual as 'Conscious Wolf Man'

[W]e have to face the reality that intellectuals can be more easily co-opted by the status quo and may not have much at stake if they withdraw from the movements. Given these considerations, elsewhere I argue that the intellectual should see him/herself as a "conscious wolf man," rather than a movement leader. The conscious wolf man is aware of his capacity to cause harm; therefore, before the full moon, he tries every means to avoid causing fatal damage. He constantly reminds people around that he might betray them and helps them learn all of his expertise and skills so that the people can carry on with their struggles after he eventually betrays. This metaphor of conscious wolf man illustrates the role of intellectuals in the movement is not to lead, but to constantly empower more people to build their analytical capacities, avoiding the possibilities of inflicting a vital wound on the movement up on their future betrayal.

-- Hsiao-Chuan Hsia

(p. 116 in "The Subjectivation of Marriage Migrants in Taiwan: The Insider's Perspective," pp. 101-118 in Aziz Choudry and Dip Kapoor, editors. Learning From the Ground Up: Global Perspectives on Social Movements and Knowledge Production. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2010. References in original.]

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