Critchley Against Escapism

Simon Critchley’s “Mystical Anarchism” article in Adbusters argues against the escapism of communal utopian projects old and new:

Perhaps such experiments lacked an understanding of politics as a constant and concrete process of mediation. That is, the mediation between a subjective ethical commitment based on a general principle – for example the equality of all, friendship, or, as I would say, an infinite ethical demand – and the experience of local organization that builds fronts and alliances between disparate groups with often conflicting sets of interests, what Gramsci called the activity of “hegemony.” By definition, such a process of mediation is never pure and never complete.

We need a richer political cartography than the opposition between the city and the country. Tempting as it is, sabotage combined with secession from civilization smells of the moralism we detected above: An ultimately anti-political purism.

( Progressive Geographies)

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