DETERMINATION - revolutionary culture; P. Gilroy

Ralph Dumain rdumain at igc.apc.org
Thu Mar 16 20:40:21 MST 1995


>So conceiving of revolutionary culture still requires the
>critique of culture within capitalism

I understand very well indeed your point about cultural studies,
but what would you define as revolutionary culture?  Culture that
promotes revolution, ie. culture as agitprop?  By this definition,
rap "music", without the sexism, homophobia, and anti-semitism
would be revolutionary, as many cultural studies dimwits think it
is.  I don't believe in any such criterion for culture at all, and
furthermore, I think hiphop is decadent and dehumanizing hence
counter-revolutionary.  Culture can protest, but certain art forms
should give us a feeling and vision of unalienated human
existence, of humanity totally humanized, something to strive for.
Stevie Wonder and Ritchie Havens against necrophiles like Ice T
and Public Enemy.  To hell with the culture of hate and ugliness.
Only beauty is revolutionary!

>Gilroy, *There Ain't No Black in the Union Jack*.

It's the only book of his I haven't yet read, though it sits on my
shelf.

>the last chapter turns into a defense of Laclau & Mouffe, which
>......... I think is wrongheaded on Gilroy's own terms.

I love Gilroy's BLACK ATLANTIC, but his weakness is his
anti-Marxism.  Why is this?  Why do he and some British Trots
cross swords?  I lack a context for all this.


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