St. Judy was Re: clarification

Doug Henwood dhenwood at
Tue Dec 12 16:22:01 MST 2000

Gary MacLennan wrote:

>At 05:07  12/12/00 -0500, you wrote:
>>Yoshie Furuhashi wrote:
>>>Well, I myself have criticized Judith Butler perhaps more often
>>>than I should have on LBO-talk, probably to the chagrin of Doug,
>>I wish you agreed with me, of course, but I'm not chagrined that
>>you don't. As St Judy herself put it, "The only possible unity will
>>not be the synthesis of a set of conflicts, but will be *a mode of
>>sustaining conflict in politically productive ways,* a practice of
>>contesation that demands that these movements articulate their
>>goals under the pressure of each other without therefore exactly
>>becoming each other...."
>Sure now Doug wouldn't it be great if one could understand what the
>saint herself meant by this, but I wonder now would that not be half
>the problem with her holiness.

C'mon Gary, you're a smart guy. That's not very complicated language
or syntax. She's arguing against the fantasy of some grand unity, in
which all conflicts are synthesized out of existence, in favor of
continuing conflict and disagreement among the various factions and
individuals in a broad left movement. As the man said, the whole is
the false.


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