[Marxism] Good critique of Walter Benn Michaels's NLR article
lnp3 at panix.com
Mon Sep 7 06:57:25 MDT 2009
Bhaskar Sunkara wrote:
> No where is this insinuated. I can't understand how anyone could take that
> reading from his article.
To repeat myself, WBM is a *very* slippery character. His prose is open
to multiple interpretations, no doubt a function of his exposure to too
many ALA conferences.
The other big problem is that he is fixated on campus politics. For him,
the need to replace campus admissions based on race with one based on
class is a kind of philosopher's stone. He just does not impress me as
someone who has the whole gamut of the African-American experience in
mind, just what is in his own backyard.
Black workers have been struggling for a more *diverse* workplace since
the 1960s. In fact the very first affirmative action case heard by the
Supreme Court involved workers in the aluminum industry in the Deep
South. How does that not involve class? Or to be more specific, class
distinctions within the working class.
The other thing worth noting is that WBM is not known as someone on the
front lines when it comes to issues of war and peace, immigrant rights, etc.
Basically he is an intellectual provocateur like Stanley Fish, who
enjoys stirring things up. I should mention that Living Marxism, the
magazine put out by the Spiked Online people, had the *same* analysis as
him and enjoyed the static it generated on the left. Why people should
take characters like WBM and Frank Furedi seriously is beyond me since
they don't take their own selves very seriously.
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