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Movement Pedagogy: Beyond the Class/Identity Impasse

Movement Pedagogy: Beyond the Class/Identity Impasse

Think­ing ped­a­gog­i­cal­ly ren­ders a coali­tion between the uni­ver­sal­i­ty asso­ci­at­ed with class strug­gle, and the posi­tion­al­i­ty that is key to a rad­i­cal iden­ti­ty pol­i­tics. Attend­ing to the actu­al arrange­ments of voic­es and minds and bod­ies in class­rooms and move­ments, what peo­ple actu­al­ly do when they come togeth­er to fight and unlearn oppres­sive rela­tions of pro­duc­tion, shows a link where most ide­olo­gies on offer today show a gap.

Winter in Catalonia

Winter in Catalonia

The Cata­lan inde­pen­dence strug­gle is not the politi­ciza­tion and expres­sion of social prob­lems, but the social­iza­tion of polit­i­cal prob­lems. For this to hap­pen, social prob­lems nec­es­sar­i­ly became sub­sumed and mis­rep­re­sent­ed in the inde­pen­dence process, and the cross-class project of Cata­lan inde­pen­dence was sold as a solu­tion to the prob­lems of the eco­nom­ic cri­sis and the cri­sis of rep­re­sen­ta­tion.

The Critique of Politics and "Unequal Right" (1978)

The Critique of Politics and “Unequal Right” (1978)

The para­dox we are expe­ri­enc­ing con­sists in the fact that today the cri­tique of cap­i­tal­ism and the state is pro­duced in real social con­flicts, advances through real polit­i­cal sub­jects, mate­r­i­al prac­tices: here we already move in the zone of the “screen,” beyond the cat­e­gories inher­it­ed and tak­en from the tra­di­tion­al work­ers’ move­ment, in the pro­file of anoth­er which is expressed as a need and seen in clips of expe­ri­ence.

After the Other May (1981)

After the Other May (1981)

We must start again on the basis of an irre­versible plu­ral­ism, and look to move past parox­ys­mal – and today, car­i­ca­tured – forms that have led up to this crit­i­cal moment where­in every mass work­ers’ orga­ni­za­tion is in upheaval, and replace them in the face of the unre­solv­able alter­na­tive of pas­siv­i­ty or ephemer­al revolt. No mat­ter its con­crete shape, the out­come of the cri­sis of the par­ty-form depends on the simul­ta­ne­ous trans­for­ma­tion of all the orga­ni­za­tions of the work­ers’ move­ment (none of which have every been pure­ly com­posed of work­ers).

The Crisis and Dialectic of Parties and New Social Movements in Italy (1981)

The Crisis and Dialectic of Parties and New Social Movements in Italy (1981)

The real ques­tion is rather: for those who deny the cen­tral­i­ty of the work­ing class, where is the epi­cen­ter? For the cen­tral­i­ty of the work­ing class is not mere­ly “soci­o­log­i­cal”: it is an image of the cen­tral­i­ty of the modes and rela­tions of pro­duc­tion with mul­ti­ple social and ide­o­log­i­cal for­ma­tions which inter­sect and con­tra­dict each oth­er. Or fur­ther: in a sys­tem with­out an epi­cen­ter, where would move­ment come from?

(The Right to) Tendencies, or the Right to Set Up Organized Groups Within the Party (1982)

(The Right to) Tendencies, or the Right to Set Up Organized Groups Within the Party (1982)

Once we man­age to avoid iden­ti­fy­ing a “polit­i­cal cen­ter” and “the­o­ret­i­cal” cen­ter in advance, from iden­ti­fy­ing the elab­o­ra­tion of a strat­e­gy with the appli­ca­tion of a pre-estab­lished vision to the course of his­to­ry, it might be pos­si­ble to over­come the dilem­mas of “demo­c­ra­t­ic cen­tral­ism” and the “right to ten­den­cies.”

The State, Social Movements, Party: Interview with Nicos Poulantzas (1979)

The State, Social Movements, Party: Interview with Nicos Poulantzas (1979)

To mod­i­fy the bal­ance of pow­er with­in the state, and fur­ther­more, rad­i­cal­ly mod­i­fy the mate­ri­al­i­ty of the state, is only one aspect of a demo­c­ra­t­ic tran­si­tion to social­ism. The oth­er aspect of the process depends on, at the same time, grass­roots social move­ments pro­pelling the spread of spaces of direct democ­ra­cy: in short for move­ments to ground them­selves in pop­u­lar strug­gles that always spill over beyond, and keep a dis­tance from, the state.