Saturday, September 15, 2007
Stephen Duncombe has just published Dream: Re-imagining Progressive Politics in an Age of Fantasy, which argues that activist politics needs to adopt a more engaging approach, which even includes 'spectacle'.
I think spectacles are about extravagant emotion, dreams on display or dreams performed, and that really is something we have to address and embrace, because spectacles are the lingua franca of our society today. It’s how we do entertainment, how we do religion and it’s how we do politics. On the left we look at these things as things to be condemned. But to condemn it or ignore it means deeding over powerful territory to the other side. What we have to do is take spectacle seriously, and then rethink it, re-imagine it and refigure it. The left has done this in different times. Look at the New Deal, the French Revolution, the civil rights movement: these are folks who took spectacle seriously, but they attempted to do it differently.