Sunday, 10 November 2013

On Resistance: A Philosophy of Defiance


Organic movements which form as a reaction to power and authority are a distinct tradition of organised societies. The very term 'resistance' is a live, dynamic feature of popular culture and the political imagination. In an impressive new book by Howard Caygill we have one of the few attempts to interpret the philosophical and practical roots of the tradition of resistance.

I particularly welcome this book as it provides a means by which current forms of protest and resistance can be best analysed - not least because protest and resistance are as much a necessary feature of the early 21st century as they have ever been historically.

The book has a great historical sweep and draws in the theory and activism of the usual suspects (Ghandi, Satre, Fanon et al) whilst ensuring that it provides a suitable nod towards the increasing relevance of technology and social media to constuct and portray a means of resistance..

At £20 this book is well worth buying and although isn't always easily digestible (Caygill is a philosopher by trade and pursues the book from this discipline) it delivers a means by which we can better interpret, analyse and understand the nature and purpose of contemporary protest and liberation movements as forms and patterns of resistance. Put simply, any activist worth their salt should have the capacity to analyse from where they come, and the ability to project how to get to where they want to be - this book helps.

There are some excellent reviews out there - themselves worth reading as a form of introduction e.g.

In Solidarity


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