To my Progressive friends, because you exasperate me:"We are told over and over again that Lacan has shown human desire to be inherently unsatisfiable, that Derrida has shown meaning to be undecidable, that Lyotard has shown commensuration between oppressed and oppressors to be impossible, and events such as the Holocaust or the massacre of the original Americans are unrepresentable. Hopelessness has become fashionable on the Left - principled, theorized, philosophical hopelessness..We now have, among many American teachers and students, a spectatorial, disgusted, mocking Left, rather than a Left which dreams of achieving our country... This leads them to step back from their country and, as they say, ‘theorize it. It leads them to.. give cultural politics preference over real politics, and to mock the very idea that democratic institutions might once again be made to serve social justice. It leads them to prefer knowledge to hope."
I just remembered to come check this out. This is the one for me? If it is, I hardly recognized myself in it. I think you misunderstand my political commitments. (I should add that I'm sure this is because I am incoherent and unclear; I'm not suggesting that this misunderstanding is any fault of your own.) But while we're talking about "cultural politics," don't you think it's just as much "cultural politics" to be concerned about the names other people give their children (or their consumer habits, or their kinship structures...) as it is to be concerned about the origins of homosexuality as a category? I think so, and I think it is cultural politics of a much less progressive and democratic nature, to be honest. But I do my work every day with hope, hope both for small-scale political changes and for overall structural shifts. I don't think it really hurts much that I am also insistent on being precise (if not accurate ) about the instruction of desire, etc.
This one wasn't so much for you Miss P: I have another one that will fit you better. It is instead aimed at persuading those of us who dream of taking over the English Department and the Legal academy, instead of taking over the Government and the community-based organization.