The left academic scene is rife with interdisciplinary silliness these days. It started in the heyday of the New Left with “(insert favorite minority group here) Studies,” expanded to include “Women’s Studies,” “LGBT Studies” and “Peace Studies.” From Negations, I learn of the “Resistance Studies” journal emanating from the University of Göteborg (Sweden).
In the editors’ words, “Due to the multifaceted reality of social relations (understood in the widest of senses), there can be no a priori rules of method confined to disciplinary boundaries.” Not only is this a misguided effort but the editors can’t even manage to get the facts right.
C. Kullenberg and J. Lehne write:
On the 15th of February 2003 millions of people around the world hit the streets in a manifestation against the war in Iraq. The protest was coordinated from ‘below’, by grass-root movements displaying their ability to form transnational networks. But how could the protest evolve like this in the first place?
Well, it helps to tell the truth. In the United States, these protests were organized by communist sects like ANSWER. I would never claim or even imply that most of the participants were members of ANSWER but the funding and logistics (busses, etc.) was clearly coming from this unsavory group. But I realize its not good PR to say, “we are all useful idiots and fellow travelers,” so you need to wrap it up in some hip new social movements jargon.
Tim Gough (Kinston College), a contributing author to the journal notes, “There is an apparently paradoxical nature to resistance. Resistance is resistance against something, towards which it appears inimical. This resisted thing, however, requires such resistance in order to define itself and keep itself safe.” Deep, man. Real deep.
But my favorite was Jeffrey Shantz’ “Anarchist Futures in the Present” in which he profers “autonomous zones” as building blocs of a future libertarian communist society. Are you kidding me, man? This is what passes for intelligent discourse in the academy these days and it’s quite sad, really.
Don’t believe me? Visit the Resistance Studies blog.