Adolph Reed, Jr. : Race, Politics, and Culture

Echange entre Adolph Reed, Jr., Timothy W. Luke, Alex Willingham, David Gross, Paul Piccone, Andrew Feenberg, Jennifer Jordan et Joel Kovel paru dans le livre édité par Adolph Reed, Jr., Race, Politics, and Culture: Critical Essays on the Radicalism of the 1960s, Westport, Greenwood Press, 1986, p. 245-273

American Democratic Party politician and Senator from New York, Robert F Kennedy (1925-1968) shakes hands with local residents as he visits riot damaged properties and commercial stores in Washington DC in April 1968 following a period of rioting and civil disorder triggered by the assassination of Martin Luther King. (Photo by Rolls Press/Popperfoto via Getty Images/Getty Images)

Part IV
What’s left ? : An Exchange

The opening paragraph of The Eighteenth Brumaire might be applied to radical activism in the 1960s. When the counterculturists and black nationalists proclaimed a revolutionary break with bourgeois culture, they did so in a language that affirmed the mass-marketing culture’s principle of self-definition through commodity consumption. When the New Left sought wholesale theoretical clarity, the principal turns taken — Marxism-Leninism and Pan-Africanism — entailed departure from lived history and initiation of a search for authenticity in the past. In each case the goal of authenticity — ultimately a variety of the quest for selffulfillment — overrode engaged political critique.


Adolph L. Reed Jr. : Black Particularity Reconsidered

Article d’Adolph L. Reed Jr. paru dans Telos, March 1979 (39), p. 71-93

These young African Americans signal black power as they enjoy having their photographs made while members of the Ku Klux Klan get ready to march from Selma to Montgomery retracing the 50 mile march in 1965 lead by the late Dr. Martin Luther King. (Photo by Bettmann Archive/Getty Images)

Over forty years ago Benjamin pointed out that « mass reproduction is aided especially by the reproduction of masses. » (l) This statement captures the central cultural dynamic of a « late » capitalism. The triumph of the commodity form over every sphere of social existence has been made possible by a profound homogenization of work, play, aspirations and self-definition among subject populations — a condition Marcuse has characterized as one-dimensionality. (2) Ironically, while U.S. radicals in the late 1960s fantasized about a « new man » in the abstract, capital was in the process of concretely putting the finishing touches on its new individual. Beneath the current black-female-student-chicano-homosexual-old-young-handicapped, etc., etc., ad nauseum, « struggles » lies a simple truth: there is no coherent opposition to the present administrative apparatus.


ALGERIE : Une victoire des intégristes musulmans. Linda de Suza ne chantera pas

Article de Frédéric Fritscher paru dans Le Monde, 16 décembre 1989

Portuguese actress and writer Linda De Suza sits on a suitcase wearing a French maid’s outfit. The photograph is a publicity poster for the 1986 Franco-Portugese television miniseries A Mala de Cartao (La Valise en Carton), which is based on a book by De Suza, and stars Irene Papas and Souad Amidou. (Photo by © Richard Melloul/Sygma/CORBIS/Sygma via Getty Images)


de notre correspondant

Linda de Suza ne chantera pas à Alger. Les deux concerts, prévus de longue date et annoncés à grand renfort d’affichage public, qu’elle devait donner les 14 et 15 décembre dans la soirée, ont été annulés in extremis par le Centre de culture et d’information (CCI), qui les avait pourtant organisés avec bonheur puisque toutes les places étaient louées à l’avance. Les « difficultés techniques majeures » invoquées par les organisateurs n’ont convaincu personne. Les Algérois ont compris que l’organisme d’Etat, qui gère la salle Atlas (l’ancien Majestic) où devaient se dérouler les deux spectacles, a cédé aux pressions des intégristes.


Arthur Cravan : Sportifs, je vous hais !

Article paru dans Mordicus, n° 6, octobre 1991, p. 13.



Parallèlement à la vieille exaltation religieuse du sacrifice qui, aujourd’hui désacralisé, n’en reste pas moins une éternelle apologie du renoncement, il est conforme à la morale de nos maîtres de vouloir remettre au goût du jour la non moins ancienne exaltation de l’effort.