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Ben Linus

THE CONDEMNED

By Paul Bowman 

Jacques Rancière once lamented the loss of the word “proletarian” from common political language. Without the use of this term, a really important conceptual and political category is lost, and with it, an ability to mobilize and act politically is lost too.

This term has never really worked in the UK anyway. But clearly, the UK needs a new political term that can act as a banner to unite all of those who will bear the brunt of the political violence being wreaked by the pantomime-villain coalition government. The people that need to be united include social services (from all areas of social services, and that is A LOT), teachers, lecturers, students, Northerners, etc.

The term needs to ‘work’ in the way that Stuart Hall argued the word “black” came to *work* at a certain point in history: namely, to connect diverse ethnic identities in terms of their shared experience of racism in the UK. It needs to be a rallying point, a point of and for identification and the establishment of political identity.

We can’t have anything ‘left-wing-sounding’, as this is clearly too partisan. It isn’t going to work in Britain. It just isn’t. So we need to be creative and discursive and not obviously party political. No one wants to be obviously party political. But remaining single-interest is a dead end.

So may I suggest that the term we adopt to name (and rally) all who suffer under the obscene acts of this shocking government is “The ConDemned”.

And may I suggest that we use this term to try to forge links and alliances and chains of equivalence with all areas of UK society, rather than singling out “the students” as if they are some single interest exception to the norm. We need to show that The ConDemned are the norm – are becoming the norm.

But – and this is the crucial thing – we need to be clear that this is not a group or an entity who even want to exist. We certainly don’t want to continue to exist as a group. We desire not to exist. We want to be dissolved. We are being created by the negative political energies of the Coalition government. We have been ConDemned. We will go away when they do. When their actions are stopped and reversed, redressed, rectified.

Paul Bowman at: http://ranciere.blogspot.com/2010/11/condemned.html

Just a thought:

Maybe the Coalition Government should be known as ‘The ConDemned’, rather than us. They are ConDemned (and will be consigned to history) by us.

Do we want to take on this label?

Glenn Rikowski

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