Notes on selected bits from: Bridges, G. and Brunt, R.  (1981) Silver Linings -Some Strategies for the Eighties.  London: Lawrence and Wishart.

[This book also contains a version of Hall 'Whites of Their Eyes', which I have summarised in a separate file]

Davis, T.  'Stand By Your Men'.  There are struggles within socialist and feminist politics as well as a basis for alliance, hence the need for autonomy for the Women's Liberation Movement.  The theoretical project is to reconstruct work on women and families, so this is the basis of the alliance, but more positive developments are needed two, more than just the latest conversions among political parties to equal rights for women.  The splits between the women's liberation movement are described 13 F.  For example, Rowbotham has developed a more calculating approach rather than a general theory.  Davis says we still need a general theory, however.  Feminist should lead any alliance with other political movements.

Dyer, R.  'Over the Rainbow—Pleasure and Identity in Gay Politics'.  Gay politics offer an object lesson for any politics based on lived experience.  'Homosexual' is a sexual identity, but also a social construct, and if we look at it we can see how sexuality comes to be constructed as a genital matter as well.  Identities are formed within culture rather than ideology alone, and this explains their ability to retain both material and affective dimensions as well as cognitive elements.  There are dangers in seeing culture as merely marginal, compared to work and reproduction (57), although there is a correspondence with how gays feel themselves, with gay identity something that has to fit in inner space outside of work.  Political correctness is proper politics (58), for example in getting the word 'gay' accepted, and in the seemingly trivial debates about discos and their influence.  For Dyer, disco music is 'emblematic of different ways of being' (60), and dress shows a 'consciousness of the categories of gender and sexuality in the lived texture of experiences'.  Gay culture includes exaggeration and parody of the characteristics of 'real' men (61), as in the Village People.

Studies of gay cultures are responsible for introducing the notion of pleasure to the Left, asserting sexuality as an assertion of pleasure.  Gay culture is also seen as a unifying tendency, opposing fragmentation and alienation.  Studying gaze mean we have to rework sexuality away from an emphasis on fucking (63).  It is a matter of body culture, there is no more refusal of the body.  Social life itself can be seen as an organization of the human body rather than relying on genital sexuality.  Body politics offers a necessary dimension to materialism, instead of, say, linguistic constructions of subjectivity.

Mouffe, C. 'Hegemony and the Integral State in Gramsci'.  How should we understand the emergence of new subjective identities, especially if they seem to cross classes?  Althusser's approach would locate these identities inside ideological state apparatuses, but what are the ideological conditions which have produced them?  For Althusser, the western state is enlarged, but it is still instrumental and still must be captured first.  But how do 'bad subjects' emerge to fight the class war?  Althusser's work is still class reductionist, and in this sense, there is no real autonomy for ideology, and, ideology must be smashed rather than transformed [surely not for Althusser -- there always will be ideology etc.Maybe I have misnoted this -- is this Mouffe's position?] .

Gramsci is no class reductionist.  The concept of hegemony involves 'political, intellectual and moral leadership'(172).  It stresses political activity leading to articulation, intellectual and moral activity producing social cementation.  Subjects appear in a world which is a composite one, an ensemble, rather than a direct reflection of bourgeois ideology.  Bourgeois articulation appears rather than total dominance, and we have 'incessant struggle'.  However, there are only to hegemonic principles, because there are only two 'principal classes' (173).  We need to struggles to disarticulate and transform this ensemble, requiring a new 'national - popular collective will'. This is what Gramsci meant by the war of position as a necessary condition for the war of maneuver, and this was an 'enrichment' of Lenin [see Anderson on this].  It is still applicable even if we reject Leninism.

The integral State is 'enlarged.  We can draw from the tussles over idealist notions of the state.  Marxist views should also be incorporated.  What we end with is an emphasis on the 'ethico - political' and on class struggle to grasp the emergence of the transformed modern state which now includes positive and educative elements.  We need to develop a broader base, to form an alliance with other groups [but with gramscian leadership].  We will then get a double enrichment of the instrumentalist conception of the state, and help revitalize Marxism after the failure of social polarisation.

Politics is now enriched and must include philosophy and culture, because it is still based on 'a vision of the world'.  This really explains the apparent need for the proletariat to grasp philosophy: philosophising is a 'form of activity not very prevalent in the working class movement' (182).  This explains the 'sclerosis' of Marxism.  Some national communist parties are now engaged in this broad struggle, but they need to develop an 'articulating principle' before any seizure of power.  They need to address all the new 'political subjects' including 'all groups struggling against domination at different levels of society' (185).  'Everything in society as political', including the widespread dislike of bureaucracy.  If there is no response on the left, the right will express it, as in the neoconservative turn.  We need to go back to the notion of a 'substantive democracy…  where real equality [is the goal] irrespective of sex, race, sexual orientation and occupation'

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