Reconsidering the Newest Social Movements from the Perspective of Lacanian Sociology

Issue: 
Autumn 2017

This essay examines the ‘newest social movement’ paradigm advanced by Richard J.F. Day. The strength of his methodology consists of its movement away from a tendency to favour the Gramscian organisational logic of ‘hegemony’, toward an embrace of the ‘affinity logic’ of modern anarchist political theory. However, the inadequacy of the approach arises due to a number of assumptions, including the following three: (1) there is an assumption that the genealogy of affinity provides a sufficient counter-narrative to the more prevalent logic of hegemony; (2) there is an assumption that the former logic breaks completely from the latter, and; (3) there is an assumption that the former is a spontaneous and contemporary logic while the latter is a bygone determinative logic. I shall aim to demonstrate that a more compel-ling claim may have been that hegemony logic is a less cunning discourse of mastery than affinity logic, and that the latter is in all actuality a continuation rather than an abandonment of the former. I believe that this amendment broadens the paradigm’s applicability and situates it within a global context of determination.

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Anarchist Studies Volume 25 No 2