Reconsidering the Newest Social Movements from the Perspective of Lacanian Sociology

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