Thursday, August 21, 2008

An orientation toward power

Great injustice is rarely countered by any perfect application of power. Feminism can exclude the less affluent; African-American advocacy groups can be homophobic; anti-colonialist movements substitute domestic despots for foreign ones; anti-war, pro-environment vegetarians can behave as terrorists; and almost every group either trivializes the contributions made by women or is openly hostile to them. The urgency of a good cause can too easily provide the basis for other abuses, which is why I believe Foucault once named the "strategic adversary" as being "the love of power -- in our everyday lives and behavior; the worship of the very thing that dominates and exploits us."

This is why I can only pledge fealty to the greatest dispersal of power possible -- not to parties or politicians or even "causes" in the abstract, since these are often the best vectors for the illegitimate application of power, invariably in the name of something just. All authority should be viewed impartially with great skepticism, until the guilty are proven innocent.

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