Three Actors, Two Geographies, One Philosophy: The Straightjacket of Social Movements
SOCIAL MOVEMENTS AND THE POSTCOLONIAL: DISPOSSESSION, DEVELOPMENT, AND RESISTANCE IN THE GLOBAL SOUTH, S. C. Motta and A. Nielsen, eds., Palgrave Macmillan, Forthcoming
41 Pages Posted: 8 Oct 2010
Date Written: September 1, 2010
This chapter argues that one reason for the intellectual crisis on the ‘Left’ since the emergence of ‘globalisation’ is their inability to develop conceptual resources to advance ideas about human emancipation, liberation, and self-determination to re-envision new forms of social orders and revolutionary social transformations. Accounts of expropriation under ‘globalisation,’ typically, name, blame, and shame three actors: corporations, states, and international organisations. There is ambivalence, however, about the geographies of expropriation. These conceptual building blocks used to critique ‘globalisation’ and the structure of thought that they produce, mirror the conceptual repertoire of philosophical liberalism.
The chapter draws on social movements in India to develop the above arguments. The arguments have wider reach for oppressed nations elsewhere in the ‘Third World.’ The global reach and influence of intellectuals in the wake of ‘global justice movements’ on the one hand, and the increased social inequities and tensions in Indian society on the other, calls for a closer scrutiny of the adequacy of the concepts, theories, and ideologies, to meet the challenges that confront the people. The chapter assesses the ideas produced by anti-globalisation movements and argues that what is at stake are meta-concepts like nation, society and structural social change.
Keywords: Liberalism, Third World, Global Social Movements, Social Movements in India, North-South, Intellectuals, Globalisation, Peasant Uprisings, Adivasis, Social Change, Knowledge in Social Movements
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