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Nocturnal Games in the Streets

MCDONALD, Angus (2012) Nocturnal Games in the Streets. Law and Critique, 23 (3). pp. 185-197. ISSN 0957-8536

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Abstract or description

Starting from a re-assessment of the relevance of the situationist analysis of riots in the 1960s to the riots in 2011, and finding their analysis largely irrelevant, this paper argues for an interpretative framework derived from Hegel’s Phenomenology of Spirit. Using Hegel’s concepts of the Good, the Bad, the state and wealth, the categories of noble and ignoble or base consciousness emerge as attitudes towards social phenomena with a strong explanatory relevance to the recent riots. Drawing upon Kojeve and Hyppolite’s readings of the Phenomenology, the argument is that the riotous looting of 2011 lacked all the elements of combat, challenge and struggle for recognition which would make of them a sovereign gesture and a historical episode. Instead, they embodied an abjection before the culture of the commodity which makes of them not a demand for mastery but a continuation of slavery. Given this, the view of the sub-proletarian proposed by Pasolini in the 1970s offers a descriptive analysis which perhaps also explains the current vogue for the language of the feral underclass, whilst demonstrating that such an analysis is not the sole property of Conservative Justice ministers, and can be distinguished from the latter by the connection it makes between antisocial amorality at the top of society and its repetition at the bottom.

Item Type: Article
Faculty: Previous Faculty of Business, Education and Law > Law
Depositing User: Angus MCDONALD
Date Deposited: 01 May 2013 14:21
Last Modified: 24 Feb 2023 13:38

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