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john davies
notes from a small vicar
from a parish
in Liverpool, UK

    Monday, July 21, 2008
    Making conflicts more visible
     
    Criticism consists in uncovering [hegemonic] thought and trying to change it: showing that things are not as obvious as people believe, making it so that what is taken for granted is no longer taken for granted. To do criticism is to make harder those acts which are now too easy. Understood in these terms, criticism (and radical criticism) is entirely indispensable for any transformation. ... To say to oneself from the start, ‘What is the reform that I will be able to make?’ – that’s not a goal for the intellectual to pursue, I think. His role, since he works precisely in the sphere of thought, is to see how far the liberation of thought can go toward making these transformations urgent enough for people to want to carry them out, and sufficiently difficult to carry out for them to be deeply inscribed in reality. It is a matter of making conflicts more visible, of making them more essential than mere clashes of interest or mere institutional blockages.
    - Michel Foucault from Power, Essential Works of Michel Foucault 1954-1984 Vol.3 , quoted at the front of Chris Allen's Housing Market Renewal and Social Class. Promising, then...