The Revolutionaries Will Be Diluted
I was reminded recently that Raymond Williams was not just a scholar, but a Marxist scholar. I first and only learned of his work briefly in a class on new media. The word Marxist was never used.
This began a trail of thought exploring what other scholars I learned about whose revolutionary inclinations were washed away. A brief exploration of the Frankfurt school in a media theory class brought up Theodor Adorno’s writings on the culture industry. I, being a fool at the time, agreed with my professor to write off Adorno’s writings, debunking them as overly pessimistic and inaccurate. Of course, now I could not recant enough.
Other names that circulated briefly through my liberal arts education stripped of their revolutionary side: Guy Debord, Walter Benjamin, and Cornelius Castoriadis. Many of these names came up in my own research, missing the contextual information to truly understand their work as a whole. It’s the flaw of the liberal art education, sacrificing death for a broad overview of skills one will likely never need.