Intellectual Self Defence

Brains are delicate things…

Apathy versus Active withdrawal of consent

Billy Bragg’s song The Homefront has a beautiful line- “As they try to pass their creed down to another generation, Anything for the quiet life.”
This keeping-your-head-down, I suppose, constitutes a sort of apathy, or detachment. To actively withhold consent requires a positive decision. You might merely dissent, or you might move on to active resistance (either of these choices comes with consequences attached).

“Dumb insolence” and go-slows, working to rule, denying management the use of your tacit knowledge, are also ‘below-the-radar’ techniques of resistance, rather like the Good Soldier Schwek used to bring down the Austro-Hungarian empire (ish).

At the moment the failure of any Marxist or even socialist ideology to provide a feasible alternative creates a vacuum filled by religious fundamentalism on the one hand and retreat to drug taking, apathy and cynicism and the search for individual solutions on the other.
Ratner, H. (2003) What to do after Reading Marx What Next?: Marxist Discussion Journal no 26 page 30-31

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