Affects of Resistance: Indignation, Emulation, Fellowship

Taylor, Dan. 2019. Affects of Resistance: Indignation, Emulation, Fellowship. Pli: The Warwick Journal of Philosophy, 30, pp. 23-48. ISSN 1367-3769 [Article]

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Abstract or Description

This paper emerges out of an increased attention to the affects in contemporary political thought. Working with Spinoza, a philosopher of fundamental importance to this affective turn (e.g. via Deleuze, Negri, Massumi, Mark Fisher and others), it explores his relatively underassessed political writings on the affects to consider the affective nature of rebellion, particularly via the affect of indignation, and whether Spinoza’s politics allows for a coherent theory of rebellion. Faced with some initial textual problems, the paper instead explores a small number of French Marxist readings of Spinoza’s affects of resistance (Matheron, Bove) to assess the politically constitutive and imitative role of indignation. The paper finds limits with this position, as well as work that presents revolution as a distant ‘horizon’ (Dean, Bosteels, Jameson), or as a matter of merely ethical, vitalistic persistence in an unjust world (Caygill, Critchley). It instead proposes emulation as offering a more lasting, collectively empowering affect of resistance. The paper also develops Mark Fisher’s late, unpublished work on ‘acid communism’ and consciousness-raising to explore the interrelation between the political affects and collective mobilisation, whose fundamental connection has been vaguely understood in recent work. It concludes with an argument for mutual care, solidarity and what Fisher called ‘fellowship’ as decisive in establishing durable and progressive collectives.

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18 December 2018Accepted
18 April 2019Published

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Date Deposited:

07 May 2020 10:17

Last Modified:

21 May 2020 09:59

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Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.


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