An occasional sputtering of literary output, rants and opinion.

Saturday, April 23, 2005

Theory is the opiate of the thinking classes.

I recently came across this essay on TheoryLink and it gave me an instant flashback to my junior and senior years of college, where I was trying hard to be the Alpha-Theorist of my peer group even as I began to question the unstated premises that gave 'Theory' it's vitality.

The ascendance of theory in academia can be described either as a language game in which the aim is to out-obfuscate one's opponents or as a mystery cult in which the initiated can be recognized by their mastery of the cant. Carol's insight into the self-neutralising politics of 'theory' and it's addictive illusion of progressive action through talk is accurate.

Theory is the opiate of the thinking classes.


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