Russell Jacoby

The Politics of Subjectivity - Russell Jacoby

Russell Jacoby

Jacoby's critique of the fetish of subjectivity was a response to developments in the Sixties 'counter-culture', as theory came to be rejected in favour of explorations of personal subjectivity; feelings, behaviour etc. So it may appear to be outdated and irrelevant now. But his critique can still be applied to some political expressions today; both lifestylism and some insurrectionist ideologies fetishise personal revolt and certain 'rebellious' attitudes as forms of exemplary behaviour intended to educate and inflame 'the masses' in the radical path to follow (or, failing that, at least to show the inherent superiority of the activist role).