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“Think You Right: I Am Not What I Am”: Dialectical Self-Overcoming and the Concept of Resilience

Author:

Benjamin B. Taylor

Department of Political Science, John Hopkins University, US
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Abstract

In this paper, I argue that “resilience” in some sense of the term is a necessary predicate of all subjectivity, and thus of all political programs subjects could be capable of undertaking.While contemporary political discourses typically call for “resilience” as a way to justify the social formations already in place, this does not mean that the concept of resilience is itself irredeemable.In fact, all subjects must first be “resilient,” i.e., continue to exist as themselves in some sense, before they can aspire to be other than what they are.Consequently, we cannot totally abandon the concept, even as we must continue to examine with suspicion the ways those in authority deploy it to secure their rule.I contend that the term “resilience” embodies—etymologically and socially—the classical tension between “being” and “becoming” that lies at the root of dialectical thought.By framing resilience in terms of dialectical thinking, we can see how it is both necessary for and dangerous to the pursuit of a robust and imaginative politics, as well as to ethical projects of self-mastery and self-creation.
How to Cite: Taylor, B.B., (2018). “Think You Right: I Am Not What I Am”: Dialectical Self-Overcoming and the Concept of Resilience. Spectra. 6(2), pp.20–36. DOI: http://doi.org/10.21061/spectra.v6i2.a.3
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Published on 28 Aug 2018.
Peer Reviewed

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