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Using the master's tools: rights and radical politics
chapterposted on 02.10.2018 by Ruth Kinna
Division of a book, which in a scholarly context usually treats a part of a larger subject in a stand-alone manner.
This chapter brings anarchist perspectives to bear on Charles Mills’s and Carole Pateman’s critical review of Rawlsian contract theory to explore the possibility of re-appropriating ‘master’s tools’ to advance radical change. It uses a concept of prefiguration to consider how activists operate within the framework of the state to promote libertarian politics and it recovers an anarchist conception of free agreement to explore the theoretical grounding of this activism. The argument is that the state is reimagined through the active contestation of the powers states reserve to determine the rightness of actions and the underpinning principles of justice. The argument has three parts. The first discusses Charles Mills’s analysis of Rousseau’s contract theory to redress structural domination as an exemplary model of contemporary theoretical reimaging. The second part of the chapter develops a critique of Mills’s position, drawing on the work of Carole Pateman and Martin Buber. The final section discusses the reclamation of the state’s powers through direct action.
- Social Sciences
- Politics and International Studies