Toward a Philosophy of Protest
Dissent, State Power, and the Spectacle of Everyday Life
Towards a Philosophy of Protest: Dissent, State Power, and the Spectacle of Everyday Life is an inquiry into the nature of protest, legislative efforts at its criminalization, and the common good. Using the method of montage, Clayton Bohnet juxtaposes definitions, etymologies, journalism on contemporary events, philosophy, sociology, mainstream and social media content to illuminate rather than obscure the contradictions in our contemporary understanding of dissent and state power. By problematizing the identification of the good of a political community with the good of the economy, Bohnet develops a political ontology of a people who find their values subordinated to a good identified with the smooth flow of traffic, the forecasts of capital, and the predictability of everyday life. A text populated more with questions than authoritative answers, this book asks readers to think through particular impasses involving protest and the possibility of egalitarian, participatory politics, such as the risks taken and courage involved in a society that places the expression of political truths above the collective benefits of the well-tempered economy and the dangers of protesting, of dissent, in an era that refers to protesters as economic terrorists.