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Tiny Drops: Henri de Lubac, S.J., Dorothy Day, and Anti-Triumphalism as Radical Praxis

Downey, Jack

On October 23, 2011, Judith Butler joined the ranks of public intellectuals to come out in support of Occupy Wall Street – an ensemble that has included Slavoj Žižek and Cornel West, not to mention the next-gen radical anthropologist David Graeber, who was an early participant in the New York occupation. Butler’s articulation of principles during a General Assembly at Washington Square Park spoke to an internal tension within activist rhetoric that predates the recent groundswell of popular anti-capitalism. Whether ostensibly critical or sympathetic, the interpretive framework for engaging radical organizing appears bifurcated and based on a false dichotomy of activist stereotypes that have even become hot commodities in the marketing world now that protest is fashionable again – as comically exemplified by Axe Body Spray’s ludicrous marketing campaign to peddle its new scent, "Anarchy." Whether dismissively depicting the protestors as quasi-eschatological millennial idealists (even the atheists) or bewildered, angst-ridden Holden Caulfield impostors who compulsively rally against something without contributing anything constructively to society, both renderings infantilize their subjects, because they are both escapist, and ignore the murky realities of day-to-day necessity and the work involved in building and maintaining a homeostatic social order.


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Union Seminary Quarterly Review
Union Theological Seminary

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Union Theological Seminary
Union Theological Seminary
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September 22, 2015