New Criticals

The alternative is the (once) popular strain in (then) emergent postmodernist critical theory - what Michael Hart and Antonio Negri called anti-essentialist discourse, associated with the elevation of affective difference and hybrid, multiplied, and varied subjectivities. This is the "Don't put your cultural baggage on someone else - we are all different and unique with diverse perspectives. Embrace it, because we sure do!" That has been swallowed up whole and digested completely by the postfordist marketplace, now just another valorized demographical category. Think multi-culturalism or the injection of difference (via "play" and/or cat videos) into the workday - Apple says: Be Different. This doesn't render such identity politics moot, but screams for us to be aware that these politics, though ours originally, may serve something new now.

Issues of identity and race get lost and perverted in fragmented tributary political gestures, as reducing social struggles (and history writ large) to the level of the Deluzian dividual makes them more manageable, eventually creates the conditions for their corrupted assimilation into a new, but always so familiar, hegemonic structure. Management is the order of the day. Postfordist ideology says that difference should be preserved at all cost (for all costs). Post-racial ideology would say forget difference completely.  There is violence on both extremes, suggesting the need for a new path foward.