identities and counter hegemonic forces

last night in class there was a discussion about how knowledge gets co-opted by the market, or hegemonic forces. the question, raised by Kara Keeling in her book “The Witch’s Flight” was “how can knowledge be forged and shared without being detected by those with the power to prevent that knowledge from exerting a counter hegemonic force?”

the discussion that ensued was in the negative- that it wasn’t possible,(even capoeira was co-opted) which lead to an explanation of always moving forward, always changing. as soon as it becomes part of the power structure, it is time to move on.

this led me to thinking about identities, the political claims as well as the individual, embodied understandings of identity. without getting into particulars, let’s say that collective identities form for various historical reasons, but that they to a certain extent, form for reasons of equality, or rights, recognizing some sort of marginality. in doing so, the movement as a whole subsumes the differences within the group in order to make themselves “acceptable” to power. the lgbt movement is one place where this is particularly obvious… “we are just like you, except for our sexual object desire” NO, we are not. “we want to live just like you do” NO, we don’t. at least not all of us.

but what is happening here is the hegemonic force is being applied by the group itself! there is no counter hegemony because it is being snuffed out by the identity group itself.

so for me, the question is not how can it not be detected, but how can we make space for multiple knowledges?