Escape from Modernity: How Subcomandante Marcos' Tales Challenge the Grand Narrative and Individualism

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Title Escape from Modernity: How Subcomandante Marcos' Tales Challenge the Grand Narrative and Individualism
Author Di Piramo, Daniela
Publication Title Escape from Modernity: How Subcomandante Marcos' Tales Challenge the Grand Narrative and Individualism
Year Published 2009
Abstract Modernity has long been under attack: several eminent scholars, including Nietzsche, Heidegger, Derrida, Lyotard and Foucault have engaged in intense critiques that involve the use of language, the role of reason, methodology and power practices. One of these themes concerns the much revered role of grand narratives or metanarratives in modernity and, this is particularly relevant for political theorists, Jean François Lyotard in The Postmodern Condition argues that political ideologies themselves are grand narratives. By using discourse as a means of resistance and by “living the practice”, Subcomandante Marcos challenges the necessity for a grand narrative and a grand narrator in politics. His writings, particularly the Mayan-inspired tales, have captured the imagination of millions of readers worldwide. Heavily critical of vanguards and “armchair revolutionaries” who consciously or otherwise avert rather than create “genuine” revolutions, he seems to suggest that the quicksand of modernity swallows the impetus for progressive change, allowing the status quo to continue and the existing oppressive power relations to be perpetuated. This paper asks whether we could or should regard Subcomandante Marcos as making a contribution to political philosophy and how we might understand him in this regard. It is concluded that Marcos takes the postmodern critique of modernity seriously, but while he is relatively successful and original in challenging the conventional approach to political philosophy, his discourse reveals that he does not, indeed could not, completely escape the grand narrative and the individualism that, for a long time, have characterised Western political thought.
Peer Reviewed No
Published Yes
Publisher URI http://www.pol.mq.edu.au/apsa/index.html
Conference name APSA 2009 Conference 'Politics of the Global Crisis'
Location Sydney, Macquarie University
Date From 2009-09-27
Date To 2009-09-30
URI http://hdl.handle.net/10072/28285
Date Accessioned 2010-01-12
Date Available 2010-01-14T07:06:01Z
Language en_AU
Faculty Griffith Business School
Subject Political Theory and Political Philosophy
Publication Type Conference Publications (Full Written Paper - Non-Refereed)
Publication Type Code e2

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