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Narrative Theory

Life Politics: conversations about education and culture

Mediation is the Message

QUESTION: Then, when we are speaking about pre-figurative politics, are we speaking also about micro politics?

IVOR: Let’s think about three levels: macro, mezzo and micro. Strategic politics, from my point of view, moves as far up from the micro as it can go. If you remember I talked about those waves going up towards the macro, when you get a substantial social movement, you move into de media and up towards structure. Let’s put an example. You move from the classroom up into the world of politics definition, talking as you do with the Educational Department about education policies, about distribution and resources. And there you’re involving yourself closer to issues of structure and distribution in strategic politics. It’s not just about micro activity, this is about contesting how resources are given to other people’s activities. That’s strategic politics. And you push it up as far through the mezzo to the macro as you can in any one point of time. Obviously the further up you get, so to speak, the more distri­butional effect you are having. So that’s not micro, not in the way I understand strategic politics. I’ll go as far as I can up in that debate. And I will cut my arguments as best as I can to achieve what I want. That’s strategic politics. It’s different from pre-figurative politics and actually doing the daily activity, which is honest and truthful. There’s a distinction between truth and strategy. Strategy involves some dishonesty.

QUESTION: Why do you think that?

IVOR: Well, because to persuade a corrupt person to do something, an honest argument won’t work. You may have to be quite cunning, shall we say. Not dishonest maybe, but cunning to persuade a corrupt person to do something that’s good. So that’s the distinction between truth and strategy. Speaking truth the power doesn’t know what helps the powerless. So the old idea of speaking truth with power that’s one way, but another way is a much more manipulative and rather slippery kind of strategic politics. I believe that’s what the moment demands. 

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  • Date of publication: 01/05/2012
  • Number of pages (as Word doc): 154
  • Publisher: Sense publishers
  • Subject:
    Narrative Theory
  • Available in:
  • Appears in:
    Life Politics: conversations about education and culture
  • Number of editions: 1
  • Paperback
  • Price of book: $39
  • ISBN: 978-94-6091-538-3
  • Buy used and new from: Amazon