chapter  1
25 Pages

Complicities of Resistance: Activism in the Era of Acceleration

The world seems increasingly in dire straits where it concerns the existence and realisation of global and local social justice. Despite huge eff orts to alleviate inequalities by many well-willing left-wing activists and academics, the world is seeing a rise in various forms of discrimination, widening gaps between haves and have-nots, environmental problems, and military violence. All these occur as an intricate part of the global spread of neo-liberal capitalism. Many, including myself, have spent a considerable amount of time and eff ort thinking through these problems and trying out various avenues of action that may successfully subvert or resist the dire eff ects of neo-liberal globalisation. A wealth of literature, from grassroots pamphlets to in-depth academic articles, has emerged over the last two decades that conceptualises, analyses, celebrates, or reports the progression of resistant voices and activities. New groups, projects, and formations have been and are continuously being set up to join the mission against globalisation. All these eff orts seem laudable and necessary, to be sure. But a growing unease has been haunting these eff orts, culminating in the baffl ing question: how come the world does not seem to get any more just or fair, even though so many good people like us are working or fi ghting for local and global justice? Is the ineffi cacy of our left-wing activism simply a matter of initially well-meaning activists and intellectuals being co-opted by ill-intended neoliberal institutions? Are multinational corporate bodies and affl uent people

in positions of power within these bodies simply to blame for thwarting our eff orts, or is the situation perhaps more complex?