By R. John
special to redFlags
Here's what I want to understand more deeply: this question of the "everyday" – the place, importance, meaning and political relevance of that “everyday” locus of human existence. What emerges from that vantage point for viewing and evaluating human existence? How important is specificity and how do we know that importance?
Is it natural that people in the U.S. are so pre-occupied with their private lives? I don’t think so. That focus blinds people (including oppressed people) to the potential for change. In "everyday life" the challenge to fundamental relations seems unimaginable. Macro-class relations and their dynamics are a given. doesn't a glimpse the potential for basic change come from without (inherently) -- and often stand in stark contrast to the lack of potential assumed from "everyday life."
there was a current among progessive historians (emerging from the 60s) to focus on "everyday life" of the people -- with the view that it was daily work, family, thoughts, culture that "made" society. And it went with a certain inattention to the macro political events of history (the so-called "decisions of states and great men"). but i think that populism did not get history or society right.