Anti-Consumption As Tactical Resistance Analysis

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Laura Portwood-Stacer’s article “Anti-Consumption as Tactical Resistance: Anarchist, Subculture, and Activist Strategy” defines anti-consumption as a way of life in an attempt to stray from the straightforward definition of anti-consumption as an actual abstinence of consumption. She examines the practices of anti-consumption in the daily lives of anarchist activists as a means to demonstrate the cultural and political significance of resistance and its potential effects. According to Portwood-Stacer, the individual’s motivations and values play a very important role in their consumption activities, behaviors and attitude. She demonstrates the practice of anti-consumption as propelled from concepts of personal, moral, identificatory, social…show more content…
This reflects the theories of dominant ideology that Marx and Engles discuss in which “the ruling ideas are nothing more than the ideal expression of the dominant material relationships, the dominant material relationships grasped as ideas; hence of the relationships which make the one class the ruling one…” (Marx, K. and Angles, F., 191) Moral motivation is focused on individuals having personal accountability in terms of having a lifestyle that is consistent with their values. Portwood-Stacer describes this as “practices that are motivated by judgments about right and wrong.” (96) Activist motivations focuses on counter hegemony (creating change in political system through resistance of ideological beliefs and institutions). This can be put into action through the social motivation, which works to use cultural practices to unite others in their movement for change. The last motivation discusses the impact these practices of anti-consumption have on an individual’s identity; that “identifies the practitioner as a certain kind of (politicized) person.”…show more content…
Various lifestyle practices, from veganism, freeganism, DIY culture and dumpster diving, are studied to address how identity and cultural practices can be used as tools of political dissent. As Lasn discusses through culture jamming, individuals are moving towards “demarketing the American dream” by way of tactics of resistance to co-exist with collective identities and shared desires for social change. Similarly, the article examines this relationship between the individual and the collective by looking at "lifestyle politics," or the attempt by individuals to enact their political ideologies in their daily life. Drawing on radical movements the article explores how anarchist activists position their own lifestyle within strategies social and political resistance. In this manner, Portwood-Stacer blends theory with experimental materials to highlight issues that are commonly significant to individuals that are engaged in social activism. It is evident that her article hopes to contribute to the greater analysis of activism to the development of anarchist theory and

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