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Extra info for Our Common Dwelling: Henry Thoreau, Transcendentalism, and the Class Politics of Nature

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14 Despite the intensity of the disagreement between naturalists and culturalists, there are some very central ways in which the two are mirror images of one another. G. Simmons, maintains that both are totalizing statements that make nonsense out of sensible propositions that are not contradictory. For instance, Christopher Manes, whose argument is postmodernist insofar as it deploys a Foucauldian vocabulary of “epistemes” and “discourses,” argues that we are suffering an environmental crisis because “the language we speak today, the idiom of Renaissance and Enlightenment humanism, veils the processes of nature with its own cultural obsessions, directionalities, and motifs that have no analogues in the natural world.

Despite the pitch of his rhetoric, Fisk does not call for organized direct action. 7 class struggle in new england / 29 Another speaker, and one who was more solidly rooted in the radical wing of the movement, was Seth Luther, the main organizer of the New England Association of Farmers, Mechanics, and other Working Men. Luther first earned wide public exposure with his Address to the Working Men of New England, which quickly sold through three editions after it was printed in 1832. ” Luther’s main goal is to advocate shorter working hours and better conditions in the textile mills, but he builds his argument on a foundation of republican political theory.

A work of art should, in the first place, be judged by its own law, that is, by the law of art. But Marxism alone can explain why and how a given tendency in art has originated in a given period in history, in other words, who made a demand for such an artistic form and not for another, and why. —Leon Trotsky There is way of talking about the New England Transcendentalists that takes solitary departure as their most representative trajectory, focusing especially on Emerson’s retirement from his Boston congregation to his sage’s retreat in Concord.

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