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  • Writer's pictureKevin Van Meter

Stanley Aronowitz and "guerrillas of desire"

Labor historian and public intellectual Stanley Aronowitz (1933-2021) remarked that working-class kids learn “how to refuse work, how to sabotage.” Then reflecting on his own upbringing, offered “Those like myself who managed to play both sides of the street, never forgot that [the struggle against work] was better, despite the ‘no money’ economy, then the constant warfare with elders. We were guerrillas of desire, fighting for our autonomy against the entire apparatus of domination.”

From Stanley Aronowitz, “On Narcissism,” in The Crisis in Historical Materialism: Class, Politics, and Culture in Marxist Theory (New York: Praeger, 1981), 294–95. Emphasis added. It is from this fragment, this notion, that my 2017 AK Press book title is drawn.

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