Chapter 4: The strategy of rage: Maoism and the politics of passion
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Contemporary political protest in the West evinces a predilection towards the expression of rage. This tendency can be traced to a specifically Maoist understanding of political conduct that was translated into the western context by radical thinkers in the 1960s who were impressed by the fervour of the Red Guards in the Cultural Revolution. What this study will aim to show is that the attraction to the idea of rage, as a motivating force for political activism, goes beyond mere catharsis, but functions strategically as an energy to be channelled and harnessed as a mode of power that stands in direct contrast to liberal understandings of strategic conduct. Exploring this dynamic as a feature of modern progressive practice in the West, the chapter identifies five key attributes that accrue to those who are prepared to adopt Maoist ideas of political conduct and elaborate how and why this emotion can be instrumentalized into what may be termed 'the strategy of rage'.

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