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
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