All ages deal with the debate between reform and revolution in the contexts of their
distinctive challenges, problems, and prospects. While reflecting on today’s sociopolitical
realities in the U.S., this paper identifies a theoretical stagnancy in academia
that deters any radical praxis for revolution. Addressing some key theoretical stances
within the reform/revolution dyad, the paper argues that any criticism of “revolution in
a linear future” is no easy approval for “reform in a static present” either. Also,
replacing the “apocalyptic future” with the “here and now” of the progressive present
is perhaps inadequate without critically reflecting on the “quality” of the “present”.
This paper does not recommend any specific prescriptive means but outlines a
speculative prospect of “here and now” for revolution. It critiques theoretical stances
of a number of postcolonial and poststructuralist thinkers and argues that these
stances eventually get appropriated within the hegemonic reform-based justice
underpinning neoliberalism. It argues that using the work of Henry Lefebvre, David
Harvey, and Doreen Massey, a spatiotemporal dialectic for revolution can be
developed which in turn also embraces revolutionary visions of Alain Badiou. The
paper explains how this dialectic reveals an inadequacy in the politics of reform and
adjustment within theories of James C Scott, Michel de Certeau, Homi K Bhabha,
Michel Foucault and Gilles Deleuze. It shows how liberal justice discourses that
routinely promote reform in an attempt to misguide revolutionary potentials manage to find a comfort zone in the politics of difference. Specifically, the paper invests in the
interstice between two types of theories to queer the longstanding reform-revolution
"Queering the Reform/Revolution Dyad: A Spatiotemporal Dialectic,"
Catalyst: A Social Justice Forum:
1, Article 4.
Available at: http://trace.tennessee.edu/catalyst/vol6/iss1/4