McLaren Et Al 01 Peter McLaren, Distinguished Professor in Critical Studies @ Chapman University, Co-Director of the Paulo Freire Democratic Project; Zeus Leonardo, Ph.D in Education from UCLA, Faculty member at UCB; and Ricky Lee Allen, Associate Professor, Educational Thought and Sociocultural Studies UNM; 2001, “Epistemologies of Whiteness: Transgressing and Transforming Pedagogical Knowledge,” in “Multicultural Curriculum: New Directions for Social Theory, Practice, and Policy,” p. 116 - 121
Transforming labor, and consequently student work, requires a revolutionary disposition toward relations of production. In particular, it is imperative that educators link the transformation of the economy with a critique of whiteness. However, theories of whiteness must be linked to the idea that capitalism is not only the exploitation of knowledge for profits, but the simultaneous repression of expenditure, or what Georges Bataille (1997, 1991, 1988, 1985) describes as the human proclivity to expend energy and not to accumulate it. Transformation of labor produces social relations that flourish in conditions free of alienation and exploitation. A discourse on production must also consider alternative theoretical frameworks to explain students' inner experiences and the knowledge they gain from them. Transforming relations of production allows students, as concrete subjects, to experience schooling in new ways, but Bataille's theory of expenditure provides a general framework that explains how we come to know these inner experiences themselves, a theory that functions not within the logic of production, but within that of waste. As Bataille (1988) explains,
On the surface of the globe, for living matter in general, energy is always in excess; the question is always posed in terms of extravagance. The choice is limited to how the wealth is to be squandered.... The general movement of exudation (of waste) of living matter implies him [sic], and he cannot stop it;... it destines him, in a privileged way, to that glorious operation, to useless consumption. The latter cannot accumulate limitlessly in the productive forces; eventually, like a river into the sea, it is bound to escape us and be lost to us. (23; emphasis in the original)
Schools accumulate useful knowledge to the point where they cannot hold it. Students memorize, tabulate, and synthesize knowledge for future-oriented purposes. Eventually, unproductive student behavior erupts and then spreads as students resist and rebel against work as a guiding principle. The conventional explanation for disruptive student behavior is"unproductivity” Resistant students are either alienated or lazy, and they willfully opt out of work. Bataillean pedagogy understands this to be a state of wasteful activity that cannot be fully explained by a productivist logic. It represents the "blind spot** of the discourse on work. Bataille's pedagogy attempts to transgress the utility of current school knowledge. Educators isolate unproductive students from their peers to ensure that they "do their work" or detain them after school to give them extra work. Meanwhile, what escapes our understanding is the principle of expenditure, or how students squander schoolwork for no apparently useful or productive reason.
The theory of expenditure does not deny the presence of work, let alone the importance of liberated labor. It acknowledges the production of life for purposes of subsistence, survival, and improvement of the species. Furthermore, the modified theory of expenditure we are presenting recognizes the importance of revolutionizing student work as part of an overall transformation of social life. In fact, Batailie (1997) clarifies, "Class struggle ... becomes the grandest form of social expenditure when it is taken up again and developed, this time on the part of the workers, and on such a scale that it threatens the very existence of the masters" (178).
It is at this intersection between work and nonwork that we locate a revolution both of student work and waste. Injected in this dialectic is the indictment of whiteness as an ideology that alienates students from real knowledge as well as preventing them from rejoicing in the event of knowing, unfettered from utilitarian concerns.
School knowledge has become not only a commodity in the Marxian sense, but has taken on the quality of a thing that exists for other things. And as things go, school knowledge is deemed useful for something outside of itself, to fulfill a destiny that has been predetermined, such as grades or higher education. Bataille's perspective decries this utilitarian condition wherein students are subjected to schoolwork that apparently has no intrinsic worth but an exchange value in the markets of white capitalism.
A radical education understands that combating capitalism is the call for unalienated student work, but it also recognizes that liberated work then affords students the opportunity for leisure, or luxurious work. As Herbert Kliebard (1986) notes, the etymological root of school finds itself in the word leisure. This is to say that as much as capitalism exploits labor, it also reduces our capacity to celebrate nonwork life. This mode of celebration is not to be found in white societies but expresses itself in what Jean Baudrillard (1975) calls "primitive" societies. As Bataille (1997) describes it, one finds the "festival" or "potlatch" in social arrangements that function under the sign of the gift exchange. Euro-white societies, which function under the sign of classical economics, find the gift exchange rather foreign and irrational. In his endorsement of the gift principle imported by Marcel Mauss, Bataille (1997) writes,
The "merchants" of Mexico practised the paradoxical system of exchange 1 have described as a regular sequence of gifts; these customs, not barter, in fact constituted the archaic organization of exchange. Potlatch, still practised by the Indians of the north-west coast of America, is its typical form. Ethnographers now employ this term to designate institutions functioning on a similar principle; they find traces of it in all societies. Among the Tlingit, the Haida, the Tsimshian, the Kwakiutl, pot-latch is of prime importance in social life—
Potlatch is, like commerce, a means of circulating wealth, but it excludes bargaining. More often than not it is the solemn giving of considerable riches, offered by a chief to his rival for the purpose of humiliation, challenging and obligating him. The recipient has to erase the humiliation and take up the challenge; he must satisfy the obligation that was contracted by accepting. He can only reply, a short time later, by means of a new potlatch, more generous than the first: he must pay back with interest. (202)
Expenditure is a form of social obligation between subjects who exchange "gifts" and then transcend their limits. A "countergift" raises the stakes. Seen this way, expenditure is inherently intersubjective and anti-individualistic. It binds, for example, teachers and students with one another as each benefits from the others challenge. The gift is an alternative form of exchange opposed to classical economic transactions. The gift is ruled by the principle of loss, not profit or accumulation. Accumulating gifts without offering countergifts violates the exchange and institutes power in favor of the giver over the receiver. To maintain the equilibrium, it is necessary to perpetuate the exchange, and more important, to raise the stakes with more extravagant gifts. Indeed, in some cases the gift object is produced, but it is produced only to be squandered.
In schools, the moment of learning is subjugated to the utilitarian economic principle of saving the concrete knowledge gained, for an abstract, future purpose. This is the pathological consequence of autocapitalism, which becomes obsessed with "growth for growth's sake" (Ashley 1997), a process with no end in sight. Student curiosity and spontaneity are forsaken, and the excitement—the Aha!—of learning is deferred. What results is the alienation of student subjectivity for utilitarian goals. In short, the gift of knowledge is violated.
Bataillean pedagogy reinstitutes the challenge involved in transgressing the current regimes of school knowledge surveilled by white governmentality through considering schooling as a gift to be returned. Furthermore, this inter-subjective process is guided by the principle of expenditure rather than accumu¬lation for utilitarian purposes.
A critical perspective on epistemologies of whiteness considers the general terrorism of the Protestant ethic to negate nonwork life in schools. Within our framework, we suggest that Max Weber's immanent insight neglects the evolution of the spirit of whiteness along with the coevolution of capitalism and Protestantism. In its search to procure salvation through work and accumulation of things, the parallel evolution of Protestantism, whiteness, and capitalism sup-presses students' capacity to enjoy the fruits of their work. Students' immediate gratification from work is always either denied or deferred. Salvation through work becomes the only good, against which all other endeavors are measured (Richardson 1994). A student quickly learns that one's worth becomes coextensive with one's work. Human identity becomes the kind of work one takes up: / am an attorney! / am a doctor! Take note of the dejection a person feels when he loses his job. Over and beyond the feeling of improvidence, he feels worthless. Extending Weber's thesis, we argue that capitalism is also linked with the Protestant ethic, or the hyperutilitarianism found in white patriarchal capitalism. That is, Weber s findings neglect the construction of whiteness with respect to work and utilitarianism, or the making of a Protestant ethnic We suggest that any discourse that negates white capitalism as the exploitation of labor for profit must also critique the way it exploits all facets of learning as determined by utilitarian labor.
Homogeneous societies, or social formations determined by utility, are characterized by limits because their imagination is bound by a foreseeable end that turns any form of waste into what Bataille calls the "accursed share," or the cursed portion of society. On the other hand, heterogeneous societies, or social formations determined by expenditure, know no bounds since they are driven by transgression of the sacred. The accursed share, those denigrated discursive and material spaces of people of color in white territories, is jettisoned by the mechanisms of white capitalism since it is seen as unproductive by white governmentalities. The high unemployment of people of color is considered a natural residue of competition and ameliorating homelessness an inefficient endeavor. In Donnie Brasco's words, "Forget about it." Learning-disabled students, gang members, physically handicapped children, and high school dropouts represent the cursed parts of schooling and are grouped under the sign "unproductive." Yet their heterogeneous existence points to their alternative way of being, an experience that can be explained through its contrast with utilitarian work. This does not suggest that these subjects do not want to work, or work hard for that matter. Often, as Paul Willis (1977), Peter McLaren (1999), and Jay MacLeod (1987) have shown, some of the most alienated students are the ones who valorize work. But it goes without saying that their perceived incompatibility with production is responsible for labeling them as part of the accursed share of white capitalism. Bataillean pedagogy speaks up for the oppressed segments of our schools, the heterogeneous other of the workaday world (Pefanis 1991).
Much has been said about white fascism (see, e.g., McLaren 1995, 1997). For Georges Bataille (1997), fascism's renegade morality represents something of the order of the heterogeneous and warrants critical attention from the perspective of expenditure. In his studies of German and Italian fascism, Bataille writes,
Opposed to democratic politicians, who represent in different countries the platitude inherent to homogeneous [i.e., productive) society, Mussolini and Hitler immediately stand out as something other. Whatever emotions their actual existence as political agents of evolution provokes, it is impossible to ignore the force that situates them above men, parties and even laws: a force that disrupts the regular course of things, the peaceful but fastidious homogeneity powerless to maintain itself (the fact that laws are broken is only the most obvious sign of the transcendent, heterogeneous nature of fascist action). (128)
Bataille does not promote fascists and their human atrocities. This is unequivocal, and his unrelenting critique of fascism is well documented (Richardson 1994). What captures his interest is fascism's utmost heterogeneity and extreme authority, which exists for itself before it exists for any useful or productive reasons. To Bataille, the psychological structure of fascism exceeds any conventional ideas about morality involving good and bad. There seems to be no boundary to fascist atrocities. "Evil" just does not seem to suffice as a descriptor. What can we call Adolf Hitler's disgusting campaign of death? What signifier fits the image, the punishment for the crime? Fascism is driven to extreme social hypnosis as a way of concentrating the people's effective flows before it is linked with any productive ends. It is wasteful in all its manifestation, and fascism—etymologically tied to "uniting" or "concentrating" (Bataille 1997, 135)—becomes the hoarding of human energy for the fascist leader. In short, what was originally explorable in terms of expenditure becomes a convenient story about accumulation of power, of energy, and ultimately of homogeneous purpose.
White fascism is not only the enforcement of white territorial control of the means of production. It is also the simultaneous policing of excess, of curbing expenditure and revelry (not to mention ribaldry) where these may threaten the puritanical code of white govemmentality. How many examples do we have of the carnivalesque activity, outlawry, and social brigandage of student behavior quelled by the repressive power of state or local police? Celebration is confused for lawlessness as the antiriot unit marches into the potlatch to subdue its energy. School classrooms function under this sign of general repression where quietude is valued over movement and vitality. Yet shift the scene to a crowded hallway or students on their way to their lockers and the noise deafens even the hard of hearing. White fascism is as much about the control of expenditure as it is the control of the means of production. As an apparatus of whiteness, schools become places of the saving of energy rather than the spending of it.
It should be plain to see that white capitalism has encoded the colored body as a site of excess. To the white fascist, black students (especially males) have become the site of supersexuality and the Latina body a site of superreproduction. On the other hand, the white body has been constructed as the site of rationality and savings. The white body is almost nonsexualized. This erotic economy of "excess" is linked to a genocidal tendency in the history and geography of whiteness to the extent that white ideology has been involved in consistent crimes against the eroticized other. The oppression of the sexual other is evidence of a certain repression of the expenditure that whiteness represses in itself. That is, whiteness recognizes an excess beyond productivity but fails to squander it, fearing the ecstatic consequences of such a waste.
It is a vicarious living of sorts that robs whiteness of any life of its own. It is a mitigated, surreptitious experience that partitions the erotic—that is, the irreducible experience—into fantasies rather than participating in its flows. It is a projection of what whiteness fears about itself and foils to understand: a certain excessive drive. This may sound like the eroticization of the racial ized subject represented in the white imaginary. For it seems a standard white discourse to portray the other as a site of excess. However, remaining consistent with Bataille's theory, expenditure is a general economy that inheres in all humans. It is not an economic drive particular to non-Western societies, but one that finds its expression in them, and its repression in whiteness.
Simple life forms excrete waste, factories spew smoke, and stars explode as supernova only to give birth to new star formations from leftover stellar material. Inasmuch as capitalism commodities any and all social spaces for profit, whiteness refuses to divest itself of excess but saves it for further growth, forestalling its inevitable and disastrous expression. Wars, riots, and civil unrest are today's social potlatch.
The theory of expenditure proposed here is a modified Bataillean pedagogy. It represents an alternative theory to production that nevertheless depends on the transformation of labor to realize its luxurious goals. A modified theory of expenditure recognizes the value in school experiences promoting knowledge that serves no master. But it also realizes that a master currently exists and must be deposed strategically. The double helix of whiteness and capitalism is the conspiratorial first cause. Pushing the contradictions of white capitalism to their extreme exposes the weak joints of the economy. Only then can we approach what Bataille calls "unknowing " or knowledge divorced from utilitarian ends, because it reconciles student interests in work as these evolve in their liberated form and not as they (re)produce certain outcomes. Bataillean pedagogy, as Jurgen Habermas (1987) suggests, appears like a form of fantastic anarchism because it lacks a ratio-nal basis for valuing one form of student work over another (since this is beyond linguistic representation). Moreover, Bataille is involved in a performative contradiction that uses reasoned arguments to reject the metanarrative of rational knowledge (Jay 1993). However, it is also possible to construct Bataille's suggestions not as anarchistic, but as an opening up of knowledge to all possibilities. Transforming student labor and transgressing utilitarian experience represents the double move out of alienated school knowledge.
The 1ac looks to legalize marijuana as a demand of the human without recognizing the cause of the violence, slaves look for freedom within opioids and the assume the ethicality of the world through their advantages where they probably gunna build farms in the suburbs but justify pollution in the hood. The only ethical demand available to modern politics is that of the Slave and the Savage, the demand for the end of America itself. This cry, born out of the belly of slave ships and the churning vertigo of constitutive genocide, exposes the grammar of the Affirmative’s calls for larger institutional access as a fundamental fortification of White Settler and Slave Master civil society by its diversionary focus on the ethicality of the policies and practices of the United States as opposed to the a priori question its very existence.