[Justice, nature, and the geography of difference - Google Books Result
by David Harvey - 1996 - Social Science - 468 pages As the evening with the Pentecostals wore on, it became evident that there was a very particular political target for the occasion. ...]
[I have begun reading David Harvey's "Justice, Nature & The Geography of Difference" in earnest... There is an interesting subtext that has to do with David Harvey as an existential type... What does interest me is the question of feeling "atomised" and being adrift in "anomic campuses." I have had enough conversations with my academic leftist friends both on and off the Columbia campus to realize that this is a painfully true description of the situation.
There are two passages in Harvey's book that address this existential angst. In the Introduction, he recounts his feeling of disaffection at a Duke conference on globalization in November, 1994 that was dominated by postmodernists. What was memorable for him was that he accidentally found himself in a hotel in Durham that was housing conventioneers from the Southeastern Regional Meeting of Evangelical Pentecostal Preachers. He was struck by the "incredible enthusiasm, joy and vigor" of the Pentecostal meeting he decided to attend out of curiosity. This was in vivid contrast to the "heard-it-all-before incredulity and resentful passivity of the campus audience."
In the Prologue to Part II "The Nature of Environment," he recounts his disaffection from another group of middle-class whites, namely the celebrants of Earth Day in 1970. He had attended a campus rally in Baltimore of "middle class white radicals" who attacked environmental despoliation. Later that day Harvey dropped in at the Left Bank Jazz Club, a "popular spot frequented by African-American families in Baltimore." There the complaint was not about polluted air and water, but lack of jobs, poor housing and race discrimination. What sent the whole place into "paroxysms of cheering" was one person's statement that Richard Nixon was their main environmental problem. The working-class blacks and the Pentecostals are more existentially authentic, as opposed to the Duke postmodernists or the Baltimore green activists. Harvey's angst reminds me of Jack Kerouac's vivid passage in On The Road as he walks through a black ghetto and envies the feeling of community that a rootless intellectual like himself could never experience. If only he could be a Negro, then he could be a real human being. David Harvey: a critique (by Louis Proyect)]
Our "incredible enthusiasm, joy and vigor" in opposition to the "angst-ridden" articulation at SCIY is a neat replay of what Harvey had discovered way back in 1994. [TNM]