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Languages of the Unheard : Why Militant Protest is Good for Democracy, Paperback / softback Book

Languages of the Unheard : Why Militant Protest is Good for Democracy Paperback / softback


Martin Luther King once insisted that 'a riot is the language of the unheard.' Since 2011 swathes of protest, rebellion, and rioting have covered the globe.

A new, disenfranchised generation is fighting for its voice as once again scores of police line the streets and pop icons demand a political revolution. Challenging us to consider arson attacks against empty buildings, black bloc street-fighting tactics, and industrial sabotage, amongst an array of other militant action, philosopher Stephen D'Arcy asks if it is ever acceptable to use or threaten to use armed force.

Drawing a clear line between justifiable and unjustifiable militancy, Languages of the Unheard shows that the crucial contrast is between democratic and undemocratic action, rather than violence and non-violence. Both a consideration of the ethics and politics of militant protest and the story of dissidents and their actions post 1968, this book argues that militancy is not a danger to democratic norms of consensus-building.

Instead, it is a legitimate remedy for elite intransigence and unresponsive systems of power that ignore, or silence, the people.


  • Format: Paperback / softback
  • Pages: 232 pages
  • Publisher: Zed Books Ltd
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Political activism
  • ISBN: 9781783601622

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