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The Spirit of Disobedience: Resisting the Charms of Fake Politics, Mindless Consumption, and the Culture of Total Work
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The Spirit of Disobedience: Resisting the Charms of Fake Politics, Mindless Consumption, and the Culture of Total Work

4.02 of 5 stars 4.02  ·  rating details  ·  51 ratings  ·  6 reviews

With his trademark intelligence and humor, Curtis White argues that the American left needs a new and compelling spiritual basis for its politics, and that its seeds can be discovered in Thoreau's spiritual politics of refusal and a return to human "fundamentals" especially work, home, and food. Along the way, White offers a shrewd reading of the cult classic Office Space,

Hardcover, 183 pages
Published November 28th 2006 by Polipoint Press
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Jeff Bursey
I dogeared a lot of pages in this book, as it has some great things to say about alternate living strategies (not lifestyles), the closeness of left and right in politics, the demands of authority that everyone be either a servant or a commodity producer (of even the most radical thoughts), and of the roles of Art and the Spirit of Disobedience. Curtis White interviews three 'outsiders' at the end, and in this he provides examples of those who are thinking in more healthy ways of our relationshi ...more
Jul 27, 2011 John marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
"Our firm assumption that the culture war is only about evangelicals and secular humanists means not only that the ethos of capitalism will escape scrutiny, will pass as if it were as innocent and inevitable as the air we breathe, but also that it will be nearly impossible to suggest an alternative to this opposition"
It is as if someone dumped a years worth of peg words from our media discourse and attempted to knit it into something about disobedience. Seems contrived. Curtis admits in one chapter that he is, in spite of all appearances, a holy whore. My hat off to that, I guess.
Although I thought some of the arguments at the beginning of this book bordered on obnoxious, White ultimately works through some big realities and makes an important case for a return to (or, rather, a reenvisioning of) community life and the joys that come with it.
Bill Viall
This is the best book I've read this year. This fellow is really great. Deeper than the usual songs to the quire. White is a clear, compelling voice for the sentient life.
Mark Kenneth
Nov 16, 2010 Mark Kenneth marked it as to-read
Still trying to figure out what Curtis White vision of the future would be like?
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“...This is the arena in which a spiritualized disobedience means most. It doesn't mean a second New Deal, another massive bureaucratic attack on our problems. It doesn't mean taking to the streets, throwing bricks through the window at the Bank of America, or driving a tractor through the local McDonald's. It means living differently. It means taking responsibility for the character of the human world. That's a real confrontation with the problem of value. In short, refusal of the present is a return to what Thoreau and Ruskin called "human fundamentals, valuable things," and it is a movement into the future. This movement into the future is also a powerful expression of that most human spiritual emotion, Hope.
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