My dear friend and co-editor Perry Zurn and I did a lengthy interview with Eugene Wolters over at critical-theory.com about our volume, Active Intolerance, earlier this month.
It is a pretty wide-ranging conversation, but focused primarily on a few chapters of the book, but also reflecting on what drove us to work on this book: our interests in prison and police abolition and doing something with Foucault that goes beyond the typical work that makes up most “Foucault studies” scholarship.
I think one of the key points comes near the end: thinking about what role folks like us (situated in academia and operating from various positions of structural privilege) have in the projects of prison abolition, Black liberation, and human freedom.
Specifically, I’m thinking about a line that I contributed, and in which I’m most invested, comes right at the end:
If prison abolition is really going to be the work of collective liberation, those of us in positions which enjoy and maintain the domination and marginalization of others are going to have lose those positions, actively work to undermine them, and build a world in which those positions simply no longer exist. To think, however, that such “losses” are going to be painful is to presume (wrongly, I think) that what far too many of us hold today is rightfully “ours” in the first place.