Nick Hewlett: Blood and Progress

In so many circumstances, violence on the part of dominant powers and dominant people is allowed to take place because inequalities are allowed to exist and persist... In order to struggle for the eradication of violence, it needs to go hand in hand with the eradication of inequality.

Nick Hewlett discusses his book Blood and Progress: Violence in Pursuit of Emancipation with Chris Richardson. Hewlett is Professor of French Studies at the University of Warwick, UK. He is author of various books, including: Badiou, Balibar, Rancière. Re-thinking Emancipation (2007); The Sarkozy Phenomenon (2011); and Blood and Progress. Violence in Pursuit of Emancipation (2016). 


One of the most insightful analyses of modernity, an understanding of which is so crucial for understanding political violence today.


Bloch places emphasis on what he describes as the more utopian aspects of Marxism, arguing that this ‘warm stream’ approach must accompany the more classic, ‘cold stream’ interpretation of Marx.


‘Violence, Peace and Peace Research’ is now a classic article that explores the idea of structural as well as personal (or agent-related) violence. Structural, or society-related, violence is harm done as a result of particular conditions of work, or as a result of uneven distribution of resources in society, for example. 


Mandela’s autobiography is important in many ways, one of which is the manner in which he deals with the question of violence in pursuit of emancipation. Despite wishing to avoid violence whenever possible, he argues that the terms of the struggle are set by the enemy, namely the defenders of the unjust order, and if they insist on using violence to defend that order, it may be necessary to use violence against them.


A fascinating book which examines the complexities of the relationship between violence and war on the one hand and women and mothering on the other.