Samuel R. Delany
“… 3,2,1, Contact”
Kessler Lecture published in Queer Ideas
Stand alone paragraph in the peroration
Tolerance — not assimilation — is the democratic litmus test for social equality.
This notion is earlier set out in critical theory mode reflection on interclass
contact which for good measure is repeated twice in the piece.
To repeat: given the mode of capitalism under which we live, life is at its most rewarding, productive and pleasant when the greatest number of people understand, appreciate, and seek out interclass contact and communication conducted in a mode of good will. The class war raging constantly and often silently in the comparatively stabilized societies of the developed world militates for the erosion of the social practices through which interclass communication takes place and the institutions holding those practices stable, so that new institutions must always be conceived and set in place to take over the jobs of those that are battered again and again till they are destroyed. While the establishment and utilization of those institutions always involves specific social practices, the effects of my primary and secondary theses are regularly perceived at the level of discourse. Thus, it is only by a constant renovation of the concept of discourse that society can maintain the most conscientious and informed field for the establishment of such institutions and practices – a critique necessary if new institutions of any efficacy are to develop. At this level, in its largely stabilizing/destabilizing role, superstructure (and superstructure at its most oppositional) can impinge on
This set of insights is elaborated in the context of a piece about Times Square development (hence the remark about discourse and infrastructure).
And so for day 2510