Marry Me, Katniss: a Rebuttal to Scott Weiner’s Post-Orientalist Theory of Violence

Posted: March 6, 2013 by Daniel Solomon in Uncategorized

Dear Katniss,

If you’re reading, please consider this humble treatise as a token of my affection. Time and again, our love has been tested, equally by Peeta’s noble heroism as by your detractors’ defamatory bile. The latest such knave, Scott Weiner, emerged yesterday from his trollish cave, penning a condemnable screed against your revolutionary insurgency. Weiner references your revolution as a “post-Orientalist” phenomenon, which he views as a reflection of liberalism’s exploitative underbelly. As you and I have discussed, however, your laudable violence is hardly liberal, and instead reflects an abiding commitment to Frantz Fanon‘s liberationist violence.

Before your arrival, Panem was a seething, festering sore of political governance. As residents of District 12, we were underresourced, underfed, and underappreciated: our women were poor, our children emaciated, and our men rarely able to manage the psychological, social, and financial burdens of family upkeep. Our wages were low, and scarcely commensurate to our invaluable contribution to Panem’s militaristic, decadent economy. My grandfather Karl‘s warnings were prescient, and bore remembering: in Panem’s pre-revolutionary economy, we laborers risked dehumanization: alienation from ourselves and, perhaps most importantly, from our collective consciousness of common dignity.

When you returned from your triumphant Hunger Games, you inculcated our people with a sense of pride, a fierce urgency of revolutionary upheaval. Your violence was a model of rebellion, and your image an icon of our anti-imperialist politics. Where Gale–the erstwhile object of your flirtation, and now a Panem official in District 2–compromised his humanity, you rejected the prospect of political conformity, opting instead to cast off the yoke of your oppression, and of ours. Through your liberationist violence, you imagined a new Panemian humanity: where our industrial labor is duly compensated, and where each District’s profound creativity is heralded as representative of Panemian civilization. Contra Weiner, your violence was hardly a form of self-empowerment, so heralded in Ms. Winfrey’s antiquated texts. Rather, it was a vessel for humanity, for the manifestation of dignity in a liberated politics.

Where Panem’s prior revolutionists imagined a hierarchical vision of a new society, you refused exclusion, prompting a notion of egalitarianism that has inspired widespread, liberating revolt. You acknowledged Panem’s lumpenproletariat, the invisible society of District 13, as a revolutionary force, a dormant opportunity for liberationist mobilization. In your embrace of District 13, you also embraced your mockingjay identity, a palpable demonstration of your resilience and revolutionary leadership.

As Dan Nexon observes, however, your liberationist violence had its consequences: your post-traumatic stress disorder, a result of your trying management of revolutionary authority, has become increasingly apparent throughout the past weeks. If you’ll let me, I’d like to help you, to enable Panem’s liberation to continue. Call me, maybe?

May the odds be ever in our favor,

The Real Tarkin

  1. larrydunbar says:

    If we got some sort of “Prisoner’s dilemma” here, whose the jailer and whose the prisoner? Is the “prisoner” those who brought us the “Arab Spring”, or those who brought us the “iPhone” and “broad band”, and does it matter?

  2. […] Marry Me, Katniss: a Rebuttal to Scott Weiner's Post-Orientalist Theory of Violence ( […]

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