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It is here that the political import of Harding's argument about avant-garde pluralities becomes most apparent, as he insists that Western aesthetics and linear historiographical methods cannot adequately register, much less fully consider, the models of vanguardism to which (for example) the murderous actions of Al Qaeda correspond.
It would have been more accurate--and fairer to the work and the field of which it is a part--to emphasise this continuity rather than pump up a deflated rhetoric of vanguardism and invoke the stereotypes of convention and radical innovation that such resurrection entails.
While Davis does draw some sharp political distinctions between her Marxism and feminism and the nationalism and masculine bravado of the Black Panthers, she is not asked to consider obvious, if difficult, issues of the futility of an armed political strategy, or the limitations of vanguardism in mass movements, or the connection between broad defensive coalitions and the goal of socialism.
He covers the theoretical margins of the historical avant-garde; art, propaganda, and the manifest 1924-38; vanguardism in left and right movements 1930-48; Third World revolutions and the crisis of European aesthetic and political vanguardism 1950-62; and late capitalism and the historical context of the neo-avant-guarde.
This has enabled a strange kind of bureaucratic vanguardism to emerge, with the Commission self-consciously extending the reach of European integration free from the standard political oversight at the national level.
He writes, "For coexisting with the aggressive, active resistance implicit in the eating of one's enemy goes a wishful identification, a desire to be the enemy, or at the very least a desire to take on his or her strength:" The Cuban experiment has demonstrated that the writers and intellectuals who advocated the cannibal/ Caliban metaphor in order to emphasize the vanguardism of the common people inevitably ended up by denigrating them as "an inert mass that required a catalyst," writes Colas (137-38).
The same openness is visible in the critique of Leninist vanguardism in Culture and Society, which also deploys the radical demand of the democratization of cultural skills:
Given the numbing automatism of the major poetic ideologies on offer today--a mannered and hollow formalism, no more deserving of the name "conservative" than its political analogue; a positivistic and attenuated vanguardism, threatening ever more daily to collapse into its own brand of formalism; and the empty consumerist pluralism of the "postavant"--the ability of Clark and others like him to articulate and enact an alternative vision has the highest possible significance for our poetic moment.
This concept was central to modern vanguardism, whose evolution the artists of the region sought to further.
Though politically left-wing, Greer rejected Marxism and ideological vanguardism.