One curiosity about a cycle of disruptive fixation is that many of the people who take part in it manage to repair and maintain their idealism, at least for a while. They generally do not become especially cynical or apathetic. At the Downtown school, most designers and reformers continued to act as if they were participating in a cutting-edge philanthropic undertaking even as they made the project more and more conventional and increasingly disciplined and purged some of the people they most wanted to help. Many remained passionately committed to the school, and some even proselytized it as an exiting new model of change to other reformers, policymakers and the media. From an antropological perspective, the resilience of this idealism – the maintenance of the collectively lived as if imaginings that help animate and sanctify a disruptive philantropic intervention – takes a lot of work. Setbacks, compromises, and contradictions have to be overlooked, rationalized, or forgotten; the creep of disillusionment has to be beaten back; hope and optimism have to be repeatedly and collectively rejuvenated.

Christo sims

Sims, C. (2017). Disruptive Fixation. Princeton University Press.