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Anarchy 101

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ebodyknows
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Cueball wrote:

I don't believe any kind of anarchist society is achievable.

I wouldn't worry about missing out on monties chance to take you out of your comfort zone. Monty is a prolific writer who's work can be found in various places online.  Don't expect anarchist ideas though, monty cantsin is not an anarchist but rather a well known neoist.

If neoism did anything right it was trying to root itself outside of the intellectual.

"Neoism is very frequently described as a conspiracy of the New for the purpose of replacing old ideas or opinions, with new and better ideas and opinions. Neoism is based on an intuitive response to the ever arising New rather than a reasoned building up of traditional beliefs into an edifice of logical stupidity.

Once awakened the Neoist’s first response to this miss shapened body of incongruities is to make fun of it, though parody and mocking: to then abandon its false  order and raise up nonsense in its place but this is only to add braces and prosthetic devices to a disfigured tragedy that is the result of accidental conditions.

This is much of what we have seen in Neoism till now. This line of reasoning is completely wrong. To view Neoism as still being what it was in 1960 is to cling to an obsolete concept; it is to condemn oneself to understand nothing about Neoism.

To cleave to the ever arising New is to create a firm adherence to truth and to negate everything else. If one’s sincerity is sufficiently strong; one´s intuitions sufficiently clear and after some soul searching, the individual is ready for the destruction of the edifice of belief he has falsely groomed to as his self leading to the possibility of being an awakened Neoist -  the most dangerous creature alive.

The aim of Neoism is to open the door, leave the cage and learn to fly."

Our particular monty seems to have been trying to e-body the tenants of neoism even if it might not have quite had its intuition totally aligned to the new(like that time i brought my dad to see 010100: The Great Robotic Machinery Rebellion at buddies in bad times theater). While I don't know if I totally agree with its speedy removal I do think their is something worthwhile that has been said about the benefits of emotional solidarity over intellectual soliderity.

"When I looked at that abandoned file cabinet at the freight elevator I became almost ecstatic."


Cueball
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Joined: Dec 23 2003

I wouldn't worry too much about that.


N.Beltov
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Joined: May 25 2003

Darryl Rankin, Manitoba CP leader, makes reference to "anarcho-nihilism" as the dominant anarchist trend in Canada today. There is also some history that may be of interest to those reading this thread.

Rankin of the CP: Marxism and Anarchism in Canada Today


NDPP
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Joined: Dec 28 2008

kropotkin1951
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Joined: Jun 6 2002

NoDifferencePartyPooper wrote:

The Crisis as Pacification

http://news.infoshop.org/article.php?story=2010072515&msg=27

 

Thx for the link it was a great read with some clear insight.


N.Beltov
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Joined: May 25 2003

I found it useful as well, for completely different reasons.


Slumberjack
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Joined: Aug 8 2005

How is it to be done?

Excerpts from Tiqqun:  How is it to be done?

A revival of the critique is pretending to challenge Empire with the slogans and tricks of the sixties.  Except that this time it is faked.  The whole range of old social-democratic affects are put back into circulation.

And again, here come the demonstrations.  The desire-killing demonstrations where nothing happens and which no longer demonstrate anything but a collective absence. 

For those who feel the nostalgic about Woodstock, pot, 68 and militancy, there are the counter-summits.  The setting has been set again, minus the possible.

Here is today's command of the 'what to do.?  To travel to the other side of the world in order to contest the global commodity, and then come back after a big bath of unanimity and mediatised seperation to submit yourself to the local commodity.  From counter-summit to counter-summit, they will eventually understand.  Or not.

One doesn't contest Empire over its management.  One doesn't critique Empire.  You oppose its forces from where you are.  There is no global alternative project to the global project of Empire, because there is no global project of Empire.  There is an imperial management.  Those who demand another society should better start to realize that there is none left.  And maybe they would then stop being wannabe-managers.

The global order cannot be taken as an enemy directly.  Its perfection is not to be global, but to be global locally.  The global order can only be opposed locally through the extension of opaque zones over the Empire's maps.  Through their growing contiguity.  Underground.  Whoever regards Empire as an opponent to confront will meet preventative annihilation.  To be perceived means to be defeated.

Critique has become vain because it amounts to an absence.  Everyone knows where the ruling order stands.  We no longer need critical theory, we no longer need teachers.  Critique is allied to domination.  It propels us elsewhere, it consumes us, and stays cautiously sheltered when it sends us to the slaughter.  Hence the brief romances between proletarians and 'engaged' intellectuals.  Those rational marriages in which neither has the same idea of pleasure or freedom.  Rather than new critiques, it is new cartographics that we need.  Not cartographics of Empire, but of the lines that flee out of it.

In the present war, where the emergency reformism of Capital has to dress up as a revolutionary to be heard, a role is prepared for us.  The role of the martyrs of the demokratic order.  I should start singing the victim's rhetoric.  As is well known, everyone is a victim, even the oppressors.  I should savour the discreet circulation of masochism which re-enchants the situation.

Today human strike means refusing to play the role of the victim.  Making the paralyzed citizens understand the war that they refuse to join, but are part of anyway.  That when we are told it is either this or dying, it is always in reality this and dying.


NDPP
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On Gandhi, Pacifism and Black Bloc Recruitment Poster, by Jaggi Singh

http://mostlywater.org/gandhi_pacifism_and_black_bloc_recruitment_poster

"When I talk about 'De-mystifying Gandhi,' I mean taking apart the way his myth is used by middle-class pacifist liberals in the west.."


Slumberjack
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Call

The Left is periodically routed. This amuses us but it is not enough. We want its rout to be final. With no remedy. May the spectre of a reconcilable opposition never again come to haunt the minds of those who know they won't fit into the capitalist process.

The Left - everybody admits this today, but will we still remember the day after tomorrow? - is an integral part of the neutralisation mechanisms peculiar to liberal society. The more the social implosion proves real, the more the Left invokes "civil society." The more the police exercises its arbitrary will with impunity, the more they claim to be pacifist. The more the state throws off the last judicial formalities, the more they become "citizens". The greater the urgency to appropriate the means of our existence, the more the Left exhorts us to appropriate the conditions of our submission, to wait and demand the mediation, if not the protection, of our masters.

It is the Left which enjoins us today, faced with governments which stand openly on the terrain of social war, to make ourselves heard by them, to write up our grievances, to form demands, to study economics. From Léon Blum to Lula, the Left has been nothing but that: the party of the man, the citizen and civilisation. Today this program coincides with the complete counter-revolutionary program which consists in maintaining all the illusions that paralyse us. The calling of the Left is therefore to expound the dream of what only empire can afford. It represents the idealistic side of imperial modernisation, the necessary steam-valve to the unbearable pace of capitalism.


Slumberjack
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Notes on the State of Exception - Claire Fontaine

Quote:
The game of war. Historical avant-gardes and war: a love story and not even a tormented one, an almost smooth-sailing romance, apart from a few expatriations. One could still - before the state of exception - play the exceptional singularity, play the game of war with one's friends and rivals. But this is no longer the case for us. The war paradigm of rivalries between small groups, the war-matrix of the guerrilla's imaginative, paramilitary strategies, the surrealists, the situationists, the Mao-dadaists (and the list goes on) lived in a world where words and experience carried on a passionate conversation that could be turned to the extreme, erupt into a scandal or even be interrupted for good. These were toy-wars, wars for snobs. Nowadays we can frame and exhibit these lovely gesticulations and return to the curfew of our already-filmed everyday lives, to surfaces saturated with advertising images, to our socio-economically integrated solitudes. And understand for once and for all that the battleground has changed, that we need to invent much more ambitious derives if only in order to escape the amplified normalcy of our perceptions.


Slumberjack
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Interview with Fulvia Carnevale and James Thornhill

Quote:
AH Speaking of being two things at once, I wanted to bring up the question of anarchist politics and art's relationship to the market. You work inside the market: you show in galleries, you sell art, you are inside the system... How do you respond to those who make the easy accusation that you're complicit with capitalism? Is any artist not complicit with capitalism? What does "complicity" even mean, in art, today? Is art somehow a model for contemporary management?

CF Inside, outside...these are things we don't understand. Who says that? There is no such thing as a defined outside of capitalism anymore, and the inside is so full of holes that billions leak out of banks just because of some unauthorized trading by an anonymous broker. Maybe in our latitudes the idea of the outside was a childish illusion to begin with, fed by the two blocs that used to face each other during the Cold War. But there is a real impossibility of working outside a capitalist system. The idea of working against capitalism was born from the utopia that a different type of economy could exist, run by different laws, where the power wouldn't produce oppression and repression. History has shown that socialist countries cannot make it without a world revolution. However, when those countries are convinced of this, they have already become dictatorships and/or ultracapitalistic countries. Our present situation is highly complex; many pockets of the third world exist inside "rich" countries, and these same rich countries happily practice the new form of colonialism that some people like to call globalization. Social classes have multiplied but everyone inside them is a lot more isolated and structurally competitive. Artists are a good example of this situation: they are self-employed because they are worker and boss in one body (as Godard always says). It is impossible for them to federate in a union or a cooperative, or if they do, it becomes immediately pathetic. For people who can't identify with their own job or who identify with it too much (as an ideal), democratic forms of struggle are a very bad fit. Many artists we know have two or three jobs because they can't or don't want to make money through their art. So, saying, "I am an artist" means many different things. This dysfunction in professional identification is more and more common; that's why it will probably be a desertion from within that will destroy capitalism. But we are not prophets. And by the way, we don't know what "complicity" means in art today. We don't even know what "art" is. It is many different worlds, many different people....

AH Godard, in fact, famously withdrew from making movies in 1967, paralyzed by his uncertainty about how to proceed in light of the political state of affairs in France. He then stormed the Cannes Festival in 1968, forcibly preventing the curtains from opening, causing the cancellation of the event. He eventually got back to making (excellent) movies. Is Godard's hesitation one you feel you're faced with-to stop making art in order to engage more actively with politics?

CF No, never, because nothing is happening right now. Nothing like Godard's gesture is possible anymore. The idea that we can or should plan every single possibility of our lives in advance is a very contemporary but perhaps also reactionary idea. It's just impossible. No one can know how one would react to the next insurrection, whether one will be the protagonist or the enemy of those who are rebelling. Those who pretend to be able to do so are prisoners of an ideology. We have no regrets right now, but of course the situation can and should be transformed. In fact, revolutionary moments are times when priorities automatically change. Then you never have to ask yourself, Do I go there or not? What will happen to me if I do this? You just can't help being where you have to be; nothing can stop people from taking the side that has to be theirs. There is no hesitation in decisive moments, and if there is, this is already a political position.


Slumberjack
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Get Rid of Yourself

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Get Rid of Yourself, an hourlong cine-tract-cum-documentary centering on the experiences and reflections of the so-called Black Bloc. Originating in Germany in the 1980s, the Black Bloc have become a bogeyman of globalization protest culture--an umbrella name for the black-clad anarchists who temporarily, and anonymously, convene in places like Genoa. With their symbolic targets and superfluous actions--looting supermarkets, ransacking banks--the group's "zones offensives d'opacite," as members characterize their tactical goal, have sought to disrupt the deliberations of the more mainstream demonstrators as much as they have the summit meetings themselves. Get Rid of Yourself uses the Black Bloc's words and images to portray the fight over globalization as a fiction, a space for losing oneself on purpose. Much of its footage is what might be expected: scenes at the barricades, hooded youths surging and scattering, swarms of cops and tear gas. Other parts of the film are set in the days and weeks just after the protests, when Bernadette Corporation and friends repaired to a quiet Calabrian beach house to take stock of the violence. These scenes of country landscapes and low-level leisure provide a melancholy countereffect to Genoa's harsh compression of events. Still other scenes layer fiction on fiction, as when footage from an undisclosed fashion shoot is merged with that of the protestors and their capitalist targets.


Slumberjack
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The Cybernetic Hypothesis

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"They believed resolutely that the future would be modern: different, impassioning, and definitely difficult. Peopled by cyborgs and bare handed entrepreneurs, frenzied stock-marketeers and turbine-men. And for those that are willing to see it, the present is already like that. They think the future will be human, feminine even -- and plural; so that everyone can really live it, so that everyone participates in it. They are the Enlightenment men we've lost, infantrymen of progress, the inhabitants of the 21st century. They fight against ignorance, injustice, poverty, and suffering of all kinds. They go where it's happening, where things are going on. They don't want to miss out on a thing. They're humble and courageous, at the service of interests that are far beyond them, guided by a higher principle. They can pose problems, and they can find solutions. They'll have us traversing the most perilous of frontiers, they'll reach out a hand to pull us up onto the shore of the future. They're History marching forth, at least what's left of it, because the hardest part is over. They're the saints and the prophets, true socialists. They've known for a long while that May 1968 wasn't a revolution. The true revolution is the one they're making. Now it's just a matter of organization and transparency, intelligence and cooperation. A vast program! Then..."

Excuse me? What? What'd you say? What program? The worst nightmares, you know, are often the metamorphoses of a fable, fables PEOPLE tell their kids to put them to sleep and perfect their moral education. The new conquerors, who we'll call the cyberneticians, do not comprise an organized party -- which would have made our work here a lot easier -- but rather a diffuse constellation of agents, all driven, possessed, and blinded by the same fable. These are the murderers of Time, the crusaders of Sameness, the lovers of fatality. These are the sectarians of order, the reason-addicts, the go-between people. The Great Legends may indeed be dead, as the post-modern vulgate often claims, but domination is still comprised of master-fictions. Such was the case of the Fable of the Bees published by Bernard de Mandeville in the first years of the 18th century, which contributed so much to the founding of political economy and to justifying the advances made by capitalism. Prosperity, the social order, and politics no longer depended on the catholic virtues of sacrifice but on the pursuit by each individual of his own interests: it declared the "private vices" to be guarantees of the "common good." Mandeville, the "Devil-Man" as PEOPLE called him at the time, thus founded the liberal hypothesis, as opposed to the religious spirit of his times, a hypothesis which would later have a great influence on Adam Smith. Though it is regularly re-invoked, in a renovated form given it by liberalism, this fable is obsolete today. For critical minds, it follows that it's not worth it anymore to critique liberalism. A new model has taken its place, the very one that hides behind the names "internet," "new information and communications technology," the "new economy," or genetic engineering. Liberalism is now no longer anything but a residual justification, an alibi for the everyday crimes committed by cybernetics.


Fidel
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Wow, that one reminded me of Ted Kaczynski's manifesto.  What about the wicked technological advancement known as fire? Just observing how many people have died by fire and its effects since the stone age, I'm not sure fire was a good idea, either. We'd surely have been better off freezing in the dark and being carried off in the night in the mouths of saber tooth cats the size of large cows. And eating from the tree of life? OMG! Don't get us started on that one. Apples and fruit in general have had a bad rap ever since. It's no wonder anarchists are cranky.


Slumberjack
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Well, I thought it made for some good holiday reading.  Kaczynski was a murderer and a reactionary, whose personal vendettas betrayed a complete disregard for human life.  On the other hand, these particular authors include throughout their writings such caveats as:

"Those who would respond to the urgency of the situation with the urgency of their reaction only add to the general asphyxiation. Their manner of intervention implies the rest of their politics, of their agitation."

From what I've gathered, it seems they lump black block groups, lone vigilantes, peaceful protestors, and leftist parliamentarians into similarly 'misguided' categories...which is to say that none of these things work anymore if it ever did, whether acting in isolation or coordinated together, despite the fact that people remain foolishly enthralled by the various forms of expression we've seen displayed all too often.  The outcomes to which technology had historically been and remains dedicated toward is certainly a theme, but it would be a stretch of the imagination to say that Luddism is being advanced as an alternative.  It suggests you either haven't understood or haven't read the material, or worse again and by the sound of it, perhaps you've managed both?


Fidel
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Well okay, I apologize for the Kaczynski reference. Looking back, it was uncalled for. I admit that technology in the wrong hands would be a dangerous thing indeed. And I think there will be new and genuine dangers with advances in nanotech, genetics and robotics in general. We will have new and efficient ways to destroy ourselves. The risks are real for sure. But with great risks come great rewards at the same time. The next 100 years of tech advancement will be the most crucial period in human history according to some scientists. It will either make or break us as a species. As Izzy Mandelbaum once said in a Seinfeld episode, though, it's go time!

I've always admired Ray Kurzweil's optimism for the future of tech. Kurzweil thinks we are evolving towards becoming 'spritial machines' and the like, and that we should embrace technology. Very clever person is Kurzweil. But at the same time I tend to shy away from Kurzweil's belief that human intelligence can be reproduced in silicon. I think it may require quantum computing power sometime in the future if it's even possible. I don't know, but I think materialist scientists like Kurzweil assume perhaps too much about human spirituality and consciousness. I think we are more than the sum total of our physical parts, and I am in good company with my skepticism apparently.

Bill Joy, co-founder of the former Sun Micro shares the anarchist view of technology. 

Why the future doesn't need us.  Bill Joy

Joy takes a left turn apparently. There is an interesting reference to the unabomber's manifesto, which Joy thinks can not be dismissed as easily as his actions. Again, no offense intended.

 


Slumberjack
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Fidel wrote:
I think we are more than the sum total of our physical parts, and I am in good company with my skepticism apparently.

Collectively we can be more, but the problem individually and thus collectively is that our capacity for reason, or more accurately the place where our capacity resides to absorb the various forms of reasoning, just happens to be part and parcel of the physical whole.  And it is in this place specifically where it is possible for programming to occur, and alternately de-programming to the point of partially writing over at least the existing information.  From the beginning of individual awareness and throughout, these 'applications' arrive at our processing center through largely external influences after all.  Sometimes we are able to come up with new opinions on our own, which are mostly elaborations of previously imbedded knowledge, but which are not always very helpful on their own either.

Right now though, the technology is not intended to assist us with any clarifications.  We have to 'take from it what we can, for our own purposes,' seems to be a common proposition running througout  the material posted above; which I suppose were it applied to another conversation could otherwise be repeated as a point favouring your brand of politics.  Give that a try why not?  I have a response. :)


Fidel
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Slumberjack wrote:

Fidel wrote:
I think we are more than the sum total of our physical parts, and I am in good company with my skepticism apparently.

Collectively we can be more, but the problem individually and thus collectively is that our capacity for reason, or more accurately the place where our capacity resides to absorb the various forms of reasoning, just happens to be part and parcel of the physical whole.  And it is in this place specifically where it is possible for programming to occur, and alternately de-programming to the point of partially writing over at least the existing information.

I think you are either absolutely right or absolutely wrong about this, one or the other. We have no proof either way. I think it will be possible to mimick and even surpass human physical brain capabilities in certain ways. But the exact location of consciousness in the brain is still a mystery today. They've seen glimpses of shadows of it in brain imaging, but it's as if they've discovered traces of a thief by feeling their way in a darkened room. The thief is a master of evasion apparently. 

Slumberjack wrote:
From the beginning of individual awareness and throughout, these 'applications' arrive at our processing center through largely external influences after all.  Sometimes we are able to come up with new opinions on our own, which are mostly elaborations of previously imbedded knowledge, but which are not always very helpful on their own either.

I think the first AI's to approach human intelligence will be infantile, and then child-like followed by adolescent stage machines. And the problem with teenagers, they say, is that many of them are borderline sociopaths. I think the danger of AI machines will be real, and the teenagers will have to be contained much like robots are mostly enclosed behind steel cages and locked clean rooms in automated factories today. It will have to be a good day when people and machines can interact safely. There will have to be safety "kill switches" for some time until machines pass the test. Who will create the test, and what will the protocol look like? Good question if I do say so.

Slumberjack wrote:
Right now though, the technology is not intended to assist us with any clarifications.  We have to 'take from it what we can, for our own purposes,' seems to be a common proposition running througout  the material posted above; which I suppose were it applied to another conversation could otherwise be repeated as a point favouring your brand of politics.  Give that a try why not?  I have a response. :)
 

I haven't made any radical conclusions thus far. I have no idea what the actual future holds only guesstimates. I am, afterall, only human. But I think that in the future we will have ways of telling one another apart from the most intelligent and even the most spiritual of machines. 

Bladerunner wrote:
All those moments will be lost in time... like tears in rain... Time to die. - Roy the replicant

Corny sci-fi flick adapted from a book entitled: Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, but it made me wonder even way back then. Life is more precious than we admit throughout most of our lives. It's typically near the end that we take notice. Sad.


Slumberjack
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This Is Not A Program

Quote:
Historical conflict no longer opposes two massive molar heaps, two classes - the exploited and the exploiters, the dominant and dominated, managers and workers among which, in each individual case, one could differentiate. The front line no longer cuts through the middle of society; it now runs through the middle of each of us, between what makes us a citizen, our predicates, and all the rest.

Quote:
Dressing up what is hostile to the system of representation in the guise of the "negative," "protest," the "rebel," is simply a tactic that the system uses to bring within its plane of inconsistency the positivity it lacks - even at the risk of confrontation. The cardinal error of all subversion therefore lies in the obsession with negativity, in an attachment to the power of negation as if that were its most characteristic feature, whereas it is precisely in the power of negation that subversion is the most dependent on Empire, and on Empire's recognition of it.

Quote:
Foucault, too, made a decisive contribution to the theory of the Imaginary Party: his interviews dealing with the plebs. Foucault evokes the theme for the first time in a "Discussion with Maoists" on "popular justice" in 1972. Criticizing the Maoist practice of popular courts, he reminds us that all popular revolts since the Middles Ages have been anti-judicial, that the constitution of people's courts during the French Revolution occurred at precisely the moment when the bourgeoisie regained control, and, finally, that the tribunal form, by reintroducing a neutral authority between the people and its enemies, reincorporated the principle of the state in the struggle against the state.


Slumberjack
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This is Not the Black Bloc

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No speech comes "from inside" the black bloc, because there is no inside or outside. The black bloc, which we name as such with these two impoverished words, is not constituted like groups, corps, institutions.  It is a temporary agglomeration without truth or watchwords. 

It is also what is left in the hands of our discontent, at the stage of society we have reached, despite ourselves: the impossibility of marching together while shouting out phrases so that they can be heard, the incapacity to engage in indirect and representative actions, the urgent need to unload one-thousandth of the cruelty the State, money, and advertisements inject in all our veins every day.

The category black bloc doesn't designate anything or anyone, or more precisely, maybe it designates anyone as such. A distinctive feature of one who finds themselves in what we call a black bloc is to demand nothing for themselves or for others, to cut across public space without being subjected to it for once, to disappear in a mass that has at last come together in places that are not office or factory exits and public transportation at rush hour. Rampant hypocrisy makes us associate the black bloc with a specific and organized entity-like Sony, Vivendi, or Total Fina - and this same hypocrisy considers as "crimes" the minor damage that the desire for willful indistinctness leaves behind when it takes the form of a spontaneous demonstration.


Slumberjack
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In 1993 Giorgio Agamben wrote:
What could be the politics of whatever singularity, that is, of a being whose community is mediated not by any condition of belonging (being red, being Italian, being Communist) nor by the simple absence of conditions (a negative community, such as that recently proposed in France by Maurice Blanchot), but by belonging itself? ... The novelty of the coming politics is that it will no longer be a struggle for the conquest or control of the State, but a struggle between the State and the non-State (humanity), an insurmountable disjunction between whatever singularity and the State organization.


Slumberjack
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Silence and Beyond

Quote:
The fact that our tyrannical enemy no longer draws its power from its ability to shut people up, but from its aptitude to make them talk - i.e., from the fact that it has moved its center of gravity from its mastery of the world itself to its seizure of the world's mode of disclosure - requires that a few tactical adjustments be made. Because, indeed, that's precisely how, little by little, it has deprived the opposition forces of their sense of direction.

Let all those who thought they could change the world without even going so far as to interpret it - all those who have refused to see that they are operating in radically new conditions - deign to see things for a moment from our perspective: they'll realize that in the final analysis they are merely serving what they think they're challenging. Look at the few hysterical groupuscles working to maintain the low-intensity social guerrilla war that buzzes stubbornly around the various issues, like the "illegal immigration" issue or the "anti-National Front" struggle. That shows well enough how the negation of the Spectacle, inverted into the spectacle of negation, can act as the basis for a collective catharsis procedure without which the present state of things could not survive itself. By triggering within and against itself its Scourge of denomination, domination has made even its pseudo-contestation into the spearhead of its ideal self-improvement. To such an extent that there's no real difference anymore between these two camps that, at bottom, want the same world; it's just that one of them has the means to make it and the other just dreams of doing so.

There's no place for moralizing in this matter, just lessons to be drawn, the first of which is perhaps that the Spectacle only recognizes as a truly existent opposition the opposition that is willing to speak; that is, to speak its language, and hence to subscribe to the alienation of the Common. In all discussions, the listener imposes the terms, not the talker. Thus the real hostility, the metaphysical hostility, which allows neither the language nor the moment it will express itself to be controlled, and which moreover prefers silence to any speech, has been pushed back into the shadows of what does not appear and hence does not exist. By means of this offensive in the form of a retreat, organized capitalism has derailed all the forces of effective critique, drowning it out in its resounding chatter and adapting to it with the language of flattery, not without first having deprived it of any real point at which it could apply itself.


Slumberjack
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kropotkin1951
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Noam Chomsky wrote:

LF. In the media, there was a lot of confusion in the coverage of Occupy. Is there a contradiction between anarchism and organization? Can you clarify? 

NC: Anarchism means all sort of things to different people but the traditional anarchists’ movements assumed that there’d be a highly organized society, just one organized from below with direct participation and so on.  Actually, one piece of the media confusion has a basis because there really are two different strands in the occupy movement, both important, but different.

One is policy oriented: what policy goals [do we want.] Regulate the banks, get money out of elections; raise the minimum wage, environmental issues. They’re all very important and the Occupy movement made a difference. It shifted not only the discourse but to some extent, action on these issues.

The other part is just creating communities — something extremely important in a country like this, which is very atomized. People don’t talk to each other. You’re alone with your television set or internet. But you can’t have a functioning democracy without what sociologists call “secondary organizations,” places where people can get together, plan, talk and develop ideas. You don’t do it alone. The Occupy movement did create spontaneously communities that taught people something: you can be in a supportive community of mutual aid and cooperation and develop your own health system and library and have open space for democratic discussion and participation.  Communities like that are really important. And maybe that’s what’s causing the media confusion…because it’s both.

This is a great interview.  IMO the clearest political thinker of our age.

http://www.counterpunch.org/2012/04/30/talking-with-chomsky/


Slumberjack
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We can't really fault the media because they were never designed in the first instance to provide us with useful clarifications. It's like blaming a blood sucking parasite for sustaining itself according to its nature. We may swat at it as a nuisance, but it makes no sense to expect that the species will modify its behaviour as a result. Chomsky highlights some of the delimiting effects that can easily be located within the overall consistency of the Occupy movement itself, with his descriptions of what is considered important. Applying for regulatory relief, which implies the sending forth of certain individuals who can speak to power in a language it can register, decipher and act upon, and on the other hand the building of a community. The one approach constitutes a debate between power and a representative body, which essentially and inevitably results in a maintenance operation, while the other might conceivably take place just about anywhere, without anyone's permission.


Slumberjack
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Metropolis - Giorgio Agamben

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I would like to start from a banal consideration on the etymology of the word metropolis. As you know, in Greek metropolis means Mother City and refers to the relationship between cities and colonies.The citizens of a polis who left to found a colony were curiously called en apoikia: distancing/drifting away from home and from the city, which then took on, in relation to the colony, the character of Mother City, Metropolis. As you know this meaning of the word is still current and today used to express the relationship of the metropolitan territory of the home to the colonies.

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I think that a confrontation with metropolitan dispositifs will only be possible when we penetrate the processes of subjectivation that the metropolis entails in a more articulated way, deeper. Because I think that the outcome of conflicts depends on this: on the power to act and intervene on processes of subjectivation, in order to reach that stage that I would call a point of ungovernability. The ungovernable where power can shipwreck in its figure of government, the ungovernable that I think is always the beginning and the line of flight of all politics.


Slumberjack
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Criminalizing Anonymity

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...proposing penalties of up to five years in prison or a fine of up to $5,000 for protesters who wear a mask or disguise.

The opposition of course doesn't have a problem with the concept of the bill.  Justice Minister Rob Nicholson went on to say the bill will likely enjoy majority support, and thus is assured to become law, and that furthermore, "Destructive and reckless behaviour damages communities and should not be tolerated."  Indeed it shouldn't.


Slumberjack
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Sonogram of a Potential

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The monologue of patriarchy has been interrupted many times. Many blows have been struck against the classical subject - closed, neutral, objective, cosmic. Its image has crumbled under the weight of the carnage of total wars that took all the ancient aura away from heroism; its solo speech has been drowned out by the brouhaha of the commodity Esperanto. New, improbable family relationships formed then: the old fool who's been dispossessed of his world and the plebeian excluded from everything are now supposed to find themselves on the same side of the barricades, now that there aren't any more barricades left at all.

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This text is a sonogram to the extent that it gives itself the right to obscenity, but not as an insult to some presumed "public modesty"- in the context of commodity pornocracy, that would be pitifully ingenuous. Obscene, in the etymological sense, is what should not appear in the open, what must remain hidden because the relationship it has with official visibility is a relationship of negation and exorcism, complicity and repulsion. What can be said and what can be done depends on the relationship such saying and doing have with the ethical assumptions that comprise us: the possible is the margin where our mental balance can oscillate without failing us, where desubjectivation can be exercised without turning into delirium.

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There is a kind of discourse about love and insurrection that make all love and insurrection impossible. There's also a kind of discourse about women's freedom that simultaneously disqualifies both the term "woman" and the term "freedom." What allows practices of freedom to surface is not whatever isn't recuperable by domination, but what dearticulates the mechanisms producing our own emotional and psychosomatic disorder. The aim is not to abolish the malaise that pushes us to revolt so as to better adapt us to an obviously toxic system for managing bodies, nor is it to learn how to better struggle within the hindrances of the present contingency in the name of some "strategy" that would lead us to victory. Because victory does not mean readapting the world through struggle, but adapting the world to struggle itself. That's why all logic of differentiation serves a time with no present: the only really urgent thing for us now is to render the disturbance offensive, to become its accomplices, because "better death than the health they offer us." (G. Deleuze)

One indeed must be obscene, because everything visible within biopolitical democracies is already colonized with a melancholic kind of obscenity that safely packages what should be scandalous.

What's possible among men and women has unquestionably to do with the obscenity of our times, but it happens that the space of this connivance is neither immutable nor indecent, merely the result of a particular culture that is growing old and not doing it gracefully, forgetting patriarchy but remaining misogynist.


Slumberjack
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Being and Power: Heidegger and Foucault 

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For Foucault, power, like Heidegger's being, is no fixed entity or institution, but is incarnated in historical social practices. "One needs to be nominalistic," he tells us, "power is not an institution, and not a structure; neither is it a certain strength we are endowed with; it is the name that one attributes to a complex strategical situation in a particular society." This strategical situation arises from specific individuals and groups opposing one another. These actions, taken together, open a social space in which people, things, and the real are defined. Like the clearing, power is productive. Foucault tells us: "Power produces; it produces reality," that is, it determines what it makes sense to believe and to do.


Slumberjack
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