Radical media, politics and culture.


Since december two incidents have been fuel for anti-republican hysteria. The first, a massive robbery at the Northern Bank netting an estimated 40 million euros, has scandalized the political class who see it is evidence of Sinn Fein's 'criminality' and unsuitability for participation in 'respectable politics' never mind government.

Behind this lie the worries of several political parties threatened by the meteoric rise in SF support in southern ireland during recent years: Fianna Fail have lost chunks of their constituency in urban working class areas; Labour are challenged for their role as the main leftist organization; the Greens face competition in their market for sponging up the protest vote. As for the progressive democrats and Fine Gael, they have always hated republicans, representing as they do an arrogant middle class that takes umbrage at SF's working class character and redistributive demands: in fact the clash between these groups is scarcely concealed enactment of class war.

The level of organization ton the robbery led immediately to the presumption that only paramilitary structures, and probably only the IRA, possessed the necessary professionalism to be able to coordinate an operation involving allegedly more than thirty people. Predictably IRA denials followed, and SF insisted that this was enough to convince at least them of their 'non-involvement'.

A couple of weeks ago things took an almost burlesque tone, as stories proliferated first about people selling off stolen notes at a discount, then of individuals burning notes in back gardens. Eventually the police raided several houses on the southern coast and made several arrests both there and in dublin. In both instances large sums of cash were recovered, stuffed into washing powder boxes or packed into plastic bags hidden in garden shrubbery. In a surreal turn the next lot of swag to turn up appeared in the RUC sports club in Belfast! A small percentage of the money (2 million or so) has now been seized but politically the impact has been spectacular as the establishment go to town on ostracising SF. Several of those arrested are party members or have history as active republicans linked to the provisionals, everyone knows that it was the IRA (although the rationale behind it is contested), and an ex-Trade Union leader (and republican) has been accused or f running a laundering operation for their benefit.

The funny thing is that the bank robbery provoked much admiration when performed. The vast sum involved inspired awe, whilst the complexity of the operation's execution -- carried out in broad daylight in belfast city centre -- and the numbers involved give the whole affair the aspect almost of a work of art. Most republicans are working class and do not have enough money in the bank to be scandalized at its expropriation, others are fairly well inculcated with an idea of legality and legitimacy that such a job is viewed as simply another blow in the conflict. there are few places in europe where Brecht's comment" "What is the crime of robbing a bank compared with the crime of founding one. "

Ironically despite all the huff and puff about criminality and exhortations to legalism, there is only one party which has one former TD in jail (Liam Lawlor) and another who is about half-way on the voyage to the same destination (Ray Burke) -- that party is in fcat the party of government, Fianna Fail. ;-)

As suspected Ballestrini's Vogliamo Tutto is indeed based on the life of a real individual, Alfonso Natella, a worker originally from Salerno near Naples. This I gleaned from Aldo Grandi's interesting, if contested, history of Potere Operaio "La Generazione degli anni perduti, Storie di Potere Operaio". He is still alive and active.

Last night I saw my first film by Franceso Rosi, who had been recommended to me by many people. "Sal;vatore Giuliano" recounts the story of the eponymous bandit who, manipulated by a diabolic trinity of mafia, church and landowners (in iderological guises of seperatism and monarchism), carried out a massacre of leftist workers and peasants on May 1st 1947 at Portella delle Ginestre. The atrocity was ordered by persons high in the Sicilian hierarchy of power, althoiugh it was never revealed who. The film is a masterpiece, and what's more is subtitled (the version I saw is the Criterion edition) so I recommend it to everyone.

Rosi's film reminded me of a book I read some years ago, written by Norman Lewis. He was a member of British intelligence (simply be dint of his being a linguist he was put into the secret services) and penned two good books aboput Italy "Naples 44" which chroniucles the allied landings towards the end of the war, and "The Honoured Society" which is a social history of Sicily rather than merely an account of the mafia. The latter remains one of the most interesting and insightful investigations into Italyt available in english. Lewis is clearly sympathetic to the progressive movements that have striven to explode the feudal structure under which the mass of Sicilians suffer. In addition to the important social context he provides, Lewis also has an eye for the absurd, exemplified by his closing chapters which recount the tale of a bunch of monks who principally occupied themselves with robbery and extortion, as well as the mafia's lucrative trade in 'authentic' religous relics. He devotes many pages to the story of Giuliano.

Elsewhere in the book he documents the murder of former partisan Placido Rizzotto the on march 10th of the following year, 1948. Rizzotto was a trade unionist and organizer as well as head of the local labour council in Corleone. On a busy evening he was abducted in front of hundfreds of people on the square in Corleone by the Mafia. Subsequently he was shot and thrown into a ravine .

My last Sicilian note relates to Leonardo Sciascia, whom I regard as being perhaps the greates modern Italian writer and who died in 1989. His novels and short stories are very noir and he achieves what I had thought to be impossible, successfully making a police officer the protagonist. His police officers however know that they do not have the state behind them, because the state is merely an artifice manufactured by a series of para-political powers. Sciascia refused to defend the italian state, even in the midst of the armed struggle of 1970s (although he had no sympathy for the Red brigades" and famously decalred that Italy wasa country without memory or truth, and thus he at least strove to remember.

Following on from the recent riots on Palm Island and Redfern, rioting at Macquarie Fields enters its fourth night (as of March 1st).

Some additional links >> [ 1 ] [ 2 ] [ 3 ] [ 4 ] [ 5 ]

In each case (Mac Fields, Redfern, Palm Island), the riots were triggered by people dying in custody or while being chased by cops. What's different about this occasion is that it wasn't mainly indigenous kids, but generally lumpenised ones. There is talk of "bulldozing" the area (most of which is public housing), just like after Redfern. And the NSW police are frothy and indignant that "there was talk among the locals of 'doing a Redfern'." But, that said, something else worth noting about this are the ways in which the media, cops, various do-gooders have resorted to racialisation. All the usual talk of "uncivilised behaviour", but a very particular recourse to motifs of biological degeneracy: inter-generational dysfunction, etc. Which is to say, that 'race' -- racialisation -- was never (and still isn't) about any inherent given, like skin colour, etc. The idea of 'race' might have come from the Aristocracy (who wanted to shore up their authority by calling themselves 'bluebloods' and talking about 'breeding'), but its modern incarnation is about making the conditions of life (or indeed the denial of life) appear to be the outcome of one's bodily characteristics or genetics or 'upbringing'.

There are lots of examples of this kind of racialisation. The head of the Labor Party, Kim 'Bomber' Beazley is quoted as saying that he "supported police 100 per cent in their efforts to contain the riots and called for compulsory citizenship programs in schools."

No justice, just us. Or rather: justice is about exchange -- lives get weighed on the money scale and are valued accordingly. And when lives are no longer valued in such a way, what then?. BR sent me this, given my recent preoccupations with the question of the 'value of life' and precariousness:

"PS. This is a funny statement for a Nazi: "Those who posit a value always also posit, eo ipso, a non-value. The sense of this positing of non-value is the annihilation of non-value ... [As a result] the danger lies in the inescapability of a moral obligation. Those men ... feel compelled to destroy these other men, i.e., their victims, even morally. They must brand their opponents as criminal and inhuman, as an absolute non-value, otherwise, they themselves would become criminals and monsters. The logic of value and non-value unfolds all of its destructive consequence, and forces the creation of ever newer and deeper discriminations, criminalizations, and devaluations, up to the point of the annihilation of every life unworthy of existing."

Yes, the quote is from Carl Schmitt, who indeed was a Nazi, but he was a Nazi because he was, above all, a liberal-democrat and was a realist about what it would take to decide the law and secure the order of said liberal-democracy.

* The phrase "Bogan Intifada", coined I think by Peter Jovanovic, probably doesn't travel very well, so from the Slang Dictionary: Bogan = "person of questionable upbringing" Angry Bogan = "A discontented and disillusioned individual, angry at the world, with a penchant for wearing flannel." It actually means 'lumpen', and I'm surprised that the Slang Dictionary doesn't make that explicit, but talks about 'upbringing' instead. And "bulldoze", of course, should be more familiar to yanks: "bulldoze 1876, originally bulldose 'a severe beating or lashing,' lit. 'a dose fit for a bull,' a slang word referring to the beating of black voters (by either blacks or whites) in the 1876 U.S. presidential election. A bulldozer was a person who intimidates by violence until the meaning was extended to ground-clearing caterpillar tractor in 1930." Intifada needs no translation.

[Appended from a posting elsewhere] While I think it's important to say that the exception has become the norm, norms are not the same as universalities. Some workers, those who identify with sovereignty and are enabled to do so (the citizen-commodity), are deemed to be capable of managing their own exploitation (sovereign in another fashion) and therefore capable of entering into the labour contract freely and autonomously (in the Kantian sense of that word). It is an effort to get them to identify outside this box, and to do so in such a way that they doesn't reproduce their training, habituation in and for sovereignty. (Campaigns around migration are full of missionaries, well-meaning colonists.)

For everyone else, the formally free aspect of labour (all those warm cosy aspects of liberal-democracy, the social contract, the rule of law, etc) is suspended in a forceful, unmediated fashion, and this suspension is in turn *explained* (and legitimated) as an inherent attribute of those bodies (eg and esp., racialisation). It's therefore perfectly legitimate to bomb some people to democracy; forced labour is justified because those people 'lack' self-control (ie, the internalisation of sovereignty, in its particular Kantian sense, again); the indefinite, extrajudicial internment of 'suspected non-citizens' ...

That doesn't mean citizen-commodities are not perpetually threatened with this suspension (this is what 'precarity' means). But the hypothetical interchangeability of abstract labour is only that. It's actual functioning is segmented and hierarchised, as in wage levels, differential labour markets, ie., the enclosures, etc. And, for liberal-democracies, it's racialisation (or attribution to body, biology, the apparently pre-social) that forms the necessary ingredient for legitimating the difference between the threat of violence and the use of it.

And, I'll add something from the Patriotic Youth League (local nazis) about the recent riots that PJ sent over: "The constant glorification of african-american gang/street life and the whole hip-hop scene. (witness the rap-style graffiti desecration of the war memorial). The failure of multi-culturalism & left-wing teachers who have made a whole generation of white kids be ashamed of thier heritage,culture &values. Did anyone notice on the news the way the brother of one of the scumbag car thieves spoke-if you closed your eyes you would of thought this obviously Australian kid ,with an Anglo-celtic name was in fact Lebanese! I also noticed amongt several of the more brazen ring-leaders about 3 pacific islanders ,at least 1 asian and of course everyone's favourite troublemakers the middle-easterners ,although the media of course downplayed this ,mainly interviewing the anglo kids. The dress of this rabble was also note-worthy -the same predictable brands & american sporting garb seemed to adorn nearly all of them- all the usual 'homeboy' gear! I mean how many times do you watch the news and see young offenders ,either caught on CCTV or being arrested wearing the same hip-hop inspired clothing!"

In an important essay called “The Tribe of Moles” Sergio Bologna noted that in the aftermath of the cycle of struggles of 1968-69 there was a resurgence of state-centered political and theoretical perspectives, wherein the central problems were smashing, seizing, or ameliorating the state as an apparatus intervening in social life. These problems recur in our era; as the Colectivo Situaciones write in reference to the contemporary global anticapitalist movement, a movement centered around its character as anti-capitalism risks defining itself by what it is against and thus “forgetting that the decisive terrain of struggle is the affirmation of an alternative sociability”. Put another way, “if traditional forms of thinking about change through struggle are founded on the desire to change the world, a new sequence of popular struggles seem to tell us that our task not to change the world but rather to produce it anew.”* To some it may seem strange to turn from these political questions of state and strategy to the theoretical work of Giorgio Agamben. Indeed, Paolo Virno claims that Agamben is “a thinker with no political vocation”**. Antonio Negri accuses Agamben of mysticism, and Slavoj Zizek argues that Agamben is Dialectic of Enlightenment thinker, dead-ending in the same abysmal ‘hotel’ as Adorno. Is Agamben an apolitical thinker? Is his work merely a diagnosis of what is wrong - or worse, a lamentation? Or is there a positive content and project to be excavated from his work? I will argue there is. Given the centrality of language and life to the present arrangements of sovereignty and production - variably analyzed as affective, biopolitical, immaterial, imperial, and virtuosic - Agamben’s reflections on bare life, form of life, and on language clearly track onto important political vectors in regard to the forms of power confronting us today. A reading of Agamben’s writings on singularity, ‘whatever’, and community. together with the Marxian notions of counterpower, General Intellect and Gattungswesen, highlights the positive project to be found in Agamben’s work. Gattungsewsen - normally rendered in English as ‘species being’ but translated into Romance languages as ‘generic essence’, a striking and important difference - offers an important bridge between Agamben’s occasionally rarefied lyrical writing and work whose political nature is more immediately obvious, or at least less contested. Agamben’s work helps us uncover a powerful apparatus for thinking antagonism, the antagonism at the heart of power and production, in its destructive modes - disrupting and undermining sovereignty and power - and in its constructive modes - creating, elaborating, and expanding alternative sociabilities predicated on different foundations than those of capital and sovereign power. Understanding these processes is crucial for moving beyond anti-state and anti-capitalist politics and undertaking the development of a genuinely non-state and non-capitalist form of life.

*Colectivo Situaciones, Contrapoder: una introduccion, p31-33, my translation ** Interview with Paolo Virno published in Archipiélago number 54, my translation

In Brett Neilson's paper "Potenza Nuda? Sovereignty, Biopolitics, Capitalism" (online at www.usyd.edu.au/contretemps/5december2004/neilson.pdf )he writes

"Marx defines labour-power as “the aggregate of all those mental and physical capabilities existing in a human being.” And in this sense, labour-power is the common name of all potentials—the key that joins the ontological question of potential/act to an analysis of the capitalist relations of production. By conducting his philosophical investigations between these poles,Virno pushes beyond Agambenʼs Aristotelian view of potential as ʻpreferring not toʼ—a disposition that, as Negri point outs, sounds like nothing so much as a declination to act politically."

Brett's paper is great. A few things though - it's important to note that "the aggregate of all those mental and physical capabilities existing in a human being" can be made into labor power, this aggregate is not necessarily labor power. Rather, this aggregate is potentially labor power, is subject to being made into labor power.

Similarly, Stevphen Shukaitis recently posted on aut-op-sy (2/27/05) "laclau/moufee would tend to seeradical democracy in a institutionalized form as not losing the characteristics that negri identifies within the concept of constituent power - while negri's move to conceptualize such as then being constituted power implies a sort of constant & necessary cycle between constituent and constituted power"

I haven't read Insurgencies yet, so I'm not totally clear on this constituent power stuff, but it strikes me that there are two ways to read this: on the on hand, if movements and struggles, the multitude or whatever we call, is identified as 'constituent power',there's the question 'constitutive of what?' Negri says somewhere, I have to chase up the reference, that the multitude always expresses a juridical aspiration. This seems to say that constituent power will constitute, a positive sense of the term.

Another reading would be to say that constituent power is that which constitutes, now, but is not necessarily bound to constitute. That is, constituent power is something to subtract from constituted power (the operation that the Colectivo Situaciones call "de-stitution").

To make a parallel with value production, one can read labor power similarly in two ways: labor power, (as the aggregate of human potentialities), will produce value, a conception that makes it hard to think about refusal of work, about escaping the capital relation. On other hand, one could that labor power is that which produces value, now, but the goal is to subtract from value production (an exodus?), to stop producing value. For instance, Tronti (among others) identifies the working class as the animating force behind the historical changes and innovations in capitalist production and that as long as capital exists it exists only as animated by labor. This is important, but it's also important that the working class, at least potentially, can stop being the animating force of capital, by stopping being variable capital, ie, by escaping (ending) the capital relation.

Actually, to my mind, the term labor power is synonymous with life-put-to-work, life that produces value. But labor power is not synonymous with people, with movements and struggles. The goal or aspiration is to stop being labor power. Perhaps in parallel fashion the goal is to stop being constituent power? That seems different from Negri.

Agamben,Homo Sacer p43 "The problem of the difference between constituting power and sovereign power is, certainly essential. Yet the fact that constituting power neither derives from the constituted order nor limits itself to instituting it - being, rather, free praxis - still says nothing as to constituting power's alterity with respect to sovereign power."

Agamben then turns to ontology, in passages I have trouble following, and ends up with the problem of "thinking ontology and politics beyond every figure of relation" (p47). Perhaps this is part of the question of how to think (and practice) rupture? Brett cites Negri that Agamben's refusal may be just the refusal to act politically, and Virno says that Agamben has no political vocation. The question to respond with might be, what does one mean by politics (and by vocation)? Does 'politics' mean representation, decision on exception, the act of constitution? If so, then I think the Agambenian response is precisely to say "yes, let's quit acting politically" and in related to work, to call for the 'absence of opera' ("Movement"), which I take to be a return to the refusal of work.

Must read further...

I'm going to use this space partly just to toss up things from other sources, email discussions and whatnot, to try and keep from losing things. This is from a conversation with a friend about various Italian political philosophers, and the idea of the specific intellectual.

My friend wrote to me about the idea of "understanding how these people can be "specific" intellectuals as intellectuals--they can work with the powers they have, to recompose, at least on the level of theory, a political discourse, in a partisan fashion". This is important. One of the areas where I'm pointing toward now in my (vague, half-formed) questions about this stuff/these writers, is precisely here, on the connection between various recompositions. The questions for me then are:

*What is the relationship between recomposition at the the level of theory and recomposition of other discources (vocabularies, key terms, narratives, etc that enter into the formation of subversive/antagonistic/multitudinous subjectivities both individual and collective, -- we've seen the beginnings of an analysis of this in material on immaterial labor - subjectivity for capital/as resource or productive force - but less so as something against capital)?

*What is the relationship between recomposition at the level of theory (and other discourses) and others forms of recomposition? In some ways this is a recasting of the old 'theory and practice' question. Of course, taking these various writers seriously, it's not a matter of theory vs practice, or of intellect vs action. Rather it's a question of the links between the practice/action of theorizing and other forms of practice/action, and (perhaps not the same question after all) the role of intellect in various actions/practices.

This question breaks down into the following areas of inquiry, among others:

- What are the the links between practices of theoretical knowledge production (questions of multitude, sovereignty, singularity -- philosophy as the crafting of tools to take a Deleuzian [and Rortian!] metaphor) and other forms of knowledge prodcution that I personally tend to call for and valorize, without actually investigating much or actually conducting (workers inquiry, class composition analysis), as well as practices of immaterial labor/knowledge production that fall under the category of "other discourses" that I used above (narratives, etc, I'm thinking here largely of Wu Ming/Luther Blissett)?

- What are the links between practices of knowledge production (theoretical or otherwise) and other practices that are part of recomposition in the operaist sense of "political (re)composition of the class" (you know, strikes, sabotage, refusal of work in various forms, all the various things that fall under the very broad headings of 'struggle' and 'resistance')?

- Are there 'intellectual' aspects to certain practices that are not practices of knowledge production (acting as a street medic at a demo, leftist lawyers and their various activities, affective components to workplace and other organizing, designing leaflets and websites, setting up email lists etc) in addition to activities -- teaching/training -- that are not knowledge production in the sense of producing a work like a book or an idea, though they are knowledge production in another sense (teaching computer skills at hacklabs, training street medics and legal observers for demos, training people organizing skills, facilitating discussions in workshops etc)? How do we understand these intellectual aspects, and the link between these practices/skills and the various other components here discussed (production of theory, narrative, etc and the other aspects of struggle and antagonism here mentioned)? (This is sort of a question about the various types of specific intellectual, and of a possible continuum -- rather than absolute break -- between universal and specific intellectuals.)

- And finally how does all of this relate to the present arrangement of production (and is [how does] the act of producing such an understanding of this relation an act that matters for other acts [again the theory/practice question]?)

Each of these questions seem to me that, well, in each case as much as they are questions they are also nexuses of flow (ugh, sorry!), points of interchange -- theory/practice, discourse/action (to use vulgar old fashioned terms). That is, I don't think there are definitive answers ("This is the relationship between theory and practice, knowledge and action") nor do I think that one side of the relation is determining and the other determined Rather, the questions point out areas for further inquiry into relationships that are multiple, heterogeneous, they mutually determine, and take many forms. (I do think though that perhaps at some points in history theory may well determine practice, or the converse, but that this is a condition with a history, part of a set of power relations.)

Of course, implicit is also a question of "what could these relationships be" and perhaps "what should they be", for political purposes, linked to struggles, to political recomposition. I think for me it's important at the level of theory to be clear that everything flows in every direction and innovation can occur at all points - theory doesn't follow from practice nor the reverse, nor should they. This doesn't rule out the need/utility (in my opinion, at least) to have these line up, though. "Line up" is poor wording, rather I mean for it all to hang together, for there to be a unity and resonance across these various relationships.

One thing I keep coming back to in my thinking about this resonance or whatever its called (unity of theory and practice is what it was called in the bad old days, "praxis"?) is the issue of organization: the role of organization(s) as contexts for mapping out these questions/relations, and the possibility for the "being-in-line" or "being resonant" outside of some organization context (and I don't mean a party, or a union necessarily, but rather simply some - formal or informal - context of collective composition/construction/constitution, across/among the various relationships here named (theory/practice etc.)

Argh. This is terribly obtuse and obscure, but it's what's been rattling around in my head , fermenting a good long while (so if it stinks that's why!). Good to get it out into words. I'm not sure what, if anything, I mean for you to reply to. I would like to hear what you think about the issue of how recomposition of/in theory relates to other aspects of recomposition, in the various thinkers under discussion. (And this could be both an extrapolation from texts of what Negri, Virno, Agamben say/imply an intellectual should be, and a question of what type of intellectual each of them seems to be, to embody, to practice.)

More and more people these days are all asking the same question;'How did we screw this up so bad?' That's a complex querie,seeing as how there were 70,000 years of human caretaking on this side of the world before Columbus,and in the 513 years hence we've turned half this land into a garbage dump. That historical fact should be the beginnings of an eye-opening.We got here full of contempt for the ruling systems we left,when we started anew we fell back on the 'old forms'.The beginning of the end! Conquest for the for the sake of depriving one of their possessions has become "The American Way',with regards to forign policy.Confiscation has become the way when dealing within our own borders.We not only set up the means to rise to the top,but,have a back-up plan to bring you down when you talk too loud about real issues or stand up for something other than rampant greed. Deciet,bribery,double-speak and force of arms has been the working practice of every President this country has ever had.The truth is Mt. Rushmore is an icon to genocide,racisim.and wontan greed.'Aquire at all costs our Manifest Destiny'should be the catch pharase at the Mount.Why? Because the faces on that rock are... Criminals!!! They all slaughtered helpless women and childern and elders,just like their contemporaries.which includes both Bush incarnations. Do I have some current facts to prove how deep these creatons will go to get their way? Sure,my own experience with 'The Beast'. Ran for Governor in my home State,a strong environmentalist and human rights activist, I was warned 'You keep your eyes open because you don't know how wierd they are going to get.'I found out in a hurry. When I said I'd finance my own campaign,( I was really being a smart ass,I'm more broke than the Ten Commandments)the system cut my V.A. pension in half.When the campaign joined up with Ojibwa 'Protect the Earth Journey'we endured police hassles and bullshit for 250 miles.At one point a Thompson (yea THAT Thompson)supporter rear-ended our car and drove off,hit and run on the Freeway.Our reply to that was an illegal march on the State Capital with a few thousand environmentalists. The treatment we got from the people on the path of the Walk was quite diffrent.They welcomed us.Gave us a place to set up camp.Fed us.Shared the stories of how their water and lands had been and continue to be poisoned by under controlled indurtrial involvment in the modern 'Manifest Dingifacation'.It is these people whom 'buy' the right to poison us all for money that are the real terrorists. There is no Freedom in a choking gas cloud. This myth of Freedom has been fed to us in layers of smoke and mirrors.We're taught that the Freedom was won,that there's a cost for Freedom,and that Freedom isn't Free.What Bullshit! We are born Free,without constraints of any kind excepting only those of simple human respect for eachother as beings of a great Creation.Freedom is what those who think they are the 'social betters 'seek to control.Freedom gives us the power to stop these zealots through the action of unity.Freedom says 'You can't poison us for your bank account balance.'Freedom says 'We decide for ourselves whom or what the real enemy of the people is.Freedom is the choice of how to deal with this enemy.Freedom is not the right to wage war at the whim of corrupt idiots who use force of arms to hide thier own dirty dealings. If we are to be truly Free,we need all voices heard in desicission making,youngest to oldest.We need true'Popular Vote' for all offices from dogcatcher to President.The press has to cast off thier kiss-ass editors in favor of those who will expose what's wrong so real problem solving could be manifested.Inteligence gathering for the sake of 'Enemy Building' must stop for it's become the weaver of lies.Killing for the sake of getting your point across has to be seen as the crutch of the weak.These so-called 'Terrorist Acts' are the response of poeple whom are greatly oppressed,by political as well as militaristic and econimic means.They represent the proverbial 'cornered' animal.We all know how that scene worksout.But that is what our leaders have done. They've put out Liberty's Torch and replaced it with a cruise missle. The Bill of Rights has been rendered 'Quaint' in the face of Homeland Security.My screen is monitered even while I write this.For the last 20 years public phones have been bugged.Twice a month every phone line in the country gets a 'listen in' and if too many 'hot phrases' get said you get put on a higher level monitor.If you and three of your friends like the same music and have similar dress...you're a gang.You can hang out with your friends and play drums in the park,but if you move into someplace hard to see into....you're a conspiritor.If you speak out for others and stand against warfare...you're un-american.When did we become such butchers? 1492,1776,1890,1969,1993 or 2003? Maybe it happened when we started to value money more than people,or was it when we left the sesspool of old Europe and found a garden here and raised contempt for the ones who took better care of thier lands than our euro ancestors. If we are ever to get out of this mess we have to do some serious 'get-it-togethering'.Change the way we look at eachother.Be honest about people whom use lies and mis-speak as an M.O. and deny them political office.Let no entity be allowed to poison the air,water and ground.Stop calling the removal of poor people from their housing to make way for a 'Valet Parking' shopping mall..urban redevelopment.We have to start living in a way that says 'We won't kill because of a disagreement but keep working for a solution,no matter how long it takes.'.There must be real effort on all our parts to recognize that we are ALL part of a great Creation.We may not understand all the how's or why's but we are still part of it,and as such, all living things are worthy of Respect,Life and Freedom with the Peace to be whatever their lifepath leads them to For it is the right of all to stand in the face of Tyrants any count. Yes, this Country and indeed all our people can be the Hearld of Freedom but we first must rest the handle from 'The Plumbers'.

I'm in the middle of writing an essay on autonomy, movement and recognition (the abstract, itself written I think a month ago, below). Suggestions for readings, tangents, whatever would be good.

Obviously, Agamben's comments on 'movement' are provocative and interesting. Although I don't see how a concept of 'lack' is required to mitigate against closure, I think his reading of the Schmittian tripartation of state / movement / people is useful here, movement as the failure of demos (people) to connect with -cracy (rule).

Also interesting is (but in quite another way) is Vahamaki's essay on commonplaces. Vahamaki's comments on commonplaces as the production of platitudinous community is pretty swell.

Anyway, all that is working its way in to an essay which actually begins with a critique of concepts of movement as the connective between people (or multitudes) and state, as a fleeting, transitional phenomena, rendered as 'lacking' intellect. Obviously, at stake here are the constructions of migratory movements as not movements in any socio-political sense, and therefore requiring the intervention of, well, intellects. A pretty standard, but in this case highly racialised, version of Leninisim/Taylorism, which I think has its updated, 'post-fordist' versions in, well, I'll leave the rest of the discussion for the essay itself...

Abstract: "Autonomy, Recognition and Movement"

I begin with a discussion of the impact of the most recent waves of undocumented migration on traditional socio-political understandings of what a movement is. I argue that those waves of migration, and the struggles against border controls that have ensued, pose a concrete challenge to the particular role granted to intellectuals in such understandings. I then discuss some of the specific stakes of such understandings as they arose in the struggles around migration and 'globalisation', principally but not exclusively in Australia over the last six years. In December 2004, the last of those who escaped from the migrant internment camp at Woomera (Australia) in 2002 was captured by Immigration officials. Ali had been working clandestinely in Melbourne, among the growing number of undocumented workers. Between these two moments of escape and capture lay a whole series of debates about recognition and visibility within and around the struggles to close the camps, including the noborder networks and migrant/refugee solidarity groups. The essay explores those debates as they connected to, on the one hand, the process of refugee determination and migration management and, on the other hand, the particular role of academic and cognitive workers in navigating the particular dilemmas of visibility and clandestinity in relation to the autonomous movements of undocumented migration.

[ps. hydrachrist, I look fwd to the rest of the your essay, translations.]

When searching for a justification for the Iraqi war, the Bush administration posited 2 reasons as to why the war was “necessary.” At first it was that the Iraqi government, headed by the “madman” Saddam Hussein, possessed weapons of mass destruction and that he intended to use them if he got the chance. However, soon after our western takeover the administration found itself at a dilemma, due to the fact that none of the weapons of mass destruction could be found. So, to avoid international hypocrisy, the administration comes forth with the claim that the Iraqi government aids the terrorist organization of Al Qaida. This, of course, is used to justify any number of horrendous events in the name of security – torture and abuse of prisoners at Abu Gharib, shooting unarmed men on their knees, and the list goes on.

It seems we find ourselves in a cycle of repetition – of facsimilic representation. Guantanamo Bay merely serves as a surrogate location for the locus of abuse for “unlawful combatants”.

The question to be asked, then, is who is best suited to deal with the aforementioned human rights violations. Certainly we need an international front, a co-operative peacekeeping operation of sorts. It is for this reason I must agree with the position initially posited by Jacque Derrida in Philosophy in a Time of Terror: that international organizations such as the United Nations are paramount in the fight against atrocities in the global picture.

This is made particularly politically relevant by such situations as those in the American Navy base at Guantanamo Bay, and it is for this reason the UN is necessary rather than puppet organizations such as NATO, NGOs, etc., who are far too complacent with the American hegemonic project to serve as anything but a mask for western exceptionalism. By denying the American project in Iraq, the UN puts itself in a position best suited to universalize the concept of human rights.

It is for these reasons the base should be shut down entirely and demilitarized. It has been illegally occupied since 1959, and has had a number of prisoners held outside the status of humanity and subjected to torture since 9/11. The only action taken to curb the abuse are a collection of choice puppet trials perpetrated by the Bush administration. Now is a key time to intervene – and it is my position Guantanamo Bay is the best place to begin realigning the American concept of human rights.

so,how i think of the government and this is.do people really know who controls the state of the USA,NO !people dont relize its not the president all he is is big brothers tool and if "they" dont like what the "tool" does they'll kill the "tool",like kennedy;he was to go to war at the country at that time and he said no,so big brother,no "they" killed him,this also brings up a question for you :so you think its good to serve in the army ?(that is for next entry)......


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