Radical media, politics and culture.


http://www.postanarki.net is our web site project on postanarchism from istanbul/turkey. postanarki.net is a collection of texts about poststurcturalist/postmodernist anarchism discussions both in english and turkish. everybody that want to make a contribution to our site may send their article.

[comments in this entry are part of a process of working through this problem. They are as such experiments and therefore provisional. This means they will most likely change as understanding grows and deepens]

In this place where the old left continues to break the lines of struggle to bow to the alter of the organized industrial worker, it is important to note how work has/is changing. This thing affective labour is important in all this. I have always found this to be difficult concept. But I think it means something like work that produces affect. This is usually linked to the way in which emotions are generated by the performance of tasks. Last night I went into the quickly expanding chain of Nandos with a friend. Nando’s is one of the few successful fast food multinationals locally grown and their success has been determined not only by it ability to make chicken but the extent to which it understood the organization of work and creation of value within this economy. Standing to the side of the counter as we waited for our number to be called, my friend pointed an odd piece of paper facing the people who take orders. It read: “{smile} Hi, my name is {your name} welcome to Nandos what do you crave”. The media campaign that accompanies this chicken chain boasts that Nandos will satisfy your craving. How does this labour invest value in the chicken. It has no effect, on the size or taste of the chicken. It attempts to produce an affect that is associated with the chicken, perhaps outwardly expressed as a smile in relation to the word crave. This is comparable to the work of a comedian. In fact comedy is becoming more common in other forms of labour generally. Recently I flew Kulula-dot-com, a small new airline which has managed to survive in spite of the general crises in this industry. On their plane their staff use comedy in their flight announcements. This labour of the stewards attempts to enrich the flight – in the form of a service – to enrich the value of the flight. The way Kulula competes with the bigger airlines is by charging for on flight drinks and extra’s. But it seems that they also extract more ‘value adding’ labour from their in-flight crew to compensate for the lack of material value in the form of commodities (your drinks) provided by the airline. The skills for this kind of work are also different. They require a particular character, personality and arguably investment in the dominant social order. The kinds of knowledge’s and experience that are valorized are also markedly different. Simply it can be said that the comedy of the airline crew and the speech given by Nando’s counter staff add value to the respective commodities that are associated with them. This component of their labour is immaterial, adds value to the product without being directly associated with the mechanics of producing the commodity. It is labour whose only aim is the production of a specific affect that is value. Now why should this change the way we understand the proletariat. Ask any post graduate sociology student and they will tell you that this kind of immaterial labour has always been part of the circulation of commodities. However what makes our current period so interesting is the manner in which the circulation of commodities comes to be defined by the hegemony of immaterial labour of which affective labour is one component. So we have to explain immaterial labour more generally and how the hegemony of immaterial labour poses a challenge to the traditional working class solidarity project.

The question of the future of the revolution is a bad question bacause, in so far as it is asked, there are so many people who do not become revolutionaries, and this is exactly why is it is done, to impede the question of the revolutionary-becoming of people, at every level, in every place. Deleuze

Recently the editor of the M&G wrote a really damaging critique of new South African social movements. The piece was vicious and full of the nationalist politics that has quickly filled the vacuum of the departure of the liberal humanist politics that determined much of middle class South Africa’s opposition to apartheid. We wrote a really good response to her, but in the end it was limited because the nation still figured as the organizing principle of the article. Simply we were trying to make and win the debate on terms set by nationalist politics. We cannot win this debate unless we sacrifice our communism to the vacant stagist politics of the older left in which nationalist politics is a necessary point on the way to socialism. I may have dropped this philosophically while i was a student but like so many activists in the postcolonial world letting it go completely is strategically difficult and often means being confined to an even smaller political cell.

A friend of mine recently mused that although our politics was extremely radical and necessary at the local level, and the global level, when we look at it from the perspective of the nation it can be reactionary. I agree with this. But what does it mean? Should I, as Negri and Hardt (see their magna carter shit on this site) suggest, resolve to form an alliance with power in my own country so that we can deal with the monarch in the form of the US and hope Empire is better? Or do we go on struggling at every point where power renews its attack on autonomy? Any help on this problem is welcome?

The crazy irony of capital. As it commodifies life it loses its final boundary. The final confrontation will be over life. The struggle shifts from the need to generalise the refusal of work to the generalisation of the refusal to pay. Capital has nowhere left to go. No boundary to break. We are its final boundary and perhaps it will break on us. Can its recuperation be found elsewhere? Capitals future lies between the matrix and star trek; Space travel and a new colonial project, or the suspension of its attack on autonomy in the mediation of the matrix. Short of this, nothing remains. We so fucked we can finally win. Is this to deterministic?

yuzde bir yuzde iki. kelimeler harflerin yanyana dizilmesi. mana geberdi.

The negotiated settlement provided the institutional foundation on which the new South African state was built. But it also prescribed the forms of engagement between state and society for this new state. These became fixed in the national imagination in the short path between CODESA and the GNU.

The ANC’s return from exile marked the opening up of a new terrain in its struggle for national liberation. Despite heated contestation over the relevant strategic approach to ending apartheid, the ANC chose to use mass struggle only as a means of leveraging its position at the negotiating table. This required that the full weight of the liberation movement be given over to managing (including suspension of) bread and butter struggles. Many of the organisations of the liberation movement became solely directed to the pacification of its members. What this produced, by the time an agreement had been reached for the handover of power, was the institutionalisation of a negotiations-centric polity. The result was that the entire ‘machinery’ of the new state and the liberation movement became hostage to the terrain of negotiation as an end in it self.

Ten years on this terrain has become increasingly incorporated into the national imagination as prescriptive of the only legitimate form of societal contestation. It is this imagination that has ensured that any form of dissent has become anathema to the dominant current within government/ANC and its various institutional arms. From IDASA to COSATU the effect has been one of generalised quiescence, evincing a broader trajectory within civil society that forecloses systemic critique and mass struggle. Within the derivative languages of this national imagination – i.e., ‘constructive engagement, nation building, batho pele etc. - any real space for fundamental ideological and strategic contestation has been closed down. The end result? South Africa has shifted from a colonialism of a special type to a homogenisation of a special type.

The introduction of neo-liberal ‘ restructuring’ of the local state and service delivery, forced poor communities to struggle against evictions and cut-offs on a terrain that foreclosed the possibility of institutional remedy through negotiation. These struggles sat uncomfortably with the constructed national ‘imagination’. In this context, the active resistance coming from the new social movements was seen as out of sync with the ‘peacetime/reconstruction’ agenda of the government/ANC. What this meant was that their forms of engagement were treated as inimical to nation building and the corporatist politics that were rapidly institutionalised as part of harmonising racial and class relations in South Africa.

Instead of recognising the conflict of interests between rich and poor for what they are, the pathological need to project South Africa as a homogenous, entity (i.e., one big happy family) has been prioritised. In the self-constructed religion of nation building, everyone gets along in spite of their differences and those who would upset this delicate balance of family planning are to be seen and treated as heretics. In the South African hallways of power nationalism’s priestly caste jealously protect the image of harmony that the market demands.

As a result, it has been widely accepted that there is no terrain of engagement between civil society and the state outside of negotiation processes and corporatist structures. State antagonism to communities resisting the installation of pre-paid meters or bank evictions become justified by the objective interest of the nation. This has meant nothing less than the institutionalised marginalisation of these community groups, who have little recourse other than to engage in mass struggle. Resistance to government policy outside the safe environs of the corporatist deal making fora are treated as criminal and illegitimate, and those who dare go outside the sanctioned forms of engagement risk becoming enemies of the state.

The very character of the ‘imagination’ of the nation has therefore provided the basis for the widespread criminalisation of dissent. You don’t belong if you question (not to mention act against) the dominant framework of the ‘rainbow nation’ that has been constructed by South Africa’s emergent comprador class. This then lends itself to people’s struggles being characterised and/or categorised in relation to the shifting notion of the national interest. You are a whitey, a foreigner, a misled stooge of the former two categories, unpatriotic, agent provocateur, all of the above, and may therefore be dismissed. On the horizon of the national imagination the rainbow learns to shift according to the needs and demands of the ruling class/party/magnum leader.

The supreme irony is that the national ‘othering’ of the social movements is precisely what shuts the door on the possibility of the state engaging with social movements on the fundamental socio-economic issues that affect the majority of South Africans. As social movement are forced back on the street with their grievances the vicious circle is complete.

Capitalism As Terrorism And The World Anarchic Movement

The absence of courage needs organization. The world anarchic movement in its embryo. Network of publications + bookstores + anarchist households + squats ≠ style anarchism. Subculture = rituals + symbols of rebellion ≠ Internet > fashion anarchism – eccentric post-modern philosophers + punks + black block + class war and class peace – the anti-globalization movement and professors of all sorts, affinity, etc,

1) Alienation and moderation of the well to do anarchists of the western world. 2) The poor anarchists impossible conditioning. 3) The role of computers in anarchic compensation and reformism.

We have nothing to loose but the terror and hidden chains of capitalism.

1) The terror of the state and its laws. 2) The terror of capitalist economy. 3) The terror of class, order and psychiatry.

a) Academic terrorism. b) Military & police terrorism. c) Juridical terrorism. d) Bureaucratic terrorism. e) Ideological terrorism.

A – State terrorism equal justice. B – Group / individual terrorism equal terrorism. C - The terror of politicians and scientists. D – The eco-terror of capitalist industrialists and technologists. E – The terror of education, authority and organization.

Capitalism is permanent war and terrorism, permanent exploitation and devastation all over the world. All this armament business is made and produced solely to kill and with its aid rule the planet.

1 – The terror of the media and entertainment. 2 - The terror of work and sport. 3 – The terror of the family and the foreigner. 4 –The terror of the rich against the poor. 5 – The new terror of the new world order.

Genuine anarchists are here to stay whilst capitalists their years are numbered, they are living on borrowed time now. Capitalism is bad for the rest of humanity, a disaster of colossal proportion; capitalism is irreversible infinite damage. Most people suffer terribly under capitalism, masses of impoverished people, masses of poor and billions of sufferings. Anarchists will prevail while capitalist will vanish forever from humanity but without forgetting their years of terror-profit reign. Capitalism means 6-million rich/ruler compare to 6-billion poor and often hungry. How many poor people can become rich under capitalism, very few and why, because of laws that protects the rich hegemony. Anarchists are the natural representatives of humanity whilst capitalists represent only selfishness, lust and greed. They call it ambition and motivation but in reality it means profiteering and exploiting the people and the planet. Anarchists will show the way out of this capitalist mess, guide the way to a better and materialistically free world whilst capitalists destroy all of us and themselves and the whole world. The empire must fall and with it goes political economy. Does life has to be like this, all against all always, unless one quickly finds a common terroristic enemy. Can you really live happily and freely under contemporary conditions? Can you achieve worthwhile pleasure and creativity in this survival of the fittest hysteria by wasting our lives on the pursuit of an illusionary wealth and power? The capitalist desperate need for a permanent accumulation is a compensation for the loss of real self worth and being good with the people. Was the need for survival created by the ruling minority to keep us dependent upon them and enslaved. Well, time has changed but the capitalist system remains and the question is for how long it is going to spend gasping its last breath. I hope to see it end and disappear in my lifetime. Then and there the anarchic era begins and the new humanity starts its anarcho-creative liberation. When capitalism starts to loose it always resorts to terrorism as a last resort. All the capitalists of the world, beside their lust for money and power, have no real and genuine pleasures or happiness. People hate the rich because the majority of the rich are mean and nasty. Then rich are unhappy because the majority of the population despises them; politicians and business bosses have a similar fate. They are incapable of loving and therefore never receive love even from their families. Thus they bye their affections with property, money and commodity. We know everything about them and they know little about us, how intentionally lucky. We know how they live and on what the spend their money and about their low life of course. We know how they feel about the world and the people and how they relate to one another, we also know exactly how the rich mind works, why they think what they think, naturally very bad thoughts and the outcome is always tragic and unnecessary bloody. We know how they see and treat the rest of the world, with a big stick and a small carrot but we also know what anarchists can finally achieve in the coming anarcho-revolutionary future, which means now and after.

Democratic terrorism

".....the best lack all ambition while the worst are full of terrible intensity"

Yeats, the Second Coming

Remixing Knowledge and Pleasure From anti-copyright to the new commons

The legends ‘anti-copyright’ appeared first in the late 1980s in self-produced fanzines. The music industry was in the midst of a jihad: "Home Taping is Killing Music" they screamed, a time not unlike now in sun. Meanwhile, in a not so distant universe, programmers had moved from rejection to subversion of copyright laws, experimenting with the General Public License propounded by the GNU project. The license returned freedoms taken away from users by copyright and required that those who built upon this code make their own source code available in turn. This quality is what gives the ‘copyleft’ license a 'viral' quality. Licenses protect the user from legal action so long as the terms and conditions are observed no contact with the 'author' is required. You are free to reuse provided every modification and improvement becomes available to all.

Following the completion of the GNU/Linux operating system in 1992, the GPL’s fame spread like wildfire and began to spawn imitators in domains outside of software. Artists, writers, musicians and film-makers created a babel of different licenses granting to users rights that were taken of them by a copyright law in constant expansion. These licenses were inconsistent with one another and none managed to galvanise a sufficient community to start a movement akin to what occurred in free software. This wasn't surprising; text, music and video each have their particularities and cannot be treated as being the same as software. But the GPL taught a lesson: by putting things in common it was possible to change the way software is produced, build the only serious opposition to the Microsoft monopoly and stop the continual theft of programmer's knowledge through employment contracts that gave companies exclusive control over the final program.

Cut to 2002. Creative Commons is bring this idea of freedom to culture. It is not the first, but sponsored by Larry Lessig and many outraged at copyright expansion, it quickly becomes the most succesful. The core of the project is a software engine that produces custom licenses on the answers to three questions: - does the producer insist on the association of their name with the work (“attribution”)? - is it available for any form of reuse or only non-commercial activity? - can new (derivative) works be created from it and if so under what circumstances?

Two divergent and clashing conceptions in the use of CC licenses become evident.

The first employs them as instruments designed to guarantee access.The 'commons' that this model aspires towards is one based only on consumption. Universal reception is approved but all other rights are reserved, especially control over context and reuse. Only non-commercial use if permitted. Sometimes no derivative works are allowed due to a desire to protect the integrity of the text or video.

The second focuses on amassing a large stock of common materials for whose use no-one's permission is required. The fear of commercial appropriation is put aside for the hope of contaminatory insinuation into the mainstream thus integration even into commercial works is permitted. But all new (derivative) works must be available to be used themselves - it's the GPL for culture and it relies upon the sharealike clause - I share if you share.

Thus the potential emerges for a material base of raw materials that can be continually reworked, improved upon and exploited in any number of ways. Contributors are assured that their work will not be appropriated unilaterally. Other works infected by sharealike become collective wealth and a form of indirect income like free transport, access to education and housing. At a moment of both generalizssed precarization and restraints on expression it provides a rare guarantee.

The success of the GPL was not based only on legal force; its goals were simple and it provided a clear way for people to share their work with others without fear of being ripped off. In this sense the license is a media itself and a community around which others sharing a dissident idea about how to produce can gather. The two different visions contained in CC make this more difficult. This tension undermines its mobilizing power; there cannot be a creative commons community where 75% of the users nominate terms that neither facilitate new creativity nor provide access to the economic resource for self-sustenance that the proud term commons refers to.

Systems of video-sharing such as V2V and New Global Vision offer a vision of a different mode of production for audio-visual works, but will never reach their full potential - sharing footage shot globally, conducting interviews for one another, remixing narratives - until clear rules governing cooperation emerge as shared values. The construction of a true commons means building and securing a shared archive of materials to allow both us to be sustainable in the present and capable of superceding the state of things in the future. The price of the freedom proffered is the relinquishment of the will to control.


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