Today’s Task, Nov 14, 2015

Identify and build the coincidence between an anti-fascist response to the Paris attacks and solidarity with black struggles against the American university.

On the one hand: the Paris attacks are obviously the work of a fascist ideology. Identifying it as fascism usefully illustrates the inadequacy of national responses, as they share the common cause of ethnic chauvinism. Digging deeper, it also reveals the hidden aporia of humanism, which harbors the liberal fascism of recognizing only those who believe in the project of univeralism as part of the universal.
Continue reading “Today’s Task, Nov 14, 2015”

An end to post-politics! “Yes” to controversy!

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re: “The MLA in the World: How Should the MLA Engage With Controversial Issues?”

The Modern Language Association cannot shy away from controversy, it can only legislate away politics.

In January, the MLA will consider how to “deal with controversial issues.” That such a discussion is even taking place is an effect of post-politics – the fantasy that public institutions can rise ‘above the fray’ to maintain a universal consensus.

Sidelining ‘controversy’ is part of the post-political agenda. It draws a public/private distinction through a limited vision of professional life. Public culture is reduced to career advancement, while issues of social inequality are considered matters of private concern. Continue reading “An end to post-politics! “Yes” to controversy!”

Stacks on Stacks on Stacks

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What if governments, institutions, and NGOs treated us as users? Borrowing conservative jurist Carl Schmitt’s notion “nomos,” which describes the interactive forces of political geography, jurisdiction, and sovereignty as a whole, theorist Benjamin Bratton argues that planetary-scale computing is reconfiguring subjectivity. Schmitt’s conservative project was a lament for the nomos of the Jus Publicum Europaeum, a legal order that helped European nations consolidate into states and facilitate the golden age of colonialism. Bratton agrees that there is a new nomos on the way, but it is a nomos of the stack. Continue reading “Stacks on Stacks on Stacks”

“Dark Deleuze”: A Glossary

Dark-Deleuze

Those who knew Gilles Deleuze consistently note his firm commitment to joyful affirmation and his distaste for the ressentiment of negativity. Beatifying this sentiment, Deleuzians have established a whole canon of joy. But what good is joy in this world of compulsive positivity?

It is time to move from the chapel to the crypt. There is sufficient textual evidence to establish this counter-canon. And from it, we can create a glossary of the “Dark Deleuze.”

Joyous: Dark:
Our Task Create Conceptions Destroy Worlds
Substance Techno-Science Political Anthropology
Existence Genesis Transformation
Ontology Realism Materialism
Subjects Assemblages Un-becoming
Speed Acceleration Withdrawal Continue reading ““Dark Deleuze”: A Glossary”

From Tarnac: The Fighting Commune Asks For Assistance & Asks Us 2 Help Orselves

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Down and dirty translation (not mine) of a recent Tarnac text:

Dear friends,

We haven’t given you any news for almost a year and a half.  If everything follows its subversive course quietly on the Millevaches Plateau , the least we can say is that on the national scale the political and existential climate has become become execrable. A phenomenon so totalizing that it obviously defies all of our categories lies behind the “crisis .” We once talked about the “ravages of neo-liberalism ” and “resource depletion,” the “spiritual void ” or the ” social implosion ,” we now feel that we have still missed essential thing. All this is very similar to a civilization running straight into the wall at breakneck speed, seeking by all means to avoid questioning of it ways of life and thought. In this imperceptible “every-man-for-himself,” the first instinct is to cling to anything that floats in the middle of the shipwreck that is Europe, including the nation state. The return of old fascistic  clichés first expressed the illusion that this frame is a path to salvation, but they only express the sheer scale of our impotence. The miserable little desire to exterminate the”foreigners” who get into the country reflects this self-confinementat the national level, and the instincts of social cannibalism arising fromthis famine. In short : the ship is taking on water everywhere, it is nothing but leaks.  Continue reading “From Tarnac: The Fighting Commune Asks For Assistance & Asks Us 2 Help Orselves”

Against Accelerationism: The Need For Speed

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Here is the beginning of a response to the recent accelerationism business

ACCELERATIONISM

1. The accelerationists state that the problems of this world are due to a lack of human mastery – mastery of humanity over itself and its physical environment. A list of these problems includes patriarchy, racism, work, and environmental exploitation. The list probably includes war, colonialism, and illness.

2. If we are to believe Frederic Jameson, in that it is easier to imagine the end of the world than the end of capitalism, then the only catastrophe left is political and not scientific or technological.

3. Left politics is named by the accelerationists as an obstacle to their agenda. They declare their allegiance with the political left while simultaneously denouncing all identifiable aspects of it. Accelerationism instead calls for a new hegemony to be built in their image.

4. Mastery, for the accelerationists, will come from scientific models delivered by increasingly powerful technology. Without such advances, accelerationists claim that the world will devolve into primitivism, perpetual crisis, and planetary ecological collapse.

5. It is unclear what accelerationists would dislike about capitalism if it did not impede the development of the science and technology they desire. In classic Proudhonian fashion, they criticize capitalism only as it acts as a fetter on production. (The accelerations proclaim that they need funding; but with money, they offer to do the rest.)

THE PROBLEM

1. Accelerationism is impossible to think outside of the problematic set up by Marx in The Poverty of Philosophy.

Continue reading “Against Accelerationism: The Need For Speed”