Hostis, Issue 2, Call for Papers: Beyond Recognition

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Seeking recognition is always servile. We have little interest in visibility, consciousness raising, or populist pandering. Recognition always treats power as a give-and-take. On the one hand, the dispossessed use recognition as respite from exploitation; while on the other, the State expects its authority to be recognized as the first and final say. According to this logic: for the dispossessed to even get a step up, they must first acknowledge a higher power than themselves.

The particulars of our own time are even more obscene. Following the spread of economic rationality on a global scale, it is clear that the flow of forces has reversed. The State pornographically exposes its long-protected interior for others to abuse while lasciviously grooming what is beyond its regular reach. Recognition chastely reassures the State of its powers. All the while, the most banal State functions are farmed out to the highest bidder. So when their parking ticket is authored by a private corporation, those who seek recognition fall back on the State dictum that nothing good comes from the outside. Continue reading “Hostis, Issue 2, Call for Papers: Beyond Recognition”

Representing Abolition: A Critique of Communisation

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Highlights from Ray Brassier’s quite substantial critique of “communization”:

Endnotes “argue (rightly, in my view) that there can be no exit from the capital relation because it constitutes us: ‘What we are is, at the deepest level, constituted by this relation, and it is a rupture with the reproduction of what we are that will necessarily form the horizon of our struggles.’11 Thus there can be no secession from the capital relation, only its abolition. Communisation is the name for this abolition-in-process.” Continue reading “Representing Abolition: A Critique of Communisation”

This Is Not a Program: Or, The Politics of Autonomy

If we understand politics not as the ontological ground upon which forces swirl but those forces themselves, then This Is Not A Program and Sonogram of Potentiality are perhaps the  most political texts of Tiqqun. And for that reason, This Is Not A Program is not a work of philosophy but strategy. Just as Debord balked at being labelled a philosopher and instead called himself a strategist, This Is Not A Program employs philosophical dispositifs [devices, tools] but never philosophy itself; rather, it is part historical warning and part field manual for the present.

For those of you who never get around to reading the whole book, you should still read “living-and-struggling” in whole, but otherwise, here are the four most important take-home points: Continue reading “This Is Not a Program: Or, The Politics of Autonomy”

Prelude (edited)

This post contained an draft version of a dissertation section. A more recent version is now available on the works page.

A Prelude to Escape

This post contained an draft version of a dissertation section. A more recent version is now available on the works page.

Insinuation

Neither the politics of persuasion nor a presentation of facts. (The forms of rhetoric used by republikans and demokrats, respectively.) Rather, we propose insinuation as our form of political communication. Insinuation does not build the party, it spreads like a virus that mutates as it interacts with every new host. It brings about revolutions, yet not a revolution patterned after the swift seizure of the state, but a path that follows the strange drift of aesthetic revolutions — sometimes sudden, and at other times, a slow drift.

By persuasion we mean the art of bringing someone to your side. In our world, the lines in the sand disappeared long ago. There are friends, enemies, allies, and foes inside every one of us. Some paranoiacs try to draw lines for the rest of us to follow, but the result is always the same: infighting descends and people start striking too close to home. Persuaders are Southern Gentlemen still fighting for the Glory of the South, or soldiers forgotten in the Pacific.

Alternately, with the presentation of facts we mean the naive believe that the truth sets you free. We curse the worn motto ‘speak truth to power.’ For, the question is not why truth works but why illusion is so effective. Cynically, we think that truth-speakers desire being right over being effective. Some of us may have been know-it-alls as kids, but now we are more pleased with winning than living in a world of sour grapes.

Next installment: Nuts and bolts of insinuation.
Additional resources? Down the Rabbit-Hole, Alice!