Friday, November 21, 2014

"Animals are the Jews of idealists, who are thus just virtual fascists. Fascism begins when you insult an animal, including the animal in man." - Jacques Derrida, "Fichus"

Saturday, October 4, 2014

A promissory note.

 

“It is true that scientific knowledge is the only exact and rigorous form of knowledge. But if philosophy displaces all its attention from the results and objects of scientific research to the research as such, and if, omitting to consider man’s condition in the world as it is established by the results of scientific research, it confines itself to a methodology of the activity of the scientist, then it relapses into idealism, because it then suggests that there is only one reality – not nature, but man the investigator of nature and constructor of his own science. The results of scientific research teach us that man occupies a marginal position in the universe; that for a very long time life did not exist on earth, and that its origin depended on very special conditions; that human thought is conditioned by determinate anatomical and physiological structures, and is clouded or impeded by determinate pathological alterations of these; and so on. But let us consider these results as mere contents of our thoughts as it cogitates or of our activity as it experiments and modifies nature, let us emphasize that they do not exist outside our thought and our activity, and the trick is done: external reality has been conjured away, and not by an antiquated humanism hostile to science, but instead with all the blessings of science and of modernity!”- Sebastiano Timpanaro, On Materialism

Monday, August 18, 2014

Poordjeli

"By assimilating something, you have the sense of being someone, or you imagine yourself as someone (an ego or self), who was accomplished a certain difficult task: you picture yourself as a thinker. 'True understanding,' on the other hand [...] is actually a process which goes beyond the automatic functioning of the symbolic order and involves an incursion of the symbolic into the real: the signifier brings forth something new in the real or drains off more of the real into the symbolic." - Bruce Fink, The Lacanian Subject

 "There is, in fact, no more barefaced lie than the one that consists in asserting, even - and above all - when faced with an irretrievable situation, that rebellion is good for nothing. Rebellion is its own justification, completely independent of the chance it has to modify the state of affairs that gives rise to it. It's a spark in the wind, but a spark in search of a powder keg." - André Breton, Arcanum 17

Sunday, August 10, 2014

"Ahead of a possible presidential run, Hillary Clinton appears to be distancing herself from what she called President Barack Obama's foreign policy 'failure': the decision not to intervene during the early stages of the Syrian civil war. [...]

"Commenting on another Middle East conflict — the war in Gaza between Hamas and Israel — Clinton strongly defended Israel.

"'I think Israel did what it had to do to respond to the rockets,' Clinton said. 'Israel has a right to defend itself. The steps Hamas has taken to embed rockets and command-and-control facilities and tunnel entrances in civilian areas, this makes a response by Israel difficult.'

"She called the deaths of civilians, including Palestinian children, 'dreadful,' but said, 'Ultimately the responsibility rests with Hamas.'

"'It’s impossible to know what happens in the fog of war,' Clinton said. 'Some reports say, maybe it wasn’t the exact U.N. school that was bombed, but it was the annex to the school next door where they were firing the rockets. And I do think oftentimes that the anguish you are privy to because of the coverage, and the women and the children and all the rest of that, makes it very difficult to sort through to get to the truth.

"'There’s no doubt in my mind that Hamas initiated this conflict,' she added. 'So the ultimate responsibility has to rest on Hamas and the decisions it made.'"

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

"Fundamentally, irony is simply an assertion of the ego, and of its (often spiteful) supremacy." - Alenka Zupančič, The Shortest Shadow

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

"[W]hat presumption to decree that all that is necessary for my preservation must also really be there! As if my preservation were anything necessary!" - Friedrich Nietzsche, Dawn

Monday, May 26, 2014

"Disputants of the normative buoyancy of our race can expect to be chastised for their ingratitude, upbraided for their cowardice, patronized for their shallowness. Where self-love provides the indubitable index of psychic health, its default can only ever be seen as a symptom of psychic debility. Philosophy, which once disdained opinion, becomes craven when the opinion in question is whether or not being alive is all right. Suitably ennobled by the epithet 'tragic,' the approbation of life is immunized against the charge of complacency and those who denigrate it condemned as ingrates." - Ray Brassier

Saturday, May 3, 2014

"Man is not a Being that is: he is a Nothingness that nihilates through the negation of Being. Now, the negation of Being is action. That is why Hegel says, 'the true being of man is his action.' Not to act, therefore, is not to be as a truly human being; it is to be as Sein, as given, natural being. Hence, it is to fall into decay, to become brutish; and this metaphysical truth is revealed to Man through the phenomenon of boredom: the Man who - like a thing, like an animal, like an angel - remains identical to himself, does not negate, does not negate himself - i.e., does not act, is bored. And only Man can be bored." - Alexandre Kojève, Introduction to the Reading of Hegel

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Owners are superfluous in the 21st century sports environment.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Ordinary life, previously conditioned by the problem of survival, can be dominated rationally — this possibility is at the heart of every conflict of our time — and play, radically broken from a confined ludic time and space, must invade the whole of life.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Combat Utility

"The modern world has caught up with the formal lead that surrealism once had on it. The manifestations of novelty in effectively advanced disciplines (every scientific technique) have assumed a surrealist appearance: in 1955, a robot at the University of Manchester wrote a love letter that could quite easily have passed for an example of automatic writing by a gifted surrealist. But the reality that controls this evolution is that in the absence of a revolution, everything that once constituted a margin of freedom for surrealism has been co-opted and utilized by the repressive world that the surrealists fought against.


 

"The use of a tape recorder to teach sleeping subjects reduces the richness of dreams to derisory and repugnant utilitarian ends. Nothing, however, constitutes such a clear co-optation of the subversive discoveries of surrealism as much as the exploitation of automatic writing, and the collective games founded on it, in a method of idea mining known in the United States as 'brainstorming.' In France Observateur, Gérard Lauzun writes of the function:


In one session of limited duration (ten minutes to an hour) a limited number of people (6 to 15) have every liberty to express their ideas, the most ideas possible, no matter how outlandish, without risk of censure. The quality of the ideas is not as important as the quantity. It is absolutely forbidden to criticize an idea expressed by one of the participants, or even to smile while they are speaking. Moreover, each one has the most absolute right, the very duty, to pillage the preceding ideas in order to lend credence to them... The army, the administration, and the police have also found uses for it. Scientific research is itself substituted for brainstorming sessions at conferences and 'round-tables'... If a film producer at the CFPI needs a title, eight people can propose seventy in around fifteen minutes! Next, a slogan: one hundred and four in thirty four minutes; two are kept... Thoughtlessness, irrationality, absurdity, and sudden changes of subject are the rule. Quality makes way for quantity. The main goal of this method is the elimination of the various barriers of social constraint, timidity and stage fright that often forbid some people from speaking up at meetings or during administrative conferences, from advancing ludicrous suggestions that may still contain buried treasure! With these barriers down, we can now see that people talk and, above all, that everyone has something to say...


"A few American managers have been quick to see the interest of such a technique at the level of employee relations: those who can express themselves can have more. 'Organize brainstorming sessions for us!' they tell the specialists: 'this will show our employees that we care about their ideas, because we're asking them what they think!' The technique is rapidly becoming a vaccine against the revolutionary virus." - The Bitter Victory of Surrealism

You Don't Own Me


"The Jills aren't paid for games or practices and have to make 20-35 appearances, most of which are unpaid, at community and charity events each season, the lawsuit said. On top of that, they have to pay $650 for their uniforms and are not reimbursed for travel or other expenses, the cheerleaders said.

"All five cheerleaders said they had to take a 'jiggle test' so that Mateczun, Stejon's president, could assess their physiques. And Mateczun, they said, controlled everything from their hair and nail polish color to what they could post on Facebook." - Buffalo Bills cheerleaders suspend operations
"There is a rich history of atheism and questioning the existence of God in Indian philosophy. Atheist philosophy can be found in fifth century BCE India, potentially even earlier. Early schools such as Carvaka claimed the Vedas (holy Hindu texts) were made up by men, had no religious basis and were generally sceptical about the existence of God. The Samkhya school of philosophy concludes there is no way to definitively prove God existed. This is not dissimilar to the views presented by Richard Dawkins who has admitted that whilst those who practice a religion cannot prove the existence of God, he is unable to prove that God doesn’t exist. Indeed, if one follows one of these schools of thought, it is possible to practice Hinduism in the spiritual sense, whilst not believing in God.

"Communities and groups on the African continent such as Pygmies and some Zulu communities also have a history of non-believing, as observed by American historian William Durant (albeit such analysis is contentious). Science, reason and critical thinking inform such philosophies.

"Indeed, atheist networks are becoming more common across Africa, Asia and Latin America. Not believing in a Supreme Being is not exclusively western, nor should it be viewed as such. However, prominent atheists such as the Nigerian Leo Igwe rarely get the same level of air-time as Richard Dawkins or Christopher Hitchens. These views and voices too often go unheard.

"Atheism, as presented by predominantly white men, is seen as a form of modernity achieved through white western liberal enlightenment. Despite there being a rich history and continuation of atheism in Asia and Africa it is widely believed that atheism is a ‘phenomenon with its roots in Europe,‘ seen by the new atheists as being the next step on from secularism in a progression to a more civilised society. This in turn presents a euro-centric view of events.

"Such atheism and associated ideas of white liberalism has become intertwined with right wing neo-conservatism. Sam Harris went as far as to say, "It is time we admitted that we are not at war with terrorism. We are at war with Islam." Indeed, Richard Dawkins doesn’t waste any time pretending to be subtle, once describing Islam as the ‘greatest force for evil in the world today.’

"Such atheism seems to specifically single out Islam, presenting a clash of civilizations, with western liberalism threatened by the innate backwardness and intolerance of Islam. [...]

"Behind this arrogance and obnoxious overtones there is a real lack of originality, which isn’t often picked up on. Dawkins positions himself as one of the forefathers of atheism presenting ideas in his book (as Harris and Hitchens did before them) as original and cutting edge, as obvious, as corroborated by… science and reason.

"They associate atheism with western science and reason and project ideas of white male superiority on other races and ethnicities presented as backwards in their analysis. This fails to acknowledge the advances of reason, science and logic made in communities and countries around the world. Rarely do we hear about roots of atheism outside Europe or about atheists from other parts of the world. [...]

"This white male ‘band of intellectual brothers’ have hijacked the atheist narrative. It is now time to reclaim it." - Amit Singh, All Atheists Are Not White Men

Saturday, March 22, 2014


 " 'What are we all still living for? We're damned! If I fell ill now, there isn't a soul would bother about me.' An all-pervading fear crept over me. 'I don't want to die, I don't want to die!' At a complete loss, I put my head in my hands. 'The pinnacle of creation!' - It was my despair speaking. - 'Two legs, tubes of bone, bear my whole world, a world of pain and delusion. The worst part is the body.' The fear of death sent a shudder through me. 'What lies in store for my body? All its thousand organs, into what cunning instruments of torture will they be transformed? Oh, if I could only stop thinking, but that functions automatically. There are no certainties that are not countered by uncertainties! It's an endless labyrinth, and I'm damned! My belly is filled with ordure and disgust, and whenever I do manage to feel something passionately I immediately lose my nerve. There is just one thing I do know: however much I wriggle and squirm, minute by minute I am coming closer to the inevitable, closer to death, and there is nothing I can do about it. I haven't even the courage to kill myself. Lasting unhappiness is my destiny.' I sighed." - Alfred Kubin, The Other Side

Can't stop won't stop

Tommy Frank(s) and Herr Reed:

You said to reverse all this, it requires a vibrant labor movement. How on earth is that going to happen? Actually I’ve made this point to progressives and they don’t understand. They’re like, “What’s so special about labor?” They don’t particularly like labor. Culturally, it’s not them. They don’t really get it. 

They like their workers when theyre brown and really abject and getting the shit beaten out of them but they dont like them when they try to work through institutions to build power for themselves as a class. Thats one way to put it.

These are people on the left that I’m talking about.

Thats who Im talking about too. Thats exactly who Im talking about. Its a few things. One of them is the cult of the most oppressed that I mentioned a while back. And as my dad used to say, If oppression conferred heightened political consciousness there would be a Peoples Republic of Mississippi.And the fact is all that oppression confers is oppression really. [...]
Theres a conflation of the moral imperative and the strategic imperative. In fact, its not even conflation, its substitution of moral imperative for a strategic imperative.

So what do you mean? We choose the one that our heart goes out to and imagine that they are the ones who have the answer?

Exactly. In a way, from an organizing standpoint, that often means that youre stacking the deck against yourself or picking, choosing, to focus on the populations that have the least in the way of resources, the least in the way of institutional capacity.

Friday, March 21, 2014

The Golden Sphere

"I'm as convinced as anyone that we can change the society to make it better, and my beef, actually, is with the tendency to imagine that things aren't as bad as they are, that we don't need to do the things that we need to do, that there's some magical intervention that's just across the horizon that will come and take care of all of our problems for us. [...] That's what I think is expressive of a real despair. When you think about it, that's kind of what religion is, right? You can't face the depth or the height of the challenge that confronts us, so you retreat to a fantasy world. And that's what I want to challenge, at least insofar as I'm talking to the left, or I'm trying to talk to the left." - Adolph Reed, Jr.

Monday, March 3, 2014

"Anyone born poor in Chicago has a better chance of achieving the American Dream by learning German and moving to Berlin than by staying at home." - Walter Benn Michaels

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

There is too much civilization, too much means of subsistence, too much industry, too much commerce



"Hitherto, every form of society has been based [...] on the antagonism of oppressing and oppressed classes. But in order to oppress a class, certain conditions must be assured to it under which it can, at least, continue its slavish existence. The serf, in the period of serfdom, raised himself to membership in the commune, just as the petty bourgeois, under the yoke of feudal absolutism, managed to develop into a bourgeois. The modern labourer, on the contrary, instead of rising with the progress of industry, sinks deeper and deeper below the conditions of existence of his own class. He becomes a pauper, and pauperism develops more rapidly than population and wealth. And here it becomes evident that the bourgeoisie is unfit any longer to be the ruling class in society, and to impose its conditions of existence upon society as an overriding law. It is unfit to rule because it is incompetent to assure an existence to its slave within his slavery, because it cannot help letting him sink into such a state that it has to feed him, instead of being fed by him. Society can no longer live under this bourgeoisie, in other words, its existence is no longer compatible with society." - Karl Marx and Frederick Engels, Manifesto of the Communist Party

Saturday, February 8, 2014

"We are often told that the poor are grateful for charity. Some of them are, no doubt, but the best amongst the poor are never grateful. They are ungrateful, discontented, disobedient, and rebellious. They are quite right to be so. Charity they feel to be a ridiculously inadequate mode of partial restitution, or a sentimental dole, usually accompanied by some impertinent attempt on the part of the sentimentalist to tyrannise over their private lives. Why should they be grateful for the crumbs that fall from the rich man’s table? They should be seated at the board, and are beginning to know it. As for being discontented, a man who would not be discontented with such surroundings and such a low mode of life would be a perfect brute. Disobedience, in the eyes of anyone who has read history, is man’s original virtue. It is through disobedience that progress has been made, through disobedience and through rebellion. Sometimes the poor are praised for being thrifty. But to recommend thrift to the poor is both grotesque and insulting. It is like advising a man who is starving to eat less. For a town or country labourer to practise thrift would be absolutely immoral. Man should not be ready to show that he can live like a badly-fed animal. He should decline to live like that, and should either steal or go on the rates, which is considered by many to be a form of stealing. As for begging, it is safer to beg than to take, but it is finer to take than to beg. No: a poor man who is ungrateful, unthrifty, discontented, and rebellious, is probably a real personality, and has much in him. He is at any rate a healthy protest. As for the virtuous poor, one can pity them, of course, but one cannot possibly admire them. They have made private terms with the enemy, and sold their birthright for very bad pottage. They must also be extraordinarily stupid. I can quite understand a man accepting laws that protect private property, and admit of its accumulation, as long as he himself is able under those conditions to realise some form of beautiful and intellectual life. But it is almost incredible to me how a man whose life is marred and made hideous by such laws can possibly acquiesce in their continuance." - Oscar Wilde, The Soul of Man under Socialism

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

"Beat up a rock band from Detroit called the Stooges. Beat the shit out of them for not being tough enough, and having a reputation for intensity even though it was unearned. The Stooges has played at a rock club on Second Avenue, and just after their set had ended word spread that the band was piling into their limousine and heading off to Max's Kansas City for dinner with rich people and celebrities. The crowd became enraged, dragged the singer and his bandmates from their limousine and forced them back inside the club, The Motherfuckers concentrated on pummeling the singer and then pissed on his satin pants. Which he was still wearing as he lay on his side, groaning. Not quite in the same way he had groaned and yowled onstage, trying to peddle his fake intensity to the young girls [...]" - Rachel Kushner, The Flamethrowers

Monday, January 20, 2014

"We may say broadly that free thought is the best of all the safeguards against freedom. Managed in a modern style the emancipation of the slave's mind is the best way of preventing the emancipation of the slave. Teach him to worry about whether he wants to be free, and he will not free himself." - G. K. Chesterton, Orthodoxy

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Dictatorship of the proletariat

"Unless there’s serious jail time, unless there’s serious consequences, I think this is just going to be another tragedy that’s forgotten about. Kate Sheppard of The Huffington Post had a great article yesterday [...] about interviews with different West Virginia Democrats, and a lot of West Virginia Democrats are kind of tepid about calling for new regulations in the wake of this, just like we saw in West, Texas, where Obama spoke at the memorial of the workers that died in West, Texas, and didn’t even mention the word 'lack of regulations.'"

Sunday, January 12, 2014

"Why is democracy so limited that the voters of a city can't control the largest employer in town? Why did the Port of Seattle join in with the corporations against the minimum wage increase? Why didn't it simply mandate the new minimum wage for all contractors? Indeed, why does a public entity like the port have to [be] pushed by voters into a living wage?

"Other questions arise from the election itself: Why should the large number of non-citizen residents of Sea-Tac be excluded from votes with a real impact on their working lives? Doesn't real democracy mean that all residents should get to vote on questions that affect them? Why should corporations be able to use the profits they make from exploiting workers to try to buy elections and stop measures designed to benefits those same workers?

"And of course: Can we ever expect justice from the U.S. court system?" - Steve Leigh, "Setback for living-wage measure in Sea-Tac"

Saturday, January 11, 2014

"Instead of being thought of in terms of meaning, dialogue, communication, interaction, or any kind of mutual relation, the work of art is first and foremost a presence, a being vowed to its own sovereign joy. A tribute to the sheer autistic inwardness that belongs to every pleasure." - Aaron Schuster, "Your Guide to Better Pleasure"