Category Archives: agonism

CrimethInc.: “Between the Reaction and the Referendum”

“Several questions remain. How can we make sure that the ways we participate in the yellow vest movement and others like it won’t be simply perceived as an “apolitical” expression of anger, giving nationalists a platform to take credit for our efforts? When we act to create a crisis, how do we prevent far right parties from capitalizing on it by promising a return to normal? How do we confront legalist and reactionary ideas within the movement? How should we prepare for the next round, in which we will either face a stronger repressive and authoritarian state or a massive nationalist and reactionary wave? But also—how can we reinforce our connections with everyone else in the streets and traffic circles?”

lundimatin: “The specter of chaos”

“The specter of chaos or anarchy is brandished by those who rule the world and benefit from it. Anarchy and chaos are identified and this identification is an illusion that the negation of order leads to chaos. What is denied by revolt or revolution is not order in general but this particular order.”

Dilar Dirik: “Women’s Internationalism against Global Patriarchy”

“From the earliest rebellions in history to the first organized women’s strikes, protests and movements, struggling women have always acted in the consciousness that their resistance is linked to wider issues of injustice and oppression in society.  Whether in the fight against colonialism, religious dogma, militarism, industrialism, state authority or capitalist modernity, historically women’s movements have mobilized the experience of different aspects of oppression and the need for a fight on multiple fronts.”

Susan Buck-Morss: “Global Civil War: Solidarity by Proxy”

“In the twenty-first century any world war is a civil war, and any civil war affects the world. Does this mean the end of the Age of Revolutions, or a whole new understanding of what revolution entails?” (video)

Harrison Fluss: “Behemoth and Leviathan: The Fascist Bestiary of the Alt-Right”

“The alt-right imagination … is torn between two opposing ‘animal spirits’. These are Behemoth and Leviathan. Originating in the Bible, these beasts gained philosophical meaning in Thomas Hobbes’ political philosophy, and entered fascist thought through the writings of the Nazi jurist Carl Schmitt. … These beasts are a pair of opposites: Behemoth is autochthonous, representing the stable order of earth-bound peoples. Leviathan is thalassocratic, embodying the fluid dynamism of seafaring peoples. Behemoth signifies terrestrial empires, while Leviathan suggests commercial trade and exploration. The former stands for traditional, divinely sanctioned state authority, the latter for the spirit of pirate-capitalist enterprise (what Schmitt calls ‘corsair capitalism’). … Today, the ‘Traditionalist’ philosopher Aleksandr Dugin and the ‘neoreactionary’ philosopher Nick Land are the standard bearers of Behemoth and Leviathan, respectively. “

“How do people excluded from political life achieve political agency?”

Martin Breaugh:  The Plebeian Experience: A Discontinuous History of Political Freedom (Columbia, 2013) “identifies fleeting yet decisive instances of emancipation in which people took it upon themselves to become political subjects.”

Jacques Rancière: “Democracy, Equality, Emancipation in a Changing World”

“A free social space … is a space where assemblies can practice forms of direct democracy intended … to make collective decisions on concrete matters. In such a way a form of political action tends to be at the same time the cell of another form of life. It is no longer a tool for preparing a future emancipation but a process of invention of forms of life and modes of thinking in which equality furthers equality.”

Alberto Toscano: “Notes on Late Fascism”

10 Preliminary Theses:
‘T1: late fascism is bereft of non-contemporaneity or non-synchronousness;
T2: the psychic structure of fascism operates through a form of mass narcissism;
T3: it operates through a performance of fanaticism devoid of inner conviction;
T4: late fascism is a conservative politics of antagonistic reproduction;
T5: it is not the politics of a class, a group or a mass, but of a manipulated series;
T6: the racialized signifier of class functions as a spectre, a screen, a supplement;
T7: late fascism is driven by a desire for the state and a hatred of government;
T8: it reacts against a liberal reaction, it is not primarily counter-revolutionary;
T9: it is an offshoot of an endogenous protracted crisis of legitimacy of capital;
T10: it is a symptom of the toxic obsolescence of the modern figure of the political, namely a “national and social state” in which citizenship is organised across axes of ethno-racial and gender identity, and articulated to labour.’

Yavor Tarinski: “Individuals and minorities in the framework of direct democracy”

Choice between participation and civil liberties is false: “There is no inherent contradiction between individual freedom and broad civic deliberation. Instead the one contributes for the development of the other. By its very nature direct democracy requires constant polemical debate and questioning of the ‘now’, which demands the creation and maintenance of colorful and pluralist social amalgam.”

Adrian Bonenberger: “The Left must Organize for Violence”

Arming for violence:  ‘But this does not mean that “the left” cannot turn things around. On the contrary, “the left” can and should begin militarizing, immediately. By taking back the means of violence that is every American’s Constitutional right, “the left” will be able to bargain again on its own terms—or, failing that, expose centrists as the collaborationist stooges they are, and “the right” as fascists, elitists, despots and authoritarians.’