‘No revolution could be crazier than the times in which we’re already living – the days of Trump and Bashar, Uber and the Islamic State, Pokémon hunting and the extinction of bees. To become ungovernable is no longer an anarchist fad, it has become a vital necessity, inasmuch as those who govern us are obviously at the helm of a ship that is headed toward the abyss. Even the most measured observers admit that politics is decomposing, and describe the current campaign as “elusive” only to avoid having to say “non-existent”. There is no reason we should submit to a ritual that has become so obviously harmful. We’re tired of understanding why everything goes wrong.’
Ethical principles for thought and action to redefine and transform the intellectual and political scene.
On the possibility of dialogue today: “You’re not in a dialogue. You’re in a power struggle. All that matters is how much force you can bring to bear on your adversaries to defend yourself from them. You can bet that if you succeed, they will accuse you of breaking off the dialogue, of violating their free speech. They will try to lure you back into conversation, playing for time until they need no more stratagems to keep you passive while they put the pieces in place for tyranny. This isn’t a dialogue—it’s a war. They’re gambling that you won’t realize this until it’s too late. If freedom is important to you, if you care about all the people marked for death and deportation, start taking action.”
“Rule through Twitter abandons the pretense of rationality required by the magic of the state, in place of which we find that other magic bound up with manifestly performative performance. What insights, then, can anthropology, with its wealth of traditions, provide? Can Trump Studies match its object of study?
In the forest we turn to what we know best, namely the riveting sense of life and lives instilled by fieldwork and the ecstatic craft of writerly practice. What better, then, in this moment of crisis, than to undertake sweeping experimentation with forms and tones of exposition? Fight theater with theater, art with art, magic with magic. There is no other way. Trumpology will thus be an art form, not of mastery, but of the mastery of nonmastery.”
“What makes movements a force—when they are a force—is the deployment of a distinctive power that arises from the ability of angry and indignant people to at times defy the rules that usually ensure their cooperation and quiescence. Movements can mobilize people to refuse, to disobey, in effect to strike. In other words, people in motion, in movements, can throw sand in the gears of the institutions that depend on their cooperation. It therefore follows that movements need numbers, but they also need a strategy that maps the impact of their defiance and the ensuing disruptions on the authority of decision-makers.”
“Now the protests will have to aim not at winning, but at halting or foiling initiatives that threaten harm. … So how do resistance movements win—if they win—in the face of an unrelentingly hostile regime? The answer, I think, is that by blocking or sabotaging the policy initiatives of the regime, resistance movements can create or deepen elite and electoral cleavages.”
Posted in defeat, democracy, disengagement, disobedience, emergency, governance, Nota Bene, power, resistance, the Left, Uncategorized