George L. Jackson | Blood In My Eye

  My dear only surviving son, I went to Mount Vernon August 7th, 1971, to visit the grave site of my heart your keepers murdered in cold disregard for life. His grave was supposed to be behind your grandfather’s and grandmother’s. But I couldn’t find it. There was no marker. Just mowed grass. The story of our past. I sent the keeper a blank check for a headstone — and two extra sites— blood in my eye!!!     Amerikan Justice   For their freedom to prey on the world’s people . . . whatever the cost in blood.  …

Claire Fontaine | Human Strike Within The Field Of The Libidinal Economy

  The possibility of keeping together autonomy and an affective life is a tale that hasn’t been written yet. – Lea Melandri, Una visceralità indicibile, 2007   In 1974 François Lyotard published the surprising book entitled Libidinal Economy where he attacked Marxist and Freudian simplifications and he opened a new perspective on the connection between desires and struggle. What starts to crumble at that time under the offensive of the two essential weapon-books by Deleuze and Guattari Anti-Oedipus and A Thousand Plateaus is the fetishisation of consciousness as the organ that will lead the revolution. As the myth of the…

Jean-Marie Straub / Danièle Huillet | Hölderlin, That Is Utopia

  Jean-Marie Straub: Hölderlin experienced the birth of the Wilhelmine Age. He was a young poet, full of high-flying plants; he said that himself. He was twenty-eight years old when he wrote The Death of Empedocles. In Germany between 1789 and 1798 all kinds of things had happened. Things had gone well for the ruling class, less well for other people. Büchner had had to flee, and some others as well . . . Hölderlin dreamed of the revolution—let’s call it that, even if the word is no longer in fashion today—a revolution that did not take place. As an…

Mehdi Belhaj Kacem | Tomb for Guy Debord

Guy Debord was the avant-garde’s Christ. Guy Debord was the avant-garde’s Christ. He was immolated by his own ideology, which he more than anyone (Tzara, Duchamp, Artaud, the Viennese Actionists…) had pushed to its extremes. He covered all of its possibilities, all of its impasses. His extreme attempts were neither successes, nor failures. Today, his path should be evaluated through other methods: the ones left to us in the wake of the avant-garde’s disappearance. To put it as Reiner Schürmann does: truth is a “conflictuality without agreements.” It is within Debord’s insurmountable contradictions, whose political, aesthetic, and existential preoccupations were…

Jean-Marie Straub | My Key Dates

  I’m older than Baudelaire when he said he was a thousand years old, so: 1842. The German forest is forbidden to the poor (dead wood, mushrooms, chestnuts, etc.); it becomes a place for indus- trial exploitation. A young Karl Marx protests, costing him his position as a journalist at the Rheinische Zeitung. Winter 1942. I go ice-skating on the frozen Moselle. STALINGRAD! “Finally, the beginning of the end,” says my father. 1945. A few days before the end of the war, just to impress Stalin, American B17s bomb Dresden, one of the most beautiful German cities, twice, destroying it and…

Jean-Luc Godard’s “Militant Filmmaking”; by Irmgard Emmelhainz

Irmgard Emmelhainz | Between Objective Engagement and Engaged Cinema: Jean-Luc Godard’s “Militant Filmmaking” (1967–1974)   It is often argued that between 1967 and 1974 Godard operated under a misguided assessment of the effervescence of the social and political situation and produced the equivalent of “terrorism” in filmmaking. He did this, as the argument goes, by both subverting the formal operations of narrative film and by being biased toward an ideological political engagement.1 Here, I explore the idea that Godard’s films of this period are more than partisan political statements or anti-narrative formal experimentations. The filmmaker’s response to the intense political climate that…

Ten Lessons from the Yellow Vests

By Étienne Dolet As has happened so often in the history of social movements and revolutions, actually existing history has once again outstripped the ready-made concepts and theories that we have for understanding it. The “yellow vests movement,” which was sparked earlier this fall but clearly has much deeper roots, has left many bewildered by the lack of party or union alignments on the part of the participants, the combination of extreme left and extreme right elements, its remarkable resilience and growth since November, and its ongoing creativity and dynamism in the face of massive state repression. The anonymous collective…