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Mark Fisher | Acid Communism (Unfinished Introduction)

  “The spectre of a world which could be free” “[T]he closer the real possibility of liberating the individual from the constraints once justified by scarcity and immaturity, the greater the need for maintaining and streamlining these constraints lest the established order of domination dissolve. Civilisation has to protect itself against the spectre of a world which could be free. […] In exchange for the commodities that enrich their lives […] individuals sell not only their labour but also their free time. […] People dwell in apartment concentrations — and have private automobiles with which they can no longer escape…

The Gilets Jaunes: Understanding the resistance of an insurrection

A background analysis of the yellow vests movement, after five months of mobilisation. A return to the salient points of this long sequence of struggle: the articulation strike-blockage and economic struggle-political struggle; the centrality of democratic issues; and the prospects of Commercy/Saint-Nazaire. We propose here an abridged version of an article from the Plateforme d’enquêtes militantes (12/04/2019) that takes stock after five months of mobilisation. We have tried to highlight the elements which seem to us particularly important: the articulation between strike and blockage, as well as between economic struggle and political struggle; the centrality of the democratic stakes raised by the…

Jacques Rancière | History, Politics, Aesthetics (Edited by Gabriel Rockhill & Philip Watts)

→  PDF Editor(s): Gabriel Rockhill, Philip Watts Contributor(s): Gabriel Rockhill, Kristin Ross, Alain Badiou, Eric Mechoulan, Giuseppina Mecchia, Jean-Luc Nancy, Étienne Balibar, Todd May, Yves Citton, Peter Hallward, Bruno Bosteels, Solange Guenoun, Tom Conley, Rajeshwari Vallury, Andrew Parker, James Swenson, Jacques Rancière, Philip Watts The French philosopher Jacques Rancière has influenced disciplines from history and philosophy to political theory, literature, art history, and film studies. His research into nineteenth-century workers’ archives, reflections on political equality, critique of the traditional division between intellectual and manual labor, and analysis of the place of literature, film, and art in modern society have all constituted major contributions to contemporary thought. In this collection, leading scholars in the fields of philosophy, literary theory, and cultural criticism…

riots and/or poetics [4/2019]

December Journal / 2017 secret idea / of yours / that you / could become a better person / if you read the right books // at the ica fred moten speaks of “battling with identity against / the backdrop of the denial of identity” // yes yes yes // I have to fight against my urge to ascetism and self-sacrifice / but I’m reading about simone weil again – she seems like the / most beautiful / she says, “when you decide something always do what will cost / you the most” // I would like there not to be grants / no crowdfunding / no paperwork to prove your need / no application to decide who…

The Gilets Jaunes: Understanding the movement(s) beyond final defeat or victory

The political soothsayers and diviners will cynically proclaim the yellow vests’ movement dead: Act XXI brought less than 25,000 people into the streets this last Saturday. We however refuse to be political accountants. And rebellions and revolutions have never been about numbers, but about the intensity of the desires and creativity unleashed. And we will continue to share the movement(s)’ voices. Gilets Jaunes Victory Communique Nº 1 Victory: the anger that everyone thought was theirs to feel alone, was found to be felt by the greatest number! Victory: the yellow vests shattered in the population the feeling of despondency and…

Velimir Khlebnikov | October on the Neva

Early in the spring of 1917, Petnikov and I took the train to Moscow. ” We alone have rolled up your three years of war into a single spiral, a terrifying trumpet, and now we sing and shout, we sing and shout, drunk with the audacity of this truth: the Government of Planet Earth already exists. We are It. We alone have crowned ourselves with the evergreen wreaths of Presidents of Planet Earth, inexorable in our sunburnt audacity. We are potters who fire the wet clay of humanity into vessels, containers of time, we organize hunting expeditions for the souls…

Noura Wedell | To Hold a Wild Basket [on Fernand Deligny]

  We can understand why there have been such few networks like this one: they require the abolition of privileges, an abolition that seems to be at the center of any serious attempt to escape what lies in wait for anyone who follows the path traced by the state, the family, school and everything else. —Norbert Z, Au défaut du language The modernist model of heterosexuality is coming to an end. Clearly, this is what is signaled by the current proliferation of discourses and acts constituting alternative genders and sexual orientations. According to Foucault, Federici and other theorists, the model of…

Alain Badiou | Philosophy for Militants

Philosophy for Militants: PDF   An urgent and provocative account of the modern ‘militant’, a transformative figure at the front line of emancipatory politics. Around the world, recent events have seen the creation of a radical phalanx comprising students, the young, workers and immigrants. It is Badiou’s contention that the politics of such militants should condition the tasks of philosophy, even as philosophy clarifies the truth of our political condition. To resolve the conflicts between politics, philosophy and democracy, Badiou argues for a resurgent communism – returning to the original call for universal emancipation and organizing for militant struggle.    …

Vladimir Mayakovsky | Order to the Army of the Arts

  Order to the Army of the Arts [1] (1918) Threadbare men of the old brigade bore on about this and that. Comrades! To the barricades! Barricades of minds and hearts. Only those who have burnt their boats are true communists. You can’t just stroll on, you futurists, the Future requires a leap! It’s not enough just to build the engine — you need a head of steam: wheels turn, we’re off. If there’s no music to lead us on, why bother with AC or DC? Pile sound on sound and for the lyrics we’ve some great phonemes in Russian:…

Antonin Artaud | Letter to Peter Watson

    Paris, 27 July 1947   Dear Sir, I entered into literature by writing books in order to say that I was unable to write anything, my thought when I had something to say or to write was what was denied me most. I never had any ideas and two very short books, 70 pages each, revolve around this profound, inveter- ate, endemic absence of any idea. They are l’Ombilic des Limbes and le Pèse-Nerfs. At the time they seemed to me full of cracks, of faults, of platitudes, and as if stuffed with spontaneous abortions, of abandonings and…

DIE AFFÄRE LEBOVICI | PSYCHOGEOGRAPHIE [ACTE XVIII]

  Zum Umsturz aller bestehenden Ordnung aufzurufen / Scheint furchtbar. / Aber das Bestehende ist keine Ordnung. // Zur Gewalt seine Zuflucht zu nehmen / Scheint böse. Aber da, was ständig geübt wird, Gewalt ist / Ist es nichts Besonderes. Bertolt Brecht   Die ganze Affäre [wie auch der modus operandi] ist geprägt von einem Klima persönlichen Verrats und politischen Hinterhalts: Gérard Lebovici [Herausgeber der Editions Champ Libre, Produzent und Freund Guy Debords] in einer Tiefgarage in der Avenue Foch, Chaillot. Porte Dauphine mit vier Kugeln im Hinterkopf auf dem Vordersitz seines Wagens; Polizei, D.S.T. & Renseignements généraux zeichnen eine…

Bertolt Brecht | The Reader for City Dwellers

    1 Cover your tracks Split from your mate at the train station Go into town in the morning with your coat buttoned up Find a place And when your mate knocks, Don’t, oh, don’t open the door Instead Cover your tracks! If you bump into your parents in the city of Hamburg Or anywhere else (for that matter) Pass them like strangers, turn the corner, don’t acknowledge them Pull the hat, which they gave you, over your face Don’t, oh, don’t show your face Instead Cover your tracks! Eat the meat that’s there! Don’t save anything! Enter any…

Farocki / Godard: Film as Theory

Farocki / Godard: Film as Theory  PDF  Volker Pantenburg   There is a tension between the requirements of theoretical abstraction and the capacities of the film medium, where everything that we see on screen is concrete: A train arriving at a station, a tree, bodies, faces. Since the complex theories of montage in Soviet cinema, however, there have continuously been attempts to express theoretical issues by combining shots, thus creating a visual form of thinking. This book brings together two major filmmakers-French New Wave master Jean-Luc Godard and German avant-gardist Harun Farocki to explore the fundamental tension between theoretical abstraction and…

Mario Santiago Papasquiaro | Infrarrealist Manifesto & Selected Poems

INFRARREALST MANIFESTO   WHAT DO WE PROPOSE? NOT MAKING ART INTO A CAREER SHOWING THAT EVERYTHING IS ART AND ANYONE CAN MAKE IT CONCERNING OURSELVES WITH “INSIGNIFICANT” THINGS / WITH NO INSTITUTIONAL VALUE / PLAYING / ART SHOULD EXIST IN LIMITLESS AMOUNTS / AFFORDABLE FOR EVERYONE, AND IF POSSIBLE, MADE BY EVERYONE   !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!   ATTACKING ART / ATTACKING EVERYDAY LIFE (DUCHAMP) AT A TIME THAT SEEMS ALMOST ENTIRELY CLOSED TO PROFESSIONAL OPTIMISTS TRANSFORMING ART / TRANSFORMING EVERYDAY LIFE (OURSELVES) CREATIVITY / THE OUTSIDERS’S LIFE AT ANY COST (MOVING OUR HIPS TO THE PRESENT WITH EYES BLINKING FROM THE AIRPORTS…

Antonin Artaud

  This is the first solo exhibition dedicated to the work of Antonin Artaud to be staged in the UK, and more significantly to focus on the rarely seen notebooks which Artaud began working on from the time of his arrival at the Rodez mental asylum in 1945, until his death at the Ivry clinic in 1948. The eventual 20,000 pages of image-text amalgam constitute one of his most significant bodies of work. An unclassifiable volume of writing and drawing. Portraits, names, calculations, glossolalia, sigils, lists of drugs and foods stuffs, formulae, totems, lexicons, anatomies, objects, (boxes, chains and nails), machines and implements of obscure purpose. There…

The Gilets Jaunes: An ultimatum

In anticipation of Act XVIII (March 16) of the yellow vests in Paris. On the street, Algerian power responds with the same gas as French power, and the same gaseous speech. “It’s us or chaos” … “watch out, you’re infiltrated” … “how dare you speak on behalf of the people?”… there is a framework to express yourself: democratic elections!”, and without waiting it weaves intrigues. In Algeria too, there is talk of launching a “great national debate”. This is the basis of the counterinsurgency: to launch false debates on the one side, and a real repression on the other, and…

Fernand Deligny | The Arachnean and Other Texts

The originality of Deligny’s theoretical and practical position consists precisely in what can be called a “suspension of interpellation,” in which one can also see a fundamental point of intersection with the inaugural gesture of psychoanalysis, over and beyond the explicit oppositions, as will become clear. One might say that to “the theoretical anti-humanism” professed by Althusser, Deligny opposed an authentic “practical anti-humanism” that dismissed “men,” the humans-that-we-are, shored up by what Deleuze called a “thought image” of themselves, a flattering, ready-made image, dominating and exclusive, in favor of a narcissistically and socially less satisfying “human,” possibly mute and idle, but in reality more richly endowed with practical recompositions.

The Invisible Committee | Now

‘Now’ proposes a “destituent process” that charts out a different path to be taken, a path of outright refusal that simply ignores elections altogether. It is a path that calls for taking over the world and not taking power, for exploring new forms of life and not a new constitution, and for desertion and silence as alternatives to proclamations and crashes. It is also a call for an unprecedented communism—a communism stronger than nation and country.

Arthur Rimbaud | The Letters (1870-1872)

  TO GEORGES IZAMBARD Charleville, August 25, 1870 Monsieur, How lucky you are to be out of Charleville! In all the world, no more moronic, provincial little town exists than my own. I have no illusions about this any more. Because it is next to Mézières—which no one has heard of—because two or three hundred infantrymen wander its streets, my sanctimonious fellow residents gesticulate like Prudhommesque swordsmen, not at all like those under siege in Metz and Strasbourg! How dreadful, retired grocers donning their uniforms! How marvelous, as though that’s all it takes, notaries, glaziers, tax inspectors, woodworkers, and all…

Marcel van der Linden | Socialisme ou Barbarie: A French Revolutionary Group (1949-65)

An essay about French libertarian socialist group ‘Socialisme ou Barbarie’. ‘Socialisme ou Barbarie’ had a theoretical influence on the Situationist International and others of their time. [In memory of Cornelius Castoriadis, 11 March 1922 – 26 December 1997).

Maurice Brinton | Paris: May 1968

  Introduction This is an eyewitness account of two weeks spent in Paris during May 1968. It is what one person saw, heard or discovered during that short period. The account has no pretence at comprehensiveness. It has been written and produced in haste, its purpose being to inform rather than to analyze – and to inform quickly. The French events have a significance that extends far beyond the frontiers of modern France. They will leave their mark on the history of the second half of the twentieth century. French bourgeois society has just been shaken to its foundations. Whatever…

Antonin Artaud | Alienation and Black Magic & Peter Valente | from ‘The Artaud Variations’

  ALIENATION AND BLACK MAGIC   Insane asylums are conscious and premeditated receptacles of black magic, and it is not only that doctors encourage magic with their inopportune and hybrid therapies, it is how they use it. If there had been no doctors there would never have been patients, no skeletons of the diseased dead to butcher and flay, for it is through doctors and not through patients that society began. Those who live, live off the dead. And it is likewise necessary that death live; and there is nothing like an insane asylum for gently incubating death, and for…

Gerald Raunig | For a new political ecosophy [F. Guattari: The Three Ecologies]

‘Three Ecologies’ are Guattari’s political manifesto at the end of a decade he himself called the “winter years.” His interpretation of these years speaks to our present in many ways. Not only does the specter of Donald Trump appear in the text, as cynical actor of speculation, gentrification and the completely unchecked displacement of poorer groups from Manhattan and elsewhere […]

Ryan Eckes | chase scenes

  we’re in a classroom, which is a store. the professor tells us the true write must destroy his own ego. do not tell stories, he says, unless they are someone else’s. do not  say i. i look at the clock and the clock’s the wind, it says one tongue per king, and that pulls on me like a sad movie. i just watched five easy pieces, what a bummer. what a bummer he left her and life up in the air like a dead piano. i’m sick of the road as the end as if no gas station rots…

UNE INSULTE À LA REPUBLIQUE: AIMÉ CÉSAIRE AND FRIEDRICH HÖLDERLIN …

UNE INSULTE À LA RÉPUBLIQUE: AIMÉ  CÉSAIRE AND FRIEDRICH HÖLDERLIN DECLARE THE FRENCH REVOLUTION A TRAGEDY, VOW TO SUPPORT #GILETSJAUNES MOVEMENT INSTEAD | by @waywarddrift   I. Introduction The study that follows concerns two tragic plays that treat the emergence and aftermath of a single global revolutionary horizon which included both the French and the Haitian revolutions. As the tragic genre suggests, Friedrich Hölderlin’s The Death of Empedocles (1799) and Aime Césaire’s And the Dogs Were Silent (1956) stage reflections on the initial successes and subsequent defeat of their respective revolutionary moments. What can tragedy or art offer to thinking…

Alain Badiou | Metapolitics

Metapolitics argues that one of the main tasks of contemporary thought is to abolish the idea that politics is merely an object for philosophical reflection. Badiou critically examines the thought of anthropologist and political theorist Sylvain Lazarus, Jacques Rancière’s writings on workers’ history and democratic dissensus, the role of the subject in Althusser, as well as the concept of democracy and the link between truth and justice.

Kristin Ross | Against commemoration: Unearthing the lives and afterlives of May ’68

Thread:In May ’68 and its afterlives (2002), you described France’s ‘68 as a “union of intellectual contestation with workers struggles.” Left formations today struggle to create programs of action that unite peoples of different sectors of society. What should the Left know about the political struggles that unfolded in May 1968 in France? What thought and action enabled the coalescence of forces in ‘68? Ross: Well, that changes all the time, doesn’t it? The past is very unpredictable and its ability to connect with our current situations is often indirect and somewhat aleatory. When I wrote my book, for example, at…

The Invisible Committee | Power is Logistic. Block Everything!

  Turin, January 28, 2012. 1. Power Now Resides in Infrastructures. Occupation of the Kasbah in Tunis and of the Syntagma Square in Athens, siege of Westminster in London during the student movement of 2011, encirclement of the parliament in Madrid on September 25, 2012 or in Barcelona on June 15, 2011, riots all around the Chamber of Deputies in Rome on December 14, 2010, attempt on October 15, 2011 in Lisbon to invade the Assembleia da Republica, burning of the Bosnian presidential residence in February of 2014: the places of institutional power exert a magnetic attraction on revolutionaries. But…

Pragmatic/Machinic: Discussion with Félix Guattari [by Charles J. Stivale]

  The following discussion with Félix Guattari took place in his apartment in Paris. With the help of a number of friends, I had prepared a set of questions, and had contacted him to see if he might be available to answer some of them.\1 He responded immediately, and left messages with the friend in Paris in whose apartment I would be staying. Prior to the trip, I also had contacted Gilles Deleuze to arrange an extended interview, and although his schedule and health prevented him from agreeing to a long session, I did visit him at his apartment the…

Alèssi Dell’Umbria | Full Metal Yellow Jacket

“Oh shit!” – Louis XVI, 21 January 1793.     Let’s make the most of a good thing! The Zeitgeist reveals itself in revolt, each time in new forms. With the movement against the Labor Law in spring 2016, there was the cortège de tête; in Spring 2018, it was the defense of the communized rural territory of the ZAD; most recently, in Autumn 2018, the Yellow Vests movement erupted into uncontrolled blockades and demonstrations, which are still ongoing. An unknown but familiar territory has begun to take on a political existence. The yellow vests have situated themselves in a peripheral…

riots and/or poetics [01/2019]

Since the 17th of November, from the smallest rural village to the largest city, we have risen up against this deeply violent, unjust and unbearable society. We will not let this continue! We rebel against the excessive cost of living, precariousness and misery. We want our loved ones, our families and our children, to live in dignity. 26 billionaires own as much as half of humanity; this is unacceptable. Let’s share the wealth and not the misery! Let’s finish with social inequalities! We demand the immediate increase of wages, social assistance, allowances and pensions, the unconditional right to housing and…

Gilets jaunes: Between horizontal autonomies and vertical unity | Yellow Letters

A journalist, seemingly sharing the illusions of politicians, writes “it’s time for the gilets jaunes to decide who and what they want to be”. (The Guardian, 29/01/2019) The politicians of france (and of everywhere, faced by a similar insurrection) are eager to have a “who” and “what” behind every rebellion, for it is in this manner that rebellions can be induced to negotiate, to be domesticated and subdued. Many of the gilets jaunes, even in the face of their divisions, continue to refuse unifying identification and thus representation. And the chimera of unity is nothing but a desired instrument of…

César Vallejo | Cuneiforms

No biographer or scholar can avoid the imprisonment that César Vallejo suffered between November 6, 1920, and February12, 1921, in Trujillo, an episode that stakes out an indubitable before and after in the life and work of the Santiaguino.
The first section of ‘Scales’, ‘Cuneiforms,’ and several poems of ‘Trilce’ were composed in his cell of Trujillo Central Jail. In effect, Vallejo wrote from and about the prison.

Gilles Deleuze | Postscript on the Societies of Control

1. Historical Foucault located the disciplinary societies in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries; they reach their height at the outset of the twentieth. They initiate the organization of vast spaces of enclosure. The individual never ceases passing from one closed environment to another, each having its own laws: first, the family; then the school (“you are no longer in your family”); then the barracks (“you are no longer at school”); then the factory; from time to time the hospital; possibly the prison, the pre-eminent instance of the enclosed environment. It’s the prison that serves as the analogical model: at the…

Gilles Deleuze | Control and Becoming

Negri: The problem of politics seems to have always been present in your intellectual life. Your involvement in various movements (prisoners, homosexuals, Italian autonomists, Palestinians), on the one hand, and the constant problematizing of institutions, on the other, follow on from one another and interact with one another in your work, from the book on Hume through to the one on Foucault. What are the roots of this sustained concern with the question of politics, and how has it remained so persistent within your developing work? Why is the rela­tion between movement and institution always problematic? Deleuze: What I’ve been interested in…

Vladimir Mayakovsky | What Is LEF Fighting For? ((Manifesto))

  The year 1905. After it, reaction. Reaction settled in with autocracy and the double oppression of the merchant and the factory owner. Reaction created art and life in its own image and according to its own taste. The art of the Symbolists (Bely, Balmont), mystics (Chulkov, Gippius), and sexual psychopaths (Rozanov)–the life of the petty bourgeois and philistines. The revolutionary parties smashed their lives; art rose up and smashed their tastes. The first impressionistic flare up was in 1909 (the collection A Trap for Judges). The flames were fanned for three years. Fanned into Futurism. The first book of the union of…

Verity Spott | Poems ((Poetics of Protest))

Last Manifesto How hateful you’ve become. It’s the day before the deadline for the GRA consultation. Maybe you’re reading this in a few years time and you don’t know what that is – you don’t know what anything is. The whole world has been sucked out and paralysed and you’re not capable of knowing anything. No. That’s now. Hostile subject, you don’t know anything at all. We are left with almost nothing. Hatred is not knowledge, it is idiot passion. It burns in me. The reason this feels strange is because I barely know what any of it means anymore….

Sophie Wahnich | IN DEFENCE OF TERROR: Liberty or Death in the French Revolution

I want never to forget how I was forced to become — for how long? — a monster of justice and intolerance, a narrow-minded simplifier, an arctic character uninterested in anyone who was not in league with him to kill the dogs of hell. — René Char   Provocative reassessment of the Great Terror as a price worth paying For two hundred years after the French Revolution, the Republican tradition celebrated the execution of princes and aristocrats, defending the Terror that the Revolution inflicted upon on its enemies. But recent decades have brought a marked change in sensibility. The Revolution…

Reading Capital | The Complete Edition

READING CAPITAL | THE COMPLETE EDITION
LOUIS ALTHUSSER, ÉTIENNE BALIBAR, ROGER ESTABLET, PIERRE MACHEREY AND JACQUES RANCIÈRE //
Reading Capital: 50 Years Later //
Nina Power: Reading Social Reproduction into ‘Reading Capital

Esther Leslie | Men of Doubt: Fortini, Benjamin, Brecht

I will present my ideas as theses, in recognition of the fragmented and poetic modes of the men I discuss. And, too, as reflection of the central idea here, that of ‘doubt’ – aiming at a certain non-definitive articulation, the wish to leave something uncompleted, unsealed, possible but yet to be made actual, if it can. I begin with a translation of a poem by Fortini.

Alexander Trocchi | A Revolutionary Proposal: Invisible Insurrection of a Million Minds

And if there is still one hellish, truly accursed thing in our time, it is our artistic dallying with forms, instead of being like victims burnt at the stake, signalling through the flames. — Antonin Artaud, The Theatre and Its Double, 1958 Revolt is understandably unpopular. As soon as it is defined, it has provoked the measures for its confinement. The prudent man will avoid his definition which is in effect his death-sentence. Besides, it is a limit. We are concerned not with the coup d’etat [seizure of the state] of Trotsky and Lenin, but with the coup du monde [seizure of the world], a transition…

Jean-Michel Mension | The Tribe

The Tribe Contributions to the History of the Situationist International and Its Time Full book: PDF Jean-Michel Mension “As for Guy, he succeeded, I gather, in working very little and living the life of the perpetual drinker and boozy thinker to perfection. For my part, I took a different route politically: I did work, unlike Guy, who says he never worked, but at bottom I think that we never changed. I still hold to the same positions, even if in my case they translate into quite different tactical political choices. The main thing is to persevere, to hold on to the…

Deleuze, Marx and Politics ((The Grandeur of Marx)) | by Nicholas Thoburn

→ Full book: PDF NICHOLAS THOBURN DELEUZE, MARX AND POLITICS FIRST PUBLISHED 2003 BY ROUTLEDGE     Introduction: The grandeur of Marx   For the race summoned forth by art or philosophy is not the one that claims to be pure but rather an oppressed, bastard, lower, anarchical, nomadic, and irremediably minor race. Deleuze/Guattari; What is Philosophy? one does not belong to communism, and communism does not let itself be designated by what it names. Maurice Blanchot; Friendship Gilles Deleuze’s comment that his last book, uncompleted before his death, was to be called The Grandeur of Marx leaves a fitting…

Guy Debord | Panegyric

“Panegyric means more than eulogy. Eulogy no doubt includes praise of the person, but it does not exclude a certain criticism, a certain blame. Panegyric involves neither blame nor criticism.” LITTRÉ, Dictionnaire de la langue française.   “Why ask my lineage? The generations of men are like those of leaves. The wind casts the leaves to the ground, but the fertile forest brings forth others, and spring comes round again. So it is that the human race is born and passes away.” Iliad, Canto VI.     I “As for his plan, we profess to be able to demonstrate that there…

HERE & ELSEWHERE / HIER UND ANDERSWO

[…] Before she too is slaughtered by the Bourgeois (the mob of order), Rosa Luxemburg writes about Bacchanalia, which the bourgeoisie regularly holds upon its victims. From the perverse happiness of the tormentors: the whispering of the pariahs in secret. Gaps of ghastly proportions. Maintained by continuous police work, by the breeding of greenhouse roses, laws & border installations. The liquidation of the poetic word. Chalk circles one makes around a pair of shoes, a bicycle, a pool of blood [the stigmata of capitalism].

RESITUATING THE YELLOW VEST MOVEMENT

The authors of the December 7 article, “Contribution to the rupture in progress,”   [1] continue their analysis of the Yellow Vests movement. As they argue, the Saturday battles are now behind us, and it is the roundabouts and self-organization beginning at the local level that forms the line of increasing power within the current movement. -Lundi matin     “It’s a serious mistake to believe that people are made stupid by staying in a single place.” –William Cobbett “AND THE STATE SANK…” The week of December 3rd was marked by a massive deluge of state and media propaganda, a drama that had several…

Antonin Artaud | Sylvère Lotringer; All Paranoiacs (Interview with Paule Thévenin)

Antonin Artaud | Post-Scriptum Who am I? Where do I come from? I am Antonin Artaud and if I say it as I know how to say it immediately you will see my present body fly into pieces and under ten thousand notorious aspects a new body will be assembled in which you will never again be able to forget me. Translated by Clayton Eshleman   False Witnesses Sylvère Lotringer: You never told me how you met Artaud. Paule Thévenin: No, and I won’t say anything. SL: Ah! It’s a secret. PT: No. People are false witnesses. SL: And you?…

Two Poets — Wendy Trevino & Pavel Arseniev

  Wendy Trevino Wendy Trevino’s Cruel Fiction (Commune Editions) tells the truth about life as we know and endure it, restlessly picking at the hangnails of both history and heartbreak. Trevino posits race as a “cruel fiction,” nationality as its attendant mythology. Trevino asks: How do we resist these fictions without reproducing their murderous, hierarchical logics? For Trevino, “poetry is not enough” as long as we are not enough. Trevino’s insurgent colloquialism is a sleight of hand. Cruel Fiction speaks plainly but never simply. Trevino reflects on the lies with which we arm ourselves to refute the lies used against us. Against the near-orgasmic collective…

The Invisible Committee | The Coming Insurrection

From whatever angle you approach it, the present offers no way out. This is not the least of its virtues. From those who seek hope above all, it tears away every firm ground. Those who claim to have solutions are contradicted almost immediately. Everyone agrees that things can only get worse. “The future has no future” is the wisdom of an age that, for all its appearance of perfect normalcy, has reached the level of consciousness of the first punks. The sphere of political representation has come to a close. From left to right, it’s the same nothingness striking the…

Jean-Marie Gleize | A Preparatory Act | Insurrection [8th December 2018: Julien Coupat preemptively arrested]

  Saturday, 8 December 2018:  Julien Coupat preemptively arrested    a preparatory act …   successive laws has constructed a system of emergency powers which renews the lois scélérates the charge of “criminal conspiracy to commit a terrorist act” it takes only two people to constitute a “terrorist group” and it takes only a preparatory act for the infraction to be so defined. This preparatory act is not specified relation—even tenuous or remote, even love or friendship—with any of the opposed to common law which criminalizes the acts, the antiterrorist approach implicated in a terrorist activity without having to establish a…

Contribution to the Rupture in Progress

CrimethInc. The following text appeared yesterday on the French platform lundimatin; they describe it as the best sociological and political analysis to date on the yellow vest movement. Although we are no more optimistic about the “non-ideological” character of the first phase of the yellow vest phenomenon than we are about the antiquated methods of organization it supplanted, the movement itself has become a battleground to determine what form the next wave of opposition to neoliberal austerity will assume—and no one can afford to stand aside. This text concludes with a cool-headed appraisal of the risks and possibilities before the gilets jaunes and all who will…

The Movement as Battleground [Fighting for the Soul of the Yellow Vest Movement]

CrimethInc. In response to Emmanuel Macron’s proposal to increase the tax on fuel for “ecological” reasons, France has experienced several weeks of unrest associated with the yellow vest movement. This grassroots uprising illustrates how the contradictions of modern centrism—such as the false dichotomy between addressing climate change and considering the needs of the poor—can create social movements that offer fertile ground for populists and nationalists. At the same time, the increasing involvement of anarchists and other autonomous rebels in the unrest raises important questions. If far-right groups can hijack movements, as they did in Ukraine and Brazil, can anti-capitalists and anti-authoritarians reorient them towards…

Next Stop: Destitution

  Contrary to all that we’re hearing, the real mystery is not that we revolted, but the fact that we didn’t do it sooner. What’s abnormal is not what we’re doing now, but all that we’ve put up with until now. Who can deny the bankruptcy of the system, from every angle? Who still wants to be shook down, robbed, and left precarious for nothing? Will anyone weep as the wealthy avenues of the 16th arrondissement are plundered by the poor, and the bourgeois watch their gleaming SUV’s go up in flames? As for Macron, he can stop complaining; it was…

Best Books of 2018

Anne Boyer | A Handbook of Disappointed Fate (Ugly Duckling Presse) Leslie Kaplan | Excess — The Factory (Commune Editions) Mark Fisher | K-Punk (Repeater) Bertolt Brecht | The Collected Poems of Bertolt Brecht (W.W. Norton) Wendy Trevino | Cruel Fiction (Commune Editions) Lola Ridge | To the Many (Little Island Press) Auguste Blanqui | The Blanqui Reader | Political Writings (Verso) Jackie Wang | Carceral Capitalism (Semiotext(e)) Roberto Ohrt, Wolfgang Scheppe | The Most Dangerous Game (Merve Verlag) Arthur Rimbaud | Korrespondenz, Briefe, Texte und Dokumente (Matthes & Seitz Berlin) Nathalie Quintane | Un oeil en moins (P.O.L.) Fred…

CRISIS AND CRITIQUE / 50 Years after May 68

    Introduction: 50 Years After May 68, Frank Ruda & Agon Hamza PDF Table of Contents   The Double Heritage of Communism to Come. 1917-1968-2018 by Bini Adamczak  PDF 1968-2018, or from the “revolution impossible” to the impossibility of revolution? Variations on the objet petit s by Eric Alliez  PDF Scattered Notes on “May 68” And its interpretations by Étienne Balibar  PDF The procedure of its Invention, the Construction of its Form, the Means of its Transmission by A. J. Bartlett  PDF Topicality of May 68 by Daniel Blanchard  PDF Will it Happen Again? Boredom, Anxiety and the Peak of Human Evolution by Franco “bifo” Berardi  PDF To Make the…

Alain Badiou | The Century & Poetry and Communism

Alain Badiou | The Century  PDF   Everywhere, the twentieth century has been judged and condemned: the century of totalitarian terror, of utopian and criminal ideologies, of empty illusions, of genocides, of false avant-gardes, of democratic realism everywhere replaced by abstraction. It is not Badiou’s wish to plead for an accused that is perfectly capable of defending itself without the authors aid. Nor does he seek to proclaim, like Frantz, the hero of Sartre’s Prisoners of Altona, ‘I have taken the century on my shoulders and I have said: I will answer for it!’ The Century simply aims to examine what…

Jacques Rancière | Staging the People

Jacques Rancière | Staging the People The Proletarian and His Double  PDF   These essays from the 1970s mark the inception of the distinctive project that Jacques Rancière has pursued across forty years, with four interwoven themes: the study of working-class identity, of its philosophical interpretation, of “heretical” knowledge and of the relationship between work and leisure. For the short-lived journal Les Révoltes Logiques, Rancière wrote on subjects ranging across a hundred years, from the California Gold Rush to trade-union collaboration with fascism, from early feminism to the “dictatorship of the proletariat,” from the respectability of the Paris Exposition to…

Poems of Protest [1] Lola Ridge, Wendy Trevino, William Rowe, Juliana Spahr, Tongo Eisen-Martin, Kirill Medvedev

Lola Ridge Red Flag Red flag waving over Spartacus, Red cloth stripped from a gladiator’s loins To flutter in the milk-warm wind along the roads of Capua, Red flag shaken like a bloody hand in the face of kings . . . Red clout stuck on a spoke — There flaunting gay as a red rose pinned On a beggar’s cap in London Town — Or clenched in a maimed hand  . . . A red and a white rose smashed together . . . Red shoots mauled and trodden yet ever sprouting  anew Till the lopped staff blooms again…

Roque Dalton / The Petite Bourgeoisie

Toward a Better Love “Sex is a political condition.” — Kate Millet No one disputes that sex is a condition in the world of the couple: from there, tenderness and its wild branches. No one disputes that sex is a domestic condition: from there, kids, nights in common and days divided (he, looking for bread in the street, in offices or factories; she, in the rear-guard of domestic functions, in the strategy and tactic of the kitchen that allows survival in a common struggle at least to the end of the month). No one disputes that sex is an economic…

PROVOKE: Between PROTEST and PERFORMANCE

The short-lived Japanese magazine Provoke is recognized as a major achievement in world photography of the postwar era, uniting the country’s most contentious examples of protest photography, vanguard fine art, and critical theory of the late 1960s and early 70s in only three issues overall. Provoke is accordingly treated here as a model synthesis of the complexities and overlapping uses of photography in postwar Japan. The writing and images by Provoke’s members – critic Taki Koji, poet Okada Takahiko, photographers Nakahira Takuma, Takanashi Yutaka, Moriyama Daido – were suffused with the tactics developed in some Japanese protest books which made use of innovative graphic design and provocatively “poor” materials. Recording…

Two Poets — Ida Börjel & Amiri Baraka

Ida Börjel is one of the most striking voices in contemporary poetry. Each of her much-praised and awarded collections forms a cohesively and rigoursly composed whole that is always rooted in extensive research and a strong thematic principle. Her collection “Miximum Ca’Canny; the Sabotage Manuals“ appears to be both a practical handbook and a philosophical study of the various ways the language of power and authority can be sabotaged, a recurring theme in Börjel’s poetry.

Harun Farocki / Kaja Silverman | Speaking about Godard

Kaja Silverman and Harun Farocki Speaking about Godard Full book / PDF   “Probably the most prominent living filmmaker, and one of the foremost directors of the postwar era, Jean Luc-Godard has received astonishingly little critical attention in the United States. With Speaking about Godard, leading film theorist Kaja Silverman and filmmaker Harun Farocki have made one of the most significant contributions to film studies in recent memory: a lively set of conversations about Godard and his major films, from Contempt to Passion. Combining the insights of a feminist film theorist with those of an avant-garde filmmaker, these eight dialogues–each representing…

A. Badiou, P. Bourdieu, J. Butler, G. Didi-Huberman, S. Khiari, J. Rancière | WHAT IS A PEOPLE?

ALAIN BADIOU, PIERRE BOURDIEU, JUDITH BUTLER, GEORGES DIDI-HUBERMAN, SADRI KHIARI, AND JACQUES RANCIÈRE WHAT IS A PEOPLE? PDF     What Is a People? seeks to reclaim “people” as an effective political concept by revisiting its uses and abuses over time. Alain Badiou surveys the idea of a people as a productive force of solidarity and emancipation and as a negative tool of categorization and suppression. Pierre Bourdieu follows with a sociolinguistic analysis of “popular” and its transformation of democracy, beliefs, songs, and even soups into phenomena with outsized importance. Judith Butler calls out those who use freedom of assembly…

Italy 1977-8: Living with an earthquake – Red Notes

  Italy 1977-8: Living with an earthquake – Red Notes A pamphlet from a time when a very high level of class struggle dominated Italian society. Despite their differences – the state, church, fascists, Communist Party and unions were all united in opposition to the the radical social movement.    A. Preface We have called our pamphlet “Living With An Earthquake”. This earthquake is not just the crisis at Government level – it is a quite new political upheaval affecting the whole of Italian society. We have produced this pamphlet because it is vitally important that the out­side world should…

Jean-Luc Godard | What is to be done? // British Sounds, by J.-L. Godard [DVG]

  Written in January 1970 at the request of Simon Field and Peter Sainsbury for the magazine Afterimage, produced by Peter Whitehead. Published in Afterimage n°1, April 1970. Translated from French by Mo Teitelbaum. We must make political films. We must make films politically. 1 and 2 are antagonist to each other and belong to two opposing conceptions of the world. 1 belongs to the idealistic and metaphysical conception of the world. 2 belongs to the Marxist and dialectical conception of the world. Marxism struggles against idealism and the dialectical against the metaphysical. This struggle is the struggle between the…

Louis Althusser | For Marx

LOUIS ALTHUSSER | FOR MARX  PDF   A New Practice of Politics: Althusser and Marxist Philosophy by Asad Haider Since the conjuncture that marked the reception of Althusser’s works, it has become clearer that the the initial Anglophone interpretation of Althusser involved considerable conceptual mistranslation, and his texts have since then been cursed by a reputation which powerfully precedes the reading. In the spring of 1966, the Central Committee of the French Communist Party (PCF) met in the Parisian suburb of Argenteuil, ostensibly for a discussion of the “problem of ideology and culture.” In fact, they had convened for a…

Maurizio Lazzarato | Marcel Duchamp and The Refusal of Work

MARCEL DUCHAMP AND THE REFUSAL OF WORK  PDF   MAURIZIO LAZZARATO Art, work and politics in disciplinary societies and societies of security According to Michel Foucault, for some time we have been leaving disciplinary societies in order to enter into societies of security that, unlike the former, ‘tolerate a whole host of behaviours that are different, varied, or even deviant and antagonistic toward one another’. [1] These societies lead us beyond disciplines, because they put in place policies regarding the government of conducts that are exercised through the management of heterogeneities and the ‘optimization of systems of differences’ – that…

Jacques Rancière | The Red of ‘La Chinoise’: Godard’s Politics

  How should we understand the politics Godard puts into play with his cinematographic practice in La Chinoise? The opinions on the matter have more or less followed the fluxes and refluxes of the left. Accused when first released of being just a caricature, and not a serious representation, of real militant Maoists, the film was later praised as a brilliant anticipation of the events of May 1968, and as a lucid look both at the passing infatuation with Maoism by bourgeois youngsters and at the outcomes of that infatuation: the return to order and terrorism. The question of whether…

Jacques Rancière | Documentary Fiction: Chris Marker and the Fiction of Memory

The Last Bolshevik is the title of the film Chris Marker dedicates to the memory of Alexander Medvekin, the Soviet filmmaker who was born with his century and who died during the Perestroika. To speak of ‘memory’ is to raise the paradox of the film at the outset. Marker’s film cannot very well hope to preserve the memory of a filmmaker whose films we have not seen and whose name was, until quite recently, unfamiliar to most of us. Nor is this situation much different with Medvekin’s compatriots, who are as likely to know his films as we are. The…

Arthur Rimbaud | A Season in Hell

   * * * Long ago, if my memory serves, life was a feast where every heart was open, where every wine flowed. One night, I sat Beauty on my knee. —And I found her bitter. —And I hurt her. I took arms against justice. I fled, entrusting my treasure to you, o witches, o misery, o hate. I snuffed any hint of human hope from my consciousness. I made the muffled leap of a wild beast onto any hint of joy, to strangle it. Dying, I called my executioners over so I could bite the butts of their rifles….

riots and/or poetics [10/2018]

“History is full of people who just didn’t. They said no thank you, turned away, escaped to the desert, lived in barrels, burned down their own houses, killed their rapists, pushed away dinner, meditated into the light. Even babies refuse, and the elderly also. Animals refuse: at the zoo they gaze through Plexiglas, fling feces at human faces. Classes refuse. The poor throw their lives onto barricades, and workers slow the line. Enslaved people have always refused, poisoning the feasts and aborting the embryos, and the diligent, flamboyant jaywalkers assert themselves against traffic as the first and foremost visible daily lesson…

Antonin Artaud | Manifesto In A Clear Language

If I believe neither in Evil nor in Good, if I feel such a strong inclination to destroy, if there is nothing in the order of principles to which I can reasonably accede, the underlying reason is in my flesh. I destroy because for me everything that proceeds from reason is untrustworthy.I believe only in the evidence of what stirs my marrow, not in the evidence of what addresses itself to my reason. I have found levels in the realm of the nerve. I now feel capable of evaluating the evidence. There is for me an evidence in the realm…

Antonin Artaud, Surrealism and the Void; by Stephen Barber

  Artaud believed that every birth coincides with a killing. Antoine Marie Joseph Artaud was born at eight in the morning of 4 September 1896, at 15 rue du Jardin des Plantes, near the Marseilles zoo. The rue du Jardin des Plantes has since been renamed the rue des Trois Frères Carasso. Artaud himself, on many occasions, was to change and distort the name under which he was baptised into the Roman Catholic Church. He adopted numerous pseudonyms, such as Eno Dailor for some of his early Surrealist texts. Before his journey to Ireland in 1937, he styled himself ‘The…