The following discussion seeks to reflect the current situation of Syrian individuals who are trying as hard as they can to free themselves from patterns of collective hypocrisy and over-optimistic thinking. Our experiment was still just newly born when it developed the problem of being unable to clearly distinguish the latent authoritarian power in society and in the state, to draw back the curtains that have concealed it. At the start of the revolution, in small gatherings of friends, we predicted that if the struggle lasted longer than a month, then the country would descend into civil war – this wasn't just an intellectual exercise, as it's our current reality.
From Ding Politik by Duane Rousselle
It has become a common argument among a certain school of political theorists to claim that there has been a decline in symbolic efficiency within recent political and social history. These scholars go on to argue that this period of decline is marked historically and it presents itself as a movement inward toward the political ontology of drive and away from the political logic of desire. Moreover, it represents the disappearance of the subject-supposed-to-know, that is, the subject who, because of his place within the structure of ruling, knows the answer or the deep secrets of our lives as political agents. However, what has been less highlighted by these scholars is the role that Lacan’s later work played in the formation of this theory. For example, these scholars seldom acknowledge that Lacan’s later work – which provided the foundation for this theory of the decline of symbolic efficiency – also offered a solution.
From Gods and Radicals
I apologize in advance.
I know there are two ways to read this article and two very different types of people who will respond to it. One’s going to get it and the other is going to hang me from the rafters. Still, you’re better than them, so it’s at least worth saying to you. You’ll see what I mean by the end of this. Maybe. Something’s been on my mind lately, I figure I’d talk to you about it.
From BASTARD Conference
We are running a little late but, as you can probably imagine, finding a place to hold an anarchist theory conference isn't as easy as it used to be. In our case it is as much about aging as it is about the horrorshow of land pricing but either way we now have a venue. The Omni Commons will be hosting the 2016 Berkeley Anarchist Students of Theory, And Research, & Development conference.
As anarchists living in an consumer-driven industrial world where so much of our lives is dominated or facilitated by the State or what we may call Capitalism, what can we consider to be real in our lives, if anything? Are we truly in a Society of the Spectacle, or perhaps lost in the depths of post-modernity or some similar state of extreme alienation that makes the real impossible? Are we truly separated from nature, or are these all simply labels and empty theories that can only attempt to frame the chaotic and complicated world around us?
Call for Proposals
Cultural, Social and Political Thought Graduate Student Conference
University of Victoria, Coast Salish and Straits Salish Territories
April 22-24 2016
What is nihilism? What is hope? Can one have both? Are they sentiments? Systems of belief? Realities? Are they the same reality? This conference will grapple with the concepts of ‘nihilism’ and ‘hope’ as two fundamentally inseparable ideas—in contrast to the notion of these two terms being diametrically opposite and/or mutually exclusive, as they are sometimes understood.
Identity has become a code word for most anarchists. For those who reject it, it connotes people who embrace their victimization. For those who embrace it (or who at least don't reject it), it means the ways that groups of people are linked in how they suffer in this world (and implies solutions to that suffering, as well). The criticisms of identity, like those of the term "p.c.", have also been jumped on by right-wing folks, looking to negate the idea that there is more structural unfairness aimed at some than at others...
I generally refuse to debate to which degree our collective future is set in stone. Placing hypothetical situations at the forefront of political thought seems foolish to me, as none of us are clairvoyant. Hypothetically, if all fossil fuels were left in the ground, and no more were burned as of tomorrow, we might have a chance of survival as a species. Hypothetically, a solar storm could knock the grid offline, saving the natural world from further extirpation. Hypothetically, the powerful could adopt humane policies to reduce human suffering during ecological and industrial collapse. We know, however, that these are sordid fantasies. They are sordid because they detract from real suffering being visited upon the natural world everyday, and the suffering of those humans to which the apocalypse is not a distant future event, or a clever metaphor.