Super Position

  • Posted on: 9 October 2012
  • By: worker

<table><tr><td>From <a href="">The New Inquiry</a> - By DAVID GRAEBER

<p>I. Let me clarify one thing from the start: Christopher Nolan’s <em>Batman: The Dark Knight Rises</em> really is a piece of anti-Occupy propaganda. Nolan, the director, claims the script was written before the movement even started, and that the famous scenes of the occupation of New York (“Gotham”) were really inspired by Dickens’ account of the French Revolution.</p>
<p>This is probably true, but it’s disingenuous. Everyone knows Hollywood scripts are continually being rewritten while movies are in production, and that when it comes to messaging, even details like where a scene is shot (“I know, let’s have the cops face off with Bane’s followers right in front of the New York Stock Exchange!”) or a minor change of wording (“let’s change ‘take control of’ to ‘occupy’”) can make all the difference. Then there’s the fact that the villains actually do attack the Stock Exchange. Still, it’s precisely this ambition, the filmmaker&#8217;s willingness to take on the great issues of the day, that ruins the movie. </p>
<p>It’s sad, because both <em>Batman Begins</em> and <em>The Dark Knight</em> had moments of genuine eloquence. In the first films of the trilogy, Nolan has some interesting things to say about human psychology, and, particularly, about the relationship between creativity and violence. <em>The Dark Knight Rise</em>s is more ambitious. It dares to speak on a scale and grandeur appropriate to the times. And in doing so, it stuttered into incoherence.</p></td><td><img title="When did Moorcock make this observation? 78?" src=""></td></tr></table>
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<p>II. <em>Dark Knight Rises</em> offers an opportunity to ask some potentially enlightening questions about contemporary culture. What are superhero movies really all about? What could explain the sudden explosion of such movies—one so dramatic that it sometimes seems that comic book-based movies are replacing sci-fi as the main form of Hollywood special effects blockbuster, almost as rapidly as the cop movie replaced the Western as the dominant action genre in the ‘70s?</p>
<p>Why, in the process, have familiar superheroes suddenly been given complex interiority: family backgrounds, ambivalence, moral crises and self-doubt? And why does the very fact of their receiving a soul seem to force them to also choose some kind of explicit political orientation? One could argue that this happened first not with a comic-book character, but with James Bond. <em>Casino Royale</em> gave Bond psychological depth for the first time. By the very next movie he was saving indigenous communities in Bolivia from evil transnational water privatizers. Spiderman, too, broke left in his latest cinematic incarnation, just as Batman broke right.</p>
<p>In a way, this makes sense. Superheroes are a product of their historical origins. Superman is a Depression-era displaced Iowa farm boy; Peter Parker, a product of the ‘60s, is a smartass working-class kid from Queens; Batman, the billionaire playboy, is a scion of the military-industrial complex that was created, just as he was, at the beginning of World War II. But again, in the latest movie, the subtext became surprisingly explicit (“You’re not a vigilante,” says the police commander, “you’re an anarchist!”): particularly in the climax, where Spiderman, wounded by a police bullet, is rescued by an outbreak of working class solidarity as dozens of crane operators across defy city orders and mobilize to help him. Nolan’s movie is the most ambitious, but it also falls the most obviously flat. Is this because the superhero genre does not lend itself to a right-wing message?</p>
<p><a href=""><img class="alignnone size-medium wp-image-27054" title="sp3" src="" alt="" width="383" height="522" /></a></p>
<p>III. Let’s start at the beginning, by looking specifically at the comic book stories where the TV shows, cartoon series and blockbuster movies ultimately came from. Comic-book superheroes were originally a mid-century phenomenon, and like all mid-century pop culture phenomena, they are essentially Freudian.</p>
<p dir="ltr">Umberto Eco once remarked that comic book stories already operate a little bit like dreams: the same plot is repeated, obsessive-compulsively, over and over; nothing changes; and even as the backdrop for the stories shifts from Great Depression to World War to post-war prosperity, the heroes, whether they are Superman, Wonder Woman, the Green Hornet, or the Mighty Thor, seem to exist in an eternal present, never aging, always the same.</p>
<p dir="ltr">The plot is almost always some approximation of the following: a bad guy, maybe a crime boss, more often a powerful supervillain, embarks on a project of world conquest, destruction, theft, extortion, or revenge. The hero is alerted to the danger and figures out what’s happening. After trials and dilemmas, at the last possible minute the hero foils the villain’s plans. The world is returned to normal until the next episode when exactly the same thing happens once again.</p>
<p dir="ltr">It doesn’t take a genius to figure out what’s going on here. These “heroes” are purely reactionary, in the literal sense. They have no projects of their own, at least not in their role as heroes: as Clark Kent, Superman may be constantly trying, and failing, to get into Lois Lane’s pants, but as Superman, he is purely reactive. In fact, superheroes seem almost utterly lacking in imagination: like Bruce Wayne, who with all the money in the world can’t seem to think of anything to do with it other than to indulge in the occasional act of charity; it never seems to occur to Superman that he could easily carve free magic cities out of mountains.</p>
<p dir="ltr">Almost never do superheroes make, create, or build anything. The villains, in contrast, are endlessly creative. They are full of plans and projects and ideas. Clearly, we are supposed to first, without consciously realizing it, identify with the villains. After all, they’re having all the fun. Then of course we feel guilty for it, re-identify with the hero, and have even more fun watching the superego clubbing the errant Id back into submission.</p>
<p dir="ltr">Politically speaking, superhero comic books can seem pretty innocuous. If all a comic is trying to do is to tell a bunch of adolescent boys that everyone has a certain desire for chaos and mayhem, but that ultimately such desires need to be controlled, the implications would not seem especially dire, especially because the message still does carry a healthy dose of ambivalence. After all, the heroes of even the most right-leaning action movies seem to spend much of their time smashing up suburban shopping malls, something many of us would like to do at some point in our lives. In the case of most comic book superheroes, however, the mayhem has extremely conservative political implications. To understand why requires a brief digression on the question of constituent power.</p>
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<p>IV. Costumed superheroes ultimately battle criminals in the name of the law—even if they themselves often operate outside a strictly legal framework. But in the modern state, the very status of law is a problem. This is because of a basic logical paradox: no system can generate itself.</p>
<p>Any power capable of creating a system of law cannot itself be bound by them. So law has to come from somewhere else. In the Middle Ages, the solution was simple: the legal order was created, either directly or indirectly, by God. God, as the Old Testament makes abundantly clear, is not bound by laws or even any recognizable system of morality, which only stands to reason: if you created morality, you can’t, by definition, be bound by it. The English, American, and French revolutions changed all that when they created the notion of popular sovereignty—declaring that the power once held by kings is now held by an entity called “the people.”</p>
<p>“The people,” however, are bound by the laws. So in what sense can they have created them? They created the laws through those revolutions themselves, but, of course, revolutions are acts of law-breaking. It is completely illegal to rise up in arms, overthrow a government, and create a new political order. Cromwell, Jefferson, and Danton were surely guilty of treason according to the laws under which they grew up, as surely as they would have been had they tried to do the same thing again twenty years later.</p>
<p>So, laws emerge from illegal activity. This creates a fundamental incoherence in the very idea of modern government, which assumes that the state has a monopoly of the legitimate use of violence (only the police, or prison guards, have the legal right to beat you up). It’s okay for police to use violence because they are enforcing the law; the law is legitimate because it’s rooted in the constitution; the constitution is legitimate because it comes from the people; the people created the constitution by acts of illegal violence. The obvious question, then, is: how does one tell the difference between “the people” and a mere rampaging mob?<br />
There is no obvious answer.</p>
<p>The response, by mainstream, respectable opinion, is to try to push the problem as far away as possible. The usual line is: the age of revolutions is over, except perhaps in benighted spots like Gabon or Syria, and we can now change the constitution, or legal standards, by legal means. This of course means that the basic structures will never change. We can witness the results in the US, which continues to maintain an architecture of state, with its electoral college and two party-system, that—while quite progressive in 1789—now makes us appear, in the eyes rest of the world, the political equivalent of the Amish, still driving around with horses and buggies. It also means we base the legitimacy of the whole system on the consent of the people despite the fact that the only people who were ever really consulted on the matter lived over 200 years ago. In America, at least, “the people” are all long since dead.</p>
<p>We’ve gone, then, from a situation where the power to create a legal order derives from God, to one where it derives from armed revolution, to one where it is rooted in sheer tradition—“these are the customs of our ancestors, who are we to doubt their wisdom?” Of course, a not insignificant number of American politicians make clear they’d really like to give it back to God again. For the radical Left and the authoritarian Right the problem of constituent power is very much alive, but each takes diametrically opposite approaches to the fundamental question of violence.</p>
<p>The Left, chastened by the disasters of the 20th century, has largely moved away from its older celebration of revolutionary violence, preferring non-violent forms of resistance. Those who act in the name of something higher than the law can do so precisely because they don’t act like a rampaging mob.</p>
<p>For the Right, on the other hand—and this has been true since the rise of fascism in the ‘20s—the very idea that there is something special about revolutionary violence, anything that makes it different from mere criminal violence, is so much self-righteous twaddle. Violence is violence. But that doesn’t mean a rampaging mob can’t be “the people,” because violence is the real source of law and political order anyway. Any successful deployment of violence is, in its own way, a form of constituent power.</p>
<p>This is why, as Walter Benjamin noted, we cannot help but admire the “great criminal”: because, as so many movie posters put it, “he makes his own law.” After all, any criminal organization does, inevitably, begin developing its own—often quite elaborate—set of internal laws. They have to, as a way of controlling what would otherwise be completely random violence. From the right-wing perspective, that’s all that law ever is. It is a means of controlling the very violence that brings it into being, and through which it is ultimately enforced.</p>
<p>This makes it easier to understand the often surprising affinity between criminals, criminal gangs, right-wing political movements, and the armed representative state. Ultimately, they speak the same language. They create their own rules on the basis of force. As a result, they typically share the same broad political sensibilities. Mussolini might have wiped out the mafia, but Italian Mafiosi still idolize Mussolini. In Athens, nowadays, there’s active collaboration between the crime bosses in poor immigrant neighborhoods, fascist gangs, and the police. In fact, in this case it was clearly a political strategy: faced with the prospect of popular uprisings against a right-wing government, the police first withdrew protection from neighborhoods near the immigrant gangs, then started giving tacit support to the fascists. For the far-right, then, it is in that space where different violent forces operating outside of the legal order interact that new forms of power, and hence of order, can emerge.</p>
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<p>V. What does all this have to do with costumed superheroes? Well, everything. Because this is exactly the space that superheroes, and super-villains, also inhabit. An inherently fascist space, inhabited only by gangsters, would-be dictators, police, and thugs, with endlessly blurring lines between them.</p>
<p>Sometimes the cops are legalistic, sometimes they’re corrupt. Sometimes the police themselves slip into vigilantism. Sometimes they pursue the superhero, sometimes they look the other way, sometimes they help. Villains and heroes occasionally team up. The lines of force are always shifting. If anything new were to emerge, it could only be through such shifting forces. There’s nothing else, since, in the DC and Marvel universes, neither God nor The People really exist.</p>
<p>Insofar as there is a potential for constituent power then, it can only come from purveyors of violence. The supervillains and evil masterminds, when they are not merely indulging in random acts of terror, are always scheming of imposing a New World Order of some kind or another. Surely, if Red Skull, Kang the Conqueror, or Doctor Doom ever did succeed in taking over the planet, there would be lots of new laws created very quickly, although their creator would doubtless not himself feel bound by them. Superheroes resist this logic. They do not wish to conquer the world—if only because they are not monomaniacal or insane. As a result, they remain parasitical off the villains in the same way that police remain parasitical off criminals: without them, they’d have no reason to exist. They remain defenders of a legal and political system which itself seems to have come out of nowhere, and which, however faulty or degraded, must be defended, because the only alternative is so much worse.</p>
<p>They aren’t fascists. They are just ordinary, decent, super-powerful people who inhabit a world in which fascism is the only political possibility.</p>
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<p>VI. Why, might we ask, would a form of entertainment premised on such a peculiar notion of politics emerge in early to mid-20th century America, at just around the time that actual fascism was on the rise in Europe? Was it some kind of fantasy American equivalent? Not exactly. It’s more that both fascism and superheroes were products of similar historical predicament: What is the foundation of social order when one has exorcised the very idea of revolution? And above all, what happens to the political imagination?</p>
<p>One might begin here by considering that the core audience for superhero comics is adolescent or pre-adolescent white boys. That is: boys who are at a point in their lives where they are likely to be both maximally imaginative and at least a little bit rebellious, but who are being groomed to eventually take on positions of authority and power in the world, to be fathers, sheriffs, small business owners, middle management. What do they learn from these endless repeated dramas? Well, first off, that imagination and rebellion lead to violence. Second, that, like imagination and rebellion, violence is a lot of fun; thirdly, that violence must ultimately be directed back against any overflow imagination and rebellion lest everything go askew. These things must be contained! This is why, insofar as superheroes are allowed to be imaginative in any way, their imagination can only be extended to the design of their clothes, their cars, maybe their homes, their various accessories.</p>
<p>It’s in this sense that the logic of the superhero plot is profoundly, deeply conservative. Ultimately, the division between Left- and Right-wing sensibilities turns on one’s attitude towards the imagination. For the Left, imagination, creativity, by extension production, the power to bring new things and new social arrangements into being, is always to be celebrated. It is the source of all real value in the world. For the Right, it is dangerous, and ultimately evil. The urge to create is also a destructive urge. This kind of sensibility was rife in the popular Freudianism of the day: the Id was the motor of the psyche, but also amoral; if really unleashed, it would lead to an orgy of destruction. This is also what separates conservatives from fascists. Both agree that the imagination unleashed can only lead to violence and destruction. Conservatives wish to defend us against that possibility. Fascists wish to unleash it anyway. They aspire to be, as Hitler imagined himself, great artists painting with the minds, blood, and sinews of humanity.</p>
<p>This means that it’s not just the mayhem that becomes the reader’s guilty pleasure, but the very fact of having a fantasy life at all. And while it might seem odd to think any artistic genre is ultimately a warning about the dangers of the human imagination, it would certain explain why, in the staid ‘40s and ‘50s, everyone did seem to feel there was something vaguely naughty about reading them. It also explains how in the ‘60s it could all suddenly seem so harmless, allowing the advent of silly, campy TV superheroes like the Adam West Batman series, or Saturday morning Spiderman cartoons.</p>
<p>If the message was that rebellious imagination was okay as long as it was kept out of politics, and simply confined to consumer choices (clothes, cars, and accessories), this had become a message that even executive producers could easily get behind.</p>
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<p>VII. If the classic comic book is ostensibly political (about madmen trying to take over the world), really psychological and personal (about overcoming the dangers of rebellious adolescence), but ultimately political after all, then the new superhero movies are precisely the reverse. They are ostensibly psychological and personal, really political, but ultimately psychological and personal.</p>
<p>The humanization of superheroes didn’t start in the movies. It actually began in the ‘80s and ‘90s, within the comic book genre itself, with Frank Miller’s <em>Dark Knight Returns</em> and Alan Moore’s <em>Watchmen</em>—what might be called superhero noire. At that time, superhero movies were still working through the legacy of the ‘60s camp tradition. One might say the new spirit reached its cinematic peak in <em>Batman Begins</em>, the first of the Nolan trilogy. In that movie, Nolan essentially asks, “what if someone like Batman actually did exist, in the real world? What would it actually take to make someone want to dress up as a bat and attack criminals?”</p>
<p dir="ltr">Unsurprisingly, psychedelic drugs play an important role. So do severe mental health issues, and a history of association with bizarre religious cults. It is curious that commentators on the movie never seem to pick up on the fact that Bruce Wayne, in the Nolan films, is borderline psychotic.</p>
<p dir="ltr">As himself he is almost completely dysfunctional, incapable of forming friendships or romantic attachments, uninterested in work unless it somehow reinforces his morbid obsessions. The hero was so obviously crazy, and the movie so obviously about his battle with his own craziness, that it’s not a problem that the villains are just a series of ego-appendages, especially in the first film of the trilogy: Ra’s al Ghul (the bad father), the Crime boss (the successful businessman), the Scarecrow (who drives the businessman insane.) There’s nothing particularly appealing about any of them, but that doesn’t matter: they’re all just shards and tessera of the hero’s shattered mind. As a result, there’s obviously a political message. Or so it seems. When you create a movie out of characters so encrusted with myth and canon history, no director is entirely in control of his material.</p>
<p dir="ltr">In the movie, Ra’s al Ghul first initiates Batman into the League of Shadows in a monastery in Bhutan, and only then reveals his plan to destroy Gotham to rid the world of its corruption. In the original comics, we learn that Ra’s al-Ghul—a character introduced, tellingly, in 1971—is in fact a Zerzanesque Primitivist and eco-terrorist, determined to restore the balance of nature by reducing the earth’s human population by roughly 99 percent. None of the villains in any of the three movies want to rule the world. They don’t wish to have power over others, or to create new rules of any sort. Even their henchmen are temporary expedients—they always ultimately plan to kill them.</p>
<p dir="ltr">Nolan’s villains, in short, are always anarchists, but they’re always very peculiar anarchists, of a sort that seem to exist only in the filmmaker’s imagination. They are anarchists who believe that human nature is fundamentally evil and corrupt. The Joker, the real hero of the second movie, makes all of this explicit: he is the Id become philosopher.</p>
<p dir="ltr">The Joker is nameless, has no origin other than whatever he whimsically invents on any particular occasion, and it’s not even clear what his powers are. Yet he is, inexorably, powerful. The Joker is a pure force of self-creation, a poem written by himself. His only purpose in life appears to be an obsessive need to prove to others first, that everything is and can only be poetry—and second, that poetry is evil.</p>
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<p>VIII. So here we are back to the central theme of the early superhero universes: a prolonged reflection on the dangers of the human imagination, how the reader’s own desire to immerse oneself in a world driven by artistic imperatives is living proof of why that the imagination must always be carefully contained.</p>
<p>The result is a thrilling movie, with a villain both likeable—he’s just so obviously having fun with it—and genuinely frightening. <em>Batman Begins</em> was merely full of people talking about fear. <em>The Dark Knight</em> actually produced some. But even that movie begins to fall flat the moment it touches on popular politics. The end, when Bruce and Commissioner Gordon settle on the plan to scapegoat Batman and create a false myth around the martyrdom of Harvey Dent, is nothing short of a confession that politics is identical to the art of fiction. The Joker was right: redemption lies only in the fact that the violence, the deception, can be turned back upon itself. Nolan would have done well to leave it at that.</p>
<p>The problem is that this vision of politics simply isn’t true. Politics is not just the art of manipulating images, backed up by violence. It’s not just a duel between impresarios before an audience that will believe most anything if presented artfully enough. No doubt it must seem that way to extraordinarily wealthy Hollywood film directors, but between the shooting of the first and second movies, history intervened quite decisively to point that out just how wrong this vision is.</p>
<p>The economy collapsed. Not because of the manipulations of some secret society of warrior monks, but because of a bunch of financial managers who, living in Nolan’s bubble world and sharing his assumptions about the endlessness of popular manipulability, turned out to be wrong. There was a mass popular response. It did not take the form of a frenetic search for messianic saviors, mixed with outbreaks of nihilist violence: increasingly, it took the form of a series of real popular movements, even revolutionary movements, toppling regimes in the Middle East and occupying squares everywhere from Cleveland to Karachi, trying to create new forms of democracy.</p>
<p>Constituent power had reappeared, and in an imaginative, radical, and remarkably non-violent form. This is precisely the kind of situation a superhero universe cannot address. In Nolan’s world, something like Occupy could only have been the product of some tiny group of ingenious manipulators who really are pursuing some secret agenda.</p>
<p>The Batman series really should have left such topics alone, but apparently Nolan couldn’t help himself. The result is almost completely incoherent. The plot is convoluted and barely worth recounting. A rival businessman hires Catwoman to steal his Bruce Wayne’s fingerprints so he can use them to steal all his money, but really he is being manipulated by a gasmask-wearing supervillain mercenary named Bane. Bane is stronger than Batman, but he’s pining with unrequited love for Ra’s al-Ghul’s daughter Talia, crippled by mistreatment in his youth in a dungeon-like prison, his face invisible behind a mask he must wear continually so as not to collapse in agonizing pain. Insofar as the audience identifies with a villain like that, it can only be out of sympathy. No one in their right mind would want to be Bane.</p>
<p>Presumably, though, that’s the point: a warning against the dangers of undue sympathy for the unfortunate. Because Bane is also a charismatic revolutionary, who after disposing of Batman, reveals the myth of Harvey Dent to be a lie, frees the denizen’s of Gotham’s prisons, traps almost its entire police force underground, and releases its ever-impressionable populace to and sack and burn the mansions of the 1%, dragging them before revolutionary tribunals. The Scarecrow, amusingly, reappears as Robespierre. Eventually, however, he’s intending to kill them all with a nuclear bomb converted from some kind of green energy project. The reason for this remains unclear.</p>
<p>Why does Bane wish to lead the people in a social revolution, if he’s just going to nuke them all in a few weeks anyway? It’s anyone’s guess. He claims that before you destroy someone, first you must give them hope. So is the message that utopian dreams can only lead to nihilistic violence? Presumably something like that, but it’s singularly unconvincing, since the plan to kill everyone came first, and the revolution was a decorative afterthought. In fact, what happens to the city can only possibly make sense as a material echo of what’s always been most important: what’s happening in Bruce Wayne’s tortured brain.</p>
<p>In the end, Batman and the Gotham police rise from their respective dungeons and join forces to battle the evil Occupiers outside the Stock Exchange, Batman fakes his own death disposing of the bomb, and Bruce ends up with Catwoman in Florence. A new phony martyr legend is born and the people of Gotham are pacified. In case of further trouble, we are assured there is also a potential heir to Batman, a disillusioned police officer named Robin. The movie finally ends, and everyone breathes a sigh of relief.</p>
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<p>IX. If there’s supposed to be a take-home message from all of this, it must run something like: “Yes, the system is corrupt, but it’s all we have, and anyway, figures of authority can be trusted if they have first been chastened and endured terrible suffering.” Normal police let children die on bridges, but police who’ve been buried alive for weeks can employ violence legitimately. Charity is much better than addressing structural problems. Any attempt to address structural problems, even through non-violent civil disobedience, really is a form of violence, because that’s all it could possibly be. Imaginative politics are inherently violent, and therefore there’s nothing inappropriate if police respond by smashing protestors’ heads repeatedly against the concrete.</p>
<p>As a response to Occupy, this is nothing short of pathetic. When <em>Dark Knight</em> came out in 2008, there was much discussion over whether the whole thing was really a vast metaphor for the war on terror: how far is it okay for the good guys (America, obviously) to adapt the bad guy’s methods? The filmmakers managed to respond to these issues and still produce a good movie. This is because the War on Terror actually was a battle of secret networks and manipulative spectacles. It began with a bomb and ended with an assassination. One can almost think of it as an attempt, on both sides, to actually enact a comic book version of the universe.</p>
<p>Once real constituent power appeared on the scene, that universe shriveled into incoherence. Revolutions were sweeping the Middle East and the US was still spending hundreds of billions of dollars fighting a ragtag bunch of seminary students in Afghanistan. Unfortunately for Nolan, for all his manipulative powers the same thing happened to his world when even the hint of real popular power arrived in New York.<br />


Some serious bullshit going on here. "like all mid-century pop culture phenomena, they are essentially Freudian." *DUDE, YOUR MOM IS ESSENTIALLY FREUDIAN.*

Would someone just kneecap this asshole already?
I'll also accept any of the New Inquiry staff...

Batmanarchy. Cool.

Oh yes gosh darn it why can't the spectacle just learn to tell the truth already?

You wasted 15 minutes of my life and I want them back.

Chris Hedges looks like a chameleon. It's in the eyes.

So nice of you to mention me every chance you get. I think you are in love with me!

But that is what happens when college professors dictate the length of written material. It becomes sort of a price fixing phenomena.

yo party party
you made a wonderful cake
make total destroy

tl:dr X 1 million... also batman was a fascist

Fuck David Graeber's lame ass piece, the so-called leader of the Occupy movement who left town after a few days defending the remenants of some of the more pathetic bits of Occupy. Liberal democrat disguised as an anarchoist I think. However, New Inquiry doesn't just print bullshit like this, Jasper of Oakland's article rocked.

Fuck David Graeber's lame piece of ass.

and fuck your ableism.

I'm ableist because I used the word "lame"? You funny: funny as a crutch!


Actually, I was in the streets at the occupation and huge-ass GA on May 1st and he was there. He wasn't hiding. And he was active in Occupy.

I mean, critique the dude, by all means, but maybe try not to lie in the process? I don't know, one might think anarchists tend to be ideologues who play loose with the truth, similar to how mainstream media do. Crazy, I know.

For fucks sake would you get off the Batman movie already, your obsession makes us all look like a bunch of pussies. Second of all, how about the rise of facism in Greece. How about that? Chris Nolan and the neo conservative dirt bag who wrote the storyline doesn't like us, at all. He might actually want you dead. Read his angry hatefilled rants. Get the fuck over it. Move on. I know its hard, no the Christmas stocking stuffer this year will leave a bit of an empty feeling when yoh consider that the premise of the movie is that you and I are parasites on civilization and wed probably be better off dead. Now you know how Muslim Americans feel. Seriously, you need to ramble away your guilty pleasures in life. I like On the Waterfront, Elia Kazaans rationalization for ratting on his friends, you see an article about that here? Do IT feel guilty? No, does it mean I'm a rat or sympathize with kazaan? Not in this life. Jeesh. Shitty people make good art. There's good art I don't agree with on a philosophical basis. I can't read Celine, Ezra Pojnd, Dosteyevsky for their views on race. That's an innerpersonal conflict. The last B man sucked anyway. In love with itself indulgent boring. Fuck it. Move on.

I see your words and picture you angrily describing your sex approach to a partner.

Really? What are you wearing?

h8ers no like long list of words

the dark knight rises, to me, was not a pro-capitalist anti-communist movie, but a pro-monarchist anti-capitalist movie that was only incidentally anticommunist insofar as being anti-modern. consider: batman is only nominally head of wayne enterprises; he is not interested in being a capitalist or running the business, but only concerned with his sense of noblesse onlige and he is advised repeatedly that this is uneconomic. bain is a mercenary whose populism is only a ruse and who allies himself with that guy on the board of wayne. need i go on? nolan is not making an anticommunist film, he is certainly making some reference to occupy but only for the sake of raising his own bottom line by titillating both anticommunist and anticapitalist sentiment.

all the elites are into a type of Schopenhauer monarchist fascism now.

the super-hero scenario aims to patch up the notion of heroism in a society that seems to be lacking in ‘real heroes’.

but the deficiency is not in ‘heroes’ but in the common psychology that esteems heroes’ and grounds itself in the notions of ‘good’ and ‘evil’.

we define an act that ‘cripples and kills people’ as ‘evil’, unless it is done to a person who ‘cripples and kills people’. The courageous one that rises to the occasion and cripples and kills people who have been crippling and killing people is not only a ‘good person’ but he/she is a ‘hero/ine’. when good and evil meet in combat there are heroes on both side of the lines, as defined by those who ‘cripple and kill people’ who are ‘crippling and killing people’.

once we get this system cranked up and really going, the ambiguity of which hero is good and which evil becomes irresolvable except by the principle of Lafontaine; “Le jugement du plus fort est toujours le bon”. The judgement of the strongest is always right’. The leaders in the group you are born into, who sit at the apex of the local power hierarchy decide who is evil and who good, and they are also the commanders-in-chief of a police and military system that use those definitions for their shooting instruction to designate who they are being paid to cripple and kill.

as nietzsche points out, all systems based on opposites such as ‘moral systems’ collapse into nothingness or nihilism.

don quixote is a story based on a man who has to invent evil [the evil windmill monster] in order that he can become a hero but successfully 'tilting at it'. in politics, the one ‘leader’ has to invent the dark degeneracy of the other, so that he can become a ‘hero’ by defeating the other, and crippling or killing his political power that is 'bringing the nation to its knees'. This is spoken about alot these days since politics has become little more than building a strawman caricature of the opponent and designing one's political rhetoric on the basis of tearing it down.

it is all a lot of hot air that everyone is tired of. the concept of ‘super-hero’ tries to tease the imagination into a ‘solution’ for the nihilism by taking things up to the ‘super-natural’ level where the super-hero makes the politician look like a poor helpless twit, and since it would be ‘unfair’ to our sense of symmetry and balance to just have a supernatural lay-hero, there must also be a super-natural evil villain. without super-evil, we are not going to buy into the super-good of the hero. it is not enough for a God-like good guy to come out of the heavens or from interplanetary space, just to overpower some mere mortal difficulty, he is going to have to strut his super-stuff and deal with some super-challenges in order to get our attention and respect, hence the super-evil villain.

As Goethe said via Faust, God would be unworthy without his brother Satan. The two of them keep each other in continuous employment.

Western civilization’s beliefs and behaviours are based on the idealized notion of absolute polar opposites, which are tautologies that collapse into ‘nothingness’ [nihilism] which is where Nietzsche predicted Western civilization and all systems based on moral judgement, including Europeanized Buddhism were going.

The super-hero-on-earth is thus the advanced stages of nihilism taking over the collapsing belief system of Western civilization. It is a secular version of the theological notion of the coming of a Judgement Day where the super-hero delivers both judgement and punishment, that has eluded the law-enforcers and politicians for some reason [like, the obvious, that one man’s good guy is another man’s evil villain].

The aboriginals never got off on this ‘morality’ kick so they are not subject to the collapse into nihilism and the urge to suck on a super-hero soother. in that tradition, conflict within community understood as a web of relations is understood as ‘the problem’ so that the problem is owned by the community and the solution is in terms of restoring balance and harmony in the community [e.g. ‘restorative justice’]. The aboriginal world view is not based on ‘either/or’ Aristotelian logic as Western civilization’s world view is, but on ‘both/and’ logic, as in quantum physics wherein the ‘dynamics of the medium’ [the ‘included third’] prevail over the dynamics of the first-and-second parties in a dispute [the ‘good’ and the ‘evil’]. This is captured in Mach’s principle as “the dynamics of the habitat are conditioning the dynamics of the inhabitants at the same time as the dynamics of the inhabitants are conditioning the dynamics of the habitat”.

When the colonizers of Turtle Island wantonly killed the fish and game the indigenous people depended on, which crippled and killed them via relational transformation in the habitat dynamic, the indigenous people started crippling and killing those settlers that were ‘penning them in’ and squeezing off their life-lines. In the colonizer’s sense of morality, it is ok to cripple and kill when you ‘launder the action’ and do it through the conditioning of the dynamics of the habitat they are included in, but not ok if you cripple and kill by taking a hatchet to another person’s limbs and skull. One has to excuse the simplicity of the aboriginal psyche for equating these two ways of crippling and killing, only one of which the colonizer judges to violate ‘moral law’.

Now, in the Western view, space does not come into dynamics because as well all know, if we have been educated in the West, space is an absolute fixed empty and infinite operating theatre inhabited by ‘things-in-themselves’ and ‘dynamics’ are in the sole terms of ‘what things-in-themselves do’. Thus, the animating source of the aboriginal’s evil behaviour [which crippled and killed settlers] came out of their evil psyche. After all, the biological sciences of the colonizers model the human as a local, independently-existing system with its own internal process driven and directed behaviours. Its actions therefore come out of its mind/psyche and if the actions are evil such as crippling and killing, then there is no other explanation for it but to blame an evil psyche. Colonizers, on the other hand, generally have ‘good psyche’s’, as measured by the way the help one another out and achieve marvellous results from tilling the soil etc., and all the more reason to put the colonizers in charge of the land so that those that can do most with it are given ownership and control of it. It is a great affront to the superior capabilities of the colonizers, on the part of the aboriginals, to try to keep large areas of land ‘undeveloped’ and not allow the colonizers to ‘make improvements to the land’ as they are so capable of doing.

So, there we have it, two cultures, one of which has believed in the reality of absolute opposites [‘good and evil’ and ‘space and matter’ as in the logic of the excluded third of Aristotle, and the other that believes that opposition is hatched within a dynamic relational space they call ‘the web-of-life’ so that this reduction of the relational dynamic to a dynamic between two opposing things as in ‘good’ and ‘evil’ is an artefact of man’s modeling himself as a local ‘thing-in-himself’ with his own internal process-sourced behaviour [i.e. his mind is seen as the necessary jumpstart point for his behaviour, therefore behaviours judged as ‘evil’ stem from ‘evil minds’].

The logical model that splits apart, absolutely, the inhabitant and the habitat is of course, a crock of shit model, that Western civilization is paying a dear price for continuing to foster belief in. It’s employment [confusing its idealization for physical reality] has been a catastrophe ass some waking minds are seeing;

“In extending his living space in a manner that destroys the space of others, he destroys his own space. Not initially his inside space, his ‘self’, but his outside space, this real outside-of-self which nourishes his ‘inside-of-self’. The protection of this outside space now becomes the condition without which he is unable to pursue the growth of his own powers of being.” Frédéric Neyrat, ‘Biopolitics of Catastrophe’;

Neyrat’s statement is just another way of stating Mach’s principle, which acknowledges the conjugate space-matter relation [the conjugate habitat-inhabitant relation].


1. the notion of a hero is based on the concept of ‘good’ and ‘evil’ as polar opposites.

2. the notion of polar opposites is tied to ‘the logic of the excluded third’ (A can never = not.A)

3. Western civilization teaches that an inhabitant , M [for ‘man’] and the habitat, H, are mutually excluding so that where there is M, there is no H and where there is H, there is no M.

4. Aboriginal culture and quantum physics teaches us that an inhabitant, M [for ‘matter’] and the habitat, H are governed by ‘both/and’ logic so that where there is M, there is also H, and where there is H, there is also M; i.e. M is a dimple in H and H is an energy-charged continuum or ‘spatial-plenum’.

5. The hero is like the pure/virginal goodness and light, where there is hero, there is no evil, and vice versa the villain is like pure/corrupt evil and darkness, in the logic of the excluded third. Of course, if a dimple of evil arises in the habitat/community, it arises relative to the habitat in the logic of the included third; it is included in the habitat and the habitat includes it.

6. The hero is a non-viable-in-physical-reality, idealized concept. Our modern experience of our institutions of politics and justice etc. are teaching us that polar opposites are illusion. The man who gets disopportunized in the dynamics of a common relational space as the indigenous peoples did and who cripples and kills in his attempt to restore some balance, will incite the rising up of a hero who will cripple and kill him to drive the evil out of the land, ... to drive it out with evil, to be sure, but in the logic of opposites, evil is negative and when one negative operates on another negative the result is a positive, so the hero arises from doing evil to those who are doing evil. how else could one get to ‘an eye for an eye’ etc. Western civilization has judged this purification process based on one of the opposites getting rid of the other as a wise course of action to take and has thus infused it into its institutions of governance, justice and education [transgenerational indoctrination].

7. The moral basis of Western civilization is collapsing into the nothingness that the tautology of ‘good’ and ‘evil’ arose from, as nietzsche predicted, and comic books featuring super-heroes have been ‘comic relief’ for getting us through the inevitable collapse of aristotelian logic based world view and the institutional implementations thereof.

8. The super-hero is like the last ditch dream that lingers on in us that there may be some way to arrest the degenerating condition/status of Western capitalist man in general and pull him up by the britches to restore his ‘heroism’, ... this coming from a new and higher order of hero, that can pull our motley crew of capitalist politicians and entrepreneurs out of the shitpool of his own making.

"The crisis of modern society is precisely that the youth no longer feel heroic in the plan for action that their culture has set up. They don't believe it is empirically true to the problems of their lives and times. . . . The great perplexity of our time, the churning of our age, is that the youth have sensed --- for better or for worse --- a great social-historical truth: that just as there are useless self-sacrifices in unjust wars, so too is there an ignoble heroics of whole societies: it can be the viciously destructive heroics of Hitler's Germany or the plain debasing and silly heroics of the acquisition and display of consumer goods, the piling up of money and privileges that now characterizes whole ways of life" --- Cultural Anthropologist Ernest Becker, from his 1970s prize-winning ‘Denial of Death’


Graeber almost ‘gets there’ where he states;

“The obvious question, then, is: how does one tell the difference between “the people” and a mere rampaging mob? There is no obvious answer.”

then he loses it again where he says;

“What does all this have to do with costumed superheroes? Well, everything. Because this is exactly the space that superheroes, and super-villains, also inhabit. An inherently fascist space, inhabited only by gangsters, would-be dictators, police, and thugs, with endlessly blurring lines between them.”

There are no ‘lines’ between A and not.A in the logic of the included third; i.e. in the physical reality as understood by modern physics. In physical reality, the A is a dimple in the A = not.A; the dynamic inhabitant is a dimple in the dynamic habitat it is included in.

Graeber needs to answer one question to show us where he stands on the relationship between what we commonly take to be ‘opposites’ like ‘good’ and ‘evil’ and ‘right’ and ‘left’ politics and ‘one percent’ and ‘ninety-nine percent’;

A: Does Graeber believe, in the manner of ‘either/or’ logic, that we can ask the 99 percent to stand ‘over on the left’ and the 1 percent to stand ‘over on the right’ and that this will allow us to make ‘positive identification’ and give us an understanding of who these different people are; i.e. whether they are 1 percenters or 99 percenters in the sense that ‘where there are 1 percenters, there are no 99 percenters and vice versa, or, ...

B: Does Graeber see the difference in, in the manner of ‘both/and’ logic, where we start from the 100 percent as the relational space of community filled with a matrix of veins and arteries with propertied-people as give-and-take confluence ‘nodes’ that inflate or deflate depending on whether more is flowing into them than is flowing out of them, some rising fat and high like a condom pulled over a car exhaust pipe with the motor revved; i.e. the ones that manage to monopolize capture of output. In this ‘both/and’ logic of the included third view, the OPCers are dimples [tumours?] in the 100 percent relational living space that also includes the NNPCers. The OPCers are busy sucking far more out of the flowline matrix than they are putting in, while the NNPCers, not to mention all the other critters and plants and minerals, are getting more sucked out of them than they can suck in. [This is the physical reality given by Mach’s principle].

Come on, David, ... give us your answer, don’t hide behind the usual academically perfected obfuscation.

emile, you are my superhero of this relational dynamic between you, the internet and I.

Let's exist transformative in a shared medium sometime and see where we go; I have a bottle of mad dog eletric melon and some videos we could watch.

But if you break my heart, I'll just take solace in outside-of-self.

there you go again, obfuscation, obfuscation, obfuscation.

you seem to lose all command over reasoning, but only when it's convenient for you to do so.

you are free to shoot a tangent off the thread, to avoid the collapse of your position, but do you really think you are deceiving anyone? such tactics are transparent in a physical get-together, so why should there be any difference in an internet forum. putting a mask on at a party doesn't conceal weasel behaviour, it only conceals the identity of the author of the behaviour.

dear emile,
i don't think graeber will answer your questions on here ever, but will you write a book review of my latest piece? i'd appreciate your input, as I have been quietly enjoying your work here.

Anarchy Jordan, asking Emile for a review? Get some fucking self-respect!

OK anon, how about a review from you? after all, emile loves to write, so i figured i'd have no problem getting him to reflect on my reflections (hooray endless hall of mirrors)
but thanks for recognizing me! i'm impressed - i always thought i was pretty obscure...

Reviews are for people who write to win approval and "recognition." Any self-respecting writer, any real writer, only writes to please him/herself and doesn't care if anyone writes a review or "recognizes" them. And using a public forum to get Emile (a computer masquerading as a person) to write a review? Truly pathetic. You have no self-respect at all.

oh it's you, bill. geez, stop spreading your damn deborditis, will you?
quit picking your skin, you sad old man, you closet authoritarian!
i don't care about approval or recognition, i was simply inviting people to read the article, and i thought emile's input would be interesting. it was.
i don't know why you insult emile by calling him a computer - he writes a lot better than you, that's for sure.
i for one have other suicided people to look into - cesarano has been really interesting lately. what have you been up to bro? haven't seen you in a while - you back in brooklyn, huh? do you like it down there in gravesend or wherever? maybe you can go say hi to mitch abidor, i heard he lives somewhere around you down there - he likes to say he "translates french" too

Not who you seem to think I am not. (FTW is deborditis?) If you wanted people to read your article, why did you break into a thread about something completely different to do it? Why didn't you post your article yourself, just like everyone else does? Sheesh, not only don't you have any self-respect you don't respect other people either.

haha yes deborditis for the win.
well troll, you assume "i wanted 'people' to read my article" but i was talking to emile, thank you.
oh but wait, weren't you just hassling me about how "a self-respecting writer ...only writes to [masturbate]"? i guess i must be masturbating because i don't go around posting my articles as if they were news. doesn't mean i'm not interested in what other people think. i "broke into the thread" because the discussion seemed relevant. too bad if that bugs you, it's a silly little thread anyway. they all are.
oh well - i guess the blind distance-overdose "interaction" of "public forums" on the "internet" apparatus is to blame for both of our mistakes - obviously in the atomized environment of universal suburbia that is internet forums/chat/whatever, i know that you would of course deny being whoever it is you are (i don't really care).
and where did this idea come from that i have no self-respect? who died and made you judge of all things self-respecting and worthy?

To "talk" to Emile, all you had to do was register an account on this site and you'd have the opportunity to "talk" to him directly by sending him a personal message. Obviously that didn't occur to you. Your logic is ridiculous. You broke into this thread because it's a silly one? Your posting would have been just as sill. And your stupid enough to admit it too! A review of a Batman movie that's been out for months isn't news genius, just as your jerk-off look-at-me-Ma-I'm-writing isn't news either. I made no mistake in calling you out as a wanker with no self-respect and no respect for anyone else either. I got it spot on.

yep, pat yourself on the back. "spot on." it's not news and that's why it's on anarchist news! lol
also, hey libcomtroll, can i read some of YOUR writing?
i'm sure it's far inferior to mine - at least i know that it's "you're," not "your."
haha you're so "sill"; you came right when i replied since you thought i was insulted by you questioning my "respect," didn't you?
lol no more food for you troll

Worker is the one who posted it here genius, not me. If he thinks it belongs on this site then it does. You could post your masturbation here any time you wanted without breaking into another thread. And the troll is you, the one who broke in with a desperate need for recognition. All I did was slap your wanker ass down.

mommy spanked you too much so now you're obsessed i get it

Try getting this: "lol no more food for you troll" You are a liar, a publicly exposed liar. Why don't you have the self control to shut up when you've promised to shut up? You poor pathetic twat.

All I did was go to your website, scroll down, and found your name. That's how I know your "Anarchy Jordan." I remember your bollocks postings from libcom. Your happy that I recognized you from libcom? Pathetic wanker.

oh libcom haha. nah i'm not proud, libcom was a circle wank too.

ok well, whatever troll. no more food for you.
call up a masochist for some bdsm instead.

much love tho! :)

Typical. Libcom was a wank (and this from someone who jerks off in public) @news is nothing but silly, you have no respect for yourself and no respect for anyone else. Yes please do piss off, you pathetic cunt.


Wow, calling me a cop because I've slapped your wanker ass so hard your Mommy felt it? Once again you proof yourself to be most pathetic wanker I've encountered all day. Go cry wolf someone else, sod.

(not from your adversary)
tough guy huh, talking shit on line. i liked this guy's essay and i thought it was related; graeber is a device too. glad someone's policing the threads tho!
sorry your little island nation sucks so bad that you've become so miserable hateful and violent.
poor troll.

I don't believe you. No, you are still "Anarchy Jordan," unable to resist responding because that's the problem with being a chronic masturbator, you have zero self-control. In any event I don't know what you are on about when you blather on about "my" little island nation and my "violence." Guess that's some kind of American penchant for stereotypes rearing its head there.

you sound like a priest -next you'll threaten me with hellfire for masturbating! - and a cop.
you betray your violence in your excessively hostile reaction to my "breaking into the thread."
it's hilarious. you are officially the cutest little troll ever.
but you are becoming slightly confused in your paranoid delusions of grandeur; it wasn't me that posted that link. i do like lynton kwesi johnson tho!!

But it was certainly you, you fat liar, you publicly exposed liar, who said "ok well, whatever troll. no more food for you." You have no self-control at all!

ok, here you go. [p.s. my question to graeber is to anyone]

The author of ‘ON ABSENT PRESENCE AND THE TYRANNY OF DEVICES’ does an excellent job of capturing the splitting apart of our natural world into dual worlds, the world that lights up within the device that brings to us on the one hand ‘the presence of absent worlds’, the spectacle of ourselves, and on the other hand, the world of our physical selves that is becoming, commensurately, ‘a world absent of presence’

The examples are all there in this essay and they are convincing. Since the former world is the world of ‘mind’ and the latter world is the world of ‘body’, we might say that the author is describing how we are ‘living out’ the ‘mind-matter split’ that Western civilization has ‘devised’ for itself.

Paradoxes abound in the unfolding world-split such as the flattening of social status in a ‘friends’ network at the same time as inverse phenomena wherein casual personal critiques by anyone can elevate them out of the flat plane of anonymity to celebrity status, as the assault goes viral and the overwhelmed target takes her own life. The assassin does not even need to be a ‘real person’ as a made-up persona will do just as well in this world that not only brings together absent worlds, but mixes them in with purely fictional worlds, on the ‘mind’ side of the split.

There seems little doubt that the splitting is going on as the author describes, the simultaneous building of a device-based virtual presence of absent worlds in the rational mind, the price of which is the extraction of presence from the old fashioned world, the world of real body relations.

The french word for currency, ‘devise’ recalls ‘device’ and is suggestive of how this pattern is playing out on multiple levels; i.e. the author cites how money has moved ‘work’ out of the workplace and into the offices of management, transforming the workplace into a zombie like absence of presence place and the management offices wherein live the absent worlds of field operations, or representations thereof, which are made available to the rational minds of the managers.

The author might have spoken to the issue of how long this has been going on and how many forms it has taken on. Could the article not have included John Locke’s lament at how the invention of money enabled the invention of the wage-earner which pulled apart the natural relations of community, the community dynamic having originally been the weave of labours of the participants. The ‘device’ or ‘devise’ cannibalized ‘community’, removed the worker presence from the community to construct a device-based presence of the absent worlds of the workers, disembodied worlds that are lived with by managers who remotely animate them.

It didn’t stop there. The so called ‘knowledge economy’ sought to convert the tacit knowledge of employees to explicit knowledge so that it could be retained by the company without having to retain the body of the employee. Employee bodies could then be spit out like depleted pistachio shells once the meaty knowledge had been extracted. The knowledge based company now runs on the presence of absent minds while the world of the unemployed who remember the past and dream of the future is a world characterized by the absence of present minds.

While the article slices the goings on in this particular cross-section; i.e. in terms of two worlds [mind-world and body-world] both modeled in terms of ‘what things-in-themselves do’, it can alternatively be viewed in McLuhan’s terms where the transforming relations of the medium is the message. The relations in the community were never the same when the workers pulled out and joined business organizations. Peoples’ vision, meanwhile, was focused on ‘production’, ‘what things-in-themselves do’, rather than how people’s relations with one another and the habitat were transforming, and the physical reality, in the Western ‘what things do’ focused mind, is always ‘sneaking up on us’. As John Lennon said; ‘Life is what happens to you while you are busy making other plans’. Life is what happens to the rural community [the transforming of their relations with one another and with the living space] as they are busy planning their new developments.

McLuhan’s view parallels Mach’s view; i.e. the continuing transformation of the relational space, the body to body to land relations we are included in is the ‘physically real dynamic’. The mental model of dynamics in terms of ‘what things-in-themselves do’ is total Fiktion, but it happens to be foundational to mainstream science and biology’s concept of ‘organism’ as a ‘local, independently existing system with its own locally originating, internal process driven and directed behaviour’. In this view, the source of dynamic behaviour is the ‘psyche’ of the participant/s, not the bodily relational dynamics they are included in, as argued by Mach.

If you believe the ‘biological sciences’ then it is management that is responsible for the production dynamics, since they are ‘the brains behind the operation’. If you believe that about yourself, then it is your rational mind that programs ‘what you do’ that is the ‘fountainhead’ of your dynamics, rather than the relational web you are situationally included in. The technological devices we have invented manipulate the data that is handled by the rational mind. They enable rational minds to connect and to transform rational thought out of the context of the bodily web of relations that comprises the ecosphere.

In the world of devices we are free to manipulate ‘what we do’ out of the context of our bodily relations with one another and the living space we are situationally included in. Some rational mind in Tokyo or London can remotely design, construct and operationalize the Cadillac factory that McLuhan talks about, and we can all make believe that such a project itself is ‘a physical reality’. It is not. The physical reality is the transformation of relations with one another and with the living space that all share inclusion in. The factory is accommodated as a feature in this continuing flow, it is not a ‘thing-in-itself’. Understanding ‘what things-in-themselves do’ is not physical reality, but if people are paid to believe that it is, such understandings can become a substitute reality, just like the substitute reality of the sovereign state that, while indigenous people may scoff at the notion of ‘its real existence’, they have to deal with a lot of people who not only believe in it but would bear arms and give their lives if necessary to enforce belief in it.

So, people, like Western civilization indoctrinated people, who believe their dynamic behaviour is driven by their intellect/psyche and not by their being included in a bodily relational web [community/habitat], are prone having their bodies snatched by those that claim to have a higher level of intellect. That is how management gets to make workers into zombie-slaves. By the same misguided model of the biological [human organism], the individual that believes in this model of self is prone to letting his psyche/intellect be split out of his physically/bodily real relationships and to see himself and others in the inverted terms of ‘what they do’. The mental recounting of ‘what one does’ can be split out of the bodily relational dynamics just as the manager splits it out, capturing it in words and pictures. As with tourist travel, the words and pictures will speak to rational minds of those worlds not present while the tourist spots filled with tourists pushing past one another will be a world without presence.

The article is on target as to the technology-enhanced splitting into two worlds but it almost makes it sound as if technology is the source of this social dysfunction. Technology is certain an enabling platform for the dysfunction but it is the Fiktional world view in terms of ‘what things-in-themselves do’ and the corresponding misguided view of self as an independent organism whose dynamical behaviour is directly driven by its rational mind, and not by the transforming web of relations the body is included in, that is the root source of the problem. It is Western civilization bringing to fruition its imagined mind-matter split.

Well, there you go: two paragraphs of "review" and then the usual computer-generated spew. Happy now?

oh shut up. i thought it was all interesting- but i guess you're too "ADHD" to read more than 2 paragraphs. smoke some pot, chill out, and read it again.

Thanks Emile! I appreciate it. Really nice review. You have several good points, and you've perfectly grasped mine regarding psycho-social schismatics.

As I write in the essay, the devices are essentially microapparatuses which distort the dynamic web of human relations. By clamping the system of data-accumulating apparatuses and the spectacle of their proliferation onto the body, binding the body to the state/capital/god apparatus, they divide the mind among foreign realities so that immediate reality comes to appear insignificant and distant

in this great
that feels like an Ocean
but which is actually a Forest
and is called Modern Civilization.

I am obviously quite interested in currency as a dissociative force in human relations; have you read klossowski's "living currency"? I know you read French and translation being essentially a myth the original is clearly the way to go, but here's my effort:

Pierre Klossowski "Living Currency"

Also, on the topic of Fiktive Kapital, and in keeping with recent articles discussing anti-fascist action, Cesarano talks about the creation and use of fascism by the state in the masked ball of fictive relations/capital so as to bottleneck the masses in anti-fascism; you can read about it in my recent translation of Giorgio Cesarano (who was "suicided" by Kapital) -

"Chronicle of a Masked Ball"

Someone has been reading Tiqqunt and smells like it!

suckin debordick

i find your writing very exacting, excitingly so, and i find myself trusting it and letting my thoughts be organized by it, even though my decipherment capacities are in their early development stage. It is sorting 'me' out, in a sense, and putting me into its different investigational dimensionality.

as is evident from my writing, i have oriented to the exposing or bringing more to the surface how the mind-matter duality of Western civilization is ‘playing out’, with emphasis, as with Mach, Bohm, Nietzsche et al, on physical reality associating with our experiencing of the continually transforming relational spatial plenum [i.e. the ‘territory’], and,... the psychical pseudo-reality of ‘things-in-themselves’ associating with our understanding of dynamics in the reduced terms of ‘things-in-themselves’ and ‘what things do’ relative to an absolute space and absolute time reference/measuring frame [i.e. the ‘map’].

what your writing opens up for the reader are the intricacies in the evolution of the territory-to-map transform, the systematic intricacies of which amaze me, much like the sort of amazement expressed by foucault in his letter to Klossowski. for me, it is like finding a mandelbrot set in playing around with inquiry into some simple recursion formulas. one doesn't expect it to 'be there' until one 'goes into it'.

definitely some interesting reading hours ahead for me. meanwhile, i don’t want to lose sight of the fact that the body gets left behind in these mesmerizing mind explorations into understanding-how-the-body-gets-left-behind. in other words, as valuable as are the insights gained from these investigations, even as we set out, the fish is not in the net that we are gathering in; i.e. we don’t take our body along with us on these intellectual adventures.

having been exposed to some aboriginal ‘games’ which involve the body in such a way as to put the orchestrating effects of physical/bodily relations in a primacy over the directive influence of the mind [inverting the habitual practice of having the mind direct the behaviour rather than the physical relations we are included in], i am now wondering how all these things [the intricacies in the map-to-territory transform etc.] mutually reconcile. what comes to mind ‘off the top of my head’ is wittgenstein’s statement;

“ The more narrowly we examine actual language, the sharper becomes the conflict between it and our requirement. (For the crystalline purity of logic was, of course, not a result of investigation: it was a requirement.) The conflict becomes intolerable; the requirement is now in danger of becoming empty. -- We have got on to slippery ice where there is no friction and so in a certain sense the conditions are ideal, but also, just because of that, we are unable to walk. We want to walk: so we need friction. Back to the rough ground!” ---Ludwig Wittgenstein, ‘Philosophical Investigations’

the rough ground is the physical relations, the territory that the intricate maps are purportedly speaking of, yet the maps can somehow develop a mind of their own and ‘twist off’ from the rough ground, becoming the 'new reality' that is going who the hell knows where. i expect you are going to be able to tell me more about 'where'.

btw. what is the URL of your translation of ‘Chronicle of a Masked Ball’ (the one you just gave was for the tyranny article).

Whoops! sorry, bit of a copypasta malfunction there.
you can find a lot of other stuff at the root url

but for reference (maybe an admin can change the above link? -- probably not... oh well) here it is:

thanks emile! i don't know when the a-news commentariat decided you were a computer - you seem quite human to me -i actually think you're a good writer; damn quick and prolific too...

thanks. hope you didn't get into too much trouble for talking to me. i can always log out and come in as anonymous [and put some style-spin on the banter] if you feel there's a need to keep the control-freak-pack from launching themselves into another one of their bark-fests. in the fifties in the south, there wasn't any need for the blonde and the black to engage in full public view, but when the bark-storms died down, it was clear that overtness did help to thaw rigid positions and allow some transformative norm-flexing.

hahaha no problem; let the dogs bark.
do you have a website?

as far as 'emile' goes, no website. ‘emile’ is a nomad on the web; ... a nom-de-plume to facilitate my free and open expression of views that are deemed radical relative to mainstream but which do not bear an exposure to being construed as ‘criminal’; i.e. ‘emile’, as is often the case with nom-de-plumes, was chosen for practical convenience to facilitate open expression that does not need to go all the way to an ‘anonymous’ cover but which similarly to those using ‘anon’, does not invite investigations into personal coordinates, address, telephone etc. of course, ‘offline’ person-to-person exchanges of a friendly nature are welcomed.

:( i wasn't obfuscating. and i'm not Graeber, but okay...


and i wasn't thinking in the way you were thinking that the person you were thinking of would be thinking, so not a problem :-)

see, now you're obfuscating all over the place. reduce 4 to 1 for me, please?

ok, listen up now {;-} ... it's not a case of 'reducing 4 to 1', its the opposite.

‘obfuscation’ is most often executed by ‘changing the subject’ when one is not prepared to address the issues raised or chooses not to. this is a standard lesson in political speaking. it goes like this; ... 'if you reach a point in a discussion where you are likely to ‘lose ground’ if you proceed, you say something like; “that's a very good point/question and I will address that in a second, but first I would like to point out that...”

of course, once a new thread is established ‘where the old thread’ was truncated is quickly forgotten, thus the potential ‘lost ground’ is avoided.

now, in your case, i accepted that your intention was not ‘to obfuscate’ but that ‘you actually were’ commenting on ‘style’ rather on ‘content’ of what i had written.

therefore, i acknowledged, when you said you were not obfuscating, that i had not really assumed that your intention was to obfuscate, and so i said;

“ and i wasn't thinking in the way you were thinking that the person you were thinking of would be thinking, so not a problem :-)

which translates to;

‘if you thought that i was thinking you were graeber, i was not, ... and therefore i was not the person you were thinking i was who would be thinking that; i.e. that was not what i was thinking. my response to you was simply to respond 'as if you were graeber' so as to accuse him of obfuscating as he would most likely have done [my guess] if this forum were a live physical forum. after all, your response had the effect of diffusing the ‘challenge’ in the question posed to graeber.

it was a bit as if i were an attractive blonde who put a lot of energy into a public presentation that culminated in a well structured challenge to the audience, who then, after a pregnant pause, received the response; ‘i like your tits’.

what is ‘she’ going to do with that at that point? she is going to say in some way or other; ‘shut up’, you are dissolving the response-provoking tension that i worked all evening to develop.

reducing things 4 to 1 rarely improves communications. i could have said STFU which would have been a considerable reduction, but that would have been to blank out what was really going on [i.e. to obfuscate].

of course, that is the popular style in internet forums. it substitutes ad hominem affronts in place of real engaging.

as chris argyris observed in ‘Double Loop Learning’, we always have a double agenda during dialogue. one agenda deals superficially with content and the other, hidden agenda, is saying to ourselves stuff like, ‘this guy is just parroting his boss or his wife or etc. or trying to impress X or Y.’

everybody knows there is always a double agenda and argyris’ idea was that in a forum, we should write down both ‘agendas’ on double column sheet and pass them around. of course, almost no-one is this open.

in a sense, ‘trolls’ are the pickup on this, but instead of having two columns we’ve still got only one because the trolls pay no attention to ‘content’ and deal only with the ‘hidden agendas’ they perceive or simply fabricate for ‘entertainment’ purposes.

in other words, i have just given you ‘both columns’; the one content column was my response to you accusing you of obfuscation, ... and my hidden agenda column was like the blonde saying; ‘what the fuck are you breaking the pregnant silence/challenge that i worked on developing, with a comment like ‘i like your tits’.

and no, i don't believe that open sharing of both columns at the same time is 'coming soon' to a discussion forum near you. some people engage on content and withhold the hidden agenda view, and others engage on hidden agenda view and ignore content.

wow. i feel like a jackass now.

wait, so you're saying that hollywood doesn't like anarchists?? whaaaat? ...come on.

A ("public masturbator"), the plaintiff, claiming thread hijacking, and
B ("obscure" writer/translator) the defendant, taking the 5th.

the court heard their insults as follows, roughly in order of escalation:

A to B: 1. no-self-respecting, 2. disrespectful, 3. wanker, 4. sod, 5. pathetic, 6. ridiculous 7. stupid 8. silly 9. momma's boy 10. twat 11. cunt 12. fat 13. publicly exposed liar.

B to A: 1. old man, 2. closet authoritarian, 3. bad grammar, 4. priest 5. cop 6. troll.

popular power appeared on the scene and trolls shriveled into empty insults!

the verdict? MISTRIAL

You know something is waay fucked up when an anarchist thinks its funny to pretend to be a judge, especially when that same anarchist is also the "defendant" in his own courtroom.

You know something is waay fucked up when an internet forum thinks its funny to pretend to be a courtroom

But it is a courtroom. The courtroom of public opinion. And it has the merit of not putting itself on trial and then acquitting itself due to a "mistrial," like you did.

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