The University, Social Death and the Inside Joke

  • Posted on: 18 February 2010
  • By: worker

<table><tr><td><em>Hey, this is a paper I wrote last semester about the Berkeley Occupation's Necrosocial Piece and Jean Baudrillard. I didn't want to publish it too widely, since I don't believe it's that great, but a friend asked if I could do so so it could be cited in a debate tournament. Anarchist News seems like the perfect place; I hope this might induce some excitement about March 4th, I'm sorry if it seems like an Anachronism. As we know, Live Week was stormed by riot police, it's inhabitants brutally beaten. Mad solidarity and love to my insurrectionary zombie cousins.</em>
-<strong>Casper Atomy</strong>

The University, Social Death and the Inside Joke

“We graft our flesh, our labor, our debt to the skeletons of this or that social cliché.”

- Anti Capital Projects[1]

“We would like to see a functional squandering everywhere so as to bring about symbolic destruction.”

- Jean Baudrillard[2]</td><td><img title="We are all getting along fine..." src="files/pictures/2010/Madonna.jpg"></td></tr></table><!--break-->

An unfortunate slip of the tongue found University of California president comparing his position to that of a cemetery: "There are many people under you, but no one is listening."[3] This quote was rapidly relayed around the State's campuses, which have recently seen themselves become the first major battleground in the contemporary fight over Higher Education in the United States. It was used as an excuse for artistic parody by hundreds of students, who engaged in die-ins, zombie marches and other tired activist strategies. More recently, however, it has become a catalyst for a much more serious discussion about the relationship between death, the University and modern capitalism. Beyond Zombie Politics, an article published online on October 22nd, claimed that the University system is dying and that it should be the responsibility of modern dissidents to let it die. "It is not possible to save the UC or defend its major contours. It is a dying institution,” they assert.[4] “We must accept this and recognize it as a reason to forward our own radical visions of reconstructed institutions of educational and knowledge production in relation to wilder crises confronting us."[5] Yet, while this article offers an interesting revisiting of the conflicts that forged the modern research institution, it ends with a pessimistic nihilism that fails to provide any real alternatives, or motivation for any sort of struggle. For this reason, one must find the Necrosocial, a piece written by students barricaded in Wheeler hall at UC Berkeley on November 18th, a far more suitable point of departure. "Totally managed death. A machine for administering death, for the proliferation of technologies of death," they announce of the University they have occupied.[6] "As elsewhere, things rule. Dead objects rule."[7]

The concept of social death is arguably one of the key concepts of Biopolitics; a major point of contestation. The traditional definition provided by Foucault, developed in the fifth chapter of Foucault's History of Sexuality "Right of Death and Power over Life", holds that the Sovereign initially held power through complete control over life and death; that power was exercis[8]ed through the Sovereign's ability to kill whoever displeased him. As Foucault writes, "The right which was formulated as the ‘power of life and death’ was in reality the right to take life or let live."6 Yet for the project of modernity, a new mode of control was necessary; the old forms of social control were too limited. "The old power of death that symbolized sovereign power was now carefully supplanted by the administration of bodies and the calculated management of life." [9] Foucault's social death is a socialized death, a managed discourse around sexuality and reproduction to replace the discourse around death. "The new procedures of power that were devised during the classical age and employed in the nineteenth century were what caused our society to go from a symbolics of blood to an analytics of sexuality."[10] Foucault's analysis pushes us to reinterpret the motivations behind the movement for sexual liberation, to wonder if the expansion of the discourse around sexuality was not part of the original strategy of capitalism.

Yet it seems as if it may be too soon to discard thanato-politics in favor of an analysis of bio-power that privileges sexuality and the maintenance of life. It almost seems, in fact, that this form of analysis feeds into the very discourse around sexuality that Foucault was attempting to avoid. It is precisely this criticism that proves so unsettling; delivered in 1977 at the hands of Jean Baudrillard, it called into question the very fundamental utility of Foucault's thought. "Foucault's discourse is a mirror of the powers it describes," he asserts in Forget Foucault. [11] Furthermore, "something tells us that if it is possible at last to talk with such definitive understanding about power, sexuality, the body, and discipline, even down to their most delicate metamorphoses, it is because at some point all this is here and now over with."[12] Baudrillard says it; it is impossible to talk of Biopower, because power no longer exists. It is a spectral residue, a thread that the system has allowed us that will lead us deeper into the maze. We can talk of infinitesimal concatenations of power, or forge a complete systematic analysis; neither will change the fact that the social dynamic we are attempting to describe is now long obsolete. The very critique we are so proud to be championing has been accommodated into the system itself: "there is no exception to the logic of liberation: any force or any liberated form of speech constitutes one more turn in the spiral of power."[13]

The hip kids at Berkeley realize this when they exclaim: "and so we attend lecture after lecture about how 'discourse' produces 'subjects,' ignoring the most obvious fact that we ourselves are produced by this discourse which leaves us believing that it is only words which matter, words about words which matter. The University gladly permits precautionary lectures on biopower..."[14] It becomes apparent that the very concept of the university itself and the chains of power which circle it are a systemic construct. The Berkeley kids are laughing at conceptions of biopower that do not recognize the ideas of life and power as fundamentally artificial. It is tempting to ignore their provocation, but one finds oneself curious about the punch line. For this, we need to develop an understanding of death and sociality, of how they are inexplicably linked. In Symbolic Exchange and Death, written in the same year as Foucault's supposed masterpiece, Baudrillard succeeds in taking down a much bigger target; namely, Marxism. Baudrillard's thesis is that the End of Production has effectively occurred. Political Economy is not a metaphysical framework, rather, it is a structural framework only relevant at a certain point in time. "Now we have passed from the commodity law of value to the structural law of value, and this coincides with the obliteration of the social form known as production."[15]

For Jean Baudrillard, 'Labor Power' is not a power at all, rather, "it is a definition, an axiom, and its 'real' operation in the labor process, its 'use-value', is only the reduplication of this definition in the operation of the code."[16] Marxism and Capitalism alike seek to reproduce this status of worker; therefore both must be discarded as reactionary. Luddism, which understands the frailty of the very linear concept of production, is exalted. Yet there is more to this than a simple desire to abort the manufacture of senseless commodities; there is a very real malevolence to "a machinery which manufactures both the force of production and labor power."[17] [15] Baudrillard has tapped into Marx's Fragment on the Machines from the Grundisse, and his underdeveloped theories of the General Intellect. Marx admits that "Production for unproductive consumption is quite as productive as that for productive consumption; always assuming that it produces or reproduces capital."[18] Production has become automated (or at the very least completely marginalized); the machinery, both literal and figurative, of the system, holds us in its grasp. Our goal as workers is now not the production of material goods. Though the reproduction of the status of work was increasingly important during late Fordism, as the factory became a totality and society was increasingly automated along productive lines, even the reproduction of social relations is now taken for granted. Rather, our primary responsibility is to assert the primacy of the code, to assent to rationality and business as usual.

"For a long time, capital had only to produce goods; consumption ran by itself."[19] Baudrillard explains two years later, in In the Shadow of the Silent Majorities, that "today it is necessary to produce consumers, to produce demand, and this production is infinitely more costly than that of goods."[20] Furthermore, one used to be able to simply produce meaning, as psychic lubricant for political economy. Now, meaning is everywhere, one must generate a demand for meaning. "In the university," write the Berkeley students, "we prostrate ourselves before a value of separation, which in reality translates to a value of domination."[21] The search for enlightenment becomes a mere continuation of the adolescent search for identity; "we spend money and energy trying to convince ourselves we're brighter than everyone else."[22] The institutional apparatuses of our society develop new ways for us to express, and consequently desire, forms of identification; social networking sites, blogs, speed dating, reality television, multimedia messaging. Our very sociality, our propensity to engage in group behavior and develop fashions, provides for the obsolescence of everything, including ourselves. For this reason, the construction of the social becomes a profit making venture. Advertising, the production of consumption and of the desire for recognition, provides a mechanism for facilitating the monetization of everything. Our entire interpersonal relationships, whether we are viewing someone's social networking page, or simply admiring their clothes, becomes a means for facilitating desire (as well as conceptions of Foucaultian power).

The sphere of politics is simply compromised; "Everywhere discourse to shape our desires and distress in a way acceptable to the electoral state, discourse designed to make our very moments here together into a set of legible and fruitless demands."[23] The youthful desire channeled into the Obama movement broke all prior records; everywhere students rushed around, registering voters and handing out stickers. Yet the enthusiastic search for participation hides an anxiety on the part of the system. For, while the mass media would have us believe in a frenzied endorsement of democracy, more people didn't vote than voted for Obama. "Everywhere the masses are encouraged to speak", writes Baudrillard in his 1978 critique of the social, "they are urged to live socially, electorally, organizationally, sexually, in participation, in festival, in free speech, etc."[24] Yet this simply serves to show a huge potential weakness of a system increasingly focused on the exploitation of affective capacity: "nothing shows more dramatically," Baudrillard writes, "that the only genuine problem today is the silence of the mass, the silence of the silent majority."[25]

It is almost as if the expansion of the concept of the social factory, the conception of late Fordism proposed by Mario Tronti and Rancio Panzieri in which capitalism expands out of the factory to encompass all of human existence, is undergoing a mutation following the transition to a post-Fordist, connective economy. Giles Deleuze began to elucidate this shift:

“Capitalism in its present form is essentially dispersive, with factories giving way to businesses. Family, school, army, and factory are no longer so many analogous but different sites converging in an owner, whether the state or some private power, but transmutable or transformable coded configurations of a single business where the only people left are administrators.” [26]

In other words, the centralization of production, both spatially and temporally, is rapidly becoming unnecessary given the proliferation of communicative technologies on the one hand, and the semiotic and affective nature of modern capitalist accumulation on the other. Production, as previously noted, has been automated and exiled to the periphery. Yet other process integral to the maintenance of the capitalist economy in its current, hyper-mediated form have replaced it. As Baudrillard notes in his earlier text, Symbolic Exchange and Death, "the factory, as the model of socialization through capital, has not disappeared today but, in line with the general strategy, has been replaced by the entire city as the space of the code." [27] Baudrillard’s political economy thrives not on busy machinery and assembly lines, but rather the billboards and shopping centers of the contemporary urban environment. What is important in this new factory the production and reproduction of workers, of consumption, even of desire. For this reason, his critique is more radical than even that of Deleuze, who sees desire as a potential means to force an exit from the domination of the economic, not something created to facilitate consumption.

In Baudrillard, the city is a semiotic factory; it constitutes “the ghetto of television and advertising, the ghetto of consumers and the consumed, of readers read in advance, encoded decoders of every message, those circulating in, and circulated by, the subway, leisure-time entertainers and the entertained, etc.”[28] What matters is not the physical economy of the urban environment; rather what matters is that a space is constructed in which the normativity of our modern world is omnipotent. The theory of the social factory held that society would gradually be reengineered, due to a totalization of the human resources philosophy of Taylorism, to make it conducive to economic production and capitalist accumulation. Yet what is occurring appears to be the inverse of this; the factory and economic production is gradually being reformed so as to make it conducive to the reproduction of social relations. Yet neither the factory, with its connotations of labor and class struggle, nor Baudrillard’s city, with its proliferation of random signs and fundamental reality, provide a perfect vehicle for this recombination.

“The university is a machine” the Berkeley kids remind us from behind their fortifications. It “wants to grow, to accumulate, to expand, to absorb more and more of the living into its peculiar and perverse machinery: high-tech research centers, new stadiums and office complexes.”[29] It is not limited by design to produce material goods (as a factory is), nor is it defined by those who inhabit it (as a city is). The function of the university was once to produce meaning, to explain and interpret the world. “Today, everything has changed,” Baudrillard writes; “no longer is meaning in short supply, it is produced everywhere, in ever increasing quantities – it is demand which is weakening.”[30] Yet the University has accommodated its new function well; to provide a space for the dissemination and valorization of this purpose. “It is the production of the demand for meaning which has become crucial for the system,” the philosopher explains. “Without this demand for, without this susceptibility to, without this minimal participation in meaning, power is nothing but an empty simulacrum and an isolated effect of perspective.”[31] One recalls the Anti-Capital Project’s assertion that students “spend money and energy trying to convince ourselves we’re brighter than everyone else.”[32] In doing so, they reinforce the hegemony of objective knowledge and all that comes from it. From literature and the humanities, one derives mediated social relations. From mathematics and science, one gets destructive forms of economics and rationality. Most threatening are the social sciences, which reinforce the tyranny of politics; the study, creation and segregation, of ‘the other’.

“We are convinced, owned and broken,” say the kids in Berkeley. “We know their values better than they do…”[33] We are not just given meaning, we are taught to seek, even demand it. Existential crises once posed a threat to the system. Now, it could not live without them. Obsolescence provides the dynamo for fashion, for the rapid degradation of relationships, the jumps between jobs and homes. We consume more; what was cool five minutes ago now isn’t. We form loose relationships with friends and lovers, based not on any mutual desire but on shared enjoyment of mediated entertainment. We don’t communicate, but we like the same movies or clubs. We somehow ended up fighting for precarious existence, for the right to work a series of entry-level jobs with no benefits and sublet an equally banal series of apartments or homes. Maybe we’ll eventually meet one of our neighbors. Maybe we’ll someday receive a pension. Even as students, we begin to feel the pain of precarity: “the university steals and homogenizes our time yes, our bank accounts also, but it also steals and homogenizes meaning.”[34]

The University is becoming universalized, because “every moment of student life is the management of our consent to social death.”[35] As Baudrillard writes, “it can no longer be said that the social is dying, since it is already the accumulation of death.”[36] Elsewhere, he tells us that “the social exists to take care of the useless consumption of remainders so that individuals can be assigned to the useful management of their lives.”[37] The University is the ideal social environment, a space for adolescents to encounter each other and develop a passion for knowledge. Yet it also serves as a space for the proliferation of values and meanings, for the facilitation of semiotic consumption that Baudrillard views as being so important to the perpetuation of postmodern capitalism. A city is relatively concentrated space, allowing for bombardment by advertising, culture, media and structured normalcy. Yet it pales in comparison to the intense concentration of bodies facilitated in a University setting. The intense consumption of media and literature, social interactions and entertainment that students undergo means that meaning can easily be diffused. The Berkeley radicals claim the values distributed by their university:

“create popular images and ideals while they mean in practice the selling of commodified identities, the state’s monopoly on violence, the expansion of markets and capital accumulation, the rule of property, the rule of exclusions based on race, gender, class and domination and humiliation in general.”[38]

The University is also the perfect focal point for an economy based on simulation. There, we are taught to question everything; this allows for the constant entropy and reabsorption of signs, ideal for living in what Autonomist theorist Franco Berardi calls ‘semiocapitalism’. In Symbolic Exchange and Death, Baudrillard tells us that our new economy "conforms to the global usage we have of the surrounding world of reading and selective decoding - we live less as users than as readers and selectors, reading cells.”[39] Yet he adds that “by the same token you are yourself constantly selected and tested by the medium itself.” The subject of the hyperreal economy is increasingly analogous to the student; constantly undergoing evaluation, constantly producing and reproducing value. Berardi explains in his work Precarious Rhapsody that “the worker does not exist any more as a person. He is just the interchangeable producer of microfragments of recombinant semiosis which enters into the continuous flux of the network.”[40] A precarious worker may have several jobs in a day. They may be paid by performance, graded like a student might be. Increasingly, a society dependent on affective labor is turning every job interview into an audition, an evaluation not just of the education and experience, but also of the social capital of the candidate. Many in the field of cultural studies have commented on the increasing dependence of corporations on the internet, on social networking sites and viral marketing. Others have talked of participatory management schemes, of the conflation between work and play, or on the growing importance of fan and venture labor. Yet a vital conclusion remains to be drawn, in that all these modulations are analogous to emulating ‘the poverty of student life’. Baudrillard tells us that “the school no longer exists because every strand of social process is shot through with discipline and pedagogical training.” [41]Modern capitalist enterprise seeks to reappropriate the University as the new model of the semiotic economy.

To chart all the processes of indoctrination and exploitation taking place in the modern University would be a mammoth undertaking; Beyond Zombie Politics makes a positive attempt before concluding that

“the UC has actively aided and at times even instigated in bringing about social, economic and ecological transformations that far from improving life for the majority, have actually made life more difficult and uncertain. The unsustainable-ness of the UC isn’t an unfortunate and correctable set of shortcomings, no, it is the UC’s single most important contribution to the world.”[42]

Universities may serve as progressive sites of inquiry in some cases, yet this does not detract from the great deal of military and corporate research, economic planning and, perhaps most importantly, social conditioning occurring within their walls. Furthermore, they serve as intense machines for the concentration of privilege; each university is increasingly staffed by overworked professors and adjuncts, poorly treated maintenance and service staff. This remains only the top of the pyramid, since a hyper educated, stable society along Western lines can only exist by the intense exploitation of labor and resources in the third world. Students are taught to be oblivious to this fact; liberal seminars only serve to obfuscate the fact that they are themselves complicit in the death and destruction waged on a daily basis. They sing the college fight song and wear hooded sweatshirts (in the case of hip liberal arts colleges, flannel serves the same purpose). As the Berkeley rebels observe, “Social death is our banal acceptance of an institution’s meaning for our own lack of meaning.”[43] Our conception of the social is as the death of everything sociality entails; it is the failure of communication, the refusal of empathy, the abandonment of autonomy. Baudrillard writes that “The cemetery no longer exists because modern cities have entirely taken over their function: they are ghost towns, cities of death. If the great operational metropolis is the final form of an entire culture, then, quite simply, ours is a culture of death.”[44] By attempting to excel in a university setting, we are resigning ourselves to enrolling in what Mark Yudoff so proudly calls a cemetery, a necropolis to rival no other.

Yet herein lies the punch line. We are studying in the cemeteries of a nation which has a cultural fetish for things that refuse to stay dead; an absolute fixation with zombies. So perhaps the goal should not be to go “Beyond Zombie Politics” at all. Writes Baudrillard: “The event itself is counter-offensive and comes from a strange source: in every system at its apex, at its point of perfection, it reintroduces negativity and death.”[45] The University, by totalizing itself and perfecting its critiques, has spontaneously generated its own antithesis. Some element of sociality refuses to stay within the discourse of the social, the dead; it becomes undead, radically potent. According to Steven Shaviro’s The Cinematic Body, “zombies mark the dead end or zero degree of capitalism’s logic of endless consumption and ever expanding accumulation, precisely because they embody this logic so literally and to such excess.”[46] In that sense, they are almost identical to the mass, the silent majorities that Baudrillard describe as the ideal form of resistance to the social: “they know that there is no liberation, and that a system is abolished only by pushing it into hyperlogic, by forcing it into excessive practice which is equivalent to a brutal amortization.”[47]

Zombies do not constitute a threat at first, they shamble about their environments in an almost comic manner and are easily dispatched by a shotgun blast to the face. Similarly, students emerge from the university in which they have been buried, engaging in random acts of symbolic hyperconsumption and overproduction; perhaps an overly enthusiastic usage of a classroom or cafeteria here and there, or a particularly moving piece of theatrical composition that is easily suppressed. “Disaster is consumed as cheesy spectacle, complete with incompetent reporting, useless information bulletins, and inane attempts at commentary:”[48] Shaviro is talking about Night of the Living Dead, but he might as well be referring to the press coverage of the first California occupations.

Other students respond with horror to the encroachment of dissidents: “the living characters are concerned less about the prospect of being killed than they are about being swept away by mimesis – of returning to existence, after death, transformed into zombies themselves.”[49] Liberal student activists fear the incursions the most, as they are in many ways the most invested in the fate of the contemporary university; in many ways their role is similar to that of the survivalists in Night of the Living Dead, or the military officers in Day. Beyond Zombie Politics claims that defenders of the UC system are promoting a “Zombie Politics”; yet this is difficult to fathom. For they are insistent on saving the University, on staying ‘alive’, even when their version of life has been stripped of all that makes life worth living, when it is as good as social death. Shaviro notes that in many scenes in zombie films, our conceptions of protagonist and antagonist are reversed; in many scenes, human survivors act so repugnantly that we celebrate their infection or demise.[50]

In reality, “Zombie Politics are something to be championed, because they are the politics of a multitude, an inclusive mass of political subjects, seeking to consume brains. Yet brains must be seen as a metaphor for what Marx calls “the General Intellect”; in his Fragment on Machines, he describes it as “the power of knowledge, objectified.”[51] Students and faculty have been alienated from their labor, and, angry and zombie-like, they seek to destroy the means of their alienation. Yet, for Shaviro, “the hardest thing to acknowledge is that the living dead are not radically Other so much as they serve to awaken a passion for otherness and for vertiginous disidentification that is already latent within our own selves.”[52] In other words, we have a widespread problem with aspiring to be this other, this powerless mass. We seek a clear protagonist, we cannot avoid associating with those we perceive as ‘still alive’. Yet for Baudrillard, this constitutes a fundamental flaw:

"at the very core of the 'rationality' of our culture, however, is an exclusion that precedes every other, more radical than the exclusion of madmen, children or inferior races, an exclusion preceding all these and serving as their model: the exclusion of the dead and of death."[53]

In Forget Foucault, we learn the sad reality about biopower: that power itself is fundamentally based on the separation and alienation of death from the reality of our existence. If we are to continue to use this conception, we risk failing to see that our very lives have been turned into a mechanism for perpetuation of social death: the banal simulation of existence. Whereas socialized death is a starting point for Foucault, in Baudrillard and in recent actions from California, we see a return to a reevaluation of society and of death; a possible return to zombie politics. Baudrillard distinguishes himself as a connoisseur of graffiti; in Forget Foucault, he quotes a piece that said “When Jesus arose from the dead, he became a zombie.”[54] Perhaps the reevaluation of zombie politics will serve as the messianic shift that blasts open the gates of hell, the cemetery-university. According to the Berkeley kids, “when we move without return to their tired meaning, to their tired configurations of the material, we are engaging in war.”[55] Baudrillard’s words about semiotic insurrectionaries might suffice:

"They blasted their way out however, so as to burst into reality like a scream, an interjection, an anti-discourse, as the waste of all syntatic, poetic and political development, as the smallest radical element that cannot be caught by any organized discourse. Invincible due to their own poverty, they resist every interpretation and every connotation, no longer denoting anyone or anything."[56]

It seems reasonable to note in closing that, this week at Berkeley is finals week, a period in which semiotic economy is peaking: hundreds of thousands of books will be read, meanings digested and regurgitated. Millions of pages will be typed, each one a modicum of biopolitical reproduction, containing codes that are complicit in, if they do not directly facilitate, both exploitation and the stagnancy of the social environment. For years, this week has been colloquially known as ‘death week’; fitting, considering it is a culmination of a systematic social death.[57] Yet at Berkeley, something else is occurring. “For an end to the values of social death we need ruptures and self-propelled, unmanaged movements of wild bodies. We need, we desire occupations.”[58] As of Monday, another building has been taken over; hundreds of students are participating in a maneuver that has at its goal the disruption of capitalist normalcy.[59] “We are an antagonistic dead,” they say.[60] It has at its title ‘Live Week’, yet we know the inside joke of the matter: they are simply undead.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

[1] Anti-Capital Projects. 2009. The Necrosocial. http://anticapitalprojects.wordpress.com/2009/11/19/the-necrosocial/

[2] Baudrillard, Jean. 1993. Symbolic Exchange and Death. London:Sage Publications. 94.

[3] Mark Yudof, cited in Solomon, Deborah. 2009. Questions for Mark Yudof – Big Man on Campus. New York Times Magazine. September 27. MM18

[4] Beyond Zombie Politics. 2009. Anarchist News Dot Org. http://www.anarchistnews.org?q=node/9951 . (Posted) October 22nd .

[5] Ibid.

[6] Anti-Capital Projects.

[7] Ibid.

[8]6 Foucault, Michel. 1990. History of Sexuality. New York: Vintage Books. 136.

[9] Ibid, 139-140.

[10] Ibid, 148

[11] Baudrillard, Jean. 2007. Forget Foucault. Los Angeles: Semiotext(e). 29.

[12] Ibid. 30.

[13] Ibid. 41.

[14] Anti-Capital Projects

[15] Baudrillard, Symbolic Exchange and Death (SED), 13.

[16] Ibid, 12.

[17] Ibid, 15.

[18] Marx, Karl. 1993. Grundrisse. London:Penguin. 306. Cited from Ibid, 17.

[19] Baudrillard, Jean. 2007. In the Shadow of the Silent Majorities. Los Angeles:Semiotext(e). 52.

[20] Ibid.

[21] Anti-Capital Projects.

[22] Ibid.

[23] Ibid.

[24] Baudrillard, In The Shadow of the Silent Majority (SSM), 50.

[25] Ibid.

[26] Deleuze, Giles. 1995. Negotiations:1972-1990. New York: Columbia University Press. 181.

Cited in: Thoburn, Nicholas. 2003. Deleuze, Marx and Politics. London: Routledge.

[27] Baudrillard, SED, 77.

[28] Ibid.

[29] Anti-Capital Projects

[30] Baudrillard, SSM, pg 53.

[31] Ibid.

[32] Anti-Capital Projects.

[33] Ibid.

[34] Ibid.

[35] Ibid.

[36] Baudrillard, SSM, 84.

[37] Ibid, 88.

[38] Anti-Capital Projects

[39] Baudrillard, SED, 64.

[40] Berardi, Franco. 2009. Precarious Rhapsody. London: Minor Compositions. 81.

[41] Baudrillard, SED, 127.

[42] Beyond Zombie Politics.

[43] Anti-Capital Projects.

[44] Baudrillard, SED, 127.

[45] SSM, 122.

[46] Schaviro, Steven. 1993. The Cinematic Body. Minneapolis: The University of Minnesota Press. 93-94.

[47] Baudrillard, SSM, 65.

[48] Shaviro, 91.

[49] Ibid, 98.

[50] Shaviro.

[51] Marx, 706.

[52] Shaviro, 99.

[53] Baudrillard, SED, 126.

[54] Baudrillard, FF, 57.

[55] Anti-Capital Projects.

[56] Baudrillard, SED, 78.

[57] Barglow, Raymond. 2009. UC Protesters Return to Wheeler Hall. Berkeley Daily Planet. December 8th.

[58] Anti-Capital Projects.

[59] Occupy CA. 2009. http://occupyca.worpress.com (accessed December 8th)

[60] Anti-Capital Projects.

Comments

For us life only begins after we've experienced death without the joys of dying. Real life is elsewhere, in another political ontology. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zkw0C7vt5B8

YES!

mmmm... captcha is "yesterdays codman"... Trent?

tl;dr. summary pls

Stripping the fat from the decapitated capitalist torso and deep-frying the head in it?

Q. What does an anarchist taxi service look like?

A. The driver-passenger relationship represents an essential hierarchical relationship which must be broken down through long co-operative discussion and decision-making. Once all the occupants of the taxi are on equal terms, and those external to the taxi are aware and comfortable with their freedom to associate or disassociate with those within the taxi, discussions of possible destinations can begin in earnest

Taxi drivers shouldn't be objecified any more than food service workers... That's not anarchist perspective, it's just good manners.

-SqueeDork

That was good!

When will Vampires and Wizards come into the analysis? I say that half jokingly... but if the Undead is going to be conceptualizer in political theory, there are many other possibilities than Zombies. The Witch is more of an anarchist than the Vampire or Warewolf... lol.

-Squee

"Poor is the man whose pleasure depends on the permission of another" - Madonna

Admin!
Can you take out the intro? It actually invalidates the source if I say I just posted it for that reason, shit!
Thanks,
Casper

Brief Summary:
President of the University of California compares University to a graveyard. Student Activists largely take offense to being compared to corpses, yet they use dead strategies which certain anarchists want to go beyond. Yet it is no wonder students act like corpses, being that the University is a space for the manufacture of Social Death. The only way for students to actively combat the system, therefore, is to recognize their position in the societal death machine, while simultaneously refusing to play the roles proscribed to them. Zombies rise up, and smash everything. Special guest appearence: Zombie Baudrillard!

Thanks for this piece. thanatopolitics is probably the best way to understand/talk about our current situation.