December 2008


Remember when I said I might not post as much? I lied. Its something to do in this horrible weather. This horrible weather inflicting itself upon the city, practically shutting it down, causing the local news to somehow increase its coverage to a wall-to-wall, rapture like apotheosis. This horrible weather, which is meant to continue. As I type this, the snow is starting to fall again. It will only increase the fatuous hysteria.

If you thought the local news obnoxious fixation on the banal was tedious before; the now constant repetitive spectacle of weather updates, traffic reports, school closings and reports from correspondents- who look so fresh-faced they must be interns- picking up fresh snow while discussing how much accumulation there was in a parking lot in a some horrible suburban town, will obliterate your patience.

This exercise in mass hysteria,  has sidelined even the insubstantial real news coverage the local news might usually bother with, relegating it to filing the space in between the latest breaking storm coverage. (they only announced the governor had released a budget with significant cuts in services, but eschewed specifics, because that would get in the way of traffic.)

Now it will only get worse. Fuck the local news. Fuck this horrible weather.

Posting might be lighter then usual in the next few weeks. I am in an undisclosed holiday location and the internet connection I am stealing sucks. It takes forever to load wordpress and I don’t have the patience. Instead I will compile future posts out of the Lukacs and Freud I am reading as well the other shenanigans i get up to. Until then enjoy footage of Greece at mrzine http://mrzine.monthlyreview.org/greece191208.html.

Posting might be lighter then usual in the next few weeks. I am in an undisclosed holiday location and the internet connection I am stealing sucks. It takes forever to load wordpress and I don’t have the patience. Instead I will compile future posts out of the Lukacs and Freud I am reading as well the other shenanigans i get up to. Until then enjoy footage of Greece at mrzine http://mrzine.monthlyreview.org/greece191208.html.

Why are the Greek anarchists called “self-styled anarchists?” in the mainstream press coverage of the ongoing protests? Have they failed to meet the standards of some designated government committee or NGO in charge of anointing who is or isn’t an anarchist? I mean what’s the deal?

But in all seriousness folks, I can only think of a few reasons why the mainstream press- by which i mean The Guardian, BBC and AP- have taken this line;

(1) They are lazy sycophantic echo-chambers of conventional wisdom. (this is the press after all) They haven’t done their jobs and they haven’t investigated what the “self-styled anarchists” mean when they use the word anarchist. Instead of a political movement with a history and ideals, they think anarchism is some sort of trite love of chaos and destruction. So instead of a political ideology, it is the opposite of conventional wisdom, and is absurd. Therefore, describing yourself as an anarchist is “self-styled” because it is impossible to be anarchist. In reality, anarchy is an empty justification for  destruction.

(2) The mainstream press are condescending and hate the fucking kids. Here, in contrast to (1), the kids are posers because they arent real anarchists. They are “self-styled,” then, because the press assumes they will not become professional revolutionaries who dedicate their lives to anarchist struggle. They view the students and youth as flash in the pan radicals who will grow up and give up their silly ideas:

In both cases the mainstream press seems to have found a gap between political rhetoric and reality. They seem to have demonstrated that it is impossible to be an anarchist because all attempts to meet their criteria fail. The youth are “self-styled anarchists,” then, because they fail to meet the reality created by the mainstream presses assumptions. But, the mainstream press is being inconsistent. Shouldn’t this logic be applied to all politics? If so, after discarding the mainstream presses conventional and condescending assumptions and replacing them with an objective basis, in looking at the actual gap between political rhetoric and reality- wouldn’t we find it was entirely accurate to describe Bush, Berlusconi and other politicians as “self-styled democrats”?

Rumsfeld obviously hadn’t read Fanon:

The truth is that there is no colonial power today which is capable of adopting the only form of contest which has a chance of suceeding, namely, the prolonged establishment of large forces of occupation. (Wretched of the Earth. pg. 58)

“Intellectual alienation is a creation of middle-class society. What i call middle-class society is any society that becomes rigidified in predetermined forms, forbidding all evolution, all gains, all progress, all discovery. I call middle-class a closed society in which life has no taste, in which the air is tainted, in which ideas and men are corrupt. And I think that a man who takes a stand against this death is in a sense revolutionary.” Frantz Fanon Black Skins, White Masks.


From what I know, which is not much, there is little work that compares Fanon with his European contemporaries. This is surprising because he shares much in common with Hegelian Marxism and Critical Theory.

In a very broad sense, I would argue that Fanon and Hegelian Marxism/ Critical Theory utillize Marx and Freud to criticize the dehumanizing effects of culture on humans, where culture turns humans into things through a fetishized process not captured by reified consciousness. I will explore this further in my dissertation or in articles

What could biopolitics do with the adage, children should be seen and not heard?

Next Page »