I’m just waiting on a friend

So, the idea is that Trinketization will temporarily become, for the next few weeks, a multi-authored blog about Attack the Headquarters at CCS. I will reconfigure the author privileges soon, just waiting on a chance to teach the wordpress code to my co-conspirators. In the meantime, a randomized comment in the wake of the excellent, smart, but somehow wholly frustrating, Critique of Violence day we had in CCS on monday. This is not a thought through position – just an outburst of sorts. Overall, I thought it was one of our very best days. And the presentations were great.

Time, deferral and waiting were prominent themes. These are important to the Benjamin text, but I wanted to see some wider implications teased out (teased out or beaten like a drum?).

I don’t see how, if we are asking why we do things (Andrew), why we would want to wait (Howard), defer or delay. Interruption and waiting are important, in the circumstances discussed, no doubt, but how about in the context of the relentless murder-death-kill on our screens every night (Afghanistan, Iraq, Burma, China, London, Oldham [and Jennifer's UN civilian casulaty figures]). here, the idea of an extended theoretical meditation on the varieties of waiting seems a might problematic. I am all for ponderous slowing down when we need to – and no doubt there are several kinds of waiting: waiting for a train, waiting for a train that is late (more frustrating), waiting for the people in the waiting room to leave because its your job to clean the waiting room (frustration and exploitation), etc etc. But really, don’t we wanna drive the train? Whooo whooo.

So alongside waiting I think we also need to develop the conceptual engagements of ‘seize the time’, ‘attack the moment’, and act (up) now.

Infantile Leftism is contagious I guess. But I noticed that on the day we were talking about Benjamin’s ‘Critique of Violence’ essay, which mentions police power and strikes separately, the parliamentary piggy-pollies of westminster were in a debate that was heading towards new legislation on the right of the Police to strike. I assume this will not at all be a revolutionary general strike – but we should really discuss the cops. I remember somewhere Trotsky said something like ‘a worker in a uniform is just a cop’. Sometimes Leon is not all that bad.

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Comments

  • Renegade Eye  On 22/05/2008 at 6:07 am

    Leftwing Criminologist who owns a blog by that name, is at my links list, specializes in such questions.

    I talked with my comrades about the issue of cops. If they have union issues you can support, you might as well. When the time comes, they’ll only hit you once on your head, rather than twice.

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  • john hutnyk  On 22/05/2008 at 6:18 am

    I’ve yet to see their list of demands… but from past experience of the Police Federation and their attempts to silence the film Injustice – http://hutnyk.wordpress.com/2006/07/14/586/ – I’m not happily inclined towards much in the way of support. I will go read Leftwing Criminlogist now. At http://leftwingcriminologist.blogspot.com/ for those who wish also to do so.

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  • Tom Bunyard  On 22/05/2008 at 8:34 am

    Hi,

    Maybe I didn’t follow all that was being said, but wasn’t the waiting stuff – in Andrew’s talk, at least – rather more to do with a reluctance to impose teleology or Absolutes on history? I got the impression that history was still to be made, actions (radical or revolutionary ones) were still to be undertaken, but that declaring ‘History’ to be here rather than letting (small ‘h’) history unfold was a mistake.

    …the question then is of course how the hell do you make history if you’re not allowed to impose any kind of concrete plan of action upon it – and that seems to completely sabotage the point of theory itself.

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  • john hutnyk  On 22/05/2008 at 12:38 pm

    Yes, within what was said – in a dark room with no windows, as LSD points out – it was all well and fine. But what I was waiting for was wider reference. I am not at all anti-thoery, it must be said, just would like an abundance of theory to bloom and contend and mean more than the elegantly learned edification of those of us that are so hyper literate we can no longer see to scratch ourselves.

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