Now the collection of – clunky concrete poetry – things dumped here show just how rough the first draft really was. Out damn spot, out.
It is always possible, even advisable, to disagree with the cleavages comrade Badiou introduces to his speculations, especially where he proclaims he knows ‘full well that the kind of riot triggered by state murders – for example, in 2005 in Paris, or in 2011 in London [he means Duggan] – is violent, anarchic, and ultimately without enduring truth‘ (Badiou 2011/2012: 20-21 my italics). Badiou is here talking in the immediate aftermath of the uprising, and talking too soon to make such a call. Truth, what does it matter if you philosophise on the back on remote access news reports? Even if he had read more widely, perhaps, would he see that the sort of ‘riot’ discussed here does not ‘plunder’ and destroy ‘without a concept’, but rather can leave many concepts and be a part of an ongoing struggle, that continues and is protracted, unforgiving and unforgotten. Contra Badiou then, but for many reasons beside, …
Similarly, when Prashad laments the ‘revolution’ that Libya got as it deserved, it need not be so easily agreed that the loss of Gaddafi was not also a loss far greater
and let’s not even start on the complicated consequences of the stalling of the Tahrir Square occupations of the dissolution of the Gezi movement in Turkey under the threats and schemings of AKP’s Tayyip Erdogan
too much geopolitical brinksmanship and prosecution of age-old political manoeuvring that a Clive, Colonel Gordon or even Richard Burton or Rudyard Kipling would readily recognise.
In discussion of these political squibs that come to us haphazardly through a wholly ideological format of news and facebark, the arbitrary ordering of interpretive sequence by way of choosing to follow the names of a film and the dates of release of quite separate productions is as viable as any. I seek out images of the left on TV, I adopt my favourites as directors and promote them endlessly as if it were multivitamins for the soul. What has the order of choice to say about the analysis? Should the assemblage or the idiomatic be stressed first? The tendential hybridisation of proletarianisation that could be prioritised over the organisational or the strategic deployment of whichever convenient identity construct? To the extent that awareness of how these frames frame is even partially plausible in the marketplace of interpretation – though we set a high value on interpretations that are dysfunctional for the market, the sponsoring institutions, the conventions of disciplinary readership and the surveillance of state – is there merit in trying to escape the industry that will always profit from the double binding of a book and the promotional review of a film? Hard and soft covers. Sometimes it is bruising to learn that ego flounders on the double hypocrisy of resistance as method.
The catch in the digital, so far largely ignored in its implications, is that the charismatic piracy of its modernity is soon routinised. The bureaucratic infects the digital without opposition, indeed via the Trojans of an accelerationist digital humanities and the apolitical ontology studies and the like. I am appalled at the baneful consequences of the celebrity desire of those who talk so-called ontological affect, neo-Darwinism and flux theory simply to close out the ‘old’ honest critical Left in a dirty alliance with brand management institutionalism. No interest in revolutionary change, even a rights based individualism becomes an evolution of the fittest, loudest, twitter.
What levels of consideration need be sustained to rethink all media theory back again as critical social theory, and who would that put out of work? Would this especially destabilise the hegemony of Eurocentrism in social and media theory since dominant thinking in Europe and America assumes a preposterous transparency in home media while thinking all ‘foreign’ media is ideological.
Writing about theorists who have long experience of making the argument that the hegemonic viewpoint is itself constructed and construed in a prejudicial way against the interests of the South becomes an argument against the South. Soon to be published by a prominent big house left publisher with all the right recommendations. Without projecting uniformity or absolute coherence on these polarities, the suggestion at least merits spending time with those theorists of the South with experience and form in making the critique of colonial knowledge regimes, exoticism, orientalist, ethnocentrism and hierarchy and not reporting them to the authorities…
It is difficult to comprehend how it is even possible to be the same species as someone who feigns concern while having active involvement in levels of brutal mercenary exploitation unseen since the Roman senate. Empire was a metaphor for theory, while fascism is a rarefied word invoking equal measures of anxiety and abuse within activism. But the demonisation and destruction of lives which are deemed not to matter, while others declare freedom, is a divided logic only possible for inhuman hypocrites. How can freedom be squared with extra-juridical assassination, torture, invasion and collateral damage – meaning random public death – in the same words and gestures that also ask for public approval, votes and money. More disturbing yet, the interests and lobbyists that gather support for this hypocrisy, and the unassuming gullible acceptance of a regime of terror that calls itself democracy.