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What we are reading…

This is a quiet time on the blog, with most of our contributors preferring to spend time in front of home fires rather than those lit on Parliament Square. To fill in some of the empty space on the blog, we want to run a series over the holidays on what we are reading…. These are…

Towards a Radical Anti-Capitalist Schizophrenia?

Internet shopping has entered mainstream culture. Every major corporation in the world has a web site offering product information, interactive advertisements, and, increasingly, the ability to buy products on-line. Discount books, pizza delivery, stocks, and just about anything else you can imagine are available for purchase in cyberspace. Internet based commerce exemplifies and extends the…

Biblioclasm and the Book Bloc

Biblioclasm: biblio- comb. form + Greek – klasmos breaking Born in Rome during the student protests of December 2010, and again in London’s demonstrations of that same month, the Book Bloc would not normally figure in a chronology of libricide. After all, no actual books were destroyed. But, as we shall see, it’s not all about…

The Violent Vocabulary of Policing

Those of us living in the so-called advanced democracies such as the United Kingdom often forget that Police is an integral part of coercive capacity of the state. Yet, what should make a democracy democratic is accountability of the state to the people. People matter. It is not enough that in Britain, there are organizations…

London Book Bloc

On this day, despite the protests, the plan to raise the cap on tuition was carried by 323 votes to 302. Like the Wu Ming in Italy, would anyone like to have a go at summarising a message of protest from the names of the books on their shields?  Feel free to use the comments…

The Life and Death of the University

In the last few weeks, much emphasis has been placed on the impact that the unprecedented increase in tuition fees will have on the life of the university and, beyond the university’s boundaries, on the life of future students themselves. But oddly it seems that the real import of the cuts to Higher Education proposed…

Protest: Wu Ming

It could be interesting to look closely at the classics the students chose to put on their shields. Let’s look at the frontline. Boccaccio’s Decameron, which is about people sharing stories while waiting for the plague to end. Asimov’s The Naked Sun, which is the description of a world where humans no longer touch each other. Melville’s Moby…

You have the right to protest ineffectually!

The right to protest ineffectually is enshrined in the Irish Constitution and we are here today to exercise that right. To ensure that the demonstration will have no effect whatsoever ICTU [the Irish Congress of Trade Unions] have taken certain sensible measures. The demonstration is on Saturday. The demonstration will be addressed by boring windbags who…

Manifesto of Legal Surrealism

First Manifesto (1988)  The pedagogy of the imaginary: perspectives of late surrealism for legal teaching Not long ago I took part in an academic selection for the chair of Political Science at the University of Buenos Aires. The examining board expressed that it could not assess my pedagogic proposal for it was too innovative, its…

Anthropophagite Manifesto

Only anthropophagy unites us. Socially. Economically. Philosophically. The world’s only law. The masked expression of all individualisms, of all collectivisms. Of all religions. Of all peace treaties. Tupy, or not tupy that is the question.1 Against all catechisms. And against the mother of the Gracchi. The only things that interest me are those that are not mine. Law…

Murderous Humanitarianism

For centuries the soldiers, priests and civil agents of imperialism, in a welter of looting, outrage and wholesale murder, have with impunity grown fat off the colored races. Now it is the turn of the demagogues, with their counterfeit liberalism. But the proletariat of today, whether metropolitan or colonial, is no longer to be fooled…

Manifesto of Surrealism

So strong is the belief in life, in what is most fragile in life – real life, I mean – that in the end this belief is lost. Man, that inveterate dreamer, daily more discontent with his destiny, has trouble assessing the objects he has been led to use, objects that his nonchalance has brought…

Law

Law comes from “lex” (“legere”; to read). Who could read the law? And who can write it? The one empowered to do so. The law is always inaccurate because accuracy could only be achieved at the cost of an infinite negentropy, and it would an infinite amount of information and time, as it is evidenced…

Cixous on France

The Guardian have posted a brief interview with Hélène Cixous. In it she describes beautifully a symptom: The main theatre of the Sorbonne, with the portraits of  men all along the walls – the institutions past. Then at the far end of the room, a ‘silhouette of light’, an allegory of justice apparently – ‘woman’.…

In Memoriam – Jose Luis Brea (1957-2010)

At the end of August 2010, the publication of what would sadly turn out to be the penultimate text written by José Luis Brea, Professor of Aesthetics and Contemporary Art Theory at the Universidad Carlos III of Madrid, awoke in many of us a deep feeling of sorrow and anxiety. The article in salonKritik, the…

Rights to be Specs of Human Capital

I want to draw attention to the recent interview with Prof. Wendy Brown on Human Rights in Ireland. Prof. Brown engages initially with the question of critique, and its relation to rights. She refuses to reject rights, but instead seeks to question the premises upon which they stand and the power relations in which they emerge.…

Constituent Power and this Summer of Rage

There has been much discussion and fear-mongering about this expected summer of rage. The idea is put forward by the media and political classes that we must expect the worst. However, in the light of the recent resurgence of the left and the countervailing ideology perpetuated by mainstream politics and the media, it is worthwhile…