Some thoughts on an essay

I’m on holiday in Italy atm so typing on my phone and net connection isn’t super consistent. But if anyone has comments I’d appreciate them even if I don’t manage to reply. I use demand in the sense Laclau does, which begins as a demand qua Lacan but mostly refers to the register of desire.

Just finished reading chs 4 & 5 & the concluding remarks of Laclau’s ‘On Populist Reason’. I’m still not entirely convinced by how Laclau constructs social heterogeneity as a symbolic exclusion in absolute, thus constituting the Real. Is this really a primal repression or a discursive elision? I would suggest the latter, much preferring to account for the Real in the political as the incapacity of toe symbolic to meet all demands/live up to its promises of a fully sutured social. To declare the discursive elision of the heterogeneous to be themselves the Real falls into the same trap, on an ontological level, that Laclau is trying to avoid in accepting a subjective, ontically informed motivation for the categorisation of a social group. But groups whose demands are excluded, providing the rupture, do not shift ontologically and become occupants of the Real through the lack in the symbolic (that the demand in Laclau should be synonymous with the group constituted by it see pp153-4). But the demand is also primarily a symbolic articulation and cannot be reduced from this presence. The Real in the political is discovered at the point the symbolic structure is subtracted from the demand - that the Other cannot meet the demand - not at the point of the demand itself.

This may also go some way to understanding why Laclau considers the hegemonic logic metaphorical and also objet a, while Lacan is clear the objet a is metonymic. In Lacan the objet a is a displacement, an addition to the chain of signification around which an identity is realised to have constituted itself to fill the lack in the S/ and the A/, a retroactive effect of the dialectic of desire.

In Laclau the hegemonic logic is a substitution constituted by a group in articulating a demand. The group is already constituted and the empty signifier is produced by them, rather than the signifier articulating the identity of the group that forms around it. Hence the objet a in Laclau is a symbolic substitution for the group itself rather than an imaginary object-cause.

Posted at 1:21 PM - August 20, 2014.
Posted at 7:41 PM - August 16, 2014. source.
peterpanopticon:

little-dandelions:

physics-and-fiction:

superwholockalypse:

dreamingofdoctorwho:

colorsofsocialjustice:

colorsofsocialjustice:

contra-indication:

spondylitis:

The nerve!….This goes out to all the spoonies.
Read this:
“My name is Emelie Crecco, I’m 20 years old and I have cystic fibrosis. CF affects the lungs (as of many organs in the body) because of this I have a handicapped sticker. I’m not one to “abuse” the sticker, meaning I use it when I’m having a “bad day” (some days its a little harder to breathe). Today was HOT so I needed to use my sticker. I was running errands all day around my town, I pulled into a handicapped spot, placed the sticker in my mirror and continued into the store. Upon returning to my car I found a note written by someone, it said “Shame on you, you are NOT handicapped. You have taken a space that could have been used by an actually handicapped person. You are a selfish young lady.” I was LIVID. How can someone be so ignorant and cowardly? They clearly saw me walk out of my car, why not approach me? Not all handicaps are visible. I would love for you to share this story. It would help spread awareness for CF, but it would help open people’s minds to what handicapped really is.  Thank you for your time” ~Emelie Crecco

A friend of mine fell over 20 feet and basically broke half his ribs, punctured his lung, broke his arm in three places that required many surgeries to fix and messed up a nerve in his leg. He had to walk with a cane for a long time after it and some lady in a restaurant thought he was just walking with a cane for the hell of it and she ripped it from his hands and grabbed his messed up arm and shook him and told him he was an awful human being for pretending to be handicapped. What the fuck people?

This is what real ableism looks like.

I have ulcerative colitis, an autoimmune disorder which causes my body to attack my colon, and I qualify for one of those stickers. I’m scared to get one, though, because I look healthy and whole.-Orange

A mutual friend of mine’s mother has severe fibromyalgia (that gives her a handicapped pass) and as she was walking to her car after buying her groceries, a man actually lunged at her and started yelling at her about her “not looking handicapped”. It left her mother shaking and crying, of course, and it just makes me so angry how awful and ignorant some people can be. 

Not all handicaps are visible
Can I just pin this sentence on every lamppost all over the planet please

I get this all the time with my knee problems if i’m not wearing my supports

Everything about this! My aunt has had many open heart surgeries and it is difficult for her to walk around for too long, especially in the heat. She is unable to do so. There have been people that have gone up to her and scream and “lecture” her. I’ll say it: my aunt is my hero. She is very outspoken and feisty and she does not let things like this get her down. It’s sad because she has basically said that she has had to get “used to it”. No one with a handicap or disability, or what have you, should have to go through this.

last time I caught the National Express, I got to the coach station 40 minutes early so I could get a seat at the front. I have fibromyalgia and anxiety (panic attacks) and it’s an 8 hour journey to my university town, so 1) I need the extra legroom, and 2) I need to be near the front because the further back you sit, the more claustrophobic it gets. Two of the four front seats are marked as disabled priority seats, and being very aware of the ‘invisible’ nature of my disability, I sat in the ”’normal”’ seats in case another disabled passenger needed the marked seats. Next thing I know, the coach driver is standing in front of me saying ‘Oi, you can’t sit there. Those are disabled seats’ so I’m like ‘But they’re not marked…’ and he says, ‘Yes they are, get up, we need to save those seats for actual disabled passengers’ so I finally said ‘but I am disabled’ and he just looks at me and ‘Another passenger needs those seats’ and by this time the coach is pretty full. So I found my way to a seat further back (and at this point I’m trying really hard not to cry) and then after a few minutes, I see the bus driver hugging and shaking hands with a couple of people outside the coach and the three of them get on and he’s like ‘I saved you the front seats!’
TL;DR - I was forced out of non-disabled seats for not being disabled (when I am) so the coach driver’s friends could ride shotgun and spent the rest of the 8 hour journey anxious, cramped, and on the verge of tears
(never travelling with National Express again)  

peterpanopticon:

little-dandelions:

physics-and-fiction:

superwholockalypse:

dreamingofdoctorwho:

colorsofsocialjustice:

colorsofsocialjustice:

contra-indication:

spondylitis:

The nerve!….This goes out to all the spoonies.

Read this:

My name is Emelie Crecco, I’m 20 years old and I have cystic fibrosis. CF affects the lungs (as of many organs in the body) because of this I have a handicapped sticker. I’m not one to “abuse” the sticker, meaning I use it when I’m having a “bad day” (some days its a little harder to breathe). Today was HOT so I needed to use my sticker. I was running errands all day around my town, I pulled into a handicapped spot, placed the sticker in my mirror and continued into the store. Upon returning to my car I found a note written by someone, it said “Shame on you, you are NOT handicapped. You have taken a space that could have been used by an actually handicapped person. You are a selfish young lady.” I was LIVID. How can someone be so ignorant and cowardly? They clearly saw me walk out of my car, why not approach me? Not all handicaps are visible. I would love for you to share this story. It would help spread awareness for CF, but it would help open people’s minds to what handicapped really is.
Thank you for your time”
~Emelie Crecco

A friend of mine fell over 20 feet and basically broke half his ribs, punctured his lung, broke his arm in three places that required many surgeries to fix and messed up a nerve in his leg. He had to walk with a cane for a long time after it and some lady in a restaurant thought he was just walking with a cane for the hell of it and she ripped it from his hands and grabbed his messed up arm and shook him and told him he was an awful human being for pretending to be handicapped. What the fuck people?


This is what real ableism looks like.

I have ulcerative colitis, an autoimmune disorder which causes my body to attack my colon, and I qualify for one of those stickers. I’m scared to get one, though, because I look healthy and whole.
-Orange

A mutual friend of mine’s mother has severe fibromyalgia (that gives her a handicapped pass) and as she was walking to her car after buying her groceries, a man actually lunged at her and started yelling at her about her “not looking handicapped”. It left her mother shaking and crying, of course, and it just makes me so angry how awful and ignorant some people can be. 

Not all handicaps are visible

Can I just pin this sentence on every lamppost all over the planet please

I get this all the time with my knee problems if i’m not wearing my supports

Everything about this! My aunt has had many open heart surgeries and it is difficult for her to walk around for too long, especially in the heat. She is unable to do so. There have been people that have gone up to her and scream and “lecture” her. I’ll say it: my aunt is my hero. She is very outspoken and feisty and she does not let things like this get her down. It’s sad because she has basically said that she has had to get “used to it”. No one with a handicap or disability, or what have you, should have to go through this.

last time I caught the National Express, I got to the coach station 40 minutes early so I could get a seat at the front. I have fibromyalgia and anxiety (panic attacks) and it’s an 8 hour journey to my university town, so 1) I need the extra legroom, and 2) I need to be near the front because the further back you sit, the more claustrophobic it gets. Two of the four front seats are marked as disabled priority seats, and being very aware of the ‘invisible’ nature of my disability, I sat in the ”’normal”’ seats in case another disabled passenger needed the marked seats. Next thing I know, the coach driver is standing in front of me saying ‘Oi, you can’t sit there. Those are disabled seats’ so I’m like ‘But they’re not marked…’ and he says, ‘Yes they are, get up, we need to save those seats for actual disabled passengers’ so I finally said ‘but I am disabled’ and he just looks at me and ‘Another passenger needs those seats’ and by this time the coach is pretty full. So I found my way to a seat further back (and at this point I’m trying really hard not to cry) and then after a few minutes, I see the bus driver hugging and shaking hands with a couple of people outside the coach and the three of them get on and he’s like ‘I saved you the front seats!’

TL;DR - I was forced out of non-disabled seats for not being disabled (when I am) so the coach driver’s friends could ride shotgun and spent the rest of the 8 hour journey anxious, cramped, and on the verge of tears

(never travelling with National Express again)  

Posted at 12:34 PM - August 16, 2014. source.
babybutta:

kingjaffejoffer:

Welp, so much for the 1 day of peace in Ferguson. 
She’s live tweeting that people are throwing bottles at the cops and the cops are taking their gas masks out

They’re trying to get the crowd angry again because they were caught looking stupid and slipping. If they can’t vilify Mike Brown, they will vilify his people.

babybutta:

kingjaffejoffer:

Welp, so much for the 1 day of peace in Ferguson. 

She’s live tweeting that people are throwing bottles at the cops and the cops are taking their gas masks out

They’re trying to get the crowd angry again because they were caught looking stupid and slipping.

If they can’t vilify Mike Brown, they will vilify his people.

Posted at 12:28 PM - August 16, 2014. source.

megaparsecs:

i just wanted to put this out there since im sure it’ll get written about differently tomorrow. 

Posted at 9:42 AM - August 16, 2014. source.

afrobluess:

The Howard alumni who was shot in the head made a speedy recovery and she was able to tell her side of the story. The police said that it was a drive by conducted by a group of black men and that it was fatal. They didn’t expect her to survive and talk.

Posted at 8:42 PM - August 15, 2014. source.

scrapes:

whiteguiltconfessionals:

rissaisangry:

phoeni-xx:

jaedewilliams:

theonetruenidoking:

william-elms:

policymic:

Disturbing photos show a cop choking a college student

Police had been responding to a “disturbance” near the University of Tennessee when a house party estimated to be composed of 800+ individuals spilled out onto the street. Deputy Brandon Gilliam wrote in the report that when detaining Dotson, he “began to physically resist officers’ instructions to place his hands behind his back, and at one point grabbed on to an officer’s leg.” At some point, Deputy Phillips felt the need to begin choking Dotson to the point where he passed out — lethal force by any definition.

Read more | Follow policymic

The deputy who assaulted the student was fired and the deputies who stood by were suspended. As it should be.

This dude made a rookie mistake. You never assault the rich white kids, they’re the only ones the system cares about after all.

^^^^^^^

LETS FUCKING CLARIFY:

A COP CHOKES A WHITE BOY AFTER A ROWDY PARTY UNTIL HE PASSED OUT AND GETS FIRED ASAP.

A COP PUTS AN ASTHMATIC BLACK MAN IN A CHOKE HOLD UNTIL HE DIED AND WE’RE STILL WAITING FOR SOMETHING TO FUCKING HAPPEN. 

THIS IS WHY I CANNOT TRUST “THE SYSTEM”. ITS EITHER SUPER FUCKED UP OR ITS WORKING JUST THE WAY THEY INTENDED IT TO. and we all know which one is right.

This commentary is on point.

This photoset is all kinds of fucked…

-M

how can people see this and still say it’s not about race when everything in the universe is pointing to the fact that it is?

(Source: micdotcom)

Posted at 4:30 PM - August 15, 2014. source.

la-negra-barbuda:

la-negra-barbuda:

The chief of police from Ferguson just released the name of the officer involved on CNN. The officer’s name is Darren Wilson. I just watched the livestream. Will give you all a link soon.

For now, it’s on the breaking news banner on the homepage of CNN’s website.

CNN report [x]. Looks like the release from a twitter account connected to Anon was incorrect.

Posted at 3:20 PM - August 15, 2014. source.
Posted at 3:15 PM - August 15, 2014. source.
aylookatmenow:

hueyfreemanonlyspeaksthetruth:

You don’t get to use Martin Luther King Jr. as your “Imaginary Black Yes Man”!!!

this is one of my favorite gifs

aylookatmenow:

hueyfreemanonlyspeaksthetruth:

You don’t get to use Martin Luther King Jr. as your “Imaginary Black Yes Man”!!!

this is one of my favorite gifs

Posted at 2:28 PM - August 15, 2014. source.

nodamncatnodamncradle:

I agree with and support what is said in my last reblog. I understand the structural issues at play.

But I also understand that people are no longer being tear gassed, their homes are no longer being directly attacked, children will be able to go to school again, rubber and wooden bullets are no longer raining down on the neighborhood. So while, yes, structurally, theoretically, this is not a sign of “improvement” and it is still operating as a police state and real change does need to be made, but seriously, maybe consider how the folks marching in Ferguson right now might feel? To not be faced with constant tear gas and rubber bullets, to be able to leave their homes? Everything isn’t perfect, and their fight for justice—not just legal justice, but real justice—is far from over. But hey, maybe kids will be able to sleep better tonight? It isn’t over, far from it, but Ferguson is no longer a literal war zone and that’s not something to brush aside. Because we can talk about theory all we want, but at the end of the day they’re real people being affected.  We should not let this be the end, say “oh well order restored, it’s over” because until there are real, concrete structural changes to the department(all departments across the nation really) nothing has really changed and it’s not something that gets solved overnight, but I’m just saying like, folks aren’t being relentlessly and violently attacked right now. And the folks in Ferguson seem to be in a much better place right now. 

I think the problem is, however, that this logic is precisely the crux of the overall police strategy. The flow of events goes something like this:

  1. A black man is killed (or some other event acts as a trigger point.)
  2. A mass movement erupts saying that there needs to be substantive structural change to achieve justice (e.g. in this instance that police need to stop targeting black communities, that the cop needs to be prosecuted and face a sentence for his actions instead of being let off)
  3. Local police deal with the movement in a heavy handed fashion - gassing and shooting protesters, brutal repression. The beforehand peaceful/’respectable’ movement escalates tactics, or new elements arrive that escalate tactics, in response to the local police.
  4. Media spin it one of two ways: look at how awful these local police are, people are being brutally repressed. OR look at how awful these people are, the police are having trouble maintaining law and order.
  5. A higher body of police/authority are brought in to reconcile the situation.
  6. Things return to the status quo.

The key points here are 2 and 4. At the point of two, the demands are necessarily too far reaching to be simply reconciled. The point of fixation for the movement is too far reaching for the state to resolve it and still remain essentially the same state. Without the escalation at 3, the movement can continue to gain momentum (almost) indefinitely because the demands are reasonable and fair, but also hard to achieve.

With the entry of escalation at 3 and then the media spin at 4, the fixation shifts to protecting demonstrators and press/political freedoms. This is much easier to resolve because a) nobody wants to be brutalised or victimised by the police, and b) it’s relatively easy to change tactics to fulfil that desire. So the question becomes how invested those protesting are in sustaining the point of 2, and how invested the wider public perception is in keeping support for the demand at 2. The entire purpose of the strategy, as I see it, is to fixate mass support at point 4 so that the appeal to a higher authority can represent a resolution to the crisis and bring things back to the uneasy equilibria.

So rather than this being a coincidental flow of events, as a whole this is a repeated tactic employed that sustains the status quo. Of course, that isn’t to say there should be any expectations that individuals should be out there putting their lives at risk whilst I sit behind a laptop in a different country pontificating and people need to make their own decisions about what investment they’re able to make. But I do think it’s important to recognise that this is a strategy that’s repeatedly employed very successfully for decades in different places, by different police forces across the world.

Real breakthroughs tend to happen when either the attempt at redirection fails, and people can sustain demand for 2, or when the escalation spurs things completely out of control so that 5 doesn’t manage to achieve its intended purpose. Although I think it’s hard to predict when and why specific events end up the way they do and how that sort of activity can be sustained from the side of activists/protesters/demonstrators. This may also indicate the need to explore and begin to develop a range of tactics that have the chance of being effective which circumvent this dynamic of police suppression altogether.

Posted at 2:20 PM - August 15, 2014. source.

(Source: kaolincash)

Posted at 11:55 AM - August 15, 2014. source.
plumhead:

anglosaxonactivity:

State and county Police are accompanying and marching WITH protesters in Ferguson. THESE are good cops.
Source

They’re not good cops. They realized that upping the ante only worked in the protestors’ favor and led to large protests around the country. Now they’re pacifying the protestors in hopes that they’ll eventually stop protesting and go home.
It’s no different than when the army was called into Ludlow to break up the fighting between the Colorado National Guard and the coal miners during the early 20th century. The National Guard was shooting strikers, burning their children alive and all kinds of horrible things. The Governor and President let it continue until the miners armed themselves and launched a violent campaign in retaliation, which endangered big capital. At that point the President sent in the army to “bring peace” to the region. Things went back to normal, workers continued being exploited, and justice was never found for most of the human rights violations that occurred. The soldiers who ended the conflict weren’t good, they were conniving backstabbers.
This is the exact same thing, just a repeat of history. The establishment doesn’t want things to escalate in Ferguson and elsewhere, becoming a threat to its stability or existence. The establishment doesn’t care about Michael Brown or any other Black person who’s been killed without justification. They just want the dissidence to cease and Black victims of police brutality to be forgotten.
If Capt. Johnson cared about police brutality he would defect and inform the world of the corruption and abuse that goes in in the police force. Instead he panders to the system and actively works to preserve a white supremacist power structure every day of his life.

plumhead:

anglosaxonactivity:

State and county Police are accompanying and marching WITH protesters in Ferguson. THESE are good cops.

Source

They’re not good cops. They realized that upping the ante only worked in the protestors’ favor and led to large protests around the country. Now they’re pacifying the protestors in hopes that they’ll eventually stop protesting and go home.

It’s no different than when the army was called into Ludlow to break up the fighting between the Colorado National Guard and the coal miners during the early 20th century. The National Guard was shooting strikers, burning their children alive and all kinds of horrible things. The Governor and President let it continue until the miners armed themselves and launched a violent campaign in retaliation, which endangered big capital. At that point the President sent in the army to “bring peace” to the region. Things went back to normal, workers continued being exploited, and justice was never found for most of the human rights violations that occurred. The soldiers who ended the conflict weren’t good, they were conniving backstabbers.

This is the exact same thing, just a repeat of history. The establishment doesn’t want things to escalate in Ferguson and elsewhere, becoming a threat to its stability or existence. The establishment doesn’t care about Michael Brown or any other Black person who’s been killed without justification. They just want the dissidence to cease and Black victims of police brutality to be forgotten.

If Capt. Johnson cared about police brutality he would defect and inform the world of the corruption and abuse that goes in in the police force. Instead he panders to the system and actively works to preserve a white supremacist power structure every day of his life.

Posted at 9:48 AM - August 15, 2014. source.

Anonymous said: I WANNA BE FRIENDS WITH YOU BUT IM WEIRD AND SAD HAVE A GOOD EVENING / LIFE

Weird and sad are like the best people! Or at least all of my friends already are weird and sometimes sad sometimes glad

Posted at 8:22 AM - August 15, 2014.
[anon]

theambears:

"When you arm police like soldiers and outfit them with military weapons and train them on military tactics and tell them they’re fighting a war, whether it’s a war on crime or drugs or looters and rioters, they’re going to start seeing themselves as soldiers, and seeing the people they serve less as citizens with rights and more as potential threats, and that’s what we’re seeing,” said Radley Balko, author of the book “Rise of the Warrior Cop” and a reporter for the Washington Post.       ABC News

I own none of these pictures. I only added the text.

Posted at 8:15 AM - August 15, 2014. source.
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