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lastfutures wrote (edited )

Joke's on them, we're affirming destituent power now.

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_caspar_ wrote

destitution is certainly the new black for trendy communists. its everywhere these days.

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celebratedrecluse wrote

Oh so, destitution, this is like a rage comic?

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celebratedrecluse wrote

I still don't really understand what "destitution" or "destituent power" are after reading that.

The only meaningful things i understood, was that there is a general sense among the author that people should be happier through subversive acts, and that this produces revolutionary conditions. Which seems, like an academicified version of crimethinc essays from 15 years ago?

What am I not getting?

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ruin wrote

like an academicified version of crimethinc essays from 15 years ago?

That’s not far off. They were heavily influenced by Agamben, mostly through his influence on Tiqqun, who are very stylish, but willfully difficult.

I have yet to hear a good explanation of what destituent power actually IS in practical terms. The idea is just a continuation of Agamben’s view that modern politics is not politics (or even biopolitics) but rather a constant implementation of the state of exception. The distinction between public and private life has been rendered invisible through security culture and actions are managed as opposed to governed. We live in a security state in which law is meaningless and so politics as well.

Thus, Agamben asserts since all revolutions have historically involved a new constitution of sovereign power which inevitably leads to more of the same, we need a destituent power to permanently eliminate constituent power and the defining of new states of exception.

Whatever your take on the idea of destituent power Homo Sacer is worth a look and The Open: Man and Animal is actually pretty amusing and quite a bit less dense if you’ve never read Agamben.

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southerntofu wrote

From what i understand of appellist propaganda, destitution is a state of personal or collective realization that whatever those in power do, they are despicable and ridiculous to us. We can laugh or cry at their actions but we should not take them too seriously, even though they may end up killing us.

I don't understand much of a difference between "class consciousness" and destitution to be honest. Maybe destitution is an equivalent concept for the bourgeois classes? (Important piece of context: the authors of the invisible committee and their appellist fanboys are elitist people from the higher classes)

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ruin wrote

I don't understand much of a difference between "class consciousness" and destitution to be honest.

Destituency, as I understand it, is about action outside of reference to class as well as any socio-political grouping in order to avoid developing a new constituent power.

But, typically those talking about it drone on about the “under commons” which feels very much like a class oriented space.

I’m with you on the IC and similar being shit revolutionaries, and I’d lump most post/proto marxists in with them. I do think some of their ideas are worthwhile to anarchists because they address the new reality of a technological society in which industrial Marxist analysis is nearly useless. All are now producers AND consumers. Our existence has become an insidious cycle self perpetuating and almost imperceptible.

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_caspar_ wrote

I havent read Agamben, so appreciate the breakdown on destituency. I did like the undercommons years ago, but it might need another visit now that some time has passed, and my perspective changed. Harney and Moten are heavily influenced by Marx, so the class orientation makes sense. what was interesting to me back in the day was their take on black life as anarchic/ungovernable life, and folks attempting ungovernability against but within institutional spaces: the university being their main focus. certainly the book for the disgruntled grad student!

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ruin wrote

certainly the book for the disgruntled grad student!

This seems to be the target audience judging by the interest in Agamben within the university system. I’d imagine Deleuze is the same. I feel left out being old and uneducated.

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_caspar_ wrote

Im day by day getting older and uneducating myself, so I hope to be there at some point!

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ruin wrote

That’s building destituent power!

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lastfutures wrote (edited )

no, it's like ba da ba ba ba I'm lovin' it

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celebratedrecluse moderator wrote (edited )

Le Fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu

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southerntofu wrote

Just a friendly reminder from France that the Invisible Committee has nothing to do with anarchism. They just reuse common phrasing and analyses from instructional anarchism but have no critique of domination beyond that of the State and Capital.

The appellists, or the imaginary party as they sometimes call themselves (nobody calls themselves an appellist that i know of), have very opaque power structures and strong hierarchy in their ranks. They entirely refuse to address concerns of racism/sexism, without even mentioning their elitism. Their political philosophy is not accessible to common folks, their books even sometimes quote whole paragraphs in latin!

The appellist movement has also been strongly involved in destroying anarchist presence on the ZAD in Notre-Dame-des-Landes, by collaborating with the State apparatus to open way for the police (by de-barricading the Route des Chicanes road that crosses the ZAD) and even setting up appellist militias to evict anarchist squats from the ZAD.

These people are fucking authoritarian assholes and do not deserve a minute of our attention. They're a real danger to revolutionaries worldwide.

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planx OP wrote

Are there receipts for this? I would like to learn more.

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southerntofu wrote

About their refusal to address racism/sexism, just read their books. You won't find a mention of such struggles. Which in the context of France is particularly troubling as there was and still is a strong feminist and anti-colonial/anti-racist movement, as the french colonial Empire innovated quite a lot in terms of ruthless domination. There was also the "theory of the young girl" (théorie de la jeune fille) from Tiqqun which may also help you understand some of their views: it was since then renounced by their authors so it may be unfair to hold it against them, but it's still pretty telling.

About appellism collaborating with State to evict squats from the ZAD, there are plenty of sources in french. You may find some of those on Infokiosques, the french equivalent of the anarchist library, or on automedia websites. I can't remember which were the most informative, but i remember this one and the ZADDissidences series to contain some useful context.

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planx OP wrote

Thank you.

Stuff like this is the kind of thing I think it'd be good to have a wiki on here, for easy reference for people.

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ruin wrote

There was also the "theory of the young girl" (théorie de la jeune fille) from Tiqqun which may also help you understand some of their views: it was since then renounced by their authors so it may be unfair to hold it against them, but it's still pretty telling.

Why did they renounce it?

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southerntofu wrote

Because they were denounced for their misogynistic views. This book explained that young girls are the ultimate symptom of capitalism, because they are only worried about appearance and consuming makeup and whatnot. This is of course not true of all girls, including gender-conforming ones. And the book did not mention how gendered consumerism affected young boys on the other hand, if i remember.

So it was along the lines of "girls with makeup are the face of capitalism", which thankfully they renounced following harsh criticism.

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ruin wrote

Have you read the text? The intro addresses both age and sex. They use Berlusconi as a “young girl” if I recall correctly.

The text is a societal/cultural critique about the commodification, production and consumption of an unattainable and transient quality of “youth” and “beauty” (regardless of gender) and the destructive nature of this process in the broadest possible sense.

I was genuinely curious what the renunciation entailed.

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southerntofu wrote

Have you read the text?

Yes, but admittedly a very long time ago so i don't remember the details. Sorry if my account was unfaithful to the original text. I'm unaware of an official rebuttal, but every occasion i had to debate this issue with appellists they consistently said this text had been denounced by its authors.

The text is a societal/cultural critique about the commodification (...) of “youth” and “beauty”

Yes, that is an interesting critique. But for example, Mia Mingus' Beyond desirability did not leave me with such a bitter, reactionary taste as Tiqqun did.

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ruin wrote

Yes, that is an interesting critique. But for example, Mia Mingus' Beyond desirability did not leave me with such a bitter, reactionary taste as Tiqqun did.

Creating a bad taste is kind of what Tiqqun is about. I’m completely on board with you on their shit politics, and I’m not revolution minded myself, but I can’t help but have a soft spot for the nihilistic antisocial aspect to their output of critique.

I think Theory of Bloom is even more of an example of their style overburdening the substance. It can be read as an update of Marcuse’s One Dimensional Man for a more modern era but written in bizarre esoteric quasi-intellectual prose as opposed to Marcuse’s (relatively speaking) approachable language and general concision.

I genuinely appreciate your perspective. I have no association with France and don’t speak a word of the language, but a large section of my bookshelf has always been occupied by French thinkers. Pretty sure I’ve got a 1968 copy of a translation of the French student revolt interviews floating around here somewhere... along with Marcuse, Foucault, Sartre, Nin, Deleuze, De Beauvoir, etc and even (somewhat embarrassingly now) Malraux.

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southerntofu wrote

I’m not revolution minded

I am revolution minded, but i don't believe in spontaneous insurrection of "the masses". I think revolutionary consciousness is built on material solidarity and day-to-day empowerment of our communities, not abstract theory.

bizarre esoteric quasi-intellectual

Reading the invisible committee (at least in french) is indeed a mystical, messianic adventure. And it is far from approachable for people without higher education in the social sciences (like myself).

my bookshelf has always been occupied by French thinkers

You may appreciate more modern reads :)

I'm thinking Mathieu Rigouste, Fatima Ouassak, Said Bouamama, among many others. Another interesting one is Christine Delphy. She is rightfully criticized for some trans-exclusionary positions, but still has very interesting analyses of race-class-gender intersectionality in the context of french imperialism and patriarchy. Not sure if you can find all those in english though :)

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ruin wrote

Thanks for the suggestions!

I’m quite out of date. Much of my engagement with the authors I mentioned is due to that when I was younger my reading was dictated by what I could pick up cheaply at used book shops.

I’m not educated either. I just bounce around engaging with whatever I find interesting and useful to me.

I agree that revolutionary action is a practical undertaking, but I also value abstract theory in the sense that in order to act in a truly revolutionary manner we must first destroy our attachment to our subjugated way of thinking.

In my lowly estimation, anarchism struggles with a lack of critical analysis regarding the nature of our oppression and that of our oppressor(s) as well.

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_caspar_ wrote

from what I remember it was a situationist inspired take on the spectacle with attempt to update it (maybe?, its been awhile). there were also a couple of follow-up critical essays that folks might be aware of. I forget which, but I remember one being pretty solid.

"This book explained that young girls are the ultimate symptom of capitalism, because they are only worried about appearance and consuming makeup and whatnot. This is of course not true of all girls, including gender-conforming ones....So it was along the lines of 'girls with makeup are the face of capitalism', which thankfully they renounced following harsh criticism."

this sounds like a shallow surface reading with a denouncement incentive behind it, and Im not entirely sold that your summary is entirely Tiqqun's take. I would say calling their theoretical character "the young-girl" was a bad strategy, and your commentary shows why.

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ruin wrote

I now assume that anyone referencing a text HAS NOT actually read it. Seems to be the safer assumption when online.

Why engage with primary sources when there’s social media, blogs, forums, and Wikipedia to inform our thinking?

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southerntofu wrote

I forget which, but I remember one being pretty solid.

I'm interested if you ever remember.

this sounds like a shallow surface reading with a denouncement incentive behind it

It is, as it is based from my bitter memories of this essay from many years ago. I'm also very biased as i am an anarchist and i consider the appellists to be a threat due to their modes of organization/infiltration.

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