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<nettime> ACT 4,5,6 DIGEST [marcelo, nico, marcelo]
nettime's_elevator on Thu, 18 Jan 2007 16:16:42 +0100 (CET)


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<nettime> ACT 4,5,6 DIGEST [marcelo, nico, marcelo]


Re: <nettime> ACT 4 RADICAL EUROPE
     marcelo {AT} brumaria.net
     nico <diasporas {AT} gmail.com>
     marcelo {AT} brumaria.net

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Date: Thu, 18 Jan 2007 02:20:56 +0100 (CET)
Subject: Re: <nettime> ACT 4 RADICAL EUROPE
From: marcelo {AT} brumaria.net

hi nico, thanx a lot for your very precise dissection of alex' text - my
english might not be fluid enough to argue extensively, but in fact i have
some good couple of doubts about your reply - pliz allow me to put them very
simply :) -

> I have a few problems with this text, not least because of the
> contradictions that exist between a call for a new social compact that
> would continue the existence of both capital and the state, and open
> borders. A call for a new Europe, built on the model of the nation-state
> under capitalism, is both in contradiction to any call for 'no borders'
> (or even open borders) and in direct conflict with the aims and momentum
> of many of the social movements that have come to the fore within the
> countries of the global North within the last ten years: in fact, I'd go
> so far as to say it is a conservative cashing in on their potentional,
> and an attempt to temper their revolutionary edge. Anyway?

alex' text could be read as an attempt to "temper" the "revolutionary
edge" of certain political practices in recent years (like those under the
call "no borders")... but might also come out of the awareness about
certain limits and failures of these networks and practices... - there
might a huge revolutionary potential in the "call" for no-borders, like in
several other good calls we have had, shared, and struggled for, more or
less recently; but the question is which has been the *real* impact of the
call and the practices after it in the actual institutional european
politics about borders and migration... -

i have the impression that sometimes we feel much happier with the highest
level of revolutionary-ness in what we say, but what about been certainly
aware of what the limits and the failures of our calls and practices are,
or have been? - and try to make smthing about it? -

i never truly understood why having a revolutionary perspective *and* a
realistic radical program at the same time is such a contradiction... i
have this feeling that, underlying your text, there is the
oh-so-well-known opposition between reformism and revolution... we had
enough of that... - a friend of mine once said: sometimes you reform and
reform and reform and reform so much, that what you have is a
revolution... - anyway -

or, let me put it in another way: if there is such a contradiction, why
not thinking that it might be politically productive, in the sense that,
at least, it gives us a possibility of having an impact in practical
politics, without losing sight of the revolutionary transformation that we
want?

> Borders are essential for the functioning of Europe, new or old. There
> can be no 'democratic space' without then, nor can a new welfare state
> be funded without them. Hence, there is a contradiction in the basic
> aims of the manifesto:
>
> There cannot be open borders AND a stronger European political
> integration and federalism.

why not?
i'm not sure about your argument when it comes to daily practice -

borders are not going to dissapear next week,
having a concrete idea of what could be done with them in a sense that
practically *contradicts* (not reinforces or reorganizes, of course) the
present institutional border regime, while we radically *attack*
contemporary concentration camps for migrants or fight for the practical
extension of citizenship right, for instance, is not affordable, from your
point of view? even when it might sound as a contradiction from an
ideological point of view? - (i'm just asking, not been cynical :) -

would be good to know how alex thinks it's practically posible, though -

 Again, this distinction is necessary for
> the smooth functioning of the current epoch of capitalism. Not everyone
> can be 'cut-in' under the current system -- this is only for a few. To
> reorder Europe without completely destroying capitalism would be to
> merely change the redistribution of wealth amongst those lucky few
> 'within Europe' (within the deal of Europe, not its borders?). The
> recourse to a discourse of rights in more evidence of the desire for the
> reconstitution of the state -- a nation-state where the national is the
> European. These rights, as it has been pointed out by many people
> previously, are grounded on the lack of rights of others, on global
> inequities and ultimately violence. A system that must be destroyed, not
> modified.

your "capitalism is not to be reform, but destroyed" doesnt sound to me
much more convincing, nico, than alex' "lets do this or that couple of
things as a practical and maybe reachable political program for the next
few years" - there is an obvious fact: there's an institutional political
recomposition of europe from upside-down going on, in a very very
frightening context: the extention of daily racism and a very ambiguous
way back to nationalist, nation-state political discourse -

having a practical programm of how to provoque certain changes, actual
interferences, and also practical changes in this process of re-organising
europe, without losing sight the things we ultimately want to "destroy"
(as you say), doesnt sound to me such a step back... -

discussing how an actual radical political program is constructed or its
eventual implications is one thing; refusing it in the last instance cause
"the destruction of the system" is our only aim, is smthing very different
-

in solidarity :)
marcelo * * *

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Date: Thu, 18 Jan 2007 11:21:33 +0100
From: nico <diasporas {AT} gmail.com>
Subject: Re: <nettime> ACT 4 RADICAL EUROPE

hi marcelo,

> but in fact i have
> some good couple of doubts about your reply - pliz allow me to put them very
> simply :) -

cool

> alex' text could be read as an attempt to "temper" the "revolutionary
> edge" of certain political practices in recent years (like those under the
> call "no borders")... but might also come out of the awareness about
> certain limits and failures of these networks and practices... - there
> might a huge revolutionary potential in the "call" for no-borders, like in
> several other good calls we have had, shared, and struggled for, more or
> less recently; but the question is which has been the *real* impact of the
> call and the practices after it in the actual institutional european
> politics about borders and migration... -

i don't think that the revolutionary potential that exists (or rather, 
the potential for radical change) within/because of the various 
movements within and across the European space exist within the no 
borders 'call': rather, I'd say that the movements (such as the huge 
migration across European borders) contain the potential to radically 
transform this space, and are currently challenging the shear existence 
of this space (though, it could also be said that the flows of bodies 
also reinforces the border...). Calls to action or for a program are 
always attempts to interact with a movement, for good or bad. As regards 
borders, they are usually in solidarity and against the controls, or for 
a different form of control. Call's that close down possibilities, and 
try to steer momentum towards parliamentary institutions are limited 
conditional calls that have a tendency to pull the movement apart into 
'good and responsible' bodies, and 'bad and irresponsible' bodies.... 
(and while i would like to emphasis the destructive power of calls to 
reform i would not like to over-emphasis their influence or power - they 
flows will not stop because of call outs, nor can i see this European 
network coming into being as so envisioned).

> i never truly understood why having a revolutionary perspective *and* a
> realistic radical program at the same time is such a contradiction... i
> have this feeling that, underlying your text, there is the
> oh-so-well-known opposition between reformism and revolution... we had
> enough of that... - a friend of mine once said: sometimes you reform and
> reform and reform and reform so much, that what you have is a
> revolution... - anyway -
> 
> or, let me put it in another way: if there is such a contradiction, why
> not thinking that it might be politically productive, in the sense that,
> at least, it gives us a possibility of having an impact in practical
> politics, without losing sight of the revolutionary transformation that we
> want?

I'm not sure what I think of a revolutionary perspective - perhaps there 
are only revolutionary flows, moments, possibilities, that we either 
join, enjoy, make the most of or push forward: and if so, then I'd say 
that any realistic program, in the sense of 'realistic obviously 
achievable reforms' (fantastic as they might be) would be less than 
these moments and possibilities. I tend to see reforms as things given 
only when there is no other choice - the state or capital trying to 
avert a crisis. Without the crisis there is no reform. And even with the 
crisis there is no assurance that any reforms would be won. I think it 
is better to pursue the revolutionary moments to see what lives and 
possibilities they open up, and let our enemies concede what they will 
(if they want o give us more money to play with as we create new social 
relations and ways of being, fine by me...).

>> There cannot be open borders AND a stronger European political
>> integration and federalism.
> 
> why not?
> i'm not sure about your argument when it comes to daily practice -
> 
> borders are not going to dissapear next week,
> having a concrete idea of what could be done with them in a sense that
> practically *contradicts* (not reinforces or reorganizes, of course) the
> present institutional border regime, while we radically *attack*
> contemporary concentration camps for migrants or fight for the practical
> extension of citizenship right, for instance, is not affordable, from your
> point of view? even when it might sound as a contradiction from an
> ideological point of view? - (i'm just asking, not been cynical :) -

nothing wrong with cynicism  ;-)

I'd say that even in a new Europe, citizenship cannot be extended 
indefinitely, nor can a European political body defined by a European 
parliament exist without border regimes - how can such an entity exist 
without exclusion or control over its borders? Even an extended 
citizenship is still a limited franchise. Only so many people can be 
citizens (and, citizens of a state at that). No state, and no limits, 
would render citizenship meaningless. And without borders one cannot 
regulate citizenship. The migration of people into Europe calls 
citizenship into question, and disrupts the body politic - the strains 
can be seen in the racist attacks on various Muslim communities, in the 
stated plan to introduce a European guest-worker program... these are 
the responses to the challenge. Which is not to say that campaigns for 
papers, or the end's of camps, or health care for all, etc are bad 
campaigns, just that to contain the extension of services/etc within a 
program for parliamentary reform is to contain the possibilities such 
extensions & campaigns hold within a strong definite limit, making such 
campaigns limited and doomed to failure, because they will reach the 
limit of the citizen soon enough. To start from this point then, seems 
to be less that radical and challenging to me...

> having a practical programm of how to provoque certain changes, actual
> interferences, and also practical changes in this process of re-organising
> europe, without losing sight the things we ultimately want to "destroy"
> (as you say), doesnt sound to me such a step back... -

it depends on the program - an open program, not already existing with 
prescribed limits, that leaves room for new idea, ways of doing and 
being, processes, etc, that leaves open the possibilities of identity 
(or a complete lack of) and association (or, again, disassociation) is 
important. But a program to unify all such movements under a push for a 
new 'radical' social-democrat program does sound like a step back to me...

in solidarity,
nico

-- 

:: http://del.icio.us/diasporas ::

            -------------------------------------|

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Date: Thu, 18 Jan 2007 15:37:17 +0100 (CET)
Subject: Re: <nettime> ACT 4 RADICAL EUROPE
From: marcelo {AT} brumaria.net

hi again, btw:

sorry, this might be a little secondary to your argument against alex'
text, but:

> There has most definitely been a reorganisation of work/non-work both
> globally and within Europe recently (though I feel a more interesting
> and accurate account is to be found in Silvers 'Forces of Labour' than
> within the paradigm of 'precarity' as it exists within say the
> chainworkers model).

about silver's forces of labour: extraordinary as it is, undoubtly, it
seems to me that her study is of a totally different nature and purposes
than the "paradigm of 'precarity'" (as you call it), therefore i think you
could hardly say which one is more "accurate" when we have to discuss
about class composition in postfordism -

"precarity" is been an extraordinary tool in the last few years for
cutting across contemporary fragmentation of labour force - and
chainworkers have been key, of course in the european context, with their
introduction of the term and their reflexion on the displacement from
"labour precarity" to "social precarity", in order to support struggles
around the fear and insecurity in metropolitan european life today - the
intellectual and political productivity of the concept "precarity", as
somehow launched by chainworkers and others, has been great and could
still be huge - if you please, just take a look at this article, in case
you dont know it:

http://transform.eipcp.net/transversal/1106/tsianospapadopoulos/en/print

in solidarity,
marcelo * * *

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