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<nettime> Infrapolitics & the Nomadic Educational Machine
stevphen shukaitis on Sat, 24 May 2008 20:34:42 +0200 (CEST)


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<nettime> Infrapolitics & the Nomadic Educational Machine


Infrapolitics & the Nomadic Educational Machine
Stevphen Shukaitis

Forthcoming in Randall Amster et al, Eds. (2009) Contemporary  
Anarchist Studies: An Introduction to Anarchy in the Academy. New  
York: Routledge.


?Stay just as far from me as me from you.
Make sure that you are sure of everything I do.
?Cause I?m not, not, not, not, not, not, not, not
Your academy?
	?Mission of Burma, ?Academy Fight Song?


Anarchism has an ambivalent relationship to the academy.(1) This is,  
when one takes a second to reflect, not so surprising. How can one  
maintain any sense of ethical commitment to non-hierarchal, non- 
exploitative relationships in a space that operates against many of  
these political ideals? And how to do so without creating a space or  
knowledge that can be turned against these political goals  
themselves? As Marc Bousquet and Tiziana Terranova remind us,(2) the  
institutional setting of the university is not a location outside the  
workings of the economy (i.e., it is not a bubble nor an ivory  
tower), but is very much a part of it, existing within the social  
factory and producing multifarious forms of value creation and the  
socialization of labor (the development of ?human capital? and the  
ability to brandish forth credentials to obtain employment, practices  
of knowledge, information, and organization that are used throughout  
the entire social field).(3) This is the case, broadly speaking, both  
for the classical university, which played an important role in the  
process of state building and the creation of national culture, and  
for the neoliberal university, which is more geared to the  
development of new forms innovation and creativity. That is to say,  
of course, innovation and creativity understood primarily as those  
forms that can be translated into new intellectual property rights,  
patents, and commodifiable forms of knowledge and skills. Thus, there  
is no ?golden age? of the university that one can refer to or attempt  
to go back to; it is not a ?university in ruins? that can be rebuilt  
to return to its former glory precisely because it is a space that  
has always played a role in creating and maintaining questionable  
forms of power.(4)

Anarchism, except for perhaps a few strains of individualist  
orientations, cannot find a home in such a space without betraying  
itself. But the realization that anarchism can never really be of the  
university does not preclude finding ways to be in the university and  
to utilize its space, resources, skills, and knowledges as part of  
articulating and elaborating a larger political project. As Noam  
Chomsky argues, ?It would be criminal to overlook the serious flaws  
and inadequacies in our institutions, or to fail to utilize the  
substantial degree of freedom that most of us enjoy, within the  
framework of these flawed institutions, to modify or even replace  
them by a better social order.?(5) While the extent of this  
?substantial degree of freedom? might very be debatable within the  
current political climate of the university and more generally, the  
point nevertheless remains: that one can find ways to use the  
institutional space without being of the institution, without taking  
on the institution?s goals as one?s own. It is this dynamic of being  
within but not of an institutional space, to not institute itself as  
the hegemonic or representative form, that characterizes the workings  
of the nomadic educational machine.(6) It is an exodus that does not  
need to leave in order to find a line of flight.

This essay argues against the creation of a distinct area of  
anarchist studies within the academy in favor of an approach to  
education based on creating undercommons and enclaves within multiple  
disciplines and spaces. In other words, to disavow anarchism as  
object of anarchist studies in favor of a politics of knowledge  
constantly elaborated within a terrain of struggle. The impossibility  
of anarchism qua ?Anarchist Studies? proper, far from closing the  
question of the politics of knowledge from an anarchist perspective,  
opens the matter precisely from the perspective that more often than  
not this occurs in the infrapolitical space of what James Scott and  
Robin D.G. Kelley call the ?hidden transcript of resistance,? the  
space of minor knowledges and experiences that do not seek to become  
a major or representative form, instead forming tools from discarded  
refuse and remains.

If there is one thing that can be gleaned from the history of  
autonomist political thought, it is that the social energies of  
insurgency and resistance to capitalism, when turned against  
themselves and re-incorporated into the workings of state and  
capital, determine the course of capitalist development. That is to  
say that capitalism develops not according to its own internal  
structural logic, but according to how it manages to deal with and  
utilize the social energies of its attempted negation. Similarly, if  
one heeds the recent analysis that many people, drawing from this  
tradition, have made of the university (the edu-factory project being  
perhaps the best example of this (7)), one can see how the university  
has come to play an increasingly important role in the social field  
as a space for economic production and struggle.

This is why it would be absurd to assert a space in the university  
for the continued development of anarchist thought in an  
institutionalized way, for instance as a department of anarchist  
studies or similar form. What at first might seem as if it could be  
quite a victory for subversion could just as easily be turned into  
another profit-making mechanism for the university, creating the  
image of subversion while raking in tuition fees. There are numerous  
programs as well as institutions (to remain nameless for the moment)  
who constantly turn their ?radical image? into an improved bottom  
line while all the while operating on a solidly neoliberal basis,  
strangely enough without this seeming to sully the luster of their  
radical credentials. Meanwhile, institutions that have attempted to  
run their operations in line with their stated politics have endured  
a whole host of other pressures and dynamics leading to many  
difficulties including programs closing down.(8)

This makes the position of the subversive intellectual in the academy  
quite odd, precisely because the finding of space might be the very  
act of delivering capital its future. But in other sense, given  
capital?s dehumanizing tendencies, no one is ever in a comfortable  
relationship to it. As argued by Stefano Harney and Fred Moten, the  
role of the subversive intellectual in (but not of) the university,  
is like a thief who steals what she can from it, using the space to  
form a ?collective orientation to the knowledge object as future  
project.?(9) This would be to utilize the space provided by the  
university, not as a goal in itself, nor to assert one?s right to  
such a space, but to accomplish something within this space. In other  
words the fact that one has managed to create a space to discuss  
anarchist politics does not mean that one has accomplished anything  
just by that in terms of creating a more ?radical? university. It is  
what one does with this space that is the core politics within the  
university more so necessarily than the specific content. In this way  
at times an engaged but tepid liberal politics can very well yield  
material effects and outcomes that are more radical in their effect  
than a radical politics without means of its own realization. It is a  
politics based more on process and ethics of transformation rather  
than the claiming of territory. However, radical knowledge production  
does not form itself as a fixed object and space, but one that  
constantly moves and morphs across disciplines, frontiers, ideas, and  
spaces. It is a form of knowledge production that comes not from a  
perspective of separation but rather constant self-institution and  
questioning of the foundations that support it.

Rather than necessarily assert and affirm an identity or space, these  
forms of knowledge production develop in exodus, in the maroons and  
hidden alcoves of the university, in the constantly moving spaces  
that James Scott and Robin D.G. Kelley call the hidden transcript. 
(10) This hidden social transcript encompasses not just speech but  
also an array of practices bound to the particular location?which is  
both mediated and created by those practices?and so is marked between  
such and the public transcript often through ongoing struggle and  
contestation. Between the hidden and public transcripts exists a  
third realm of politics, ?a politics of disguise and anonymity that  
takes place in public view but is designed to have a double meaning  
or to shield the identity of the actor.?(11) Arguably, the  
overlooking of this space might in many ways suit the needs of the  
social actors who articulate their freedom dreams by constantly  
reinventing and reinterpreting their cultural practices as a part of  
this third realm of politics, of the infrapolitics of resistance that  
creates a space for dreams of transcendence and autonomy to exist in  
a seen (yet unseen) manner. Radical academics, when they find a space  
in the academy, can use their position to create room and  
possibilities for organizers to use it for their ends, to orient  
their work towards the needs and desires of organizing, rather than  
fixing them as objects of study.

This it to think about the autonomous institution of the nomadic  
educational machine as a process of subjectivation, on constant  
becoming, which avoids fixed institutionalization: as the constant  
movement of constituent power through the undercommons, as one more  
instance of creating a transformation machine for the development of  
radical subjectivity exterior to capital?s appropriation without  
needing necessary to find a physical exteriority to capital. The  
undercommons exist as the forms of self-organization developed by the  
despised and discounted who no longer seek to develop a form through  
which their marginalization be can countered by a recognized form of  
being in public. In other words the undercommons are the spaces in  
which forms of self-organization exist that no longer seek the  
approval or recognition of their existence but more often than not  
get along much better without it.(12) This is not an institution in  
any sort of Habermasian sense with clearly defined speech acts and  
reasonable debate. The nomadic educational machine rather is a  
transformation machine;(13) it is a process for structuring an  
exteriority of knowledge production to the dynamics of capitalist  
valorization through educational labor and production, an exteriority  
that is not necessarily physical but often temporal, intensive, and  
affective in its nature.

This is the problem (or one of them) that confronts ?anarchist  
studies.? What might seem at first a relatively straightforward  
phrase quickly becomes more complicated. What does anarchist studies  
mean and who will benefit from establishing this field of study? All  
too easily, anarchist studies become nothing more than the study of  
anarchism and anarchists by anarchists, weaving a strange web of self- 
referentiality and endless rehashing of the deeds and ideas of  
bearded 19th century European males. This is perhaps a bit too harsh,  
but is in general an accurate observation. That of course is not to  
deny or denigrate the importance and value of movement histories and  
studies, as they often provide a wealth of insight and information.  
The problem is when seemingly all other forms of knowledge production  
that could be encompassed within the framework of anarchist studies  
become forgotten within the endless repetition of the same histories  
and ideas. By too easily slipping ?anarchist studies? into the ?study  
of anarchism,? the of has constructed anarchism as a pre-given object  
that one stands outside as object of knowledge that can be examined,  
probed, and prodded, rather than as a common space of political  
elaboration and the development of new ideas and knowledge as a part  
of this politics. In other words what is lost is the sense of  
anarchist studies as the elaboration of ideas and knowledges useful  
to further developing anarchist politics, such as studying the  
workings of healthcare to financial markets, from the movement of  
emboli to the movement of the social, approached from a way that is  
deeply connected to questions posed by social movement and struggles.

In either case it is an approach to knowledge production geared  
toward the twin imperatives of creating blockages in circuits of  
oppressive forms of power as well as prefiguring liberatory forms of  
sociality. There is also a tendency in this dynamic to reduce  
anarchism to its linguistic instantiation that then further reduces  
it to only a specific kind of politics.(14) In other words, we cannot  
reduce anarchism to the mere use of the word ?anarchism,? but rather  
might highlight and propose social relations based on cooperation,  
self-determination, and negating hierarchal roles.  From this  
perspective, one can find a much richer and more global tradition of  
social and political thought and organization that while not raising  
a black flag in the air is very useful for expanding the scope of  
human possibilities in a liberatory direction. The conjunction of  
anarchism and anthropology has been quite useful in this regard.(15)  
There is also much to learn from postcolonial thought, queer studies,  
black and Chicano studies, cultural studies, and feminism. Some of  
the most interesting anarchist thought to emerge within recent years  
has explored these conjunctions and connections with great success.(16)

The workings of the nomadic educational machine are closer to the  
operations of a diffuse cultural politics than what would be commonly  
recognized as an educational project. David Weir makes the intriguing  
argument that anarchism?s great success as a form of cultural  
politics (particularly within the spheres of art, music, and in  
creative fields generally) is because of the inability to realize  
anarchism?s political goals in other ways.(17) But there is more to  
it than an inability to realize political goals, particularly when  
the realization of these goals is almost always understood to be the  
creation of a hegemonic space or situation, such as replacing a  
particular territorial nation-state with a newly created anarchist  
non-state. Rather than seeing the success of anarchist cultural  
politics as connected to a failure to create hegemonic forms, one can  
see it rather as based on a continued refusal of institutionalizing  
forms that contradict the nature of anarchist politics. It is seeing  
the educational dynamics that exist within the hidden configurations  
of knowledge production circulating in the undercommons, a process  
that is just as much about the articulation of ideas through the arts  
and culture. The nomadic educational machine is a fish that swims in  
the secret drift of history that connects medieval heresy to punk  
rock, from Surrealism to Tom Waits; and it is this submerged history  
from which insurgent movements draw theoretical and imaginal  
substance and inspiration from, to forge tools and weapons for  
resistance.(18)

The nomadic educational machine exists as a diasporic process of  
knowledge creation within the undercommons. But more than existing  
within a diasporic configuration, the workings of the nomadic  
educational machine are necessary for the articulation of this space  
itself. That is to say that there are forms of knowledge and  
interaction that constitute a particular space and an approach to  
education such that it is not clear or perhaps even possible within  
such to clearly delineate where education and life are different.  
Paul Gilroy, in his description of the black Atlantic as a  
transnational, transversal space created by the movement of blacks  
across the Atlantic, suggests the idea of a partially hidden public  
sphere.(19) The black Atlantic, constituted by the movement of black  
people both as objects of slavery, colonialism, and oppressive forces  
as well as in motion seeking autonomy and freedom through real and  
imaginary border crossing, can be considered part of this space.  
While the space described is certainly visible in the physical sense,  
it is nonetheless a space of history, politics, and social  
interaction that has often been overlooked as a site of cultural  
production and analysis.

 There are a variety of reasons for the overlooking of spaces such  
as the black Atlantic as a site of cultural analysis and production.  
In addition to longstanding racism and conceptions of displaced  
people as having no history or culture (or at least not one that  
deserves the same level of analysis of others forms of culture or  
history) that preclude a serious consideration of such a space, are  
factors created by the relative inability of the social sciences  
(sociology in particular) to analyze social forms outside the nation- 
state. The social sciences, having evolved concomitantly with the  
rise of the modern rationalized nation-state, tacitly assume that  
social and cultural phenomena correspond to national and state  
boundaries, and are often read as if it were the case even when it is  
not so. The continued existence of ethnic absolutism and cultural  
nationalism also creates difficulties in analyzing forms of cultural  
production that violate these clearly defined political, racial, and  
cultural boundaries which are assumed to constitute natural pre- 
existing fixed and immutable categories.

The creativity of what the nomadic educational machine is the  
articulation, preservation, and reinterpretation of cultural and  
social forms as part of this partially hidden public sphere, as a  
part of the hidden transcript. The public transcript, or the self- 
representation of power, more often than not totally excludes and  
often denies the existence of the social forms developed in this  
partially hidden public sphere. But this exclusion from the gaze of  
power, in the blackness of the undercommons, is not necessarily  
something to be decried or banished, but could very well provide the  
basis upon which to build a radical cultural politics not instantly  
subsumed within the optic of the spectacle and the mechanisms of  
governance. Indeed, there is often a great effort put forth in what  
Roger Farr (building on Alice Becker-Ho?s work on gypsy slang)  
describes as a strategy of concealment, one which builds affective  
and intense bonds and politics around the refuge of the opaque space,  
the indecipherable gesture.(20) Jack Bratich has also done very  
interesting work on the panics that secrecy, or even just the  
appearance of secrecy, has caused within the left and more broadly.  
While some concern is valid around closed circles (perhaps to avoid  
the emergence of informal hierarchies, as Jo Freeman has famously  
argued), one cannot forget how much of the history of revolts and  
insurrections are founded upon conspiracies both open and not, with  
the ability to cloak such plans oftentimes quite important to their  
success or even mere survival.(21)

It would be arguable that in a sense the overlooking of this space in  
many ways suits the needs of the social actors who articulate their  
freedom dreams. Constantly reinventing and reinterpreting their  
cultural practices as a part of this third realm of politics, the  
infrapolitics of resistance creates a space for dreams of  
transcendence and autonomy to exist in a seen yet unseen manner. This  
corresponds well with the two notions of politics that Gilroy poses:  
the politics of fulfillment (?the notion that a future society will  
be able to realize the social and political promise that present  
society has left unaccomplished. It creates a medium in which demands  
for goals like non-racialized justice and rational organization of  
the productive processes can be expressed?) and the politics of  
transfiguration (which ?emphasizes the emergence of new desires,  
social relations, and modes of association?. and resistance between  
that group and its erstwhile oppressors?).(22) While he describes the  
politics of fulfillment as much more willing to play along with  
western rationality and the dynamics of the state political process  
(and thus to exist in full view), the politics of transfiguration has  
a profoundly different character that makes such unlikely. The  
politics of transfiguration focuses on the sublime and the creation  
of new forms of social relations and realities. Thus while the  
politics of fulfillment can show its designs in full view (for the  
most part), the politics of transfiguration have a more subversive  
character, that which expresses itself in the partial concealment of  
double coded articulations and the infrapolitics of the partially  
hidden public sphere.

It is in this space that the arts figure so prominently. The  
formation of the space itself, as a site for interaction, can itself  
be considered a form of social sculpture or aesthetic activity. And  
in so far as it also creates channels for the development and  
articulation of knowledge through social interaction, also a form of  
education. From folk songs to tap dancing, theater, tales, and more  
recently movies, are all involved in creating what Gilroy describes  
as ?a new topography of loyalty and identity in which the structures  
and presuppositions of the nation-state have been left behind because  
they are seen to be outmoded.?(23) This is the space, as much as it  
isn?t a space at all, where the freedom dreams that Kelley explores  
come to be and are retold, reinterpreted, and re-dreamt in a million  
new combinations. Although Kelley laments that in a world where  
getting paid and living ostentatiously seem to be held as the ends of  
the black freedom movement, this is the space where to build  
radically democratic public cultures, to acknowledge and foster the  
social force of creativity and imagination.(24) In its transmutable,  
transversal form created and maintained by these articulations that  
enable there to be discussion about creating a radically democratic  
public culture even if the existing political context or situation  
prevents such conversations from happening openly.

The diasporic aesthetic, which characterizes the form of appearance  
of the nomadic educational machine (as well as its partial non- 
appearance), is the social function and creativity displayed by the  
articulations of those who through displacement and marginalization  
must partially hide or conceal sections of their expression, often  
times in plain view, so that they may continue to exist under  
marginalizing or oppressive conditions. It is the voice, to borrow  
from the ideas of the Zapatistas, which must hide itself in order to  
be seen. It is the expression of those who bow before the master  
during the day in order to pilfer the grain warehouse at night. It is  
the space created by, containing, and sustained by the articulations  
and dreams of those who dream out loud in semi-opaque manners. It is  
not the will be misunderstood, but rather a question of who wants to  
be understood by, and who wants to remain an incomprehensible glyph  
towards. As Nietzsche once observed, the only thing worse than being  
misunderstood is being totally understood, for that is indeed truly  
the end.

There is an odd parallel between social scientists that have  
difficulty understanding and theorizing liminal and recombinant  
spaces as those in diasporas and the of-going failure of well  
intentioned, largely white progressive political forces to  
appreciated forms of resistance and subversion that occur within  
displaced communities in an on going manner. As traditionally  
sociologists have seem stymied by non-state forms of social analysis,  
the left in general often fails to appreciate politics aside from  
marches, rallies, and other visible manifestations. But the result is  
similar: the failure to understand a large segment of social reality  
because it is does not jive with existing conceptual and analytical  
frames of reference. And if there is anywhere that an actual  
anarchist educational project can find a home, it is here within  
these spaces and enclaves, rather than in the brightly lit halls of  
academia or in the company of polite conversation.

It is this task of the constant renewal of the grounds of politics,  
of finding a way to create a space for subversion, sabotage, and  
learning within social movement, that is the task of the nomadic  
educational machine. It is also the same process engaged in by people  
drawing from the history of militant inquiry and research within  
autonomist politics.(25) This is a constantly renewing process, not a  
onetime thing but rather an orientation towards tracing out the  
development of the grounds on which struggles occur and constantly  
rethinking on those shifting grounds. It becomes the task of  
continuing in the tradition of nomadic thought, of embodying and  
working with philosophy as described by Deleuze and Guattari, which  
is to say in the creation of concepts through processes of  
deterritorialization and reterritorialization. Calling forth ?not the  
one who claims to be pure but rather an oppressed, bastard, lower,  
anarchical, nomadic, and irremediably minor race? it is this double  
becoming that constitutes the people to come and the new earth.?(26)


Notes
The author would like to thank the many friends and comrades with  
whom years of discussion provided the basis for this essay. Special  
thanks to those who provided comments on this piece including David  
Harvie, Stefano Harney, Dave Eden, Scott Cheshier, and the excellent  
editors of this volume.
1. For the purposes of this essay I?m limiting my comments to the  
relation between the nomadic educational machine and the university,  
or higher education more generally. Arguably there are different  
dynamics to consider within other educational spaces.
2. Bousquet, M. and T. Terranova (2004) ?Recomposing the University,?  
Mute, Number 28: 72-81.
3. For some thoughtful consideration of value production and  
struggles within the classroom, see Harvie, D. (2006) ?Value- 
production and struggle in the classroom,? Capital and Class 88:  
1-32; and Bousquet, M. (2008) How the University Works: Higher  
Education and the Low-Wage Nation. New York: New York University Press.
4. Readings, B. (1997) The University in Ruins. Cambridge: Harvard  
University Press.
5. Chomsky, N. (2003) Objectivity and Liberal Scholarship. New York:  
New Press, 19.
6. There is a good deal of resonance between the concept of being in  
but not of a space and the framing within Open Marxism of the  
position of being both within and against capital or the state. The  
moment of suspension created between existing within but not of is  
precisely an exteriority which is not exterior, a fold of the  
interior that creates the outside within.
7. See www.edu-factory.org
8. The Institute for Social Ecology?s campus in Vermont, which  
operated as a haven for radical thought and played a very important  
role in the radical left in the US, is perhaps the most striking of  
recent examples. The New College in San Francisco seems to be  
suffering a similar fate, albeit for a larger set of reasons and  
dynamics.
9. Moten, F. and S. Harney (2004) ?The University and the  
Undercommons: Seven Theses,? Social Text, 22 (2), 102.
10. Scott, J.C. (1990) Domination and the Arts of Resistance: Hidden  
Transcripts. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press; Kelley, R.D.G.  
(2002) Freedom Dreams: The Black Radical Imagination. Boston: Beacon  
Press.
11. Scott, J.C. (1990) Domination and the Arts of Resistance: Hidden  
Transcripts, 19.
12. Harney, S. (2008) ?Governance and the Undercommons.? Available at  
http://info.interactivist.net/node/10926.  April 7th, 2008.
13. Patton, P. (2000) Deleuze & the Political. New York: Routledge.
14. This need not always be the case. For examples of people who have  
not fallen into this trap see work of Peter Marshall, Jason Adams,  
Harold Barclay, and others who have not fallen prey to such a  
tendency. Even Kropotkin did not base his history of anarchist  
thought around the use of the word, but rather on what he identified  
as the ?libertarian tendency? which he traced all the way back to Lao  
Tzu.
15. Graeber, D. (2004) Fragments of an Anarchist Anthropology.  
Chicago, IL: Prickly Paradigm Press.
16. In particular see the work of people such as Jamie Heckert,  
Lorenzo Kom?boa Ervin, Ashanti Alston, Mohamed Jean Veneuse, Richard  
Day, Sandra Jeppesen, the Leeds May Day Group, El Kilombo  
Intergalactico, Peter Lamborn Wilson, Alan Antliff, Daniel Colson,  
Saul Newman, Marta Kolarova, and Arif Dirlik as well as publications  
such as Siyahi and Affinities.
17. David Weir (1997) Anarchy & Culture: The Aesthetic Politics of  
Modernism. Amherst, MA: University of Massachusetts Press.
18. Marcus, G. (1989) Lipstick Traces: A Secret History of the  
Twentieth Century. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.
19. Gilroy, P. (2003) ?The Black Atlantic as a Counterculture of  
Modernity,? Theorizing Diaspora. Ed. Jana Evans Braziel and Anita  
Mannur. Malden, MA: Blackwell Publishing, 73.
20. Farr, R. (2007) ?Strategy of Concealment,? Fifth Estate Number  
375; Becker-Ho, A. (2000) The Princes of Jargon. Trans. J. McHale.  
New York: Edwin Mellen.
21. Bratich, J.Z. (2008) Conspiracy Panics: Political Rationality and  
Popular Culture. Binghamton: SUNY Press.
22. Gilroy, P. (2003) ?The Black Atlantic as a Counterculture of  
Modernity,? Theorizing Diaspora, 233-246.
23. Ibid., 63.
24. Kelley, R.D.G. (2002) Freedom Dreams: The Black Radical  
Imagination. Boston: Beacon Press.
25. See for instance Shukaitis, S. and D. Graeber, Eds. (2007)  
Constituent Imagination: Militant Investigations // Collective  
Theorization. San Francisco: CA; see also the transversal issue on  
militant research (http://transform.eipcp.net/transversal) and  
Generation On-Line (www.generation-online.org).
26. Guattari, F. and G. Deleuze (1994 [1991]) What is Philosophy?  
Trans. Graham Burchell and Hugh Tomlinson. London: Verso, 109.


--
Stevphen Shukaitis
Autonomedia Editorial Collective
http://www.autonomedia.org
http://slash.interactivist.net

"Autonomy is not a fixed, essential state. Like gender, autonomy is  
created through its performance, by doing/becoming; it is a political  
practice. To become autonomous is to refuse authoritarian and  
compulsory cultures of separation and hierarchy through embodied  
practices of welcoming difference... Becoming autonomous is a  
political position for it thwarts the exclusions of proprietary  
knowledge and jealous hoarding of resources, and replaces the social  
and economic hierarchies on which these depend with a politics of  
skill exchange, welcome, and collaboration. Freely sharing these with  
others creates a common wealth of knowledge and power that subverts  
the domination and hegemony of the master?s rule." - subRosa Collective


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