Dmytri Kleiner on Fri, 4 Nov 2011 16:32:20 +0100 (CET)

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Re: <nettime> The False Defences of Utopian Thought.

On 04.11.2011 06:31, Angela Mitropoulos wrote:

Symbolic occupations and defaults? Really?

The OWS occupations are clearly symbolic, as explained, they are not
occupations of productive assets. Legally sanctioned "Occupation
by foreclosed residents" is not really a tactical occupation but
rather a defeat of an eviction, and even if you're inclined to count
these in disputing my claim, it does not do so, as the number of
people who are "occupying" their own house remains a numerically
tiny percentage of overall households. I never refered to symbolic
defaults at all, rather only that purposefull defaults as a collective
organized strategy do not exist on any large scale. That default exist
is an economic fact, but that was never in dispute.

And, the daily organisation of the infrastructures of the various
occupations of the town squares is far less symbolic than any number
of programmes.

Not sure what you are arguing here. Is living in public squares a new
way of living that is being explored a solution to social discontent?
Or is the motive of the occupiers a symbolic one: demonstration?

The very possibility of default -- including raising the levels of
what is increasingly being referred to as "strategic default" --
implies the existence of alternative infrastructure of life.

That alteranative infrastacture, for the vast majority of people, will
simply be to enter into another cycle of debt and destitution. We're
looking at a general reduction in standards of living, rather than an

I can't eat a programme, or be sheltered by it.

Nor can you eat a farm layout plan, yet the farmer wont grow more food
by foresaking one. Neither can you live in an architectural sketch,
yet the builder is unlikely to provide more shelter without one.
However, what I'm really wondering is, when did I imply that the sort
of programme-making you colourfully describe is imperative?

Honestly, the issue here isn't just that I think we disagree about
the distinction between organised and disorganised actions - a
debate that is so well-rehearsed I don't think I need to go into it

More honestly, I think we're talking past each other, since I'm
struggling to connect your responses with what I have written, or what
I believe. And though I read your comments with interest, I feel like
I'm responding to new ideas you are introducing, rather than defending
positions I have advanced. I feel like I have failed to give you any
impression whatever as to what I think about the distinction between
being organised and disorganised, and I'm not really sure I recall
trying to do so. Thus I percieve no disagreement, only perhaps a lack
of mutual understanding.

for my part, organisation means organising infrastructure,

Indeed, I strongly agree with this. Yet, the resources we can allocate
towards building infrastructure are limited by our class conditions.
which, at the current momment, are so dire that the vast majority of
people have neither surplus wealth nor time nor energy to contribute
toward any kind of infrastrure, let alone on a scale intended to
provide alternative ways of living for the masses. And, again, to
whatever degree it is possible tpo build infrastructure, where have I
argued against organising infrastructure?

not sitting around interminably discussing what our demands
and identity are until they hit the mark of the lowest common
denominator or the false unity of the most conformable. I'm more
than happy to embrace differences in movement, but I distrust the
tacit ignorance of what amounts to a movement's housework. It's
that which enables the time/event of protest, not programmatic

The above is well said. I remain at a loss as to what, in this
thread, it relates to. I feel like I've mistaken a crossed-line with
a phonecall, and am engaging in a conversation I am not really part
of, but can only hear one party speaking, who can not hear me, and is
speaking to somebody else, with some co-incidental overlaps that give
me the impression that I am beeing spoken to.

As for Aristotle, he assumed a distinction between the slave labour
that occured within the household and the freedom and equality of
politics. I couldn't think of a less desirable -- more conservative
-- understanding of politics, slavery, value and labour than that
found in Aristotle.

Yet my comment was not about Artistotle, nor did I endorse or make any
reference at all to the desirability of his undestanding of politcs.
It seems clear that you have some interesting things to say about
Aristotlean politics, yet interesting as they may be, they are none
the less not a response to the position I advanced, namely that slaves
are not in a position to self-organize alternative ways of living
to improve their lives as a result of their class conditions, they
can only do so by first breaking their chains, which means entering
into collective struggle against their slavers. To think otherwise
is "Utopian," the explanation of wich was the original point of this
thread, though this doesn't seem to be whatever it is I you and I are
now discussing, at least not in anyway I have been able to follow.

Thanks again for your comments, clearly you have a lot of insight, I
don't really feel there is a strong disagreement between us, if you
feel like I am mistaken, perhaps you could clarify what it is you feel
I believe about the subjects you are referring to, perferably refing
to my original post.

If it was not your intention to discuss my post, but simply to use the
thread as a point of departure for other ideas you wanted to introduce
on this listsrv, please accept my appology for my misunderstanding.

Kinds Regards.

Dmyri Kleiner
Venture Communist

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