Sunday, November 02, 2008
FOUCAULT: The intellectual’s role is no longer to place himself “somewhat ahead and to the side” in order to express the stifled truth of the collectivity; rather, it is to struggle against the forms of power that transform him into its object and instrument in the sphere of “knowledge,” “truth,” “consciousness,” and “discourse. “
In this sense theory does not express, translate, or serve to apply practice: it is practice. But it is local and regional, as you said, and not totalising. This is a struggle against power, a struggle aimed at revealing and undermining power where it is most invisible and insidious. It is not to “awaken consciousness” that we struggle (the masses have been aware for some time that consciousness is a form of knowledge; and consciousness as the basis of subjectivity is a prerogative of the bourgeoisie), but to sap power, to take power; it is an activity conducted alongside those who struggle for power, and not their illumination from a safe distance. A “theory ” is the regional system of this struggle.
DELEUZE: Precisely. A theory is exactly like a box of tools. It has nothing to do with the signifier. It must be useful. It must function. And not for itself. If no one uses it, beginning with the theoretician himself (who then ceases to be a theoretician), then the theory is worthless or the moment is inappropriate.
The whole conversation
“Intellectuals and Power” a 1972 conversation between Foucault and Deleuze. It was previously published in Language, Counter-Memory, Practice (ed. Donald Bouchard, 1977), and in Foucault Live ( ed. Sylvere Lotringer, 1996).
Wednesday, July 09, 2008
During the disarmament of military radar, June 26, SAAB Microwave Becoming2 Ploughshares worked together with Deleuze philosophers from Gothenburg University in Sweden. During one day they were plugged into each other to examine how resistance and Deleuze’s philosophy could intensify each other. On the web site I have collected Deleuze quotes which might be interresting for developing postprotest resistance. Here are some on becoming; other quotes on rhizome and multiplicity are collected on the site.
"becoming is creation" Thousand Plateaus p 106
"A becoming is not a correspondence between relations. But neither is it a resemblance, an imitation, or, at the limit, an identification." Thousand Plateaus p 237
"Above all, becoming does not occur in the imagination" "They are perfectly real." "Becoming produces nothing other than itself. We fall into a false alternative if we say that you either imitate or you are. What is real is the becoming itself" "it is in the domain of symbioses that bring into play beings of totally different scales and kingdoms, with no possible filiation." "Becoming is involutionary, involution is creative." Thousand Plateaus p 238
"Becoming is certainly not imitating, or identifying with something; neither is it regressing-progressing; neither is it corresponding, establishing corresponding relations; neither is it producing, producing a filiation or producing through filiation. Becoming is a verb with a consistency all its own; it does not reduce to, or lead back to, "appearing," Thousand Plateaus p 239
"powers (puissances) of becoming that belong to a different realm from that of Power (Pouvoir) and Domination" Thousand Plateaus p 106
"become operative and lines of deterritorialization positive and absolute, forming strange new becomings, new polyvocalities. Become clandestine, make rhizome everywhere, for the wonder of a nonhuman life to be created." Thousand Plateaus p 191
"to have dismantled love in order to become capable of loving. To have dismantled one's self in order finally to be alone and meet the true double at the other end of the line. A clandestine passenger on a motionless voyage." Thousand Plateaus p 197
"The genius is someone who knows how to make everybody/the whole world a becoming" Thousand Plateaus p 200
"becoming-molecular that undermines the great molar powers of family, career, and conjugality" Thousand Plateaus p 233
"Although there is no preformed logical order to becomings and multiplicities, there are criteria, and the important thing is that they not be used after the fact, that they be applied in the course of events, that they be sufficient to guide us through the dangers." Thousand Plateaus p 251
Saturday, June 28, 2008
Ploughshares action in Sweden
With blacksmith hammers, Ulla Røder and Per Herngren disarmed a military radar and parts of the Test Range at SAAB Microwaves in Sweden, Thursday 26 June, 2008.
The Ploughshares group calling themselves, SAAB Microwave Becoming2 Ploughshares were arrested inside SAAB Microwave after half an hour. Beside the disarmament they also planted figs and talked with workers and guards.
“The word of the prophet Micah makes us move”, explains Ulla Røder. “We beat swords into ploughshares. We do not protest against the missile firing system of SAAB Microwave or the military radar system. We choose to drop the protest as it becomes reactive and negative. The time has come to intervene and become creative.”
See the side bar for the words of Micah.
“ We do have the ability of direct intervention”, Ulla Røder believes. “It becomes a duty when there are violence and suffering in the world. We use nonviolence. Contrary to my friend Per, I do not believe that we are practicing civil disobedience, but rather upholding international law. It is SAAB Microwave which breaks the law delivering the missile firing system used during the war in Iraq.”
”Becoming2” (like a mathematical 'becoming-squared') in the middle of our name might look strange,” says Per Herngren. “During the ploughshares action, we worked together with Deleuze philosophers from Gothenburg University in Sweden. We were during one day plugged into each other. Together we examined how resistance and Deleuze’s philosophy will intensify each other. Deleuze highlights the double becoming rather than being: To become becoming, rather than to become something. To produce production rather than isolated actions! Resistance and philosophy are ongoing processes giving no final result. Deleuze forces us in the ploughshares to avoid thinking in "means and ends", or the Big Action. An action are not the destination, but rather where we get on the train. For Deleuze resistance is about movement, speed, rest, slowness and intensity.”
Beating swords into ploughshares
“they will hammer their swords into plowshares And their spears into pruning hooks; Nation will not lift up sword against nation, And never again will they train for war. Each of them will sit under his vine And under his fig tree, With no one to make them afraid,” Micah 4:3-4
This quote is found in text tradition from Islam, Christianity, and Judaism.
Ulla Røder, 53, from Denmark, disarmed a test laboratory for the nuclear submarine Trident system at Loch Goil, Scotland in 1999 together with the Trident Three Ploughshares group. They won the trial. In the week before the war on Iraq in 2003 Ulla Røder disarmed a Tornado jet going to be used for the attack in Iraq. Ulla has spent more than a year in jail for these actions and other non-violent direct actions.
Per Herngren served 15 months of a eight year sentence in the US having in 1984, together with seven others in Pershing Plowshares, disarmed a Pershing II nuclear missile. During the first war on Iraq 1991, he and Gunfactory Plowshares disarmed two Carl Gustaf bazookas at FFV, Eskilstuna in Sweden. Together with people from Sweden and Germany Per Herngren initiated the Ploughshares movement in Europe in the mid eighties. He is 46 years old and lives in Fig Tree – a Jona House resistance community in Hammarkullen, Sweden. His books have been published in Swedish, Polish, and English.
The Ploughshares Movement
The Ploughshares have since 1980, disarmed hundreds of weapons, airplanes, helicopters, nuclear weapons, trident submarines. According to the estimated, and not scientific account of Per Herngren, the ploughshares movement has with blacksmith hammers disarmed more explosive powers than what have been used during all wars from the stone age until today.
Contact and information
Ulla Røder: bur200854 (at) hotmail.com
Per Herngren: perherngren (at) post.utfors.se
Path of Resistance (the whole book on internet)
Post protest (article)
Sunday, June 08, 2008
"Foucault denied two crucial commonplaces of political thought: one, that there was a singular locus of power that could be contested and countered by those who were subject to specific rules of power, and two, that there were specific singular principles that organize such resistance. In his view, acts of resistance generally were not singular instances of binary oppositions or antinomies, but rather were multiple, mobile and transitory."
"Thus, for Foucault, 'when one defines the exercise of power as a mode of action upon the actions of others' (i.e. as government in the broadest sense) then one must of necessity include resistance as an exercise of freedom (Foucault, 1982: 790; 000d: 292). Thus . . . power is exercised only over free subjects, and only insofar as they are free. By this we mean individuals or collective subjects who are faced with a field of possibilities in which several ways of behaving, several reactions and diverse comportments, may be realized.
. . . [A]t the very heart of the power relationship, and constantly rovoking it, are the recalcitrance of the will and the intransigence of freedom. (Foucault, 1982: 790)"
"While power relations are determined within the diagram, understood as a non-unifying immanent cause, resistance arises from the fold in the outside of thought. Here the resonance with Spinoza is too strong to ignore. In rejecting transcendental concepts of reason, sovereign power and transitive causality in favour of constitutive power and immanent causality Spinoza foreshadowed a mode of political engagement that wasbrought to fruition by Deleuze and Foucault."
James Juniper and Jim Jose, "Foucault and Spinoza: philosophies of immanence and the decentred political subject", History of the Human Sciences 2008, 21, 1.
Wednesday, April 30, 2008
“The morning, 30 April 2008, we entered the Waihopai Spy Base near Blenheim.
Our group, including a Dominican Priest, temporarily closed the base by padlocking the gates and proceeded to deflate one of the large domes covering two satellite dishes.
At 6am we cut through three security fences surrounding the domes - these are armed with razor wire, infrared motion sensors and a high voltage electrified fence. Once inside we used sickles to cut one of the two 30-metre white domes, built a shrine and knelt in prayer to remember the people killed by United States military activity.
We have financed our disarmament through personal savings, additional part-time employment and a small interest-free loan from one of our supporters."
"Sam, Peter and Adi have been denied bail and will remain in custody. The next hearing at Blenheim District Court."
"There have been over 100 Ploughshares actions over the last twenty years around the world. Ploughshares direct actions are linked through the common factors of: entry to locations connected to military activity, and involve some form of property destruction, which is called disarming weapons or dismantling weapon systems."
See the video: