Interpretation- the aff should have to defend a parametricization of their method
Violation- the aff only discusses issues with existing scholarship without proposing an alternative or defending an alternative system of knowledge- their advocacy statement is literally meaningless. “This authority should not exist” is a statement of what it desired. There is no mechanism for how your vote for the aff eliminates the authority of indefinite detention.
THEIR ADVOCACY STATEMENT IS NOT A CALL FOR EXPLORATION- EVEN THOUGH THEY HAVE CARDS FOR THIS, YOU NEED TO STICK THEM TO THE CLEAR CUT ADVOCACY STATEMENT THEY PROVIDE. IF AT THE END OF THE 2AR YOU DON’T KNOW HOW THEY ACTIVELY THE RID OF THE AUTHORITY OF INDEFINITE DETENTION OUTSIDE OF THIS DEBATE ROUND, YOU VOTE NEG ON PRESUMPTION.
1.) Aff conditionality- absent defense of a specific advocacy the aff can shift their interpretation of their argument in every speech to dodge method criticisms, counter-methods and impact turns to their understanding of scholarship- a moving target affirmative makes all of their truth claims falsifiable, which replicates the form of hegemonic knowledge production they criticize
2.) Neg ground- no robust defense of an abstract method- all the best responses are in the context of particularized discussion- even if the aff is correct about the way that democracy scholarship works, how should we change it, who should we give aid to, what does that mean for policy? Those are questions the negative can contest- lack of clear point of contestation makes it impossible to be negative and undermines in-depth clash- it also means their aff isn’t subjected to rigorous scrutiny to determine if
The aff will always win that the principles of their advocacy are good in the abstract – we can only debate the merits of their framework if they defend the specific consequences of political implementation
Ignatieff 4—Prof of Human Rights @ Harvard
Michael, Lesser Evils p. 20-1
As for moral perfectionism, this would be the doctrine that a liberal state should never have truck with dubious moral means and should spare its officials the hazard of having to decide between lesser and greater evils. A moral perfectionist position also holds that states can spare their officials this hazard simply by adhering to the universal moral standards set out in human rights conventions and the laws of war. There are two problems with a perfectionist stance, leaving aside the question of whether it is realistic. The first is that articulating nonrevocable, nonderogable moral standards is relatively easy. The problem is deciding how to apply them in specific cases. What is the line between interrogation and torture, between targeted killing and unlawful assassination, between preemption and aggression? Even when legal and moral distinctions between these are clear in the abstract, abstractions are less than helpful when political leaders have to choose between them in practice. Furthermore, the problem with perfectionist standards is that they contradict each other. The same person who shudders, rightly, at the prospect of torturing a suspect might be prepared to kill the same suspect in a preemptive attack on a terrorist base. Equally, the perfectionist commitment to the right to life might preclude such attacks altogether and restrict our response to judicial pursuit of offenders through process of law. Judicial responses to the problem of terror have their place, but they are no substitute for military operations when terrorists possess bases, training camps, and heavy weapons. To stick to a perfectionist commitment to the right to life when under terrorist attack might achieve moral consistency at the price of leaving us defenseless in the face of evildoers. Security, moreover, is a human right, and thus respect for one right might lead us to betray another.
THE AFFIRMATIVE IS A FUNDAMENTAL MISREADING OF POLITICS AND THE REPRODUCTION OF SOCIAL RELATIONS. THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS THE ‘BIOPOLITICAL STATE’ THAT SEEKS TO MANAGE AND CONTROL POPULATIONS FOR THE SAKE OF POWER. THE STATE AND CAPITAL MOVE HAND IN GLOVE—ONE CANNOT EXIST WITHOUT THE OTHER. ONLY A TOTAL DISTANCE FROM THE MODERN STATE CAN ALLOW FOR THE DESTRUCTION OF CAPITAL. OTHERWISE WHAT IS PUSHED OUT THE DOOR ONLY COMES BACK IN THROUGH THE WINDOW**
[Istavan, Prof. Emeritus at Sussex, Beyond Capital: Towards a Theory of Transition]P. 65
The modern state as the comprehensive political command structure of capital — is both the necessary prerequisite for the transformation of capital’s at first fragmented units into a viable system, and the overall framework for the full articulation and maintenance of the latter as a global system. In this fundamental sense the state on account of its constitutive and permanently sustaining role must be understood as an integral part of capital’s material ground itself. Or it contributes in a substantive way not only to the formation and consolidation of all of the major reproductive structures of society but also to their continued functioning. However, the close interrelationship holds also when viewed from the other side. For the modern state itself is quite inconceivable without capital as its social metabolic foundation. This makes the material reproductive structures of the capital system the necessary condition not only for the original constitution but also for the continued survival (and appropriate historical transformations) of the modern state in all its dimensions. These reproductive structures extend their Impact over everything, from the strictly material/repressive instruments cid juridical institutions of the state all the way to the most mediated ideological and political theorizations of its raison d’être and claimed legitimacy. It is on account of this reciprocal determination that we must speak of a close match between the social metabolic ground of the capital system on the one hand, and the modern state as the totalizing political command structure of the established productive and reproductive order on the other. For socialists this is a most uncomfortable and challenging reciprocity. It puts into relief the sobering fact that any intervention in the political domain — even when it envisages the radical overthrow of the capitalist state — can have only a very limited impact in the realization of the socialist project. And the other way round, the corollary of the same sobering fact is that, precisely because socialists have to confront the power of capital’s self-sustaining reciprocity under its fundamental dimensions, it should be never forgotten or ignored - although the tragedy of seventy years (if Soviet experience is that it had been willfully ignored — that there can be no chance of overcoming the power of capital without remaining faithful to the Marxian concern with the ‘withering away’ of the state.
Capitalism structures our actions, encouraging indefinite detention.
WSWS 06 (“US Congress legalizes torture and indefinite detention” http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2006/09/tort-s29.html?view=print)
The legislation adopted by the House of Representatives Wednesday and the Senate Thursday, legalizing the Bush administration’s policy of torture and indefinite detention without trial, as well as kangaroo-court procedures for Guantánamo detainees, marks a watershed for the United States. For the first time in American history, Congress and the White House have agreed to set aside the provisions of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights and formally adopt methods traditionally identified with police states. This bill is the outcome of a protracted process of decay of American democracy, which has accompanied the immense growth in social inequality and reached a turning point in the stolen election of 2000. In early December of 2000, on the eve of the US Supreme Court ruling that halted the counting of votes in Florida and awarded the presidency to George W. Bush, who had lost the popular vote nationally to his Democratic opponent Al Gore, David North, the national secretary of the Socialist Equality Party of the US and chairman of the international editorial board of the World Socialist Web Site, in a report on the US election crisis said: “What the decision of this court will reveal is how far the American ruling class is prepared to go in breaking with traditional bourgeois-democratic and constitutional norms. Is it prepared to sanction ballot fraud and the suppression of votes and install in the White House a candidate who has attained that office through blatantly illegal and anti-democratic methods?
FROM THE PERSPECTIVE OF STRUCTURAL KRITIK, THERE CAN BE NO SUCH THING AS ‘MAKING THINGS BETTER’— THEIR MODEL OF POLITICS, NO MATTER HOW SUBVERSIVE OR CONSERVATIVE, ALL FUNDAMENTALLY EXAGERATE THE IMPORTANCE OF THE FORMAL INSTITUTION OF POLITICS AND POWER, IGNORING THE WAYS SUCH A SYSTEM CREATES KNOWLEDGE—ONLY A MARXIST SHIFT TO KRITIK THE STRUCTURE AND CREATE MASS SOCIAL CONSCIOUSNESS WILL OVERCOME THIS FAILURE OF POLITICS
[Marta, Dir of MEPLA, Links, p. online: http://www.dsp.org.au/links/back/issue16/harnecker.html ]
To think about the construction of forces and the correlation of forces is to change the traditional vision of politics. This vision tends to reduce politics to the struggle over judicial and political institutions and to exaggerate the role of the state. Immediately one thinks of political parties and the fight over the control and orientation of the formal instruments of power.17 The most radical sectors focus all their political action on the conquest of political power and the destruction of the state. The reformists focus on the administration of political power and the exercise of government as the fundamental and sole form of political practice. The popular sectors and their struggles are the ignored colossus. This is what Helio Gallardo calls the "politicism" of the Latin American left.18 2) Overcoming the narrow conception of power To think about constructing forces is also to overcome the narrow vision that reduces the concept of right-wing power to that of the repressive aspects of the state. The power of the enemy is not only repressive but also, as Carlos Ruiz says, constructive, moulding, disciplining. If the power of the dominant classes were only for the purpose of subjecting the left to censorship, exclusion, obstacles or repression, it would be more fragile. Its strength derives from the fact that, in addition to eliminating those things it doesn't want, it is capable of creating what it does want: building channels, producing knowledge, rationales and consciousness. It is the power to impose its own way of being seen and of looking at the world.19 To think about how to construct forces is also to overcome the old and deeply rooted mistake of trying to build political forces whether through arms or the ballot box without building social force.20 3) Politics as the art of building social force in opposition to the system The rise of a social force opposing the system is what the ruling classes fear most. That is the source of their narrow conception of politics as the struggle to win positions of power within the institutionalised judicial and political apparatus. For the left, on the other hand, politics must be the art of building social force in opposition to the system. The left must not, therefore, see the people or popular social force as something given that can be manipulated and only needs to be stirred up, but as something that has to be built.
NEXT, THE DETERMINISM OF CAPITAL IS RESPONSIBLE FOR THE INSTRUMENTALIZATION OF ALL LIFE—IT IS THIS LOGIC THAT MOBILIZES AND ALLOWS FOR THE 1AC’S SCENARIOS IN THE FIRST PLACE
[Nick, Prof at U. of Western Ontario, Cyber Marx: Cycles and Circuits of Struggle in High Technology Capitalism ]
For capitalism, the use of machines as organs of “will over nature” is an imperative. The great insight of the Frankfurt School—an insight subsequently improved and amplified by feminists and ecologists—was that capital’s dual project of dominating both humanity and nature was intimately tied to the cultivation of “instrumental reason” that systematically objectifies, reduces, quantifies and fragments the world for the purposes of technological control. Business’s systemic need to cheapen labor, cut the costs of raw materials, and expand consumer markets gives it an inherent bias toward the piling-up of technological power. This priority—enshrined in phrases such as “progress,” “efficiency,” “productivity,” “modernization,” and “growth”—assumes an automatism that is used to override any objection or alternative, regardless of the environmental and social consequences. Today, we witness global vistas of toxification, deforestation, desertification, dying oceans, disappearing ozone layers, and disintegrating immune systems, all interacting in ways that perhaps threaten the very existence of humanity and are undeniably inflicting social collapse, disease, and immiseration across the planet. The degree to which this project of mastery has backfired is all too obvious.
FINALLY, THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS AN ETHICAL ACTION THAT STANDS OUTSIDE OF POLITICS—YOUR ETHICAL DEMAND TO COME PRIOR TO THE STRUCTURAL NEGATION OF CAPITAL IS THE LARGEST VIOLATION OF ETHICS
[Istavan, Prof. Emeritus at Sussex, Beyond Capital: Towards a Theory of Transition]p. 409-10
Politics and morality are so closely intertwined in the real world that it is hardly imaginable to confront and resolve the conflicts of any age without bringing into play the crucial dimensions of both. Thus, whenever it is difficult to face the problems and contradictions of politics in the prevailing social order, theories of morality are also bound to suffer the consequences. Naturally, this relationship tends to prevail also in the positive direction. As the entire history of philosophy testifies, the authors of all major ethical works are also the originators of the seminal theoretical works on politics; and vice versa, all serious conceptualizations of politics have their necessary corollaries on the plane of moral discourse. This goes for Aristotle as much as for Hobbes and Spinoza, and for Rousseau and Kant as much as for Hegel. Indeed, in the case of Hegel we find his ethics fully integrated into his Philosophy of Right, i.e. his theory of the state. This is why it is so astonishing to read in Lukácss ‘Tactics and Ethics’ that ‘Hegel’s system is devoid of ethics’: a view which he later mellows to saying that the Hegelian treatment of ethics suffers the consequences of his system and the conservative bias of his theory of the state. It would be much more correct to say that — despite the conservative bias of his political conception — Hegel is the author of the last great systematic treatment of ethics. Compared to that, the twentieth century in the field of ethics (as well as in that of political philosophy) is very problematical. No doubt this has a great deal to do ‘eith the ever narrowing margin of alternatives allowed by the necessary mode of functioning of the global capital system which produces the wisdom of ‘there is no alternative’. For, evidently, there can be no meaningful moral discourse on the premiss that ‘there is no alternative’. Ethics is concerned with the evaluation and implementation of alternative goals which individuals and social groups can actually set themselves in their confrontations with the problems of their age. And this is where the inescapability of politics makes its impact. For even the most intensely committed investigation of ethics cannot be a substitute for a radical critique of politics in its frustrating and alienating contemporary reality. The slogan of ‘there is no alternative did not originate in ethics; nor is it enough to reassert in ethical/ontolog!cal terms the need for alternatives, no matter how passionately this is felt and predicated. The pursuit of viable alternatives to the destructive reality of capital’s social order in all its forms without which the socialist project is utterly pointless —is a practical matter. The role of morality and ethics is crucial to the success of this enterprise. But there can be no hope of success without the joint re-articulation of socialist moral discourse and political strategy, taking fully on board the painful lessons of the recent past.
Vote Negative to validate and adopt the method of structural/historical criticism that is the 1NC.
THIS IS NOT THE ALTERNATIVE, BUT IN TRUTH THE ONLY OPTION— METHOD IS THE FOREMOST POLITICAL QUESTION BECAUSE ONE MUST UNDERSTAND THE EXISTING SOCIAL TOTALITY BEFORE ONE CAN ACT ON IT—GROUNDING THE SITES OF POLITICAL CONTESTATION ON KNOWLEDGE OUTSIDE OF LABOR AND SURPLUS VALUE MERELY SERVE TO HUMANIZE CAPITAL AND PREVENT A TRANSITION TO A SOCIETY BEYOND OPPRESSION
[Stephen, Prof English at Pitt, ““What is Orthodox Marxism and Why it Matters Now More than Ever”, Red Critique, p. online]
Any effective political theory will have to do at least two things: it will have to offer an integrated understanding of social practices and, based on such an interrelated knowledge, offer a guideline for praxis. My main argument here is that among all contesting social theories now, only Orthodox Marxism has been able to produce an integrated knowledge of the existing social totality and provide lines of praxis that will lead to building a society free from necessity. But first I must clarify what I mean by Orthodox Marxism. Like all other modes and forms of political theory, the very theoretical identity of Orthodox Marxism is itself contested—not just from non-and anti-Marxists who question the very "real" (by which they mean the "practical" as under free-market criteria) existence of any kind of Marxism now but, perhaps more tellingly, from within the Marxist tradition itself. I will, therefore, first say what I regard to be the distinguishing marks of Orthodox Marxism and then outline a short polemical map of contestation over Orthodox Marxism within the Marxist theories now. I will end by arguing for its effectivity in bringing about a new society based not on human rights but on freedom from necessity. I will argue that to know contemporary society—and to be able to act on such knowledge—one has to first of all know what makes the existing social totality. I will argue that the dominant social totality is based on inequality—not just inequality of power but inequality of economic access (which then determines access to health care, education, housing, diet, transportation, . . . ). This systematic inequality cannot be explained by gender, race, sexuality, disability, ethnicity, or nationality. These are all secondary contradictions and are all determined by the fundamental contradiction of capitalism which is inscribed in the relation of capital and labor. All modes of Marxism now explain social inequalities primarily on the basis of these secondary contradictions and in doing so—and this is my main argument—legitimate capitalism. Why? Because such arguments authorize capitalism without gender, race, discrimination and thus accept economic inequality as an integral part of human societies. They accept a sunny capitalism—a capitalism beyond capitalism. Such a society, based on cultural equality but economic inequality, has always been the not-so-hidden agenda of the bourgeois left—whether it has been called "new left," "postmarxism," or "radical democracy." This is, by the way, the main reason for its popularity in the culture industry—from the academy (Jameson, Harvey, Haraway, Butler,. . . ) to daily politics (Michael Harrington, Ralph Nader, Jesse Jackson,. . . ) to. . . . For all, capitalism is here to stay and the best that can be done is to make its cruelties more tolerable, more humane. This humanization (not eradication) of capitalism is the sole goal of ALL contemporary lefts (marxism, feminism, anti-racism, queeries, . . . ). Such an understanding of social inequality is based on the fundamental understanding that the source of wealth is human knowledge and not human labor. That is, wealth is produced by the human mind and is thus free from the actual objective conditions that shape the historical relations of labor and capital. Only Orthodox Marxism recognizes the historicity of labor and its primacy as the source of all human wealth. In this paper I argue that any emancipatory theory has to be founded on recognition of the priority of Marx's labor theory of value and not repeat the technological determinism of corporate theory ("knowledge work") that masquerades as social theory.
AND NEXT, RESISTANCE TO CAPITAL MUST BE A TOTAL NEGATION OF THE SYSTEM FROM OUT-SIDE OF GOVERNMENT—WHILE SOME INSIDE POLITICAL GAINS ARE POSSIBLE, THEY ARE TRUMPED BY THE ABILITY OF THE SYSTEM TO USE REFORMS TO RESTABILIZE CAPITAL AND MARGINALIZE LABOR AS A SOCIAL ALTERNATIVE
[Istavan, Prof. Emeritus at Sussex, Beyond Capital: Towards a Theory of Transition]p. 738
Thus the role of labour’s extra-parliamentary movement is twofold. On the one hand, it has to assert its strategic interests as a social metabolic alternative by confronting and forcefully negating in practical terms the structural determinations of the established order as manifest in the capital-relation and in the concomitant subordination of labour in the socioeconomic reproduction process, instead of helping to restabiize capital in crisis as it happened at important junctures of the reformist past. At the same time, on the other hand, the political power of capital which prevails in parliament needs to be and can be challenged through the pressure which extra-parliamentary forms of action can exercise on the legislative and executive, as witnessed by the impact of even the ‘single issue’ anti-poll-tax movement which played a major role in the fall of Margaret Thatcher from the top of the political pyramid. Without a strategically oriented and sustained extra-parliamentary challenge the parties alternating in government can continue to function as convenient reciprocal alibis for the structural failure of the system towards labour, thus effectively confining the role of the labour movement to its position as an inconvenient but marginalizable afterthought in capital’s parliamentary system. Thus in relation to both the material reproductive and the political domain, the constitution of a strategically viable socialist extra-parliamentaty mass movement — in conjunction with the traditional forms of labour’s, at present hopelessly derailed, political organization, which badly needs the radicalizing pressure and support of such extra-parliamentary forces — is a vital precondition for countering the massive extra-parliamentary power of capital.
AND SO MUCH FOR YOUR PERMUTATION—CAPITALISM IS AN INERTIAL SYSTEM—ANY VESITAGE LEFT REMAINING BY THE PERMUTATION WILL INEVITABLY SPIN BACK UP. LIKE A MANY-HEADED HYDRA, IT WILL REGENERATE WITH EVERY ATTEMPT THAT ATTACKS THE INSTRUMENTS AS OPPOSSED TO THE SYSTEM ITSELF***
[Joel, Prof at Bard, Enemy of Nature, Zed Books]p. 142-3
The value-term that subsumes everything into the spell of capital sets going a kind of wheel of accumulation, from production to consumption and back, spinning ever more rapidly as the inertial mass of capital grows, and generating its force field as a spinning magnet generates an electrical field. This phenomenon has important implications for the reformability of the system. Because capital is so spectral, and succeeds so well in ideologically mystifying its real nature, attention is constantly deflected from the actual source of eco-destabilization to the instruments by which that source acts. The real problem, however, is the whole mass of globally accumulated capital, along with the speed of its circulation and the class structures sustaining this. That is what generates the force field, in proportion to its own scale; and it is this force field, acting across the numberless points of insertion that constitute the ecosphere, that creates ever larger agglomerations of capital, sets the ecological crisis going, and keeps it from being resolved. For one fact may be taken as certain — that to resolve the ecological crisis as a whole, as against tidying up one corner or another, is radically incompatible with the existence of gigantic pools of capital, the force field these induce, the criminal underworld with which they connect, and, by extension, the elites who comprise the transnational bourgeoisie. And by not resolving the crisis as a whole, we open ourselves to the spectre of another mythical creature, the many-headed hydra, that regenerated itself the more its individual tentacles were chopped away. To realize this is to recognize that there is no compromising with capital, no schema of reformism that will clean up its act by making it act more greenly or efficiently We shall explore the practical implications of this thesis in Part III, and here need simply to restate the conclusion in blunt terms: green capital, or non-polluting capital, is preferable to the immediately ecodestructive breed on its immediate terms. But this is the lesser point, and diminishes with its very success. For green capital (or ‘socially/ecologically responsible investing’) exists, by its very capital-nature, essentially to create more value, and this leaches away from the concretely green location to join the great pool, and follows its force field into zones of greater concentration, expanded profitability — and greater ecodestruction.
FINALLY, METHODOLOGY IS THE FOREMOST POINT OF DEPARTURE TO ANY POLITICAL QUERY. YOU SHOULD EVALUATE EPISTEMOLOGY FIRST BECAUSE THE WAY YOU THINK ABOUT PROBLEMS DETERMINES HOW YOU RESPOND TO THEM AND THE CONSEQUENCES THEY ENGENDER
[Steve, Professor of International Politics at the University of Wales, Aberystwyth, “Positivism and Beyond,” International theory: Positivism and beyond, New York: Cambridge University Press, 12-1 3]
But the stakes are also high because of the links between theory and practice. International theory underpins and informs international practice, even if there is a lengthy lag between the high- point of theories and their gradual absorption into political debate. Once established as common sense, theories become incredibly powerful since they delineate not simply what can be known but also what it is sensible to talk about or suggest. Those who swim outside these safe waters risk more than simply the judgement that their theories are wrong; their entire ethical or moral stance may be ridiculed or seen as dangerous iust because their theoretical assumptions are deemed as unrealistic. Defining common sense is therefore the ultimate act of political power. In this sense what is at stake in debates about epistemology is very significant for political practice. Theories do not simply explain or predict, they tell us what possibilities exist for human action and intervention they define not merely our explanatory possibilities but also our ethical and practical horizons. In this Kantian light epistemology matters, and the stakes are far more considerable than at first sight seem to be the case.
Politics is dead – your movement is inevitably coopted as soon as it becomes visible
Invisible Committee, 07 [an anonymous group of French professors, phd candidates, and intellectuals, in the book “The Coming Insurrection” published by Semiotext(e) (attributed to the Tarnac Nine by the French police), http://tarnac9.noblogs.org/gallery/5188/insurrection_english.pdf]
Whatever angle you look at it from, there's no escape from the present. That's not the least of its virtues. For those who want absolutely to have hope, it knocks down every support. Those who claim to have solutions are proven wrong almost immediately. It's understood that now everything can only go from bad to worse. "There's no future for the future" is the wisdom behind an era that for all its appearances of extreme normalcy has come to have about the consciousness level of the first punks. The sphere of political representation is closed. From left to right, it's the same nothingness acting by turns either as the big shots or the virgins, the same sales shelf heads, changing up their discourse according to the latest dispatches from the information service. Those who still vote give one the impression that their only intention is to knock out the polling booths by voting as a pure act of protest. And we've started to understand that in fact it’s only against the vote itself that people go on voting. Nothing we've seen can come up to the heights of the present situation; not by far. By its very silence, the populace seems infinitely more 'grown up' than all those squabbling amongst themselves to govern it do. Any Belleville chibani 1 is wiser in his chats than in all of those puppets’ grand declarations put together. The lid of the social kettle is triple-tight, and the pressure inside won’t stop building. The ghost of Argentina’s Que Se Vayan Todos 2 is seriously starting to haunt the ruling heads. The fires of November 2005 will never cease to cast their shadow on all consciences. Those first joyous fires were the baptism of a whole decade full of promises. The media’s “suburbs vs. the Republic” myth, if it’s not inefficient, is certainly not true. The fatherland was ablaze all the way to downtown everywhere, with fires that were methodically snuffed out. Whole streets went up in flames of solidarity in Barcelona and no one but the people who lived there even found out about it. And the country hasn’t stopped burning since. Among the accused we find diverse profiles, without much in common besides a hatred for existing society; not united by class, race, or even by neighborhood. What was new wasn’t the “suburban revolt,” since that was already happening in the 80s, but the rupture with its established forms. The assailants weren’t listening to anybody at all anymore, not their big brothers, not the local associations assigned to help return things to normal. No “SOS Racism which only fatigue, falsification, and media omertà 4 could feign putting an end. The whole series of nocturnal strikes, anonymous attacks, wordless destruction, had the merit of busting wide open the split between politics and the political. No one can honestly deny the obvious weight of this assault which made no demands, and had no message other than a threat which had nothing to do with politics. But you’d have to be blind not to see what is purely political about this resolute negation of politics, and you’d certainly have to know absolutely nothing about the autonomous youth movements of the last 30 years. Like abandoned children we burned the first baby toys of a society that deserves no more respect than the monuments of Paris did at the end of Bloody Week 5 -- and knows it. There’s no social solution to the present situation. First off because the vague aggregate of social groupings, institutions, and individual bubbles that we designate by the anti-phrase “society” has no substance, because there’s no language left to express common experiences with. It took a half-century of fighting by the Lumières to thaw out the possibility of a French Revolution, and a century of fighting by work to give birth to the fearful “Welfare State.” Struggles creating the language in which the new order expresses itself. Nothing like today. Europe is now a de-monied continent that sneaks off to make a run to the Lidl 6 and has to fly with the low-cost airlines to be able to keep on flying. None of the “problems” formulated in the social language are resolvable. The “retirement pensions issue,” the issues of “precariousness,” the “youth” and their “violence” can only be kept in suspense as long as the ever more surprising “acting out” they thinly cover gets managed away police-like. No one’s going to be happy to see old people being wiped out at a knockdown price, abandoned by their own and with nothing to say. And those who’ve found less humiliation and more benefit in a life of crime than in sweeping floors will not give up their weapons, and prison won’t make them love society. The rage to enjoy of the hordes of the retired will not take the somber cuts to their monthly income on an empty stomach, and will get only too excited about the refusal to work among a large sector of the youth. And to conclude, no guaranteed income granted the day after a quasi-uprising will lay the foundations for a new New Deal, a new pact, and a new peace. The social sentiment is rather too evaporated for all that. As their solution, they’ll just never stop putting on the pressure, to make sure nothing happens, and with it we’ll have more and more police chases all over the neighborhood. The drone that even according to the police indeed did fly over Seine-Saint-Denis 7 last July 14 th is a picture of the future in much more straightforward colors than all the hazy images we get from the humanists. That they took the time to clarify that it was not armed shows pretty clearly the kind of road we’re headed down. The country is going to be cut up into ever more air-tight zones. Highways built along the border of the “sensitive neighborhoods” already form walls that are invisible and yet able to cut them off from the private subdivisions. Whatever good patriotic souls may think about it, the management of neighborhoods “by community” is most effective just by its notoriety. The purely metropolitan portions of the country, the main downtowns, lead their luxurious lives in an ever more calculating, ever more sophisticated, ever more shimmering deconstruction. They light up the whole planet with their whorehouse red lights, while the BAC 8 and the private security companies’ -- read: militias’ -- patrols multiply infinitely, all the while benefiting from being able to hide behind an ever more disrespectful judicial front. The catch-22 of the present, though perceptible everywhere, is denied everywhere. Never have so many psychologists, sociologists, and literary people devoted themselves to it, each with their own special jargon, and each with their own specially missing solution. It’s enough just to listen to the songs that come out these days, the trifling “new French music,” where the petty-bourgeoisie dissects the states of its soul and the K’1Fry mafia 9 makes its declarations of war, to know that this coexistence will come to an end soon and that a decision is about to be made.
Calls to make “invisible populations” visible destroys any chance of change. Disappearance provides the secrecy and anonymity that avoids giving opportunities to be coopted. To make micropolitics visible is to coopt it – only an embrace of imperceptible politics can solve
Tsianos et. al, 08 – Vassilis, teaches sociology at the University of Hamburg, Germany, Dimitris Papadopoulos teaches social theory at Cardiff University, Niamh Stephenson teaches social science at the University of New South Wales. “Escape Routes: Control and Subversion in the 21st Century” Pluto Press
In this sense imperceptible politics does not necessarily differ from or oppose other prevalent forms of politics, such as state-oriented politics, micropolitics, identity politics, cultural and gender politics, civil rights movements, etc. And indeed imperceptible politics connects with all these various forms of political engagement and intervention in an opportunistic way: it deploys them to the extent that they allow the establishment of spaces outside representation; that is, spaces which do not primarily focus on the transformation of the conditions of the double-R axiom (rights and representation) but on the insertion of new social forces into a given political terrain. In the previous chapter we called this form of politics outside politics: the politics which opposes the representational regime of policing. Imperceptibility is the everyday strategy which allows us to move and to act below the overcoding regime of representation. This everyday strategy is inherently anti-theoretical; that is, it resists any ultimate theorisation, it cannot be reduced to one successful and necessary form of politics (such as state-oriented politics or micropolitics, for example). Rather, imperceptible politics is genuinely empiricist, that is it is always enacted as ad hoc practices which allow the decomposition of the representational strategies in a particular field and the composition of events which cannot be left unanswered by the existing regime of control. If imperceptible politics resists theorisation and is ultimately empiricist, what then are the criteria for doing imperceptible politics? There are three dimensions which characterise imperceptible politics: objectlessness, totality, trust. Firstly, imperceptible politics is objectless, that is it performs political transformation without primarily targeting a specific political aim (such as transformation of a law or institution, or a particular claim for inclusion, etc). Instead imperceptible politics proceeds by materialising its own political actions through contagious and affective transformations. The object of its political practice is its own practices. In this sense, imperceptible politics is non-intentional - and therein lies its difference from state-oriented politics or the politics of civil rights movements, for example - it instigates change through a series of everyday transformations which can only be codified as having a central political aim or function in retrospect. Secondly, imperceptible politics addresses the totality of an existing field of power. This seems to be the difference between imperceptible politics and micropolitics or other alternative social movements: imperceptible politics is not concerned with containing itself to a molecular level of action; it addresses the totality of power through the social changes which it puts to work in a particular field of action. The distinction between molar and molecular (Deleuze and Guattari, 1987, p. 275) has only analytical significance from the perspective of imperceptible politics. In fact imperceptible politics is both molar and molecular, because by being local situated action it addresses the whole order of control in a certain field. Imperceptible politics is located at the heart of a field of power and at the same time it opens a way to move outside this field by forcing the transformation of all these elements which are constitutive of this field. In this sense, imperceptible politics is a driving force which is simultaneously both present and absent. We described this in the previous chapter by exploring the importance of speculative figurations for the practice of escape. On the everyday level of escape (a level we called in this chapter imperceptible politics) speculative figuration can be translated into trust. This is the third characteristic of imperceptible politics; it is driven by a firm belief in the importance and truthfulness of its actions, without seeking any evidence for, or conducting any investigation into its practices. This is trust. Imperceptible politics is driven by trust in something which seems to be absent from a particular situation. Imperceptible politics operates around a void, and it is exactly the conversion of this void into everyday politics that becomes the vital force for imperceptible politics.
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