Re: [-empyre-] Re: "hooded children of the revolution"

Some exerpts from this issue that lay out a lively conversation about what i feel is at stake, in part in this conversation:

the US over the last ten or fifteen years has seen the rise of an anarchist movement and sensibility that can do even more interesting things, both practically and theoretically, with the same kinds of aesthetic experiments. And even if these things appear to touch only a tiny minority, it is important to continue. Because there may come a day when the range of participants suddenly expands.
inting at ways to work in current contexts; an interview with Brian Holmes 
Robby Herbst 



Community may be formed from a commonality among people (familial, ethnic, geographic, etc) but as we know from language, identity is formed upon difference: to name something is not to say what it is, but to distinguish it from what it is not. By way of a common opposition, community moves across people horizontally, and articulates identity vertically. It can be temporary, instrumental or enduring; working from within a group to empower itself, or assigned from without to marginalize, claim or control it. Community is one way for people to group, a mode or template for organization, whereas groupings and organization form power (which is why the technologies of established power tend to divide groups and disrupt any communal organizing that exceed its control). Community does not have to mean homogeneity. Enabling communication across a grouping of people, within which their common opposition to a larger power can be spoken and agreed to, can draw commonality across them. An identity as a path along which they might overcome a subjection, exclusion, or historical ways in which they?d been divided, racialized or gendered into antagonistic and alienated positions.
Temporary Public Spaces
By Ashley Hunt

In an era where identity politics has too often balkanized communities into mutually mistrustful camps, new patterns of resource sharing and community accountability are simultaneously difficult to imagine and absolutely necessary.
Building a Future in the Here and Now
by Chris Carlsson 

Does it make sense that the majority of people that travel to DC to ?let their dissent be heard? are white, when the majority that lives in the city where they are protesting are people of color? And most importantly, what?s the point? This is not to say that mass mobilizations are inherently pointless, rather, what is the larger strategic framework that they happen within, and also who makes the decisions about such frameworks and placing big protests as the priority? The many anti-globalization protests organized by the Mobilization for Global Justice exhibit this tendency, bringing thousands of protesters from around the country to demonstrate in downtown while not tapping the enormous resentment in the city towards the disenfranchisement of DC. Similarly, the March for Women?s Lives in 2004 boasted of putting close to a million people on the streets, but again, the vast majority were white women, and even women organizers of color expressed dismay at the failure to better include them and their communities in the organizing and messaging. DC has some of the worst indicators of reproductive health, from HIV and STD rates to high infant mortality, yet, black women from DC were never central to the demonstration.
No Justice and No Peace: A Critique of Current Social Change Politics
By Selina Musuta and Darby Hickey

-----Original Message-----
Sent: Nov 13, 2005 11:59 PM
To:, soft_skinned_space <>, soft_skinned_space <>
Subject: Re: [-empyre-] Re: "hooded children of the revolution"

I want to clarify something--

I understand what it meant to toss a rock through a Starbucks window in Seattle.
It's been grossly oversimplified. There was history and poetry in that moment.

My point is that the often stated "teamsters and turtles" does not
talk about racial, ethnic, gender, or sexual diversity as well as
a class/ideological diversity and that it should because maintaing an awareness,
integrating and creating a language for one anothers' struggles will be our strength.
more imediately, recall people wondering out loud if the trouble in new orleans 
was class or race based.

I question--the historical narrative around this event in the same way I question
the claims and the singular focus on May 68--I think these stories move away from
personal narrative as they are retold and need to be examined as they are revisited.

----Original Message-----
Sent: Nov 14, 2005 2:16 AM
To: soft_skinned_space <>
Subject: Re: [-empyre-] Re: "hooded children of the revolution"

localized systems of exchange that remain dependent on global corporate infrastructure and production to exist are tenuous--they break down easily when challenged. what is our fortification? 

while it may be possible that due to fuel shortages "the political reality (inequalities) of the body aren't any more likely to be up for discussion." they will exist and will be addressed. how? (given sustained global and local conditions of economic and social disparity based on entrenched systems of global distribution of capital and corporate-military presence---pronounced cultural reliance on a steady stream of visual information---apparent surveilance of bodies through cell phones, computers, tv, etc.)

i'm baking bread in a canyon somewhere near a few nodes. how is this place different from a survivalist camp except that it isn't as well fortified? it is hard to imagine a circumstance more oppressive than the one we are in currently, but when I squint my eyes at it this one comes close. i want to be in Portugal and Paris.

might the unspoken promise of gift economy be that it will erase the need to actively concern for people who aren't gifted? Hard to say. notions of a gift economy remain just that--highly speculative and subjective terms of exchange that are based in shared social values and position and hunches, comfort, moods, food. what is our connection to one another in exchange? where does that connection/exchange get spent? 

multivalent voices, decentralized structures--i agree with those who now say these critical articulatons are hopeful--but they lagged behind technology and political reality so that they only seem to retrace current conditions (minus the ugly bits) ultimately serving interests of those in power, or those with something to sell.

speaking of GPS underwear, I also always felt like the nomad-node thing was just a disorganized death march.--"just keep it moving...keep it movin'..inside, it's like imagining the best thing you can do is not get caught---outside, it's like watching a bad horror movie where your always looking at the back of some soon-to-be-dead-head walk into an empty parking lot in search of a lost kitten. 

Culturally speaking, I can't seem to shake the feeling that I'm just missing something enormous, eminent and wonderful and that at least one of you is here to say so. Bet you didn't see that one coming.

In the end, i need you, my friends, my nodes. I'm worried about us not having a real plan for fortifying ourselves, ability to exchange w/one another privately even if we wanted to..and so on.


Ryan wrote:

"The workshops i attended were about the potential for community and 
localized interests of wireless networks (mostly mesh-based).
There certainly is a lot of strong belief in the ability of these 
particular technologies to really reform the way communities are able 
to communicate and collaborate in ways that move away from a 
commodity-dependent system (to the extent that you still need at least 
a radio shack and a best buy to get the basic gear, not to mention the 
backbone infrastructure of a major telcom). there were some people with 
pretty strong opinions that mesh networks (that operate via nodes that 
connect from house to house, basically decentralizing communication 
among themselves - as opposed to a hub and spoke system) are inherently 
more democratic.

mostly, i share this optimism and desire to make something of this 
technology beyond a way to play games and buy more stuff.
but it's interesting to think about this in relation to the larger 
history that Cara brings up (language and commerce).
we're looking to high tech to return us to a more localized form of 
commerce, basically.

and the interesting thing to me (and where this dovetails oddly into 
the peak oil comments made earlier), is that this may end up becoming 
salient, not because of politics, but because of necessity. in which 
case, the political reality (inequalities) of the body aren't any more 
likely to be up for discussion. it could actually close down any 
discussion pretty quickly.

but perhaps that's why it's important that the people driving the 
localization of networks at this point are working from a "political" 
subject position as much as anything.
i realize that this may be getting away from the commodification topic 
a bit, but maybe it's not so far off. how do notions of a "gift 
economy" follow or deviate from the rules of classical commerce? and 
does the form necessitate politics? is a mesh network (which is also 
the military's design for the internet btw) de facto more democratic 
and less oppressive?"

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