[-empyre-] empyre Digest, Vol 48, Issue 19

Sean Cubitt scubitt at unimelb.edu.au
Mon Dec 1 09:09:51 EST 2008

The Œus and them¹ that is relevant here was described by WB Yeats a century
ago:  ³The best lack all conviction, while the worst are filled with a
passionate intensity²


On 30/11/08 9:05 PM, "Simon Biggs" <s.biggs at eca.ac.uk> wrote:

> That sounds a bit us and them. Are we not all complicit in this? Aren¹t we all
> oppressors and victims? Events in Mumbai demonstrate this. The bombers run
> amok and people die. Why do they run amok? What sort of society is it that
> engenders such behaviour? Why were these people pushed to that action?
> As somebody else observed, terror is endemic to capitalism. However, one could
> extend that and suggest that terrorism is endemic to all societies. Why?
> We live in a world of networked cultures, where difference is not neatly
> delineated along historical topographic lines. Difference is in every nation,
> every town, every street ­ the family. When there is intense conflict between
> different people (for whatever reason) it will resemble terror. We shouldn¹t
> be surprised that this is how we now fight. This is the future of violence.
> Wars between states (which, as Sean suggests, are simply the executive arms of
> global capital) will rarely occur (unless there is a profit margin to
> exploit). Wars of belief (difference) will happen in our streets, our towns
> and anywhere, potentially all at the same time. Conflict will be rhizomorphic,
> just as our cultures are.
> This messy and difficult to model conurbation of cultural diasporas is itself
> a red rag to many. Those that fear difference find they are surrounded by
> Œthem¹. They panic and strike out. Terror becomes street culture.
> We cannot go back to the past. We cannot repatriate populations of millions.
> We cannot revert to a monoculture that was (anyway) a mirage. The more likely
> scenario is that our diasporas will proliferate and fragment further.
> Difference will become our defining characteristic (perhaps it already is?).
> If we fear such difference then conflict (and terror) will be endemic ­ it
> will be our culture.
> Regards
> Simon
> On 30/11/08 01:00, Sean Cubitt wrote:
>> The problem now can be phrased like this: The world is split between Evil
>> (regimes, terrorists . . .) and Innocent (civilians, victims . . . ). There
>> is no room left for the Good. What art can do uniquely is to speak of the
>> Good, that is of the very thing that does not exist in or for contemporary
>> capitalism
> Simon Biggs
> Research Professor
> edinburgh college of art
> s.biggs at eca.ac.uk
> www.eca.ac.uk
> www.eca.ac.uk/circle/
> simon at littlepig.org.uk
> www.littlepig.org.uk
> AIM/Skype: simonbiggsuk
> Edinburgh College of Art (eca) is a charity registered in Scotland, number
> SC009201
> _______________________________________________
> empyre forum
> empyre at lists.cofa.unsw.edu.au
> http://www.subtle.net/empyre

Prof Sean Cubitt
scubitt at unimelb.edu.au
Director, Media and Communications Program
Faculty of Arts
Room 127 John Medley East
The University of Melbourne
Parkville VIC 3010

Tel: + 61 3 8344 3667
Fax:+ 61 3 8344 5494
M: 0448 304 004
Skype: seancubitt

Editor-in-Chief Leonardo Book Series

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