At Space and Politics, Gaston Gordillo continues his Spinozan-Deleuzian account of the “revolutionary resonance” of the tumult spreading across the Arab world.
“The longer a resonance lasts and the farther it expands the stronger it becomes. During most of human history, the maximum speed at which a revolutionary resonance traveled was the speed of the bodies carrying it within them. [...]
“In the Egyptian Revolution, the synergy between the velocities generated on these networks of instant communication and in the urban terrain was decisive in allowing the multitude outmaneuver state violence and state propaganda. The revolution was fought at different yet inseparable velocities: the speed of swarms of bodies clashing with the police on the streets and the much-faster speed of the affective resonances generated by those clashes and amplified over the internet and TV networks not controlled by the Egyptian state like Al Jazeera. Disembodied and projected instantly as images, sounds, and text onto countless computers and TV screens, these resonances became embodied again by affecting the millions of bodies watching, listening, and reading. Not all bodies were affected the same way. Yet millions resonated positively, and not just in Egypt.”
Read the entire article here.
Here are a few thoughts after watching Frontline’s Revolution in Cairo, which is a very good 24-minute summary of how this particular democratic moment occurred, and after reading Badiou‘s, Hardt & Negri’s, Hallward‘s, Amit Rai‘s, and some other takes on the events.
(1) The recipe:
Tools + Techniques + Events + Vision = The revolution(s) we’ve been witnessing
The first three, in the Egyptian instance, are pretty easy to identify (click on the links). To oversimplify just a little, they are View full article »
To the USA, perhaps… But mostly neither here nor there…
- There’s an interesting flare-up occurring over Moammar Gaddafi’s son Saif’s Ph.D. from the London School of Economics, involving respected political theorists David Held and Benjamin Barber, among others. (See Eric Schliesser for more.) The issues it raises are as old as the oldest profession: universities’ acceptance of money from dubious sources and whether it’s possible for that money not to have “strings attached,” the role of advisers and examiners in checking out every potential instance of plagiarism, the glamor of well-dressed and politically well-placed youth (why wouldn’t you want to teach Gaddafi’s son if he seems smart and interested in what you have to say?), etc. I once taught a niece of Robert Mugabe’s; nothing interesting to report about it, though — she didn’t talk much, and seemed to do her own work.
The New York Times has a couple of nice pieces on the Tunisian and Egyptian revolutions: an interactive account of the key events and a more detailed piece outlining the role of the different protest groups, bloggers and Facebook-ites, nonviolent resistance tactics, and the Obama administration.
A few quick thoughts:
1) Max Forte is right about the U.S.’s equivocation, its policy of “hedging its bets” in a mix of realism and opportunism.
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The fuss over Survival International’s “uncontacted tribes” (see my earlier piece) hasn’t ceased — the Huffington Post and others continue to spread the original news largely uncritically. (William at the excellent Integral Options Cafe shared that news, but has now kindly amended his post in response to my own comment regarding it.)
Now Greg Downey at Neuroanthropology has stepped in to clarify things in much greater detail than I could possibly have done. His ‘The last free people on the planet’ is a very well balanced and informative summary which, while it raises the question of what it means to be “free” and especially “last,” renders the issue much more understandable.
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