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AUTONOMY AND THE INSURRECTIONARY TURN (SAT 4/11 WOLFF CONFERENCE ROOM)

Watch the Radical Democracy Conference panel on “Autonomy and the Insurrectionary Turn”  livestream feed here:

http://livestream.com/accounts/10383831/events/3957034/videos/83567299/player?autoPlay=false&height=360&mute=false&width=640

The second morning of the Radical Democracy Conference in the Wolff Conference Room began with a panel I was a discussant on, AUTONOMY AND THE INSURRECTIONARY TURN. This panel discussed one of the major elephants in the room: Anarchism! Given the tendency for ‘radical,’ academic conferences to lie further in the realm of over-intellectualization and over theorization, it is crucial for a Radical Democracy Conference to include practitioners an activists who can report ‘from the ground.’

Therefore, having real squatters come speak about squatting is crucial.

Rowan Milligan discussed the historical and contemporary cultural practices, experiences and laws around squatting. Quite beautifully, Rowan interrogated and problematized the previous perception, discursive and social, that asserted that there is a crucial distinction between squatters who squat for political and collectivist reasons, and those who do out of need and destitution. The crucial move Rowan makes is to assert that these distinctions don’t carry weight, because almost all squatters squat out of need, but can still be political. Squatting as such is always political because it by nature has to resist property owners, landlords, banks, courts, police and the state at large.

Michael Lodenthal presented his work as a critical discourse analysis of insurrectionary texts, manifestos and communiques. His research method examines the terror rhetoric both devised by anarchists and insurrectionaries, with the performative weight of shock, and also charts the ways in which states, citizens and activists are affected by these insurrectionary discourses, either towards mobilization, or towards stasis and fear.

Aylon Cohen tackled, theoretically, a method within anarchist mobilization called Insurrectionism. The crucial points of insurrection as a method, as understood by Alfredo Bonanno, requires a casting off of the bonds to work, and replacing work with a call to play. Secondly, the insurrectionary turn is a turn away from organized movement building towards non-coercive and self-directed mode of direct action taking as a choice made by a smaller affinity group.

The discussions were quite impactful and contentious, fielding critiques of anarchist modes of mobilizing, to discussing the ways in which affect and anti-anthropocentrism can be more deeply integrated into anarchist thought, and, finally the panelists made a thoughtful defense of some ethical and normative assumptions that anarchism depends on..

Autonomy And The Insurrectionary Turn (Wolff Room)
(I) The Politics of the Crowbar: Squatting in London, 1968-1977 – Rowan Milligan, University of Oxford
(II) The Politics of Direct Attack: The Discourse of Insurrectionary Communiqués – Michael Loadenthal, George Mason University
(III) The Insurrection of Feelings and the Feelings for Insurrection – Aylon A. Cohen
>>Discussant: Louis Jargow, NSSR

MICHAEL HARDT KEYNOTE FRI 4-6 (Wolff Conference Room)

http://livestream.com/accounts/10383831/radicaldemocracy5

Michael Hardt, long time thinker of radical revolutionary methods—from the theories he developed with Antoio Negri about the Commons, the Multitude as resistant to Empire, is offering an extremely intreating paper that interrogates he historical developments of radical democracy, methodologically. His is  a paper on the ideas of the necessary interaction between strategy and tactics in revolutionary struggle and organization of democracy.

Hardt sees a dialectic between leadership and democracy asa merging between democratic organization and its leaders.

Spontaneous insurrection and conspiracy are both necessary for democratic centralist practice. As we move genealogically, from the Paris Communards up through May 68 and onto contemporary anti-authoritarian critiques of leadership set in. OWS and Feminist Movements have radical problematized the practice of revolutionary leadership.

Hardt both identifies with the critiques OWS + other social movements present leadership, and yet does not think prefigurative politics, on its own, will be enough to grapple with the massive social struggles around the globe. To thimk around and between the goals and aims between radical democratic cries for leadership-less revolution, along with reall and pragmatic long term success. Strategy should be understood as a long-lasting structure and yet, the way to resolve the leadership problem, according to Hardt, is to make leadership temporary and flexible…

RADICAL ECOLOGY

http://livestream.com/accounts/10383831/events/3959448

Chris Crews is presenting a powerful paper on the Antrhoposcene, Deep Ecology and Earthbound Practice.

Quite a heated debate about the ways in which to socially, spiritually, ecologically and economically alter our societies to best embrace the most tangible and long-term modes of radical environmental practice— Socialist? Communist? Capitalist? OR  some fourth way?

DE-POSTCOLONIAL STRATEGIES: POLITICS AND POSSIBILITIES OF RESISTANCE (Wolff Room, FRI 2-4)

http://livestream.com/accounts/10383831/radicaldemocracy5

Sara Shroff is engaging the politics of the rebellious young musical culture in Pakistan, as they appear in a world of post 9/11 geopolitics of the expansion of Neoliberalism, on the one hand, and on the other, the polices imposed by the War on Terror and Islamophobic discourses. Reading these resistant musical acts as they attempt to disarm the West’s economic and moral ‘high-ground,’ through Homi Baba, Sara understands resistant music as a “Third-Space” whereby hybridized and new identities can be located, against Statist, Imperial and broadly Neo-Liberal forms of oppression .

Mohamed Berada has been discussing the ways in which North Africa has responded to their experienced failed economic holdovers from the models inherited from Colonialism.

Rebecca Hollender is interrogating how the theories and politics of the Common, as exposed and cultivated by Micaeel Hardt and Antonio Negri, has transformative and positive outcomes for a new politics of Post-Capitalist (and Post-Colonial, in my view) world…

And Jacquelin Kataneksza will be positing the inspirational ways by which the potentials for radical democratic change will affect the experience of politics in Zimbabwe.

De/Post-colonial Strategies: Politics and Possibilities of Resistance (Wolff Room)
(I) Are We Free Yet? Capitalism and Colonialism in North Africa -Mohamed Berada, NSSR
(II) Islamophobia and Globalization: Musical Resistance in Post-9/11 Pakistan -Sara Shroff NSSR
(III) A Politics of the Commons or Commoning the Political? Distinct Possibilities for Post-Capitalism Transformations – Rebecca Hollender, NSSR
(IV) Radical Resistance: The Transformative Possibilities of Performative Democracy in Zimbabwe – Jacquelin Kataneksza, NSSR
>>Discussant: Sara Hassani, NSSR

EMBODYING DISCARNATE NARRATIVES (ROOM 1108 FRI 10-12)

http://livestream.com/accounts/10383831/events/3959448

Ana and Luciano articulated the various modes of violence as they were necessary in the radical autonomous indigenous movement from Oaxaca and Chiapas, Mexico, the Zapatistas.Mathjis is depicting a notion of Prefigurative Politics via the relationship between labor, work, freedom and the political as it appears in Hannah Arendt’s The Human Condition.

Sara has been unpacking a powerful radical gender-inclusive militant Iranian resistance movement, Mojahedin-e-Khalq. The MEK, originating in the mid 1960’s, was a crucial anti-patriarchical element in the broader desires to overthrow the Islamist Regime in Iran.  Sara employs a series of discourse analysis to examine in how and why the MEK gets described as ‘Mothers,’ Monsters,’ ‘Whores,’ and “Victims of Indoctrination.’

B: Embodying Discarnate Narratives (Room 1108)
1 The Importance of Violence: The Case of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation – Ana Sofia Rodriguez & Luciano Concheiro, National University Authonomous of Mexico
2 Politics Without Ends: Hannah Arendt and the Meaning of Prefigurative Politics – Mathijs van de Sande, KU Leuven
3 Maniacal Slaves – Sara Hassani, NSSR
>>Discussant: Kamilla Sakkijha, NSSR

COUNCILS, COMMUNISM AND RADICAL DEMOCRACY (WOLFF ROOM FRI 10-12)

http://livestream.com/accounts/10383831/radicaldemocracy5
Nicolai’s paper has been quite interestingly and provocatively discussing a radical and counter-hegemonic insurrectionary reading of the French Communes during the French Revolution.

Benjamin is tackling the historical example of how Worker’s Councils have played a strong role in asserting the tenants of radical democracy within the Marxist tradition.

And Gerasimos will tackle the theoretical and political implications of reading Badiou and Castoriadis next to one another.

1 Radical Democracy in the French Revolution – Nicolai Von Eggers Mariegaard, Aarhus University
2 Inaugural Investigations: Revolutionary Councils and Radical Democracy – Benjamin Ask Popp-Madsen, University of Copenhagen
(III) The Concept of Politics in Badiou and Castoriadis – Gerasimos Karavitis, NSSR
>Discussant: Andreas Kalyvas, NSSR

RADICAL DEMOCRACY LIVESTREAM CHANNELS

UP NOW:
COUNCILS, COMMUNE(ISM) AND RADICAL DEMOCRACY
http://livestream.com/accounts/10383831/radicaldemocracy5

EMBODYING DISCARNATE NARRATIVEShttp://livestream.com/accounts/10383831/events/3959448

RADICAL DEMOCRACY CONFERENCE APRIL 10-11 DETAILS

RD 2015 Conference Schedule 11010989_10206371697750194_9116148198678780351_n

Hey All!! I highly encourage you all to attend the New School for Social Research’s Radical Democracy Conference this FRI and SAT @ 6 East 16th St. Floor 11! I will be discussing AUTONOMY AND THE INSURRECTIONARY TURN SATURDAY AT 10a-12p!!

The Department of Politics at the New School for Social Research is sponsoring the Fifth Annual Radical Democracy Conference – a graduate student conference with keynote speaker Michael Hardt (Professor of Literature and Italian Studies, Duke University). In light of the myriad of potentially transformative developments and challenges to the status quo around the world – emergence of Occupy Wall Street, Arab Spring, protests in Gezi, Ferguson, Hong Kong, etc. – now more than ever we seek to explore the meanings of radical democracy beyond its frequent confinement to the realm of political science and move toward an interdisciplinary praxis.

Fifth Annual Radical Democracy Conference Schedule
Friday, April 10
10am: Registration
10:30am: Opening Remarks – Andreas Kalyvas, NSSR (Wolff Room)
11am: Panel I (A & B)
A: Councils, Commune(-ism) and Radical Democracy (Wolff Room)
(I)Radical Democracy in the French Revolution – Nicolai Von Eggers Mariegaard, Aarhus University
(II) Inaugural Investigations: Revolutionary Councils and Radical Democracy – Benjamin Ask Popp-Madsen, University of Copenhagen
(III) The Concept of Politics in Badiou and Castoriadis – Gerasimos Karavitis, NSSR
>>Discussant: Andreas Kalyvas, NSSR
B: Embodying Discarnate Narratives (Room 1108)
(I)The Importance of Violence: The Case of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation – Ana Sofia Rodriguez & Luciano Concheiro, National University Authonomous of Mexico
(II) Politics Without Ends: Hannah Arendt and the Meaning of Prefigurative Politics – Mathijs van de Sande, KU Leuven
(III) Maniacal Slaves – Sara Hassani, NSSR
>>Discussant: Kamilla Sakkijha, NSSR
1pm: Lunch
2pm: Panel II (A & B)
A: De/Post-colonial Strategies: Politics and Possibilities of Resistance (Wolff Room)
(I) Are We Free Yet? Capitalism and Colonialism in North Africa – Sara Shroff, NSSR
(II) Islamophobia and Globalization: Musical Resistance in Post-9/11 Pakistan – Mohamed Berrada, NSSR
(III) A Politics of the Commons or Commoning the Political? Distinct Possibilities for Post-Capitalism Transformations – Rebecca Hollender, NSSR
(IV) Radical Resistance: The Transformative Possibilities of Performative Democracy in Zimbabwe – Jacquelin Kataneksza, NSSR
>>Discussant: Sara Hassani, NSSR
B: Radical Ecology (Room 1108)
(I) Gaian Politics in the Anthropocene: Earthbound Friends and Human Enemies – Chris Crews, NSSR
>>Discussant: Alan McGowan, The New School, Eugene Lang College
3:45pm: Coffee
4pm: Keynote: Michael Hardt, Duke University (Wolff Room)
http://literature.duke.edu/people
6pm: Reception (Wolff Room)
Saturday, April 11
9:30am: Coffee
10am: Panel III (A & B)
A: Autonomy And The Insurrectionary Turn (Wolff Room)
(I) The Politics of the Crowbar: Squatting in London, 1968-1977 – Rowan Milligan, University of Oxford
(II) The Politics of Direct Attack: The Discourse of Insurrectionary Communiqués – Michael Loadenthal, George Mason University
(III) The Insurrection of Feelings and the Feelings for Insurrection – Aylon A. Cohen
>>Discussant: Louis Jargow, NSSR
B: Conditions of Resistance (Room 1107)
(I) Managing Migration – Managing Protest – Tanita Jill Pöggel, NSSR
(II) Resisting the Notices of Resistance: The Precarious Citizenship Against the Militarized Police – Mayra Cotta, NSSR
(III) State Racism, Police Violence and the Juridico-Political Impediments to Justice – Helge Petersen, NSSR
>>Discussant: Erdinc Erdem, NSSR
12pm: Roundtable: New Organizational Forms of Democratic Movements (Wolff Room)
Featuring: Michael Hardt, Andreas Kalyvas, Eli Zaretsky
1pm: Lunch
2pm: Panel IV (A & B)
A: Agonism: Using Art to Requisition Control (Wolff Room)
(I) Cubism and Control – Michael Rory Ruby, University of San Francisco
(II) Radical Democracy and the Agonistic Struggle of the Art Object – Lana Locke, Chelsea College of Arts, University of the Arts London
(III) Our Fata Morgana: Representation and Democracy in the Class Portrait – Luisa Ehrich, Harvard University
(IV) Keep on Fighting. The Politics of Aesthetics in the Pedagogical Field – Eva Sauterleute, Goethe University, Frankfurt
>>Discussant: Victoria Hattam / Marina Kanetti, NSSR
B: Democratic Movements Around the World: Rojava, Gezi, Podemos, and Black Bloc (Room: 1107)
(I) The Revolt of June and Feminist Resistance in Gezi Park – Meltem Ince Yenilmez, Yasar University
(II) Radical Democracy, New Media and Social Actors in Contemporary Spanish Politics – Lea Diaz, University of Murcia
(III) Policing Radical Democracy in Germany – Bob Kurik, Charles University, Prague & Malte Stieber, Goethe University, Frankfurt
(IV) Liberating Democracy from the Premises of the Ruling Order: Impressions from the Rojava Revolution – Dilar Dirik, University of Cambridge
>>Discussant: Jan Smolenski, NSSR
3:45pm: Coffee
4pm: Panel V (A & B)
A: Transforming the Depoliticized and Discontent (Wolff Room)
(I) Intimate Strangers: Practices of Syrian Refugees in Beirut – Anna Reumert, New York University
(II) The Green Movement and its Discontents: A Rancièreian Reading of the Iranian People’s Struggle Towards Democracy – Arsalan Reihanzadeh, Azad University, Science and Research Branch, Tehran
(III) The Depoliticized Subject Reconsidered? Breaking the Dichotomy Between Consensual and Dissensual Politics – Aylin Zafer, Frankfurt University
>>Discussant: Selim Heper, NSSR
B: Democratic Potential of Time and Technology (Room 1107)
(I) Chronopower, Temporal Capitalism and Democratic Time – Mykolas Gudelis, NSSR
(II) Radical Liquid Democracy: Re-envisioning (radical) Democracy in the Light of Liquid Democracy Online Participation Software – Rouven Brues, Goldsmiths University of London
(III) Constituent Networks: The Dream of Internet Democracy and the Question of Leadership in the Pirate Parties, the M5S, and Podemos – Marco Deseriis, Northeastern University
>>Discussant: Trebor Scholz, The New School, Eugene Lang College

FROM PANEM TO FURGUSON

VEHEMENTLY ANTI-EU PARTY, SYRZIA, WINS EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT ELECTIONS IN GREECE!!!

EU PARLIAMENT ELECTIONS

604b1-syriza17jun3

As it turns out, SYRIZA, who was the main radical left-opposition party in Greece won yesterday’s European Parliament elections—with 26.6%, ahead of Neoliberal and Eurocentric incumbents New Democracy, who mustered 22.1% and split EP seats with SYRIZA, the ultranationalist Golden Dawn and center-left Elia. The intriguing dynamism of the Greek’s conscious refusal of austerity and complacency.  What this implies is that if Greeks will wind up staying in the EU at all, their intent is to radically alter the ways the EU functions.

austerity

Now, as hard as it is for some to imagine that Greece would return to the Drachma, their relationship with the EU is frayed at best. It seems that it is in neither the best interest of most Greeks who voted on Sunday, nor in the best interest of the the EU to maintain the tug of war  between Greek Anti-Austeriy, and its mortal enemy, Neoliberalism. With six MEP seats, this win represents what SYRIZA lawmaker Panagotis Lafazanis describes as, ““The first time in Greece’s political history that a party of the radical left wins an election with a real margin. The result of the Greek election brings hope to the country and is positive for Europe.” 

More broadly the anti-EU and eurosceptic movements gain traction and power. The GUE/NGL European United Left/Nordic Green Left coalition which SYRIZA and other radical left European Parties are a part of have grown to 43 seats, as have the message of strong anti-austerity. This may be an important turn in the EU, towards stronger national sovereignty and away from the German-centic Neoliberal policies that have destroyed the working infrastructure across Greece, Italy, Spain and beyond. 

 

NATIONALISTS AND  FASCISTS

national front

Sunday was not just a success story for the radical left. Neo-Nazis and Ultranationalists of all colors made sweeping wins across Europe, from France’s strongly anti-muslim Front National, which won a quarter of the country’s EP votes, to the Danish People’s Party, winning 27%, whose leader, responding to Swedish criticism said, “If they want to turn Stockholm, Gothenburg or Malmö into a Scandinavian Beirut, with clan wars, honour killings and gang rapes, let them do it. We can always put a barrier on the Øresund Bridge.” The Golden Dawn, whose officials are in and out prison for organizing violent activity against immigrants, actually jumped from fourth to third place, with a solid 9.4% of the votes. This paints a very grim picture of some of the growing populist movements across the EU.

golden dawn

On the other hand, these nationalist parties happen to align themselves with the radical left in their mutual commitment to Eurosceptism and Anti-Austerity. As ironic as it may seem, SYRIZA organizers across Greece have attempted to pan themselves to, and draw in Golden Dawn supporters. These alliances present serious trouble for the traditional Neoliberal agenda that the EU and its Parliament have held. More broadly, we might see a more decentralized EU, and one that could allow for the Greeks, Italians, Spanish who have lost access to jobs and higher education to return to the lives they lived before…

 

EUROPEAN COMMISSION, GENERAL ELECTIONS AND WHATS NEXT FOR GREECE

BIO-Tsipras

After Sunday’s exciting turnout, SYRIZA’s electrifying young leader Alexis Tsipras, called for Early General Elections in Greece, long ahead of the scheduled vote in June 2016. Tsipras is in fact running for the EU Parliament Presidency, backed by the radical left GUE/NGL coalition.

Both the European Commission and its President are both voted by the European Parliament. While Tsipras would make for one of the most controversial EC Presidents, his chance of winning among a group of Neoliberal bankers is unlikely. This underdog would become the actualization the sentiment Tsipras’ friend and supporter, Slavoj Žižek, posits in the title of his book, First as Tragedy, Then as Farce. The European landscape, which is marked by extreme turbulence, rampant unemployment, bond and stock deflation, and repugnant attacks and murders of immigrants and refugees can be seen only as a the pure tragedy of the EU. And at the same time, farcical as it may seem, perhaps the only solution the EU has is an overwhelming amount of anti-EU membership to wrangle the reign of Neoliberalism.

alexis_tsipras._bologna_may_2014

Reading the EU elections, particularly the outcome in Greece, as a public mandate, Tsipras is likely maneuvering his way to becoming the next Greek Prime Minister, where his chances of success and public support are greater. As support wanes for Samaras of ND, and grows both for SYRIZA and the Golden Dawn, we may be entering a new era of European populism and possibly a clearer path towards the ends of austerity. At the same time, it is truly unclear how the radical left and the radical right will cooperate on issues like immigration, which is often locked into the discourse of jobs. Perhaps these parties might bizarrely wind up having to work together to accomplish similar resolutions the austerity that has left Greece reeling for the last five years…

 

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