This is the transcript of a public lecture by Italian philosopher Giorgio Agamben delivered to a packed auditorium in Athens on November 16, 2013 and recently published by Chronos.
Invitation and organization by Nicos Poulantzas Institute and SYRIZA Youth
A reflection on the destiny of democracy today here in Athens is in some ways disturbing, because it obliges us to think of the end of democracy in the very place where it was born. As a matter of fact, the hypothesis I would like to suggest is that the prevailing governamental paradigm in Europe today is not only non-democratic, but that it also cannot be considered political. I will try, therefore, to show that European society today is no longer a political society: it is something entirely new, for which we lack proper terminology. We have therefore to invent a new strategy.Continue Reading
“My biggest error, and to a certain extent the error of many contemporary LGBT activists, is in my analysis of what has made the continuing struggle for LGBT rights succeed—in some places—where other social justice struggles have failed. It is an error that is referred to as white-washing: ignoring the effectiveness, even the existence of militancy, of messiness, of outright rebellion.”
By Antidote’s Ed Sutton
Das Potenzial und die Grenzen des Anarchismus ausloten: Von einer langen Radtour nach Athen
Von Antidote’s Laurent Moeri
Zweitausendelf war das Jahr der Platzbesetzungen. Von Kairo über Athen bis nach New York, Frankfurt und Zürich ergriffen Bürger ihre Zelte und verschafften ihrem Unmut Platz. Aber nicht nur das: Sie errichteten auch Freiräume, in denen sie sich, fernab von kommerzialisierter Parteipolitik, wieder anmassten, die entleerte Hülle der Demokratie mit Inhalten zu füllen. Die Aufstände gegen die Diktaturen Nordafrikas und die Protestwellen in westlichen Metropolen scheinen auf den ersten Blick wenig gemeinsam zu haben. Und doch: Vereint werden sie durch das Verlangen, aufoktroyierte und unterdrückende Strukturen zu durchbrechen.Continue Reading
In Austria, right wing extremism is having a ball
by Natascha Strobl for LeftEast
It is a sad fact that each year right-wing student fraternities, the Burschenschaften, are allowed to hold a ball in the Hofburg palace. It has grown into a major event on the yearly calendar of the Austrian and the wider European nationalist right. For those not familiar with all of Austrian or German history, these student fraternities need a bit of an explanation.
By Coraline for the Barbarian Review
The far right is a hot topic right now and Chrissi Avgi\Golden Dawn (GD) are increasingly making headlines all over Europe, as this recently small neo-Nazi group suddenly stumbles onto the political stage; rabid and unclean compared to many of its European cousins, punching and threatening and speaking of civil war whilst for a long time no one does anything even though migrants and other undesirables are beaten and killed, and the cops are participating actively or at least not preventing it as the government tries its best to do even better in its own bureaucratic way. The murder of the antifascist Pavlos Fyssas by a GD member has created a sharp u-turn that recently saw surprised members of GD marching on their own as cops busted in on them and the state went antifascist. I have chosen the term ‘far-right’ to act as a massive umbrella term under which fascists, Nazis, xenophobic populists and nationalists can be categorised. I know that this is a simplification, but simplification is necessary if one is to talk about a new political climate which is spreading over Europe, a climate which is created by many groups with differing backgrounds and ideologies but which most significantly is characterised by racism and cultural protectionism. When analysing Golden Dawn it is relevant to look at Greek history as well as the ideologies of fascism and national socialism, but the international context is also important. If we look at international connections between GD and other far right groups, we can narrow our definitions, because we find the solidarity coming from a very specific political grouping: the neo-Nazis.Continue Reading
by Javier de Lucas
After ships carrying hundreds of refugees sank off the Italian coast recently, we must demand a change in asylum and immigration policies or surrender to the logic of barbarism.
Victims lie in a Lampedusa airport hangar, October 2013
by Harry Frankfurt
One of the most salient features of our culture is that there is so much bullshit. Everyone knows this. Each of us contributes his share. But we tend to take the situation for granted. Most people are rather confident of their ability to recognize bullshit and to avoid being taken in by it. So the phenomenon has not aroused much deliberate concern, or attracted much sustained inquiry. In consequence, we have no clear understanding of what bullshit is, why there is so much of it, or what functions it serves. And we lack a conscientiously developed appreciation of what it means to us. In other words, we have no theory.
The insights in Hannah Dobbz’s Nine Tenths of the Law: Property and Resistance in the United States may also be useful for property resisters elsewhere
“Simply by writing this book Dobbz has already moved the ball forward, providing the movement with an identity and a history, pointing out some of its past mistakes, and warning of potential future pitfalls. Time to set up the next play.”
A book review by AntiDote’s Ed Sutton
Influenced by Henry David Thoreau and Leo Tolstoy, Mohandas Gandhi is perhaps the first person to put the principles of nonviolence and non-cooperation into effect of a mass scale. Explaining this principle, in For Pacifists, he wrote;
The science of war leads one to dictatorship, pure and simple. The science of non-violence alone can lead one to pure democracy…Power based on love is thousand times more effective and permanent than power derived from fear of punishment….It is a blasphemy to say non-violence can be practiced only by individuals and never by nations which are composed of individuals…The nearest approach to purest anarchy would be a democracy based on non-violence…A society organized and run on the basis of complete non-violence would be the purest anarchy.Continue Reading