March 01, 2011

Dispersed and distracted Dispersed, distracted, depressed. Weather? Term? Over-extension? I haven't done much on this blog besides remediate lately because of teaching and lecturing. The good side of teaching is that I'm doing Capital for the first time in years (not the whole thing but more of it than I've done in the past). The challenging side of teaching is my digital networks class. It is completely labor intensive--extra layers of interaction on top of the regular class format, layers that are supposed to help students connect to and comprehend the readings but which don't seem to be having that affect. Together the two classes make me think about how much of a neoliberal subject I am, how I've incorporated the ideology that tells me that the more I am working the better I am, even when this is obviously false. I'm not better--I'm exhausted, disconnected, distracted, and confused. Also, the amount of work I do doesn't influence my pay and I have tenure. So I work out a sense of commitment, professionalism, all those things that bourgeois ideology convinces us are important. My 12-year old daughter said this to me on Sunday, "You are easily confused." I was like, "really, what do you mean?" She's like: "see, like I said, you're confused." When there is time, I want to finish the "What is to be Done?" series, discussion Marx's account of commodities with respect to the contribution in communicative capitalism, and look more closely at the Alliance of Youth Movements material with...
Badiou on Tunisia and Egypt (translation circulating on nettime) Alain Badiou: “Tunisie, Egypte : quand un vent d'est balaie l'arrogance de l'Occident” By Sarah Shin / 25 February 2011 Read an English translation of Alain Badiou's recent article for Le Monde. Translation kindly provided by Cristiana Petru-Stefanescu. The Eastern wind is getting the better of the Western one. How much longer will the poor and dark West, the “international community” of those who still think of themselves as masters of the world, continue to give lessons of good management and behaviour to the whole planet? Isn't it laughable to see certain intellectuals on duty, disconcerted soldiers of the capital-parliamentarism that stands as a shabby paradise for us, offering themselves to the magnificent Tunisian and Egyptian peoples in order to teach these savage populations the basics of “democracy”? What a distressing persistence of colonial arrogance! Given the miserable political situation that we are experiencing, isn't it obvious that it is us who have everything to learn from the current popular uprisings? Shouldn't we, in all urgency, closely study what has made possible the overthrow through collective action of governments that are oligarchic, corrupt and—possibly, above all—humiliatingly the vassals of Western states? Yes, we should be the pupils of such movements, and not their stupid teachers. That is because, through the genius of their own inventions, they give life to some political principles that some have been trying for so long to convince us that they are outdated. And especially the principle that Marat never stopped reminding us of: when it...

Jodi Dean

Jodi Dean is a political theorist.

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