[-empyre-] The city as a skin -- Sparta and the helots / retrofitting -- not

simon swht at clear.net.nz
Tue Mar 20 17:14:17 EST 2012

Johannes schreibt:

"Brian's conclusion is very poignant, and think very true, when he says 
that "The problem is: we no longer have a unifying philosophy to express 
what we are for and what we are against. Crucially, we cannot properly 
define where the powers of government should be limited and how the 
techniques of redistribution should be modified and perfected." This was 
the point that Zizek also tried to make when he argued that the OCCUPY 
movement can only "occupy" public space for a transient time, not 
knowing what it is occupying for."

But isn't it a little bit clearer than this? Do we need to stratify and 
make a dialectic that would ground OCCUPY? (Albeit in the negative.) 
Isn't it a little clearer what the Left have left?

Sentiment. The one trick the Right didn't steal from '68 was how to be a 
bleeding heart. It only learnt how to make a heart bleed: Emotion, that 
of Advertising. How to harness. How to distract by. But not how to do 
it: bleeding heart neoliberal?

Isn't there another way of accounting for OCCUPY? one that takes its cue 
from the network effect - which can argued for or against in its 
effective contribution to popular uprising -, which network effect is 
affect at a distance.

OWS captures the emotion of Tahrir - what else could it possibly be 
about but the occupation of a Simulacrum? The being in the place of it 
feelingly? I.e. a Sensorium which is the Simulacrum from the inside, 
occupied - and (politically) engaged. (Have you heard those rumours OWS 
started as an installation piece? an act of homage to Tahrir and a 
durational performance which turned out to be quite... popular?)

Why complain that OCCUPY doesn't know what it is occupying for? It has 
no political agenda, content?

Perhaps we might refer to a sentimental revolution: a sense of global 
solidarity achieved through sympathy, in turn resting on the 
technological media's ability to carry affect, to promote empathy.

We have not lost or gained a unifying philosophy to express what we are 
for or against. Is this anyway what a philosophy would be good for? against?

Unification can occur as easily through, for example, pressing the 
'like' button, or turning up at the place where the 90% gather... who? 
They are simply the ones who feel like you.

Milk is too expensive. Bread is poor quality and unaffordable. Nutrition 
is difficult. Work is depressing. In my other south it's a pretty ugly 
scene, Auckland, New Zealand. I won't even start on the suburban 
architectural vernacular.

But I went downtown to Occupy Auckland and I said look behind you at the 
shame of the St. James Theatre being left to fall into so great a state 
of dilapidation it must needs be razed and developed into cheap housing 
for asian students - who pay to keep our tertiary structure alive. Have 
you heard about the Embros in Athens? Occupy the theatres and make 
yourselves useful! The networks, after all, are out of reach.

Respectfully, retrofitting,

Simon Taylor


PS: checking I find that Tahir طاهر means religious purity:
  this is apt in some way for the purists who are dead enough to what 
happens to stop you in the street and demand what your agenda is, by 
what philosophy are you unified?!

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