[-empyre-] Diego Hernandez post, now translated in full

Ana Valdés agora158 at gmail.com
Tue Mar 27 04:52:03 EST 2012

I heard for first time the term resilience from some biologists
investigating from a paleoenvironmental prospective the sanks and humid
zones from the Uruguayan oceanic coasts.

They used it to describe the capacity of those sensible ecosystems to adapt
to changes in the sealevel (the sea went forward and backed tenso f
kilometers from the Holocene period) and more recently to answer to the
human actions which have been drying up huge surfaces of sank lanas.

Surely this inicial contact with the term gives me a way to refer to the
term as organicisting. In the same way when I think on the social struggles
from a resilient  point of view I think about them as immanent with maybe
some addition of vitalism. The following reflection is based on this
asociation to immanens and organicism.

If I think about a resilient city, as the banados de Rocha or the shock
absorbers of the cars I conceive it as an unity or a being reacting with
flexibility to the external aggressions, overmounting it to continue it’s

But, which are the kina of aggressions make the reactions resilient? And
which kind of existence is the one allowed to continue?

The Occupy mov in New York reacts to the economical crisis generated by
financial speculators which are threating the emplyment, the savings, the
credits and now the social welfare and other public services, orginated on
the cuts on the public budget.

In Fukushima the reaction is against the environmental crisis started in
the collapse of an nuclear plant changing the everydays life of millions of
Japanese and threating their lives.

They react to the threats to the peaceful sedentism which allow us to live
in cities, these threats happen in the self core of those cities. Or the
social reception to those movements is caused by it.

The sedentism is a quality we find in the at the beginning of the first
human concentrations and Status. Farmers, handworkers and administrators
settle down in a place where they can get protection for them and for their
wealth from the nomadic populations.

The farming garantee the food input for survival and the waterworks made by
collective efforts give water for cultivating the mark. We know how the
story continues, to Foucault’s biopolitics, the patterned soil of  Deleuze
y Guattari and the sedentary metaphysics of  Malkki. In the settlements the
power doesn’t only give protection from attacks (from foreign invaders to
robbers) but also social welfar (from public health to unemployment
insurance); the only thing the individual must be prepare to give in
exchange is the disponibility to work and and live in a fixed home
(permanent residence), contributing in that way to rise the accumulation of
wealth in this settlement.

The threats to the securities given by the urban life explain in certain
way the success of the occupants in New York. Their social demands are not
only accepted in the rich countries, they are in the bottom of urban life

This is the paradox, a sedentary movilization, a difference of the majority
of the social movilizations: Mao’s long march, the taking of the Bastille,
the attacks from the Indian to the the colonies during the conquest of
America or the “Silence Marchs”, which all the 25th of May goes through the
center of Montevideo: there is a march, you walk and/or it’s necessary you

It’s someone who can imagine thousands of Palestinians occupying the center
of Jerusalem? Or thousands of Latinos occupying Wall Street, reclaiming
their right to work legally? The perfect counterexample of the occupation
of Wall Street are perhaps maybe the violent movilizations

of young immigrants in London where the movement was extended.

The attacks to which New York reacts “resilientely” aer those represented
by another kind of mobilty: the financial speculation made posible for the
mobility of capitals. Saskia Sassen warned for twenty years ago that the
“global cities” are becoming threats against the tradicional conception of
the city. They threat the suvereignity and the social cohesión, their
wealth is not longer “spread” to the society or stay there, they expel the
industries from the urban grid, they don’t generate employment for the
middle class or integrate themselves with the environment.  The global city
and Sassen’s financial speculation are maybe the form taken actually by the
warmachine of  A Thousand Plateaus, reacting against the state apparatus.
New York’s farmers observe how the city walls are not longer living
security in front of a new kind of mobility threating their wealth.

In that way the occupations in New York show the city as a resilient being
reacting against the mobility of the capital and the global financial
speculation. And the city react in a sedentary way: ass in the floor of
Wall Street to hinder the pirates have access to the harbours and sail away
with their bounty.

Something similar happened with Fukushima: during decades it was known we
were under the treta of a nuclear fail. Chernobyl put the issue on the
table but Ukrain was far away. In the last two decades the issue seemed
superate and Bush and the AIEA stopped Saddam’s nuclear menace.

But in that case the crisis exploded incide the city walls, as a Troyan
horse constructed by the own Japanese engineers in the middle of their
peacefully cities.

This reflexion is not foolproof and not enough fundamented. But I relieve
it can be used to reflect upon a thing I should love to discuss: if the
city develops resilient mechanisms, that resiliency is going to answer and
to adapt the self reason of the cities. That should limit the expectations
of un utopic horizon of the phenomenea.

Both in New York as in Fukushima we speak about conservative movements. But
of course conservative as ourlselves, also sedentary and happy with the
relative security offered by the biopower.


mobil/cell +4670-3213370

"When once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with
your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been and there you will always
long to return.
— Leonardo da Vinci
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