[-empyre-] the city and the network

Leandro Delgado oxibitue at gmail.com
Tue Mar 27 15:18:14 EST 2012

Hello everybody

We do not live only in the context of an economic crises. Maybe I sound too
political, but first of all we do live a moral crises. If we do not assume
that, we will never formulate the right analytical questions.

Cities, and big cities, are making animals out of human beings, and I am
not saying “dehumanized” beings but humans who take care of their own
animal life. In the post-historic society born and developed in (big)
cities, humanity is leading itself towards the return to animality, as
Agamben suggests citing Alexandre Kojève:

“the ‘American way of life’ was the type of life proper to the
post-historical period, the current presence of the United States in the
World prefiguring the future ‘eternal present’ of all humanity. Thus, man´s
return to animality appeared no longer as a possibility that was yet to
come, but as a certainty that was already present”.

I must add that the possibility of taking care of our own animal life is
allowing biopower to more easily domesticate human beings through
technological manipulation of desire somehow taking advantage of the
tension between humanity and animality. That´s why I agree with Ana that
any democratic change should not depend on technological advance.

And maybe what Diego calls as conservative happy sedentary resilience (I
really enjoyed his post) could be what Zizek does not like about this kind
of upheavals in the sense that they are the expression of a kind of
resistance from people who are organized only in the terms of “here I am”
or, in animality terms, something like “I do not like the system, then I
bark (and eventually could bite)”.

That is why I think that resilience should be seen, observed and considered
also in everyday practices of survival in the cities, practices that has
nothing to do with broadcasted or spectacular events, e.g. homelessness,
informal jobs, life in the slums, etc. And I would like to know how (and
which of) these forms of painful resistance actually works out without the
control of biopower (if it does) and how animality in all these examples
shows and allows a relationship with humanity (if it does) different from
all we can know and understand from our comfortable animal lives.


On Mon, Mar 26, 2012 at 10:15 PM, Ana Valdés <agora158 at gmail.com> wrote:

> "New community functions will be necessary in order to prescribe a
> protocol or to install it temporarily. The Internet can provide the
> grouping system in order that concrete communities of inhabitants decide to
> introduce and test a protocol. The municipalities may act as the legalizing
> power that could accept or refuse such protocols to run in the city.
> Protocols can be proposed through the net and be accepted from different
> interested communities; urban protocols organize independent autonomous
> communal structures; they can also regulate the relationship between the
> private sector and specific communities."
> Johannes quoted Aristides today in an earlier post and I wondered why we
> suppose in a situation of crisis the Internet is going to work and our
> network of serveces and computers are going to run ad perpetum.
> In a situation of war the first thing to be destroyed are the masts of
> mobile communication, the cables, the electronic hubs.
> And we are, again, speaking about cities in the developed part of the
> world with skilled communities running sophisticated protocols, with
> municipalities based on cooperation and transparency.
> What happen with the Indigenous communities organized by Zapatistas? The
> "caracoles", their hubs of liberated territory, are good working example of
> new protocols based on old memes and ancient uses. And in Africa maybe the
> communities want protocols which can be used when the electricity is faulty.
> I think every democratic change must be low key and not depend of advanced
> technology.
> Ana
> --
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> "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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