The Summer of Our Discontent: A Project Syndicate Special Supplement

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In fact, such an option has been around for years — and in several rounds of negotiations. What has changed, however, is the context. And changes in context can be critical; indeed, what happens away from the negotiating table almost always determines the outcome of face-to-face talks. The many financial and oil-related sanctions that have been implemented in recent months and years are starting to bite.

This hypothesis may soon get a real-world test. The result is the first signs of serious public discontent with the regime since the violent repression of the Green Movement in Other factors also could give negotiations a real chance. In his speech at the United Nations in late September, Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu signaled a willingness to give sanctions more time, until at least the summer of Again, the Iranians might see compromise as the lesser of the threats that it faces. Until now, negotiations have been desultory at best. The compromise that Iranian officials are suggesting is nowhere near what they would have to accept to avert military action and gain an easing of sanctions.

Aside from the perfectly evident strength which often comes from recognising hearts in some more-or-less distant part of the world beating to a similar rhythm to our own, it's useful to question what effects the dominant cultural 'groupiness' feelings this inculcates in us too via these mediums can have on our struggles. Maybe never before have we 'performed' on a stage where the 'audience' is so many and often probably so exclusively other anarchists, even if none exist locally, rather than primarily inhabitants of whatever social environment we frequent.

While we recognise that complex factors both cause and result from our actions — as well as accepting the socialised or perhaps even just all-too-human subliminal drive for recognition — and thus feel no need to ascertain 'pure' motives to act, we should be conscious of the potential for such actions to be taken mostly for the sake of being able to participate in a virtual arena by claiming them.

Or at least, when this is to the exclusion or detriment of attempts to affect our more daily surroundings and conditions. At what point does it become less about spreading signals of solidarity to bolster an actual projectuality, or descriptions of methods used — which all strengthen us in real-world struggle — and more a question of self-gratifying web-games?

Clearly this must be evaluated on a case-by-case basis, without generalisations, but we think that Antonio Antonacci [ed. Even if I recognize that these can have some potential, I also think that they belong to the society of appearance, based on nothing and immersed in a time of hyper-information where the centralization of the will to communicate, or an excess of communication, risks creating confusion and degenerating into exaltation as an end in itself. In part of their written contribution to a gathering at the Nadir anarchist space in Thessaloniki, Greece, on the topic of anarchist 'counter-information' structures to disseminate action claims, news and analysis, the administrators of The access to information must be turned into a weapon against the system, which relies on its dominance of the media.

How can we maintain a presence to provide context for actions and such in the digital realm, while minimising the degree to which it is merely assimilated as another 'edgy' aesthetic for a distinct class of viewers, and robbed of its proper repercussions? It would indeed be a wasted opportunity if, when conditions hint at chances to push any uncontrollable situations into a direction amenable to the experimental forms-of-life we want to realise but perhaps also generalise [ed.

Yet increasingly this would seem to be many people's entry-point for what it is that certain types of anarchists do, as well as the bar for participation. Our ability of intervention within our nearest reality is very limited in itself. Up to which point does this produce the same anxiety deriving from the speed with which, for example, technology and fashion change, thus losing their previous value and meaning?


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Our question must be; in which ways does the Net open up space and in which does it enclose us? In which does it aid self-creation and inspiration, and which entail mere enlistment, or an online space to mouth off discontent to our own demographic? Upon announcing their resignation from maintenance of the online source anarchistnews. Since the rise of the Internet this has become increasingly NOT the case.

My greatest disappointment in running anarchistnews. The Internet does not inform interesting activity, it kills it stillborn. Most new anarchists fear the attention of the broader anarchist community because it almost never comes off as supportive and when it does it tends to be in the style of NGO shit sandwich [compliment-insult-compliment] rhetorical kindness. The Internet is now at the center of how we communicate with each other and it means our communication is worse than ever.

While I was not particularly naive about what I should hope for when I started anarchistnews. It is nearly impossible to start a new DIY website in and have it noticed beyond your social scene. The big players absolutely dominate what is talked about and I am not motivated to play that part of the modern media game.

I find Facebook, Twitter, etc to be absolutely repulsive and, while I use them, I can't support their use and see them as utterly opposed to our project here. Now we move to the consequences that no radical should be able to treat as a non-issue when internet technologies define so much of our reality: the landslide policing advances they offer. They are technologies of control. They were designed as tools for monitoring and influencing human behavior, for controlling what people do and how they do it.

As we spend more time online, filling databases with details of our lives and desires, software programs will grow every more capable of discovering and exploiting subtle patterns in our behavior. As if it needed saying, our enemies are also active in the digital field in many forms. More direct interventions against the organisational capacity associated with the new technologies include shutting down service to iPhones and the like within a 'protest area' similarly to when phone signal for a particularly conflictual part of Berlin was cut during the annual May 1st mobilisation of , but often it seems more in the authorities interest to monitor such situations than impose a disruption — hence the appearance in the U.

These are thought to be used by the FBI to suck up all cellular communications within their range, presumably for real-time sorting and analysis. The military are naturally attendant to the implications for warfare in the information age and the increasingly asymmetric conflicts of the present day.

In a very tangible sense, this already takes forms such as the three U. In this we see the trend towards a blurring of military and policing functions in their 'classical' senses, as part of a trajectory of generalised counter-insurgency [16] [ed. Clearly any use of digital tools becomes at the very least a double-edged sword; as people flee from the aftermath of those lauded 'Facebook revolutions' in the Arab world and beyond, since the European transnational police force Europol started a fresh partnership with the major social media sites to scan for any suspected agents facilitating this flight, under the supervision of none other than the European Counter-Terrorist Centre.

To state the obvious, such platforms are in certain terms a godsend to intelligence agencies compared with the work they would have had to do in days gone by to infiltrate target groups. Narrowing down which individuals to actually target out of the millions is another matter, but it can't be said that the authorities have had no success in this regard, perhaps as the science of network analysis combines with older intelligence efforts.

It's rare these days for governments to attempt the kind of autocratic internet shutdowns such as the one that saw the last days of the Mubarak regime in Egypt during social upheavals — though not unknown, as was the case in the capital of the Democractic Republic of the Congo during anti-regime clashes — when this so clearly furthers the experience of rupture with daily normality and harms economic activity.

Perhaps some tweeking is in order, like the trolling footnoted above or the almost complete absence of news about the Ferguson uprising Tufekci reported on her Facebook feed algorithmically-editied for 'personal relevance' while there was apparently no other subject on Twitter , but the fact of the matter is that these tools are as apt for re-stabilisation as de-stabilisation.

See for example the Twitter mobilisation that brought out the volunteers armed with their brooms to sweep away the aftermath of the riots in London [ed. The 'self-organisation' facilitated by these technologies is in no way inherently liberatory. Ruling parties, corporations and institutions must themselves be adept at playing the social media field, and playing it to their advantage. People become disconnected from the communities in which they live and, ultimately, from each other. This sense of disconnection leaves people feeling insecure which in turn contributes to fear of crime and anxiety about incivility in public spaces.

In a world where the rule of law, equality before the law and respect for rights and freedoms provide the glue for a fragmented society, they become ever more essential in sustaining the principle of policing by consent. If the public trust the police as legitimate authority figures, they are more likely to comply with the law and to engage with their community, coming forward to report concerns and wrongdoing. They need to use the power of communications and social media to their advantage, working with these innovations rather than against them.

The recent riots highlighted how protesters could use social media to move more freely and speedily than police units so a logical response is for forces to establish a Twitter presence and use the medium to gain the trust and confidence of followers. While the keyboard brazenness of some British insurgents or their admirers from those days perhaps could be partly put down to inexperience and naivety about police monitoring, it is mystifying why many with a greater exposure to criticism of the surveillance State are not more adverse to such exposed platforms.

We hadn't realised that [the activist] along with everyone else enjoys following the subtle flow of exploitation where it doesn't seem to hurt and, for once, not having to resist. Many people suffer from a bad conscience. While this may lead them to anticipate the fatal consequences of Facebook, it does not seem to translate into action. Is it really ignorance? Just to give a short outline of the problem; by using Facebook, activists do not just make their own communication, their opinion, their 'likes', etc. Instead — and we consider this far more important — they expose structures and individuals who themselves have little or nothing to do with Facebook.

Facebook's capability to search the net for relationships, similarities etc. The chatter on Facebook reproduces political structures for the authorities and for companies. These can be searched, sorted and aggregated not just in order to obtain precise statements regarding social relations, key people, etc. Next to mobile phones, Facebook is the most subtle, cheapest and best surveillance technology available. In particular, activists who publish important information on Facebook often without knowing what they are doing , which is increasingly used by law enforcement agencies.

We could almost go as far as accusing those activists of collaborating. But we're not quite there yet. We still have hope that people will realise that Facebook is a political enemy and that those who use Facebook make it more and more powerful. Activist Facebook users feed the machine and thereby reveal our structures — without any need, without any court orders, without any pressure. Continuing from their contribution to the gathering in Thessaloniki, This task is urgent for anarchists in all countries but especially those with significantly repressive regimes. This must be replaced as much as possible with movement services and encryption.

From as early as , at an anti-prisons gathering in Barcelona, it was confirmed by a lawyer of the movement that the European police and security services were using the internet corporations to identify, spy, track and monitor anarchists using their services. This has enabled Europol and the various state police services access to vast amounts of analysis data concerning location, content, who-talks-to-who etc.

The authorities aim to turn our use of the internet into a weapon against us, through IP [ed. Already in France, opening 'terrorist internet pages' can get you two years in prison, while in the administrators of the anarchist web portal non-fides. All these measures that affect us as they have impacted other comrades before us and tens of thousands of people everywhere aim to break us, by isolating each of us from the other and isolating us both from a movement, but also by breaking dynamics of struggle.

When the French anti-terrorist police invaded the land community in Tarnac in [ed. Much of the low-level contestation that characterises activism, and the limited social spaces that make up counter-cultures, actively mark out areas, and people, in need of potential policing. The balance of advantage should always be taken into consideration. We need to always ask ourselves the question: To what extent is the planned action or method of social relationship likely to haemorrhage data on potentially resistive identities? With increasingly powerful surveillance states and storms approaching, our responsibility to each other, especially to those as yet unimplicated, grows.

This also shines light on one part of the governmental and corporate fervour to encourage people to use the internet. Tech companies, according to them, are in a privileged position to combat 'radicalisation' internationally: they can go where governments cannot, without the impositional legacy of the local State; they can talk to people without diplomatic caution; and they operate in the 'universal' and 'neutral' language of technology.

You might also be subjected to a strict set of new regulations that includes rigorous airport screening or even travel restrictions. And let's not forget that the 'The New Digital Age' co-author Jared Cohen is the American government's anti-terrorism adviser who, during upheavals in Iran in and that regime's censorship of Twitter, directly urged that company to retain its services; or that Google themselves are primary partners of the universal PRISM spying program of the National Security Agency and others.

Just as important as recognising the machinations of various elites with their generals and bureaucrats are the behaviours inculcated into many more people as a result. Given that the public has always been an imaginary force used to discipline collective and individual behavior, the opening of a new potential manifestation of a collectivity, on the internet, had to be replaced by a new public. And that public, as all publics, had to be disciplined. In the beginning, this was done by astroturfing: mercenary trolls in the employ of public relations firms or government agencies posting comments that would generate favorable opinions of specific brands and policies, and on a larger scale create a majority disposed to social peace and consumption.

Increasingly, astroturfing is being automated as the PR firms and governments that carry it out increase their labor efficiency by turning their opinion workers into the overseers of multiple computer-generated opinion-spreading machines that create the impression of a sycophantic mass hostile to the extremists, favorable to the products, and unquestioning of the tropes and lenses with which the media represent the world. As machines condition the workforce with increasingly mechanical behaviors and apparatuses condition their captives to act within the suggested channels, we can surmise that the roboticization of the workforce carrying out the informational and affective labor of the internet forums is of secondary importance to the inculcation of robotic attitudes among the remaining organics.

In other words, the horror of the mass production of an imaginary public through internet comments is not to be found in the image of real people being overwhelmed by corporate-employed robots who endanger a prior democratic balance; it is to be found, rather, in the image of real people becoming steadily more like the robots who replaced them, in their own turn making the robots redundant but no less useful.

As a rather more dystopian twist on the 'global village' effect we were promised that digital communication would bring, the online neighbourhood group NextDoor is notorious in the U. Since they first appeared in the s, the technosciences of IT and communication have constantly been gaining ground. In the most industrialised states, since the end of the s their roll-out has impacted most areas of society. By way of robotics, it proved an effective weapon against the revolts which broke out at the end of the s, especially against the long-term Taylorist mechanisation of work [ed.

It brought about a change in the depth of the behaviour of the dominated classes, particularly in their cognitive behaviour, involving sensitivity, language, memory, imagination, relations with others, as well as their relationship to space and to time. People became accustomed to viewing the world by way of algorithmic logic.

Technological power — which is part of, and a representation of, social power — tends to see the human mind as working in the same way as a computer and a focus on forecasting and calculation overshadowed any desire to understand the world. In the period of deep mutations to the system which we are currently experiencing, the gaining of time, at every level, is more important than ever in trying to accrue benefits. And given the central role played by the handling of information in the exercise of modern domination, the increase in the speed of microprocessors and networks, as well as in the mass of data handled, are sources of increased power.

The totalitarian utopia of power is no longer Bentham's Panopticon [ed. Capital has always seemed to need its high priests, its visionaries, those with both ambitions for the direction of the system and the economic, technical and political power to influence it.

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The big tech elites today hold that function. One of the clear gains this class has achieved in the digital era while obviously they themselves will in many cases also be victim to it on an individual level is the extension of the workplace into pretty much all of time and space. Already in the 's some were calling office work the 'electronic assembly line'; now, work has escaped the office as much as the shop-floor, and we all must produce value to be capitalised upon, even without recognising it.

The authors of 'The Smartphone Society' recognised as much, without the same enthusiasm. Yet, collectively, through these little acts, we end up producing something unique and valuable: our selves. They get paid in the feeling of floating in the vast virtual connectivity, even as their hand machines [Chinese term for smartphones] mediate social bonds, helping people imagine togetherness while keeping them separate as distinct productive entities.

The voluntary nature of these new rituals does not make them any less important, or less profitable for capital. The forerunner of this dynamic, now repeated at a greater intensity, is the patriarchal system of bribery that allowed any expendable proletarian or peasant man to play at being tyrant, and taste a small dose of the drug that made misery enjoyable. In the Wikipedia age, the voluntary character of unwaged production is largely different. Ford offered workers greater participation in capitalism via mass consumption; Google gives everything away for free by making everything into an unpaid job.

In offering credit, Ford enabled workers to become consumers by selling their future as well as present labor; Google has dissolved the distinction between production, consumption, and surveillance, making it possible to capitalize on those who may never have anything to spend at all.

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Rather, many celebrate the online worlds they both co-create and inhabit as liberatory, even as it becomes increasingly involuntary when we're obliged to perform digitally for work, eduction and social life. We become both producer and consumer here too, both conduit and captive. Critics generally focused on this aspect of its structure, charging that it gave a small cabal tremendous influence over society while immobilizing everyone else as spectators.

In contrast, underground media championed more participatory and decentralized forms. Participation and decentralization suddenly became mainstream with the arrival of widely accessible digital media. In many ways, the internet offered a liberating and empowering terrain for new modes of communication. Since the basic model was developed by researchers funded by the military rather than the private sector, it was designed to be useful rather than profitable.

Now they reappear as something we have to consult. People corresponded with old friends, taught themselves skills, and heard about public events long before email, Google, and Twitter. Of course, these technologies are extremely helpful in a world in which few of us are close with our neighbors or spend more than a few years in any location. The forms assumed by technology and daily life influence each other, making it increasingly unthinkable to uncouple them. This is suspiciously similar to the forcible separation from the products of their labor that transformed workers into consumers.

The information on the internet is not entirely free — computers and internet access cost money, not to mention the electrical and environmental costs of producing these and running servers all around the world. If they can, not only power and knowledge but even the ability to maintain social ties will be directly contingent on wealth. But this could be the wrong thing to watch out for. Old-money conglomerates may not be able to consolidate power in this new terrain after all.

The ways capitalism colonizes our lives via digital technologies may not resemble the old forms of colonization. Like any pyramid scheme, capitalism has to expand constantly, absorbing new resources and subjects.

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It already extends across the entire planet; the final war of colonization is being fought at the foot of the Himalayas, the very edge of the world. In theory, it should be about to collapse now that it has run out of horizons. In this account, the internet functions as another successive layer of alienation built on the material economy. If a great deal of what is available on the internet is free of charge, this is not just because the process of colonization is not yet complete, but also because the determinant currency in the media is not dollars but attention [21].

Despite having worked out how to stay the most dynamic sector of Capital and to continue to profit from enterprises outside of themselves, the tech majors are nonetheless consolidating their fiefdoms. Silicon Valley and the like must constantly harvest the 'cream of the crop' of intellectual capital internationally programmers, designers, scientists , and it becomes increasingly hard to make a living in the sector without enriching these companies.

Independent developers might reach a huge audience through YouTube, for example, thus generating revenue for its owners Google not themselves first, but with the prospect of having to achieve sales into the thousands to recoup costs for the expensive design software: or utilise free or cheap versions, which entail relinquishing personal information and being spied on for the privilege. The maggot men are the recuperative arms of virtual capital seeking nourishment, finding resistance and assimilating, appropriating and overwhelming, and at last conquering digitally-nomadic proletarians.

Hopelessly mediocre, he sees himself as the pinnacle of human history. The maggot man transforms living energy and labour into electronic replicas of a dead culture's skin, and then crawls inside. Not a cultural stone is left unturned by the maggot. In the spirit of digital capitalism, the maggot man is the machinery of dead labour and virtual value. He is a creative leader of virtual capital, feeding off dead flesh, the last harvester of human senses before their transition from human to cyborg.

The maggot man, sick of himself, needs technology. In his future, technology separates from the human species. The human animal breaks off into the networked intelligence of digital technology. Their technocratic ideologies already take shape within the vast 'lights-out' factories which have already been roboticised, shedding their human appendages almost entirely, while those not ejected from some sectors and pushed to the economic margins face the prospect of virtually life-long training and retraining to keep up with the evolution of the machines.

There is only a certain threshold such a costly program of human updating is likely to reach. As humans become more disjointed and unreliable — in the ways described early in this essay — and combined with the technological fetishism of our culture, machine control will be justified by the bosses as more reasonable; as if they needed the excuse for choosing workers they don't have to pay. The bigger tech companies seem to be endeavoring to not just play loyal stooges to government, but in some cases to try an active hand in the miserable political process itself besides lobbying. Sure, capitalists have been key players in this field as long as capitalism and democracy have existed, but in some ways this is more blatant.

When the leader of the Canadian Green Party was pointedly not invited to a televised debate, Twitter announced that it would shoot and post video responses to moderator questions in near-real time, knowing such platforms to already be central points of political discussion. However, it's already long ago that players from the industry were providing less to-your-face impetus for global affairs, along with more long-standing stalwarts of the capitalist elite: for instance, in the guise of philanthropy.

Not only does the Foundation promote the use and integration of Microsoft computers in the Third World; it is attempting to take control of the global food supply, by forcing countries to grow Monsanto Golden Rice, a genetically-modified crop that is copyrighted and tightly controlled. The leaders were equated with the colonisers landing on the island. However much we allow ourselves to be wrapped up in its allures, our inheritance is a world disfigured by the digital on more than an individual level.

As these technologies mould and colonise our minds and social interactions, so too must they and their industrial base expand materially, consuming electricity, land and labour. These technologies don't appear from nowhere; rather, they are inseperable from the rest of the techno-industrial capitalist world system which spawned them. They require the gargantuan electricity flows sent arching through pylons that leave destruction in their wake [ed.

Behind the polished, aseptic exterior of the sleek devices which fill consumers' backpacks in the Global North and not only, at an ever-fastening rate , lingers the death and misery they wreck mostly in the Global South. As we are reminded by Gianluca Iacovacci [ed. Key components for the production of modern electronics, besides highly-toxic synthetic chemicals, are a variety of heavy-metals and 'rare-earth' minerals.

Coltan is one classic example of the latter that is essential in managing the flow of current in electronic devices. War and deforestation in Central Africa has exterminated precarious species and claimed literally millions of human lives as State and non-State actors vie over territory for their prison-labour mining facilites for this heat-resistant mineral ore. China supplies the world market with the vast majority of 'rare-earth' metals used in phones, hybrid vehicles, wind turbines, etc.

A substantial portion of the Chinese workforce for extraction, likely to result in cancers and other serious conditions, comes from the occupied territory of Tibet, where the Chinese military forcibly disbands communities and dispatches them to such labour camps. As of , a fifth of the Tibetan population 1. Arguably, what makes it, and cerium, scarce enough to be profitable are the hugely hazardous and toxic process needed to extract them from ore and to refine them into usable products.

For example, cerium is extracted by crushing mineral mixtures and dissolving them in sulphuric and nitric acid, and this has to be done on a huge industrial scale, resulting in a vast amount of poisonous waste as a byproduct. This specific industrial nightmare grew on the back of the mobile phone alone; thirty years ago, this urban hive of 12 million was a fishing village surrounded by rice paddies. When the iPhone first came out, Apple leader Steve Jobs was said to be so upset that the screen could be scratched more easily than he wanted, he insisted that FoxxCon use new screen coating that turned workers blind.

In , over workers at a FoxxCon plant manufacturing X-Box gaming consoles for Microsoft climbed to the roof and threatened to commit mass suicide. Under pressure to clean up Apple's image, FoxxCon addressed a run of suicides on the job — by hanging large nets from the factory building to catch any jumpers. Yet to just fetishise these spectacular and increasingly known examples, especially within the borders of a nation widely-maligned in the West for labour and environmental policies which are in many ways an attempt to squeeze the centuries-long defilement and proletarianisation which birthed industrialism in Europe into less than a century to catch up, does not address the more general dispossession and stultification.

We could consider the depiction given by the narrators of 'Metropolis' of the Microsoft headquarters east of Seattle. Its headquarters stretch across one-third of the geographical space of the municipality of Redmond, with campus buildings[ They are watched every moment of the day and are surrounded by advertisements for the commodities they helped create. This is the army that is digitising the world, turning all life into circuitry, metal and glass. Everything they create is created for something else. In return for their services they are rewarded with an alienating and insular life, where work is all and all is work.

Their individual efforts all contribute to unified products and the objects they create have objectified them in turn. Together they build the hive-mind. Together they strive to create the purest form of information; the digital cloud severed from all constraints [through] which the natural world is networked into the digital one. In certain cities, around the world, the tech sector does not confine itself to its private compounds; rather, it seeps out to cannibalise and transform whatever it can use to fuel itself onwards. Over the course of decades, counterculture was turned into cultural capital, and the city became a playground for the employees of Google, Facebook, Twitter, and other IT firms.

This playground, however, is not the typical service sector zone designed to capture the salaries distributed by an adjacent large employer, like the towns of bars and strip clubs that invariably border army bases. Perhaps the most significant element of this new economy is that the playground is first and foremost a productive model. As intelligent and ruthless as the tech sector is, does anyone really think they would ever let their employees stop working? Far from it: the days of punching the clock and going home are over. Just as cellphones nefariously increase worker productivity by forcing all of us to be perpetually on call, IT employees are increasingly being centralized in culturally stimulating neighborhoods where they can socialize with other yuppies, display their gadgets, and brainstorm ever newer applications for the latest technologies.

They are not always on the clock, but they are intended to take their work home with them. The playgrounds where they frolic, therefore, need to have the infrastructural backing to interface with the new apps that make up a large part of economic production today, and they also need the social and cultural allure that make such apps exciting, both for their designers and their consumers. These can include apps for dating, finding hip restaurants and clubs, and linking people with shared hobbies.

Just as work and leisure are fused, cultural production, material production, and intellectual production become indistinguishable. Perhaps there are only so many cities that genuinely can meet this standard, but a good many are certainly bidding to make themselves among them. More generally, as the applications of digital networks permeate public and private space, our environment is recast by programmers and engineers, with lines of inclusion and exclusion sometimes more subtle than others.

The attitudes encountered, as recounted by an author on the Mismanaging Perception blog, were telling as to the entitled demeanor the companies feed on. Jobs are relocated to concentrated corporate campuses, while the higher-salaried employers settle in the inner cities, and cities are able to re-establish dominance over the periphery. For the rich, the city is comprised of data and information that may provide elite accessibility, while the lower class, which lives outside of the city and works in the service industry, perform the role of automatons, reproducing a city that they, themselves, have no chance of experiencing.

Without returning to the 'public' vs. But they are also meant to have an element of fun. No one wants to go to a trade fair in Des Moines. Barcelona is not only a city with pizazz, it is also a site of innovation in IT and other industries. Its most important fair is the Mobile World Congress, which is the largest cellphone and app trade fair in the world.

Benjamin, W. Paris: Gallimard, Arendt ed. New York: Schocken Books. Bettelheim, B. New York: Vintage. Enyedi, Z. Authoritarianism and Prejudice: Central European Perspectives. Ferenczi, S. Foucault, M [] The Courage of Truth. Hall, S. Jones , E.

New York: Basic Books. Klein, M. Leader, D. New York: Anchor Books. Thompson, M. Challenging Normalization in Psychoanalysis. Todorov, T. Stockholm: Stockholm City Council. Acting out is thus located alongside repetition and resistance. But, can psychoanalytic discourse conceptualise actions, or political praxis, otherwise than as acting out? Is political praxis, from a psychoanalytic perspective, always to be understood as resistance to remembering in the context of transference?

This task presupposes a reformulation of the concepts of action and actualisation and a fresh definition of the different modalities of communication. Thus a question is raised about the place the analyst can or should occupy when it comes to political praxis. Are neutrality, abstinence and silence techniques that can be understood as political praxes as well, and if so, do they conceal the danger of political passivity?

Are there any other possibilities for the analyst to occupy a political place? Can political action or praxis be understood as promoting memory and thinking rather than avoiding them? This is an interdisciplinary conference — we invite theoretical contributions and historical, literary or clinical case studies on these and related themes from philosophers, sociologists, psychoanalysts, psychotherapists, literary theorists, historians and others.

Presentations are expected to take half an hour; another 20 minutes is set aside for discussion. Please send an abstract of to words to moc. Abstracts received after this date will not be considered. We will respond by, and present a preliminary programme on, May 15 th If you would like to sign up to participate without presenting a paper, please e-mail us to let us know, and say a few words about yourself if you have not participated in previous Psychoanalysis and Politics symposia.

Psychoanalysis and Politics is a conference series that aims to address how crucial contemporary political issues may be fruitfully analyzed through psychoanalytic theory and vice versa — how political phenomena may reflect back on psychoanalytic thinking. The series is interdisciplinary; we invite theoretical contributions and historical, literary or clinical case studies from philosophers, sociologists, psychoanalysts, psychotherapists, group analysts, literary theorists, historians and others. Perspectives from different psychoanalytic schools are most welcome.

We aim to be non-discriminatory and egalitarian. Disrespect or discrimination towards the forum or any of its participants on the basis of nationality, skin colour, ethnicity, religion, gender or sexuality will not be tolerated. Danto, E. Interventions in Psychosocial Studies. Houndsmills: Palgrave Macmillan. Hoggett, P.

London: Free Association Books. Jacoby, R. Otto Fenichel and the Political Freudians. The Language of Psycho-Analysis. Encounters in the Clinical Setting. London and New York: Routledge. Milino, A. Where Id Was. London and New York: Continuum. Rose, J. Psychoanalysis, Politics, and the Return to Melanie Klein.

Segal, H. Steiner, R. Explorations in the Sociopolitical and Cultural Context of Psychoanalysis. London: Karnac Books. Julia Borossa, representing Psychoanalysis and Politics, is the Director of the Centre for Psychoanalysis at Middlesex University whose function is to provide a vehicle for scholarly activity, including MA and PhD programmes in Psychoanalysis, host international conferences, seminars and workshops and develop research projects with colleagues from the European Union, the Middle East, Russia and Latin America.

She has also written on narratives of trauma and resilience, with respect to the Sieges of Leningrad and Beirut. She has presented her work at international conferences, as well as at public venues such as the Tate, the Hayward Gallery and the Freud Museum. In addition, Borossa also has expertise in group relations and group analysis.

She is author of Hysteria , Icon , and has contributed both to Psychoanalysis and Politics: Exclusion and the Politics of Representation , Karnac, and to the forthcoming Nationalism and the Body Politic , Karnac Her work is grounded in Marxism as well as modern continental philosophy, political theory, diverse forms of radicalism, feminism, and new media.

Her book One Dimensional Woman discusses feminism with a particular focus upon consumption, leading to renewed questions about the political dimension of a still-ongoing feminist project. Accommodation and all meals are included in the price of the summer session.

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They have great rooms and offer accommodation with various standards, ranging from family rooms hotel standard with its own bathroom, internet connection and TV, with single bunk beds. Most units also have their own balcony with beautiful views. There are also service stations for washing and drying clothes. This means that they do not serve alcohol at the site, but they are not concerned about what people drink. For most participants coming to Norway means leaving the European Union; you are advised to take a full quota from the airport you travel from and bring it with you to the summer session.

Amounts in Euros are only indicative; amounts in NOK are exact. Check mr. The price is 80kr. The price is 95kr for adults and 50kr for children. Transport from Hareid to Ulsteinvik will be arranged by the Summer session. Contact the Summer session for more info. Responsible for the cultural programme: Solveig Styve Holte, moc. Recent eruptions of conflict, revolt and discontent have been radical and unexpected.

Furthermore, the recent violent right-wing attacks in Europe exemplify underlying conflict in the contemporary political climate. This symposium raises the questions of how to evaluate and to think about these phenomena. A further question is that of to what extent these events challenge the limits of psychoanalytic conceptualisation. Individual and social eruptions and disruptions may have creative dimensions reflected in social and individual change. They can also be read as traumatic repetitions or as the surfacing of repressed affects, drives and representations.

Nevertheless, it can be argued that there is no object to which this call is directed and, therefore, it seems to begin to disappear from the space it attempted to occupy. The UK riots appeared as a revolt of private consumerism rather than a political one. The return of the repressed occurs when the compromise formation fails, when the symptom does not suffice to keep psychic equilibrium. A possible question, then, is whether social movements can be understood as disruptions that occur when social compromise formations or symptoms break down. The terms revolt and resistance have a polyphonic character.

Revolt can be thought of as means for revolutionary change or, on the other hand, as the very rejection produced by the uprising. These terms may be understood in the sense of political and social resistance movements, as well as the forces of resistance that oppose the emergence of the repressed. Our fight against resistance in analysis is based upon this view of the facts. Whole individual destinies, as she rightly claims, are contained in the different meanings of these words. Thus, we may interrogate resistance as a defense as well as an authentic category of being.

By understanding the social analogously to the psychic, it is possible to identify social forces of repression, aggression, identification, projection and resistance. Thus, the question of the relevance, scope and place of psychoanalytic knowledge in relation to social uprisings, movements and revolutions is posed as a leading thread in the present investigation. The Breivik trial revitalized questions of mental health as an individual or a social issue and the links between these perspectives.

Given the view that processes that would be regarded as pathological when encountered on an individual level commonly occur on a collective level without being thought of as abnormal, can we speak of the social as being more or less sane or insane, and if so, based on what criteria?

Acting out, to Freud, takes place when the subject, in the grip of unconscious wishes and phantasies, relives these in the present while refusing to recognise their source and their repetitive character. Action, thus conceived, stands in opposition to thought and to memory — but is there scope for a more positive conceptualisation of action within psychoanalytic thinking? A related issue is that of how representatives of the extreme right have adopted a discourse of victimhood in relation to a feeling of not being heard by the majority.

At the same time, a large share of Norwegians not directly affected by the terrorist attacks tended to construe themselves as their victims. This raises interesting questions about identification with the state and the nation in relation to fantasies about these and the politizised role of the martyr as a predisposition for acting or reacting. Therefore, we would like you to attend for the whole symposium, and we will give priority to those who plan to do so.

We will respond by, and present a preliminary programme on, December 15th This is a relatively small symposium where active participation is encouraged. Researchers, clinicians, students and others who are interested are invited to attend and present their work in a friendly and enjoyable social atmosphere. The organizers would like to thank the Finnish Psychoanalytical Society for their support.

Abraham, K. London: Maresfield Library. Abraham, N. University of Chicago Press. Bollas, C. Psychoanalysis of the Unthought Known. Butler , J. The Powers of Mourning and Violence. Castoriadis, C. Writings on Politics, Society Psychoanalysis and Imagination. Stanford: Stanford University Press. London: Hogarth Press, London: Hogarth. Freud Civilisation and its discontents. SE vol. Hopper, E. Jacques, E. London: Maresfield Reprints. Depression and Melancholia. LaCapra, D. Trist, H. Mitscherlich, A. Principles of Collective Behavior.

New York: Grove Press. Nancy, J. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press. Rabinovich, D. Buenos Aires: Manantial.


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Rickman, J. No Ordinary Psychoanalyst. London: Karnac, Ricoeur, P. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press. Sklar, J. History, Trauma, Psychoanalysis. Varvin, S. This symposium continues to explore the theme from the Stockholm winter symposium with the same title. Mourning can be thought as a private endeavour, so familiar it seems hardly pathological, writes Freud e []. During mourning, the ego withdraws from the world. It re-visits the different aspects of the lost object, approaches it from a series of different angles.

Leader compares this work to the process leading up to the Cubist image resulting from the combination and reshuffling of the conventional image of a person. Thus there is an aspect of mourning that confronts us with fragmentation, of the object mourned and of the experience of mourning. It is pertinent then to question the act, experience and results of mourning in terms of their possible or impossible completions. Leader suggests that mourning, however private, requires other people; a loss requires recognition, a sense that it has been witnessed and made real.

The anthropologist Geoffrey Gorer describes how every documented human society has public mourning rituals and makes use of outward signs to inscribe the mourner within a shared, public space, arguing that the decline of public mourning rituals in the West was linked to the mass slaughter of the First World War. The surplus of the dead, and of the bereaved, was so extreme and overwhelming that communal mourning no longer seemed to make sense, leading to the erosion of public mourning rituals in Europe.


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This decline contrasts with current attempts to commemorate and work through shared traumas. This year has marked the 10 th anniversary of September 11 th , leading to debates on how this event can be dealt with, other than by demonization and hero-worship.

In the latter case conceiving of the event as a wholly alien invasion would seem to require more of an imaginative strain, thus it challenges the typical strategy of scapegoating and poses the question of how to deal with shared trauma differently. Mourning can be conceived as a social effort that binds communities together. The South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission can be seen to have performed such work, less about punishing the perpetrators than about recognizing and registering their crimes.

The collective work of mourning may contribute to the construction of narratives, and to the writing of history. In this sense, memorials, works of art, monuments, public ceremonies or other discursive practices, as long as they are not sentimentalized, exemplify scars or seams on social tissues.

Her solution presented a cast of the spaces between and around books in a full-size library — thus the sculpture is one that seems to display absence, or emptiness, the reintroduction of which was unwanted by parts of the local population, as the resurfacing of a long-repressed memory Young Loss, when conflated with absence is often called to operate in power discourses.

The full unity and homogeneity of the body politic is often posited as lost, disrupted or polluted by others LaCapra, However, one may argue that this putative unity in fact never existed, it is an absence. It points to the fundamental socio-political problem that Jean-Luc Nancy describes as being in common, without common being. Thus, the conflation of absence and loss can become an alibi for nationalistic discourses, foundational philosophies and fundamentalist ideologies that posit past utopias and paradises lost.

This conflation leads to unmournability, for it touches on the sphere of ontological absence, and can provide testimony of melancholic mechanisms operating behind otherwise convincing cultural, social, political or individual agendas. How is a shared work of mourning to be understood? We may also question the nature of historical, political and social events that can or should be conceptualised as losses or as traumas. What happens when we extrapolate the subjective dynamics of loss and of trauma to a collective level, and what are the normative implications of doing so?

Presentations are expected to take minutes; another minutes is set aside for discussion. We will respond by, and present a preliminary programme on, May15 th Psychoanalysis and Politics, and the NSU, is more social, engaging and democratic than most other fora. Therefore priority will be given to those who commit to participating for the whole week. The modern school was established in the 50s, but has an old mansion from 16th century.

Most study rooms, a large auditorium and a dining room are centrally located. A courtyard or atrium is a natural gathering place. The keynote speaker is Richard Schusterman. Since , NSU has actively supported the cultivation of new ideas and growing research networks in the Nordic countries. For more than 60 years the NSU has contributed to the development of new inter-disciplinary research areas and methods. Today the unique way of organizing academic networks and doing cross-disciplinary research attracts participants from all over the world alongside the Nordic countries.

Participation takes place across academic borderlines, career and generational divides which transcend institutional identities and organizational obstacles found within the traditional universities. Psychoanalysis and Politics www. Balint, M. Bohleber, W. Butler, J. Garland, C. A Psychoanalytical Approach. Stolorow, R.

Autobiographical, Psychoanalytic, and Philosophical Reflections. Young, J. Townsend ed. The Art of Rachel Whiteread. This year has marked the 10th anniversary of September 11th, leading to debates on how this event can be dealt with, other than by demonization and hero-worship. Presentations are expected to take half an hour; another 30 minutes is set aside for discussion. Additional information in this regard will be given after your abstract has been accepted or after the conference programme has been finalized.