… what constitutes the fixity of the body, its contours, its movements, will be fully material, but materiality will be rethought as the effect of power, as power’s most productive effect. And there will be no way to understand “gender” as a cultural construct which is imposed upon the surface of matter, understood either as “the body” or its given sex. Rather, once “sex” itself is understood in its normativity, the materiality of the body will not be thinkable apart from the materialization of that regulatory norm. “Sex” is, thus, not simply what one has, or a static description of what one is: it will be one of the norms by which the “one” becomes viable at all, that which qualifies a body for life within the domain of cultural intelligibility.

- Judith Butler, Bodies That Matter, Introduction (via arnoldskoonburg)

(Source: schoenbergwasright, via crusty-shackleford)

the ideological conflation of the intimate with the forms of the normal world locates power and the political in the hegemony of true feeling, a notion of right affect as a nonideological measure of truth. This idea of right affect as higher reason is central to the long history of liberalism, too, as any student of sentimental reform and imperialist empathy knows. This is why any political thought that confronts overcoming structural discriminations that are experienced as visceral aversions must, as Joan Copjec writes in an analogous context, become ‘literate in desire’.

- Lauren Berlant, ‘Love, a Queer Feeling’ in Homosexuality and Psychoanalysis ed. Tim Dean & Christopher Lane, p.438 (via derica)


Judith Butler on Peace

I think that peace is the active and difficult resistance to the temptation of war; it is the prerogative and the obligation of the injured. Peace is something that has to be vigilantly maintained; it is a vigilance, and it involves temptation, and it does not mean we as human beings are not aggressive. It does not mean that we do not have murderous impulses. This is a mistaken way of understanding non-violence. Many people think, “Oh, we need to be non-violent; humans can somehow get violence out of their souls; we’re not constituted by aggression.” Rather, I think it is precisely because we’re constituted with aggression, it’s precisely because we are capable of waging war, and of striking back, and of doing massive injury, that peace becomes a necessity. Peace is a certain resistance to the terrible satisfactions of war. It’s a commitment to living with a certain kind of vulnerability to others and susceptibility to being wounded that actually gives our individual lives meaning. And I think this way of viewing things is a much harder place to go, so to speak. One can’t just do it alone, either. I think it needs to be institutionalized. It needs to be part of a community ethos. I think in fact it needs to be part of an entire foreign policy.

(Source: believermag.com, via lazz)

InTensions 5: (De)Fatalizing the Present and Creating Radical Alternatives ⇢


I almost jumped out my chair just now!

New essays from Frank B. Wilderson, III, Jared Sexton, and Tamara K. Nopper, among others.

(Source: james-wasnt)

The specificity of the language is sometimes necessary because quite often the subjects being discussed are notoriously complicated, frighteningly dangerous and self-revelatory. Let me assure you that when our feminist scholars, philosophers, speculators and thinkers use this language they’re not always talking about a distanced subject but about their specific lives. The sex act they may in fact have committed, enjoyed, desired or refused. They are standing naked, and the only thing holding them up, in some cases, is that complicated language.

- dorothy allison, notes to a young feminist (via negationparty)

(via shoulders)

“Try standing at a party of queer friends and charting all the histories, sexual and nonsexual, among the people in the room. (In some circles this is a common party sport already). You will realize that only a fine and rapidly shifting line separates sexual culture from many other relations of durability and care. The impoverished vocabulary of straight culture tells us that people should either be husbands and wives or (nonsexual) friends. Marriage marks that line. It is not the way many queers live. If there is such a thing as a gay way of life, it consists in these relations, a welter of intimacies outside the framework of professions and institutions and ordinary social obligations … Queers should be insisting on teaching these lessons”.


Michael Warner (1999) The Trouble with Normal (via bodkins)

i don’t actually want to take on the task of teaching people how to define and/or expand their language and experiences concerning relationships, connections, and bonds but i like this quote. it makes me think of how intentional i have become with my time, friendship, love, care, and loyalties. 

(via yoursecretary)

(via polypeopleofcolor)

When you removed the gag that was keeping these black mouths shut, what were you hoping for? That they would sing your praises?

- Jean-Paul Sartre, Black Orpheus (via allxsouledxout)

(via youlikemealready)

From "Feminism, Finance and the Future of #Occupy - An interview with Silvia Federici" ⇢


MH: Is feminism critical for this movement, and how so?

SF: Feminism is still critical for this movement on several grounds, and I am encouraged by the fact that many young women today identify themselves as feminists, despite a tendency in past years to dismiss feminism as merely “identity politics.”

First, many of the issues that were at the origins of the women’s movement have not been resolved. In some respects the position of women has worsened. Despite the fact that more women have access to paid employment, the root causes of sexism are still in place. We still have an unequal sexual division of labor, as reproductive work remains primarily a woman’s responsibility, even when she works also outside the home, and reproductive work is still devalued in this society. Though we are less dependent on individual men, we are still subject to a patriarchal organization of work and social relations that degrades women.  In fact, we have seen a re-masculinization of society with the glorification of war and the increasing militarization of everyday life. Statistics speak clearly: women have the longest work-week and do most of the world’s unpaid labor, they are the bulk of the poor, both in the US and around the world, and many are practically sterilized because they cannot afford to have children. Meanwhile, male violence against women has intensified rather than diminishing, not only at the individual level but also at the level of institutions: in the US, for instance, the number of women in jail has increased fivefold since the ‘80s.

For all these reasons feminism is crucial for the Occupy movement. You certainly cannot have a ‘sustainable’ movement if the unequal power relations between women and men and male violence against women are not addressed.

I am also convinced that the Occupy movement has much to learn both from the egalitarian vision of society that the feminist movement developed in its radical phase — which was also an inspiration for the queer and the ecological movements. Consensus-based decision-making, the distrust of leaders (formal or charismatic) and the idea that you need to prefigure the world you want to create through your actions and organization, these were all developed by radical feminist movements.  Most importantly, like the Civil Rights and Black Power movements, the radical feminist movement began to address the question of unequal power relations in the movement and in society by, for instance, creating autonomous spaces in which women could articulate the problems specific to their conditions. Feminism has also promoted an ethics of care and sisterhood and a respect for animals and nature that is crucial for the Occupy movement and, I believe, has already shaped its practice. I have been impressed by the tolerance and patience people demonstrate to one another in the general assemblies, a great achievement in comparison with the often truculent forms of behavior that were typical in the movements of the ‘60s.

(Source: brujacore)

History Is A Weapon ⇢



A site with free ebooks (and readable on mobiles too, it seems) on a long history of radical activism within the United States (and also internationally). From their Starter page:

If you aren’t dealing with a particular question, feel free to work your way through all the starter essays and head back to the issues that stirred you the most. Here we go: 

  1. What is this America? Three books by authors trying to redefine what America is, the horror and the potential. We’re a little biased, but Howard Zinn’s A People’s History of the United States is a fine beginning.
  2. Learning To Surrender The role of education: How does a system teach us about itself? Malcolm X describes his education and its effects on him in this excerpt from “The Autobiography of Malcolm X”
  3. The Long Chain These essays tackle the relationships between the economy, police, prison, and slavery. A good starting point is Christian Parenti’s talk based on his book “Lockdown America”
  4. Voices From The Empire People all over the world have identified what the American system means for them and what they have to do. The next section identifies how this is a world system and how the world has responded. Walter Rodney addresses the relationship between a Black American Prisoner and the international struggle in his short essay George Jackson: Black Revolutionary.
  5. Looking Inward There comes a moment when those inside the core examine the relationship to the colonized. Here, we examine those questions, starting with Bartoleme de Las Casas in his Brief Account of the Devastation of the Indies.
  6. Raising Our Voices Frederick Douglass, an escaped slave and abolitionist, was asked to give a Fourth of July speech while slavery still existed. His fiery talk is what this section is about: People within America recognizing that the American promises ring hollow.
  7. Against The War Machine Americans speaking and acting out against war is the next subject. Don Mitchell got a chance to speak to the bureaucrats of the military and talked about Americans as people of the world living under the same empire.
  8. Repression James Madison outlined what was needed to keep Americans from enjoying the fruits of democracy too much. Written over two hundred years ago, his essay, Federalist 10, identifies ways to control people that were impossible then.
  9. From Resistance to Revolution If you’ve read through all of this, you’ll probably be itching about what is to be done. There are numerous examples and one excellent one isSocialist Feminism: A Strategy for the Women’s Movement. It is long, but readable and in-depth.
  10. Appendix A: Maps Everybody loves maps!

reblog always

(via calzanatl-deactivated20120330)

But it is also true that ghosts are never innocent: the unhallowed dead of the modern project drag in the pathos of their loss and the violence of the force that made them, their sheets and chains. To be haunted and to write from that location, to take on the condition of what you study, is not a methodology or a consciousness you can simply adopt or adapt as a set of rules or an identity; it produces its own insights and blindnesses. Following the ghosts is about making a contact that changes you and refashions the social relations in which you are located. It is about putting life back in where only a vague memory of a bare trace was visible to those who bothered to look. It is sometimes about writing ghost stories, stories that not only repair representational mistakes, but also strive to understand the conditions under which memory was produced in the first place, toward a countermemory, for the future.

- Avery Gordon, Ghostly Matters: Haunting and the Sociological Imagination (via multitudes)

…knowledge is not made for understanding; it is made for cutting.



nietzsche, genealogy, history

(via poopsmoothie)

(via poopsmoothie-deactivated2012032)

Deconstruction, if one wants a formula, is among other things, a persistent critique of what one cannot not want.

- gayatri spivak (via noteasybeingred)

(via transartorialism)