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But that ontology must be a critical ontology that refuses reification. However, it needs to be noted that, as Lewis Gordon says at the beginning of Fanon and the Cnsis ofEuropean Man, the explication of Sartre's ontology with the aim of engaging more productively with Fanon's application of it is not to suggest that Fanon's thought is derivative of Sartre's.
The two philosophers do share a set of concerns though, and were both part of a movement in thought that, amongst many other things, sought to return to lived experience, to assert the freedom of the individual consciousness and to undo the assumption that European Man is Man.
Sartre's view that choice is possible has its roots in his view that there are "two radically separated regions of being" He calls these two modes of being: He explains that Being-in-itself has no within which is opposed to a W1Wout and which is analogous to a judgement, a law, a consciousness of itself The in-itself has nothing secret; it is solid massif So, being-in- itself has no capacity to become what it is not.
It is identical to itself Being-far-itself describes consciousness which, unlike the being of inert objects, is not undifferentiated. It is, Sartre writes, "impossible to define it as coincidence with itself Sartre, Sartre describes it as "being what it is not and not being what it is" The logic of this apparently contradictory phrase inheres in the fact that the being of the for-itself exists as being in time and while its past is fixed its future is not. Hence in the past its being must be what it is but in the future its being does not have to be what it is.
This is so because being-for-itself is not identical to itself. Sartre concludes that "Consciousness is a being such that in its being, its being is in question" Sartre declares that the self has a way of: This is what we shall call presence to itself Presence to self.
If being is present to itself, it is because it is not wholly itself. Presence is an immediate deterioration of coincidence, for it supposes separation Sartre argues that it is 'nothing' which separates the subject from himself sic by allowing consciousness to exist at a remove from consciousness and so "This fissure then is the pure negative" For Sartre it is the nothingness, the pure negative, at the heart of being that makes freedom not only possible but an ever present fact.
Sartre follows Edmund Husserl's theory of intentionality and so holds that consciousness must always be directed at something. For Sartre "It is in the very nature of consciousness to be intentional and a consciousness that ceased to be consciousness ofsomething would thereby cease to exist" Intentionality implies that consciousness has no specific content itself and is, in a memorable Sartrean phrase, as "clear as a strong wind, there is nothing in it" Cited in More, So "Consciousness for Sartre is complete translucidity facing the opacity of the objective" Desan For Sartre objects constitute consciousness.
The irreal is produced outside the world by a consciousness that remains in the world and it is because we are transcendentally free that we can imagine b: On the contrary, Sartre insists that "consciousness does not have by itself any sufficiency of being as an absolute subjectivity; from the start it refers to a thing" He notes that the phenomenological method of observation does not reveal an ego inside consciousness and so he rejects the idea that consciousness is inhabited by an ego serving as an organising force.
Work in Cinema
On the contrary Sartre is convinced that the ego is outside of consciousness and so consciousness is, indeed, a nothingness and, therefore, fully spontaneous and, consequently, free. Existence thus precedes essence. Being is a relation between consciousness and the world. Consciousness is prereflective when it is consciousness of the world but it is reflective when it is consciousness of consciousness of the world.
The ego is observed and created when consciousness is reflective. A key aspect of Sartre's thinking about being-for-itself is that conSCiousness is in Stephen Priest's phrase, being "constantly projected towards the future in my free self-definition" Consciousness therefore implies both freedom and project.
Freedom is the obligation to choose and project is the permanent, so long as life endures, process of choice. As Thomas Martin notes: While "being-in-itself is what it is," being-for-itself "has to be what it is. The reason for this is that being-for-itself is a perpetual flight from presence into the future.
That roward which being-for-itself directs itself is its project of becoming, in the light of which the world is interpreted, but there is no final resting place. As a perpetual flight into the future, a continual striving, being-for- itself, once having reached a point, is already beyond it. Whatever being-for-itself is at any particular time is a manifestation of its free spontaneity.
Being-for-itself is continually creating itself, continually moving roward endless possibilities Fanon doesn't ever set out his views on the nature of consciousness in a systematic way but it is quite clear, in all of his work, and most obviously in Black Skin, vWllte Masks where he uses language that resonates most directly with existential phJosophy, that he assumes the freedom of each consciousness. Indeed he concludes his first book by asserting that "No attempt must be made to encase man" Ia: The political importance of this is clear: Hence Sartre's famous rejection of the idea of human nature and his even more famous assertion that existence precedes essence.
But although consciousness is empty and spontaneous, and therefore free, it is always situated in a particular body, at a particular time, in a particular place and confronted by particular ideas, objects and beings whose mode of being is being-in-itself as well as consciousnesses whose mode of being is being-for-itself. Thus Gordon notes that "the question of existence, in itself is empty.
And there are situations within situations - to infinity. For Herman Hesse "every man sic is not only himself; he is also the unique, particular, always significant and remarkable point where the phenomena of the world intersect once and for all and never again" Sartre uses the term facticity to describe the given facts that apply in the world.
Facticity includes the past of every individual and of humanity, the brute 'thereness' of objects, the laws of nature and the embodied, located, temporal and social nature of existence.
These facts provide the context for the exercise of our freedom. Indeed, just as it is impossible to meaningfUlly separate the idea of consciousness from the world of facts to which it is directed, and from which it thus arises, so too the idea of freedom cannot be meaningfUlly separated from the world of facts.
In a vacuum, direction is meaningless. It is the objects in space that make the decision to move North or South meaningfUl. For Sartre "by its very projection towards an end, freedom constitutes as a being in the midst of the world a particular datum which it has to be" Sartre declares that: We shall use the term situadon for the contingency of freedom in the plenum of being of the world inasmuch as this datum, which is there only in order not to constrain freedom, is revealed to this freedom only as already illuminated by the end which freedom chooses The for-itself discovers itself as engaged in being, hemmed in by being, threatened by being; it discovers the state of things which surrounds it is the cause for a reaction of defence or attack.
But it can make this discovery only because it freely posits the end in relation to which the state of things is threatening or favourable This quote implicitly alludes to the fact that, for Sartre, we do not confront the world alone. Our situations are, in part, compromised by other consciousnesses.
For Wittgenstein solipsism is impossible because if it were true it would have to be theorised in a purely private language and this is impossible. Sartre's refutation of solipsism is based on lived experience - on the emotion of shame. He uses the famous example of the man caught looking through a keyhole to show that under the gaze of the other we feel shame. In a moment like this solipsism is simply not a psychologically tenable position. This leads Sartre to assert that we are always already in the world with others and that we must undertake our philosophy in the world with others.
We must all choose but we must all choose independently. This is why, in Anti-Semite and Jew, Sartre argues that we inhabit a universal human condition without a universal human narure: This means that human beings are both facticity and transcendence. We are facticity in so far as the world, other people, our bodies and the past mean that we must exercise our freedom within objective constraints but we are transcendence in so far as our spontaneous consciousness means that we must choose, with complete freedom, how we will respond to facticity.
Because there is no human nature, and in Sartrean philosophy no God, value is a choice and not an objective quality in the world. In other words, situation emerges in the relationship between freedom and facticity. For Sartre a man sic "cannot be distinguished from his situation, for it forms him and gives him his possibilities; but, inversely, it is he who gives it meaning by making his choices within it" Two that are particularly important for thinking through Fanon's phJosophical project are the focus on embodiment and the idea of the Us-object and the We-subject.
Taking the fact of embodiment seriously is at the heart of Sartre's project. It is very important for Sartre because embodiment shows, against Cartesianism, that we are fundamentally engaged as actors within the world before we contemplate the world.
This phenomenological insight leads us to conclude that the physical world is not usually apprehended by us as meaninglessness. Roquentin, Sartre's character in his early novel Nausea, finds that he is unable to see meaning in the physical world but, ordinarJy, the sheer fact of our embodied being in the world generates meaning, beginning with an apprehension of space and time appropriate to the requirements of our embodiment.
Fanon picks up on this phenomenological insight in Black Skin iVlHie Masks where he discusses the phenomenology of reaching for a cigarette and argues that these kinds of bodJy movements, result in: A slow composition of my selfas a body in the middle of a spatial and temporal world - such seems to be the schema. It does not impose itself on me; it is, rather, a defmite structuring of the self and of the world - definite because it creates a real dialectic between my body and the world Ia: The body, in this situation, exists, in Heidegger's phrase, as ready-to-hand - as part of our being.
However, equipment that is ready-to-hand can become, when we step back and reflect on it critically, detached from our being and, instead, an object to our consciousness. Heidegger calls this less immediate relationship "being present-to-hand". He explains this shift, with regard to an item of equipment, as follows: We discover its unusabJity, however, not by looking at it and establishing its properties, but rather by the circumspection of the dealings in which we use it.
When unusuabJity is thus discovered, equipment becomes conspicuous. I I Fanon shows that when a conSClOusness inhabits a black body in an anti-black social environment the body becomes hyper conspicuous to the white gaze and, then, to the black consclOusness: Sealed into that crushing objecthood, I turned beseechingly to others.
Their attention was a liberation, running over my body suddenly abraded into nonbeing, endowing me once more with an agility that I thought I had lost, and by taking me out of the world, restoring me to it. But just as I reached the other side, I stumbled, and the movements, the attitudes, the glances of the other fixed me there, in the sense in which a chemical solution is fixed by a dye.
I was indignant; I demanded an explanation. Nothing happened. I burst apart Ia: He discovers that he exists embodied, as an object to the individual white gaze!! I was given not one but two, three places..
I moved toward the other Nausea a: Manganyi, writing in a Fanonian existential vein, argues that in the context of racism 'There can be no bickering about the existential significance of the body. Manganyi also notes that, under apartheid, "We have been compelled to recognise that unlike the white man we live with the orginators of our absurdity.
The source of our suffering may be identified in the streets of Pretoria and Johannesburg" In an anti-black world consciousness in a black body confronts a particular, and overtly hostile force, white power, rather than the general absurdity diagnosed by an existential thinker like Albert Camus. Something similar happens to a consciousness speaking a language coded as black in an anti- black social space.
In fact, Fanon begins his account of the limits of value of previously mainstream philosophical thinking about ontology with the question of language. He moves from the position that "to speak is to exist absolutely for the other" and that, furthermore, "T 0 speak The problem is that some ways of speaking are understood to assume a white culture which is coded as fully human while others are understood to assume a black culture which is coded as less than human.
When whiteness is exclusively associated with a fully human status the possibilities for authentic human interaction via discursive interaction from within black language are radically constrained. The claim to a unique access to reason may well be the central pivot on which the ideological legitimation for European dominance turns. Because racism assumes that the black subject and the reasoning subject are fundamentally separate categories Fanon discovered that reason "played cat and mouse Du Bois's theorisation of double consciousness which he describes as "this sense of always looking at one's self through the eyes of others" No matter how well the black subject has mastered what is assumed to be the language and culture of whiteness, her body remains black.
Legature per strumenti a fiato ad ancia semplice!
There is no prospect for escape. So, Fanon reports: I was told to stay within bounds, to go back where 1 belonged" a: It is this experience, a collective experience, that leads Fanon to conclude that "In the Weltanschauung of a colonized people there is an impurity, a flaw that outlaws any ontological explanation" a: Sartre argues that we are thrown into social situations - "I am thrown into a worker's world, a French world While these situations will have a particular material basis they are, in Sartre's view, also constituted by the fact that an oppressed class "is experienced as an Us-object in the face of an undifferentiated "They" which is the Third or the oppressing class" But Sartre doesn't see a collective social identity as necessarily objectifying.
He also argues that when "I am engaged with others in a common rhythm which I contribute to creating This possibility for individuals in oppressed classes to exist as non- self objectifying We-subjects is crucial to the argument about solidarity advanced in chapter five.
Sartre uses the example of a large rock alongside a road to concretise his claim that we are required to give meaning to situations. For a "simple traveller who passes over this road and whose free project is a pure aesthetic ordering of the landscape" the rock is merely beautifUl or ugly.
But for someone whose project is to climb the rock it appears "in the light of a projected scaling" The first is that if consciousness must constitute itself in a situation then for the political militant, the material structures of oppression must be considered in the light of a projected overcoming.
A genuinely liberatory philosophy must occur, precisely, in the relationship between free thought and brute facticity. Hence, as Stathis Kouvelakis reminds us, a crucial aspect of Marx's break with Hegelianism is that"criticism's ultimate objective, the becoming-philosophical of the world, is simultaneously a becoming worldly of philosophy" The second is that, contrary to the dogmatism of so much Stalinist and T rotsykist thought, there can be no formulae for praxis.
The dynamism of the political situation is well captured in Fanon's accounts of the changing roles of the veil, medicine and the radio in the Algerian revolution.
A key consequence of this dynamism is that, as Alain Badiou observes: A political situation is always singular; it is never repeated. Therefore political writings - directives or commands - are justified inasmuch as they inscribe not a repetition but, on the contrary, the untepeatable. When the content of a political statement is a repetition the statement is rhetorical and empty.
It does not form part of thinking. On this basis one can distinguish between true political activists and politicians. True politJcal actJ'vists think a singular situation; politicians do not think Later I will argue that dialectical praxis requires the courage to be permanently attentive to the singularity of the situation and thus demands that its thinkers take on the responsibility of living on the edge of time, between the situation and the void.
The entire corpus of Fanon's work is a sustained engagement with freedom and facticity in explicitly existential terms. This could be demonstrated on most pages of his four books.
But his acknowledgement of facticity and his commitment to freedom is stated with particular poetic power at the end of Black Skin liWute Masks. I am my own foundation. And it is by going beyond the historical, instrumental hypothesis that I will initiate the cycle of my freedom. The disaster of the man of color lies in the fact that he was enslaved. The disaster and the inhumanity of the white man lie in the fact that somewhere he has killed man The Negro is not.
Any more than the white man Fanon's commitment to freedom means that he always works within the spirit of Frederic Jameson's more recent injunction to always historicise and never naturalise humanityP But Fanon's commitment to freedom also put him at direct odds with the fonns of orthodox Marxism[3, dominant in his day, which assumed that History had a nature and an inevitable direction to which individual freedom was, to varying degrees, subordinated. For example it would be important to show that the racialised nature of material inequality in South African is a consequence of conquest, domination and exploitation and not because of white or black 'essences' or the essential nature of the poor.
I3 David Renton usefully describes dissident Marxism as a term "used to refer to people who did not treat their socialism as an inherited canon of knowledge, but at each moment were willing to think their politics anew. The acid test of dissidence was a willingness to criticise the conduct of the Soviet state" Although Renton correctly includes Fanon in this tradition he, unfortunately and in a manner not untypical of sections of the white metropolitan left neither Michael Hardt and Antonion Negri nor Slavoj Zizek even bother to spell Fanon's fIrst name correctly he has clearly not read Fanon and assumes that this is no impediment to opining on Fanon's work.
Fanon condemned both Western capitalism and political systems through which they were articulated- colonialism and imperialism and Soviet communism as well as the forms of Marxism that implied that the Soviet Union carried History's sanction. And, as Sekyi-Otu shows particularly well Fanon's thinking about the liberatory and authoritarian possibilities inherent in political parties and movements is extraordinarily nuanced and illuminating.
In this sense Fanon was a far better Sartrean, in practice, than Sartre. Imprisonment may confine us in ways that we are powerless to overcome. But no facts negate the necessity for us to choose the manner of our response to facticity.
Material freedom can be limited from without but ontological freedom can not.
Sartre insists that "the slave in chains is as free as his master" cited in Martin, And so a woman in prison must choose how to respond to the fact of her imprisonment. In South Africa, and large parts of the broader black world, 5teve Biko has become a symbol of the realisation that rebellion is always possible.
Thus while the material exercise of power can be limited, ontological freedom is never limited. Sartre points out that our freedom implies that we are responsible for our choices. In Fanon's words "Every one of my acts commits me as a man. Every one of my silences, every one of my cowardices reveals me as a man" I a: For Sartre the consequent challenge of taking full responsibility for each of our choices leads to anguish.
Martin usefully describes anguish as follows: The for-itself's reflection on its freedom is anguished because through such reflection the for-itself realizes that there is nothing to compel it to act in a particular way. Thus the for-itself bears responsibility for what it will do.
The future is open and no past act or state of affairs can fully determine a future act Fanon's powerful and poetic account of his own encounter with anguish is amongst the best known passages in his work. I wanted to rise but the disembowelled silence fell back upon me, its wings paralysed. Without responsibility, straddling Nothingness and Infinity, I began to weep Sartre argues that in order to escape anguish people deny their responsibility by denying their freedom.
Freedom can be denied both by denying that one has freedom to choose and by denying facticity. The latter is the identification of the self as pure transcendence, the fantasy of being a for-itself in a factless vacuum, and it makes freedom just as impossible as the self- objectifying identification of oneself as an in-itself. In each instance, Sartre terms the flight from freedom, and thus self-creativity, as bad faith, which he contrasts with authenticity - an acceptance of freedom and therefore responsibility.
In the case of the apprehension of other humans Sartre identifies two forms of bad faith - sadism and masochism. Ontologies that objectify the Other in a relation of dominance are described as sadistic which means that they are an attempt to ossify the Other into complete objectivity in order to evade the sight of others.
As Gordon observes the sadist: He fancies himself God. But since the human being is neither thing nor God, his fancy manifests an oblique reference to an eliminated humanity. The sadist is fimdamentally misanthropic And fancying oneself to be God is to objectify oneself, so sadism ultimately objectifies the sadist and those he objectifies. A response to sadism that seeks to replace the pejorative ontology imposed on the other with a more positive altemative is, in existential terms, masochism which is, as Gordon explains, the equally misanthropic attempt to fix a gaze on oneself.
And, again, this attempt to fix oneself also has the consequence of fixing those who look at oneself. And, agam following Gordon, this does not just lead to problems at the level of identity and recognition. On the contrary when human being is bounded, kept at bay, and held secure as a stabilized entity that supports self-delusion..
Institutions take their place in a superstructural ontology that marks the irrelevance of human being" with the result that "history loses its significance to the governing fiction of security The human choices and actions that made and make the world are disguised to the extent that current relations of domination appear to be natural and perhaps even inevitable.
Fanon explores these ideas but without making use of the Sartrean terminology in considerable depth in the two chapters in Black Skin vli71lte Masks on inauthentic sexual relationships between black and white people.
In his analysis the parties are attracted to the qualities projected on to whiteness or blackness rather than the actual qualities of the actual individuals with whom they are involved. A key dimension of Sartre's thinking about responsibility is his View that in choosing for ourselves, we implicitly choose for others.
The Marxist philosopher and Zapatista intellectual John Holloway puts fetishism, a philosophical concept which functions very much like that of bad faith, at the centre of his project. Non-identity is the core of our scream, but to say 'We are not' is not just a dark void. To negate Is-ness is to assert becoming, movement, creation, the emancipation of power-to.
We are not, we do not be, we become.
If we are not yet, then our not-yet- ness already exists as project, as overflowing, as pushing beyond Although Holloway never cites Sartre or Fanon in his book, the existential nature of his key conceptual categories is clear. Sartre's most famous examples of bad faith - the woman on a date who pretends that her hand is an inert object in the hands of her would-be seducer, and the waiter who plays at being a waiter - are not overtly political although, of course, they can both be read politically e.
But Sartre makes much political use of the concept of bad faith - perhaps most famously in Anti-SelI11te and Jew where he develops a theory of racism as bad faith. IS For Sartre anti-Semitism is a passion and the "anti-Semite has chosen to live on the plane of passion" Sartre declares that the "anti-Semite has chosen hate because hate is a faith" The rational man groans as he gropes for the ttuth; he knows that his reasoning is no more than tentative, that other considerations may supervene to cast doubt on it.
He never sees very clearly where he is going; he is "open"; he may even appear to be hesitant. But there are people who are attracted by the durability of a stone. They wish to be massive and impenetrable; they wish not to change.
Where, indeed, would change take them? We have here a basic fear of oneself and of truth.. It is as if their own existence were in continual suspension IS Lewis Gordon points out that an important aspect of bad faith is not seeing.
Certain people, places and facts about certain people and places can become invisible or overdetermined by linguistic or cultural conventions. Sartre himself succumbs to the form of bad faith which simply fails to see in his conclusion to Anti-Semite and Jew where he discusses Zionism without any reference to Palestinians.
By treating the Jew as an inferior and pernicious being, I affirm at the same time that I belong to the elite. The elite, in contrast to those of modem times which are based on merit or labor, closely resembles an aristocracy of birth. There is nothing I have to do to merit my superiority, and neither can I lose it. It is given once and for all. It is a thing Sartre also explores the idea of race through the lens of bad faith and concludes that while he believes in the idea of race as something abstracted from lived experience "no more than I believe in ouija boards" How could Jewishness not be a lived reality in the face of the Shoa?
Consequently, for Sartre, responses to the situation of the Jew, whether from Jews or non-Jewish 'democrats' the kind of people Biko would later call 'liberals' , that seek to deny Jewish particularity ["to deny their situation as Jews" Similarly Fanon, writing about the position of inauthentic French democrats on the colonial war in Algeria, notes that "the French democrat is constantly resorting to abstractions as point of reference" b: But Sartre goes fUrther than the mere assertion that the denial of the lived experience of race is bad faith.
He historicises the situation of the Jew.
It is, he argues, "the Christians who have 16 In his latter work Sartre is far more attentive to the economic basis of many forms of oppression. For example in an essay on the French use of torture in Algeria Sartre argues that: For most of the Europeans of Algeria, there are two complementary and inseparable truths: That is the mythical interpretation of a precise fact, since the wealth of the former depends on the extreme poverty of the latter b: This is not a denial of Jewish agency but merely opposition to the bad faith inherent in naturalising the present by avoiding an acknowledgement of how the present was made.
This task remains urgent in contemporary South Africa where all kinds of discourses seek to naturalise a condition pervasive black poverty that should be historicised via a consideration of a history of racialised conquest, domination, exploitation and marginalisation ete.
For Sartre, the Jew "can choose to be authentic by asserting his place as a Jew" Fanon quotes Sartre's observation that Jews who are "poisoned by the fear of the stereotype that others have of them" often fmd themselves in a situation where "their conduct 1S perpetually overdetermined from the inside" a: But Fanon goes on to argue that All the same the Jew can be unknown in his Jewishness He is a white man, and The Jew is disliked from the moment that he is tracked down.
But in my case everything takes on a new guise. I am given no chance. I am overdetermined from without.
I am the slave not of the "idea" that others have of me but of my own appearance I If there is no way out then good faith requires that the lived reality of race and racism be faced up to. And, indeed, Fanon reports that once he arrived at this recognition: Since the other hesitated to recognize me, there remained only one solution: However, Fanon thinks that this bad faith must be embraced as an end in-itself when circumstances demand an absolute commitment to a movement of revolt against the greater bad faith of denying or accepting oppression: But, in a necessary paradox that will be explored in the chapters three and four, he nevertheless looks beyond this towards a black consciousness of freedom: I am not a potentiality of something.
I am wholly what I am. I do not have to look for the universal It is" a: Hence black consciousness emerges as the authentic identity of aWe-subject. It has outlined the reasons for Fanon's scepticism towards ontology and his commitment to a critical ontology. Furthermore it has offered an explanation of the basic ideas in existential thinking about critical ontology, ideas which are central to Fanon's thought, and has sought to show the connections between Fanon's thinking and Sartrean ontology.
The chapter has concluded with an explanation of Fanon's arguments about what the lived experience of blackness means for thinking about black ontology. I will build on this in the work that follows, particularly in the next chapter where I explain Fanon's radical humanism - an ethics which is congruent with the ontology elaborated here. All liberation struggles are to an extent that: Because oppression always seeks to legitimise itself by appearing to be natural its ontological speculations, it will offer nothing to the oppressed.
But an ontology that seeks to recognise, with Fanon, "the open door of every consciousness" I will never stop reiterating that.
Dal punto di vista fonologico vanno segnalati vari fenomeni. Gruppi consonantici iniziali vengono sempre risillabificati attraverso l'inserimento di una vocale all'interno del gruppo come in firaashsha 'freccia direzionale ', furusiyoone 'frizione' e gurumbiyaale 'grembiule da cucina ', oppure all'inizio di esso come in iskwaadella cf.
Molti di questi fenomeni, come la chiusura di -e in -i, gli esiti delle affricate alveolari italiane e di v, ecc. Va rilevato che in somalo si usa sia taraafiko 'polizia stradale', che bulukeeti 'blocchetto di cemento per costruzioni', di forma e significato estremamente simili a saho taraafik e bulukketti.
L'abbigliamento, l'alimentazione e le mansioni domestiche in case di tipo europeo presentano anch'essi numerosi italianismi. Da notare in particolare: Oxford University Press.
What's at Stake for the Linguist? RAZ Eds.
Introduction aux contes dans l'aire couchitique bedja, afar, saho, somali , Louvain-Paris: Classe der Kaiserl. Akademie der Wissenschaften, XC: And J. Rivington By W. Bulmer and Co. Mouton de Gruyter. Sabur Printing Services. Dolgopolsky and H. Eretriyat Dastor, Asmara, Sabur Printing Services, Termine collettivo. Il singolativo femm. Il singolativo masch. Il femm. Voce derivante dall'incrocio tra i termini italiani sporco e porco. Voce usata per insultare borsa n. Saluto informale usato solo quando ci si congeda.
You can taste in their writing a hint of bitterness from dashed hopesfrom inspiring liberation movements that were thwarted by superior forces, revolutionary projects that came to naught, and promising organizations that went bad and fell apart internally.
We understand this reaction and we lived together with them through many of these defeats. But one has to recognize defeat without being defeated. Pull out the thorn and let the wound heal. Like the unarmed prophets whom Machiavelli rid- iculed, social movements that refuse organization are not only useless but also dangerous to themselves and others. Indeed many important theoretical developments of recent decades, in- cluding ones we have promoted, have been cited to support a generalized refusal of organization.
Theoretical investigations, for instance, of the increas- ingly general intellectual, affective, and communicative capacities of the labor force, sometimes coupled with arguments about the potentials of new media technologies, have been used to bolster the assumption that activists can or- ganize spontaneously and have no need for institutions of any sort. The phil- osophical and political affirmation of immanence, in such cases, is mistakenly translated into a refusal of all norms and organizational structuresoften combined with the assumption of radical individualism.
On the contrary, the affirmation of immanence and the recognition of new generalized social ca- pacities are compatible with and indeed require organization and institution of a new type, a type that deploys structures of leadership, albeit in new form. In short, we endorse in general the critiques of authority and demands for democracy and equality in social movements.
And yet we are not among those who claim that todays horizontal movements in themselves are sufficient, that there is no problem, and that the issue of leadership has been superseded. Behind the critique of leadership often hides a position we do not endorse that resists all attempts to create organizational and institutional forms in the movements that can guarantee their continuity and effectiveness.
When this happens the critiques of authority and leadership really do become liabilities for the movements. We do not subscribe either, at the opposite extreme, to the view that the existing horizontal movements need to dedicate their efforts to resuscitating 8 the leadership problem either a progressive electoral party or a vanguardist revolutionary party.
Labor and the Human Condition
First of all, the potential of electoral parties is highly constrained, particularly as the state is ever more occupied or sometimes actually colonized by capitalist power and thus less open to the influence of parties. Second, and perhaps more important, the party in its various forms is unable to make good on its claims to be representative and we will return to the question of representation in more detail.
Progressive electoral parties, in the opposition and in power, can tactically have positive effects, but as a complement to not a substitute for the movements.
We have no sympathy with those who claim that, because of the weakness of the movements and the illusions of reform through electoral means, we need to resuscitate the corpse of the modern vanguard party and the charismatic figures of liberation movements past, propping up their rotting leadership structures.
We too recognize ourselves as part of the modern revo- lutionary and liberation traditions that gave birth to so many parties, but no act of necromancy will breathe life into the vanguard party form todaynor do we think it desirable even if it were possible. Let the dead bury the dead. Leaderless movements as symptoms To confront the leadership problem we need to recognize, first, that the lack of leaders in the movements today is neither accidental nor isolated: hierar- chical structures have been overturned and dismantled within the movements as a function of both the crisis of representation and a deep aspiration to democracy.
Todays leadership problem is really a symptom of a profound his- torical transformation, one that is currently in midstreammodern organi- zational forms have been destroyed and adequate replacements have not yet been invented. We need to see this process to its completion, but to do so we will eventually have to extend our analysis well beyond the terrain of politics to investigate the social and economic shifts at play. For now, though, let us focus on the political terrain and the challenges of political organization.
The ruling powers and the forces of reaction often in collaboration with the institutional parties of the Left have systematically imprisoned and assassinated revolutionary leaders. Each country has its own pantheon of fallen heroes and martyrs: Rosa Luxemburg, where have all the leaders gone? Although targeted killing and polit- ical imprisonment are the most spectacular, a host of other weapons of repres- sion are continually employed that, although less visible, are often more effec- tive: specialized legal persecution, from measures that criminalize protest up to extraordinary rendition and Guantanamo-style imprisonment; covert oper- ations, including counterinformation programs, provocations by undercover law agents, and entrapment by goading potential activists into illegal acts; cen- sorship, or using dominant media outlets to spread false information, create ideological confusion, or simply distort events by translating social and political questions into matters of style, fashion, or custom; the making of leaders into celebrities in order to co-opt them; and many, many more.
The ruling powers deem such damage as acceptable costs of achieving the objective. Every counterinsurgency manual preaches the importance, by one means or another, of removing revolutionary leaders: cut off the head and the body will die. No one should underestimate the effects and damages of such forms of repression, but on their own they reveal little about the decline of leadership in social movements.
The repression and targeting of revolutionary and lib- eration leaders, after all, are not new and, in fact, focusing on such external causes gives us a poor understanding of the movements evolution, in which the real motor of change is internal. The more profound answer to the ques- tionWhere have all the leaders gone? The goal is to raise the consciousness and capacities of everyone so that all can speak equally and participate in political decisions.
And such efforts are often accompanied by undermining all who claim to be leaders. One powerful moment in this genealogyone that still resonates with activ- ists throughout the worldis constituted by the efforts of many feminist organ- izations in the late s and early s to develop tools to promote democracy within the movement. The practice of consciousness-raising, for instance, and making sure that everyone speaks at meetings, serves as a means to foster the participation of all in the political process and to make it possible for decisions to be made by everyone involved.
Feminist organizations also developed rules 10 the leadership problem to prevent members from taking the position of representative or leader, dictat- ing, for example, that no one should speak to the media without the groups permission. An individual being designated as leader or representative of the group would undermine the hard-won accomplishments of democracy, equal- ity, and empowerment within the organization.
When someone did present herself or accepted being designated as a leader or spokesperson, she was subject to trashing, a sometimes brutal process of criticism and isolation. Behind such practices, however, was an antiauthoritarian spirit and, more important, the desire to create democracy. The feminist movements of the s and 70s were an extraordinary incubator for generating and developing the democratic prac- tices that have come to be generalized in contemporary social movements.
These movements rejected not only the way male legislators claimed to represent the interests of women and the way the white power structure claimed to represent black people but also the way movement leaders claimed to represent their own organizations. In many segments of the movements, participation was promoted as the an- tidote to representation, and participatory democracy as the alternative to centralized leadership.
The successes of the civil rights movement of the s and 60s are credited to the wisdom and effectiveness of its leaders: most often a group of black, male preachers with the Southern Christian Leadership Conference and with Martin Luther King Jr.School for Advanced Research Press, , pp. The Politics of Memory in Chile: He has guest-edited two issues on the decolonial turn for the journal Transmodernity and is currently working on a book manuscript entitled Theorizing the Decolonial Turn.
Bliss, V. And in the case of the constitution of political order categories, institutions, claims to recognition and rule, communication in the form of symbolic practices and discursive structures played a fundamental role.
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On the other hand, as we have seen, Cistercian theology made a particularly strong case of affect being a constitutive element of community building and maintenance. This was the denomination for the Tatar khans as well as for the Byzantine Emperors.
I study the transnational turn through a focus on three texts that can be unquestionably called pioneering within the ield.
L'italiano crusca viene anche usato con questo significato.
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