I get up. There is a white hole in the wall, a mirror. It is a trap. I know I am going to let myself be caught in it. I have. The grey thing appears in the mirror. I go over and look at it, I can no longer get away.
It is the reflection of my face. Often in these lost days I study it. I can understand nothing of this face. The faces of others have some sense, some direction. Not mine. I cannot even decide whether it is handsome or ugly.
All societies are rational and irrational at the same time. They are perforce rational in their mechanisms, their cogs and wheels, their connecting systems, and even by the place they assign to the irrational. Yet all this presupposes codes or axioms which are not the products of chance, but which are not intrinsically rational either. It’s like theology: everything about it is rational if you accept sin, immaculate conception, incarnation. Reason is always a region cut out of the irrational - not sheltered from the irrational at all, but a region traversed by the irrational and defined only by a certain type of relation between irrational factors. Underneath all reason lies delirium, drift.
And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music.
Usually attributed to Nietzsche, probably falsely.
It is more likely a corruption of this Madame de Staël quote:
“… sometimes even in the habitual course of life, the reality of this world disappears all at once, and we feel ourselves in the middle of its interests as we should at a ball, where we did not hear the music; the dancing that we saw there would appear insane.”
In the popular mind, an Anarchist is a person who throws bombs and commits other outrages, either because he is more or less insane, or because he uses the pretense of extreme political opinions as a cloak for criminal proclivities. This view is, of course, in every way inadequate. Some Anarchists believe in throwing bombs; many do not. Men of almost every other shade of opinion believe in throwing bombs in suitable circumstances…. but for every bomb manufactured by an Anarchist, many millions are manufactured by Governments, and for every man killed by Anarchist violence, many millions are killed by the violence of States. We may, therefore, dismiss from our minds the whole question of violence, which plays so large a part in the popular imagination, since it is neither essential nor peculiar to those who adopt the Anarchist position.
Bertrand Russell, ‘Proposed Roads to Freedom’ (1918)
If violence is wrong in America, violence is wrong abroad. If it is wrong to be violent defending black women and black children and black babies and black men, then it is wrong for America to draft us, and make us violent abroad in defense of her. And if it is right for America to draft us, and teach us how to be violent in defense of her, then it is right for you and me to do whatever is necessary to defend our own people right here in this country.
El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz (1925-1965) (الحاجّ مالك الشباز), formerly known as Malcolm X (via specialnights)
By proclaiming ourselves anarchists, we proclaim before hand that we disavow any way of treating others in which we should not like them to treat us; that we will no longer tolerate the inequality that has allowed some among us to use their strength, their cunning or their ability after a fashion in which it would annoy us to have such qualities used against ourselves. Equality in all things, the synonym of equity, this is anarchism in very deed. It is not only against the abstract trinity of law, religion, and authority that we declare war. By becoming anarchists we declare war against all this wave of deceit, cunning, exploitation, depravity, vice - in a word, inequality - which they have poured into all our hearts. We declare war against their way of acting, against their way of thinking. The governed, the deceived, the exploited, the prostituted, wound above all else our sense of equality. It is in the name of equality that we are determined to have no more prostituted, exploited, deceived and governed men and women.
The basic problem is the following: why is the category of tolerance universalised to such an extent today? Have you noticed that problems - which twenty, thirty, or forty years ago were perceived not as problems of intolerance, but as problems of injustice, inequality, and so on - are today rephrased as problems of tolerance? Racism today is just “you don’t tolerate my way of life”. […] I made a simple experiment: go to the internet, put in some of his speeches and search for “tolerance” or “intolerance”. It’s practically absent. Martin Luther King didn’t fight for tolerance. He fought for the end of exploitation, injustice, and inequality. It would even be obscene and racist for him to say, “oh, we blacks want whites to tolerate us”. […] In our postmodern era, where the economy is more and more reduced to something experts do, the only conflicts that remain are perceived as conflicts of culture.
The inhabitants of a single building live a few inches from each other, they are separated by a mere partition wall, they share the same spaces repeated along each corridor, they perform the same movements at the same times, turning on a tap, flushing the water closet, switching on a light, laying the table, a few dozen simultaneous existences repeated from storey to storey, from building to building, from street to street.
The liberal ruling class response is designed to deflect attention away from the wrongness of the economic inequality that causes the economic hardship that drives people into prostitution. The liberal elite hope that their support for better working conditions for prostitutes and their opposition to making prostitutes criminals under the law and their concern for not stigmatizing prostitutes will make people forget about the wrongness of the economic hardship that drives people into prostitution. They hope it will make people forget that the vast majority of prostitutes in the world do it only to survive, that they would otherwise never offer their bodies to be used for sex by strangers, and that they feel humiliated by having been forced into prostitution and don’t want their children to ever know what they do for a living.
The ruling elite are making an alliance with “sex worker activists” with an implicit deal: The elite will support making prostitution legal and improving working conditions for a minority of prostitutes, and in exchange the “sex worker activists” will never talk about the wrongness of the economic inequality of our society that drives most prostitutes involuntarily into prostitution.
The man who has arrogated to himself the right to kill at will, anywhere on the globe, accountable only to himself, based on secret information and classified legal rationales, now says he is determined that Washington’s “perpetual war” must one day end – sometime in the misty future after he is long gone from office. He informed his global audience of potential victims that he had signed a secret agreement (with himself?) that would limit drone strikes to targets that pose “a continuing, imminent threat to Americans” and cannot be captured – a policy that his White House has always claimed (falsely) to be operative. He promises to be more merciful than before, “haunted” as he is by all the nameless deaths, although he admits to having done no wrong.
There’s that old saying: the devil’s greatest trick is that he convinced people that he doesn’t exist. Well, white supremacy’s greatest trick is that it has convinced people that, if it exists at all, it exists always in other people, never in us.
Prison is the only place where power is manifested in its naked state, in its most excessive form, and where it is justified as moral force. “I am within my rights to punish you because you know that it is criminal to rob and kill…” […] What is fascinating about prisons is that, for once, power doesn’t hide or mask itself; it reveals itself as tyranny pursued into the tiniest details; it is cynical and at the same time pure and entirely “justified,” because its practice can be totally formulated within the framework of morality. Its brutal tyranny consequently appears as the serene domination of Good over Evil, of order over disorder.
Michel Foucault, Intellectuals and power: A conversation between Gilles Deleuze and (via denzilposada)