". . . But the past does not exist independently from the present. Indeed, the past is only past because there is a present, just as I can point to something over there only because I am here. But nothing is inherently over there or here. In that sense, the past has no content. The past -- or more accurately, pastness -- is a position. Thus, in no way can we identify the past as past." p. 15

". . . But we may want to keep in mind that deeds and words are not as distinguishable as often we presume. History does not belong only to its narrators, professional or amateur. While some of us debate what history is or was, others take it into their own hands." p. 153

Silencing the Past: Power and the Production of History (1995) by Michel-Rolph Trouillot

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

"The Coming Insurrection"

Paul LeClerc, the president and CEO of the NYPL system, attended last night's anniversary gala for the Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers. Vaquero found himself with some f2f time with him, who is an affable gentleman. Whereas then, he also found himself presenting a sorrowful description of the concerted efforts of the right for the last 4 decades to make extinct in this nation intellectuals as a profession and a class. Oddly, in this room filled with brilliant, achieving intellectuals, none of them had thought of what is going on quite like that before.

France, however, never forgets the force that intellectuals are.

See full story here.

[ By 5 o’clock a crowd of more than 100 had gathered. Their purpose: to celebrate the publication of an English translation of a book called “The Coming Insurrection,” which was written two years ago by an anonymous group of French authors who call themselves the Invisible Committee. More recently, the volume has been at the center of an unusual criminal investigation in France that has become something of a cause célèbre among leftists and civil libertarians.
The book, which predicts the imminent collapse of capitalist culture, was inspired by disruptive demonstrations that took place over the last few years in France and Greece. It was influenced stylistically by Guy Debord, a French writer and filmmaker who was a leader of the Situationist International, a group of intellectuals and artists who encouraged the Paris protests of 1968.

In keeping with the anarchistic spirit of the text, the bookstore event was organized without the knowledge or permission of Barnes & Noble. The gathering was intended partly as a show of solidarity with nine young people — including one suspected of writing “The Coming Insurrection” —whom in November the French police accused of forming a dangerous “ultraleftist” group and sabotaging train lines.

Intellectuals and artists have been under siege in this nation since nixon, when first we heard coming from the Oval Office the howling accusations of 'elite and effete' as battering rams and trebuchets issued against criticism of the rulers. It has been war on thinking, on the intellect, as a wedge to divide and conquer. It has been the strategy for the progressive dumbing down and debasement of discourse until the average person can no longer tell truth from lies, and weary of it all, no longer gives a damn. It does prgress from that that now the average person can no longer think of anything other than where the next mortgage payment is coming from. They have won the war, and we allowed them to, so worried have so many of us been that somebody might get something for nothing, that we might have to give up calling people 'nigger, kike, cunt, retard, chink, wop, etc.' whenever we felt like it, that someone else might get a slice of the entitlement pie -- the pie that all of us bake, but evidently have now enabled only an increasingly small number to eat.

[ “The book is important because it speaks to the total bankruptcy of pretty much everything,” one man said after the group left the bookstore. “We’re living in a high-end aesthetic with zero content.” ]


K. said...

I'm more optimistic than you. The anti-intellectuals who have taken over the Republican party went down to spectacular defeat last year.

Foxessa said...

But they own the media, they own the lobbyists, they own the legislators.

They have driven out our careers more than once.

And now have done so again.

It doesn't take winning elections.

They believe in the power of the gun and anything else they can use.

They've taken out abortion a viable option for about 85 - 90% of women, and now they're working on contraceptives -- well they always were working on contraceptives.

They are never afraid to make it a a shooting war. They want a shooting war.