Wednesday, 29 April 2009



...Reading the news, I must say this: 12 people - 12 students were arrested as suspected terrorists. Gordon Brown claimed that a "very big plot" has been foiled - without any evidence. Now, all but two, have been released. I dare say that they will all very soon be released without charge.

What Brown has said, then, is libelous, goes against the ... Read Moreproper system of justice, and, to put it bluntly, has distinct overtones of xenophobia: they are Pakistani, therefore they are guilty until proved innocent.

In the meantime, under the cover of this "very big plot", Brown has pushed through legistlation that is manifestation of this same xenophobia. Student visa controls have been "tightened", which is to say that international students may well now struggle to get the visas they need to study in Britain. Further, Universities are being asked to spy on and report on their international students - to suspect them of terrorism on the basis of their nationality.

This is nothing new of course. Witness the Nottingham University snooping in 2008:

The recent government (Bill Rammell's) demands for University snooping in only a continuation of established policy.... Read More

It is worth noting, and it will be worth checking the reports in up coming days to prove this, that even those who are then released without charge seem to be routinely deported, despite their innocence. Certainly those arrested recently have been 'released to the custody of UK Border Agency'.

...oh, update, as I've been writing the Guardian has released this:

Yep, despite being held for two whole weeks (without any actual evidence) they have all been released without charge.

Oh - just to note:

'Greater Manchester police said last night that nine of the men, aged between 22 and 38, had been transferred into the custody of the UK Borders Agency. The Home Office said: "We are seeking to remove these individuals on grounds of national security. The government's highest priority is to protect public safety. Where a foreign national poses a threat to this country we will seek to exclude or to deport, where this is appropriate."

So, despite finding not substantial evidence (fuck all except perhaps the word "bomb" in an email) it seems they will deport this students as threats to national security.... Read More you think this means we can deport Brown?

JUST for a laugh:

So... it is Piggish American Capitalists who have caused this latest "pandemic".


So... once again the epitome of Western Capitalism (the US), and their "Pig Barons", steal land, evicting those who live on and work the land. They then, through factory farming and shoddy treatment of their livestock, cause half a town, perhaps more, to contract a contagious and potentially fatal disease (I say 'potentially', but remembering that many people have already died).

So... of course, they are handsomely compensating these people? And they are provinding and paying for the necessary medical care..? They are changing their farming methods?


It strikes me that the people who live in these places need to take back their land, by force if necessary. And we should all support them. "Legal" means will not work, since the law is designed to protect capitalism, and its conceptions of property, even in the face of clear facts demonstrating the extent of harm caused by these pig-people.

For all of you who are too caught up in the spectacle to engage in revolutionary activities: at least employ your pathetic "consumer ethics" and boycott Luter products.

Solidarity with the people of La Gloria.

Thursday, 15 January 2009

A discussion on the wall of the SI

at 12:37pm yesterday


I am not sure that it would be right of us to appropriate (co-opt) the title 'Situationist International'. I'm not comfortable with the idea that we might call ourselves 'situationists', and so on. Particularly because I cannot feel good about any association that exist only via the Disneyland of Facebook. But also because I don't want SI safely recuperated by 793 happy little capitalists (I am including myself in this, you see). Finally, I don't wish to contribute to the ongoing bastardisation of Situationist International and its texts.

I hope, though, that we might discuss our thoughts and go from there.I've only just begun to digest the texts of Debord. Many of these, and other SI texts, can be found here:

Another interesting writer (I have been informed on good faith):

Cornelius Castoriadis:

Mike Quinlan (Boston, MA) wrote

at 3:00pm yesterday

Geez, I never took it that seriously, Chris. After all, as you point out, this is Facebook. I don't believe anyone takes that seriously.

But it gives you a clue about what sort of discussion might take place here and could result in the birthing of an actual situationist or two, so why not. I've pulled out my dilapidated 'Society of the Spectacle' and 'The Veritable Split in the International' and am giving myself headaches again thanks to this site...

Mike Quinlan (Boston, MA) wrote

at 7:33pm yesterday

Pseudo-cyclical time is actually no more than the 'consumable disguise' of the commodity-time of production. It contains the essential properties of commodity-time, namely exchangeable homogenous units and the suppression of the qualitative dimension. But being the byproduct of this time which aims to retard concrete daily life and to keep it retarded, it must be charged with pseudo-valuations and appear in a sequence of falsely individualized moments.

Get my drift?

at 8:45am

Perhaps, perhaps not. I think, for example, that ideas of 'pseudo' and 'false' are problematic. In one short story by Donald Barthelme the narrator comments that 'signs are signs, and some of them are lies' (Me and Miss Mandible). My thoughts are:

1/ That it obvious that we cannot stand outside of representation; ideas of 'true' and 'false' are, thus, irrelevant.

2/ All representations are political.

Thus, it is not a case that capitalism deludes us because it presents us only with signs; we cannot do away with a 'false' sign system in order to access 'the real'. The capitalist system does, however, have an invested interest in normalising this system of signs, restricting 'play', ascribing meaning, shoring up authority. This is a lie we must break down, certainly...

at 8:52am

But, the irony of the Barthelme quotation, is that, when faced with the society of spectacle, we cannot say: this is an illusion we must replace with truth. Instead we must be self-affirming: this is a representation that we do not like, and so we must replace it. This is a lie that serves self-interested fat cats, we must break it and make something better in its place.

I think that this is one of the things Guy Debord it suggesting in Society of the Spectacle. For example:

The spectacle cannot be understood as an abuse of the world of vision, as a product of the techniques of mass dissemination of images. It is, rather, a Weltanschauung which has become actual, materially translated. It is a world vision which has become objectified.


The spectacle grasped in its totality is both the result and the project of the existing mode of production. It is not a supplement to the real world, an additional decoration. It is the heart of the unrealism of the real society.

at 8:59am

What do you think?

p.s. It's not that I do not think we're 'true' situationists. It's simply that the term, the group, the people, the texts, all had a specificity; a political moment. I don't want to smother this. And I don't want to re-chew the already digested. I'd rather find a new name.

Mike Quinlan (Boston, MA) wrote

at 2:46pm

I believe you are correct. Certainly digesting all of these intellectual underpinnings is in no way a necessary precondition to be a revolutionary, and I often wonder if it simply isn't a sidetrack to paralysis.

"Revolutionary theory is now the enemy of all revolutionary ideology and knows it." S. of S. #124 in its entirety.

But you do seem to hold the situationists to another standard than say, Marx or Kropotkin, who we can certainly read and use as we see fit and call ourselves marxists (boo) or anarchists (yay), proudly carrying on in their tradition.

at 9:58pm

Certainly this is a common, a traditional, critique that some academics seem to have based their careers upon. I disagree strongly. 'Theorizing' in this case is discussion; discussion seems positive. That discussion is positive is a presupposition of the left; what is (true) democracy? Apart from access to necessities - water, food, medicine - it is also access to education and freedom to discuss. What is fascism? Etc.

I think what paralyses us is much more scary than 'excessive navel gazing'. It is the comfort and distractions that keep those who might act and be heard content. It is the way that in this capitalist system the 'true enemy' is always kept out of sight, always deferred. It is the fear that we have of being marginalised, of stepping outside of the social order. It is the political lies we are told - for example, that Britain and America are democratic.

Certainly, though, it is also the excessive complication of matters by self-appointed 'experts'.

at 10:04pm

For example, many will talk about 'the Economy' as though it is this hideously complex thing, subject to processes that must be regulated in such a way, that cannot be changed because, that intrinsically, transcandentally must be in this manner. This is bullshit. In this case the essential points are all very simple: that, for example, people must be able to eat, must be able to drink clean water, must be able to afford medical care, must be able to work safely, must be able to work without fear of molestation, must be able to rest, must be able to excerise human dignity. &c.

These things a 3 year old can understand.

But, to theorise is to speak, and to act - even if ineffectually - and so the fascile critiques should be laid to rest.

at 10:11pm

Oh - I didn't address your last point. Certainly use and abuse the SI texts. They're not sacred. But, Marx and his texts are a good example of something that has been appropriated in many different ways, not all, we might argue, 'accurate'.

What I would hope, as I began to say, is that if we were to pursue such and such a cause, we might dispense with the various pledges of allegiance and instead find and use our own names; view the SI as a point of departure, not a ragged old flag to be waved.

Sunday, 31 August 2008


31st Sept. 2008
It's beginning to get late, and I'm already tired after a week of working.
'Don't give me no shit because
I've been tired' the Pixies sing, as though it is justification, as though it might be the source of our common humanity, as though it precedes and supersedes notions of morality. I can go with that some fair distance.
Why am I awake then?
I was hoping to talk to Helen, but I've been unable to get hold of her. This makes me restless.
I was also hoping to have progressed more this Summer with so many projects. None have been begun.
I feel impatient.
I've had some beautiful dreams recently. Other worlds. Sometimes I am me, sometimes not. Often people I know play out roles, but the dreams cut back and forth rapidly, things change; people are not themselves, or else they are two people, or their opposite, or not at all. In all of them, though, I am free to move. I can leap through the air, and catch myself, and climb and run.
Have you ever been staring out of the window on a long journey passing massive tracts of land, fields that seem endless, and wanted to just run through the fields? I know I would run and stumble, and itch and scratch and rapidly overheat and gasp and trip down. But there would be something perfect about bein able to run all the way through, without tiring, seeing what isn't seen, what is passed by without recognition.
My body aches. But I should hit the sack.