Post-Structuralism

Interview

From Here

http://gothamist.com/2014/04/29/video_nyc_performance_art.php#.

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Interview Todd May

http://www.3ammagazine.com/3am/the-poststructural-anarchist/

TM: For most traditional anarchists like Peter Kropotkin and Emma Goldman, the Soviet Union was a crisis almost from the beginning. They saw it as hierarchical in character, and in that way a continuation of the kinds of domination characteristic of capitalist society. In fact, earlier on, in his dispute with Marx, Mikhail Bakunin predicted that a Marxist takeover of the state would simply reproduce the hierarchical structure of social and political relations. AsThe Who said, “Here comes the new boss, same as the old boss.” This is where anarchism becomes associated with a critique of the state. My own reading of anarchism is, however, that it is much more than a critique of the state. It is a critique of domination in all its forms–political, economic, gender, racial, etc. So while the anarchists were certainly right about theSoviet Union, we should read their work as a more general critique of domination. Granted, this general critique is at times in the background of their work, but it is nevertheless recognizable. In this way, they differ importantly from Marx. For Marx, there is an Archimedean point of social change since there is a central point of domination: the extraction of surplus value from the workers. Therefore, there is really only a single struggle: the struggle for the ownership of means of production.”

and later…

“How might one live, then, in Deleuze’s view? We don’t know what lives we are capable of. So a life ought to be an experiment, or a set of experiments, in living. We investigate what is possible, what we can become. This investigation is not limited to anything individualistic. In fact, Deleuze’s ontology is not an individualistic one. Experiments can happen at the individual, group, and even subindividual level.”

Pedagogy, learning, and Deleuze

Below is a new art of learning. A new art of collaborating. A new art of working together. How does an organization incorporate this?  It is the free flow of creativity…What does this mean for political line? What does this mean for developing a program?

From: http://creativitynotcontrol.wordpress.com/2014/04/03/freestyle-learning-in-the-rhizomatic-cypher/

“Similarly, my students’ thinking becomes nomadic, roaming right out of the lessons I’ve mapped out for them.  They open up entirely new lines of flight that lead into uncharted and possibly dangerous intellectual and emotional territories.  For example, we are talking about religion’s role in society and suddenly a student shouts out “I’m gay, does that mean I won’t go to heaven?”, or we’re talking about  some contemporary political debate and suddenly three students demand to know why the economy crashed and a fourth wants to figure out whether it has something to do with the Illuminati and a fifth makes a speech against conspiracy theories, prompting a debate that engulfs the class for the rest of the period.

I’m not talking about the moments where  bored students tactically lay out a piece of  tangent-bait hoping the teacher will get derailed so they don’t have to do their classwork. Usually those tangents are even more predictably scripted than our lessons.   I’m talking about moments where students go on tangents precisely because they are NOT bored. Moments where the planned learning activities open up a vortex of emotion and thought  because they touch on concepts, issues, and experiences that students usually do not get a chance to discuss in their daily lives.  Something one student says resonates with the others, and it unfolds a waterfall of thoughts that students didn’t know they urgently needed to talk about until that moment.  Now they are not going to want to talk about anything else – except for everything else that relates.

In this sense, learning is not about discovering perfect truths that represent a stable reality composed of separate people and objects.  That kind of learning leads to understanding , posing objectives like “students will identify what these things are, and show this on a test”.   It objectifies things, and thus it objectifies knowledge.  Instead of seeking understanding, Deleuze and Guattari argue that the really interesting pursuit is learning to think – which often involves learning to feel.   Thought does not simply discover things, it creates new lines of flight.  It creates concepts and desires that traverse our bodies and minds, weaving among each other and the people, machines, plants, animals, cities, economies, words, and music we interact with.”

Todd May on a new political ontology

From http://www.amazon.com/Gilles-Deleuze-Introduction-Todd-May/dp/0521603846

” One way to approach Deleuze and Guattari’s politics is to see them as offering a new political ontology. Deleuze cannot accept the dogmatic ontology offered by traditional political theory. To begin our political thought with individual human beings, each of which comes with his or her own (chosen) interests, is already to give the game away. It is to concede the stability of the already given that is the foundation of the dogmatic image of thought.

The problem is not only that individuals’ interests are intimately bound up with the society in which they live. It is true, as the communitarians2 have pointed out, that liberal political theory’s isolation of individuals from their societies often paints a distorted view of people’s interests. Individuals are far more subject to their social surroundings than liberal theory would have us believe. But the problem Deleuze sees is deeper. It lies in the very concept of the individual.

Why should we assume that individual human beings are the proper ontological units for political theory? Is it possible to start with some other unit? Or better, is it possible to start with a concept that is not prejudiced toward any particular unit of political analysis, whether it be the individual, the society, the state, the ethnic group, or whatever? Is it possible to conceive politics on the basis of a more fluid ontology, one that would allow for political change and experimentation on a variety of levels, rather than privileging one level or another?

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