Sunday, August 28, 2005


A quick note...

s0metim3s asks, in a post well worth reading in full:
should the struggles against internment, war, etc be characterised as struggles which attempt to respond to the ’state of emergency’ or as struggles whose history has preceded the onset of the ’state of emergency’?
Isn't this also the question of "resistance"?

I was surprised when I saw Negri in London a year or so ago, that he so insistently used the term "resistance," which I had always thought signalled the reactive nature of social struggles: you resist a power that, in resisting, you already acknowledge is in some way more powerful than you are. That conception is very much the opposite of the way in which Negri otherwise frames the issue of what he terms "constituent power," for which it is the state and/or capital that has, ceaselessly, to react to the multitude's creative innovations.

In practice, I'd say, resistance and creativity are always mixed. Indeed, the most successful resistance turns to creativity, and so moves beyond the struggle against some prior power. Equally, however, even the most innovative and creative of constituent strategies needs to protect its flanks or its rearguard. To take the metaphor of "Exodus," is it not as though the Biblical Israelites did not resist Pharaoh, even as they carved a line of flight through the Egyptian desert.

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