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A demonstration against tycoons outside Tel Aviv’s Azrieli Mall yesterday

A demonstration against tycoons outside Tel Aviv’s Azrieli Mall yesterday

A demonstration against tycoons outside Tel Aviv’s Azrieli Mall yesterday. The sign reads “From slavery to freedom.”

On Wednesday, Israel Police Commissioner Yohanan Danino met with officers at the Yarkon regional police headquarters in Tel Aviv, following criticism of police conduct during last weekend’s protest. Danino was told by officers that coverage did not reflect the reality police faced. The police commissioner expressed support for the police but cautioned against the use of violence.

Following the posting of a video clip showing a policeman, Chief Superintendent Yossi Sperling, choking a female demonstrator, police announced that he will be summoned for clarification of the incident.

Meanwhile, protesters continue to plan a range of unofficial “Black Night” events to counter this evening’s municipal-sponsored White Night festival in Tel Aviv, in protest at violence they say was directed at protesters by police officers and municipal inspectors during last weekend’s protest.

“There’s a protest here that is alive and kicking despite the fact that over the course of the year the government did everything to destroy it,” Stav Shaffir, one of the leaders of last summer’s social-justice protests, told Haaretz on Wednesday.

“We don’t want a violent protest,” said Shaffir, “and don’t want them to drag us into violent protest or to drag us by the hair in the street, so we will take every possible step to do what we are doing without allowing the police to precipitate such violence.”

Shaffir said she and her colleagues must focus attention now on the issue of next year’s state budget. “We have to apply the right pressure, come up with solutions and suggest good, reasonable proposals on how to improve things, so that we are able to already see the effects of the protest in the coming year,” she said.

“We need a change in taxation, a progressive corporate tax, fewer of the indirect taxes that [Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu loves so much, massive construction of public housing, the beginning of affordable housing in Israel, a complete halt to the privatization of the education and health systems,” she added.

Reacting to the Tel Aviv municipality’s consent this week to the presence of a protest tent encampment near the Tel Aviv central train station at Namir Road and Arlosoroff Street, Shaffir said protest should be possible anywhere in the city where people wish to support it. “Putting us at the end of the city, near the border with Ramat Gan shows exactly what [Tel Aviv Mayor] Ron Huldai and city hall think of us – that we’re marginal, as far from the center of things as possible.”

As part of the Black Night event, at 6 P.M. on Thursday, a public advocacy vigil will be held in the center of Tel Aviv followed at 9:30 P.M. by a “tent march” from Habima Square, down Rothschild Boulevard – the scene of last year’s protest tent encampment – to south Tel Aviv, where street parties and cultural events are planned.

A bar on Nahalat Binyamin Street is hosting what is being billed as a freedom of speech party with an open microphone, available to anyone seeking to express an opinion. Among other events is a 3 A.M. pajama party in Rabin Square.

On Saturday night another protest march is planned in Tel Aviv. “I assume we will encounter different treatment from the police,” one of the protest organizers Yonatan Levi said. “They won’t violently assault people and choke them,” he said, adding that the protesters will refrain from violence and hope the police do too.

By Ofra Edelman, Yaniv Kubovich and Jonathan Lis | Jun.28, 2012 | Haaretz | Photo by Daniel Bar-On

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The War Machine

The War Machine

Deleuze, Gilles and Félix Guattari. Nomadology: the War Machine. Trans. Brian Masumi. New York: Semiotext(e), 1986.

(excerpted by Clifford Stetner)

Axiom 1: The war machine is exterior to the State apparatus.

Proposition 1: This exteriority is first attested to in mythology, epic, drama and games.

1

Georges Dumézil in his definitive analyses of Indo-European mythology, has shown that political sovereignty, or domination, has two heads: the magician-king and the jurist priest, Rex and flamen, raj and Brahman, Romulus and Numa, Varuna and Mitra, the despot and the legislator, the binder and the organizer. Undoubtedly, these two poles stand in opposition term by term, as the obscure and the clear, the violent and the calm, the quick and the weighty, the fearsome and the regulated, the “bond” and the pact,” etc. [n1] But their opposition is only relative; they function as a pair, in alternation, as though they expressed a division of the One or constituted in themselves a sovereign unity.

2

…the State… either…uses policemen and jailers in place of warriors, has no arms and no need of them, operates through immediate, magical capture, “seizes” and “binds,” preventing all combat – or …army, but in a way that presupposes a juridical integration of war and the organization of military function. [n2] …irreducible to the State apparatus…

Indra, the warrior god, is in opposition to Varuna no less then to Mitra. [n3]… He unties the bond just as he betrays the pact.

3

Chess is a game of State…internal nature and intrinsic properties, from which their movements, situations and confrontations derive.

Go pieces are elements of a nonsubjectified machine assemblage with no intrinsic properties, but only situational ones.

4

The nomos of Go against the state of chess, nomos against polis. …chess codes and decodes space… Go proceeds altogether differently territorializing or deterritorializing it (make the outside a territory in space; consolidate that territory by the construction of a second, adjacent territory; deterritorialize the enemy by shattering his territory from within; deterritorialize oneself by renouncing, by going elsewhere . . . . Another justice, another movement, another space-time.

5

Dumézil analyzes the three “sins” of the warrior in the Indo-European tradition: against the king, against the priest, against the laws originating in the State (for example, a sexual transgression that compromises the distribution of men and women, or even a betrayal of the laws of war as instituted by the State).

It is not enough to affirm that the war machine is external to the apparatus. It is necessary to reach the point of conceiving the war machine as itself a pure form of exteriority, whereas the State apparatus constitutes the form of interiority we habitually take as a model, or according to which we are in the habit of thinking.

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Surplus Men

Surplus Men

SURPLUS MEN. You, masters of yourselves! You, sovereign men! All whose nature is only an appurtenance, all those who cannot be counted, they are working for you, though it might not seem so from a superficial glance! These princes, these businessmen, these agriculturalists, these military men who perhaps think of themselves as high above you – they are only slaves who, according to an eternal necessity, do not work for themselves! There are never slaves without masters – and you others will always be these masters for whom they are working: in a later century, one will be able to see more clearly this presently indiscernible spectacle! Leave them, then, their ways of seeing and their illusions, through which they justify and deceive themselves about their servile work, don’t battle against opinions that constitute a remission for slaves! But always remember that this enormous effort, this sweat, this dust, this din of the labour of civilization is at the service of those who know how to use it all without participating in this work; that surplus men who are maintained by this universal surplus-labor are necessary, and that these men of surplus constitute the meaning and apology of all this fermentation! In the meantime, be millers and let these waters come to your watermills! Don’t worry about their struggles or the wild tumult of these tempests! Whatever forms of the State or societies might result from it, they will never be anything more than forms of slavery – and you will always be the sovereigns, for you alone belong to yourselves, and the others will never be anything more than accessories!

Friedrich Nietzsche, December 1881-January 1882

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Nishitani on Japanese Identity

Nishitani on Japanese Identity

Lowith compares the undiscriminating nature of the Japanese with the free mastery of the ancient Greeks when they adopted neighboring cultures: they felt free among others as if they were at home, and at the same time retained their sense of self. There is no such unity of self and others in the case of Japan. Lowith says that modern Japan is itself a ‘living contradiction.’ What he says is true–but how are we then to resolve such a contradiction? As a European, Lowith let the question lie there. It is our problem, a problem of will.

– Keiji Nishitani, The Self-Overcoming of Nihilism, 1990

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Nishitani on Ancestry

Nishitani On Ancestry

Nietzsche stresses a sense of responsibility toward the ancestors, a “thinking through the succession of the generations,” and bearing the accumulation of every possible spiritual nobility of the past. His nihilism, a radical confrontation with history, was backed up by responsibility toward the ancestors to redeem what is noble in the tradition. His standpoint calls for a returning to the ancestors in order to face the future, or to put it the other way around, a prophesying toward the tradition. Without a will toward the future, the confrontation with the past cannot be properly executed; nor is there a true will toward the future without responsibility toward the ancestors. For us Japanese now, the recovery of this primordial will represents our most fundamental task. It is here that European nihilism will begin to reveal its fundamental significance for us.”

– Keiji Nishitani, The Self-Overcoming of Nihilism (1990)