Finally getting around to reading In Defense of Looting (https://www.boldtypebooks.com/titles/vicky-osterweil/in-defense-of-looting/9781645036678/)
A lot of it is a rearticulation of arguments that I think a lot of us on the insurrectionist/illegalist side of things have been putting forward for a while. With that said there are some absolute gems in here, and I will probably infrequently post them up when I come across them.
"If looters are "not part of the protest" then why do they appear again and again in liberatory uprisings? In fact, a number of sociological studies from the seventies showed that, against the commonsense narrative, those who participate in rioting and looting tend to be the most politically informed and socially engaged in the neighborhood, while the most apathetic, disconnected and alienated people riot at the lowest rates...
She also quotes James Baldwin, and the quote is amazing:
"History...is not merely something to be read. And it does not refer merely, or even principally, to the past. On the contrary, the great force of history comes from the fact that we carry it within us, are controlled by it in many ways, and history is literally present in all we do."
Here is an awesome, succinct, summation of the relationship between modernism, rationalism, racism and the concept of the "subhuman" that formed the foundations of the Holocaust. Those of you familiar with Critical Theory probably are familiar with this line of argumentation.
"The emergence of reason and the subsequent reification of reason as the fundamental attribute of human nature is therefore completely premised on the creation of hierarchies of reasonable and unreasonable people...
"...The enlightened, reasoned man can only exist in the distinction to the (African, Indigenous, nonmale) person who lacks reason; the idea of universal humanity is premised on human difference from and opposition to the less- or nonhuman person, a racialized and racializing difference.
In practice, this means that anything is justified in introducing reason to those who lack it, because, lacking it, that person is cast outside of what Wynter calls the "sanctified universe of obligation" ...
Onto Chapter Two:
"Though we may question it and struggle against it, our default sense of history, like our default idea of politics, is a story of leaders, laws and wars, important dates and formal treaties. Such a historical lens can't help but misrecognize the political will and communal intelligence behind the massive, decentralized direct actions that mark all revolutionary moments...
...Instead, five hundred thousand enslaved person's escaping (slavery) in the span of four years is treated like some individualistic, apolitical phenomenon called "opportunism"- a crime rioters and looters s are always accused of. The history of the Black Atlantic, however, reveals that enslaved populations across centuries have always recognized political crises among their enslavers as the best moments to organize and get free."
@tom_nomad yo, been out of the loop and really happy for these "chapters" but because of the ephemeral nature of the internet and because I got tired of scrolling back, I never got the the explanation to wtf are these "chapters" of? Your new book? A book? Anywho they are pretty awesome and necessary and wish they were all in an easy to find place
Been thinking of setting up a chi.ist blog, which directly integrates into any Fediverse application, to start keeping reading notes as I research, and to post longer things. Is that something that would be useful, even if simply to prevent the need for scrollback?
@tom_nomad For sure! I had to go like a month back to figure shit out - but you know everyone is fuckin busy so no sweat if it adds to your workload. My finger can take the scrollback 😂
Cool! If I end up starting one, I will let you know. As you said, time is definitely at a premium
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