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Discourse

A dialogue that doesn’t cover up its traces
A dialogue that doesn’t cover up its traces

David Graeber

Anarchy—In a Manner of Speaking

There’s endless literature on the mob or “the madness of crowds”, and most people do assume that any kind of crowd is necessarily going to be, collectively, stupider than any one of the individuals that make it up. That’s why most people accept the legitimacy of authoritarian leadership. If this were really true, it stands to reason that if you took even any one random person out of the crowd and made that person dictator, the crowd would make better...
  • anarchism
  • political theory
  • community
  • resistance
  • anarchy
Current Texts

Dieter Mersch

Digital disrupture

We really need an analysis of algorithmic conditions and their paradoxes and ambiguities that gives them an adequate framework and horizon. But instead we currently seem to be finding an algorithmic solution of the algorithmic, much as digital solutions are being offered for the problems of the digital public sphere, in the way that IT corporations, for example, use exclusively mathematical procedures to evaluate and delete “fake news,” inappropriate portrayals, or the violation of personal rights. This tends to result in a circularity that leaves the drawing of boundaries and raising of barriers solely to programming, instead of restoring them to our ethical conscience and understanding of what the social could mean today. The machine, by contrast, remains alien to any mechanical limitation—just as its inability to decide lies in the impossibility of self-calculation. The nucleus of digital culture should instead be sought where the cultural of culture is located:...

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Topics
  • The Subject of Capitalism

    The Subject of Capitalism

    • cognitive capital
    • capitalism
    • subjectification
    • migration
  • minima oeconomica

    minima oeconomica

    Analysen und Kritik moderner Ökonomie, deren Wissenschaft und Legitmation im Zeitalter der Finanzialisierung

    • economy
    • financial crisis
    • financial markets
    • economization
    • discourse history
    • economics
Current Texts

Stephen Barber

An immodest proposal

J.G. Ballard’s self-declared ‘Immodest Proposal’ for a global war-­alliance to exact the destruction of America demonstrates the provocatory zeal of his last fiction plans, as well as their enduring prescience. As Ballard emphasises several times in the World Versus America notebooks, he is utterly serious in his concerns and visions.
Although the Ballard ­estate declined permission for any images of pages from the World Versus America archival notebooks to accompany this essay, any member of the general public interested to do so can readily visit the British Library and view the notebooks in their entirety in the freely-­accessible manuscripts collection there.

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Marking the passage from misfortune to good luck
Marking the passage from misfortune to good luck

Elisabeth Bronfen

The Elevator—A Heteropia

An even more strikingly risky moment, which for Don anticipates both a personal and a professional crisis, occurs at the open door of an elevator in the fifth season. After Megan has confessed to him that she wants to stop working at the agency so as to fully concentrate on her acting career, he accompanies her to the elevator, where he takes leave of her by demonstratively giving her a passionate kiss before the door closes. Then, as though this...
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  • everyday life
  • architecture
  • America
  • Labor
  • 1960s