Posts tagged Philosophy.
In other words, as James Baldwin put it “To be white in America means not having to think about it.” We could say the same thing about maleness or any other basis for privilege. So strong is the sense of entitlement behind this luxury that males, whites, and others can feel put upon in the face of even the mildest invitation to pay attention to issues of privilege. “We shouldn’t have to look at this stuff,” they seem to say. “It isn’t fair.
— Allan G. Johnson (via wretchedoftheearth)
Ladies & gentlemen,
What a strange time to be an artist…
In this time and place, what does it mean to be “transgressive?” What does “radical behavior” mean when the Tea Party lunatics are perceived as defenders of democracy and Glen Beck as a defender of free speech? When our most intelligent newscasters are comedians and Angelina Jolie is considered an activist? Remember the Bush era? What the hell is performance art, pregunto, when a theological cowboy runned the so-called “free world” as if he were directing a spaghetti western on the wrong set? And half a million civilians die during the shooting of the film? And we let him do it? What does radical performance art look like when the images from Abu Ghraib look like radical performance art? What is science fiction when creationism becomes official policy? When some US politicians are sincerely waiting for the rapture and believe that the UN is the anti-Christ? What the hell is performance when Conan the Barbarian became governor of California twice in a reality show called “California?”
Coño, I ask myself rhetorically, what else is there to “transgress?” Who can artists shock, challenge, enlighten? Who is listening? What else should I do or say tonight? Should I improvise more? Give birth to yet another performance persona on stage, “America’s most wanted inner demon?” Should I burn my bra or my green card at the steps of the Museum of Contemporary Art? Bear my soul at the altar of despair? Masturbate in the name of democracy and freedom? Curse Jehovah or Allah? Show up naked at the Alamo with my red stilettos and black cane? Auction my left testicle on eBay?
You tell me…kemosabe. Tonight I am your intellectual surrogate… Or rather, your house Mexican.
Can we start all over again? Can we? May I? Mearlos?
From relativism to absolutism, or what the geometry of knowledge has to do with negative space.
This paper unearths the relation between French philosopher Michel Foucault and the US Black Panther Party (BPP). I argue that Foucault’s shift from archaeological inquiry to genealogical critique is fundamentally motivated by his encounter with American‐style racism and class struggle, and by his engagement with the political philosophies and documented struggles of the BPP. The paper proceeds in four steps. First, I assess Foucault’s biographies and interviews from the transitional period of 1970–72 that indicate the fact and nature of this formative encounter. Second, I turn to some of the writings of BPP leaders and to the theme of politics and war as they articulated it. Third, I address this same theme of politics as war as it gets taken up and rearticulated by Foucault between 1971 and 1976, with an eye to the degree to which the philosophies and struggles of the Black Panthers silently, yet profoundly, inform Foucault’s genealogical work. I conclude by raising some ethical and political questions pertaining to the criteria of truthful speech in scholarly discourse.
How and Why Philosophy Under-Specializes the Development of (Critical) Race Theory
ALL OF THIS.
There have been a lot of nasty-ass rumors embraced by philosophers and your run of the mill academicians surrounding the material substantiations of time as “histories,” and the meta-physical “flow of time,” as linear continuum towards progress and development. It is assumed without provocation that the variety of “histories” offered by racialized oppressed peoples enclosed within [H]istory—understood as a universal account of white civilization—emerges as continuities that further the evolution of not only our American society, but the edifice of the West. In short, we are told to believe that the multiple histories that now emerge at this moment are in fact the inevitable result of the genius of the Dialectical Hemi-(spherical engine) driving the expression of multiple subjectivities. But time need not revolve around such a mythical perspective; a perspective that demands from colonized people that they cherish their past enslavement and historical debasement by racism, and accept that their contemporary suffering, their present dehumanization, and their ongoing exploitation by the political economics of the university, blessed them with the post-colonial discourses to be shared with a now attentive white audience waiting to take stock of their critiques. The dominant schema of America’s liberal democratic order suggests that history be read and time be gauged by the falling away of the organized oppressive structures of the past, where the present is known by the remnants the last fading vestiges of racism, and the future will be identified by the absence of the barriers and attitudes of the past and present filled with only enlightened white folks who are adamantly against racism. This progressive teleology—the idea solidified by integration which suggests racism and the political economics of white supremacy will simply disappear over time—is the largely accepted political dogma of not only our social life, but the unquestioned paradigm of our academic lives as well.
As a function of its unique specialization, academic education determines for us what figures and categories are synonymous with knowledge. As such, even the most creative scholar who aims to be “radical,” forges their weapons from the formal templates of criticality outlined within disciplinarity, where the newly acquired linguistic armaments of race, class, and gender do little more than justify the revisions made to already bourgeois Black women’s thought like Anna Julia Cooper so that they may be copyrighted as canonical figures and made into Black feminists who truly supported the pluralist democratic ethos realized by America’s civil rights era. While intersectionality, popularly referred to the study of “Race, Class, and Gender,” what I have called the “trinity of bulls**t,” in previous writings, remain the three stooges of any inquiry into racist oppression, this rhetorical trope does little to tell the reader anything about the actual methods and/or concepts needed to understand the complicated nexus between racism, political economics and sexual exploitation.
— Michel Foucault, “Practicing Criticism” (via golehyas)
— Jean-Paul Sarte (via 250cc)