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A for Anomie
A for Anomie

Eric Baudelaire

Abecedarium

A for Anomie The idea that terrorism and other forms of political violence are directly related to strains caused by strongly held grievances has been one of the most common explanations to date and can be traced to a diverse set of theoretical concepts including relative deprivation, social disorganization, breakdown, tension, and anomie. Merton (1938) identifies anomie as a cultural condition of frustration, in which values regarding goals and how to achieve them conflict with limitations on the means of achievement. Gary...
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Arts
About ‘how we treat the others’

Artur Zmijewski

About ‘how we treat the others’

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  • migration
  • documenta
  • concentration camp
  • National Socialism
  • contemporary art
  • propaganda
  • Poland
  • gift
  • political aesthetics
  • ethics
All that pent up terror and rage
All that pent up terror and rage

Dodie Bellamy

Plague Widow

Driving to the Castro, Bee Reaved feels hyper emotional, as she often does in the car, Nick Cave’s Ghosteen on repeat, and she thinks—this is what it’s like to live without hope. Six months after Kevin’s death, friends left her to fare for herself. Other widows warned her this would happen, that everybody would disappear before she was ready. One widow she no longer talks to said, “Wait and see, you’re going to have a total breakdown.” Now, with the...
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Fiction

Maël Renouard

On Memory Atrophy

Externalized memory had always proceeded by contractions, summaries, reductions, selections, breaks in flow, as well as by organization, classification, boiling down. Card catalogues reduced thousands of works to a few key notions; tables of contents contracted the hundreds of pages in a given book. The sign itself was the first abbreviation of experience. An epic stitched of words was an abbreviation of the war, the long years of which were reduced to a few nights of recitation; the written text that recorded the epic was a contraction of the oral narration which pushed aside its sensory richness, melody, life in a thousand details. In accumulating, every level of abbreviation reconstituted an infinite flow, a new dilation that would be contracted in its turn. From the plurality of pages to the index and the table of contents; from the plurality of books to card catalogues.

The abbreviated elements were further arranged, situated...

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Digital disrupture
Digital disrupture

Dieter Mersch

Digital Criticism

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...
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Discourse

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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Discourse
On Gestational Communism

Marie Glassl, Sophie Lewis

On Gestational Communism

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  • social movements
  • birth
  • communism
  • critique of neoliberalism
  • motherhood
  • family
  • community
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
  • resistance
  • anarchy
  • community
Humanities

Maria Filomena Molder

So many egoists call themselves artists…

“So many egoists call themselves artists,” Rimbaud wrote to Paul Demeny on May 15, 1871. Even though that is not always obvious, ‘I’, the first person, is the most unknown person, a mystery that is constantly moving towards the other two, the second and third persons, a series of unfoldings and smatterings that eventually gelled as ‘Je est un autre’. That is why ‘apocryphal’ is a literarily irrelevant concept and ‘pseudo’ a symptom, the very proof that life, writing, is made up of echoes, which means that intrusions and thefts (Borges also discusses them) will always be the daily bread of those who write.

Words from others, words taken out of place and mutilated: here are the alms of time, that squanderer’s sole kindness. And so many others, mostly others who wrote, and many other pages, all of them apocryphal, all of them echoes, reflections. All this flows together into—two centuries...

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