Burnt Bookmobile

Hurricane Sandy Rips Through Milwaukee

Only days after I left Milwaukee, the CCC got an eviction notice. I was overjoyed to hear that there was a proper eviction party, as all landlords deserve, but rarely get.

“On the evening of October 31st, hurricane Sandy swept through the space which once housed the Cream City Collectives. All of the former CCC’s windows were smashed by the winds and many beer cans were not picked up.

An accountability process for hurricane Sandy’s fucked up manarchist shit will be held at the next Twin Cities Anarchist Bookfair.




Occupy Oakland video: Riot police fire tear gas, flashbang grenades
10/26/2011, 10:44 AM
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More to be posted soon…

Berkeley Pre-Game Communiqué (that’s not the sky, it’s the ceiling)
03/02/2010, 2:17 PM
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Seattle police: Shooting death of officer an ‘assassination’
11/09/2009, 8:39 PM
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From Seattle Local News:

“SEATTLE – A veteran Seattle police officer was fatally shot Saturday night as he and a rookie officer sat in their patrol car in the Central District.

The officer who was killed was identified as Tim Brenton, 39, a nine-year veteran of the Seattle Police Dept.

“Our community is in shock at this brutal and senseless crime,” Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels said at a news conference.

Nickels said this was the first intentional homicide of a Seattle police officer since 1994.

“The killing of someone who protects us, who protects our public safety, who protects our communities, is universally condemned, and our city is united in rejecting this violence and supporting the men and women in uniform,” said Nickels. “Let me be clear. We will not rest until the assailant is brought to justice.”

The shooting occurred shortly after 10 p.m. at 29th Avenue S. and E. Yesler Way.

Assistant Police Chief Jim Pugel said the two officers were sitting in a patrol car parked at the intersection, discussing a routine traffic stop. The rookie officer, Britt Sweeney, 33, was sitting in the driver’s seat; her trainer, Brenton, was in the passenger seat.

Pugel said a car pulled up alongside the patrol car and someone inside opened fire.

Sweeney ducked, and a bullet grazed her back. She called for help and returned fire, Pugel said.

Sweeney, who was grazed by a bullet, managed to return fire as the car backed away and fled the scene.

“From everything that we understand, the car literally pulled up alongside the parked patrol car and began shooting,” said Pugel. “So it was without warning and it was a deliberate homicide.”

Police say they do not have a good description of the suspect or the make of the car, other than to say it may be small, light-colored, possibly gray or silver.

Pugel said at the press conference that local state and federal agencies are working on the investigation.

“This is an assassination and every resource is being used to bring it to a conclusion,” he said.”


On Behalf of the Barbarians
10/23/2009, 9:05 PM
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A selection from the Anarchist Library archive:

“If I don’t know the meaning of a language, I will be a barbarian to he who speaks it, and he who speaks to me will be a barbarian. — Paul, First Corinthians

Civilization finishes when the barbarians flee. — Karl Krauss

In the Heart of the City

The history of a civilization is simultaneously the history of the transformation of its language. A society develops around its knowledge, which is articulated through its language, which becomes concrete in thinking itself. Humans act on the basis of their desires, they desire on the basis of their thoughts, they think on the basis of their language. The form and content of the latter are hence at the same time the condition and result of the whole of social relations. The dominant language of an epoch is therefore always the language of those who dominate socially in that period.

If there is a concept that clearly expresses the relation between language and society it is that of the barbarian. For the Greeks the barbarian was the foreigner and at the same time he was also the “stutterer” since he who couldn’t master the language of the polis, of the city, was defined with contempt. The origin of the word referred to being deprived of logos, i.e. of discourse. If one considers that Aristotle defined man alternately as a “political animal” and as an “animal endowed with logos”, it follows from this that, by confirming the identity of language with politics, the barbarian is excluded not only from the city, but from human community itself. The barbarian is a non-man, a monster.

The Logos of Work

The logos is not only discourse or language, but is also science, law, reason, order (in the sense of a regulative principle and of the plot that connects and expresses the multiplicity of the real. All of these meanings are present at the same time in the word logos, which is veritably untranslatable (the English term that comes closest to it is “expression”). Only by keeping all of these in mind can one grasp the meaning of the Aristotelian definition of man, as well as the nature of its opposite, the barbarian. The first trace of the word logos is found in the fragments of Heraclitus (4th to 5th century B.C), which from time to time, and simultaneously, point to a cosmic principle, the order of reality with its multiple expressions, the human understanding of this order and Heraclitan discourse itself. Already in these fragments the element common to men is identified in the logos.

Until the times of Homeric poems common space is the assembly which the warriors put at their disposal, for the collective good, the loot of war, or discussions. This relation between the center and that which is common is transferred to the agora, that is in the city square, the place of political decisions. The categories of public discourse indicate precisely the act of bringing down (kata) into the middle of the assembly (agora) words submitted for general approval. The barbarian is thus he who is outside categories, he who, not having access to the center of the assembly, is excluded from public life. A stranger in his own house, the stutterer in the language of the city, he will thus join the foreigner outside. The woman and the slave, those banished from discourse (that is order, reason and law) these inhabitants of the internal colony, represent two steps of the staircase that ends in the worst cruelty permitted and committed towards the barbarian, the inferior, the enemy.

The power of assembly belongs to he who knows the art of rhetoric, the techniques for ingratiating oneself for the favors of the powerful goddess Persuasion. The more one has time to gain the possession of discourse, the more one is able to exercise its force, in eliminating the private reason of others, one’s own discourse is imposed as common. “The power of the logos on the soul persuades as it is like that of the master on the slave; with the difference that the soul is reduced to slavery not by force but by the mysterious pressure exercised on his conscience.” Thus wrote Plato in Philebus, illustrating well the dominating force of language. But that which is important is not only to recognize that, in politics, discourse is an arm of war, but also to ask oneself about the relation that links this arm to all others. Only he who has slaves that work for him can chain others with his discourse. The activity of individuals is already specialized because a hierarchical and superior role is attributed to the word. The division between manual and intellectual labor, in the meantime makes the activity of slaves accumulate in objects (and then in money and in machines) for the master, increasing the logos of the latter. “This is the fate of verbalized logic; where the word has all meaning, the dominant meaning loses no time in taking hold of all the words.” G. Cesarono. But the “mysterious pressure” exercised on the assent of the slave would not be possible if the language of his body were not reduced to the coercive rationality of work. It is in producing work that the economy has produced its own language. So, one better understands why controlling the language of the exploited has always been the project of the exploiters. To first give discursive logic all the power (at the expense of the barbaric reason of the body) is to subsequently give to the powerless an increasingly reduced logic. The I that speaks is a figure that represents the body of the individual (corporeality that is first of all a work force) as the state, the holder of public Discourse, represents the whole of society. The more the interior dialogue of the individual — his consciousness — conforms to the dominant language, the greater his assent, his submission will be. In this sense, capital, the dead work of a life constrained to survival, is “discourse” “the organization of fictitious meanings, mechanical logic, the fictitious game of representation” (G. Cesarano). It makes the language of that which extinguishes passions speak to the passions.

A Flight Backwards

But let’s return to our barbarians who tell us the history of civilization, this land of logos and politics, better than anyone.

If the accepted meaning of the concept of barbarians bears witness to a meaning that is that of progressive ideology (the barbarian is the opposite of a reasonable, scientific, and democratic society; that is monstrosity, menacing silence, irrational violence, superstition, gloomy withdrawal etc), there is a whole tradition of thought that has seen the barbarians as more vigorous beings than the civilized because they are closer to nature. From Polibio to Cioran, passing through Tacitus and Giucciardini, Machiavelli and Montesquieu, Rousseau and Leopardi one can once again go over the idea that they are illusions, copiously distilled from nature to push men towards generous actions, while reason, the product of civilization becomes calculating, turned on the same eternal doubters themselves. Leopardi said that a people of philosophers would be the most cowardly and wretched of all, precisely because it would be the most civilized. The fall of Rome and “Hellenist decadence” are brought up in particular by Montesquieu, as examples in this sense. From the Germans of Tacitus to the modern Unni of Cioran, the conducting wire of this tradition is the connection between the affirmation of the body, the imaginative faculty, bold virtue and desire for action. Quite often within this conception of history, the time of civilization repeats in a cyclical manner, because of an excess (and not due to a lack) of civilization, the barbarian is born, this counterstroke which puts civilization in the bag, then the cycle begins again. The development of a civilization is compared to that of living organisms, in which childhood is followed by maturity and then old age and death, stages characterized by a different passionality and reflexivity. The same language would bear witness to the various degrees of vitality of a culture (it is not by chance that one speaks of the becoming barbarian of language”).

If the progressive criticism of the conception of civilization has been guided for the most part by a reactionary point of view (like for example in Spengler and Schmidtt) with an abundance of biological and hierarchical metaphors on the struggle for survival, the attacks on the ideology of progress in the name of an enlightenment “other” are not however lacking (for example in Sorel and Adorno) or let loose at the shoulders, with the eyes of the Greeks like in the same Leopardi, in Holderlin, in Burkhardt and in Nietzsche; or still, from the angle of a artistic-craftsman know-how that mechanized work has destroyed (for example in William Morris).”

Read the rest of the text


Introduction to Civil War (as a book)

According to a well established source, Introduction to Civil War which appeared in the journal Tiqqun is being translated as a whole and made into the fifth book of the Semiotext(e) intervention series, of which The Coming Insurrection was the first.

Here is a zine designed by the IEF of the translated fragments.

11. “War” because in each singular play between forms-of-life, the possibility of a fierce confrontation—the possibility of violence—can never be discounted.

“Civil,” because the confrontation between forms-of-life is not a confrontation between States—those coincidences between a population and a territory—but between parties, in the sense this word had before the advent of the modern State. Because we must be precise from now on, let us say that they confront one another as partisan war machines.

“Civil war” then, because forms-of-life are indifferent to the separations between men from women, political existence from bare life, civilians from military;

because to be neutral is to take sides in the free play of forms-of-life;

because this play between forms-of-life has no beginning or end that can be declared, its sole end being the physical end of the world that no one would be able to declare;

and above all because I know of no body that is not hopelessly carried off into the excessive, and perilous, course of the world.

Footnotes on the State of Exception

First three Theses (out of 10):

“1.War happens. We know nothing of war, as they constantly remind us. War – always one and multiple – has been on our plates, since childhood, in what mustn’t go to waste. They resented us for our presumed ignorance of war, as if we were ignoring pain or an illness, or simply as if this forever absent war was now over for good, and it had to be remembered as one remembers a dead family member. Through grief.

2.Well-being. All those born far from war, or after it, know quite well that it isn’t over. They know it as possibility, as a nightmare that might come true. And this knowledge turns disquieting when war explodes in the distance, laying the childhoods, the kitchen smells, the bed sheets of others to waste. The past has dug a grave in the present and is again burying the living there – so they say — but it’s a lie. Because war is really one of the names for our present, and not a tale of days-gone-by. It lives in bodies; it flows through institutions, traverses relationships between strangers and acquaintances, even here, in this moment, for a long while now. And the more we pretend to be innocent and alien to events, the guiltier we know we are. Guilty of not being present where blood is shed, and yet somehow we are there…They used to tell us, “you kids have it all” as if to say “you sons of bitches,” yet who has raised and built this affluence, this inexhaustible source of war? Sometimes we have even suspected that if war is elsewhere, then life must be too.

3.Rest in peace… We know everything about war just like we know everything about prison, without having been there, since they are at the heart of “peace” and “free life,” already implied in them. Just as we know that nobody in our system is innocent, that only power relations exist, and that the losers and not the guilty are the ones being punished.  That is why war has become someone else’s dirty job, which we are obliged to ignore. On every street corner they ask us to forget its possibility and its reality, to be surprised by it though never complicit in it. We are thanked in advance for our vigilance. Our choice is between collaborating in the social peace or with the partisans of terror.  War is no longer concerned with us, we look at it and it doesn’t look back, it is too close. Its distance from us is not the same as that between a spectator and a football match, where we can still desire victory for one team and defeat for another. It resides in the limbo of things we would like to abolish. So we never have to take sides or believe that words have a weight that can be felt in the body, or that life has a meaning and that this meaning can also lead to its sudden end.”

-Claire Fontaine



After recently reading Homo Sacer by Giogio Agamben, the state of exception has been floating around my mind. It seems to be floating around others’ as well. This is my main justification for posting it, since it has been circulating for a bit already (in the new Politics is Not a Banana and as a zine before that).  Claire Fountaine, used to have some sort of relationship with the Tiqqun journal, and used to have some interesting things to say.  Now they’re an artist collective who seemingly makes money putting alienation in the form of witty light up signs on gallery walls.  Wasn’t there already alienation on the gallery wall?