"There is tenderness only in the coarsest demand: that no-one shall go hungry any more" – Theodor Adorno, Minima Moralia (1974: 156)
As 2011 winds down, I’ve finally managed to find a bit of time to post on the blog. Just as I started typing, I found out that the Deterritorial Support Group – the ultra-leftist ‘propagandists’ par excellence – were shutting down their blog. In their own words, “we no longer feel the blogging format is such a proficient tool for the spreading of propaganda. The greatest flaw to us is to be reactive, only responding to situations as the actions of others make them arise, rather than seeking to overturn existing conditions on our own terms. The last thing we would want to happen is to reach a point of ossification and stasis; of becoming yet another platform pouring out link-baiting dross or dull, rote journalism.”
While the DSG blog will certainly be missed, their diagnosis of the changing landscape of activism is spot on. In the UK, the end of 2010 brought with it student protests and a new-found optimism about political change. 2011 has, if anything, witnessed the massification of antagonism. This has, however, been accompanied by a ferocious counter-revolution. The rupturing of the neo-liberal consensus (to borrow the DSG’s own phrasing) from the events of the Arab Spring to the August Riots to the emergence of the Occupy Movement has, in other words, been matched by a violent crackdown on protest and political dissent. The very conditions of possibility for generating tools for struggle has changed.
Over the past few months, I have to admit that I’ve been having similar doubts about this blog. When I started the blog in 2009, I was really excited about the platform and was keen to explore new avenues for writing about the creative possiblities of art, politics, and geography. So much has happened over the past year or so that I find myself wanting to engage more directly and practically with different forms of collective research and scholarship rather than theorizing them out of existence or condemning them to the condescensions of isolated critique.
For the time being, I have chosen to keep the blog going. I am deeply committed to the idea of rigorous scholarship and critical education/pedagogy as a common good and would like to continue to share ideas, concepts, work-in-progress, and other recent scholarly developments. I feel that, if anything, I have a responsibility to do so. At the same time, I would like to see this site less as a space for my own blogging and more as a repository of work – academic, activist, and artistic – that seeks to challenge the baleful conditions of contemporary neo-liberalism. There is much to be done and I look forward to the New Year!