In such a situation, when police are no longer perceived as the agent of law, of the legal order, but as just another violent social agent, protests against the predominant social order also tend to take a different turn: that of exploding “abstract negativity” – in short, raw, aimless violence. When, in his “Group Psychology”, Freud described the “negativity” of untying social ties (Thanatos as opposed to Eros, the force of the social link), he all too easily dismissed the manifestations of this untying as the fanaticism of the “spontaneous” crowd (as opposed to artificial crowds: the Church and the Army). Against Freud, we should retain the ambiguity of this movement of untying: it is a zero level that opens up the space for political intervention. In other words, this untying is the pre-political condition of politics, and, with regard to it, every political intervention proper already goes “one step too far”, committing itself to a new project (or Master-Signifier).
Posts Tagged ‘Ferguson’
Kommt es mir nur so vor oder erlebt Walter Benjamins „Kritik der Gewalt“ in letzter Zeit einen großen Aufschwung?
For African Americans, the state of emergency has long been a permanent one. Now, under neoliberalism, it is fast becoming generalized across the globe.
Last week, the Governor of Missouri declared a state of emergency and deployed the National Guard to the St Louis suburb of Ferguson to quell a fortnight of civil unrest following the police murder of the unarmed black teenager Michael Brown. It was the first time since the Los Angeles riots of 1992, after the severe police beating of another black man, Rodney King, and the Battle of Seattle during the WTO trade negotiations seven years later, that the army had been called in to restore public order within US borders. […]