tbyfield on Sun, 28 Oct 2018 17:05:21 +0100 (CET)

[Date Prev] [Date Next] [Thread Prev] [Thread Next] [Date Index] [Thread Index]

Re: <nettime> Identity and difference

Ian, this idea of 'civility' should be unpacked a bit, because the ~word lumps together a disparate range of concerns. At its worst, a lot of babble about civility boils down to is tone-policing, which relies on etiquette as an all-purpose tool for micromanaging rhetoric — and in doing so, limiting and even delegitimizing positions of every type (subjective, relational, political, whatever). In other contexts — notably, in 'centrist' politics in the US — it serves as a rationale for institutionalist pliability: 'bipartisan' cooperation, etc. But those two uses are very different from its function as a foil for the frightening prospect of outright political violence. These different strands, or layers if you like, are hopelessly tangled, and that confusion in itself has serious consequences — hence the culturalist use of the word 'strategy,' which often is used to get at the nebulous realm in which individual behavior aligns with (or 'is constitutive of') abstract, impersonal forces. That's a very roundabout way to get at the obvious problem, which is the direct way that increasingly uncivil political discourse foments violence. And, in a way, that's the problem: the left's path for translating ideals into political practices is hobbled and misdirected at every stage, whereas for the right it's becoming all too direct.

My gut sense is that Land is symptomatic of the left's repudiation of force — violence — as a legitimate form of politics. Some, like him, sense that and embark a theoretical trajectory that tacitly accepts or even actively embraces violence. I'll leave that there, because I don't want to debate it or even to see a debate about it on this list. Nettime is fragile, and decades of accumulated effort could be poisoned with a few, um, 'uncivil' messages. There was a time when the solution was widely said to be more speech, but at a time when 'more speech' means trollbot networks that systematically and strategically subvert civil contexts I think that rule is more problematic than ever.

As for Bard, whenever his mail appears in inbox my first reaction is "When's the new book coming out?" But that's a rhetorical question — no answer needed, thanks.


On 28 Oct 2018, at 10:48, Ian Alan Paul wrote:

Brett - I don't think that the problem of the Left is that we don't spend enough time with people who think it's worthwhile to discuss the potential virtues of "Candace Owens, Nick Land and/or Adolf Hitler." If anything, the
Left needs to thoroughly rid itself of the liberal and depoliticizing
notion that we should all simply get along in the name of preserving
civility, esp. in a historical moment while fascist gangs are literally roaming the streets beating up migrants, synagogues are being shot up, and
pipe bombs are being mailed to politicians.

I don't think Alexander's ideas are worth engaging with or even refuting to be entirely honest, as I hope is obvious to most people on Nettime by this
point. We live in times that are too extreme and urgent to expend any
attention or energy dialoguing with disingenuous apologists for the Right .
#  distributed via <nettime>: no commercial use without permission
#  <nettime>  is a moderated mailing list for net criticism,
#  collaborative text filtering and cultural politics of the nets
#  more info: http://mx.kein.org/mailman/listinfo/nettime-l
#  archive: http://www.nettime.org contact: nettime@kein.org
#  @nettime_bot tweets mail w/ sender unless #ANON is in Subject: