I do not believe all men are destroyed. I can name you a dozen who were not, and they are the ones the world lives by. It is true of the spirit as it is true of battles- only the winners are remembered. Surely most men are destroyed, but there are others who like pillars of fire guide frightened men through the darkness. -John Steinbeck
There was much in it that I did not understand, in some ways I did not even like it, but I recognized it immediately as a state of affairs worth fighting for. -George Orwell
Even if we are doomed to years of violence and animosity, to fragile peace agreements that will be violated over and over again, we must keep creating an alternative… If we don’t do this, our children will remember only dimly what is really worth fighting for. -David Grossman
There are two ways to escape suffering [the inferno of the living]. The first is easy for many: accept the inferno and become such a part of it that you can no longer see it. The second is risky and demands constant vigilance and apprehension: seek and learn to recognize who and what, in the midst of the inferno, are not inferno, then make them endure, give them space. -Italo Calvino
“ …And those who abuse themselves in any way are clearly not alone either. The saddest fact is, when that pull to self-harm comes on like a hurricane and the ability to escape it is futile, all the love, support and understanding of everyone stops at the door we simply cannot open.
And though I cannot open that door, to all my loved ones who will never read this, all I ask is, please, don’t stop knocking. ”
“ [T]he concepts are used to name relatively standard analyses of topography: street/building as smooth/striated space, for instance. This doesn’t exhaust (or really begin to approach) the concept as explored in A Thousand Plateaus, but it does give a fancy name to a time-worn understanding. Why do this? Weizman is very clear about the role this introduction of ‘continental philosophy’ into IDF tactics had to play in power struggles within the military itself; his interviews with Naveh and Kochavi make this very clear. As is also its diminishing role: Naveh admits that, though this method inflicted many hundreds of civilian casualties during the war with Lebanon, it didn’t allow the IDF to achieve their actual tactical goals.
Equally, there is – chiming with Lemmey’s argument – a certain PR value to the deployment of philosophical tropes in a barbaric and brutal assault. It has the benefit of allowing the laurels of civilisation and intellect to adorn the brows of the IDF; in a war that is as much about insisting that Israel is the only ‘civilised’ country in the Middle East, this has its value, too. ”
This is one of the few books that has made me – along with everyone I know who has read it – weep. I think it’s tremendously important, and I think more people should read it. The above passage is pp.46-8, in Sarah Schulman, Gentrification of the Mind: Witness to a Lost Imagination (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2012)
“ The emphasis on urbanisation as the only precondition for “cityness” must be understood today (especially as a symptom of the limitation of the meaning of inhabiting the city) within the horizon of economic opportunities with no space left for what must be seen as the potential main antagonist force to economy: political action. In opposition to the concept of urbanisation as the ultimate fate of the city, we raise the concept of civitas. Civitas is the symbolic agreement of a community to share space, thus developing civic coexistence. If as matter of fact, civitas and urbs can and should coexist as balanced factors of the city; as matters of concern, they must be intended as opposing meanings of human inhabitation. The opposition between civitas and urbs, between city and urbanization, is represented by the potential opposition between citizen and individual.
The apparently “old” distinction between the bourgeois and the citizen can be seen today as the difference between the individual, who seeks his expression in urbanization, and the citizen member, who consciously participates in a collective way of living. Yet even more bluntly, this distinction is carried by the sharp difference between urbs and civitas, individual and city, urbanization and city.
The individual inhabits urbanisation by the pursuit of his or her desires of self-satisfaction and mobility, without any consideration for the collective dimension of the city in which cohabitation demands responsibility and confrontation. The citizen defines his desires by taking into account the space of human cooperation and solidarity, seeing it as the ultimate meaning of city coexistence - as what city means precisely in opposition to urbanization. ”
“ If violence is done against those who are unreal, from the perspective of violence, it fails to injure or negate those lives since those lives are already negated. But they have a strange way of remaining animated and so must be negated against (and again). They cannot be mourned because they are always already lost or, rather, never “were,” and they must be killed, since they seem to live on, stubbornly, in this state of deadness. Violence renews itself in the face of the apparent inexhaustibility of its object. ”
“ Without Hitler’s anti-Semitism, his understanding and presentation of Jews as a global threat to Germany, the Holocaust would not have happened. To say so is to specify a necessary condition for the German attempt to exterminate the Jews of Europe. But a plausible historical explanation of any significant historical event must be plural, entangling in prose multiple lines of causality that together are not only necessary but sufficient. For the purposes of explaining the Holocaust, then, anti-Semitism is not enough; for the purposes of its commemoration, however, it is: and the bad news is that ours is an age of memory rather history. Commemoration requires no adequate explanation of the catastrophe, only an aesthetically realizable image of its victims. As cultures of memory supplant concern for history, the danger is that historians will find themselves drawn to explanations that are the simplest to convey. Before these last two decades, during which the Holocaust has come to be seen as the central event of modern European history, that place was held for two centuries by the French Revolution. François Furet, the great historian of its social and intellectual reception, wrote of the dangers of “commemorative history”, wherein that which is most elegantly commemorated becomes that which is most felicitously narrated. In the case of the Holocaust, the danger is what might be called “commemorative causality”, whereby that which is most effectively and frequently commemorated becomes that which it is most convenient to present as causal in synthetic histories. ”
“ Lefebvre’s concept [of the right of the city] pushes much further than this: it is not only a call for popular access to what already exists within cities; it is also a radical, militant demand for the democratization of control over the collective means of producing urban space. An open city, in this sense, is not merely a space that can be accessed and enjoyed equally by all; it would also be a realm in which the institutional capacity to produce and transform space has itself been radically democratized. Lefebvre referred to this capacity as autogestion- self-management- and hee insisted that, ‘far from being established once and for all, [it] is itself the site and the stake of struggle.’ ”
— Open City or the Right to the City? | Neil Brenner | Topos
“ Taking his cue from Amazonianist Viveiros de Castro (2004), Latour (2002, 2004a, 2004b, 2009) makes the case that “mononaturalism” is inadequate for a world of cultural-natural hybrids, which is the world he claims we live in. More appropriate would be something located partway between Descola’s animism — where humans and non-humans are perceived to share subjectivity and semiotic agency, but to differ in their materialities — and an analogism that sees both interiority and materiality as multiple and different, and as therefore bridgeable only through translation. […]
If, as Latour argues, we are no longer to rely on the singular foundation of a nature that speaks to us through the singular voice of science, then we are thrown into a world in which humans are thought to resemble, in some measure, all other entities (think Darwin alongside Amazonian shamanism) and to radically differ, though in ways that are bridgeable through translation. This would be a world that demands an ontological politics, or a cosmopolitics, by which the choices open to us with respect to the different ways we can entangle ourselves with places, non-humans, technologies, and the material world as a whole, become ethically inflected open questions. ”