Reading Tiqqun

(Quoted passages come from Tiqqun's "This is not a program")

“Contrary to what THEY have told us, the warrior is not a figure of plentitude, and certainly not of virile plentitude. The warrior is a figure of amputation. The warrior is a being who feels he exists only through combat, through confrontation with the Other, a being who is unable to obtain for himself the feeling of existing… The warrior is in fact driven by a desire, and perhaps one sole desire: the desire to disappear. The warrior no longer wants to be, but wants his disappearance to have a certain style. He wants to humanize his vocation for death. That is why he never really manages to mix with the rest of humankind: they are spontaneously wary of his movement toward Nothingness. In their admiration for the warrior can be measured the distance they impose between him and them. The warrior is thus condemned to be alone. This leaves him greatly dissatisfied, dissatisfied because he is unable to belong to any community other than the false community, the terrible community, of warriors who have only their solitude in common. Prestige, recognition, glory are less the prerogative of the warrior than the only form of relationship compatible with his solitude. His solitude is at once his salvation and his damnation."

Holy shit…
This is talking about me…
Never have I read something that resonates so deeply within me.
My loneliness, my anger, my hate
Of them, of me, of war, of peace

          "The Warrior is a figure of anxiety and devastation. Because he isn’t present, is only for-death, his immanence has become miserable, and he knows it. He has never gotten used to the world, so he has no attachment to it; he awaits its end. But there is also a tenderness, even a gentleness about the warrior, which is this silence, this half-presence. If he isn’t present, it is often because otherwise he would only drag those around him into the abyss. That is how the warrior loves: by preserving others from the death he has at heart. Instead of the company of others, he thus often prefers to be alone, and this is more out of kindness than disgust. Or else he joins the grief-stricken pack of warriors who watch each other slide one by one towards death. Because such is their inclination."

I keep them away, so I don’t hurt them.
They'll never understand.
It's really for the best.
It's ok, I have my whiskey
And if it gets to painful, there's always that..

         "In a sense, the society to which the warrior belongs cannot help but distrust him. It doesn’t exclude him nor really include him; it excludes him through its inclusion and includes him through its exclusion. The ground of their mutual understanding is recognition. In according him prestige society keeps the warrior at a distance, attaching itself to him and by the same token condemning him…”

The VA…
The FUCKING VA…
More pills, more talk, more hurry up and wait.
Everyone says they love veterans
None of them have been to the VA

 

Malcolm X

"We haven't benefited from America's democracy. We've only suffered from America's hypocrisy. And the generation that is coming up now can see it, and are not afraid to say it. If you go to jail, so what? If you're black, you were born in jail. In the North as well as the South. Stop talking about the South. Long as you're south of the Canadian border, you're South…

It'll be the ballot or it'll be the bullet. It'll be liberty or it'll be death. And if you're not ready to pay that price, don't use the word freedom in your vocabulary." 

From Malcolm X’s “Bullet or the Ballot” speech.

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White Amerikkka has turned its back
It's now illegal to be Black
It has closed its eyes
It doesn’t give a fuck
Jail or death, test your luck?

The ballot has been thrown out
But there are plenty of bullets now
And guns for everyone
Fathers, daughters, and sons
Be afraid, be very afraid,
Smirks the NRA

But as a friend once said
Gun control without disarming the police, you'll still be dead.
They're militarized and quaking in their boots
Don’t be black, cause they will shoot

So here's some words for my white friends
Listen, learn, and help put this to an end
Cause we need you, with all your white might
Dismantling privilege and a system of hate
So that we can get to a place where we wont need to say… 

Take a knee
A man was lynched yesterday
I can't breath
Hands up, don't shoot
Black Lives Matter

The Communist Manifesto

“A spectre is haunting Europe — the specter of communism.”

-Karl Marx & Fredrick Engels, opening line of the Communist Manifesto

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Specter

—noun

  1. A visible incorporeal spirit, especially one of a terrifying nature; ghost; phantom; apparition.
  2. Some object or source of terror or dread: the specter of disease or famine.

 

A ghost
In other words, not real, not physical, made up
To some the ghost is hope
To others it is everything they fear
Much like communism

As the old saying goes, “Hope in one hand, shit in the other, tell me which weighs more.” Same goes with the spectre of communism. Marx and Engles hopes in one hand, what became of Communism in the other…

“Proletarier aller Länder, vereinigt euch!” Indeed, wouldn’t that be nice… 

What is Theotry?

Theotry is the combination of theory and poetry. It is where I take quotes from my favorite theorists and then write poetry based on those quotes. I was once told that theory is like an arrow that a theorist has shot out; from there someone else picks up that arrow and shoots it off in another direction. I hope to do the same with this project as I want to take these theories into a multiplicity of directions. I consider myself a political theorist, I also consider myself a poet, this is my attempt to combine two things I love.

While poetry is often political, political theory is rarely poetic (Audre Lorde, Deleuze and Guattarri, Gloria Anzaldua, Tiqqun, and the Invisible Committee, excluded. I know there are many more who are poetic but those are the  one's that  come to mind at the moment).  For me, poetry and political theory are two of the most important parts of my life. Poetry saved me from the darkness I faced after coming home from war, political theory helped me to understand that darkness.

Some of the folks I use quotes from are not traditionally called political theorists, however they have had an impact on my way of thinking about politics and about war. The poems do not necessarily represent the theory or the theorist, though sometimes they do. The quotes I use for inspiration range from their literary work to things they have said. Sometimes the poem describes my relationship to the quote, as many of these quotes can be just as personal as the poem. And many of the quotes relate to war, as that is my theoretical focus and is tied to my background as a war veteran and a peace activist, turned academic.

Does this water down arguments? Perhaps. Does it spark new forms of thought? Hopefully. So in the end, I hope these poems inspire you to engage more deeply with these political theorists; I hope it inspires you to write more poetry, and; I hope you find the links between theory and the everyday! This is my testimony, this is my praxis. Marcuse says, “Art doesn’t change the world, but it may change the consciousness of those who can change it,” and that is what I hope to do, work to shift our class consciousness.

"The revolution in poetic form testifies, in other words, to political and cultural changes whose historical manifestation, and its revolutionary aspect, is now noticed accidentally--accidentally breaks into awareness--through and accident of verse. The poetic revolution is thus both a replica and a sequence, an effect of, the French Revolution. What free verse by accident picks up on, therefore, is not merely former poetry which it now modifies, but the formerly unseen, ill-understood relationship which the accident reveals between culture and language, between poetry and politics." (from Shoshana Felman and Dori Laub's book Testimony: Crisis of witnissing in literature, psychoanalysis, and history. P. 20)

       p
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Theotry
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Guy DeBord

“To reflect upon history is also, inextricably, to reflect upon power. Greece was that moment when power and chances in power were first debated and undersoon. This occurred under a democracy of society’s masters, a system diametrically opposed to that of the despotic State, where power settled accounts only with itself, in the impenetrable obscurity of its densest point, by means of palace revolutions whose outcome, whether success or failure, invariably place the event itself beyond discussion. The shared power of Greek communities inhered solely, however, in the expending of a social life whose production remained the separate and static domain of the slave class. The only people who lived were those who did not work.”

               -Guy Debord, Society of the Spectacle. Pg 98

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My how history, how power, repeats itself, repeats, itself, repeat, repeat, re…

Plato and Jefferson sitting around waxing philosophy, Sophocles and Washington walk into a bar. All go home to their slaves. Freedom of the cave was democracy’s greatest lie.

White guys obsessing that Greeks had White slaves… calling taxation slavery… getting a refund at the end of the year… not knowing what real work was… what real slavery entailed.

Enlightenment…
     En light en men t
             In light of men?
                   In spite of women

Over and over again, the story is the same, follow me, listen to me, freedom, choice, democracy,
democra-me, demos me, me, ME, LISTEN TO ME… WHITE MAN SUPRE(ME)…

The lies of power

Plato

"We'll beg Homer and the other poets not to be harsh if we strike out these and all similar things. It's not that they are not poetic and sweet for the many to hear, but the more poetic they are, the less should they be heard by boys and men who must be free and accustomed to fearing slavery more than death." (Book III of Plato's Republic)

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"Glaucon, did you see Plato & Socrates review of the new Aristophanes movie, The Clouds?"

"Why no I didn’t, what did they have to say?"

"While Plato initially liked it, Socrates called it fake news and gave it a thumbs down, Plato followed suit and also gave it a thumbs down."

"Sheesh, that Socrates is so negative, I don’t get how he can be a movie critic but simultaneously hate all movies"

"I know right? And that Plato, he tries and tries, but always eventually gives in to Socrates."

"Well my dear Adeimantus, no need to fear, Alcibiades will round them all up and put them to death, Plato, Socrates, Aristophanes, Sophocles, all of them. He said he is going to make Greece great again!"

"Who needs art and poetry when we have a strong leader like Alcibiades, so strong, so smart… Not afraid to say what he thinks!"

"That's why I like him"

"Me too" 

The Process of Falling

Falling

Falling in love

Falling together

Falling leaves, leaves of Fall

Falling out of love

Falling to pieces

Falling to death

Falling

 

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There is something romantic about Fall

Death so near, death all around us

The want and need to hold on to those so close to us

So we cling to it as tight as possible 

The recognition of the finite

Knowing the pain and suffering of winter is coming

Spring is birth, renewal, beginnings

Summer is fun, exploration, adventure

Fall though, fall is the golden years, enjoyment, and appreciation

Knowing that Winter, death, reflection and regret will soon be upon us

So hold the fall, and love it for all it is