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(en) US, NYC, Saul Newman in - Aug 26th on the Politics of postanarchism

From dr.woooo <dr.woooo@nomasters.org>
Date Sun, 24 Aug 2003 12:02:45 +0200 (CEST)

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> From: spencer <spencerpdx-A-yahoo.com>
August 26th 2003 7:30pm, $5 (but no one turned away for Lack of funds)
ABC No Rio (156 Rivington b/t Stanton & Clinton, LES) www.abcnorio.org
Political theorist Saul Newman will speak on the
theoretical background and political philosophy of
postanarchism - a newly emerging combination of the
philosophical concerns of poststructuralism with the
politics of left-wing anarchism. This will be the
first presentation of a new anarchist theory lecture
series which will be held this year.

In Newman's own words:

Radical political interventions tend to reaffirm the
power and authority they seek to destroy. This idea is
introduced through the anarchist critique of Marxism,
which contends that Marxism neglected the problem of
power - particularly the power of the state - by
reducing it to an economic analysis. This would lead
to a reinvention of power in a Marxist revolution. The
only way anarchism can present such a critique of
power is by positing a theoretical point of departure
uncontaminated by it - a place of resistance. This
place is constituted by the idea of an essential,
rational and moral, human subjectivity, which is
irreconcilably opposed to the irrationality,
immorality and artificiality of political power.
However…the essential moral and rational subject of
Enlightenment humanist discourse is not only
constituted, discursively, by the very regimes it
professes to oppose, it also becomes a figure of
authority itself. As I will argue, human essence
becomes the basis of a whole series of rational norms
and moral norms which exclude and oppress identities
which transgress them. Essentialism is found to be
inextricably linked to discourses of domination. For
this reason, the idea of the uncontaminated point of
departure is a logical impossibility and must be
abandoned. This leaves us, however, at a theoretical
impasse which must be resolved if political theory can
continue to effectively address the problem of
domination: how can resistance be theorised without
this point of departure, without this essential ground
outside power from which a moral and rational critique
of power may be developed? In other words, can there
be a notion of resistance which does not refer to
essential foundations and absolute moral and rational
criteria? I argue that there can be non-essentialist
forms of resistance, and I try to construct a space of
possibility for such a politics of resistance to
emerge, through the different thinkers I am

Some of his articles available online include:

Anarchism and the Politics of Ressentiment

The Politics of Postanarchism:

On the Future of Radical Politics:

Newman is the author of 'From Bakunin to Lacan:
Anti-Authoritarianism and the Dislocation of Power'
(Lexington Books, 2001) and will appear in the
upcoming Autonomedia anthology 'I Am Not a Man - I Am
Dynamite: Nietzsche and Anarchism.'

Sponsored by Autonomedia, the Center for Culture,
Technology and Work (at the CUNY Graduate Center), and freeCUNY.

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