Path to the Possible

Exciting moment in Anti-Oedipus (Part 3, Chapter 5) when Deleuze and Guattari first introduce their analysis of the birth of the modern state (and their scathing critique of it). They draw heavily on Nietzsche’s On the Genealogy of Morality, especially his discussion of debt in Essay II. Deleuze and Guattari write (p. 192):

It is here that Nietzsche speaks of a break, a rupture, a leap. Who are these beings, they who come like fate?. . . .They are the founders of the State. Nietzsche will come to establish the existence of other breaks: those of the Greek city-state, Christianity, democratic and bourgeois humanism, industrial society, capitalism, and socialism. But it could be that all of these–in various ways–presuppose this first great hiatus, although they claim to repel and fill it. It could be that, spiritual or temporal, tyrannical or democratic, capitalist or socialist, there has never been…

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New Mutualism

Just ran across this article in the NYT that touches on a lot of the issues that usually get discussed  in our conversations, and it makes me think of the role of ‘reform’ while waiting for revolution…

Nomad Scholarship

In our meeting today* I found myself talking a bit about the market friendly cures to market failure — sometimes referred to as philanthrocapitalism — that seem to be emerging in and around Seattle. I’m most familiar with the Global Health NGOs, as described here by the UW geographer Matt Sparke, but Branden read a portion of this article on World Water Day; here’s an excerpt:

His belief that market-based solutions can slow that train are shared by others in the sector.

“Let’s not see them as poor people we’re trying to help, but see them as potential customers,” says Amelia Lyons, of Splash, a Seattle-based international water and hygiene organization, who attended Sealth’s World Water Week.

“Coca-Cola doesn’t say ‘These people are too poor to buy Coke.’ They see them as customers, and they go out to sell them Coke, and they buy Coke.”

It surprised me to hear…

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Anarchist Without Content

smith-deleuzeI just uploaded these lectures, which I listened to a couple years ago. They are perhaps the best introduction to the politics of Deleuze and Guattari but is also rewarding for more advanced scholars. I’m sorry for the quality – I tried to clean them up, but they’re not perfect. awc

Also available here.

Daniel W Smith discussed Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari’s works Anti-Oedipus & A Thousand Plateaus at the Collegium Phaenomenologicum 2009. Smith, a professor of philosophy at Purdue University, is a leading expert of Deleuze and Guattari’s work. In these lectures, he lucidly outlines the theories and implications of the most political sections of Deleuze and Guattari’s work while giving special attention to the primary source materials and philosophical arguments that the authors utilized to make their argument.

Day 1: Anti-Oedipus & Desire
In this talk, Smith discusses Deleuze and Guattari’s ambitious reworking of psychoanalysis, especially with…

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Alternatives and Space…

This is an invitation for Expressions of Interest from people who can contribute examples and ideas of concrete, radically progressive alternatives on matters related to how, as a society, we use, occupy, and manage space.

There are always moments – cracks in an edifice – when concrete, practical alternatives to mainstream, hegemonic approaches might find some air and light. One such moment is crisis – when long-standing trajectories are halted, assumptions challenged, oppressive practices exposed, and present dangers more fully revealed. That we are, as a global community, in crisis of a variety of ecological, economic, social and political dimensions is frighteningly clear. And that these crises both feed into, but are equally produced by, the processes that underpin urbanisation, land development, and the nature of socio-ecological relations (space, in short) is also patently obvious. While there is little consensus about how or what, it is clear that all sorts of changes, of a radically progressive nature, are urgent.

This call is for Expressions of Interest for a collection of examples and ideas for concrete, radically progressive change on matters related to how, as a society, we use, occupy and manage space. That includes, but is not limited to: cities, urbanisation, land development, housing and socio-ecological relations. The purpose of this collection is to share ideas and resources: prod imaginations, spark hope, show there is a different and better way. Initially, the collection would be published in the ‘Interface’ section of the journal Planning Theory and Practice. While this is an academic journal, the Interface section is different: it is not refereed, not limited to formal research papers and freely available (open access at no cost). However, a much wider dissemination beyond that is anticipated, including online and through both traditional and social media.

Anyone can participate in this project. I am especially seeking contributions from activists, organisers, practitioners, local groups trying new initiatives, students, artists, researchers, …

I would like to hear from people who can talk clearly and passionately about potentially viable, radically progressive solutions to the deepening crises unfolding today. That might include (but not be limited to) dimensions such as:

Economics: for example alternatives to profit/property/market-driven approaches to land development, housing and infrastructure provision.
Ecology: for example ideas to shift patterns of land use and development that are destructive, resource-depleting etc
Politics: for example more radically progressive approaches to democracy and decision-making, political struggles etc
Education: for example different approaches to teaching, learning, curricula and program design

This is by no means an exhaustive list – just ideas and examples of the kinds of ideas and alternatives that could make a contribution.

Please note – I am not interested in receiving theoretical or abstract contributions, nor in critiques of the here and now, nor analyses of different dimensions of crisis. While all are fundamentally important, the purpose of this collection is different. It is to ‘prefigure’ possible futures in the current order by sharing ideas, experiments, hope and possibilities for what could be different tomorrow.

Expressions of Interest should be no longer than about 1 page and provide the following information:

An overview of the idea/project/alternative you would like to contribute – what is it about? what dimension of space and place is it related to? What does it involve or entail? Has it ‘been done’ somewhere? What is exciting, insightful, useful or instructive about it? Why should it be in this collection – what does it contribute?
Contributor name and affiliation where relevant (please note – I am very keen to hear from people outside formal organisations or academic institutions) and a little bit of background about yourself

Send Expressions of Interest to me via email at: by 19 April 2013. Those contributors selected to participate will be asked for their contribution (short paper or equivalent, no longer than 2000 words) by 31 July 2013.

Please forward on widely to your various networks and contacts and feel free to contact me directly.


Libby Porter

Dr Libby Porter
Senior Lecturer in Human Geography
School of Geography and Environmental Science
Monash University
Clayton VIC 3800
Phone: ++613 990 20109