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Showing posts from August 2, 2009

Fund drive

This is going to be my August reminder to donate to LI and News from the Zona if you feel like it. And for today’s music, Spiritual Front! But I need (a need) a slave Who will stab me and a faithful dog That will devour my body

Notes on solitude

Solitude is feared by all wardens – whether they watch over a prison, a church, a factory, an office, or a school. Solitary, that American torture, is the jailkeeper’s mockery of solitude, stripping the self of its senses and making the self bear, weightily, upon the self – a weight that soon enough becomes a torture. Solitary is not, of course, merely a thing of prison basements, but is out there in the fields of everyday life, a scarecrow to enforce subservience in the general population. Schools socialize children, but you will never be taught solitude there. It may seem tendentious to contrast solitude to individuality, but these are very distinct social modes, and it is the underplaying of solitude that has allowed individuality to dominate the discursive field of the self. Solitude is existential and original, individuality is derivative and legal. Solitude is the release from self interest, individuality is its tightened grip. Solitude tends towards sovereignty or abjection, i

It's a man's man's man's world - but it wouldn't be nothing...

This is a man's world... Susan Okin’s 1979 essay on Rousseau, Rousseau’s Natural Woman, remains a feminist landmark in the literature on Rousseau. Okin carefully goes through the Second Discourse to disentangle what Rousseau meant by natural and how human nature within nature – a human nature unencumbered by society – is to be imagined. She notes that Rousseau does not imagine that the nuclear family existed at the beginning. Rather, men and women existed, so to speak, side by side, and if their sexual congress resulted in a pregnancy, this did not particularly concern the man, nor did it particularly concern the woman to make any claim on the father. In this section, in a long footnote on Locke, Rousseau attacks the British version of the state of nature: “At this point in the Discourse, there is a long footnote in which Rousseau attacks Locke for his argument that the nuclear family existed even in the state of nature.5 Whereas Locke had claimed that the helplessness of human

Time for the bi-annual fund drive

Well, let's see, my last fund drive was, I think, back in January. I aim, this summer month, to raise the dough for Limited Inc and News from the Zona. We'll see. So I'm going to put up these donate to LI reminders. Armes Deutschland, kannst du deine Kinder sehen, Wie sie vor dem Abgrund Schlange stehen. Cheers R.

names and places

Historians say that the period of the 1760s, in France, marked a resurgence of censorship. The strict controls instituted by Louis XIV had collapsed under the regency – the time period in which Montesquieu and Voltaire both started publishing. But as Louis XV’s regime ended amidst the squalor of a court in which major decisions on personnel and policy depended on who could get the Well Beloved’s dick to rise, popular discontent rose too. The solution, as always, was to find scapegoats. Rousseau, when he was still living in France, was more than a little alarmed by the Calas affair, in which the old system of targeting the Protestants was brought into play to burn another of them on trumped up charges. However, even given the reactionary forces at work in the 1760s, Emile was targeted by extraordinary persecution. It caught Rousseau off guard, as he had been assured by the enthusiasm of his protector, le Marechal and Marechale Luxembourg, and the royal censore, Malesherbes, that Emil