Shards of time amid spaces of rebellion

This essay is the child of an earlier reflection on time and revolution, as well as of work on the 15th of May movement in spain, Pasolini and anti-fascism, and other essays posted on Autonomies, from which it borrows generously.

I am nobody! Who are you?
Are you nobody, too?
Then there’s a pair of us – don’t tell
They’d banish us, you know.

Emily Dickenson

The inferno of the living is not something that will be; if there is one, it is what is already here, the inferno where we live every day, that we form by being together.  There are two ways to escape suffering it.  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 recognise who and what, in the midst of the inferno, are not inferno, then make them endure, give them space.

Italo Calvino

1. Politics are not to be assimilated to the State and police authority, if we follow Jacques Rancière. Of the police, he wrote, in an often cited passage, that they are first “a reminder of the obviousness of what there is, or rather, of what there isn’t: ‘Move along! There is nothing to see here!’”  There is nothing to see other than the “space of circulation”.  “Politics, in contrast, consists of transforming this space of ‘moving-along’ into a space for the appearance of a subject: i.e., the people, the worker, the citizens: It consists in refiguring the space, of what there is to do there, what is to be seen or named therein.”[1]  If for Rancière, the category of the political subject, the unseen “we” that makes itself visible, is constituted in the act of litigious dissent, lacking therefore any “proper” place nor possessing any “natural” qualities as subject, it remains nevertheless a subject in the making, “the operator of a particular mode of subjectification and litigation through which politics has its existence”;[2] in other words, the political subject is a subjective possibility, an anarchic subject that will define itself only in the provisional moment of demonstration.  What is suggested in this reflection, in light of the wave of occupations of city streets and squares that began in 2011 and as a counter-hypothesis for our times, is that the nothingness that is secured through perpetual movement has erased subjects, with their specific times and places.  The presumed “hidden” agency of dissent in and through which a proper space must be configured is a fiction.  Consequently, if a radical “we” is to emerge, it will do so from the smooth space of “moving-along”.  This however will be a “we”-subject without depth, without interiority, anonymous; a community of all of those who no longer say “we”, who’s only common tie is that they are all nothing, but that in being nothing, they can possibly become anything.  And “we” are legion.

Who can invent for us a cartography of autonomy, who can draw a map that includes our desires?

Hakim Bey, Post-Anarchism Anarchy

2. If revolutions “are the only historical events which confront us directly and inevitably with the problem of the beginning”, in the words of Hannah Arendt,[3] it must be added that as beginnings, they have also to occur somewhere. This last observation however is often reduced to irrelevance, because location is taken as a mere contingency, or it is acknowledged, but only as an obstacle to be overcome. The events of revolution take place, happen in space, only crossing it as they unfold.  The new histories of freedom thereby inaugurated are borne by the “we”-subjects of revolution, the creative agency that breaks the flow of rectilinear, fated time.  A subject is thus forged through time, the times of resistance, disobedience, insurrection.  And all of history consequently can be read as the unfurling of master-slave dialectics, a struggle between hegemonic and counter-hegemonic subject-stories.  As for space, it is but the neutral and accidental location for the playing out of events, or the physical and representational borders of power which revolution knocks down.

This description of the interrelation between time and space in revolution is admittedly a caricature, but a caricature nevertheless that plays on the understanding of politics and human agency.  Ernesto Laclau could strikingly write: “Politics and space are antinomic terms.  Politics only exist insofar as the spatial eludes us.”[4]  All novelty, all agency, presupposes “dislocation” (for Laclau the “source of freedom”),[5] what amounts to a rupture in the causality of events that is “the very form of temporality”.[6]  Space, or spatiality, implies closure, the “coexistence within a structure that establishes the positive nature of all its terms”;[7] in other words, a social totality frozen outside time.  To contest Laclau’s image of space and the static, architectural metaphors that have burdened so much thinking about space, his own and that of others, calls then for far more than mere dismissal or refusal of such views.  A critique is demanded of notions of space and time, one which examines the conditions of their separation and opposition, and which unveils instead their mutual imbrication without giving centrality to one over the other.  To marginalise space in relation to time assumes a conceptualisation of both that is problematic, the key to which is perhaps indicated by Michel Foucault.  “For all those who confuse history with the old schemes of evolution, living continuity, organic development, the progress of consciousness or the project of existence, the use of spatial terms seems to have the air of an anti-history.”  Space was accordingly “treated as the dead, the fixed, the undialectical, the immobile.  Time, on the contrary, was richness, fecundity, life, dialectic.”[8]  To render space “obvious”, to have it cease to appear “either tamer or more inoffensive than time”,[9] or as what must be shattered, it is necessary to liberate politics from the tyranny of time as the exclusive frame of subjectivity and freedom; it is necessary to consider that space is multiple, that it has the character of an event, that it is produced and constituted through a complexity of agencies and social relations (as well as through human and non-human relations), and that accordingly, along with time, “space is political”.[10]

Autonomy has no frontiers. It is a way of eluding the imperatives of production, the verticality of institutions, the traps of political representation, the virus power.

Sylvere Lotringer/Christian Marazzi, The Return of Politics

3. The “occupy” movements that erupted in 2011, characterised by the taking of city streets and squares, serves as the inspiration for this reflection. Inaugurated by the “Arab Spring” and the iconic occupation of Tahrir Square in Cairo, it would spread quite literally around the world, punctuating the staid calendars of everyday administration with insurrections: from Puerta del Sol to Zuccotti Park, from Syntagma to Taksim, and beyond. The ambition here is not to synthesise all of these movements under a single heading, nor to offer up sociological explanations for the same.  Rather than to map in the ways of a State driven cartography, the task is to trace a series of events; it is to sample, rather than to represent – “indeed any claim to ‘represent’ a movement is a dangerous distortion”[11] – with particular emphasis being given to Spain’s 15th of May movement.[12]  The exercise “is entirely oriented toward experimentation in contact with the real.”[13]  Conceived of as events, political events, the occupations are contingent, singular ruptures in historical and social continuities, consequences of ungrounded decisions taken by those outside ordered social relations of control and domination, decisions that possess no legitimacy beyond themselves.[14]  In this sense, an event is “an effect which exceeds its causes”; it is “the surprising emergence of something new which undermines every stable scheme” of understanding.[15]  And thus social reality changes along with the parameters by which are measured the facts of change.[16]  The approach to understanding events, and their problematics, accordingly calls for an appropriate corresponding methodology.  Whatever unified theoretical comprehension is possible here is one made possible by the very events themselves.  “The unity which makes it possible to speak of a set of problems is revealed in and through the practical activity that creates (or produces) it.”[17]  In sum, events must be approached in an “eventual way”, that is, in a manner that both grasps the event-like nature of change and assumes the change that this brings about in the very nature of our understanding.[18]  And though this may seem a purely ontological and epistemological concern, it is also and fundamentally political, because the event redefines political possibilities and their conceptualisations.  The contention then is that the “occupy” movements oblige us to rethink the time and space of the subject of revolution.

Spain’s 15M began in Madrid with a call to take the streets (Toma la calle), that was followed by an act of occupation (of the Puerta del Sol square), an act then repeated throughout Spain’s cities.  All of this nevertheless took place in the absence of any overall planning, centralised organisation, leadership or overarching ideology.  And if demands emerged from the movement, they were often modest in scope, defensive in character and limited in ambition, or so broad as to be unnegotiable with any State authority.

In many of the early manifestos that emerged from the movement, 15M presented itself as a struggle for dignity.  Those who gave it life rejected any representational role, spoke only for themselves; they were “joined by a singular cause of change”, a change which places human life above “political and economic interests, a change governed by those who desire change.[19]  “An ethical revolution is necessary” (emphasis mine), the revolution of those, “like you”, the common and ordinary people, who have been reduced to the status of commodities.[20]  “We are anonymous, yet without us nothing would exist, for we move the world.”[21]  Or from the acampada of Valencia, “We have neither a name, nor a leader and nor are we in a hurry.”[22]  Nameless and leaderless, depicted under a non-identifying white flag by the Spanish artist El Roto (Andrés Rábago),[23] the movement announced the emergence of a seemingly new political subject, a nameless “we” that insisted upon anonymity; indeed, that made of anonymity its strength.  “¡No nos representan!/They don’t represent us!” echoed as a slogan in all of the occupied squares.  This was not only a refusal of political representation, but also a self-referential, performative claim of non-representable identity.  Without an identity, no representation is possible.  And its rejection was perhaps best expressed amid the eruption of texts that decorated the Puerta del Sol, among which could be read: “This plaza has no borders”.[24]

The nocturnal politics that we defend gives to itself as a fundamental objective the politicization of the social malaise caused by the global mobilisation.

Santiago López Petit, Los espacios del anonimato

4. “Who are they?” was the question posed of all the “occupy” movements by media commentators, politicians and academics. While the first two categories, in asking the question, sought to domesticate or dismiss the movements, the last sought to disarm them theoretically through sociological or historical explanation. What was lost though in all of this cacophony was that it was also those who directly participated in the movements who asked themselves, “Who are we?”, but for very different reasons, reasons that had to do with their own self-understanding and their way of being together.  The “99%” of Occupy Wall Street, for example, only served as a marker for an “us” or a “we” that possessed and desired no unity; that emerging out of the loneliness of nihilistic capitalism and finding themselves in city squares made public, they could but “look for each other.”[25]

The many thus came together in spaces made their own through assemblies: open and horizontal, free and equal, gatherings in spaces of appearances, “the space where I appear to others as others appear to me.”[26]  Such spaces are of the very essence of politics, Hannah Arendt has taught us.  They are the spaces where individuals act together, sharing words and deeds; they are spaces of self-creation, self-determination, self-government and they precede “all formal constitution of the public realm and the various forms of government.”[27]  Such spaces however do not always exist, according to Arendt.  And though all of us can act and speak, most of us – “like the slave, the foreigner, and the barbarian in antiquity, like the labourer or craftsman prior to the modern age, the jobholder or businessman in our world – do not live in it.”[28] But without it, we are “deprived of reality”, the realm of appearances in which we humanly and politically exist.  “To men the reality of the world is guaranteed by the presence of others, by its appearing to all … and whatever lacks this appearance comes and passes away like a dream, intimately and exclusively our own but without reality.”[29]

The rarefaction and disappearance of spaces of appearance through appropriation (privatisation), surveillance and control (State and corporate capture), permanent movement (of Capital flows), the reduction of speech and language to communication and transmission of information and a-signifying sign systems, the disarticulation of the body in the seduction and administration of desire, have all broken the “link between man and the world”.  Solitary and isolated inhabitants of ephemeral and repetitive dream worlds, we “no longer believe in this world”, we “do not even believe in the events which happen to us, love, death, as if they only half concerned us.”[30]  Yet out of this unreality or because of it, protest and rebellion acquire the new guise made manifest in the occupation of city squares.

Arendt’s realm of politics demands a space, a space that suspends or removes us, however temporarily, from the repetitive cycles of labour and the progressive time of work.  But as capitalism has unmade labour in the shift to appropriation through financialisation, it has rendered our labouring survival precarious and uncertain, while compressing time into the permanent present of debt[31] and de-spatialising space into non-places[32] for the smooth circulation of Capital.  Arendt’s careful distinctions between the three spheres of human existence, labour-work-action/politics, thus collapse under ever more deterritorialised and decoded movements of financial valorisation.  Disassembled and re-assembled, we are ever more but points of passage in this generalised movement.  With time increasingly domesticated, external or marginal spaces, dependent always on the possibility of multiple temporalities, are undermined and colonised.  There is no longer an outside to Capital from within which political subjects can resist, no longer a margin from which rebellious agents can constitute counter-hegemonic subjectivities.  There is no longer any “We” to confront a “Them”, and the insistence on the need to constitute a “we”, a coherent and unified “we”-subject of opposition, only renders the enterprise of State or Corporate capture that much more effective.

If there are no fixed points then where is here?

Doreen Massey, For Space

5. Appeals to spaces of marginality as more than sites of deprivation, as fragile but necessary locations of radical openness where the capacities of resistance of the oppressed, exploited, colonised are nourished, resonate in a great deal of radical thought. Speaking of “home” politically, bell hooks describes it as “that place which enables and promotes varied and enriching perspectives, a place where one discovers new ways of seeing reality, frontiers of difference.”[33] However such locations are conceived, whether as “borderlands”, the place where “two or more cultures edge each other, where people of different races occupy the same territory, where under, lower, middle and upper classes touch, where the space between two individuals shrinks with intimacy,”[34] or as the in-between liminal spaces of a nation’s permanent, yet always deferred, self-constitution, through which “the discourses of minorities, the heterogeneous histories of contending peoples, antagonistic authorities and … cultural differences” tarnish all dominant culture with hybridity, and from which we may “emerge as others of ourselves”,[35] or as “thirdspaces”, “the terrain for the generation of ‘counterspaces’, spaces of resistance to the dominant order arising precisely from their subordinate, peripheral or marginalised position”,[36] or as space itself as “a dynamic simultaneous multiplicity” from within which dissent is always possible,[37] or any of the many other variations on the theme, the conceptualisations are always burdened by allusions to an integral subjectivity constituted through times and spaces proper to it and a politics of hegemony and counter-hegemony that walks hand and hand with it.  And if all of the authors cited reject any notion of an autonomous, self-sufficient Cartesian consciousness as the frame of reference for understanding radical political subjectivities, they remain beholden to the idea of subjectivities of resistance.  However fragmented and incomplete dominated subjects are, they are nevertheless essential to that domination, the awareness of which is then a necessary condition for their self-appropriation and movement towards self-determination.  Doreen Massey, for example, speaks of the intrinsic heterogeneity and multiplicity of space as contemporaneous with and the consequence of “a plurality of trajectories”, “a simultaneity of stories-so-far”, which are still the stories of diverse subjects or subject positions.[38]  Yet it is precisely because of her defence of the inherent positionality of subjects and of politics as a confrontation for hegemony over spaces and times, that she was critical of the open and horizontal assembly based politics of “Occupy London”, and by contrast, adulatory of the Latin American “pink tide” of social democratic/socialist governments in which locations identified as poles of opposition were made the object of hegemonic political struggles.[39]

The conviction though that such positions, locations, continue to perdure in a manner sufficient to resist a globalising capitalism is problematic, especially as the governmentality of capitalism, its instruments and apparatuses of power, concentrate essentially upon the subject.  What “one defines as ‘economy’ would be quite simply impossible without the production and control of subjectivity and its forms of life.”[40]  And the economy of capitalism is today virtually absolute.  “Capitalism has no territory of its own.  It appropriates territories in order to exploit them and, once exploited, abandons them in order to appropriate and exploit others, which it will then abandon, and so on, ad infinitum.”[41]  This “deterritorialising” however does not mean that social relations become smooth across the globe, for complete deterritorialisation of all commodity flows, and above all money, would render societies ungovernable.  Capital flows must be blocked, even if only briefly, and subordinated to power, control and decision, thereby establishing frontiers, and thus identities, classes, races, genders and so and so forth.  If these then are the lines between which spaces of marginality are to be found along with their corresponding marginal subjects, there is then perhaps little to hope for in the form of resistance, as both are the children of the very relations of power that engendered them.  The imaginary dialectics of subjection and revolution are little more than what they finally reveal themselves to be, fictions.

La rivolucione non è più che un sentimento.

Pier Paulo Pasolini, Progetto di opera future.

6. Pier Paulo Pasolini, writing in the 1960s and 1970s in a series of largely journalistic interventions, testifies to changes in the social fabric of the world in which he lived. Speaking initially of an anthropological mutation of Italian society, Pasolini’s language will take on an ever more dramatic tone, speaking variously of degradation, repression, revolution, disaster, cataclysm, genocide. And what these words are witness to is the disappearance of pre-capitalist ways of life rooted in the worlds of the peasantry and the urban lumpen-proletariat and proletariat; the last depositories of multiple and magmatic social forms from which families, cultures, languages, institutions fed.  With their passing, die old moral values, ways of being in the world, types of ethos distinct from those of capitalism.  And the depth of the change is not to be read exclusively at a conscious or ideological level; it is present in codes and models manifest somatically, physically, linguistically, shaping and structuring new imaginaries and new subjectivities.  Formerly, class based ways of life enjoyed a relative existential autonomy.  They sustained ways of behaviour, ethical models which gave life to expressions of pride and joy.  If those who so lived did not live in what might be called a “golden age”, they lived in an “age of bread”, where their creativity and consumption was of first necessities; something that rendered their lives poor and precarious, but nevertheless necessary, whereas those lives given over to superfluous goods become themselves superfluous.[42]  The many poor are thereby suddenly deprived of their cultures, languages, freedoms, in sum, of the models of life the realisation of which expressed real social possibilities.  As the bourgeoisie and the petit-bourgeoisie assumed consumption as a way of life, the children of the poor equally endeavoured to live as the children of the rich.  And because this last is never truly possible, the poor live this in frustration and anxiety, in humiliation and incapacity, in serious joylessness, the joylessness that Pasolini called neo-fascism.

The destruction of pre-capitalist and paleo-capitalist cultures, for Pasolini, inaugurates the age of totalising fascism, the dictatorship of universal petit-bourgeoisdom.  Class based cultural ways of life, which grounded politics hitherto, wane, and the political forms which they gave life to are emptied of substance.  Parliamentary and constitutional democracies, even fascism, succumb to spectacle, where political choices are equivalent to the “choice” between brand names of commodities, choices made with no expectation but the perpetuation of what already exists.  The new fascism that is contemporary capitalism breaks with old historical worlds, institutionalises a kind of epoché, in which history, along with the “we”-subject of revolution, reactionary or progressive, are lost.[43]  The grand Leftist narratives of a redemptive history culminating in universal freedom collapse. Whatever possibility of radical politics endures is thus a politics without hope.  But who or where are the agents of such revolutions?  Pasolini can see only devastation.  At the end of history, amid the ashes of Gramsci, what is to be done?

Part of the answer may be in Pasolini’s complex understanding of language, that this last is not limited to verbal or written codes, that one can speak of language at somatic and behavioural levels, in other words, existentially.  Accordingly, a radical politics must not only be a politics of words, but also of bodies, gestures, agencies, actions, that together create worlds generative of desires and passions.

When you will have made him a body without organs, then you will have delivered him from all his automatic reactions and restored him to his true freedom.

Antonin Artaud, To have done with the Judgement of God

7. We thus find ourselves again in the gatherings of bodies of occupied streets and squares. Judith Butler, writing around these events, asked who “then is this ‘we’ that assembles in streets and affirms itself, sometimes by word and by action, but far more often by forming a group of visible, audible, tangible, exposed, stubborn and interdependent bodies?”[44] It is first as bodies that their presence is announced (to okupy is to first and foremost to bare one’s body), with any ensuing or parallel enunciative act only serving to tell others that we are here.[45]  Arendt’s political “space of appearances” thus reveals itself to rest upon the organic condition of a plurality of bodies, of equal and interdependent bodies, occupying and redefining a space.[46]  “The plurality of bodies is inextricably linked to places.  Thus, bodies belong to the pavement, to the ground, to the architecture, to the technology of the places where they live.”[47]  Yet even if a “body cannot exist without other bodies”,[48] how they exist with each other is always potentially “constrained and constraining”.[49]  Bodies as active, as self-constituting, and never definitively constituted, are not a given (otherwise, there would be no need to struggle for the conditions that bestow upon bodies their ability to create themselves freely).[50]  Their organic nature is never pure.[51]  But then it follows that rebellious bodies can only emerge from an act of self-appropriation.  Butler here seems to fall into the same trap of assuming a resilient marginality, now conceived of as corporeal; a space of self-constitution as the source of resistance.  She consequently equates the gathering of bodies as an affirmation of popular sovereignty.  Even then as Butler states that the “we” of “we the people” affirmed by the assembly of bodies is never given, never static, only expressed through an ongoing plural and conflictual act, the question that arises is why should it be assumed that bodies safeguard such agency, that they carry within themselves non-alienated corporal exigencies?

Our bodies are not strictly speaking natural.  They are made and distributed.  “We are assigned a body capable of developing within a social, productive and domestic space”, with “types” of bodies varying according to those spaces.  As capitalism produces subjectivities, so to it moulds bodies.  “Social subjection engages bodies through disciplinary techniques of temporal and spatial organisation as well as laws, specialised knowledge, norms, linguistic and visual semiotics, and the education system”; it invests even the body’s molecular biology and genetic organisation with no mediation by consciousness or representations.  “Social control is exercised through the body but by marking it from the ‘inside’”[52]  A subject is thereby created “that no longer reflects, that is no longer conscious or a product of ‘intersubjectivity’”.[53]  The body thus appears without interiority, a kind of interface or surface traversed by apparatuses of power that function at all levels of its organic configuration, even more intensely than Pasolini could ever imagine.  Where then is the source of Butler’s self-determining bodily agency?  Can the simple fact that power relations must be sustained and reproduced provide sufficient space, the gap, from which freedom can express itself?  And even recognising such spaces, how can it be taken for granted that free agency resides beneath the surface, at the margins of the body, sufficient to erupt and inaugurate new forms of self-making?

What Butler’s interpretation of the constitution of a corporeal “we” in the occupation of squares reveals, along with the earlier discussion of theories of marginal and hybrid spaces as the location of resistance and rebellion, is an unassumed vitalism that is presumed to lie beneath the surface of all regimes of domination, the beach beneath the paving stones of France’s May 68 (“Sous les paves la plage”).  The vitality of bodies, the home (bell hooks), the trajectories and stories of voiceless minorities (H.K. Bhabha, D. Massey), and the so many other examples that could be cited, are spaces within and beyond dominant power, spaces which guard narratives and times, other possible subjectivities.  Gaston Bachelard captured this experience and representation of space well.

At times we think we know ourselves in time, when all we know is a sequence of fixations in the spaces of the being’s stability – a being who does not want to melt away, and who, even in the past, wants time to “suspend” its flight.  In its countless alveoli space contains compressed time.  That is what space is for.[54]

Yet if it is precisely this home-like space that capitalism invests in its global appropriation, then to believe that something remains of it that can serve as a fountain of dissidence may have more to do with illusion than reality, or at least with illusions that are politically unproductive if they are to serve as the basis for revolutionary politics.  To speak with Bachelard then, we perhaps do not know ourselves, for we have no way of imprisoning time in the fantasies of our own fragile narcissism.

Every light we will ever find is already here in the so-called darkness.

Paolo Virno, The Ambivalence of Disenchantment

8. Michael Taussig, reflecting on the occupation of Zucotti Park in New York City, wrote that “the whole point of OWS [Occupy wall Street] is homelessness.”[55] If among the many who could be found filling the occupied squares of the United States were from among the millions made homeless by the financial crisis of 2008, there is perhaps a deeper meaning buried within the statement and it is that we are today all homeless. We are the living shadows of formerly grounded populations with past identities, identities now as precarious and disposable as our own lives.  We move across an ever increasingly smoothened space, cleared for the comings and goings of the tradeable commodities of financial magicians, marked only by the surveilled points of passage necessary to control the movements of populations still useful for the uninterrupted extraction of wealth.

“This plaza has no borders”, then becomes the desire to make real for us what is the  exclusive privilege of other forms of Capital.  This does not translate into a demand, for it is not addressed to an identifiable enemy; the enemy is everywhere, even among and within us.  But it is in this common and shared weakness where the unity and power of those who struggle for other forms of life.  The general wrong that is suffered is impersonal and aspires to totality.  It is without spatial location.  And thus it “can never be overcome by any particular change, only by a total one”, carried through by no unique or privileged subject.[56]  What is affirmed in the occupations is not therefore an identity, a story or history, but the anonymity of our universal emptiness.  And the appropriated spaces of the equally anonymous squares, momentarily united “across all their local particularities” because of “the very universality of the crisis”, became the threshold spaces for “we”-subjects who are themselves thresholds for ever new becomings.  Yet we are able to become these points of passage because we have also become nothing, mere naked life.

The stone of our deadened hearts thus crumbles and a Borgesian Aleph[57] announces that we can become possibly anything, always.  To escape the vertigo that follows, we may flee into willed forgetfulness, or assume ways of life that sustain the unlimited potential that we discover in the nihilism of our time.

____________________

[1] Jacques Rancière, “Ten Thesis on Politics”, in Theory & Event. Vol. 5, No. 3, 2001. Retrieved October 6th, 2015: http://www.egs.edu/faculty/jacques-ranciere/articles/ten-thesis-on-politics/ .

[2] Ibid.

[3] Hannah Arendt, On Revolution. [1963] London: Penguin Books, 1965, 21.

[4] Ernesto Laclau, New Reflections on the Revolution of our Time. London: Verso, 68.

[5] Ibid., 60.

[6] Ibid., 41.

[7] Ibid., 69.

[8] Michel Foucault, Power/Knowledge: Selected Interviews and Other Writings.  New York, N.Y.: Pantheon, 1980, 70, 34.

[9] Georges Perec, Species of Spaces and Other Pieces.[1974] London: Penguin Books, 1997, 83.

[10] Henri Lefebvre, State, Space, World: Selected Essays. Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press, 2009, 174.

[11] The Free Association, Moments of Excess. Oakland CA: PM Press, 7.

[12] The choice of Spain’s 15M, among the many “occupy” movements of the last years, is determined by a comparatively greater familiarity with it and by the belief that it was the most radical of the many occupation movements (Greece’s movement may perhaps compare with Spain’s in this regard), until now, and that one which has had the greatest resonances within the country where it emerged.

[13] Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari, A Thousand Plateaus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia.[1980] London: Continuum, 1988, 13.

[14] Alain Badiou, Le réveil de l’histoire. Nouvelles Éditions Lignes, 2011, 87-8.

[15] Slavoj Žižek, Event: Philosophy in Transit.  London: Penguin Books, 2014, 5-6.

[16] Ibid.,179.

[17] Henri Lefebvre, The Explosion: Marxism and the French Upheaval. New York, NY: Monthly Review Press, 1969, 152.

[18] Slavoj Žižek, Event: Philosophy in Transit. 6.

[19] Manifiesto (15M). Retrieved October 5, 2015: http://madrid.tomalaplaza.net/manifiesto-2/; Declaration of Principles, Retrieved October 5, 2015: https://acampadabcninternacional.wordpress.com/2011/05/20/declaration-of-principles/ .

[20] ¡Democracia Real Ya! (Manifesto – English). Retrieved October 5, 2015: http://www.democraciarealya.es/manifiesto-comun/manifesto-english/ .

[21] Ibid.

[22] ¡Indignados!15M. Mandala ediciones, 2011, 146.

[23] El Pais, 18/05/2011. Retrieved October 5, 2015: http://elpais.com/diario/2011/05/18/vinetas/1305669603_850215.html .

[24] 15-M Al Sol: Indignación: Un Libro De Poesía Espontánea. Madrid: Amargord ediciones, 2012.  The refusal of borders was at least the symbolic rejection of sovereignty by the movement, the principle underlying all State violence; a symbolic rejection that would have a profound effect on 15M’s practices, what I am tempted to call its’ practices of freedom.  Hannah Arendt, writing of the relation of freedom and sovereignty, condemned their identification as “perhaps the most pernicious and dangerous consequence of the philosophical equation of freedom and free will.  For it leads either to a denial of human freedom – namely, if it is realized that whatever men may be, they are never sovereign – or to the insight that the freedom of one man, or a group, or a body politic can be purchased only at the price of the freedom, i.e., the sovereignty, of all others. …  If men wish to be free, it is precisely sovereignty they must renounce.”  Hannah Arendt, “What Is Freedom?”[1967], in The Portable Hannah Arendt.  London: Penguin Books, 2000, 455.

[25] Frederico Campagna and Emanuele Campiglio, “Introduction: What Are We Struggling For?”, in What we are fighting for: A Radical Collective Manifesto. London: Pluto Press, 2012,  3.

[26] Hannah Arendt, The Human Condition. Chicago, IL: The University of Chicago Press, 1958, 198.

[27] Ibid., 199.

[28] Ibid.

[29] Ibid.

[30] Gilles Deleuze, Cinema 2: The Time-Image. Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press, 1989, 171-2.

[31] Maurizio Lazzarato, The Making of Indebted Man. Amsterdam. Semiotext(e), 2011, 46-9.

[32] Marc Augé, Non-Places: Introduction to an Anthropology of Supermodernity. London: Verso, 1995.

[33] bell hooks, “Choosing the Margin as a Space of radical Openness”, in Gender, Space, Architecture: An Interdisciplinary Introduction. London: Routledge, 2000, 205.

[34] Gloria Anzaldúa, Borderlands/La Frontera: The New Mestiza. San Francisco CA: Spinsters/Aunt Lute, 1987.

[35] Homi K. Bhabha, The Location of Culture. London: Routledge, 1994, 148, 39.

[36] Edward W. Soja, Thirdspace: Journeys to Los Angeles and Other Real-and-Imagined Places. Malden MA: Blackwell, 1996, 68.

[37] Doreen Massey, For Space, London: Sage, 2005, 61.

[38] Ibid., 12. Massey’s stories so far also include the stories of non-human “subjects”.

[39] Doreen Massey, “Londres, diciembre de 2011”, in Abel Albet, Núria Benach eds., Doreen Massey: Un Sentido Global Del Lugar. Barcelona: Icaria, 2012.

[40] Maurizio Lazzarato, The Making of Indebted Man. 33.

[41] Maurizio Lazzarato, Governing by Debt. South Passedena CA: Semiotext(e), 2013, 58-9.

[42] Pier Paulo Pasolini, Écrits corsaire. Paris: Flammiron, 1976, 94-5.

[43] Pier-Paulo Pasolini, Écrits corsaire. 79.

[44] Judith Butler, “’Nous le peuple’: réflexions sur la liberté de réunion”, in Qu’est-ce qu’un people? Paris: La Fabrique, 2013, 53.

[45] Ibid., 60.

[46] Ibid., 65, 68, 70.

[47] Ibid., 69.

[48] Ibid., 71.

[49] Ibid., 75.

[50] Ibid., 74-5.

[51] Ibid., 66.

[52] Maurizio Lazzarato, Governing by Debt. 199.

[53] Ibid., 200.

[54] Gaston Bachelard, The Poetics of Space. Boston MA: Beacon Press, 1969, 8.

[55] Michael Taussig, “I’m So Angry I Made a Sign”, in Occupy: Three inquiries in Disobedience. Chicago IL: The University of Chicago Press, 2013, 11.

[56] Jacob Blumenfeld, “Postface: Occupation and Revolution”, in Jacob Blumenfeld, Chiara Bottici, Simon Critichley, eds., The Anarchist Turn. London: Pluto Press, 2013, 237.

[57] Jorge Luis Borges, The Aleph. [1949] London: Penguin Books, 1998.

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