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Socialism and/or Barbarism
By Evan Calder Williams
Notes on a once & future nightmare. S a/o B 2008-2011 Follow @thickaswolves
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When the rich walk

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When the rich walk, they do so with an unknown number of small and relatively defenseless animals placed between the arch of the foot and the bed of the shoe. They walk with a deft and decisive lightness, not wholly unlike deer, deer not being amongst the fauna placed between foot and shoe, and hence, between rich and earth. For the rich, when they walk, there is no firmament: there are the stars above, which they know intimately and have tattooed iridescent onto the skin of hired help so their rich children may know of the cosmos on smoggy nights, and there are the warm and pliant things underfoot, from which claws, teeth, beaks, and grit have been removed prior to the walk.

The result of this lightness of gait is that a not-insignificant portion of the fine-boned creatures are spared. We should note, though, that their continued existence and hence potential springiness is neither the cause of the deft lift – the bones of the foot of the rich flex in accordance with long-established yet ever-evolving principles that govern the construction of yachts and large towers that pierce not only sky but, unknown to even those who live within them, also the strata of the earth to an equal depth – nor is it any concern whatsoever of the rich.

RIP Farocki (1944 – 2014)

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Only once it had been learned how filmic images grasp for ideas and are themselves seized by them, were we able to see with hindsight that the resolution of the workers’ motion represents something, that the visible movement of people is standing in for the absent and invisible movement of goods, money, and ideas circulating in the industrial sphere. In the opening sequence of this first film, the cinema’s basic stylistic principle is already present. Its signs and meanings are not put into the world, they arise from the real.

In the cinema it is as if the world itself wanted to tell us something.

- Harun Farocki, “Workers Leaving the Factory”

if these adjectives are synonyms of ‘enemy’

From a friend who translated this endlessly contemporary work:

“One shouldn’t be too generous with certain adversaries. Against those who without disgust tolerated reading or listening to things written and said about Arabs which largely repeated arguments that thirty or so years ago the Hitlerian press made against the Jude, and made them, if that’s possible, even more repugnant by covering them in a pedagogical, democratic veneer— because for the Nazi the Jew was irrecuperable while the ragged gesticulating illiterate Arab, incapable of using a modern weapon et cetera, can ‘progress’ if instructed in Western values—against these people one will never be ‘antisemitic’ and ‘racist’ enough, if these adjectives are synonyms of ‘enemy’.”

Franco Fortini, The Dogs of the Sinai, p. 30