Thursday, 30 November 2000

From "The Numbers Trouble with “Numbers Trouble”"

By Jennifer Ashton.

The point, in other words, is that the moment you’re in the business of celebrating a poem for the situation in which it was produced at the same time that you’re celebrating its form as such, you’ve basically got a machine built for nothing but the business of essentializing. With the idea of the woman poet at one end and the idea of "innovative" form at the other, the logic of women’s "innovative" poetry is like a teeter-totter whose requisite fulcrum is that essentialism. And it doesn’t really matter which way the teeter-totter tips; the interest in women remains grounded in a commitment to form, and the interest in form remains grounded in a commitment to women.

From "Political Theology"

By Carl Schmitt.

The connection of actual power with the legally highest power is the fundamental problem of the concept of sovereignty. All the difficulties reside here.


The most detailed treatment of the concept of sovereignty available in the past few years attempts a simple solution. This has been done by advancing a disjunction: sociology/jurisprudence, and with a simplistic either/or obtaining something purely sociological and something purely juristic.


Using this procedure [...] the state must be purely juristic, something normatively valid. It is not just any reality or any imagined entity alongside and outside the legal order. The state is nothing else than the legal order itself, which is conceived as a unity, to be sure [...] The state is thus neither the creator nor the source of the legal order [...] all perceptions to the contrary are personifications and hypostasizations, duplications of the uniform and identical legal order in different subjects. The state, meaning the legal order, is a system of ascriptions to a last point of ascription and to a last basic norm. The hierarchical order that is legally valid in the state rests on the premise that authorizations and competences emanate from the uniform central point to the lowest point [...] The state is the terminal point of ascription, the point at which the ascriptions, which constitute the essence of juristic consideration, "can stop." This "point" is simultaneously an "order that cannot be further derived." [...] The basis for the validity of a norm can only be a norm;


The dualism of the methods of sociology and jurisprudence ends in a monistic metaphysics. But the unity of the legal order, meaning the state, remains "purged" of everything sociological in the framework of the juristic. Is this juristic unity of the same kind as the worldwide unity of the whole system? How can it be possible to trace a host of positive attributes to a unity with the same point of ascription when what is meant is not the unity of a system of natural law or of a general theory of the law but the unity of a positive-valid order?


On what does the intellectual necessity and objectivity of the various ascriptions with the various points of ascription rest if it does not rest on a positive determination, on a command? As if speaking time and again of uninterrupted unity and order would make them the most obvious things in the world; as if a fixed harmony existed between the result of free juristic knowledge and the complex that only in political reality constitutes a unity, what is discussed is a gradation of higher and lower orders supposedly found in everything that is attached to jurisprudence in the form of positive regulations.

From "Pornography and Sexual Violence"

By Robert Jensen Robert Jensen.

One of the most thorough reviews of the experimental literature by leading researchers in the field concluded, "if a person has relatively aggressive sexual inclinations resulting from various personal and/or cultural factors, some pornography exposure may activate and reinforce associated coercive tendencies and behaviors" (Malamuth, Addison, & Koss, 2000, p. 81). The authors also pointed out that "high pornography use is not necessarily indicative of high risk for sexual aggression" (p. 79). Another large-scale literature review also concluded that men predisposed toward violence are most likely to show effects from viewing pornography and that men not predisposed are unlikely to show effects (Seto, Maric, & Barbarre, 2001, p. 46).

While this experimental work sometimes offers interesting hints at how pornography works in regard to men's sexual behavior, it suffers from several serious problems that limit its value. First, the measures of men's attitudes toward women, such as answers to questions about the appropriate punishment for rapists, do not necessarily tell us anything about men's willingness to rape. Men often view their sexually aggressive or violent behavior not as aggression or violence but as "just sex." In other words, men who rape often condemn rape, which they see as something other men do (Koss, 1988) [...]

From "Critique of the Gotha Programme"

By Marx.

"The emancipation of labor demands the promotion of the instruments of labor to the common property of society and the co-operative regulation of the total labor, with a fair distribution of the proceeds of labor."


What are the "proceeds of labor"? The product of labor, or its value? And in the latter case, is it the total value of the product, or only that part of the value which labor has newly added to the value of the means of production consumed?

"Proceeds of labor" is a loose notion which Lassalle has put in the place of definite economic conceptions.

What is "a fair distribution"?

Do not the bourgeois assert that the present-day distribution is "fair"? And is it not, in fact, the only "fair" distribution on the basis of the present-day mode of production? Are economic relations regulated by legal conceptions, or do not, on the contrary, legal relations arise out of economic ones? Have not also the socialist sectarians the most varied notions about "fair" distribution?

Tuesday, 28 November 2000

From "Two Treatises on Government"

By John Locke.

Sect. 145. There is another power in every common-wealth, which one may call natural, because it is that which answers to the power every man naturally had before he entered into society: for though in a common-w ealth the members of it are distinct persons still in reference to one another, and as such as governed by the laws of the society; yet in reference to the rest of mankind, they make one body, which is, as every member of it before was, still in the state of nature with the rest of mankind. Hence it is, that the controversies that happen between any man of the society with those that are out of it, are managed by the public; and an injury done to a member of their body, engages the whole in the reparatio n of it. So that under this consideration, the whole community is one body in the state of nature, in respect of all other states or persons out of its community.

Sect. 146. This therefore contains the power of war and peace, leagues and alliances, and all the transactions, with all persons and communities without the common-wealth, and may be called federative, if any one pleases. So the thing be understood, I am indifferent as to the name.

From "The Second Treatise of Civil Government"

By John Locke.

Sect. 143. THE legislative power is that, which has a right to direct how the force of the common-wealth shall be employed for preserving the community and the members of it. But because those laws which are con stantly to be executed, and whose force is always to continue, may be made in a little time; therefore there is no need, that the legislative should be always in being, not having always business to do. And because it may be too great a temptati on to human frailty, apt to grasp at power, for the same persons, who have the power of making laws, to have also in their hands the power to execute them, whereby they may exempt themselves from obedience to the laws they make, and suit the law, both in its making, and execution, to their own private advantage, and thereby come to have a distinct interest from the rest of the community, contrary to the end of society and government: therefore in well ordered commonwealths, where the good of the whole is so considered, as it ought, the legislative power is put into the hands of divers persons, who duly assembled, have by themselves, or jointly with others, a power to make laws, which when they have done, being separated again, they are themselves subject to the laws they have made; which is a new and near tie upon them, to take care, that they make them for the public good.

Sect. 144. But because the laws, that are at once, and in a short time made, have a constant and lasting force, and need a perpetual execution, or an attendance thereunto; therefore it is necessary there should be a power always in being, which should see to the execution of the laws tha t are made, and remain in force. And thus the legislative and executive power come often to be separated.

From "The Second Treatise of Civil Government"

By John Locke.

These are the bounds which the trust, that is put in them by the society, and the law of God and nature, have set to the legislative power of every common-wealth, in all forms of government.


First, They are to govern by promulgated established laws, not to be varied in particular cases, but to have one rule for rich and poor, for the favourite at court, and the country man at plough.


Secondly, These laws also ought to be designed for no other end ultimately, but the good of the people.


Thirdly, They must not raise taxes on the property of the people, without the consent of the people, given by themselves, or their deputies. And this properly concerns only such governments where the legislative is alw ays in being, or at least where the people have not reserved any part of the legislative to deputies, to be from time to time chosen by themselves.


Fourthly, The legislative neither must nor can transfer the power of making laws to any body else, or place it any where, but where the people have.

Sunday, 26 November 2000

From "The Age in its Cage"

By Stephen Rodefer.

I FEEL LIKE IKE, warning the post-McCARTHY ERA of the military/industrial complex. Is there an academic/literary complex equivalent, or at least similar, to that earlier one? Why are we not more uneasy with this cozy arrangement? Because it’s bringing in money, jobs, new careers, and a refurbishable pre-sold cannon. If there were something like an academic/literary complex—as intertwined, devious, and enduring as its EISENHOWITZER paradigm—does it not threaten to extend or intrude even here, especially here, where we are now, at the alternative N.S.C. of U POETRY, in its central strategy and planning room? Where the move to become more accessible and to unveil new forms, is roughly the equivalent of PENTAGON STRATEGY and smart, heat-seeking missiles [GENERAL POET indeed]. The power figures, their lackeys and aspirants standing around in casual dress at the midnight-swim cash bar of the new BOHEMIAN GROVE, bartering the unrefurbished prices for the arms of the latest writing. OR variously: Are we not treading precariously close to a kind of avant-garde VANITY F’AIR? Ist A.G. & E. writing not coming comically—or is it cynically—close to VANITY LIT? Somewhere between cottage industry, force feeding, and government WHITE paper.

Saturday, 25 November 2000

From "Bench Marks"

By Drew Milne.

Sweet shift go slow, go
amid shingle and roc
and be so the camera
lies in felt ice, in harm,
a brim too far, our gorge
simply rises, comes to
to this general striking.

Or to some skurried bell,
sops a drift, democrats
in coup de main, row on
row and all for no one's
wedding, o dead rose
what murrain soldering
choler to fruits of gloom,
title tracks, this livid soil.


So go easy on the eye
above in fetid stars of
topic balm, high spirits
and cold accord of ruth,
sweet tigers, splash out,
your days melt in surds,
a fair and each to each
to the tune of millions


From "Corrupted by Showgirls"

By Dell Olsen.

Afterwards she realises she is 99.8% identical to everyone else. He is appalled to learn that she has lied about her condition. She explains a coherent expression of a world view that is silver and backless, while tearfully promising to change her selfish ways.

From "‘say Smile’: The Many Faces of Peter Manson"

[...] if his detachable faces can stand as figures for the formal surfaces to which they’re etymologically akin, these thematic preoccupations become more than merely cosmetic. In a moment of revelatory clarity, W. S. Graham, a writer much concerned with language surfaces, wakes to the implications of his image in the glass: ‘I am up. I’ve washed The front of my face’. [...] Manson exploits the poetic possibilities of the conceptual fissure that Graham’s lines expose: his words are at times a front, and something between archaeology and divination is required to venture a restructuring of the cognitive mechanisms that shape and underpin them [...]

From "Agoraphobia, and the embarrassment of manifestos"

By Drew Milne.

[...] the art of the manifesto, the art of a kind of poetic and declarative statement which risks a community of possible misinterpretations and abuses. This art of the propositional or polemical statement need not be restricted to prose; it is perhaps evident in Pound’s Hugh Selwyn Mauberley and The Cantos, and in the work of Wilkinson and Prynne. There is a pleasing, even epic quality about a kind of public declaration which can bring its private extremities into sharp and critical relief against the violent hierarchical demotics of what is called public speaking. Nevertheless, nothing is more worrying in twentieth century British poetry than the prospect of being known and read as a writer of a manifesto; mangled by critics who plough in endless litanies of the obvious; only then to be ignored for having committed the original sin of putting statements of intention before poetic achievement. Nevertheless these necessary reasons for embarrassment with manifestos hide the extent to which the manifesto is a key modernist art form in its own right, and an art form which demonstrates the dynamics of a relation between aesthetics and politics.

From a letter

By J. H. Prynne.

[...] sound in its due place is as much true as knowledge (and all that mere claptrap about information and learning). Rhyme is the public truth of language, sound paced out in the shared places, the echoes are no-one’s private property or achievement; thus any grace (truly achieved) of sound is political, part of the world of motion and place in which language is like weather, the air we breathe [...]

From "Agoraphobia, and the embarrassment of manifestos"

By Drew Milne.

To attempt an art of public speaking with regard to contemporary poetry seems like a slap in the face of public taste. Is it possible to speak of, or address such a public? If the Cambridge Conference of Contemporary Poetry (C.C.C.P.) institutes the possibility of a republic of letters, what might develop an appropriate form of collective public speaking with which to articulate its diverse voices? Indeed, is there a plausible art or rhetoric of quotation which might articulate such a public without disenfranchising some voices, and which, as if listening to several voices at once, might remain attentive to the unspeakable? This paper attempts to propose some questions for the time being, through a Benjaminian dream; a dream of a poetics of discussion and criticism as a solution of quotations. Here, an ethics of quotation forbids the imperatives of private property, and risks a community of borrowed voices, hoping to provoke such voices into some write of reply. Rather than parading a host of dummies laid out by the swift punches of scare quotes, each carefully collected word bleeds into the body of its own mixed metaphor. Passing on the baton of irresponible remarks let slip in other contexts, these notes hope that some community of risk might overcome the fear of speaking in public, the fear of the forum, agoraphobia, and the embarrassment of becoming all too manifest, even a manifesto.

Wednesday, 22 November 2000

From "Why Doesn't Aid Work?"

By William Easterly.

Aid agencies can be held accountable for specific tasks, rather than the weak incentives that follow from collective responsibility of all aid agencies and recipient governments for those broad goals that depend on many other things besides aid agency effort. Examples of the latter include such unaccountable goals as the very fashionable campaign to achieve the UN Millennium Development Goals, or the sweeping goals of economic growth, government reform, and democracy for poor countries mentioned above. If a bureaucracy shares responsibilities with other agencies to achieve many different general goals that depend on many other things, then it is not accountable to its intended beneficiaries—the poor.

From "The Second Treatise of Government"

By John Locke.

An acre of land, that bears here twenty bushels of wheat, and another in America, which, with the same husbandry, would do the like, are, without doubt, of the same natural intrinsic value: but yet the benefit mankind receives from the one in a year, is worth 5l. and from the other possibly not worth a penny, if all the profit an Indian received from it were to be valued, and sold here; at least, I may truly say, not one thousandth. It is labour then which puts the greatest part of value upon land, without which it would scarcely be worth any thing: it is to that we owe the greatest part of all its useful products; for all that the straw, bran, bread, of that acre of wheat, is more worth than the product of an acre of as good land, which lies waste, is all the effect of labour: for it is not barely the plough-man's pains, the reaper's and thresher's toil, and the baker's sweat, is to be counted into the bread we eat; the labour of those who broke the oxen, who digged and wrought the iron and stones, who felled and framed the timber employed about the plough, mill, oven, or any other utensils, which are a vast number, requisite to this corn, from its being feed to be sown to its being made bread, must all be charged on the account of labour, and received as an effect of that: nature and the earth furnished only the almost worthless materials, as in themselves. It would be a strange catalogue of things, that industry provided and made use of, about every loaf of bread, before it came to our use, if we could trace them; iron, wood, leather, bark, timber, stone, bricks, coals, lime, cloth, dying drugs, pitch, tar, masts, ropes, and all the materials made use of in the ship, that brought any of the commodities made use of by any of the workmen, to any part of the work; all which it would be almost impossible, at least too long, to reckon up.

From "The Second Treatise of Government"

By John Locke.

§46. The greatest part of things really useful to the life of man, and such as the necessity of subsisting made the first commoners of the world look after, as it doth the Americans now, are generally things of short duration; such as, if they are not consumed by use, will decay and perish of themselves: gold, silver and diamonds, are things that fancy or agreement hath put the value on, more than real use, and the necessary support of life. Now of those good things which nature hath provided in common, every one had a right (as hath been said) to as much as he could use, and property in all that he could effect with his labour; all that his industry could extend to, to alter from the state nature had put it in, was his. He that gathered a hundred bushels of acorns or apples, had thereby a property in them, they were his goods as soon as gathered. He was only to look, that he used them before they spoiled, else he took more than his share, and robbed others. And indeed it was a foolish thing, as well as dishonest, to hoard up more than he could make use of. If he gave away a part to any body else, so that it perished not uselesly in his possession, these he also made use of. And if he also bartered away plums, that would have rotted in a week, for nuts that would last good for his eating a whole year, he did no injury; he wasted not the common stock; destroyed no part of the portion of goods that belonged to others, so long as nothing perished uselesly in his hands. Again, if he would give his nuts for a piece of metal, pleased with its colour; or exchange his sheep for shells, or wool for a sparkling pebble or a diamond, and keep those by him all his life he invaded not the right of others, he might heap up as much of these durable things as he pleased; the exceeding of the bounds of his just property not lying in the largeness of his possession, but the perishing of any thing uselesly in it.

From "The Second Treatise of Government"

By John Locke.

§50. But since gold and silver, being little useful to the life of man in proportion to food, raiment, and carriage, has its value only from the consent of men, whereof labour yet makes, in great part, the measure; it is plain, that men have agreed to a disproportionate and unequal possession of the earth; they having, by a tacit and voluntary consent, found out a way how a man may fairly possess more land than he himself can use the product of, by receiving, in exchange for the overplus, gold and silver, which may be hoarded up without injury to anyone; these metals not spoiling or decaying in the hands of the possessor. This partage of things in an inequality of private possessions, men have made practicable out of the bounds of society, and without compact; only by putting a value on gold and silver, and tacitly agreeing in the use of money; for in governents, the laws regulate the right of property, and the possession of land is determined by positive constitutions.

From "That Now She Knows"

By J. H. Prynne.

Who with he'll say climbing, to let blood slit imposed
at a turret elevation to buffer high return. I saw
her wings in speedy strip like a shadow in the sand
or in growth like natural reason, her heart so vast
as justly to make cause with the fiery fountain sealed
on track right across terra nullius overhead. I knew
that, she made me see the light level cracking along
her trebled skyline: I held my view. Blizzard loyal
transgenic pulsation she'll take both up to a dish
off the bone dropping away to a strut canopy, eyes
blue on blue aptitude so sweet. I knew that.

From "Not-You"

By J. H. Prynne.

His cash desk implant leaves a scar, at actual
size past reason's deposit tremble on peak
travel location: get it dealt, like rennet

on the vital rack there.

The Loyal Dilemma

By Bill Griffiths.

The common world (so Jane sez)
is all maintained by 'voluntary spies'.
These monitor unevenness in equalities
and propinquity in inequality
for unless there is positional definition,
calibration of action and distinction of entitlements
(upon some moral register)
the war could not proceed.
It would become inexplicable.

From "A Contribution to the Critique of Hegel’s Philosophy of Right"

By Karl Marx.

To be radical is to grasp things by the root. But for man the root is man himself.

From "Chemins de Fer"

By J. H. Prynne.

[...] Even the thinnest breath of
wind wraps round the intense lassitude, that
an undeniably political centre keeps watch; the
switch of light and shadow is packed with
foreign tongues. I shall not know my own
conjecture [...]

Monday, 20 November 2000

From "International Regimes, Transactions, and Change [...]"

By John Gerard Ruggie.

Liberal internationalist orthodoxy, most prominent in New York financial circles, proposed to reform the old order simply by shifting its locus from the pound to the dollar and by ending discriminatory trade and exchange practice [...] Opposition to economic liberalism, nearly universal outside the United States, differed in substance and intensity depending upon whether it came from the Left, Right, or Center, but was united in its rejection of unimpeded multilateralism [...] The task of postwar institutional reconstruction [...] was to maneuver between these two extremes and to devise a framework which would safeguard and even aid the quest for domestic stability without, at the same time, triggering the mutually destructive external consequences that had plagued the interwar period. This was the essence of the embedded liberalism compromise: unlike the economic nationalism of the thirties, it would be multilateral in character; unlike the liberalism of the gold standard and free trade, its multilateralism would be predicated upon domestic interventionism.


Free exchanges would be assured by the abolition of all forms of exchange controls and restrictions on current transactions. Stable exchanges would be secured by setting and maintaining official par values, expressed in terms of gold.

[...] that a multilateral order gained acceptance reflected the extraordinary power and perseverance of the United States. But that multilateralism and the quest for domestic stability were coupled and even conditioned by one another reflected the shared legitimacy of a set of social objectives to which the industrial world had moved, unevenly but "as a single entity." Therefore, the common tendency to view the postwar regimes as liberal regimes, but with lots of cheating taking place on the domestic side, fails to capture the full complexity of the embedded liberalism compromise [...]

From "International Regimes, Transactions, and Change [...]"

By John Gerard Ruggie.

There was a growing tendency during the inter-war period to make international monetary policy conform to domestic social and economic policy and not the other way round. Yet the world was still economically interdependent; and an international currency mechanism for the multilateral exchange of goods and services, instead of primitive bilateral barter, was still a fundamental necessity for the great majority of countries. The problem was to find a system of international currency relations compatible with the requirements of domestic stability. Had the period been more than a truce between two world wars, the solution that would have evolved would no doubt have been in the nature of a compromise.

From "International Regimes, Transactions, and Change [...]"

By John Gerard Ruggie.

It is hardly surprising, therefore, that apart from Britain, seized by its own ideology and institutional past and willing to pay the domestic social cost, there were few takers [of the gold-exchange standard] among the major countries. [...] In sum, efforts to construct international economic regimes in the interwar period failed not because of the lack of a hegemon. They failed because, even had there been a hegemon, they stood in contradiction to the transformation in the mediating role of the state between market and society, which altered fundamentally the social purpose of domestic and international authority.

A cognitive bias

Actors tend toward observation of entities such that the observed possess systems of attention and representation capable, in principle, of seeing the observer as the observer sees herself.

From "International Regimes, Transactions, and Change [...]"

By John Gerard Ruggie.

In sum, this shift in what we might call the balance between "authority" and "market" fundamentally transformed state-society relations, by redefining the legitimate social purposes in pursuit of which state power was expected to be employed in the domestic economy. The role of the state became to institute and safeguard the self-regulating market. [...] These expectations about the proper scope of political authority in economic relations did not survive World War I. Despite attempts at restoration, by the end of the interwar period there remained little doubt about how thoroughly they had eroded. Polanyi looked back over the period of the "twenty years' crisis" from the vantage point of the Second World War -- at the emergence of mass movements from the Left and the Right throughout Europe, the revolutionary and counterrevolutionary upheavals in central and eastern Europe in the 1917-20 period, the General Strike of 1926 in Great Britain, and, above all, the rapid succession of the abandonment of the gold standard by Britain, the instituting of the Five Year Plans in the Soviet Union, the launching of the New Deal in the United States, unorthodox budgetary policies in Sweden, corporativismo in Fascist Italy, and Wirkschaftslenkung followed by the creation of both domestic and international variants of the "new economic order" by the Nazis in Germany.
Running throughout these otherwise diverse events and developments, he saw the common thread of social reaction against market rationality.

From "International Regimes, Transactions, and Change [...]"

By John Gerard Ruggie.

[...] how did such diverse forces come to converge on the single policy response of free trade? In a certain sense, Kindleberger contends, Europe in this period [nineteenth century; esp. 1840-1870?] should be viewed not as a collection of separate economies, but "as a single entity which moved to free trade for ideological or perhaps better doctrinal reasons." [...] The image of the market became an increasingly captivating social metaphor and served to focus diverse responses on the outcome of free trade. And unless one holds that ideology and doctrine exist in a social vacuum, this ascendancy of market rationality in turn must be related to the political and cultural ascendance of the middle classes. In Polanyi's inimitable phrase, "Laissez-faire was planned. . . ." [...]

From "International Regimes, Transactions, and Change [...]"

By John Gerard Ruggie.

The prevailing model postulates one source of regime change, the ascendancy or decline of economic hegemons, and two directions of regime change, greater openness or closure. If, however, we allow for the possibility that power and purpose do not necessarily covary, then we have two potential sources of change and no longer any simple one-to-one correspondence
between source and direction of change.


There remains the situation of no hegemon but a congruence of social purpose among the leading economic powers (albeit imperfectly, the post-1971 international economic order illustrates this possibility).

It is the last possibility that interests me most. [...] If and as the concentration of economic power erodes, and the "strength" of international regimes is sapped thereby, we may be sure that the instruments of regimes also will have to change [...] However, as long as purpose is held
constant, there is no reason to suppose that the normative framework of regimes must change as well. [...] rules and procedures (instruments) would change but principles and norms (normative frameworks) would not. Presumably, the new instruments that would emerge would be better adapted to the new power situation in the international economic order. But insofar as they continued to reflect the same sense of purpose, they would represent a case of norm-governed as opposed to norm-transforming change.

Applying this argument to the post-1971 period leads me to suggest that many of the changes that have occurred in the regimes for money and trade have been norm-governed changes rather than, as is often maintained, reflecting the collapse of Bretton Woods and a headlong rush into mercantilism.

From "International Regimes, Transactions, and Change [...]"

By John Gerard Ruggie.

[...] international economic regimes provide a permissive environment for the emergence of specific kinds of international transaction flows that actors take to be complementary to the particular fusion of power and purpose that is embodied within those regimes.

From "International Regimes, Transactions, and Change [...]"

By John Gerard Ruggie.

Conventional structural arguments, whether Realist or Marxist, see transnationalization as a direct reflection of hegemony: high levels of trade and capital flows obtain under the pax Britannica and the pax Americana. The regimes for trade and money are largely epiphenomena [...] adjuncts that may be invoked to legitimate this outcome, but they have little or no real bearing on it. Conventional liberals, on the other hand, hold that high levels of trade and capital flows will obtain only if there is strict adherence to open international economic regimes, so that these become virtually determinative. Neither formulation is satisfactory.

From "International Regimes, Transactions, and Change [...]"

By John Gerard Ruggie.

International regimes have been defined as social institutions around which actor expectations converge in a given area of international re1ations. Accordingly, as is true of any social institution, international regimes limit the discretion of their constituent units to decide and act on issues that fall within the regime's domain. And, as is also true of any social institution, ultimate expression in converging expectations and delimited discretiongives international regimes an intersubjective quality. To this extent, international regimes are akin to language -- we may think of them as part of "the language of state action" [...]

The analytical components of international regimes we take to consist of principles, norms, rules, and procedures. As the content for each of these terms is specified, international regimes diverge from social institutions like language, for we do not normally attribute to language any specific "consummatory" as opposed to "instrumental" values [...] Insofar as international regimes embody principles about fact, causation, and rectitude, as well aspolitical rights and obligations that are regarded as legitimate, they fall closer to the consummatory end of the spectrum, into the realm of political authority. Thus, the formation and transformation of international regimes may be said to represent a concrete manifestation of the internationalization of political authority [...]

Sunday, 19 November 2000

From "'Allgemeine Betrachtungen über die Triebe der Thiere [...]"

By Hermann Samuel Reimarus.

The animal condition of humans itself gives us the rule by which we have to judge animals and their actions. We find it without and prior to the exercise of reason, not only amongst humans who have grown up with animals, but also in children before they reflect, and indeed in adults, whenever they operate not according to concepts and considerations, but rather pure emotion.

Saturday, 18 November 2000

From "The Philosophical Discourse of Modernity"

By Jürgen Habermas.

Heidegger hardly pays any attention to the difference between reason [Vernunft] and understanding [Verstand], out of which Hegel still wanted to develop the dialectic of enlightenment. He can no longer glean from self-consciousness any reconciling dimension in addition to its authoritarian aspect. It is Heideggger himself - and not the narrow-minded Enlightenment - that levels reason to the understanding. The same understanding of Being that spurs modernity to the unlimited expansion of its manipulative power over objectified processes of nature and society also forces this emancipated subjectivity into bonds that serve to secure its imperative activity; these self-made normative obligations remain hollow ideals.

From "Elynour Rummyng"

By John Skelton.

[...] And as she at her did pluck,
Quake, quake, sayd the duck [...]

Friday, 17 November 2000

From "Philosophy as Stand-In and Interpreter"

By Jurgen Habermas.

What holds for Freud applies to all seminal theories in these disciplines, for instance, those of Durkheim, Mead, Max Weber, Piaget, and Chomsky. Each inserted a genuinely philosophical idea like a detonator into a particular context of research. Symptom formation through repression; the creation of solidarity through the sacred; the identity-forming function of role taking; modernization as rationalization of society; decentration as an outgrowth of reflective abstraction from action; language acquisition as an activity of hypothesis testing -- these key phrases stand for so many paradigms in which a philosophical idea is present in embryo while at the same time empirical, yet universal, questions are being posed. It is no coincidence that theoretical approaches of this kind are the favorite target of empiriticist counterattacks. Such cylclical movements in the history of science, incidentally, do not point to a convergence of these disciplines in one unified science. It makes better sense to view them as stages on the road to the philosophization of the sciences of man (Philosophischwerden der Humanwissenschaften) than as stages in the triumphal march toward objectivist approaches, such a neurophysiology, that quaint favorite child of the analytic philosophers.

What I have said lies mainly in the realm of speculative conjecture. But unless I am completely mistaken, it makes sense to suggest that philosophy, instead of just dropping the usher role and being left with nothing, ought to exchange it for the part of stand-in (Platzhalter). Whose seat would philosophy be keeping, what would it be standing in for? Empirical theories with strong universalistic claims. As I have indicated, fertile minds have surfaced and will continue to surface in nonphilosophical disciplines, who will give such theories a try. The chance for their emergence is greatest in the reconstructive sciences. Starting primarily from the intuitive knowledge of competent subjects -- competent in terms of judgment, action, and language -- and secondarily from systemic knowledge handed down by culture, the reconstructive sceinces explain the presumably universal bases of rational experience and judgment, as well as of action and linguistic communication. Marked down in price, the venerable transcendental and dialectical modes of justification may still come in handy. All they can fairly be expected to furnish, however, is reconstructive hypotheses for use in empirical settings. Telling examples of a successful cooperative integration of philosophy and science can be seen in the development of a theory of rationality. This is an area where philosophers work as suppliers of ideas [...]

Wednesday, 15 November 2000

A Note on Catherine

She never preaches anything but peace and good faith, and to both she is most hostile, and either, had she kept it, would have deprived her of my love and her circle’s many a time.

Saturday, 11 November 2000

From "Bestiary for the Seven Days"

By Luke Kennard.

The scientists are flicking salt at your boyfriend. They do not believe in the efficacy of occult practices, but maybe that’s because they name every spark that flies from the lathe.

Friday, 10 November 2000

From "Kidnapped Boy Found Safe, Imagines Kidnapped Boy"

MENA, AR—After an extensive three-month-long search, the Polk County Sheriff's Department located missing 9-year-old Ethan Davis in an abandoned home, rescued the child from his captors, and returned him to his loving parents, the still bound and gagged boy imagined Tuesday.

According to the kidnapped child's imagination, Davis was liberated from his abductors when 30 law enforcement agents swooped down from helicopters, crashed through the windows of the basement where he was being kept, and carried the desperate third-grader away to safety.

Blocking out the sight and stench of his surroundings [...]

Tuesday, 7 November 2000

From "The Grumbling Hive"

By Bernard de Mandeville.

The Root of evil Avarice,
That damn'd ill-natur'd baneful Vice,
Was Slave to Prodigality,
That Noble Sin; whilst Luxury.
Employ'd a Million of the Poor,
And odious Pride a Million more
Envy it self, and Vanity
Were Ministers of Industry;
Their darling Folly, Fickleness
In Diet, Furniture, and Dress,
That strange, ridic'lous Vice, was made
The very Wheel, that turn'd the Trade.
Their Laws and Cloaths were equally
Objects of Mutability;
For, what was well done for a Time,
In half a Year became a Crime;
Yet whilst they alter'd thus their Laws,
Still finding and correcting Flaws,
They mended by Inconstancy
Faults, which no Prudence could foresee.

Thus Vice nursed Ingenuity,
Which join'd with Time; and Industry
Had carry'd Life's Conveniencies,
It's real Pleasures, Comforts, Ease,
To such a Height, the very Poor
Lived better than the Rich before;
And nothing could be added more [...]

From "The Grumbling Hive, or, Knaves Turned Honest"

By Bernard de Mandeville.

Justice her self, famed for fair Dealing,
By Blindness had not lost her Feeling;
Her Left Hand, which the Scales should hold,
Had often dropt 'em, bribed with Gold;
And, tho' she seem'd impartial,
Where Punishment was corporal,
Pretended to a reg'lar Course,
In Murther, and all Crimes of Force;
Tho' some, first Pillory'd for Cheating,
Were hang'd in Hemp of their own beating;
Yet, it was thought, the Sword the bore
Check'd but the Desp'rate and the Poor;
That, urg'd by mere Necessity,
Were tied up to the wretched Tree
For Crimes, which not deserv'd that Fate,
But to secure the Rich, and Great.

Thus every Part was full of Vice,
Yet the whole Mass a Paradice;
Flatter'd in Peace, and fear'd in Wars
They were th'Esteem of Foreigners,
And lavish of their Wealth and Lives,
The Ballance of all other Hives.
Such were the Blessings of that State;
Their Crimes conspired to make 'em Great;
And Vertue, who from Politicks
Had learn'd a Thousand cunning Tricks,
Was, by their happy Influence,
Made Friends with Vice: And ever since
The worst of all the Multitude
Did something for the common Good.

This was the State's Craft, that maintain'd
The Whole, of which each Part complain'd:
This, as in Musick Harmony,
Made Jarrings in the Main agree;
Parties directly opposite
Assist each oth'r, as 'twere for Spight;
And Temp'rance with Sobriety
Serve Drunkenness and Gluttonny.


By Jonty Tiplady.

All girls should be unstoppable, especially ones
that read Prince or believe
in an answer to death in fact. But I see that
you don't hang with the extremely fat ones. Music day
and music night. An angel-toothed clown. Yours,
a crazy softness. I used to think he was my friend, and
maybe he was, but later I thought perhaps he just beat my
sweet-ass at chess for the nurse. It would take years
for this vast acceptance to come off. I spend too much
time surfing, as if the end will come
on a wave. Maybe it will.

I am sorry, so sorry, that, to you,
I wrote that. Sometimes I think nothing would
have been more loving; less Joycean Popeye-spiel, less
pretending I was not a cunt. The wall that stopped
everything then suddenly turned into a glowing
telephone with your golden voice in it
is always also sludge. But babe,
affirm our famine. I go
hard. I need your. By the end you are sucking it
through a child's window, your legs shaking down
next to the dignity plate.

Monday, 6 November 2000

From "Be Graceful and Experimental"

By Martin Stannard.

Be graceful and experimental [...]

From "Leviathan"

By Thomas Hobbes.

BY CONSEQUENCE, or train of thoughts, I understand that succession of one thought to another which is called, to distinguish it from discourse in words, mental discourse.

When a man thinketh on anything whatsoever, his next thought after is not altogether so casual as it seems to be. Not every thought to every thought succeeds indifferently. But as we have no imagination, whereof we have not formerly had sense, in whole or in parts; so we have no transition from one imagination to another, whereof we never had the like before in our senses. The reason whereof is this. All fancies are motions within us, relics of those made in the sense; and those motions that immediately succeeded one another in the sense continue also together after sense: in so much as the former coming again to take place and be predominant, the latter followeth, by coherence of the matter moved, in such manner as water upon a plain table is drawn which way any one part of it is guided by the finger. But because in sense, to one and the same thing perceived, sometimes one thing, sometimes another, succeedeth, it comes to pass in time that in the imagining of anything, there is no certainty what we shall imagine next; only this is certain, it shall be something that succeeded the same before, at one time or another.
This train of thoughts, or mental discourse, is of two sorts. The first is unguided, without design, and inconstant; wherein there is no passionate thought to govern and direct those that follow to itself as the end and scope of some desire, or other passion; in which case the thoughts are said to wander, and seem impertinent one to another, as in a dream. Such are commonly the thoughts of men that are not only without company, but also without care of anything; though even then their thoughts are as busy as at other times, but without harmony; as the sound which a lute out of tune would yield to any man; or in tune, to one that could not play. And yet in this wild ranging of the mind, a man may oft-times perceive the way of it, and the dependence of one thought upon another. For in a discourse of our present civil war, what could seem more impertinent than to ask, as one did, what was the value of a Roman penny? Yet the coherence to me was manifest enough. For the thought of the war introduced the thought of the delivering up the King to his enemies; the thought of that brought in the thought of the delivering up of Christ; and that again the thought of the 30 pence, which was the price of that treason: and thence easily followed that malicious question; and all this in a moment of time, for thought is quick.

The second is more constant, as being regulated by some desire and design. For the impression made by such things as we desire, or fear, is strong and permanent, or (if it cease for a time) of quick return: so strong it is sometimes as to hinder and break our sleep. From desire ariseth the thought of some means we have seen produce the like of that which we aim at; and from the thought of that, the thought of means to that mean; and so continually, till we come to some beginning within our own power. And because the end, by the greatness of the impression, comes often to mind, in case our thoughts begin to wander they are quickly again reduced into the way: which, observed by one of the seven wise men, made him give men this precept, which is now worn out: respice finem; that is to say, in all your actions, look often upon what you would have, as the thing that directs all your thoughts in the way to attain it.

The train of regulated thoughts is of two kinds: one, when of an effect imagined we seek the causes or means that produce it; and this is common to man and beast. The other is, when imagining anything whatsoever, we seek all the possible effects that can by it be produced; that is to say, we imagine what we can do with it when we have it. Of which I have not at any time seen any sign, but in man only; for this is a curiosity hardly incident to the nature of any living creature that has no other passion but sensual, such as are hunger, thirst, lust, and anger. In sum, the discourse of the mind, when it is governed by design, is nothing but seeking, or the faculty of invention, which the Latins call sagacitas, and solertia; a hunting out of the causes of some effect, present or past; or of the effects of some present or past cause. Sometimes a man seeks what he hath lost; and from that place, and time, wherein he misses it, his mind runs back, from place to place, and time to time, to find where and when he had it; that is to say, to find some certain and limited time and place in which to begin a method of seeking. Again, from thence, his thoughts run over the same places and times to find what action or other occasion might make him lose it. This we call remembrance, or calling to mind: the Latins call it reminiscentia, as it were a re-conning of our former actions.

Sometimes a man knows a place determinate, within the compass whereof he is to seek; and then his thoughts run over all the parts thereof in the same manner as one would sweep a room to find a jewel; or as a spaniel ranges the field till he find a scent; or as a man should run over the alphabet to start a rhyme.

Sometimes a man desires to know the event of an action; and then he thinketh of some like action past, and the events thereof one after another, supposing like events will follow like actions. As he that foresees what will become of a criminal re-cons what he has seen follow on the like crime before, having this order of thoughts; the crime, the officer, the prison, the judge, and the gallows. Which kind of thoughts is called foresight, and prudence, or providence, and sometimes wisdom; though such conjecture, through the difficulty of observing all circumstances, be very fallacious. But this is certain: by how much one man has more experience of things past than another; by so much also he is more prudent, and his expectations the seldomer fail him. The present only has a being in nature; things past have a being in the memory only; but things to come have no being at all, the future being but a fiction of the mind, applying the sequels of actions past to the actions that are present; which with most certainty is done by him that has most experience, but not with certainty enough. And though it be called prudence when the event answereth our expectation; yet in its own nature it is but presumption. For the foresight of things to come, which is providence, belongs only to him by whose will they are to come. From him only, and supernaturally, proceeds prophecy. The best prophet naturally is the best guesser; and the best guesser, he that is most versed and studied in the matters he guesses at, for he hath most signs to guess by.

From "Eden, Eden, Eden"

By Pierre Guyotat.

[...] fingers stroking membrane; // suspect revived in empty guard-room, cadet kneeling, untying rag ; sentry, mouth rosy in dawn fire, walking on terrace, legs bowed, fist buried inside pants ; leaning back against palm-trunk propped up by brownstone balustrade around terrace ; stiffening legs, pulling out member ; rifle, loaders, clicking at loins, masturbating, helmet pushed back over neck, jugular vein outlined in creases of throat, tongue protruding from mouth ; two children squatting, defecating against barbed wire ; soldier levelling projector-beam towards point on horizon – dawn fire looming ; woman from tents, breasts swinging in patched silk, flowery silk sticking at pubis, haunches slumped against barbed wire, fingers scraping shit between children’s buttocks, wiping fingers in sand ; red fist on white arm, slipping between wire-mesh, touching sliver of ration-bread poking from sand, intact [...]

From "Iterregnum"

By Geraldine Monk.

Outthoughts of Mouldheels

I swear
folk dropped dead either side
of curse – they had a tendency to –
we didn’t invent mortality
death came regardless
but the mind slavers – turns cannibal –
chance is connected – devoured
throats hurt – constrict
the inflamed lump of raw foresight –
swallow and keck
swallow and keck
Unfussed as always the
dead bled fresh blood –
I swear
they needed no encouragement from us –
willingly – with gasp
the shrieking and the
foul yelling
sucked out
at last

From “Mon Canard”

By Stephen Rodefer.

Julie my duck, mama’s lute, chouchou in lieu of amore
of our loo, butte of my butte, beaute of your butt
mont rue, my verity former not HERE, not her
mob spent of row, flowers in rue lappe, pet asinine pot
my lovely cinder, mine ashen heart, onliest wit
ness to my witness, jump in Seine, berth, ankleberry
every thin necklace nested, sturdiest hysteria, white
patent leather policefemme, unreading gaoler, op
pen opera, princess mon amie electuary Jew, petit rat burg
er, my choo choo, coughdrop of my esophoguy, my lu
dens, by my mitten, minion of my invisible cake, liz
ard die of my destiny, mutt, cuff, flycast, gal
oshes, SMITTEN GLOVES, smith of my smith, bull
’s blood drawn in sleepy smiles, petite carotide
mine outside of libraries, mine inside of sky, re
flection of a flicker, intermittent heaven, ce jour triste
lourd de lassitude, she there what’s her name, little beachym
sham, damoiseau mar on my divan, penny couch
my virtual chum, chinchin of my chin, chin duster of
my shoeshine, main cat pal, pause, GAUGE, going on
wobbly but unmusty, extra key, coin, ma chatte for
an hour and a life, terminal initial of Lucrèce, Lucretius
place where my fingers learnt their place, ex sexy gerun
diva, my rue de la main d’or, liberty burning anklecuff [...]

From "Rapid Eye 1"

By Kathy Acker.

I make my first mistake: I become too calm I identify too much with this man who stops me from starving.

A Note on the Origins of IPE

The Marginalist Revolution which occurred in the early twentieth century, whilst catalysing that century’s great philosophical Jafar-guffaw Neoclassical Economics, was nonetheless a kind of negative revolutionary ideology in the sense of abandoning to Marxist thought all those interesting objects which had previously been the remit of political economy. Marxism became the only decent framework in which to think (what had become) the economic and the political together.

International Political Economy (IPE) formed in the 1960s to answer the by-then insulting proliferation of phenomena exceeding the explanatory powers of Economics and of International Relations (uh . . . WTO? Hello?).

Reading this back through a woman blown from green glass, Economics and International Relations didn’t fuck for a set time, to inject back the romance. In composing itself out of the categories of those two fields, with only the cud critique that they had missed each other sooo much, IPE recuperated the Marginalist Revolution and de-clogged the conduits between market fundamentalist ideas and objects outside the Narnian crystal of Neoclassical Economics.

wwwwwwwwwwueueueeuueeueueueuueeuueuebbxbbxbxbxbxbxbbbxbxxbbbkbuuiuiuiiuddbdibidbidbidbiidibbdbdibdibibddbdbididbidcgcgcghggghghhgwthtwhtwhwhwwhwtipiyiypiypiiypiypiyixuixuxxxuxxxiuuxuxxuxiuxiuhthhhhh (evidence of me trying to teach Henry to type).

The Marxist’s high-level beef with IPE is this: though built partly on a Marxian critique of any hypostatisation / naturalisation of particular economic forms of life, and partly on a Marxian sense of base-superstructure relations, IPE puts a category of “political agency” where a would put Marxist “ideology.” Marxist notions of ideology are of course perfidiously hosted within IPE, supplying but one lekking analysis of political agency. See note 1. See note 2.

Note 1. I’m a moraliser not a Marxist – IPE should snub all descriptive accounts of political agency, including the correct Marxist one, in favour of a normative, social justice-based account of how agency should be exercised. See note 3.

Note 2. IPE institutionalises what plenty of economists, political theorists and others had been doing anyway, and sharpens the recuperative character of such activity. Does the potentially-revolutionary frequently come to consciousness for the first time in its recuperation?

Note 3. All right I am a Marxist. See note 4.

Note 4. Do critiques of ideologies contain those ideology? If so, are the seals secure?

From "The Innocent Anthropologist"

By Nigel Barley.

In the end I managed to lay my hands on some postcards depicting African fauna. I had at least a lion and a leopard and showed them to people to see if they could spot the difference. Alas, they could not. The reason lay not in their classification of animals but rather in the fact that they could not identify photographs. It is a fact we tend to forget in the West that people have to learn to be able to see photographs. We are exposed to them from birth so that, for us, there is no difficulty in identifying faces or objects from all sorts of angles, in differing light and even with distorting lenses. Dowayos have no such tradition of visual art; theirs is limited to a bands of geometric designs.

From "Capital Calves: Undertaking an Overview"

By Kevin Nolan.

For Hegel, the lyric poet can only ever be an unhappy consciousness condemned to irony, a self-seeker simultaneously the agent of self-displacement. Each turn made in the effort to overcome this exile only tightens the spiral of vertiginous self-exposure. Thus Lukacs follows Hegel in seeing lyric subjectivity not as a moment in a dialectic, but as a symptom of the irreconcilable redemption of the person from the social body, and certainly not as the possible condition for some altered return to it. Since the nomologism of the exact sciences has separated fact from value, the form of modern subjectivity is implicitly lyrical, the enlightenment of the modern era composing not an escape from the kingdom of the blind but rather the form of an unending exile of value within subjectivity. That ‘moral structure of immediate knowledge’ becomes to Hegelian and Freudian alike a merely illusory instance, and therefore appears to substantiate the claims for an ‘end’ to the modern epoch made by Hegelians as far apart on the political spectrum as Francis Fukuyama, Frederic Jameson or T J Clark. How does any coherent defence of poetical autonomy survive that critique?

Saturday, 4 November 2000

From "Weasel Words: Paedophiles and the Cycle of Abuse"

By Liz Kelly.

The separation of ‘paedophiles’ in much of the clinical literature on sex offenders from all men, but also other men who sexually abuse, has involved the presumption of difference. Similarities - in the forms of abuse, in the strategies abusers use to entrap, control and silence children - are ignored. In this way fathers, grandfathers, uncles, brothers who abuse are hardly ever suspected of being interested in the consumption, or production, of child pornography, nor are they thought to be involved in child prostitution. This in turn means that investigations of ‘familial sexual abuse’ seldom involve either searches for or questions about these forms of abuse. This contrasts with what we know from adult survivors who tell of relatives showing them pornography, expecting them to imitate it and being required to pose for it. Some also tell of being prostituted by relatives. A significant proportion of organised networks are based in families.

Who are the clients of children and young people involved in prostitution? I suspect only a minority would fit clinical definitions of ‘paedophiles’ - men whose sexual interest is confined to children.

Friday, 3 November 2000

From "Hax"

By Francis Crot.

Five or ten minutes after Charlie dies, find a quiet place where you can sit down and relax, then go through these good times in your mind. Don't worry if quite a lot of the material seems to have been forgotten. Spend a couple of minutes on this exercise and never strain yourself to recall elusive items. Just make an educated guess about anything you can't recall. Repeat each good time to yourself just once and make a written note if you can. This helps the initial neurological consolidation of the memories from short term to permanent, long term recordings. About an hour later, have a second recall session, exactly as before, going through all the good times without undue strain, repeating them to yourself. New aspects and data will reappear by association. The third session should take place about three hours later, the next after six hours, preferably before going to sleep. This makes maximum use of the consolidation occurring during the dreaming process.

From "Don't Start Me Talking"

It's a risk for liars to improvise if people are going to ask them fundamental questions, and situational control gives all sorts of scope for manipulation.

Thursday, 2 November 2000

From "Unfree verse: John Wilkinson’s The Speaking Twins"

By Simon Jarvis.

It is, in fact, almost as though the writing were setting out to refuse two competing ideas of metrico-rhythmic expressiveness, ideas which had mostly managed to operate an excluded middle through twentieth-century Anglophone poetry—an idea, in the first place, according to which rhythmic expressiveness is absolutely dependent upon the prior existence of metrical constraints which alone make rhythmic micro-structures even perceptible, let alone expressive or significant; and another, opposite idea, according to which metre is and can only be a system of restrictive constraints which must rule out sectors of the spectrum of rhythmic expressiveness which could otherwise be allowed to become available. Few poets, and perhaps, few living individuals as such have ever believed exclusively in either of these options; rather, the questions of metre and rhythm in contemporary poetics and poetry feel permanently unsolved yet immovably blocked, rather as the fundamental questions of metaphysics have sometimes been left blocked yet unsolved by the claims of professional philosophers that these questions are ‘poorly formed’ and should therefore be deleted from the roster.

From "A Defense of Poetry"

By PB Shelley.

For language is arbitrarily produced by the imagination and has relation to thoughts alone; but all other materials, instruments and conditions of art, have relations among each other, which limit and interpose between conception and expression.


From a White & Case intrafirm e-mail

Ladies and Gentlemen:

We have had an unprecedented number of lawyers requesting vacation during the Christmas week this year (24-28 December). Although it is always difficult to predict what our respective work levels will look like so far in advance, given the number of vacation requests received to date, it is unlikely we can accommodate them all.

To those of you who have requested time away during this period, to those of you planning to do so, and to those of you who have received a tentative approval to be away during this particular period, I would ask that you consider taking your vacation at another time or being both patient and flexible as we determine as we get closer to Christmas, how best we can meet the needs of the firm and of our clients - which are paramount - while trying to accommodate, as we would very much like to do, our associates.

Please feel free to call me should you wish to discuss.

Wednesday, 1 November 2000

From "Bellum Judaicum"

By Flavius Josephus.

One of the men standing by a wall, his head was carried away by such a stone, and his skull was flung as far as three furlongs. In the daytime also, a woman with child had her belly so violently struck, as she was just come out of her house, that the infant was carried to the distance of half a furlong, so great was the force of that engine.