Confrontational and profoundly uncomfortable: why anti-racism and decolonisation can be nothing less (a reading of Houria Bouteldja’s polemical essay, ‘Whites, Jews and Us’).

“We will be beggars so long as we accept as universal the political divisions that cut up the white world and through which they conceive of the social conflicts and struggles that these divisions will engender. We will be beggars so long as we remain prisoners of their philosophy, of their aesthetic and of their art. We will be beggars so long as we do not call into question their version of History. Lets accept rupture, discord, discordance. Lets ruin the landscape and announce a new era”. – Houria Bouteldja

The uncivilised

A nice white person once asked of me “can’t you be less antagonistic when challenging racism”? It was less a question, more a direction, imbued with all the faux-innocence and partitioning of ‘civilised rationality’ as a quality specific to whiteness, and therefore necessitating white people to preach the word. The imperative that justified colonisation as the bringing of civilisation to the barbarians, is now repeated by white liberals espousing ‘rational’ and ‘civilised’ debate in the face of racism and white supremacy.

Continue reading “Confrontational and profoundly uncomfortable: why anti-racism and decolonisation can be nothing less (a reading of Houria Bouteldja’s polemical essay, ‘Whites, Jews and Us’).”

Untangling the knots: Finding collectivity in the mire of liberal multiculturalism.

A very long essay I wrote around 7 – 8 years ago. I don’t love all of it now (and have edited a few bits out here) and it takes some ‘interesting’ twists and turns. However, I think the critique of liberal multiculturalism in the first half has some useful moments – although it’s heavily theoretical. Then there’s a strange middle section where I basically review a novel – ‘The Black Album’ by Hanif Kureishi – before a rambling ending that considers the possibilities of radical collectivity.

Introduction

Understanding contemporary multiculturalism in Australia, in all its liberal, capitalist garb, sets a background from which we can consider why it is that certain traditional cultural forms – religion in particular – have an ongoing resonance for migrants. The point of which is not to lay a critique about cultural choices at the feet of particular migrant groups but instead to show how this resonance of traditional cultural forms exposes the empty core of liberal capitalism and its exhortations to individualistic, market-based choice. Much of this will be inspired by sections of Zizek’s evisceration of liberalism in Violence as well as taking a look at some of the ideas in The Black Album, Hanif Kureishi’s novel from London in the early 90’s.

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Rebel Diaz – Y Va Caer

Felt like putting up something a bit more posi here so… Sorry if you didn’t get to any Rebel Diaz shows on their recent tour of this dire place. But damn they were great. Revolutionary, anti-colonial hip hop from Chicago/ the Bronx that was an injection of inspiration straight to the veins. Plus now we’re crew I have to rep them. So here’s a track and film clip from their most recent album ‘America vs Amerikkka’. The track name translates to “And it’s going to fall”.

P.O.S. – Sleepdrone/Superposition

I encountered P.O.S. when I was travelling in North America a couple of years ago, passed to me by one of the rad anarcho-nihilist crew I was hanging with. And that was basically his music: anarchist in the sense of being rebellious and unruly, but nihilist also, in that it wasn’t preachy moralism trying to ‘convert’ everyone else to some cause. One of my favourite lines from an early track called ‘Drumroll’ goes: “I ain’t no casualty/ Got no surface with spotless morality/ My dirt may have to cover up my grave”.

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