Sunday, February 28, 2010

Introduction to Giorgio Agamben's "The Coming Community"

The Coming Community / Giorgio Agamben(1993)

book review:

In The Coming Community, published in Italian in 1990 and English translation by Michael Hardt in 1993, Agamben describes the social and political manifestation of his philosophical thought. The beauty and brevity of the text is augmented by the book layout, filled with design, white space and random dots. Employing diverse short essays he describes the nature of “whatever singularity” as that which has an “inessential commonality, a solidarity that in no way concerns an essence”. It is important to note his understanding of “whatever” not as being indifference but based on the Latin translation of “being such that it always matters”

He starts off by describing “The Lovable”

"Love is never directed toward this or that property of the loved one (being blond, being small, being tender, being lame), but neither does it neglect the properties in favor of an insipid generality (universal love): The lover wants the loved one with all of its predicates, its being such as it is. "

Following the same trend, Agamben employs, amongst others, the following to describe the “watershed of whatever”:

§ Example – Particular and Universal

§ Limbo – Blessed and Damned

§ Homonym – concept and idea

§ Halo – Potentiality and Actuality

§ Face - common and proper, genus and individual

§ Threshold – inside and outside

§ Coming Community – State & Non-state (humanity)

Other themes addressed in The Coming Community include the commodification of the body, evil, and the messianic.

Unlike other continental philosophers he does not reject the age-old dichotomies of subject – object, potentiality - actuality etc outright, but rather turns them inside-out, pointing out the zone where they become indistinguishable.

"Matter that does not remain beneeth form, but surrounds it with a halo"

The political task of humanity, he argues, is to expose the innate potential in this zone of indistinguishability. And although criticised as dreaming the impossible by certain authors, he nonetheless shows a concrete example of whatever singularity acting politically:

"Whatever singularity, which want to appropriate belonging itself, its own being-in-language, and thus rejects all identity and every condition of belonging, is the principle enemy of the State. Wherever these singularities peacefull domonstrate their being in common there will be Tiananmenn, and sooner or later, the tanks will appear."

You can read the book here:

The Coming Community by Giorgio Agamben [click]

we publish here also a further Introduction in the ideas of Agamben publishing the well written introduction of the Volume 6 / Issue 1, 2007 issue of the e-journal Borderlands

Community Without Community

by Vijay Devadas & Jane Mummery

University of Otago & University of Ballarat

Nothing is more instructive ... than the way Spinoza conceives
of the common. All bodies, he says, have it in common to expr-
ess the divine attributes of extension ... And yet what is common
cannot in any case constitute the essence of the single case.
Decisive here is the idea of an
inessential commonality, a solidar-
ity that in no way concerns an essence.
Taking-place, the comm-
unication of singularities in the attribute of extension, does not unite
them in essence, but scatters them in existence.

Giorgio Agamben, 1993: 18-19.

1. The idea of community and identity formation has had a vexed history within critical theory. It has come under critique from various fronts: traditional Marxists are critical of its focus on culture not economics; postcolonial studies is critical of its appeal to a romanticized view of community; and it has been criticized, specifically by the poststructuralists, because of the essentialism and politics of othering that takes place in the affirmation of community and identity. These criticisms or interventions are highly instructive as they call on us to rethink the terms of community by asking for a re-consideration of the ways in which notion of community is conceived, how it is constituted, and what are the implications of constituting the discourse of community in specific ways? What does it mean to say, as Agamben (1993: 1) puts it, "to a concept, for example: being red, being French, being Muslim"? What does it mean to say to a concept like community?

2. To articulate such an idea, in terms of the various interventions, begins by first rejecting or challenging conceptions of community that reproduce a collectivity that is built upon, engenders and fosters a sense of closure, continuity, unity and universalism. In other words, we must reject the kinds of assumptions that prevail in the work of Benedict Anderson's (1983) Imagined Communities (as well as those that unproblematically draw upon Anderson's conception of community) precisely because this contribution is premised upon the notion of community as collectivity that is unified, continuous and enclosed. As Anderson says clearly, the community that he imagines, within the auspices of the idea of nation, "regardless of the actual inequalities and exploitation that may prevail ... is always conceived as a deep, horizontal comradeship" (1983: 16). In other words, the idea of community that is manifested here not only enacts a closure of potential and possible forms of collectivization, but more crucially proposes that such an idea of community breaks down the complex relations and networks of power that constitute the notion of community. In a certain sense, one could perhaps argue that Anderson's idea of community is highly egalitarian, especially if we take this up through the Subaltern Studies route and its commitment to producing a politics of "horizontal affiliations" (Chakrabarty, 2000: 16). But such an attempt to rescue Anderson cannot be sustained. For Subaltern Studies, the reorganization of community through horizontal affiliations opens up an alternative form of affiliation that disrupts established and nationally sanctioned means of conceiving community. In short, the idea of horizontal affiliation as a means of community formation opens up other potential and possible forms of association: this is an opening up of the idea of community. For Anderson however, it is not the same thing because he sees horizontal affiliation as a way of producing a community whose fraternity is premised upon a shared and undifferentiated sense of belonging to the nation: this is a closing down operation that seeks to silence differences, inconsistencies and contradictions within the idea of community. Anderson is not alone in this: Charles Taylor and Michael Walzer for instance in Sources of the Selfand Interpretation and Social Criticism respectively, in seeking to appeal to shared understanding as the foundation for values idealise modern society as a harmonious, non-conflictual community.

3. The idea of community that Anderson (and Taylor and Walzer) conceptualise is built on closure or closing down multiple forms of affiliations. In other words, it is premised upon a foundational violence (Derrida, 1992). And here the foundational violence of the collective, unified community erases differences, contradictions, and forms of being and belonging that do not necessarily align with the constitution of the idea of community. Against this idea of community, we wish to recuperate the potential of community informed by the poststructuralist tradition. While there are various scholars in this tradition who have intervened in the notion of community (Derrida, Foucault, Lyotard, and so on) we will keep to two - Jean-Luc Nancy and Giorgio Agamben - to reclaim the idea of community in these terms: as "community without unity" (Nancy, 1991), a "coming community" (Agamben, 1993). This rethinking of community not only marks a turn in the way we might conceive of the constitution of the idea of community, but also a shift in the way in which we might mobilise community as a means of rethinking the terms of solidarity.

4. What Nancy and Agamben offer in The Inoperative Community (1991) and The Coming Community (1993) respectively is a conception of community that is marked by a shift in thinking of the idea of community as a concept that we always already occupy, of being in (hence one is red, French or Muslim, or an activist), to one that sees it as a concept that does not have a guarantee of meaning, identity, belonging; a concept that does not have an essence - that of a unified collectivity. This is Nancy's idea of "community without community" (1991: 71). Agamben shares a similar critical trajectory in his designation of the coming community - a community "without destiny and without essence, the community that returns is never present in the first place" (Wall, 1999: 156). What Nancy does here is shift the question of, or on, community away from one invested in the notion of identity and belonging (being-in) to an idea of the community that ceaselessly works to produce more democratic, open and fluid relationships with others to foster a sense of "being with." (Nancy, 1991: 33). Like Nancy, Agamben also proposes the idea of community that is based on the notion of belonging without identity. This is a community of singularities, fragments: it is "of a being whose community is mediated not by any condition of belonging ... nor by the simple absence of conditions ... but by belonging itself" (Agamben, 1993: 85).

5. Opening up the idea of community in these terms breaks the umbilical cord that has tied the discourse of community and identity to essence: more specifically, it ruptures the foundational violence upon which Anderson, Taylor and Walzer's notion of community is built upon by untying community from its unproblematic link to a unified and universal identity. What is going on here is a refusal to mortage community to identity and to the foundational violence upon which it is built by proposing an alternative conception of community that produces new constitutions and networks of relationships that are not hinged upon predisposed notions of community and identity. What is produced in such a reconstitution, in the constitution of a "community without community" (Nancy, 1991: 71) is a network of relations, a multitude (to use Hardt and Negri's term in Empire) which is concerned not with what race, class, gender, sexuality, and/or culture community is premised upon. Rather it is a community which is concerned with the relations that are formed across these categories (being with) and which at the same time recognizes that this community-without-identity is also "without either representation or possible description''; it is "an absolutely unrepresentable community" (Agamben, 1993: 24-25).

6. The idea of community that we see in Nancy and Agamben remains absolutely unrepresentable because there are no terms, concepts, or representational axioms that could claim to represent this idea of community. It remains absolutely unrepresentable because such an idea of community works against the very idea of community, whose very foundation is that of collectivising, of constituting a "being in" and of producing foundational modes of representing that community. Pitting Anderson (and Taylor and Walzer) against the rethinking of community and identity, and the impossibility of representing community as put forward by Agamben and Nancy interrupts normative accounts of community and at the same time calls on us to recuperate community not as a passive idea (of already being constituted) but as an active one, and as activity.

7. Community as an active idea, as an interruption, demands working from the notion of the impossibility of collectivity. This is a refusal of the fixing that takes place in the name of the collectivity of the community precisely because its foundational discourse is built upon the idea of community that "ceaselessly resists collectivity itself as much as it resists the individual" (Nancy, 1991: 71). Nancy's invocation of a ceaseless resistance or refusal to collectivity - central to his conception of "community without community" - shatters the very foundations of conjuring community (as identity and belonging, marked by an appeal to singularizing and unifying traditions, histories and myths). After all, Nancy and Agamben's community does not work from the premise of collectivity, and this puts into crisis the foundational logic and violence on which the idea of community is conceptualised. Community as an active idea thus calls for a refusal, an unworking of the very terms upon which this idea is constructed. Such an unworking "indicates ... the interruptive dis-order inherent in order as the self-critical archive of its very possibility. This means that a community can only imagine the fictive harmony of its members with its collective representation by repressing the contingency of its own institution" (Levett, 2005: 431-2). As an active, interruptive idea, community in this sense calls for a continual unworking of totalizing and exclusionary myths of collectivity upon which community is formed. As an activity, community calls for the opening up of other possible and potential networks of relations, of living and being with others. In that sense, as activity, community can be conceived as a process, a battle or struggle to establish linkages, connections and relations even though the very impossibility of categorisation, of communities, continues to haunt the activity of community.

more info about Borderlands e-Journal:

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

More Wood for the Fire (Capitalist Solutions for Global Warming) by Peter Gelderloos

Capitalist Solutions for Global Warming

More Wood for the Fire


While some people were shocked when Obama revealed himself to be an energy policy rightwinger in his State of the Union address, advocating more oil drilling, more nuclear power, and uttering that egregious Bush-era term, “clean coal,” I think the most remarkable aspect of this portion of his speech was that a politician had uttered the plain and obvious truth about the future.

While progressives typically wear the mask of green capitalism and conservatives the mask of the free market, the difference in the results of policies either camp would enact really only comes down to how fast renewable energy production would develop in comparison to conventional energy production. If the conservatives have their way, renewables will develop slowly, as government subsidies, what they unironically call the free market, all favor nuclear, coal, and oil. On the other hand, the progressives would speed up development by subsidizing renewables and taxing non-renewables.

The conservative strategy would inarguably doom most of the planet’s species and many millions of its people to extinction, as they are mistaking carbon reduction for energy independence, and treating the problem as some conflict or competition between nation-states. Obama, evidently, has joined their ranks, advocating nothing more than that America become a global leader in energy production and innovation.

Progressives who advocate solutions to climate change within the framework of the existing system seek to establish renewable energy production as a replacement for, not an addition to, existing fossil fuel-based energy production. They point out, not incorrectly, that enough solar energy falls on the planet earth to power our behemoth global economy into the future. Their equations all seem to be correct and uncontested, regarding the total amount of solar radiation, the efficiency of affordable solar cells, the cost and land space required to produce US electricity needs. There’s one little thing they are forgetting.

Because of the way capitalism works and the way ecosystems work, there are no supply-based solutions to climate change.

To understand this, let’s take a step back and plumb the depths of the abyss our political and business leaders have brought us to the brink of. First of all, climate change is not a danger of the future. It is already happening. Storms, droughts, floods, and desertification are already becoming more intense, malaria and other tropical diseases are already extending north and south, species and habitats are already dying out at an alarming rate. Even according to such establishment figures as Kofi Annan, former Secretary General of the UN, 300,000 people are dying every year, right now, due to the more easily measured effects of climate change—heat waves, floods, and forest fires. Many more deaths are caused by the greater spread of tropical diseases, crop failure caused by multiple factors, and food shortages as Global South grains go to biofuel production for cars in the Global North.

If the proportion of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere continues to rise, warming will trigger a number of natural feedback loops that will cause the average global temperature to jump to at least 5C of warming by the end of the century. These feedback loops include the diminishing of the polar icecaps, which currently reflect a large amount of solar radiation, the warming of the oceans, causing carbon dioxide currently dissolved in sea water to be released into the atmosphere, and the release of massive methane deposits trapped beneath permafrost in the northern hemisphere.

Also around the end of the century, the world population is projected to peak at 9 billion. The grains that currently feed the world are nearly all cultivated in temperate climates. As the world warms, global agricultural productivity drops, and large swaths of land are rendered unsuitable for cultivation. The result would be mass starvation—scientists predict that between 3 and 6 billion could die. Meanwhile, there would be a bigger wave of global extinctions than when the dinosaurs died out. And this isn’t even the worst case scenario.

To stop this from happening, we need to halt the increase in greenhouse gases as soon as possible. Scientists have not reached a consensus on how many parts per million of atmospheric carbon dioxide is safe: those closer to industry and governments, of course, suggest a higher number, whereas more independent scientists suggest a lower number. Seeing as how people and species are already dying from climate change, what does that say about those who are talking of a safe limit as something we have not yet exceeded?

Establishment scientists suggest a cost-benefit analysis for dealing with climate change. Those government-funded humanitarians at UCSD say that finding an appropriate solution “depends on how we judge, as a global community... the economic costs compared to the risks,” and this kind of thinking is pretty standard. After all, those 3 to 6 billion people who might starve to death nearly all live in the Global South, in the (neo)colonized regions of the world, so the technocrats are in true form to speak of “acceptable costs.”

This is nothing less than climate brinksmanship. The world’s powerful and their labcoat-wearing lackeys are engaged in an old, old war with Mother Earth and they want to see how far they can push her before she pushes back, how close to this safe limit of greenhouse gases they can tread. If they go too far, they will not be the ones to bear the gravest consequences.

And can we really expect any less of them? After all, we’re talking about the same institutions, run by the direct successors of the same people who toyed with the fate of the world in the same way during the Cold War, knowing full well that they had their nuclear bunkers to run off to. It was only by good luck that they did not annihilate all of us in a nuclear holocaust. They won that little game, so now they are up for another spin of the wheel.

But this time no one has to press their finger down on a little button to begin the apocalypse. What is required, rather, is that we all keep punching our time clocks and allowing this unstoppable machine to move forward. Inertia itself will seal our fate.

Capitalism will develop new and better forms of renewable energy production, I have no doubt about that. But it doesn’t matter. What is required to stave off mass extinction is to stop greenhouse gas emissions before it is too late. However, because of the short-term feedbacks inherent to capitalism and its inability to appreciate non-monetary costs to the environment, alternative energy sources will be just that—alternatives, not replacements. Solar-produced electricity would require massive government subsidies to be cost-competitive with coal on a national or international scale, yet what we need is not more solar, but less coal. As much as possible of the fossil fuels that are still in the ground need to stay there, forever.

But capitalism simply has no mechanism for barring profitable forms of production or upholding any kind of taboo that prevents anything under the sun from being converted into a resource and a commodity. And it brooks no such mechanism either. Take the most abhorrent business practice you can imagine. Is it slavery? There are more slaves involved in the production of primary commodities today than there were during the height of the Triangular Trade. For the most part, the compelled labor simply has to take place in countries with weaker regulations, while institutions based in the wealthy countries, such as the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Trade Organization (WTO), work to ensure that regulations in those countries remain weak. Or maybe animal testing is the most gruesome, in your eyes? One doesn’t even need to go to the Global South to find companies making a pretty penny off that practice.

What Obama outlined in his State of the Union address is exactly what is going to happen—continued extraction of oil, coal, and nuclear fuels, alongside increased use of renewables. In other words, wind and solar power will contribute to an expansion of total energy production, followed by an increase in energy consumption. A similar thing happened in the 80s, when reformist environmentalists were advocating greater energy efficiency to save the planet from the problems of energy production. What they did not count on was that under capitalism, greater energy efficiency can lead to lower energy costs, which leads to a net increase in energy consumption. In other words, those environmentalists who hoped to find a solution within the confines of the system are partially responsible for the mess we’re in now, and the fact that we have less time to deal with it.

The few people who were talking about pollution, ecological collapse, and related issues thirty years ago—generally radical ecologists, anarchists, and indigenous communities—were ignored or dismissed as crazy. Nowadays, they have no time to say “I told you so,” because members of those three groups are investigated as terrorists and locked up in prison. The biggest FBI domestic anti-terror investigation in the US in 2003, measured by the number of wiretaps used, was against an aboveground animal rights group that ran a website to publicize direct actions against an animal testing company. I myself was named in Virginia’s 2009 Terrorism Threat Assessment, just for writing a book against reformism and pacifism in social struggles, and for being an anarchist activist. Other anarchists have been sentenced to up to 22 years in prison for environmental direct actions that harmed no one. The post 9-11 farce of National Security has been used as a pretext to increase policing and forced relocations against Native American nations that straddle the U.S.-Mexico and U.S.-Canada borders. And whose lands do we suppose will be taken for the millions of acres of solar panels that need to be built to supply domestic electricity needs? And then there’s all the mining that will be required for making so many photovoltaic cells. Whom do we suppose will be worst affected by the pollution?

It would be unconscionable to allow the world leaders who just five and ten years ago were denying the reality of climate change to be entrusted with solving the problem today, especially when they are the ones who profit from the current social and industrial arrangements, while the many people who forced the world to acknowledge the problem, sometimes giving their own lives in the struggle, continue to be silenced and repressed.

I was actually happy that the COP15 climate talks in Denmark last December resulted in such a hollow and insufficient proposal, because it may help people realize that world leaders are not the ones who will protect us from climate change. For me, the greatest failing in Copenhagen was that the temporary police state erected to ensure security during the talks successfully utilized mass arrests to prevent the thousands of protestors from causing havoc and disrupting the summit, as previous summits have been partially or fully disrupted in Heiligendamm, Seattle, and elsewhere.

This is an important defeat because part of the true solution to climate change lies in throwing a wrench in the gears of the global institutions that currently monopolize the solving of this problem. A riot in the streets impedes the ability of the world leaders to discuss, to hobnob, and to present their plans to a passive public, and it makes social conflicts visible, it shows that the elite monopoly on decision-making is hotly contested and only exists by being forcefully imposed. In this context, disruption is above all a constructive act.

David Graeber showed how the decentralized networks of the antiglobalization movement succeeded in their mid-range goals, sabotaging neoliberal institutions like the IMF and WTO, by disrupting their summits, delegitimizing their policies, and building horizontal, prefigurative networks of global communication. Once their legitimacy and monopoly on decision-making were challenged, internal contradictions between rich and poor member states came to the surface, and these institutions became largely unworkable. The WTO failed to overcome internal divisions, and the IMF, once an important global creditor, itself had to be bailed out.

The high degree of regulations, taxes, and subsidies that will necessarily be part of elite responses to climate change bring the governments of nation-states back into a central role that they often did not have amidst the deregulations of Bretton Woods neoliberalism. Yet governments cannot prevent ecological collapse, and no current government of any influence is even trying. The progressive states of Europe proposed a mere 20-30% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, to be accomplished primarily by the cheap disappearing act of carbon offset trading. The lack of governmental solutions only makes sense, because governments exist first and foremost to build and maintain the infrastructure necessary for commerce, to secure new markets for producers, and to protect the haves from the have-nots. Lately, new technologies have allowed them to approach their age-old dream of total social control, and this project makes them even less amenable to the idea of listening to activists or the idea of a natural environment that must be respected rather than controlled.

Governments rule, however, not by monopolizing force, but by monopolizing decision-making, by seizing the central ground of society and making themselves the arbiter of social conflicts and the implementer of solutions. Rejecting the solutions of world leaders, refusing to dialogue with powerful institutions, in fact trying to disrupt them, is a crucial part of our fight to save our place on this planet.

Those who think world leaders can be persuaded to adopt adequate responses to climate change, the environmental NGOs that sit down at the table in these climate summits, are mistaken. Other writers have amply demonstrated how the reformist climate justice movement is generating false solutions that will only make things worse (e.g. Tim Simons and Ali Tonak, “
The Dead End of Climate Justice”). And environmental activists at the frontlines of the struggle against coal mining in Appalachia or deforestation in the Pacific Northwest remember how the big NGOs, standing on the backs of their sacrifices, betrayed the grassroots and rushed to Congress at the first chance to endorse and take credit for big legislation that only slowed the devastation.

Just as the earth is a holistic, interconnected system, piecemeal approaches to climate change are doomed to failure. Relevant factors that will determine the survival or extinction of species and peoples include forestation, soil health, fertilizer-caused dead zones in the ocean, integrity of habitats, population growth, forms of agriculture, and a hundred other things that are not being addressed by world leaders. Greatly boosting solar energy production would indeed require government subsidies and corporate investments, but this will not avert the ecological catastrophe that has already begun. To keep fossil fuels in the ground, check overpopulation, and protect and restore habitats, we will need to do nothing short of changing who holds power in our society, and how decisions are made; to change the way our culture views the planet, from seeing it as a dead thing that can be exploited and toyed with, to understanding it as an interconnected, living system on which we are dependent for our survival.

A popular solution to climate change will require a decentralization of economy and decision-making, the same decentralization prefigured by the global horizontal networks currently fighting back against those who are responsible for climate change. Our standard of living must be based on available local resources and not what can be purchased on the world market. Forms of food production like permaculture and local, organic gardening, developments that are already gaining global steam at the grassroots, can feed the world without the unacceptable human and environmental costs of industrial agribusiness. As for population, anthropologists have shown that local, pre-colonial forms of fertility control lost their effectiveness as decision-making, society, and identity went from the local to the national scale. We can and must reverse this process.

In 2009, Elinor Olstrom won the Nobel Prize in Economics for proving what anarchist scientist Peter Kropotkin demonstrated in his 1902 book, Mutual Aid: a Factor of Evolution, that common resources can be horizontally managed by the people who use them, without government regulation or privatization. In other words, the commons, which have been progressively stolen from us over the last 500 years by the very institutional predecessors of those who govern us now, are ours for the taking.

Climate change is already killing people and driving entire species to extinction every day. We can accept more of the same by trusting in the solutions of world leaders we know are lying to us, or we can take things into our own hands, and build solutions at the grassroots level while networking with other communities in resistance at the global level, and sabotaging the efforts of the powerful to manage and prolong the disaster they have created.

Peter Gelderloos
is the author of How Nonviolence Protects the State and the forthcoming Anarchy Works.

article appeared firstly in CounterPunch:

Photography / artwork of this post made by the naturalist traveler photgrapher from Void Network

Vaggelis Doutsios

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Let's Save Ugandan Homosexuals from Death Penalty! Can we?

Void Network just signed a petition calling on Ugandan government to withdraw a proposed anti-gay law that would punish gay people with prison -- or even death.
Read more below, and sign the petition here:


Dear friends,
"I could be facing violence, prison and even death for who I am. Across Uganda people are bravely speaking out, but this law will put us in serious danger. Please, sign the Avaaz petition and tell others to stand with us -- if there's a gigantic global response, our government will see that Uganda will be internationally isolated by this proposed law, and strike it down. "

This is an urgent appeal to all of us, sent by Ugandan Avaaz member, Frank.
Widespread condemnation has led Uganda's Parliament to review the proposed legislation that would make being gay punishable by prison, even death -- but global pressure is now critical to get it throw out: Our actions now could save Frank's life.
Click below to sign the petition and send it on to friends:

The draconian bill proposes life imprisonment for anyone convicted of having same-sex relations, even intending to do so. It imposes the death penalty for 'serial offender' homosexuals and gay people living with AIDS.

Members of the public face up to three years in jail, if they fail to report any homosexual activity to police within 24 hours. And NGOs working with the gay community on HIV projects or supporting their rights could be imprisoned for up to 7 years for 'promoting homosexuality'. The bill's advocates claim that it defends Uganda's culture. But its strongest critics come from within Uganda. The Dean of Law at Makerere University argues that the bill undermines family life and violates Uganda's Constitution.

The Archbishop of York, born in Uganda, has condemned the bill as 'victimising,' and the Reverend Canon Gideon Byamugisha -- a Ugandan Anglican priest -- has written to us saying:
"This bill is not about protecting Ugandan culture and traditions. On the contrary it is violating our cultures, traditions and religious values that teach against intolerance, injustice, hatred and violence.
We need laws to protect people, not ones that will humiliate, ridicule, persecute and kill them en masse. Thank you for Avaaz's campaigning for safer, healthier, more peaceful, and more productive lives for ALL Ugandans."

Click below to sign the petition, and pass this message on to friends and family. Across Africa and the world, let's send a united message that we reject persecution and denial of human rights everywhere:

Ultra-conservative religious extremists are highly vocal, well-organised and funded in their PR efforts for this Ugandan bill. But a new alliance of Church leaders, health services, gay groups, and human rights lawyers are mobilising to respond, and they say our support is crucial.
In the last three years, five African countries have criminalised gay people.

By rejecting this dangerous bill, and demonstrating the breadth of opposition to it, we can help set a crucial precedent. Let's stand with Uganda's Frank and Canon Byamugisha and oppose this bill:

With hope and determination, Alice, Ricken, Ben, Paul, Benjamin, Pascal, Raluca, Graziela and the whole Avaaz team


African letter to Ugandan President to throw out Anti-homosexual bill: Uganda - Anti-homosexuality bill violates human rights:

Ugandan church leader brands anti-gay bill 'genocide':

Uganda's Anti-Homosexual bill:

Uganda anti-gay bill may change, says MP Bahati:

The U.S. Christian Right and the Attack on Gays in Africa:

Human Rights Impact Assessment of Uganda's Anti-homosexuality Bill By Sylvia Tamale, The Dean of Law at Uganda's Makerere University:

Uganda Tyrant Museveni Warns and threads Gay people:

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Kostas Axelos, the great Philosopher of the Open Horizon is Dead!

Void Network
announces the death of our great spiritual friend,
Kostas Axelos.
The thinker of the Vast Open Horizon,
the enigmatic thinker of the Planetary Age died
in 5 February 2010 in the age of 85.
He will be always with us on our explorations in outer space,
in our great navigations of endless future, in our never ending
travelling inside the centuries, the moments, the galaxies of passions
and the microcosms of experience...
Void Network thanks Kostas Axelos for all great inspiration and
mind expanding philosphical influence that he offered to our collective
for all help that offered to us on our steps to the Edges of the Horizon

Costas Axelos (more usually spelled Kostas Axelos) is a Greek Philosopher. He was born on the 26th of June 1924 in Athens and attended high school at the French Institute[1] and the German School of Athens, Greece. He enrolled in the Law School in order to pursue studies in law and economics. With the onset of World War II he got involved in politics; during the German and Italian occupation he participated in the Greek Resistance, and later in the Greek Civil War, as an organiser and journalist affiliated with the Communist Party (1941-1945). He was later expelled from the Communist Party and condemned to death by the right-wing government. He was arrested and escaped.

At the end of 1945 Axelos moved to Paris, France, where he studied philosophy at Sorbonne. From 1950 to 1957 he worked as a researcher in the philosophy branch of C.R.N.S, where he was writing his dissertations[1], and subsequently proceeded to work in Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes. From 1962 to 1973 he taught philosophy in Sorbonne. His dissertation "Marx, penseur de la technique" (translated as "Alienation, Praxis and Techne in the Thought of Karl Marx") tried to provide an understanding of modern technology based on the thought of Heidegger and Marx and was very influential in the 1960s, alongside the philosophy of Herbert Marcuse.

Axelos was a collaborator, columnist, and subsequently editor of the magazine ArgumentsArguments in Edition de Minuit[2]. He has published texts mostly in French, but also in Greek and German. His most important book is "Le Jeu du Monde" (Play of the World), where Axelos argues for a pre-ontological status of play. (1956-1962). He founded and, since 1960, has run the series

Axelos lives in Paris, France and once a year he spends a month in Greece.[citation needed]

His main works are:

  • Heraclite et la Philosophie,
  • Marx Penseur de la Techique,
  • Vers la Pensee Planetaire,
  • Le Jeu Du Monde,
  • Pour Une Ethique Problematique,
  • Systematique Ouverte,
  • Metamorphoses.

biographical note from wikkipedia:


  1. ^ a b "INTERVIEW: Kostas Axelos; Mondialisation without the world". Radical Philosophy. 2005. Retrieved 2010-02-02.
  2. ^ "Kostas Axelos". Éditions de Minuit. Retrieved 2010-02-02.