Bulletin N° 388
Subject: ON THE CAMP KAPO AS POSTMODERN CULTURE HERO.
In certain societies, of which the feudal regime is only one example,
it may be said that individualization is greatest where sovereignty is
exercised and in the higher echelons of power. The more one possesses
power or privilege, the more one is marked as an individual, by rituals,
written accounts or visual reproductions. The 'name' and the genealogy
that situate one within a kinship group, the performance of deeds that
demonstrate superior strength and which are immortalized in literary
accounts, the ceremonies that mark the power relations in their very
ordering, the monuments or donations that bring survival after death,
the ostentation of excess of expenditure, the multiple, intersecting links
of allegiance and suzerainty, all these are procedures of an 'ascending'
individualization. In a disciplinary regime, on the other hand, individualization
is 'descending': as power becomes more anonymous and more functional,
those on whom it is exercised tend to be more strongly individualized; it is
exercised by surveillance rather than ceremonies, by observation rather than
commemorative accounts, by comparative measures that have the 'norm' as
reference rather than genealogies giving ancestors as points of reference; by
'gaps' rather than by deeds. In a system of discipline, the child is more
individualized than the adult, the patient more than the healthy man, the
madman and the delinquent more than the normal and the non-delinquent.
In each case, it is towards the first of these pairs that all the individualizing
mechanisms are turned in our civilization; and when one wishes to individualize
the healthy, normal and law-abiding adult, it is always by asking him how much
of the child he has in him, what secret madness lies within him, what fundamental
crime he has dreamt of committing. All the sciences, analyses or practices employing
the root 'psycho-' have their origin in this historical reversal of the procedures of
individualization. The moment that saw the transition from historico-ritual mechanisms
for the formation of individuality to the scientifico-disciplinary mechanisms, when the
normal took over from the ancestral, and measurement from status, thus substituting for
the individuality of the memorable man that of the calculable man, that moment when
the sciences of man became possible is the moment when a new technology of power
and a new political anatomy of the body were implemented.(p.192-193)
The individual is no doubt the fictitious atom of an 'ideological' representation of society;
but he is also a reality fabricated by this technology of power that I have called 'discipline'.
We must cease once and for all to describe the effects of power in negative terms: it
'excludes', it 'represses', it ' censors', it 'abstracts', it 'masks', it 'conceals'. In fact, power
produces; it produces reality; it produces domains of objects and rituals of truth. The
individual and the knowledge that may be gained of him belong to this production.(p.194)
L'individu, c'est sans doute l'atome fictif d'une représentation 'idéologique' de la société ;
mais il est aussi une réalité fabriquée par cette technologie spécifique de pouvoir qu'on
appelle la 'discipline'. Il faut cesser de toujours décrire les effets de pouvoir en termes
négatifs : il 'exclut', il 'réprime', il 'refoule', il 'censure', il 'abstrait', il 'masque', il 'cache'.
En fait le pouvoir produit : il produit du réel; il produit des domaines d'objets et des
rituels de vérités. L'individu et la connaissance qu'on peut en prendre relèvent de cette
production.(Surveiller et punir, 1975, p.196)
In the 5 items below, we take a hard look at "normality" today and at its detractors in our Dickensian era of "the best of times, the worst of times".
Item A. is another photo essay from Gaza, sent to us this time by Mohamed Youssouf and revealing the ugly truth that nobody wants to see.
Item B. is a short article (in French and in English) by Eric Hazan, co-founder of the Franco-Palestinien Medical Association, explaining "La deuxième mort du judaïsme," sent to us by Nanterre Professor Pierre Guerlain.
Item C. is a "call for ideas" from Professor Fred Lonidier, who has sent to us information and an invitation to “Reclaim Your Education" at a Global Week of Action, on April 20-27, 2009 at the University of Minnesota.
Item D. is an article sent to us by Professor Edward S. Herman on European complicity in the destruction of Gaza and its people.
Item E. is a short tape with Pete Seeger and Bruce Springsteen welcoming what they hope is a "new era" by singing the original lyrics of Woody Guthrei's famous anthem: "This Land is Your Land, This Land is My Land", accompanied by optimistic responses from around the USA.
And finally, we invite CEIMSA readers to join us at Nanterre on May 6, 2009 for our international conference on "Ethics and Social Class in America". The entire program, in both English and French, has been posted at the University of Paris-X Internet site:
and, also, to listen to our Radio Bleu - Isère interview this morning in recognition of "the changing of the Guard in the U.S.A. : 20 January 2009".
Francis McCollum Feeley
Professor of American Studies
Director of Research
Université Stendhal Grenoble 3
from Mohamed Youssouf :
Date: 17 January 2009
Subject: The Ugly Truth of Israeli Power: URGENCE GAZA.
Kiryat shmona : Les filles israéliennes écrivent des messages sur les coquilles d'artillerie lourde pour une mise à feu de la position civile à l'intérieur du Liban.
[Eric Hazan est le directeur des éditions La Fabrique, qui publient nombre d’auteurs palestiniens et israéliens contre l’occupation. Il explique dans ce texte pourquoi, selon lui, l’entrée de l’armée israélienne dans le ghetto de Gaza marque "un tournant fatal" du judaïsme.]
"Les millions de juifs qui ont été exterminés par les nazis dans les plaines de Pologne avaient des traits communs qui permettent de parler d’un judaïsme européen.
Ce n’était pas tant le sentiment d’appartenance à un peuple mythique, ni la religion car beaucoup d’entre eux s’en étaient détachés : c’étaient des éléments de culture commune. Elle ne se réduisait pas à des recettes de cuisine, ni à des histoires véhiculant le fameux humour juif, ni à une langue, car tous ne parlaient pas le yiddish. C’était quelque chose de plus profond, commun sous des formes diverses aux ouvriers des usines textiles de Lodz et aux polisseurs de diamants d’Anvers, aux talmudistes de Vilna, aux marchands de légumes d’Odessa et jusqu’à certaines familles de banquiers comme celle d’Aby Warburg. Ces gens-là n’étaient pas meilleurs que d’autres, mais ils n’avaient jamais exercé de souveraineté étatique et leurs conditions d’existence ne leur offraient comme issues que l’argent et l’étude. Ils méprisaient en tout cas la force brutale, dont ils avaient souvent eu l’occasion de sentir les effets. Beaucoup d’entre eux se sont rangés du côté des opprimés et ont participé aux mouvements de résistance et d’émancipation de la première moitié du siècle dernier : c’est cette culture qui a fourni son terreau au mouvement ouvrier juif, depuis le Bund polonais, fer de lance des révolutions de 1905 et 1917 dans l’empire tsariste, jusqu’aux syndicats parisiens des fourreurs et des casquettiers, dont les drapeaux portaient des devises en yiddish et qui ont donné, dans la MOI (Main d’Oeuvre Immigrée), bien des combattants contre l’occupant nazi. Et c’est sur ce terrain qu’ont grandi les figures emblématiques du judaïsme européen, Rosa Luxembourg, Franz Kafka, Hannah Arendt, Albert Einstein. Après la deuxième guerre mondiale, nombre des survivants et de leurs enfants soutiendront les luttes d’émancipation dans le monde, les Noirs américains, l’ANC en Afrique du Sud, les Algériens dans leur guerre de libération.
Tous ces gens sont morts et on ne les ressuscitera pas. Mais ce qui se passe en ce moment à Gaza les tue une seconde fois. On dira que ce n’est pas la peine de s’énerver, qu’il y a tant de précédents, de Deir Yassin à Sabra et Chatila. Je pense au contraire que l’entrée de l’armée israélienne dans le ghetto de Gaza marque un tournant fatal.
D’abord par le degré de brutalité, le nombre d’enfants morts brûlés ou écrasés sous les décombres de leur maison : un cap est franchi, qui doit amener, qui amènera un jour le Premier ministre israélien, le ministre de la Défense et le chef d¹État-major sur le banc des accusés de la Cour de justice internationale.
Mais le tournant n’est pas seulement celui de l’horreur et du massacre de masse des Palestiniens. Il y a deux points qui font des événementsactuels ce qui est advenu de plus grave pour les juifs depuis Auschwitz.
Le premier, c’est le cynisme, la manière ouverte de traiter les Palestiniens comme des sous-hommes, les tracts lâchés par des avions annonçant que les bombardements vont être encore plus meurtriers, alors que la population de Gaza ne peut pas s’enfuir, que toutes les issues sont fermées, qu’il n’y a plus qu’à attendre la mort dans le noir.
Ce genre de plaisanterie rappelle de façon glaçante le traitement réservé aux juifs en Europe de l’Est pendant la guerre, et sur ce point j’attends sans crainte les hauts cris des belles âmes stipendiées.
L’autre nouveauté, c’est le silence de la majorité des juifs. En Israël, malgré le courage d’une poignée d’irréductibles, les manifestations de masse sont menées par des Palestiniens. En France, dans les manifestations du 3 et du 10 janvier, le prolétariat des quartiers populaires était là, mais des cris de colère d’intellectuels juifs, de syndicalistes, de politiciens juifs, je n’en ai pas entendu assez.
Au lieu de se satisfaire des âneries du gouvernement et du CRIF (« ne pas importer le conflit »), il est temps que les juifs viennent en masse manifester avec les « arabo-musulmans » contre l’inacceptable. Sinon, leurs enfants leur demanderont un jour « ce qu’ils faisaient pendant ce temps-là » et je n’aimerais pas être à leur place quand il leur faudra répondre".
The millions of Jews that were exterminated by the Nazis in the plains of Poland had some common features that allow one to speak of a European Judaism. It was not so much about being part of some mythical people, nor about religion for they were many to have drifted away from it : it was about elements of a common culture. It could neither be reduced to cooking recipes, nor jokes conveying the well-known Jewish humor, nor even language since not all of them spoke Yiddish. It was something deeper, under various forms shared by the textile workers of Lodz and the diamond polishers of Anvers, from the talmudists of Vilna to the vegetable sellers of Odessa and up to certain families of bankers as the one of Aby Warburg. These people were not better than others, but they had never exercised any state sovereignty and their living conditions were offering no other way out than money and studies. In any case they despised the brute force which they often had to suffer from. They were numerous to chose the side of the oppressed and to participate in the resistance movement of the first half of the last century : it is this culture that fed the Jewish Workers movement, from the Polish Bund, spearhead of the 1905 and 1917 revolutions in the Czarist empire, to the Parisian furriers and helmet crafters unions whose flags bore mottoes in Yiddish and that gave a lot of fighters in the MOI , against the Nazi occupant. It is on that ground that the emblematic figures of the European Judaism grew up, Rosa Luxembourg, Franz Kafka, Hannah Arendt, Albert Einstein. After the war, lots of survivors and their children would support emancipation struggles in the world, the black Americans, the ANC in South Africa, the Algerians in their liberation war.
These people are dead and will not be resurrected. But what is happening now in Gaza is killing them a second time. One will say that there is no need of getting upset, that there were many precedents, from Deir Yassin to Sabra and Chatilla. I think, on the contrary, that the entry of the Israeli army in the ghetto of Gaza marks a fatal turn. First by the degree of brutality, the number of children burnt dead or buried under the debris of their house : a line has been crossed, it has to bring and will bring one day the Israeli Prime minister, the minister of Defense and the chief of Staff in front of the International Court of Justice.
But the turn is not only that of horror and massacre of masses of Palestinians. There are two points which make the actual events the worst thing that has happened to the Jews since Auschwitz. The first is the cynicism, the blatant way to treat Palestinians as if they were subhumans, the leaflets dropped by planes announcing more deadly bombings when the population of Gaza has nowhere to flee, all issues blocked, and nothing left to do but wait for death in the dark. This type of prank is ghastly reminiscent of the way Jews in eastern Europe used to be treated during the war, and on that point I am firmly waiting for the outraged cries of the good sold-out souls. The other novelty is the silence of the majority of the Jews. In Israel, in spite of a handful of irreducible braves, the mass demonstration are lead by Palestinians. In France, the demonstrations of the 3rd and 10th of January saw the proletariat of the poor neighborhoods march the streets, but I did not hear enough angry shouts of Jewish intellectuals, unionists or Jewish politicians. Instead of being satisfied with the nonsense of the government or the CRIF  ("not to bring the conflict home"), now it is time for the Jews to march in number along the "arab-muslims" in the protests against the unacceptable. Otherwise their children will ask them one day "what they were doing at that time" and I would not like to be in their place when they will have to answer.
 Main d’œuvre Immigrée, organization funded by the French Communist Party in the 1920s
 Conseil Representatif des Institutions Juives de France
(Trad. Yann Lecrivain with the help of M. Moreau)
by Eric Hazan (Editor and writer, founder of the Editions "La Fabrique")
from Fred Lonidier :
Date: 17 January 2009
Subject: CFI: Reworking the University : A Call for Ideas.
A colleague just sent this to me - it's a conference on academic organizing and the future of the university. Would you mind FWDing this around?
Reworking the University: Visions, Strategies, Demands
Call for Ideas
April 24-26, 2009, University of Minnesota
The current “financial meltdown” has exacerbated the ongoing crises within the university, resulting in even greater budget cuts, tuition hikes, hiring freezes and layoffs. Responses from university administrations have been predominantly reactive and have served to fortify the university as an institution of neoliberal capitalism. The administration and others have narrated this crisis as an external force that, while dramatic in the short run, can nonetheless be managed properly. It is clear to many, however, that the neoliberal logic that has been used to transform the university over the past few decades has failed at a systemic level; the neoliberal death spiral has come home to the university.
In contrast to these reactionary responses, we seek to create a space for collective re-evaluation of the university in crisis as an opportunity for real transformation. Last year’s conference, “Rethinking the University: Labor, Knowledge, Value” (April 2008), sought to challenge the supposed inevitability of the neoliberal university. As a continuation of this project, “Reworking the University” seeks to draw together academics, artists, and activists, to share and produce political visions, strategies and demands for building an alternative university in common.
“Reworking the University” seeks to generate a vibrant, political exchange by troubling the traditional format of the academic conference. To this end, we hope to produce spaces for individuals and groups from different backgrounds and across a variety of institutional boundaries to converge. While the conference will include the presentation of papers on the topic of “Reworking the University,” the committee’s selection process will prioritize workshops, roundtables, trainings, art installations, film screenings, performances, and other forms of creative engagement.
The conference organizing collective has selected several questions and themes that emerged out of the 2008 conference that we will address in various formats. If you have interest in participating, please provide us with a description of your proposed contribution. We encourage you to self-organize a session (i.e. a performance, workshop, roundtable, training, etc.) and submit it as a whole. Feel free to use the blog (http://rethinkingtheu.wordpress.com) to help facilitate session organizing.
Below is a list of possible topics and we, of course, welcome additional suggestions. In submitting your ideas for sessions, please give us as much information as possiblesuggestions for themes, other participants and the session format.
The Reworking the University conference coincides with “Reclaim Your Education – Global Week of Action 2009” (April 20-27: http://www.emancipating-education-for-all.org/). Organizers also encourage suggestions for additional actions as part of this event.
Send your submissions (of up to 500 words) to email@example.com. The deadline for submissions is February 10, 2009.
- Confronting American Apartheid: Access to education
- The financial crisis and the university
- Counter/Radical Cartographies and Disorientation Guides
- Corporate funding and the university
- Autonomous/Open/Free Universities
- The Poverty of Student Life
- Post-Enlightenment Visions: Beyond the Liberal Model
- Anarchism and Education
- Adjunct Unionization
- Organizing Across Campuses, Cities, and Regions
- Post-Antioch Universities/the Antioch Legacy
- Anti-militarization Movements in the University
- Prisons and Education
- Undergrad Education Beyond Commodification
- Historical Struggles in the University: May ’68 and beyond
- Autoreduction and Tactics for Direct Action in the Workplace
- Contemporary Struggles in the University: The Anomalous Wave & Movements in
Italy, Greece and elsewhere
- Expropriating Institutional Space
- Graduate student unionization and Radicalizing the Academy
- Anti-professionalization; Anti-disciplinarity
- Student Debt
- Pedagogy of the crisis
- Creating Radical/Open Access Publications and the Politics of Citation
The schedule and proceedings from last year’s conference can be found at:
Committee on Revolutionizing the Academy (ComRAD)
from Edward S. Herman :
Date: 20 January 2009
Subject: The European Union Betrays the People of Gaza.
Are there no petitions or organized protests in process to contest this monstrous EU support of Israel's genocidal policies and penalizing of its victims?
Subject: EU official: No reconstruction for Gaza under Hamas rule
A European Union official said on Monday that buildings and infrastructure in the war-ravaged Gaza Strip would not be rebuilt as long as the coastal territory remained under control of the militant Hamas group.
But the EU official, Benita Ferrero-Waldner, said she expects humanitarian aid to begin flowing quickly to Gaza, where Israel mounted a three-week campaign against the Palestinian Islamist group.
The European Union classes Hamas as a terrorist organization and refuses to deal with it.
On Sunday, Israel and the militant Palestinian group Hamas announced separate cease-fires, ending the offensive that destroyed vast swaths of Gaza.
Ferrero-Waldner suggested that international help in rebuilding Gaza could come if the Fatah Party of moderate Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas returns to the territory.
Hamas militants wrested control of the Gaza Strip from Abbas's Palestinian Authority in a bloody 2007 coup. Abbas, who still controls the West Bank, is seen as weak and ineffectual by leaders of some Arab countries like Syria.
On Sunday, six key European leaders on Sunday pledged to work to prevent Hamas from rearming. The commitments were offered both at the Sharm al-Sheikh summit in Egypt and at a meeting in Jerusalem with Prime Minister Ehud Olmert.
The six leaders were British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, French President Nicolas Sarkozy, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero and Czech Prime Minister Mirek Topolanek, who currently holds the European Union's rotating presidency. They offered to provide troops and technological assistance to prevent Hamas from smuggling weapons and terrorists into the Gaza Strip, in cooperation with Egypt and the United States.
The leaders expressed support for the cease-fire in Gaza and for an end to Palestinian rocket fire on southern Israel. Olmert said that he also received on Saturday a letter from EU leaders pledging cooperation in halting the arms smuggling into Gaza.
The six leaders met with Olmert following a conference in Sharm al-Sheikh, where they spoke with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and Abbas.
UN Chief Ban urges Arab states to back Abbas in Gaza crisis
Meanwhile, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Monday urged Arab leaders to join together in backing Abbas' efforts to reunite the war-ravaged Gaza Strip with the Fatah-ruled West Bank.
Ban also said that Arab unity was crucial if the three-week Gaza conflict was not to be repeated in the future.
"The Palestinians themselves must face the challenge of reconciliation, and work to achieve a unified government under the leadership of President Abbas," Ban told an Arab League summit expected to approve $2 billion in aid to rebuild Gaza.
"I call on all Arab leaders to unite and support this endeavour. We cannot rebuild Gaza without Palestinian unity," he added.
At the same conference, Saudi Arabian King Abdullah announced on Monday that his country would donate $1 billion for reconstruction in Gaza.
"I announce on behalf of your brothers in Saudi Arabia that the kingdom will offer $1 billion as a contribution under the program proposed by this summit for the reconstruction of Gaza," said King Abdullah.
The Gaza conflict has divided Arab countries, as recent meetings of Gulf states have shown.
Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, who negotiated with both Hamas and the Israelis to get a ceasefire, called for uniting all Palestinian factions in his speech at the summit. Syrian President Bashar Assad, whom Israel accuses of financing Hamas, voiced support for "Palestinian resistance".
Ban has been touring the Middle East for a week urging Israeli leaders and Arab governments to do everything in their power to end the fighting in Gaza and prevent the humanitarian crisis for the coastal territory's 1.5 million people from worsening.
He told reporters during the flight to Kuwait that if Arab states remain divided on Abbas and Palestinian unity, there was "no guarantee this [the Gaza conflict] will not happen again."
In his speech in Kuwait, Ban reiterated that Israel must reopen border crossings with Gaza, allow humanitarian aid in and withdraw from the Gaza Strip. Likewise, he urged Hamas to stop firing rockets at southern Israel.
But a permanent solution, he said, would require a return to the stalled Middle East peace process.
"A true end to violence, and lasting security for both Palestinians and Israelis, will only come through a just and comprehensive settlement to the Arab-Israeli conflict," he said.
"The occupation that began in 1967 must end."
from Truth Out :
Date: 20January 2009
Subject: "This Land Is Your Land" Like Woody Wrote It
Pete Seeger brings back the original "This Land Is Your Land" at Sunday's Obama concert.
Tommy Stevenson, Tuscaloosa News: "At the conclusion of today's concert for President-elect Barack Obama, 89-year-old Pete Seeger joined Bruce Springsteen for a sing-along with perhaps half a million people of Woody Guthrie's 'This Land Is Your Land,' which I dare say practically everyone in the country knows from childhood. But sly old Pete, who actually hoboed with Woody during the Depression and Dust Bowl, had the crowd sing the song as it was actually written, as not only a celebration of this great land, but as a demand for workers' and people's rights."
by: Tommy Stevenson, Tuscaloosa News
Pete Seeger and Bruce Springsteen, performing at Sunday's concert at the Lincoln Memorial. (Photo: Mandel Ngan / AFP / Getty Images)
January 18, 2009
At the conclusion of today's concert for president-elect Barack Obama 89-year-old Pete Seeger joined Bruce Springsteen for a sing-along with perhaps half a million people of Woody Guthrie's "This Land Is Your Land," which I dare say practically everyone in the country knows from childhood.
But sly old Pete, who actually hoboed with Woody during the Depression and Dust Bowl, had the crowd sing the song as it was actually written, as not only a celebration of this great land, but as a demand for workers' and people's rights. That is, he restored the verses that have been censored from the song over the years to make it less political: