This video is going around the internet and the comments, more than being merely unpleasant, are disturbing in their anti-democraticness.


The refusal to assert one’s right when it is being illegally infringed upon will be taken as evidence of that right’s superfluity. That right will become no longer one’s own. You are positively contributing to facism in allowing your constitutional rights to be overrun.


Equally important, you have the right not merely to things, but the right to not do things, what Isaiah Berlin called ‘negative liberty’. The most famous index of such liberty is the Fifth Amendment: the right not to answer to a capital crime unless indicted by a Grand Jury, the right not to be tried for the same crime twice, the right to not self-incriminate, the right not to be deprived of life, liberty, or property.


The last clause however invokes that mode paradigmatic of negative freedom: privacy: the right not to be deprived of private property for public use. Privacy is in fact constitutive of democracy: the international law of the secret ballot: Article 21.3,  Universal Declaration of Human Rights: “The will of the people…shall be expressed in periodic and genuine elections which…shall be held by secret vote or by equivalent free voting procedures”; Article 23, American Convention on Human Rights: ‘Every citizen shall enjoy the following rights and opportunities: … b. to vote and to be elected in genuine periodic elections, which shall be by universal and equal suffrage and by secret ballot that gaurantees the free expression of the will of the voters…’; etc.


The pseudo-logic of ‘If you’ve got nothing to hide, you’ve got nothing to be afraid of’ shows itself tendentious. Not merely because everybody has something they wish to hide – even, as has been recently shown, the Attorney General, the Secretary of State, etc., but moreover because modern democracy is in fact founded on the privacy of secrecy. ‘If you’ve got nothing to hide, you’ve got nothing to be afraid of’  is doubly fallacious because one does have precisely to be afraid, and must be afraid of such encroachments this phrase is being served to justify,  encroachments of human and constitutional rights, rights such as ‘the right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures’, i.e., the Fourth Amendment.


As Nazi Germany taught us, the threat of facism is not in some invading, non-Christian other, but precisely in the indifference of the polity.
Senator Mitch McConnell,
One has arrived at a time in US history in which the truth is slanderous. That in itself is damning for your party. It would not be necessary to impute to another senator conducting unbecoming a senator had a senator conducted himself senatorially.
You and your party have silenced the words of Coretta Scott King. For the brief time you and your party will possess majority power, you may set US democracy back years, but you will not white-wash US history. Your censoring only ensured that her words would be repeated on Facebook, on Twitter, on CNN, etc. Now all those listening will know  of how he prosecuted Martin Luther King Jr.’s erstwhile aide for voter fraud, of Senator Sessions’ nomination to the district court in 1986, of how four DOJ lawyers testified that he had made racially-offensive remarks admitting to calling the KKK ‘okay’, and finally how that nomination failed when two Republican senators split the party line and voted against the nominee.
In almost the past three decades, the US has not learned from its history. But it will now.

Let’s take our cue from Marx. In the ‘Address to the Communist League’, Marx wrote:

‘II. That everywhere workers’ candidates are nominated in opposition to bourgeois-democratic candidates. That as far as possible they should be League members and that their election should be pursued by all possible means. Even where there is no prospect whatsoever of their being elected, the workers must put up their own candidates to preserve their independence, to count their forces and to bring their revolutionary position and party standpoint to the public. They must not allow themselves to be seduced by such arguments of the democrats as, for example, that by doing so they are splitting the democratic party and making it possible for the reactionaries to win. The ultimate intention of all such phrases is to dupe the proletariat. The progress which the proletarian party is bound to make by such independent action is infinitely more important than the disadvantages that might be incurred by the presence of a few reactionaries in the representative body. If from the very beginning the force of democracy take decisive, terroristic action against the reaction, the reactionary influence of the latter in the election will already have been destroyed.’

Of course Trump is pure reactionism, but Bernie Sanders was the truly revolutionary candidate whom the bourgeois-democracts like Wasserman Schultz couldn’t allow to be elected. This is when the Democrats lost, before even any vote was cast. Those who, like Rachel Maddow, argued that one had to vote Hillary in order not to split the democratic vote betrayed a pure false binary, a totalitarianism covered up by calls for ‘solidarity’. But too of course, if American democracy were truly a democracy, it would be capable of the terrorism of destroying Trump (and as we know, democracy and terrorism aren’t at all mutually-exclusive);  if American democracy were truly a democracy, it would not even be a structure that could allow such a reactionism to take root.

It’s of course a boon that Twitter, Lyft, etc. are giving millions of dollars to work against Trump, but we would not have to rely on a few big businesses doing the right thing (as a reaction to another business profitting from Trump’s policies and having to deal with the subsequent financial backlash, namely Uber; that is, this is a business rather than purely ethical decision) if we the people owned and controlled the means of production. That is, if the USA were a socialist government. Then the protests, rallies, etc. would be backed by such ownership. This is what makes, in Europe, a syndicat’s protest means something politically. Rather than being, as protests in the USA, mere cries in a vacuum.

In the age of the Kardashian, that the US elected a reality television personality shouldn’t sound so surprising – and what defines the t.v. personality is the vacuity of any personality. It did after all 3 and a half decades ago get the ball rolling when it elected a B-movie actor. This is what passes for progress in America. In electing Trump, the electorate rejected the notion of the ‘possible’. That is, it signaled the virtualization of politics in America. What political identity could one ascribe to Trump? Reviled by the left inasmuch as he claimed to be their friend, and rejected as he was by Republican leaders – Trump who said of Republicans ‘They’re the dumbest group of voters in the country. They love anything on Fox News. I could lie and they’d still eat it up.’ This virtuality, an inability to predicate to him a predictable ideology which would govern his acts, is the truth in his ghostwriter calling him a ‘sociopath’. The fear in electing Trump is a fear of the virtual. But the virtual was already fully real.

That a real experience should follow then. The Left would need to wrench this out, would need become the far-left they disavowed and lost during the nomination campaign. The announcement of Hillary as the nominee was the death knell of the unimaginative for the Democratic Party. We should not forget here that Hillary was not by rights the Democratic people’s nominee; that choice was taken away from them by figures like Wasserman Schultz.

What is important about the camp at Drancy is that it was heralded as a modernist urban structure, responding to the suburban sprawl from Paris. Designed by Lods and Beaudouinas, it was among the first of France’s high-rise apartments. It is not that this was a singularly unique misstep, that the building was turned away and co-opted from its ‘original’ function,  but rather that within modern city architecture, of which the high-rise is here the paradigm, precisely inheres a totalitarian logic. This was the logical fulfillment of industrial modernity. Every high-rise is a camp.


‘60,000 Reichsmark is what this person suffering from a hereditary defect costs the People’s Community during his lifetime. Fellow citizen, that is your money too. Read ‘A New People’, the monthly magazine of the Bureau for Race Politics of the NSDAP.’

This is the precise argument detractors of universal healthcare rehearse: ‘Why should I give up my hard-earned money in taxes to help that hopeless person?’ It is proprietary capitalism that leads logically to fascist totalitarianism.

Quand Derrida lit le reste du tout, ce qui reste après le tout, ce reste qui n’est donc rien, dont Madame de Maintenon écrit, il trouve précisément ici dans cette correspondance féminine, ‘le soupir infini du désir insatisfait’ (Donner le temps, 15).

Lacan, pour sa part, avance ‘une jouissance supplémentaire’, la jouissance féminine se localise dans le ‘pas-tout’, précisément ce qui n’est pas le tout, ce qui reste après le tout (sans pour autant être capable d’être récupéré dialectiquement).

Le reste et le pas-tout. L’infini du désir insatisfait et une jouissance.