ESR 5 Blog October/November 2023: Claude Nassar

I was supposed to submit this blog about two months before I did, but I have been avoiding writting it. In the previous blog I explained how this mode of writting is contributing to the alienation I feel as an imigrant academic witting about events unfolding in spaces that are out of reach. For this one, I have been planning to write how vocabularies become part of colonial/military strategies is revealed in the implicit violence of semantic discussions on whether the systemic murder of more than 25000 Palestinians in Gaza, after a 20 year blockade, and after 76 years of occupation, qualifies to be referred to as a genocide or not. While the acknowledgement of the scale of the crimes perpetuated in Gaza and the West Bank is of utmost importance and urgency, most likely whomever is reading this blog, either knows this and share my frustration, or knows this but thinks that it is the right or necessary thing to do. In either case, this blog would not have changed much.

What this urge to write about an urgent issue, and my inability to do so, revealed, is my reluctance to write when writing becomes the enunciation of powerlessness. Writing becomes an enunciation of powerslessness when it aims to fulfill its function within the modern ontology-epistemology. The function of writing in this context is to represent what the I am concerned with; to give it a form that can be opposed to other semantic formations that might describe the events in Gaza.

When writting follows the logics of modernity, when I write without having the time, space, and energy to make clear the logic that underly the text, and how it could transgress modern categories, writing becomes at once an affirmation of powerlessness and the reinforcement of violent and oppressive logics. It becomes the reinforcement of violence, when what is written against violence is used to inform arguments that justify the violence already perpetrated as a necessary means to the actualisation of the aims of its critique. Writing while implicitly inviting the logics of modern domination into what is written by upholding modern socio-political categories, is for the text to become part of the subsumption of contradictory dynamics into functional categories that uphold the modern model of domination, expressed in racist, gendered, ableist, and classist hierarchies. Social and political writing within such logics—and through the categories that such logics order—facilitates the dialectical realignment of capitalist networks of production and colonial strategies of labour control.

At this point, writing as the reiteration of frustration with the murderous contradictions of modernity, is no longer necessary. What social and political writing can do now is make clear what accountability should look like when it is not articulated through the logics of modernity; then the measures taken to make sure that such atrocities do not happen again does not uphold the fragmentation of land, and the control of life through ethnic categories that align labour to the global market rather than to situated collective subsistence and sustenance. A blog, and the way I feel I need to approach writing a blog while developing a dissertation, is not the place for such a study.



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