1) Somehow the rational conclusion that we require economic redistribution in the face of rising global inequalities does not have any impact on the practical policies crafted in the name of solving economic disparities. It is here that the gap between reason and power becomes evident.
2) Problems of late capitalism:
—One initiates work projects with friends, blurring the line between friend and colleague
—One’s boss initiates friendly socializing at work, blurring the line between boss and friend
—One’s always looking for the authentic self, blurring the line between constructing a self for some provisional purpose and unintentionally chasing for a self whose purpose suits capitalism
3) When people are not given the social conditions in which they can individuate themselves, they are looking for some leader, some text, some slogan to rely on. And there’s always that person or that object which people start to take as their anchor. What’s troubling is not that there is a leader or a guiding text, but rather that people are unable to reflect on this dependency and take a step back to critically interrogate their relations to the object they depend on.
4) There are people who are wounded, hurt, their souls cut up in slices. They project the ruins inside on the world around themselves. They are filled with fantasies about being under threat, being undermined always. An aggressive competitive spirit, paralyzing fear, perpetual anxiety shape their interaction with the world. They impose on the world, thought by thought, action by action, the violences that mutate and wriggle in them. The axiom goes: left unchecked, violence multiplies violence. And so when such people are not confronted their fears, anxieties, competitiveness spreads through a society, producing more of such personalities. Before you know it, we end up producing a society of fascists.
5) Readings on infrastructure highlight an important point: that infrastructure space functions as “spatial software.” That is, infrastructure makes certain things possible, “it is not the declared content but rather the content manager dictating the rules of the game in the urban milieu.” In the same book, one learns to see the gap between the stated intent of an organization and what an organization actually does as “disposition.” To understand disposition in this way, one has to pay attention the ‘multipliers’ in urban setting. “The city grows or changes because of the multipliers that circulate within it—cars, elevators, mobile phones, laws, real estate formulas, structural innovations, and security technologies among them.” Such multipliers impact the way the space and processes around them are constructed or changed to accommodate them. Another infrastructure form is the ‘switch/remote’. A dam in a river network for example. “Like the ball on the inclined plane, they establish potentials. Like a valve, they may suppress or redirect. The switch may generate effects some distance down the road or the line. It is a remote control of sorts—activating a distant site to affect a local condition or vice versa.” Switch/remote “modulates a flow of activities.” But a switch/remote cannot control all of its impacts. Could we reorient multipliers and switch/remote to hack the spatial software? Perhaps. Beside the material aspects of infrastructure space, there are the processes by which infrastructure space gets wrapped up in symbolic garments of nationalist projects, state and military purposes, capitalist goals for example.
6) So many times in activist battles, folks are fighting against what the powerful oppressors have said. But what the powerful say might merely be a distraction. It is up to activists to define their own fields of battle as opposed to allowing imperial and corporate powers to suggest fields of battle to them.
7) What would an unorthodox repertoire of strategies be composed of? Perhaps, “techniques like gossip, rumor, gift-giving, compliance, mimicry, comedy, remote control, meaninglessness, misdirection, distraction, hacking, or entrepreneurialism.”
8) There are those who pick battles with full intentionality, often but not always, to win. There are few who pick battles to lose with the intention to instrumentalize the submission in a larger strategy of power struggle.
9) The pitfalls of law for gender equality: patriarchy is built into law, example: denying women the right of property; even when there is formal acceptance of equality, on ground people practice patriarchy; treating men and women equally is unjust because they are situated in unequal contexts; law makes subjective experiences invisible through the deployment of objectivity.
10) Emancipation is not a state of being but a continuous struggle against cooptation and oppression.
11) What if we have reached the limits of human rights discourse in social movements? Where do we go next?
12) I am in favor of access to abortion. But I don’t think an ideal world is where we have free abortion everywhere. Rather, it’s a world where unwanted pregnancies do not happen.
13) In cases of rape, it is taken for granted that the law can determine the victim and the perpetrator and therefore by punishing the violator give the victim justice. I wonder if justice is so clearly disbursed in each case.
14) When social movements solely focus on proving that a rape happened and the violator must be punished, they leave open the possibility for another woman to get raped because they haven’t yet raised the question about what conditions produce instances of rape.
15) Power determines law. Therefore the unevenness of power is necessarily inscripted into the writing of law.
16) Liberal law takes on the power of naming group identities, and in this manner it reproduces colonial racialization.
17) I do not claim my identity because I cannot think of it so rigidly. But I invoke my identity at specific movements. Invocation implies that this identity is porous, open to dismantling when the time comes and is only conjured up provisionally to make a certain point about oppression.