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NAASN: Eco Environmental Anarchy and the Future
Panel Presentation from the North American Anarchist Studies Network Conference
Sethness-Castro, Javier. “For an Ecological Anarcho-Communism” (via SKYPE)
Due to Technical Difficulties the End of Javier's and the beginning of Gabriel's presentation were lost to fluctuating bandwidth from the livestream.
Below, in text, is the missing part of Gabriel's presentation.
Below that is the remainder of the panel.
Piser, Gabriel. “Frack and Friction: The Contested Futures of Development in Appalachia”
Engel-Di Mauro, Salvatore. “Anarchism and Environmental Degradation”
Moderator: John Clark
Weaving Together Ungovernable Flesh: The Activist Threat of State Legibility
Hello folks, first of all I’d like to thank the organizers, my co-panelists, and all of you for the chance to share a few thoughts. My talk is about the future of the region of the US known as Appalachia. Historically, this massive region has posed serious problems to the development of the political and economic machinery of American capitalism. Settler colonies, New Deal reformers, and many modern-day activists, seem unified in a desire for bigger tents with cleaner windows, that is to say they seem unified in thinking that opacity and exclusion are problems in need of solutions. Nearly all oppositional struggles against extraction are undermined by staunchly ignoring and devaluing the potent weapons of opacity and exclusion. By relying primarily on strategies which make the region more visible and governable, mainstream opposition makes the region more open to capitalist developmental interventions, which results in many diverse ecological and economic violences. The tendency in contemporary land struggles to foreground visibility and state interventionism is counterproductive. In its place, we must form communes or assemblages which deploy visibility and opacity strategically as they capture and redirect the flows of empire.
I start by introducing the problematic of visibility and opacity as it relates to governance and surplus capture in two historical moments. Then, in the final section, I explain why and how hydrofracking has grown so rapidly to such a high profile issue, and how the resulting shifts in the authority to manage land use run the risk of dramatically reentrenching the managerial forces of the state and capital. Unfortunately, most contemporary forms of political opposition to extraction rely solely on combatting opacity and refusing exclusion at all costs. I conclude by outlining the necessity of strategic opacity in political opposition, as the best tool to disrupt conventional forms of control.
To begin, I describe the problem of visibility and opacity as it relates to governance and surplus.