The Art of Tetman Callis

Some of the stories and poems may be inappropriate for persons under 16

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Entries from November 2018

The last one standing kills itself

November 30th, 2018 · No Comments

“Fascism is designed to destroy large groups of people based on their identities and to control everyone else, with a state apparatus that legitimates and empowers ultraviolent individuals and groups who further the ends of nationalist authoritarianism. Killing is not a side effect of fascism; it is its method.” – Micheala Brangan, J.D., The Atlantic, […]

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Tags: Politics & Law

Neither high nor low

November 29th, 2018 · No Comments

“The Welfare State, which first took over for the liberal State within Empire, is the product of a massive diffusion of disciplines and regimes of subjectivation peculiar to the liberal State. It arises at the very moment when the concentration of these disciplines and these regimes—for example with the widespread practice of risk management—reaches such […]

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Tags: Economics · Politics & Law · Tiqqun

Everyone’s downwind

November 28th, 2018 · No Comments

“What an intimate brotherhood is this in which we dwell, do what we may to put an artificial remoteness between the high creature and the low one! A poor man’s breath, borne on the vehicle of tobacco-smoke, floats into a palace-window and reaches the nostrils of a monarch. It is but an example, obvious to […]

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Tags: Economics · Lit & Crit · Nathaniel Hawthorne

Party time

November 27th, 2018 · No Comments

“In taking the place, over the centuries, of all the heterogeneous mediations of traditional society, the State ended up with the opposite of its aim, and ultimately fell prey to its own impossibility. That which wanted to concentrate the monopoly of the political ended up politicizing everything; all aspects of life had become political, not […]

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Tags: Politics & Law · Tiqqun

The party has decreed

November 26th, 2018 · No Comments

“There is an official history of the State in which the State seems to be the one and only actor, in which the advances of the state monopoly on the political are so many battles chalked up against an enemy who is invisible, imaginary, and precisely without history. And then there is a counter-history, written […]

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Tags: Politics & Law · Tiqqun

Line ’em up

November 25th, 2018 · No Comments

“The sage in governing the people considers their springs of action, never tolerates their wicked desires, but seeks only for the people’s benefit. Therefore, the penalty he inflicts is not due to any hatred for the people but to his motive of loving the people. If penalty triumphs, the people are quiet; if reward over-flows, […]

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Tags: Han Fei Tzu · Politics & Law · The Ancients

And in the end

November 24th, 2018 · No Comments

“With wisdom exhausted abroad and politics disordered at home, no state can be saved from ruin.” – The Complete Works of Han Fei Tzu (trans. and ed. W. K. Liao)

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Tags: Han Fei Tzu · Politics & Law · The Ancients

Shock-haired bad boy

November 23rd, 2018 · No Comments

“Suppose there is a boy who has a bad character. His parents are angry at him, but he never makes any change. The villagers in the neighbourhood reprove him, but he is never thereby moved. His masters teach him, but he never reforms. Thus with all the three excellent disciplines, the love of his parents, […]

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Tags: Han Fei Tzu · Politics & Law · The Ancients

Philosopher kings

November 22nd, 2018 · No Comments

“In the age of remote antiquity, human beings were few while birds and beasts were many. Mankind being unable to overcome birds, beasts, insects, and serpents, there appeared a sage who made nests by putting pieces of wood together to shelter people from harm. Thereat the people were so delighted that they made him ruler […]

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Tags: Han Fei Tzu · Politics & Law · The Ancients

Faking the news

November 21st, 2018 · No Comments

“An unreal thing, if its existence is asserted by ten men, is still subject to doubt; if its existence is asserted by one hundred men, its reality becomes probable; and if its existence is asserted by one thousand men, it becomes undoubtable. Again, if spoken about by stammerers, it is susceptible to doubt; if spoken […]

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Tags: Han Fei Tzu · The Ancients

But who shall rule the ruler

November 20th, 2018 · No Comments

“What parents desire of children is safety and prosperity in livelihood and innocence in conduct. What the ruler requires of his subjects, however, is to demand their lives in case of emergency and exhaust their energy in time of peace. Now, parents, who love their children and wish them safety and prosperity, are not listened […]

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Tags: Han Fei Tzu · Politics & Law · The Ancients

Slight of many hands

November 19th, 2018 · No Comments

“Imperialism and totalitarianism mark the two ways in which the modern State tried to leap beyond its own impossibility, first by slipping forward beyond its borders into colonial expansion, then by an intensive deepening of the penetration inside its own borders. In both cases, these desperate reactions from the State—which claimed to encompass everything just […]

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Tags: Politics & Law · Tiqqun

Get in under the hood

November 18th, 2018 · No Comments

“In general, the principal way of government does not solely mean the justice of reward and punishment. Much less does it mean to reward men of no merit and punish innocent people. However, to reward men of merit, punish men of demerit, and make no mistake in so doing but affect such persons only, can […]

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Tags: Han Fei Tzu · Politics & Law · The Ancients

There are no atheists in rehab

November 17th, 2018 · No Comments

“Those over whom their desires are victorious do not find it difficult to believe in the gods. Desires are true gods so long as they rule; they are proved to be false only when the unity of despotic reason has already supplanted them. It was the invention of morals that turned Olympus into a desert. […]

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Tags: André Gide · Lit & Crit

The unwatched watcher

November 16th, 2018 · No Comments

“The State that ‘wishes to govern just enough so that it can govern the least’ must in fact know everything, and it must develop a set of practices and technologies to do it. The police and publicity are the two agencies through which the liberal State gives transparency to the fundamental opacity of the population. […]

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Tags: Politics & Law · Tiqqun

Setting elements freely against one another

November 15th, 2018 · No Comments

“The liberal State is a frugal State, which claims to exist only to ensure the free play of individual liberties, and to this end it begins by extorting interests from each body, so that it can attach them to these bodies and reign peacefully across this new abstract world.” – Tiqqun, Introduction to Civil War

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Tags: Economics · Politics & Law · Tiqqun

The comedy of pomposity

November 14th, 2018 · No Comments

“There is something so essentially grotesque about gendarmes that I cannot help laughing at them; these upholders of the law always produce the same comic effect on me, and so do attorneys for the king, magistrates, and professors of literature.” – Gustave Flaubert, “Over Strand and Field” (trans. unknown)

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Tags: Gustave Flaubert · Lit & Crit · Politics & Law

Just a tad

November 13th, 2018 · No Comments

“Man was made to enjoy each day only a small potion of food, colours, sounds, sentiments and ideas. Anything above the allotted quantity tires or intoxicates him; it becomes the idiocy of the drunkard or the ravings of the ecstatic.” – Gustave Flaubert, “Over Strand and Field” (trans. unknown)

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Tags: Economics · Gustave Flaubert · Lit & Crit

Powered up

November 12th, 2018 · No Comments

“At each moment of its existence, the police reminds the State of the violence, the banality, and the darkness of its beginnings.” – Tiqqun, Introduction to Civil War

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Tags: Politics & Law · Tiqqun

Running the tables

November 11th, 2018 · No Comments

“The police is that force that intervenes ‘wherever things are amiss,’ that is to say, wherever antagonism appears between forms-of-life—wherever there is a jump in political intensity. Using the arm of the police ostensibly to protect the ‘social fabric,’ while using another arm to destroy it, the State then offers itself as the existentially neutral […]

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Tags: Politics & Law · Tiqqun

Divided and conquered

November 10th, 2018 · No Comments

“The inability of the State’s juridico-formal offensive to reduce civil war is not a marginal detail rooted in the fact that there is always a pleb to pacify, but appears centrally in the pacification procedure itself. Organizations modeled after the State characterize as ‘formless’ that which within them derives in fact from the play of […]

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Tags: Politics & Law · Tiqqun

So don’t

November 9th, 2018 · No Comments

“If you let one demon in the front door, he will let all of his friends in the back door.” – Patrick Glenn Jeffries, “A Mother’s Earth”

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Tags: Lit & Crit · Patrick Glenn Jeffries · Verandah

Try it and see what happens

November 8th, 2018 · No Comments

“To be truly hospitable you don’t ask someone if they’re thirsty or hungry—you offer them food, you offer them drink. They will not turn down what you put in front of them if they’re hungry and thirsty.” – Patrick Glenn Jeffries, “A Mother’s Earth”

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Tags: Economics · Patrick Glenn Jeffries · Verandah

No more and no less

November 7th, 2018 · No Comments

“Always look a man in his eyes. Even when you are afraid of him. After a while you will see he is only a man.” – Patrick Glenn Jeffries, “A Mother’s Earth”

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Tags: Lit & Crit · Patrick Glenn Jeffries · Politics & Law · Verandah

And carry a big stick

November 6th, 2018 · No Comments

“Never talk tough before a fight. Losing a fight is one thing. Looking foolish and losing a fight is another.” – Patrick Glenn Jeffries, “A Mother’s Earth”

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Tags: Patrick Glenn Jeffries · Politics & Law · Verandah

Taking care of business

November 5th, 2018 · No Comments

“If in doing any kind of work people look after the harmony of the positive and negative factors; if in planting trees they follow the suitable periods of the four seasons; and if at dawn and at dusk there is no suffering from cold or heat; then revenue will be enormous. If important duties are […]

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Tags: Economics · Han Fei Tzu · Politics & Law · The Ancients

The equivalences

November 4th, 2018 · No Comments

“Punishments equivalent to crimes are never too many; punishments not equivalent to crimes are never too few.” – The Complete Works of Han Fei Tzu (trans. and ed. W. K. Liao)

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Tags: Han Fei Tzu · Politics & Law · The Ancients

An ancient dilemma

November 3rd, 2018 · No Comments

“Once there was a man of Ch`u selling shields and halberds. In praising his shields he said, ‘My shields are so solid that nothing can penetrate them.’ Again, in praising his halberds, he said, ‘My halberds are so sharp that they can penetrate anything.’ In response to his words somebody asked, ‘How about using your […]

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Tags: Han Fei Tzu · Lit & Crit · The Ancients

Hence the emoluments clause

November 2nd, 2018 · No Comments

“Kung-yi Hsiu, Premier of Lu, was fond of fish. Therefore, people in the whole country contentiously bought fish, which they presented to him. However, Kung-yi Tzŭ would not accept the presents. Against such a step his younger brother remonstrated with him and said: ‘You like fish, indeed. Why don’t you accept the present of fish?’ […]

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Tags: Han Fei Tzu · Politics & Law · The Ancients

The ruler can have no friends

November 1st, 2018 · No Comments

“Order and strength are due to the law; weakness and disorder, to its crookedness. If the ruler understands this principle, he must rectify reward and punishment but never assume humanity towards his inferiors. Rank and emolument are due to meritorious services; censure and punishment, to criminal offences.” – The Complete Works of Han Fei Tzu […]

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Tags: Han Fei Tzu · Politics & Law · The Ancients