Gog and Magog riot

“The monster appears to be outside the human body, as the limit of its coherence; thus he threatens travelers and errant knights with dismemberment or anthropophagy, with the complete dissolution of their selfhood. But closer examination reveals that the monster is also fully within, a foundational figure; and so the giant is depicted as the builder of cities where people live and dream, the origin of the glory of empire, the base of heroism, an interior trauma that haunts subjectivity. The giant is humanity writ large, a text literally too big to ignore.”

– Jeffrey Jerome Cohen, Of Giants: Sex, Monsters, and the Middle Ages (Medieval Cultures, 17; Minneapolis and London: University of Minnesota Press, 1999), p. xii.

“To this we should add, in [England], the ferocious and secular work of individualization by the power of the state … that classifies, compares, disciplines and separates its subjects starting from a very young age, that instinctively grinds down any solidarities that escape it until nothing remains except citizenship – a pure, phantasmic sense of belonging to the [Monarchy]. The [English]man, more than anyone else, is the embodiment of the dispossessed, the destitute. His hatred of foreigners is based on his hatred of himself as a foreigner. The mixture of jealousy and fear he feels toward the “[cities]“ expresses nothing but his resentment for all he has lost. He can’t help envying these so-called “problem” neighborhoods where there still persists a bit of communal life, a few links between beings, some solidarities not controlled by the state, an informal economy, an organization that is not yet detached from those who organize. We have arrived at a point of privation where the only way to feel [English] is to curse the immigrants and those who are more visibly foreign. In this country, the immigrants assume a curious position of sovereignty: if they weren’t here, the [English] might stop existing.”

– The Invisible Committee, The Coming Insurrection

“The violence on the streets is being dismissed as ‘pure criminality,’ as the work of a ‘violent minority’, as ‘opportunism.’ This is madly insufficient. It is no way to talk about viral civil unrest. A peaceful protest over the death of a man at police hands, in a community where locals have been given every reason to mistrust the forces of law and order, is one sort of political statement. Raiding shops for technology and trainers that cost ten times as much as the benefits you’re no longer entitled to is another.”

– Laurie Penny, “Panic on the Streets of London”, CommonDreams.org, 9 August 2011

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