Category Archives: Illegality

Op-Ed: Summit of the Americas Post-Mortem

Last week, I published an op-ed on the recent Summit of the Americas recently held in Cartagena, Colombia. By now, you’ve probably heard about it because of the media frenzy around Secret Service scandal (don’t get me started on that … Continue reading

Posted in Critique, Drugs, Illegality, Media, Violence | Comments Off on Op-Ed: Summit of the Americas Post-Mortem

The FBI Almost Seized My Emails

(Well, sort of, not really.) Yesterday, at 4:00 p.m., the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) seized a server from a colocation facility shared by Riseup Networks and May First/People Link in New York City. Cooperatively run May First, among other … Continue reading

Posted in Illegality, Insurgency/Counterinsurgency, Law, Networks, Science & Tech. | Comments Off on The FBI Almost Seized My Emails

Off-Shore Data Havens?

What’s flat, has two legs, and is capable of stirring international intrigue on the high seas? If you’re thinking “unmanned wave-powered ocean robots,” then you’re close, but (sadly) wrong. No, I’m thinking of the 120-foot by 50-foot platform seven miles … Continue reading

Posted in Illegality, Law, Nation/Nationalism, Networks, Pirates, Science & Tech., Sovereignty, Territory, The Sea, The State | 2 Comments

Robin Hood: Cultural Politics of the Law

An article at Yes! Magazine traces some pop-cultural coordinates around the always-evolving Robin Hood myth. Written by Paul Buhle, the somewhat meandering article is based on his recently published book, Robin Hood: People’s Outlaw and Forest Hero (2011, PM Press). … Continue reading

Posted in Bandits, Forests, Illegality, Law, Pirates | Comments Off on Robin Hood: Cultural Politics of the Law

Arendt, Foucault, Benjamin: On Violence, State, Law

This post discusses some scattered points raised about violence  by Hannah Arendt’s On Violence, Walter Benjamin’s “Critique of Violence,” and Michel Foucault’s Society Must be Defended. Arendt makes a worthwhile distinction between power and violence, while recognizing that the two rarely … Continue reading

Posted in Carl Schmitt, Critique, Illegality, Law, Michel Foucault, Power, Race & Ethnicity, Sovereignty, The State, Violence | 1 Comment

Meow: The Politics of Anonymous

Quinn Norton, a writer with Wired, has published a fascinating three-part series titled, “Anonymous: Beyond the Mask” (Part I, Part II, Part III). She tracks the progressive politicization of Anonymous from its diaper days chatting on 4Chan to #Occupy by … Continue reading

Posted in #Occupy, Art, Bandits, Critique, Everyday Life, Illegality, Insurgency/Counterinsurgency, Law, Networks, Pirates, Science & Tech., Spectacle | 1 Comment

Geographies of the Outlaw

The word “outlaw”—outside of the law—implicitly articulates the intimate relationship between geography and the law. From the perspective of state-makers and capitalists, the groups of outlaws I’m collectively labeling “Motley Crews” (as a shorthand) pose a grave ideological and spatial … Continue reading

Posted in Bandits, Carl Schmitt, Drugs, Elites, Forests, Frontiers, Gender, Historical-Geographies, Illegality, Insurgency/Counterinsurgency, Karl Marx, Land, Law, Michel Foucault, Networks, Pirates, Post-Colonial, Power, Primitive Accumulation, Sovereignty, Spatiality, Territory, Terror, The Body, The Sea, The State, Violence | Comments Off on Geographies of the Outlaw

Spatiality & Power

“A stupid despot may constrain his slaves with iron chains; but a true politician binds them even more strongly by the chain of their own ideas… on the soft fibers of the brain is founded the unshakable base of the … Continue reading

Posted in Antonio Gramsci, Assemblages, Carl Schmitt, Dialectics, Everyday Life, Governmentality, Hegemony, Henri Lefebvre, Illegality, Karl Marx, Law, Michel Foucault, Power, Sovereignty, Spatiality, Territory, The State, Violence | 1 Comment

Global Outlaws

Nordstrom, Carolyn. 2007. Global Outlaws: Crime, Money, and Power in the Contemporary World. Berkeley: University of California Press. Carolyn Nordstrom’s book is an ethnography about the extra-legal, as she calls them, flows and networks, which she sees as constituting a … Continue reading

Posted in Drugs, Elites, Forests, Frontiers, Illegality, Law, Networks, Power, Scale, Sovereignty, Spatiality, The Sea, The State | Comments Off on Global Outlaws

The Sicilian Mafia

Gambetta, Diego. 1996. The Sicilian Mafia: The Business of Private Protection. Cambridge: Harvard University Press. Diego Gambetta’s hugely important book conceptualizes the Sicilian mafia as not an organization but as an industry that’s in the business of producing, promoting, and … Continue reading

Posted in Agriculture, City, Drugs, Elites, Illegality, Law, Political Economy, Scale, The State, Violence | Comments Off on The Sicilian Mafia