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Insurgencies don’t have a plan – they are the plan: Political performatives and vanishing mediators in 2011

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Benjamin Arditi

Facultad de Ciencias Políticas y Sociales, UNAM MexicoNone
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Abstract

2011 turned out to be an extraordinary year. The clustering of insurgencies around time and geography gave a political ring to the seasons: commentators spoke of the Arab Spring, the European Summer and the US Fall. TIME magazine even named ‘the protester’ person of the year. Yet many faulted these revolts for their lack of plans and proposals. This criticism misses the point by confusing the disruption of the given with the task of reconfiguring it. They are not standard political practices or policy-making exercises. Insurgencies are about saying ‘enough!’, refusing to go on as before and opening up possibilities that may or may not prosper. This article argues that they are the plan in the sense that they make a difference by moving the conversation, they are political performatives – participants start to experience what they strive to become – and vanishing mediators or passageways to something other to come. These three points reappear in the final section in a discussion about the material remainder of two revolts: the Arab Spring and the student revolt in Chile.
How to Cite: Arditi, B., (2012). Insurgencies don’t have a plan – they are the plan: Political performatives and vanishing mediators in 2011. JOMEC Journal. (1), p.None. DOI: http://doi.org/10.18573/j.2012.10218
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Published on 01 Jun 2012.
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