Biography


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Member of the Executive Committee of The BRussells Tribunal, initiator and coordinator of the International Initiative to Prosecute US Genocide in Iraq, co-founder of the Centre for Global Geostrategic Analysis, I have taught politics in universities in the US, UK, Egypt and Palestine. I have been based in the Arab world since August 2001, witnessing firsthand many of the formative events of a decade of global politics.

I started studying government at 18, first confronting what to me until now is the master problem of the modern era: the State. I studied international political economy for my masters, embarking then on the study of globalization in relation to power and the State, extending this into a genealogy of globalism that centred on the evolution of diverse systems of governmentality (the techniques and the rationalities concerned with the government of men and things) ending in the “dromocratic” age of telepresence and decentralised systems of control. A critic of technology and power in the West, it was at this time that I arrived to the Arab world and became immersed in Arab politics, from Palestine to Iraq.

I have spent time in the camps, taught under occupation in Palestine, and initiated the only legal effort to date to hold the United States and United Kingdom accountable for the specific and general crime of genocide in Iraq, 1990 to the present. I have been a witness to the Arab Spring and I continue to regard the question of the State as the most fundamental to all politics. Most of my political positions revolve around the intolerable suffering that power and order, by their nature, create. I live amid a world of private property but feel instinctively that no one owns anything but their bodies. Some would say this makes me a Marxist. Where Marx was wrong was in understanding the nature of the modern era as centred on economic profit, whereas I see it as centred on political profit, a function of the ordering and deployment of human bodies, and the emergence of ever stronger, ever more intangible systems of power.

I am sceptical of the notion that in general tendency human beings are becoming more free; I rather want to chart the deeper, less homogeneous inscription of fundamental codes of order into human life and the life of things and our relation to the unknown. I’m not against enlightenment, but I’m not naive about it either.

These questions have made up the majority of my waking existence since I can remember. For me, politics is a fundamental right, insofar as we exist amid disparate and multiple lines of force that bear down on our conduct, whether by prohibition or permission.

I believe in the friendship and its ethics that should spring from the mutual search for truth. I am a father of two and in solidarity with all.

I sometimes write on passing reflections at severaldirections.org.

We negate and we must negate because something in us wants to live and affirm — Friedrich Nietzsche