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07 January, 2012

Small statement on Free Radicals and Bridge Work

Beginning with the concept of the free radical as metaphor. This is fairly obvious, we had actually thought of this, and pitched it to a group of scholars called The Uncertainties Studies Group, but a philosopher shot us down (as all metaphors have limits, and as such I was rudely dismissed). But a few years later, of course it would be, Zizek is on YouTube speaking of this fairly obvious idea of the free radical as that radical in the system that needs to be neutralized, which is the darling of food-stuff because of the anti-oxidant selling point, regardless of its validity. Free radicals; imagine the world from an airplane view. One may look down at the people. You have all seen the fast motion films of people in stream moving on the pathway (predefined) to and fro their destinations. Little packets of energy flowing this way and that way on the streets. The flow to places that are predefined, that are mapped, that are designated. It is when the packet does not go where is supposed to, when it starts to interrupt the system that we have a problem. But perhaps we need to go back and establish why we see ourselves this way. We must turn to the industrial age, and the beginning of the end of traditional or classical Feudalism.

The industrial age gave us the nuclear family. That says a it all really. We had large families that worked on farms and then capitalist needed labor, and started buying farms (the birth of agribusiness). Social programs and scarcity threat loomed and acted to control people. In the 1900s social workers would slowly get into the act, first against the state and then as it handmaiden. Moving quickly here the point is that for concrete material reasons of social relations, as paradigms shifted into a mechanical outlook akin to physics, as noted in the works of people like Foucault, we became labor-time (see Karl Marx). It is not any wonder that our logic gave birth to economics that embraced Taylorism and Fordism, this was a tactic for cheap labor, just educated and skilled enough. Trainable, but not self reliant. Could work without having to be told twice, but for information on that start with a book called Introduction to the Reading of Hegel by Kojeve. Anyway we were broken down into a nuclear family, sometimes extended as the needs of the state and its wars dictated. We needed to be particalized so we could be detached from the family and then when labor forces of capital demanded, we could be detached from one job and flow into another. Indeed this is a modern problem that job re-training is supposed to help, and a reason so many are going back to university.
Yet keeping everyone flowing on the preestablished and approved paths is not easy, it too requires force, policing. So, we have the occasional free radical, something outside the system, often rich or very poor (jobless at least, or an artist). The point is a free radical also has free time (usually). These free radicals have the potential to break free other radicals and to change the system. But what about bridge work.

Free radicals can connect, they can move around and they can connect different networks. Networks that are often on the same paths, with similar missions and functions but working in isolation, with no view of the other groups or networks. So the free radical has the potential to bridge this groups; to act as a bounding agent (but one that can move always from the two agencies, ideally, and have then adhere). Once bonded the radical become free again to act as another bridge.

There is much more to this, but this is all I am up to for on sitting. Forgive typos, we wrote it straight out, one shot like the music.

This is a working essay by Thee Uncondemning Monk, (until finished, the work is under anti-copyright 2012, 2013)