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From between the Eithers and the Ors. The Form. The oppressor can’t know the oppressed by the gaze, or however, which homogenizes. The oppressed can know the oppressor, because she heterogenizes ; she becomes aware of both the one and the other.

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From between the

Eithers and the Ors

The oppressor can’t know the oppressed by the gaze, or however, which homogenizes.
  • The oppressed can know the oppressor, because she heterogenizes; she becomes aware of both the one and the other.
  • The subaltern can speak. Can the superaltern listen?



The form made


The Both and the

And, and the Neither

and the Nor


The Yin-Yang form entails complementation: the form is virtually both Yin and Yang, locally, and it is neither Yin nor Yang, globally


Its complementation as both the one and the other and neither the one nor the other is a matter of becoming, or of processing rather than product. To get a sense of this becoming, consider…


Complementing, as

  • Speaker/Listener: Speaking-Listening
  • Signifier/Signified: Signifying
  • Oppressor/Oppressed: Oppressing
  • Gazer/Gazed: Gazing
  • Superaltern/Subaltern: Altering
  • Dancer/Danced: Dancing
  • Trumpeter/Trumpeted: Trumpeting
  • Dialogeur/Dialogeur: Dialoguing
  • Consenseur/Consenseur: Consensing
  • Positive/Negative: Complementing
Think of the innumerable alternate possibilities in Jorge Luis Borges’s ‘The Garden…’, and other stories
  • Think of Italo Calvino’s ‘membrane’ that separates what is from what is not in T-Zero
  • Think of Lispector’s ‘IT’ in The Stream of Life

It is becoming a matter of a fusion of truths and what they are not, to create the equivalent of portmaneau terms

Truth/Lie  ‘Trie-Luth’
    • Of the nature of Nelson Goodman’s ‘Grue emeralds’ in his ‘New Riddle of Induction’
    • The Devil is in the details, of rendering truth as half-truthing, rendering green as ‘grue’, or of transforming the earth the center of the universe to the Sun as center of the Universe

But what if there’s no Devil?

    • ‘I’m a writer who feels challenged by the enigma and the lies’ (Uruguayan writer Eduardo Galeano)
    • The universal system of the lie practices amnesia. The North behaves as if it had won the lottery. Its wealth, however, is not the result of good fortune, but of a long, very long historical process of usurpation, which goes back to colonial times and has been greatly intensified by today’s modern and sophisticated techniques of pillage’ (Galeano)
    • It is as if the oppressor (superaltern) were to say ‘I am lying’, but amnesia erases awareness of the statement
There is no Devil. He was a lie, invented in order to perpetuate the forgotten lie called the ‘conquest of America’. There is no Devil:
    • Among indigenous cultures
    • In indigenous drama in the Andes, where conquerors and priests move their mouths but no words come out
    • In rituals throughout Latin America and especially among African slaves: the conquerors and slave owners are the Devil
‘When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. And when I ask why they have no food, they call me a communist [the Devil?]’
      • Bishop HelderCámara
There is no Devil. He was a lie, invented in order to perpetuate the forgotten lie:
    • Capoeira among Afro-descendents
    • Candomblé, that Afro-Brazilian hybrid religion
    • The lie is truth ‘upside down’ (Galeano)
The Devil is nonetheless necessary: he is the opposing force, author of the lie, opposite to the truth, the good
Another complementarity: Leader/Led: Leading
    • ‘Speaking and listening is how true men and women learn to walk. It is the word that gives form to that walk that goes on inside us. It is the word that is the bridge to cross to the other side. Silence is what Power offers our pain in order to make us small. When we are silenced, we remain very much alone. Speaking, we heal the pain. Speaking, we accompany one another. Power uses the word to impose his empire of silence. We use the word to renew ourselves. Power uses silence to hide his crimes. We use silence to listen to one another, to touch one another, to know one another’
      • Subcomandante Marcos
Reason/Irreason: Styles of Reasoning
    • Nothing is categorically either good or bad, true or false, but contextualized thinking and talking can make it so

Writing/Written: Communicating

  • ‘I know I can be accused of sacrilege in writing about political economy in the style of a novel…. But I confess I get a pain from reading valuable works [by academes] who write in code. Hermetic language isn’t the invariable and inevitable price of profundity…. [I]t can simply conceal incapacity for communication raised to the category of intellectual virtue’
    • Eduardo Galeano

Is Manichean thinking inevitable?

  • The nobodies; nobody’s children, owners of nothing. The nobodies: the no ones, the nobodied, running like rabbits, dying through life, screwed every which way.
  • Who are not, but could be.
  • Who don’t speak languages, but dialects.
  • Who don’t have religions, but superstitions.
  • Who don’t create art, but handicrafts.
    • Eduardo Galeano
Who don’t have culture, but folklore.
  • Who are not human beings, but human resources.
  • Who do not have faces, but arms.
  • Who do not have names, but numbers.
  • Who do not appear in the history of the world, but in the police blotter of the local paper.
  • The nobodies, who are not worth the bullet that kills them’.
    • Eduardo Galeano

Where’s the truth

in this? Where’s

the reason? Truth

is a portmanteau

word: Trie-Luth. It

is both the one and

the other and it is

neither the one nor

the other