The Crisis and the Rift: A Symposium on Joshua Clover’s Riot.Strike.Riot

Mark Brad­ford, Scorched Earth, 2006.

“Police patrol these streets every night of the week and we only get to riot every few years,” he said. “They can’t come here lay­ing down the law like they do all year round. Peo­ple are riot­ing because the riot is final­ly here.”

Limits to Periodization | Alberto Toscano

Can the riots real­ly express and expli­cate our his­tor­i­cal moment, serv­ing as the “holo­graph­ic minia­ture of an entire sit­u­a­tion, a world-pic­ture?” What I want to address here is the over­ar­ch­ing prin­ci­ple that gov­erns the com­po­si­tion of the book’s var­i­ous con­cep­tu­al ele­ments, and which in the final analy­sis is Clover’s name for the­o­ry: peri­odiza­tion.

Disarticulating the Mass Picket | Amanda Armstrong

Clover argues against the con­tin­ued via­bil­i­ty of indus­tri­al strike orga­niz­ing, sug­gest­ing that the time of the strike has passed, and that we now inhab­it the time of the riot. But the con­cep­tu­al and peri­odiz­ing demar­ca­tions that Clover deploys in advanc­ing these claims tend to obscure the actu­al forms of class strug­gle that broke forth dur­ing the sup­posed era of the strike – forms of strug­gle that may yet have some­thing to offer the present.

Consumption, Crime, and Communes: Making Political Meaning Out of Riots | Delio Vasquez

While Clover’s effort to his­tor­i­cal­ly sit­u­ate and draw our atten­tion to the riot as a form of anti-cap­i­tal­ist strug­gle out­side of the work­place is cer­tain­ly valu­able, his insis­tence on inter­pret­ing its polit­i­cal val­ue pri­mar­i­ly through its rela­tion­ship to the utopi­an keeps his analy­sis from account­ing for the func­tion and mean­ing that riots have for most of the peo­ple who find them­selves actu­al­ly par­tic­i­pat­ing in them, to say noth­ing of whether or not riot is real­ly best under­stood through its rela­tion­ship to con­sump­tion and cir­cu­la­tion.

Final Remarks | Joshua Clover

My wagers are these: that the riot can now be thought as a fun­da­men­tal form of class strug­gle rather than an impo­lit­i­cal spasm; that we can rec­og­nize in this the ascend­ing sig­nif­i­cance of sur­plus pop­u­la­tions with­in the dialec­ti­cal pro­duc­tion of capital’s antag­o­nists; and that the riot can be in turn seen as a sun­di­al indi­cat­ing where we are with­in the his­to­ry of cap­i­tal­ist accu­mu­la­tion.

Author of the article