Violence and the Imaginary: Some Reflections on and around the Occupy Movement

Bruno Gullì


Starting from the idea that we can distinguish between two main types of the imaginary – the retrograde imaginary and the imaginary of liberation, and following Michel Foucault’s distinction between dialectic and strategic logic, this essay seeks to outline a trajectory of social and political change. The retrograde imaginary belongs to the sovereign and the sovereign police. The imaginary of liberation belongs to the
radical imagination and revolutionary movements, including the Occupy movement.
The essay has a first more theoretical section, where the point is made that perhaps, in the contemporary world, especially in some areas such as the U.S., there is an ongoing reversion to obsolete forms of domination. This would be a result of the fact that the powers that be no longer have hegemony, and they consequently need to exert domination on the basis of mere and raw violence. Or perhaps old and new forms of
domination always coexist in such a way that sovereignty is present in all other forms of domination. The second part of the essay deals with some political matters that, originating in the U.S., have global importance. In particular, the essay offers an analysis of the Obama administration’s defense of the assassination program (especially the drone strikes) that is becoming a matter of great global, political and moral, concern.
The essay ends with the idea that liberation movements, such as the Occupy movement, can provide an exit from the dominant logic of violence and from the increasingly
troubling world’s situation.

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Im@go. A Journal of the Social Imaginary - Biannual - Edizioni Mimesis