Eugene over at Critical Theory:
While other philosophers deconstruct the metaphysical tradition and replace it with their own project, Ranciere’s philosophy can be summed up by “meh, people will figure it out.” And thus we present: the thought of Jacques Ranciere.
#1 “Fuck the Police” is Pretty Much his Definition of Politics
In his “Ten Theses on Politics”, Ranciere makes a simple claim. There are two kinds of politics in the status quo, fake poser bullshit masquerading as politics and the real thing. Ranciere calls the poser politics the “politics of the police”. Ranciere calls “real” politics “dissensus.”
What the Fuck is Dissensus?
Dissensus is the process by which actors disrupt the politics of the police.
You see, the police are all about telling you what to do and where to do it. Remember that time that cop got all up in your grill for skateboarding in front of 7-11? Or, if you’re a person of color, remember that time a cop arrested you and planted drugs on you for skateboarding in front of 7-11? That’s the police order; the partitions that the police put in place for what can be seen, said and done, and where they can be done. When that cop drove away and you kept skateboarding, you totally disrupted the police partitioning of that space (sort of).
The police says that there is nothing to see on a road, that there is nothing to do but move along. It asserts that the space of circulating is nothing other than the space of circulation. Politics, in contrast, consists in transforming this space of ‘moving-along’ into a space for the appearance of a subject: i.e., the people, the workers, the citizens: It consists in refiguring the space, of what there is to do there, what is to be seen or named therein. It is the established litigation of the perceptible. – Ten Theses on Politics
We can see how these police partitions work in the events of Occupy Wall Street.
You see, some bankers made this park on stolen native land for them to eat lunch in while they rested from robbing the world of millions of dollars with complicated derivatives and other bullshit nobody understands. When some hipsters decided they wanted to camp out on Wall Street, the police were like “GTFO bro”.