The following paper takes a Žižekian perspective, refined by Alessia Contu, as its theoretical point of departure, as it critically engages with the idea of ‘decaf’ resistance. This term signifies a resistance, which has been deprived of its potentially dangerous main-ingredient, but is still experienced as the original ‘dangerous’ resistance, where both the resister and the resisted have something at stake (Žižek, 2003, 2004, 2010b; Contu, 2008).
It is increasingly evident that organizations and different processes of organizing are not neutral, inevitable or even necessary, but inherently political. As a discipline, Organization Studies is slowly becoming aware of that organizations are not entities that exist separately from material ecosystems or outside chains of exploitation of cheap labour and raw material. Instead, organizations are intimately entangled to, dependent upon and contributing to global forces such as the destruction of eco-systems, climate change, inequality and (neo-) colonialism.
The general aim of this volume is to rethink vulnerability both at the ontological and political level and in its multifaceted relations with resistance. It features a series of essays that engage with the topic from a variety of geopolitical contexts and theoretical perspectives. This variety is also reflected in the different polemical targets that range from the patriarchical coupling of vulnerability and passivity to the neoliberal understanding of resilience and the humanitarian discourse.
How is it that ratings activity and trading operations carried out in the plush offices of banks and investment institutions have an effect on unemployed, precarious, seasonal, occasional and temporary workers? (Lazzarato, 2012: 14)
Recently there has been a discussion about the hardships of generating and maintaining the identity of ‘critical scholar’ in business schools while an alienating ‘game’ is upon us. As (particularly emerging) critical scholars argue about the difficulties of being outside of the mainstream and how the institutional mechanisms make things worse for them, they give voice in defence of the ‘critical’ work in business schools by telling personally how they confront with such challenges (Bristow, 2012; Cederström and Hoedemaekers, 2012; Prasad, 2013).
‘What can strike mean for the creative workers, and industrialists, whose punch clocks know no on and off, but only countless versions of on?’ (142). The essay Factories of knowledge, industries of creativity by Gerald Raunig deals with the Occupy movement and today’s forms of existence and production. According to Raunig, the Occupy movement is a temporary ‘reterritorialization’, as a form of resistance in a ‘deterritorialized society’ (13).
‘You mean to say, then, that you are an anarchist in exactly the same way as all those people in workers’ organizations are anarchists? You mean that there’s no difference between you and the men who throw bombs and form trade unions?’
‘Of course there’s a difference, of course there is, but it isn’t the difference that you’re imagining. Do you perhaps doubt that my social theories are different to theirs?’