Bruno Latour writes
Strenght does not come from concentration, purity and unity, but
from dissemination, heterogeneity and the careful plaiting of weak ties.
This feeling that resistance, obduracy and sturdiness is more easily
achieved through netting, lacing, weaving, twisting, of ties that are weak
by themselves, and that each tie, no matter how strong, is itself woven out
of still weaker threads, permeates for instance Foucault's analysis of
micro-powers as well as recent sociology of technology. But the less
intuitive philosophical basis for accepting an ANT is a
background/foreground reversal: instead of starting from universal laws
-social or natural- and to take local contingencies as so many queer
particularities that should be either eliminated or protected, it starts
from irreducible, incommensurable, unconnected localities, which then, at a
great price, sometimes end into provisionnaly commensurable connections.
This is a reminder to me that 'power' is not something to curl up and die in the face of...its made of little things. Its not nebulous, its not plaited ropes of sand.
I am reminded, again, of my background in critical social theory, and how to reconcile this with the descriptive form of actor- network theory. Here I have it. Power is plaited.
The man who writes to the masters of Pig Island
about the love they dread
plaits ropes of sand
but i was born among them
and someday will lie amngst their dead
James K Baxter (New Zealand poet)