The Enemy is a triannual online journal that invites writers, artists, thinkers, and activists to present essays and projects outside the mainstreams of their own practices and disciplines. More of an exquisite corpse than an issue-based publication, The Enemy hopes to juxtapose established scholars with new voices, and to include known figures alongside students, intellectuals, and polemicists of all stripes. The goal is for our readers to encounter positions that run countercurrent to popular discourse, and for each contributor to operate outside of her or his expected modes of expression. The project is an experiment in framing thought beyond familiar journalistic, artistic, and academic marketplaces—and although this may not be possible, The Enemy is, and will seek to remain, free and untethered by commercial support or institutional expectations.
An enemy is a fluid entity, unfixed and ever-changing. It is something or someone that harms or threatens something or someone else; an adversary, a hostile force, a tenacious opponent. The very notion of an enemy suggests a position, a cause, and a binary of natural or cultural differences in force or belief. Depending on one’s subjective position, an enemy could be that of the state, of ignorance, or of hypocrisy; conversely, the enemy could be logic, rationalism, or science. In this journal, the concept of the enemy serves as an antipode to the trivializing accumulation of friends, followers, and likes.
The Enemy is a conscious incongruity—an online journal that, by necessity, shares a platform with what its contents will most often criticize: a culture’s increasing brevity of argument, social media that breed acquiescence over action, and hegemonic monitoring of tastes and transactions. Nevertheless, we attempt to begin a dialog through the presentation of positions both seemingly commonplace and aggressively countercultural, and we hope that as a noncommercial project, independent of either academy or sponsor, and absent any social media tools, we can offer a spectrum of voices and views beyond the mainstream and the market-stream.
And the Guillotine
As a symbol of force within the structures of power, and as a mechanism of law’s illogic and brutal enforcement, the guillotine seems a fitting identifier for The Enemy. The guillotine is the spectacle at the terminus of cultural dissent and a metaphor made real in relation to societal divisions both physical or ideological. Ultimately, however, the inspiration for this image comes from Kafka, who wrote, “A belief is like a guillotine, just as heavy, just as light.”