Wednesday, 14 September 2016

Nor yet good red herring: Autumn (1)

Peppered. Even supposing their internal non-contradiction, it is a mistake to proceed on the basis that the ruling ideas are the ideas of the ruling class. Not only does this misrepresent the factors of determination at the heart of the expropriating process, it also permits the inference that other ideas, those ideas which do not 'rule', must therefore belong to those who are not the ruling class. As a consequence, the political rejection of what are identified as ruling ideas becomes a primary means for representing emancipation from present conditions - a feedback is immediately triggered where 'ruling' tropes and motifs are successively identified within the projects that have ostensibly set out to oppose the ruling class. Whoever repudiates convention, is later found out (by those succeeding them) to hypocritically embody it - critique is nothing but the endless succession of a-ha! by which the presence of 'tutelage' must be disclosed within self-identified projects of 'Enlightenment.' And yet, if considered 'materially', how were these holders of subaltern ideas to sustain their thinking outside of the determinative field of their environment? From what ground would ideas emerge that are incompatible with 'the ruling material force of society?' Either individuals autonomously generate their ideas and are therefore not bound by the material constraints of the world, or they are tragically impelled to give utterance to that which is already latent - And she took on another heart—no longer minded toward earthly things—but ecstatically in the angelic dialect, sending up a hymn to God in accord with the style of the angels. And as she spoke ecstatically, she allowed “The Spirit” to be on her garment."  In practice, at the level of social reproduction, every idea that is possible within a given environment is also compatible with it. Whether it rules or not, every line of thinking emerging from a world, also belongs to it. When considering the question of its appearance, it is never a matter of what the idea is (a more or less distorted negation of environmental process; a more or less distorted imaginary statement of what is not in the world; a more or less distorted response, description, adaptation, incorporation; a more or less distorted lagging behind the material force of society), it is never a matter of what is being thought but of the range of the idea's distribution throughout social intercourse. An idea 'rules' to the extent that it is widespread rather than because it reflects or articulates the interest of an identifiable social subject - ideas are only ever mechanically successful but then every idea is, at its core, merely a mistaken presentation of the totality. For this reason, the idea of outlying ideas, where other subjects wait in history's trenches to go over the top, misses the point. You are free to think anything that is of your world. You are free to think as far, as high, as deep, as skewed, as fragmented, as deluded as your abilities allow, but you are not free to think anything that is incompatible with your conditions. The structural distinction that is created between ideas at the moment of their appearance is set quantitatively rather than qualitatively; then, the rate of appearance of a particular idea is always more significant than its content. Whatever the idea, it is the magnitude of amplification that is decisive (render unto Caesar only achieved its significance through imperial amplification). The higher the rate of circulation of a thought, where reproducibility is determinative, the more successfully it has adapted to its environment. If every potential idea  within a world is also optimisable given sufficient capital investment and market research, then revolutionary ideas (that is, ideas intentionally directed against the host environment) collapse immediately into crisis. If, considered at that level of reproductive optimality, relatively unpopular ideas are relatively more antagonistic to the processive environment, then revolutionaries seeking to grow the market for their argument are caught in a conditional bind: the successful revolutionary must adapt successfully to the repudiated environment. Grand pas: find the word for the predicament specific to a neglected journal where the writer returns after an elapse of several months, both contrite and resolute, but only betrays the contrition and crumbles beneath the resolution, by making no subsequent returns, and thereby fixes this first return as the journal's last entry.  

Sunday, 28 August 2016

Letter to an unknown car valet

My fellow in irrelevance,
Millions of them. Hairdressers, tired TV producers, insurance salesmen, personnel officers, security guards, public relations executives, management consultants, you name them. We're going to colonize another planet.             HHGTTG
We are confronted with, or should I say, we must directly experience, what it is to be expelled from the essential proletariat. We have arrived at the point in history where mechanisation has inverted the relative significances of useful and useless toil. The reserve army of labour has become a generalised condition and no longer stands in relation to a standing or regular army of workers. Then, it falls to us, we pacified livestock kept below decks in the cargo hold of the B Ark, to consider what it is that 'unemployment' means in a situation where 'employment' has become economically superfluous. Can it be, as our senses tell us, that the subjective condition resultant of 'the abolition of work' is worse than work itself? We know of course, that the proletariat is not defined purely by those in work but by all those existing in relation to the labour process. But we also know that it is only those who are in work who have the potential to effectively refuse it. This army of shadows that we belong to has no capacity to abolish the apparatus that has already crumbled away around us - and yet we remain held in place as if we were working a 12 hour shifts. We are confronted in our state of worklessness, in the superfluity of our class, not by the adventure of our existential freedom but with the anxiety of scratching out personal survival in circumstances of material abundance, and where the refusal of work has already been anticipated and implemented, taken out of our hands, before we can effect it as the fulfilment of our subjectivity. What is it, as we are herded into the warehouse of collective uselessness, that the organising apparatus wants of us? It doesn't want our labour power, and it doesn't want us to enjoy our freedom. This state of dependency realised by our exclusion from the process by which we have up until recently ensured our reproduction, now ensures that this condition of unemployed positivity is imposed as a qualitatively distinct order of affliction.

Sunday, 7 August 2016

A Summer Chill (6)

Rather, it means that even if an individual stopped and chose to lay on their back in the grass and listen to the wind in the trees, they would not cease to have their needs met.  I would say, to be picky, that at this point there is no such thing as a worker, rather, the tighter formulation would be to say that "there is no longer any connection at all between the activity of an individual and her needs".
A note on the abolition of Labour

Monday, 1 August 2016

A Summer Chill (4)

Anyone who thinks this garbage is useful is most probably a eurocentric chauvinist.
Nihilist communism is not a critique of the state any more than it is a critique of capitalism. To have  attempted any such project would have constituted an act of moral presumption, even of hubris. Individual life forms are not compatible with the refusal of the environment upon which they depend, if anything the inverse is true: environments tend to refuse, or de-select, all but the most derivative of life-forms.

Sunday, 24 July 2016

A Summer Chill (3)

The rule is, jam to-morrow and jam yesterday – but never jam to-day."

Every act of desperation calls into question the category of adequacy.  The problem of social transformation has radically shifted from the order of the prescriptive (what is to be done?) to the forensic (what has been done?) and correlates with a slippage in ideology from motifs of attack to those of defensiveness.

Thursday, 14 July 2016

A Summer Chill (2)

End times sleekness was always my weakness. 

Saturday, 2 July 2016

A Summer Chill (1)

Woody Guthrie was my last idol  
he was the last idol  
because he was the first idol
The left's search for identity also triggers its self-depletion. The ideal that it sets itself, to function as the source of its own ideas, transforms the constraint of a restricted pool of reference into a point of principle. For the left, commitment is drawn out of its refusal to recognise itself in what it opposes, a strategy that finds its perfected form in the practice of  'no platforming'. Refusal to incorporate other sources progressively debilitates its own theory: every move towards identity shrinks the ground from which it finds less arguments against taking further isolationist measures. The hygienic tendency within identity production, realised through the regressive refusal to process that which is not immediately recognisable as itself, reaches the highest point of its development in the ideology of accelerationism: where the argument for an absolute attenuation of the problematic of relations to the other is resolved in the pure identity of a community of machines. The left's aversion to non-identity has its origin in the use it makes of its library, a tendency exemplified by radical bookshops that seek to sell 'radical books', a proposition that only makes sense alongside the non-radical books which greatly outnumber them. The left's refusal to read non-leftist authors and its citation of its own authors as its authorities is later deployed as an operational procedure throughout its formations and practices. Its poverty of influence sets in motion a cloven praxis drawn from, and affirmative of, pre-existing attribution biases realised through a combination of denunciatory externalisations and the comfort readings of its holy fathers. Increasing velocity in the automated circulation of ideas has extended the leftist failure of reference into the communist milieu where knee-jerk proposals of a 'return to Marx' and the 'Capital reading group' have become the ubiquitous strategies of caution. The failure to orientate itself to references outside of its own territory seals the channels along which communists are now able to imagine human community as a structuring of relations to the other.  It is a failure which formalises the incorporation of instrumentalising logic as an emancipatory process and induces communism to seek  perpetual reduction in the amplitude of its project towards the question of sheer momentum. Of the most significant communist theoreticians in the Twentieth Century, Debord and Benjamin did not confine themselves to marxist texts, and Camatte had to first escape Marxist constraints to develop his most telling formulations. It is probable that neither Debord nor Benjamin read very far into Marx's critique of political economy, which must explain the heterodoxy of their subsequent ideas. Both compensated for the absence of a thorough grasp of Marxian categories through the processing of materials from reactionary sources: Debord read Hegel (or at least Kojève), Clauswitz, Machiavelli, Gracian; Benjamin's influences were broadly neo-kantian, Freud, Scholem, Schmitt, Strauss. Orthodoxy, or the voluntary identification with restraint on influence, is the cause of much stupidity amongst intelligent men and breaking from orthodoxy, no matter the level of sophistication, is sufficient to spark a resurgence in perception. To its own detriment, the left's constrictive reading strategy consciously separates its project from that of the reactionary's (although less so with neo-reactionaries who tend to reproduce the left's techniques of identity). It is also a policy that lays down the left path towards the fascistic. Where the left demonstrates commitment to its project through affirmative readings of its own sources, the reactionary reads omnivorously and expropriates those fragments useful to his purpose. Where the left refuses to engage enemy texts beyond anathematising them, and is routinely suspicious of any non-committed or 'neutral' author, the reactionary demonstrates his mastery by seeking always to extend his field of reference. Where the reactionary derives authority from the presentation of multiple descriptive approaches within the domain that he defends, the leftist is over-adapted to the depleted environment of commitment and consequently suffers a vitamin deficiency of discourse. The craven subservience before its own textual authorities, and the orthodoxy in the thinking that emerges from it, is strangely confronted by its own advocacies of revolt, liberation, autonomy, escape. Again, in contrast, the reactionary's broad tolerance, and appreciation, of heterogeneous literatures is the technique of his authority. Communists, properly understood as not belonging to the left/right continuum, should at least incorporate the forms of reactionary understanding if they are to grasp the proclivities of human consciousness. After all, the dynamic of communist critique, where it is understood as the active disintegration of the human community from its dependency upon autonomic processes, is driven by the non-identity of its consciousness with its texts - this is also the basic of any literate human organisation (cf. 'The map is not the territory'). The core ahistorical principle in realising sociability, a kernel of human existence to which communists cannot but refer, is not primary repression but reproductive permission. The historical counter-injunction, theory must not be realised in practice, is a lesson that has been long in the learning and is still refused at a fundamental level even amongst those in revolt against the implications where it is not followed. Thus, the concept of permission has rarely gained much ground amongst radicals where it is represented as mere laxity before the bourgeois concept of 'free speech.' Typically, radical groups feel an instinctual antipathy towards strategies of permission and instead reproduce the basic cult mechanisms of repressive desublimation and repressive consciousness as favoured paths of least resistance to group cohesion and the production of a recognisable brand. However, permission is a distinct process within all power relations by which contradictory and divergent tendencies generated within a community are allowed to develop without escalating tensions, separations and disjunctions to the point of violent confrontation and schism. The role of 'The Prince', if a title is to be assigned to the permissive subject, expands the capacity of social relations by refusing direct confrontation with hostile forces within the community so as to facilitate their development to their most radical point without also reaching critical mass, and before becoming dangerous. Proliferative growth contained within second order formations realises rather than inhibits the community's operational principles. The Prince defends the generality by permitting self separation within sub-sets. The momentum of burgeoning hostility is contained communally via the directing subject's capacity to tolerate the transgressions and infringements against itself - the subject, as a resilient entity emerging from established power relations, increases by its metabolisation of the insults directed against it. The goal of the permissive process is not conciliation so much as the common hosting of radical divergences. The subject's granting of permission to that which is not itself expands the length and breadth of the community's life-world. The permissive community facilitates segmentation, secession and movements of self-separation along lines of identitarian enthusiasms without also permitting these foundational concepts to metastasise and become generalised. Instead, it recognises their divergences as compatible with its general relations and as epiphenomenal self-managing, autonomous communities: the tribal form is always drawn directly from, not in spite of, the tensions between the multiple rivalries materialised as villages. The left's refusal of the Mir form, in favour of the abstract rationality of the enlightened state,  no doubt explains the political containment of permissive strategies to the level of good parenting, aikido and bullfighting. Debord, as the last revolutionary to understand this, was also the last revolutionary to read reactionary theory.