Wednesday, 11 January 2017

Blackbird Braille: Winter (2)

Whoever recognises a threshold will not cross it. Leopardi records, as a trait of contemporary decomposition, that the viewer's interest in an artwork increases in line with the level of their attachment to the depicted object, and for this reason the typical remoteness of the objects in Romantic art necessarily repulse the 'interested' gaze. In identifying the advance of remote and alien objects through Romantic sensibility into everyday discourse, an event driven by the emergent need for 'connection' with an ever receding world, Leopardi also located an instance of abstract power's transformation of distinct cultural artefacts into representational structures.  He could not have known that the abstract would further integrate with perception and become the general condition for all familiarity. From a situation now wholly determined by intimacy with remote objects, consider for example the measures necessary to establish tolerance for synthetic fabrics against skin, we are destined to encounter the outer limit of Leopardi's foresight banally replicated everywhere. The commentator's source material is always extracted from the constellation of things just now falling into disrepair and never from those objects on the point of consolidation - the state of what decays is the necessary condition, and only evidence, for what emerges. Absence of foreknowledge is concretised within every cultural product, and is the particular shared content amongst a cluster of 1990's 'techno-thrillers' (Hackers, Enemy of the State and The Net) which half-presented nascent forms which still could not then be named  - mankind always sets itself only those problems that it cannot solve. Such thrillers, at a loss before the significance of their own content, were constrained to recirculate motifs from 70's paranoiac cinema and thus neglected to index the category of abstracted intimacy with objects, both imminent and occluded, like the faecal contamination of handsets, or bad contents such as Instagram's (already obsolete) puppy filter

Thursday, 1 December 2016

Blackbird Braille: Winter (1)

Slogans to be painted upon your tanks and embroidered into your banners:

One constraint upon formulating a political position is that it must remain deluded about its true relation to power. ‬

‪The nonsense of every political tendency's general form is a necessary, if false, opening to the fragments of knowledge it is thereby allowed to collect.‬

‪Some useful discrete concepts and insights have been made available by NRx which are dependent upon the intrinsic absurdity of its general position.‬

‪It is tedious to forage through general principles for palatable scraps. ‬

‪The question of political involvement is entirely situated in the ratio between energies expended and energies acquired.‬

‪Every political tendency's set of general principles is a preliminary narrative that must be endured before the opening of the casket of holy relics. ‬

‪We must endure the setting of the scene before the protagonist's appearance. ‬

‪You must apply a tourniquet to raise the vein. ‬

‪In a circumstance where letting go of the contents of the discard pile is decisive, political consciousness still prefers the slag heap to the mine. ‬

‪It is possible that neo-reaction's main problem is that it is still not reactionary enough.‬

We already knew that a kicked dog behaves differently to a kicked stone. But we are only just learning that the more often a dog is kicked, the more it behaves inanimately. 

‪We already knew about  the recuperative coding buried within leftist ideology without resorting to unpleasantness.‬

‪We had arrived at critiques of categories of left-identitarianism decades before NRx, and by a less arduous path.‬

‪We already know about the light averse quality in left discourse, its ploys for controlling interlocutors from beneath Enlightenment principles. ‬

‪Even so, the therapeutic return of what is derided by marxists as the neo-kantian has been a blessed comfort to us. ‬

‪Left and right iterations of the state-form utilise crypto-manipulative plays hidden within issue-based discourse.‬

‪It is the modus operandi of repressive discourse to refuse to acknowledge the real content of its accusations.‬

Ressentiment is the general term for the mode of power emerging from the internalisation of defeat.‬

‪But ressentiment as a concept does not articulate the organisational process of buried force (e.g. as exercised in the system of 'down on you' in Billy Budd).‬

‪There are unnamed repressive forms of power which operate nowhere but in the discourses of liberation.‬

‪Politics is the art of not naming determining factors. Or rather, it is the art of not even wishing to name them.  ‬

‪Always back to Fortuna. ‬

‪The principle error in general principles (left or right), is belief in self-positioning. 

In practice we are thrown, we do not throw.‬ We are occupied, we do not occupy. We are positioned, we do not position.

‪Both the NRx and the ULx imagine their identification with decompositional tendencies grants them some sort of historical privilege.‬

‪In truth, no political tendency dictates terms to process. Nobody decides on the manner of their own recuperation. ‬

‪No lesser power may capture a greater power. ‬

‪The state always expropriates, it is never expropriated. ‬

Tuesday, 29 November 2016

Nor yet good red herring: Autumn (5.3)

Reservationism: An unintended consequence of the project of radical subjectivity where distinct fragments of soul, previously incorporated into the identitarian form of the committed self, break  free under the weight of accumulated contradiction. Like the Graffito of Esmet-Akhom, the reservationist fragment expresses the decomposition of its parent form at the point of dispersal. Reservation is the counting of costs incurred by the self's committing to inappropriate or premature projects. The object committed to, around which the unity of the radical subject coheres, is always in error - its only function, drawing the subject down into the labyrinth of false moves. The post-ultraleft version of communism is nothing but the accumulation of such labyrinthine diversions where the milieu is induced through its commitment to its object to insert its representations into that space vacated by the workers' movement. Commitment is itself the main proof for the object's polarisation of error. Nothing true requires subjective commitment or belief to survive. Occasionally, that which is committed to proves itself the good error, but more commonly the object is a travesty of its idealisation. The internal conflict around what cause is motivating what action is the determining factor of self-activity which always appears as an epiphenomenon of its moment just as its reservations appear as if at a further remove. Alternatively, the source of reservation may be discovered as being situated at a more fundamental level. The talking cricket eternally submits its minority report from a position seemingly separated from the decisive action which itself is only undertaken on the basis of internalised exigency and hasty rationalisation. Reservation is expressed privately by the self as knowledge that the practice it has involved itself in is either morally wrong or inoperable. And yet, it is the privacy of the expressed reservation, the admittance that there can be no involvement of reservation with political self-activity, which indicates the sense of incommensurability and inextricability - the fateful intuition that there is no politics but realpolitikIf the tension between what justifies the measures taken and what condemns them is the true extent of subjectivity, the subject's defining characteristic in revolt is its desire to sever all connections with its own reservations and thereby free itself to act, in truncated form, autonomously. The goal of revolutionary self-activity is the mobilisation of the individual's divergent cares within a unified form - all of the self is wholly committed or it is not committed at all. The radical subject recruits itself to the cause of generalising the conditions for its own reproduction. It takes its intuitive praxis as the model for the revolutionising of its conditions.  It finds its identity affirmed in its struggle with external conditions. As a seeming product of autonomous self-activity, the radical subject complies with its own directive to suppress its own incoherence. In a mobilised state, traitor fragments of the self (whatever is incompatible with the identity of self-activity) are projected as characteristics of enemies and competitors. The good revolutionary is merciless to his other self, to the Strelnikov-like overdetermination of his actions. The good revolutionary scorns whoever is not a member of the party - those who remain, despite a sufficiency of incitement, reserved. It is probable that the pocket of reservation, where resides the recognition of lies, losses and cosmic irrelevance of mobilisation, was never actually mobilised, no totalisation ever completes itself. It is probable that the unsubsumed reservation of character, the better part of human nature, is simply filtered out within imperative-saturated contexts, silenced, forgotten, misdirected, only to reemerge in a state of subtle contradiction when revolutionary events are absorbed into the apparatus of world production. The mobilised self exists in a state of immediate relation with its environmental triggers, whilst the mode of reservation draws in exterior and non-present materials from what has already passed. Even if it were to be achieved, the idealist category of praxis would still remain a momentary and passing state. It recedes only to be recalled later and invoked as a measure of that which may not appear again - the revolutionaries are not now what the revolutionaries were then. The production of ideal unities through efforts towards willed self-coherence also produces the conditions for its own fragmentation. The work of committed unity, itself a hollow and compensatory product of separation, disperses into the world yet further shell-like fragments - the brave faced defence of insupportable propositions. In spite of itself, commitment leaks - hypocrisy may only appear where morality has first set the scene. There is always a something else not articulated by the subject's discourse, something of itself which its work of externalisation is structured to deny. Labour camps, prisons, curfews, expulsions, executions - these are the subject's apparatuses of liberation. Where all is in the process of realisation, something has remained unrealisable. The identitarian subject suppresses its own incompatibilities with its project and internalises the ideal image of unity in its self as labour process. The product of the radical subject, of self-activity, cannot and will not belong to it - there is no subject but the representation of the subject and its revolt a mere unwitting caricature of non-compliance. The non-unity, the bad faith, the fragmentation of the identitarian product results precisely from the project of conceiving unity, authenticity, completion within the subject formation's works. Just as the committed self fragments into pathological traits each vying to identify itself with the totality, so the group form born out of common purpose creates unprecedented and unanticipated schisms, heresies, factions, vendettas. Just as the individual expresses reservation in private upon what is committed to public, so entire communities exist in a state of reservation to the political domain. The incompatible, if not opposed, political trajectories of the identitarian self and its consequent reservations are expressed through equally incompatible, if not opposed, forms of violence. The conventional and expansionist form of political violence is directed towards realising the identity of the universal with the particular, its objective is to mobilise the entire territory and thus produce a conformity of objects to the law.  The violence of reservation does not register as violence at all and is only identified negatively from the decomposing outline of once mobilised forces, now isolated and abandoned at the point of committed subject's furthest reach. Neither is the reservation an accusation, although it may be deployed as such by later subject forms, it is rather the overriding preference not to become involved in those actions undertaken 'against the better part of our natures.' .
Reservationism is a trivial neologism but difficulty with the 'we' form of political enthusiasm has its own history: 'But what does this ‘subjectivist approach’ refer to? In short, it seems to suppose an authentic involvement with the limits of the umwelt and a recognition of categorical hierarchies in relations of force. The subject formation may only gain knowledge of the world on terms set by the world and then  reflect upon these as the constraint of its appearance in the world. It may come to know on its own terms and to a greater extent what it is and what it can achieve but that is something very difficult. Its may also, but this too is a very great thing, come to recognise through its own activity, that the fundamental condition for the appearance of the subject in the world is that it may never function as the condition for the appearance of the world.'

Sunday, 20 November 2016

Nor yet good red herring: Autumn (5.2)

Eventism 1: The dissociative experience of conjuring up 'spectaculars' and then monitoring the TV for news of the extent of your disruption of 'business as usual.' Perceiving, 'through sabbath eyes', your magus-self as if from a distance, as you break upon the rippling depths of the external world. Eventism is your inundation of the inundation - news of you in the news. You are the wave that rushes against the tide. The eventist in you is consumed by the image of uncloaking yourself as the antagonist of the image of normalcy.You are willingly transformed into the instrument of deep forces that would otherwise remain latent beneath the weight of unemployed contradictions. You stand beside 'the fiery pool reflecting you in the asphalt'. You occupy the juncture where the advertising slick of revolutionary advertising converges with the imperative substance of its che-product. The eventist internalises as trigger and motivation the image of an avenging agency bent on fracturing images. It is a convention of radical analysis that the anti-globalisation events at the beginning of the millennium lost their impetuous as a result of the WTC massacre of 2001. The eventism of anti-capitalists was eclipsed by the eventism of religious terrorists. But the counterfactual trajectory and development of the anticapitalist milieu is of less interest than the wide dispersal of the eventist modus operandi. It is now decades since the PIRA's only noteworthy statement: 'Today we were unlucky, but remember, we only have to be lucky once; you will have to be lucky always.' From the position of the pathologised subject-formation, the image of asymmetricality is settled by an event-like blow. But the agency of any imagined strike-back must first sever itself from the relational environment of which it is both product and producer. The eventist strikes outwards but the impetuous and direction of the blow is always already inside. He contributes, unpaid, the terms of new contradictions to existing conditions and thereby expands the terrain of social reproduction. The breaking off, separating out, and autonomy of subject formations is the mechanism by which abstract relations are realised within communities that subsume themselves into markets for innovatory, compensatory, and affirmational products. Spectacularised negativity replicates the commodity version of festival economics which itself functioned as a regulatory mechanism within cyclical social systems by burning off the historical complexity of relations and returning them back to a point zero . Surplus social product in the form of private wealth as expropriated by 'overmighty subjects' is destined always to create instability within centralised state-form relations. The state must respond ideologically to the autonomy of its bastards wherever it does not have the military or legal capacity to expropriate them. It seeks to induce obligations within its oligarchs and lords into cultural mechanisms of expenditure. The lavish courts of kings are but a trumpian swamp into which the aristocracy are invited to dump their riches. The regulatory function of the neo-medieval court is replicated in state sanctioned popular festivals which absorb free time and loose energy into the production of a ritualised disorder that returns the world to its starting point. Commodity rituals are templated onto the psychological mechanism of individualised consumption and thereby enclose it: working; coveting; fantasising; saving; buying; delighting; using; cherishing; neglecting; abandoning. Festival economics follow a similar rise and fall trajectory by employing surplus labour time within a cyclical calendar: the long build up to the festival binds discontent, tensions, work, popular gatherings, common purpose, anticipation, excitement, skepticism and channels it to the petite mort of a singularised moment of expenditure; the event itself is short and rapidly passes through its stages, explosive, spectacular, transgressive, memorable, traumatising, exhausting; the event's medium length tail is characterised by melancholy, disenchantment, loss, withdrawal, hangover and the soon-to-be forgotten resolution not to get caught up in it all again. The wide tendency of social phenomena to reproduce themselves as 'festivals' and manufacture neo-seasonality by introjecting their own advertising campaigns has systemic significance. The function and purpose of festivalisation is the discharge of that energy which a commodity happens to have captured into mystifying the slow centralising grind of state monopoly capitalism. Football tournaments, pop music festivals, Christmas, democratic elections, telethons, protest movements, terrorist campaigns all utilise the same hoarding/voiding process of the enthusiasm life-cycle.

Eventism 2: The subject's increased metabolic output triggered in response to the violent intimacy of remote events. The work of the real is taken up by individuals, as in trophallaxis, as they absorb into, and dissipate through, their networks, the impacts and shocks of external events. The work of ideological metabolisation involves the channelling of exceptional impacts, directing flows of energy, from the ramparts of the security state towards the self-mobilisation of individuals. Every individual becomes his own crumple zone. Public opinion chews on prefabricated slabs of ideology, not to simply adhere or sign up or conform to the state's official line, but to autonomously finish the manufacture of all possible responses, adding value to what may be said, and thus facilitating the complex containment of every possible idea within the processive environment. Thus, the variants of 'Je Suis Charlie', 'Not in my name' and similar parcels of signification are circulated and worked upon at a vast scale (at its height, the Charlie hashtag was circulating at 6,000 tweets a minute) only to become the finished work of de-fanged ideology. The hooked up democratic masses are the state's lymphatic system of affect and are qualitatively distinct from totalitarian displays of emotional transportation before the Great Leader. Their homeostatic digestion of events, as they are autonomously processed through social media, whilst adding facets of response and reaction, is employed systemically as a means of lessening the blow of traumas and maintaining the upper and lower viability thresholds for the host environment. The masses of social media users function for the state as a Greek chorus, accumulating the necessary quantity of that very chattering, digesting, and regulating of tragedy and crisis (so many checks, tweets, updates, likes), that processing of shock's absorption, which in each of its instances otherwise seems so futile and meaningless. At the individual level, 'who cares what your opinion is on the new president?' becomes at the totalising level the decompositional process integral to sustaining the environment in steady state. Eventism is the work, the metabolisation, the autopoiesis, the thought, of the outline.

Note: the concept of eventism has a wider currency but for us it has been formational rather than inhibitive. One example of its use: 'Like the knapper, they strike flint from flint; they derive affirmations, and not genuine inferences, from social events. It is their assertion that a particular set of struggles, a set of perhaps related, perhaps unrelated events, or both related and unrelated, which Endnotes themselves have collected together (erasing the marks of the process of skewed selection), are indicative of a particular alteration in a general set of social relations. This is a fundamentally false method, as the named events are not set against a background, or control group, of all that did not occur, that is against all that has not fallen into line with Endnotes initial hypothesis.'

Wednesday, 16 November 2016

Nor yet good red herring: Autumn (5.1)

Solutionism: The fly-maddened urge to express as expostulation the self-evident and once-and-for all settling of an otherwise intractable 'issue of the day'. Solutionism expresses conditions where affliction and cure, appearing in dyadic form, function simultaneously as each other's competitor and co-dependent. The solution's struggle with its designated problem is structured ambivalently upon the persistence of the antagonist as sole income source. In the perfected form of the quagmire, solutionist remedies must appear within the register of kneejerk responses, cutting to the heart of the matter, wherein naturalised state-form capacity for executive action is set gladiatorially against representations of lesser but noisy environmental irritants (banished Erinyes-like products flitting about the abandoned junk left by previous state-form interventions). The solution proceeds from its assumption of an identity between symptom and cause, wherein crime is demonstratively caused by criminals, and then advances rapidly towards abrupt interventions: proscribing, denying, blocking, disrupting, severing, bombing, banning, demolishing, expelling, suppressing, preventing, unpicking, draining, clearing, sterilising, cleansing, separating, concentrating, enclosing, imprisoning. The origin of the solutionist compulsion is state-specific and authentically ideological but is sufficiently homologous to the calling down of divine retribution for its magical dimension to be considered as something of a recapitulation. Solutionist gambits are framed punitively, every solution non-identical to itself but mapping exactly onto the outline of its problem - the solution within solutionism is not identical with itself as a solution but uncloaks itself as a punishment, a smiting, of difficulty. As Horace might have observed, under conditions where the deus ex machina is never not invoked, the proliferation of miraculous exits only serves to develop a final, and strictly comic, stage of containment. Solutionism in practice deploys pre-strategic interventions, formally driven declarations of unconditioned principle bellowed into the void for want of anything else to announce, and seeming, all too implausibly, to 'meet the issue head-on' - a president of the USA is elected wholly on the basis of promising to build an impossible wall. Orchestrated to appear as the only option on the table, the solutionist solution is less a response to an identified difficulty than to the appearance of the difficulty within the public domain. Where facts tell and stories sell, every political intervention is designed as a mic drop, the means for making a quick exit at the moment of creating a stir. The pornographic desire for politics to function as the domain of  implausible lies renders every official and manager as inadequate to the role of mountebank. Discourse fails if it is attributable to those already employed as 'insiders'. Only mavericks of the para-establishment, as if coming in from the cold, may now get away with the outrageous bluffs that the spectacle requires for the task of papering across the abyss. Only the untrustworthy shall be judged trustworthy, only the incompetent are judged competent. We are now thoroughly instructed in how the terms of reversal shall be disclosed through the reversal of terms. Even if it is presented as a revolutionary cure-all, no solution is intended to survive to the stage of implementation.  The solutionist strategy is a demonstration of the ironic representation of competence, the mouthpiece represents the will to be 'all over this' in a 'competitive environment' comprised of nothing but those conventionally labelled difficulties that are all exclusively the 'very' highest priority. When policy announcements do survive into policy implementation, the solution is situated as a pole of orientation around which newly delineated and unintended tensions  crystallise only to almost immediately deliquesce back into inextricability - the true purpose of generating controversy through 'strong' narratives is the misdirection, and ultimately the exhaustion, of rivals. Curiously, solutionism, the mobilisation of populations around a pseudo-utopian content, mimics extremist tropes where 'radicalisation' is also hypostasised as a bad exit.  Down the line, some time after its triumphant policy roll out, any solutionist policy still attached to its financialisation abandons its utopian dimension and develops autonomously as a second order, target driven, institution for maintenance and management of the new iterations, new territories, new convolutions in otherwise eternalised relations of force: wars on drugs, wars on people-trafficking, wars on terror, wars of zero tolerance. Solutionism is cut-the-crap radicalism in a context of terminal moderatisation and failing economic negentropy. Even 'no magic bullet' and 'no easy answer' becomes a magic bullet and easy answer for defending the reified path along which 'problems' must be approached publicly. Solutionism, as with every fundamentalist resurgence, is a last flaring of the idea of agency before systemic relinquishment at the runaway of the community of capital. The measure to which subject formations have bound themselves into solutionist approaches, immediately answering symptoms with seeming elixirs (anti-fascism; anti-racism; anti-war; anti-capitalism) is the measure to which they have also internalised the managerialist logics, if not also the capacity, of state power.
The designation 'solutionism' is attributed to Evgeny Morozov in 2013 but the text here generalises the concept from the cut and paste piece 'Councilism, communism and communist critique' written as forum posts either on the anti-politics or glow worm discussion boards around 2008 and made into a pamphlet at about the same time. A re-written version of the text was posted here in 2012. The concept is weak but of mild interest in circumstances of political topsy-turvy.

Friday, 21 October 2016

Nor yet good red herring: Autumn (4)

You are here: subjective awareness is a lightening rod for attracting the violence discharged by abstracting process.

Where you should be: abstract forms become the lightening rod for the violence that must be shed from subject relations. 

Sunday, 9 October 2016

Nor yet good red herring: Autumn (3)

Where automated algorithms have supplanted 'fat finger' as the key component in subject formation, the subject cedes its god given pole. 

The sole purpose of the automatic subject is to induce within its human rival a permanent state of deferral of its judgment upon the life-world.