Thursday, 13 October 2011

Autumn practices; Vacate X; But if these are the means, then to what purpose?

I would advise stilts for the quagmires/And camels for the snowy hills
Incredible String Band, Creation
First we have to address, and thereby put aside, the controversy surrounding this division of the 99% and the 1%. It is probably best to try and understand it as a camouflagic ruse, like eyespots and other automimicry. Perhaps it serves to startle approaching antagonists. 

When 30 people in their tents proclaim that they are 99% of the population, it no doubt dazzles those who would seek to dismiss the protest's relevance in terms of representationality and proportion.

Even so, objectively, there is no categorical correlation between the 1% (who are said to ‘own’ 45% of wealth), the 99% (who are defined negatively in terms of their being not the 1%), and the specific practices of ‘Occupy X’.

The implied (quantitatively staged) hostility between these two populated percentages is equivalent to an equally staged qualitative opposition between say, a table fork and some almond blossom – with Occupy X crystallising revolutionary consciousness in the form of a starfish. 

Any politics of blame, in which the production of the world by the 99% is discounted and the world’s flaws attributed to the hidden agenda of an identifiable minority, always reinstigates a reactionary ideology structured on preformed archaic hostilities to ‘X’ allocated others

Blame as a method of social critique cannot but mistake the nature of capitalism, and perceive it as being something ‘outside’ of us. But if the ‘them’ of this politics is constituted in error, then so much the more erroneously is its ‘we’ presented. In contradistinction to Occupy X's representation of the situation, materially, we are the them of capitalism

Capitalism is us, ‘we’ produce it. Therefore, capitalism’s abolition requires our transformation, and not theirs. We, that is the proletarianised population of the world are reproducing both the 1% and the 99%. They are an outcome, a symptom, as we are, of this structured relation. 
When approaching the question of social transformation, the anti-political communist's theoretical gambit supposes that if the 99% are structured otherwise, then the 1% (the residual 1% of our capitalised selves) in Marx’s terms, will wither away

The communist revolution is predicated upon the abolition of the entire 100% of the capitalised population, not simply the 1% of extra rich property owners. 

And the objective revolutionary purpose of the maimed majority, that quantity of population which has been subjected to the process of proletarianisation, is its own disappearance. 

Emphatically, communism is not to be identified with the institutionalisation of a moral majoritarian superiority over greedy parasites and exploiters

If this false opposition between the ninety nine and the one has now been put to sleep, it is necessary to turn to the political form of Occupy X. The question is, is this the path of social liberation? Is Occupy X the social form that humanity will compose in pursuit of its true self? 

Only narcissists would think so. There is nothing intrinsic to objectively distinguish Occupy X from any other form of capitalised politics. As with all other subjectively accessible forms, it presupposes a representational model through which, by self-assertion, the activities of a tiny minority are made to reflect and articulate a much greater, uninvolved and silent social body. 

What an unremarked upon coincidence it is that Occupy X has discovered within its own minisculity of practice an identity with the entirety of human sociality. Or not a coincidence at all, as this staged discovery by means of representational tromp l’oeil is the trick of all jacobin-leninism (the revolutionary form, and outer limit, of bourgeois political consciousness).

The problem inherent to capitalism’s opposition does not lie in identifying an enemy them but in reformulating an us which does not simply conform to ideological conventions. 

Social revolution supposes the transformation of the entirety of social relationships. And this depends upon the abolition of the formal structuring of the mode of production, i.e. the structure which produces practices of expropriation and territorial occupation. 

To restate this in reverse: where expropriation is reproduced practically in ‘revolutionary’ politics, the formal mode of production is thereby reproduced. 

If communism is a politics of departure from the dominant commodity form, then it must leave behind the implied territorial politics of ‘occupation’.  

Instead of Occupy X, a specifically communist formation would take shape as Vacate X (where X = everywhere) in which therapeutic paths leading away from proletarian subjectivity are consciously sought out or laid down.

Red and yellow leaves danced around his head and from far away in the hills came another autumn downpour to wash away the last of everything he didn’t want to remember.  
             Tove Jansson, Moominvalley in November

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