Friday, 13 July 2012

Let’s all drink to the dearth of a clown

Sweetness, I was only joking when I said, by rights you should be bludgeoned in your bed 
Thank you for the heat of your attention. I would like to take this belated opportunity to comment on my project insipidities wherein I present some of my reflections upon the idea of communism in relation to the question of violence (where violence refers both to the formation of social structures and their maintenance). The writing published here is intended for those readers already familiar with its concerns.  

Insipidities receives one or two cursory readings a day, and deserves no more.  I am inclined to link significance to rate of popularity and by this measure, insipidites is of less significance than even the most wretched of lunatic endeavours. Quite so. I am very alone. But then, I did not bring myself to your attention. I do not seek to influence or persuade you.

That is to say, there are certain imps of perversity, and I count myself amongst them, who calculate their self-limiting success by the love of a few, the hatred of some and the indifference of many. Either way, there is nothing here to interest or  threaten those involved in serious matters, and they, who have already been distracted from their revolutionary tasks too long, may now safely look away.

Therefore, for no better reason than to keep out of mischief, I may as well reflect upon the nature of insipidities.  The underlying assumption behind the wider ‘project’ to which I, through my efforts here, contribute, is that consciousness relates retrospectively to the conditions which it expresses and uncomprehendingly to the conditions amongst which it emerges. This means that consciousness is always and only conscious of conditions which are no longer contemporaneous with its appearance.  Perhaps I mean consciousness is a record of the past which may only appear incongruously within the present. 

Evidently, this historical displacement has consequences for anyone who wishes to transform conditions according to already established principles. The well known cock-up theory of history recounts that every time the subject attempts to realise its ideas in reality, some other unintended event occurs instead. 

More than in any other sphere, unintended consequences are created by the application of strategic thinking, and particularly in the practical application of theoretic concepts in war. In response to the unintended traits of world-changing, the term ‘going to war’ was developed by Letters Journal to identify those traits manifested in radical discourse which may be characterised as instrumentalising and militaristic. The question set by those who wish for a communist transformation of the world, but who refuse political means on the grounds that these express an inherited and uncontrollable violence, is how to evade the regressive mechanism of ‘going to war’. 

For many, and most of those reading this who do not belong to the usual insipidities readership, this might seem a relatively easy question which is resolved by the organising of self-correcting structures. However, the history of radical movements indicates that they always contain unconscious forces which the structuring of the organisation is unable to regulate. Organisations do not register that which they have really organised... i.e. the capacity for violence. Accountable structures are quickly overrun in stressful circumstances by violent passions of revenge and hatred. Communists have killed more than their share in the attempt to build a better world. We can therefore assume that irrationality, and the potential for genocide, remains at the very heart of communist consciousness. 

In our flight from political conventionality we have set our approach to social change within the conventions of ‘therapy’ for the reason that of the current discursive domains available to us, this seems the least unconscious of inherited and unmanaged forms of violence. 

To this end, we have attempted an exploration of the possibility of a relation to harmful inherited matters which is characterised by the motif of letting go. On a very small scale we have tried to establish a feedback loop of relinquishment, decomposition and release, by which those aspects of domination which we are capable of channelling through us may be thereby be laid to rest. Our project naively presumes that the naming of unconscious forces brings them to memory and thus discharges them safely into the world. 

However, it has little surprised us that we have found ourselves in the same predicament as the protagonist of the parable,The gall and the wasp.  We have discovered that our adopted approach may only mitigate, and partially reveal, recursive-retroactive conditioning – which we too cannot hope to entirely escape: ‘the wasp found that the gall, which from a traumatised centre had grown around her, protecting and sustaining her in her most vulnerable moment, now continued to expand outward, adding chambers upon chambers to itself, in injured response to her efforts at burrowing out.’ Co-dependency is the defining trait of the thought of social change no matter whether it is constituted as recomposition or decomposition – a gall hardens around every consciously directed project.

Now seems an opportune moment to observe that some of what I have written here has touched a tender spot*. It is interesting that the unlooked for expression of painful truths often incite precisely the violent irrationality which we are attempting to analyse and deactivate. It is quite absurd to hear that a person known as Letters Journal  must be behind all these alleged outrages, conspiracies and acts of madness. Even so, the process of othering is worth recording here: repressive consciousness demands that the one who politely but firmly disagrees must be reduced as irrelevant and beyond the pale and if he doesn’t take the hint, is subsequently characterised as an opponent or even enemy. 

The boundaries by which a group defines appropriate thoughts and behaviours and by which others are excluded, also turn out to be the decisive limits on the group’s attempt to realise its principles. Despite all attempts to the contrary, the consciousness of the anarchist-communist milieu articulates an inherited violence which it cannot rationally process. For this milieu, the other’s motives are always symptomatic of mental illness. The enemy’s poetry is always bad.  The ones beyond the pale always set their arguments inappropriately and in the wrong register. The lone voice, the irrelevant ranter, is the figure onto whom scandalous or prejudicial rumours and judgements are projected. I ate a whole tub of ice cream. My parents are religious fanatics. Unpleasant smells emerge from me. The logic of repressive consciousness demands that such pitiful wretches as myself are to be subjected either to violent denunciation and ridicule or, if shreds of rationality remain, the dismissal, leave him, he’s not worth it
What a pity though, that poor toms cannot be left alone. What a pity that they cannot be tolerated in the same space. What a pity that the formation of anarchist organisations produces a hinterland of excluded non-member others and that the very ideology which presents itself as articulating the principle of for-itself humanity in all its diversity may only stabilise its identity through repressive consciousness and thereby exclude all actual instances of human diversity. 

Whatever the dictates of repressive consciousness, it remains the case that the discursive domain of human liberation will continue to support numerous divergent and contradictory framings of this liberation. The critical issue for this domain has always been how to structure such multiple disagreements in order that this structure acts to inhibit rather than exacerbate schismogenetic mechanisms. The question has always been how to institute permissions, to construct capacities, to replace walls with doors. The purpose has always been to allow the most radical thought permissible within any given context, to allow it and to let it go. We can say anything. Really. We can say anything. And it is o.k.

How bizarre it is then, that this capacity to connect with the other, with those who disagree, continues only to diminish. 

The milieu is currently dominated by the normalising discourses of left-managerialism and repressive realism. How bizarre it is that this conventionality of discourse is considered the optimal means for communicating to members of the proletariat the clearly absurd intelligence that they have to abolish themselves. Quite simply, there is no reasonable means (in Bartleby’s sense of not beginning to be a little reasonable) of appeal to that which is intractable in the total transformation of human existence. 

From the perspective of one who remains happily unbelonging to the repressive apparatus of social transformation, it seems reasonable to predict, by rule of thumb, that the current expressions of intolerance to those in polite disagreement with it, expressions which characterise the psychology of the communist-anarchist milieu would, if scaled up into a mass movement, be realised in a tendency to mass scale violence against all identified dissidents. It is something of a mystery why the milieu which seeks the potential realisation of a full humanity does not find it mysterious that it is driven to manifest itself within the conventions of political intolerance. 

But this is delaying the main point. I am not worth it. The readership of the materials of this project are numbered in their one’s and two’s. I and they do not pretend to be competitors for the affections of the 99%. It is clear that from the start we unhappy band have taken the path of failure and impossibility. I personally, and the project to which I contribute, does not seek a hostile readership or controversy - we wish only to continue our quiet analysis of political thuggery in peace. We cordially invite those who feel piqued by our ignobility to counter-spurn us and meta-ignore us. I am not worth the trouble and we are not worth it either. We are very quiet. Don’t hit us. Consider that we are a bit of life that has scurried out from under a pile of small pebble-like rocks (please put them back carefully.) 

We are but pond-life, waterboatmen mostly and caddisfly larvae. Our eyes are accustomed to the opacity of beneath-the-rock theory.  We did not expect the blinding light of mighty olympian disapproval. We are very, very small. You don’t need to crush us under your lugubrious boot heels. Just let us be. We won’t do any harm. Don’t hit us. Don’t squash us with your marching boots. It’s all a misunderstanding, and a simple case of: if we shadows have offended

No really, do not trouble yourselves to heap ordure upon us. We will do it for you. Like Michaux’s subject-of-the-king, we will self-manage our own sordidity. You can demonstrate how much bigger and better you are than us by leaving us be. Did we mention how wretched we are and how so insignificant or small? Remember, yesterday we did not even exist for you and tomorrow too, we may safely be forgotten. You need never hear of me or us again. Go ahead and carry on with what you were doing before, don’t think of us or I, and don’t trouble yourselves with the triviality of this which is our or mine unreconstructed impertinence. Please do go and joyfully or passionately organise your behemothic revolutionary forces. 

We are very small

I am Plume (and also Pon)

*This response may be read in the comments section here: