Saturday, 15 November 2014
Deep opposition: a supplementary seminar on radical consciousness (14/11-22/1/2014)
The function of class consciousness supposes a threefold process: i. a formal act of self-constitution as the expression of determination by external forces; ii. the emergent recognition of the problem that is specific to class society; iii. achievement of a necessary level of inertia inherent to implementing the process of finally capturing all that has been caught up in the problem of class. However, the historical paths taken by class consciousness show that this functionality has proved tricky to achieve, and even more difficult to sustain where and if it has ever been achieved. At every juncture where class consciousness should have appeared, its functionality has rapidly detetiorated into ideology. Mostly, class consciousness has not appeared in sufficent scale but only in attenuated (transpired) form amongst isolated isolated groups - the failure to meet the threshold of scale (i.e. the restriction of inputs) has a detrimental and distorting effect on its content (i.e. Marx's positive evaluation of 'revolutionary reformism' from his isolated circumstances). But wherevever it has succeeded in passing that critical mass as condition for self-recognition, it then rarely formulates its antagonism adequately to the problem of its own existence. And, on the one or two world historical occasions where the possibility of self-extradition has occurred, the means of implementing its programme of escape from class society has relied almost entirely upon a feral and self-barbarising regimen of regression therapy that mapped class 'solidarity' onto the received armature of nation, religion and horde. It is possible that class consciousness is a 'problem' that may only be solved once it is adequately set out, that is once its setting-out has achieved world sufficient scale - assuming that a certain quantity of inputs are necessary for it to reach the threshold of functionality. However, even at a micro scale, class conscious remains a theoretical object with some functionality (as a theoretical object it may be moved like a value imbued counter around a board to reveal the nature of other objects) - therefore, to the extent that its theoretical functionality holds true, the possibility of testing the nature of class consciousness becomes feasible. To that end, it seems reasonable to treat it as a type of radical 'consciousness' or 'awareness' in the conventional sense - thus the questions concerning the 'how' and 'what' of consciousness may be set forth alongside the question of 'who' and 'where'. But that is an over-elaborated introduction to what I describe as a week-long seminar - this turns out to be a collection of mostly short form declarative statements (in the expected, and faintly trivialising style) that I will post here. Make of it, what you will, derive from it, what you can.