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.'

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