By the Light of the Glow Worm

le plus grand ennemi du bien c'est le meilleur

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#1 2019-01-19 12:18:04

Belote
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Registered: 2017-03-27
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Uniforms and Chaos

https://www.theguardian.com/politics/20 … nna-soubry
The yellow vest trope demonstrates how fascism is the vestigial form of the peasant revolt situated in the present in relation to highly socialised relations of production - a ritualised Dionysian incoherence retrieved from abstract equivalence (a preasant revolt).

Incoherence is both the means and the goal of fascism, it sees in the peasant uprising a sort of festivalised expenditure that purifies the social body and returns it to its natural proportions. This is exactly its objective function in pre-capitalist society (the prevention of private independent wealth) but under totalised conditions such uprisings have no ‘return’ outcome, they are pure incoherence as placeholder for ideological content.

In contemplating drones taking out airports (https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-46804425), ‘troll factories’, mass terrorism, and populist revolts, we are ourselves ‘returned’ to Debord’s Comments and his consideration of the ‘Mad Killers of Brabant’. Strategists now strategise non-strategic events so as to prevent ‘strategy’. Debord discovered that capitalism in spectacular form seeks to de-strategise the world and to actively inhibit the application of strategies as a means to return everything back to the tumultuous crossroads of potentiality, and thus to perpetual recapitalisation.

The peasant revolt, the revolt against ‘taxes’ under capitalist conditions, is the lived form of strategic anti-strategy - its ambition is to reach ‘outside’ the political interior and impact directly upon environmental constraints, it desires to instantiate the Real. If specific strategies can be countered (if every chess game is a draw), then it becomes necessary to step out of the game and sabotage the rules of play. It is like gaining access to the conditions of possibility and kicking through its leaf litter, or brain surgery with a spoon.

The revolts of the present moment are capital’s noumena, its viscera, exposed to the world. All sorts of meaninglessness and nonsensical material is pluming into the world from the symbolic order - a regressive, or atavistic, becoming-imaginary of the political domain, a sort of agitated paralysis absolutely separated from the movement of the automatic subject.

All the noise, all this extremity, is for its own sake. Just as the purpose of the Gulf Wars was to take Iraqi oil fields out of the economy, to de-strategise them, and just as the Brexit impasse is its own outcome, so ‘populist’ revolts have no object than their own expression. The objective disintegration of territories, regimes, materials, products, subjects is not expropriatory (the discourse around colonisation is now wholly obsolete) but exteriorising. The revolutionising subject, bored like God, is driven to create its own wildernesses. Everything is becoming uncontrollable.

The goal of rewilding exteriors to capital is, effectively, consolatory and therapeutic - its permitting of zones of meaninglessness, of fog, counter the governance-saturated realms that domesticate civilised populations, the cities where capital accumulation will begin to exceed the labour-process. The abolition of work, its replacement with abstract rumination, is expressed in the commensurability of branded revolt (yellow vests, left and right identitarianisms) with capital’s super-efficient, post-work, energy transfers.

The peasant revolt no longer returns the social order but occludes it from itself, taking things further away from what they are. Thus, whilst we have long been familiar with fascistic anti-fascists, we are now presented with the spectacle of social democrat parliamentarians being denounced as fascists (in other words, the spectacle of anti-fascist fascists). In all this, the subjective drive to supply content is organised as incoherence, and circulated as representations of the real (the ‘street’) but archived as abstract quantities, the passing of one level of time into another (the immediate into the remote).

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#2 2019-01-19 12:57:08

Belote
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Re: Uniforms and Chaos

A. what would be the (comparative) relation (if any) between peasant revolt - fascism as vestigial form of the peasant revolt - proletarian revolt... and any other form of revolt?
B. Are peasants condemned to fascism?

In answer to your first question, all revolts are peasant revolts but they are inauthentic under non-agrarian conditions and are condemned to produce mobilisatory and affirmational concepts of aggrievement such as ‘the 99%’ and ‘the people’ and ‘the workers’ (where this is deployed politically).

In answer to your second question, no, they are condemned to proletarianisation. Where they revolt culturally under new productive relations, they tend to become fascistic as they are absorbed into the wage relation.

All revolt within the capitalist social relation is routed through representation (abstract trigger images anchored to discreet quantities of accumulated latent forces are released via outbreaks of desublimated behaviour) which inevitably convert revolt back into organisation/mobilisation within marketable categories (such as the ongoing corporate ‘sponsored’ campaigns for emancipation around identity politics in the culture, politics, and academy industries).

The problematic of revolt is complex and I can’t capture it all here:

1. Capital is the revolutionary subject so all subjective revolt tries, in effect to put the brakes on the hurtling transformations that are already taking place. Subjective, i.e. peasant, revolt is always an attempt to subjectively conserve what already exists whilst redirecting an increased proportion of social product towards the subjected. Revolt, as in the yellow vest phenomenon, is in effect, neg-revolt, a set of roadblocks and barricades against the flow of self-deregulating capital. The revolutionary, as Calvino at his most Freudian observed, seeks to impose control/order against capital’s tendency towards heat death. It is because the revolutionary may only draw on earlier sets of ideas that he is condemned to return to a form of organisation that capital has already exceeded - such organisations may only appear as representations of relations - the Real, the real movement of capital, transforms all revolutionary organisations into tragic ironies and laughing stocks (centralising data conduits like Libcom and Commune magazine epitomise the absolute absence of negativity in the context of their media success stories);

2. Authentic peasant revolt is locked into its own delimiting temporal/spatial conditions and retains an immediate concrete character that rebounds onto its actual conditions. As such, whilst peasant revolt serves a regulatory function to general relations, it is also real, that is, it is a revolt, a genuine expression of negation, and of the limit of negation under such circumstances;

3. Inauthentic peasant revolt (rioting and uprisings of proletarianised masses) feeds through representation maintaining an abstract ‘principled’ character that it can never throw off and which it mediates through the conceptual drains of justice and instrumentalisation (the two orders of bourgeois power);

4. Inauthentic peasant revolt is not commensurate with productive relations, it is always out of step with the forces of production and thus will always mystify what it is in itself (thus, the rebels of 68 did not express in their ideas the practical function of their revolt - the autogestation of a younger non-establishment, newly technocratic, subjectival, mode of goverance);

5. The proletariat does not ‘revolt’, it is not revolutionary (that place is taken by capital itself) but, because it is integral to productive forces, it may weaken and perish, and therefore, by negative means, initiate the possiblity of another means of social relations. The struggle against the wage relation is objectively prevented from taking the form of revolt, and instead must take the form of disappearance.

In certain Sci-fi films (such as La Jetée) humans can no longer inhabit the surface of the earth... a similar situation exists for us. The immediatist form known for millennia as ‘revolt’ is now denied us. The surface of the earth has become incompatible with revolt which is incorporated as an engine of totality’s further realisation. Because the world is all revolt and nothing else, because there is nothing but revolt, all layers of subjective revolt only function as a surplus that is incorporated as capital for further expansion of the totality.

Domesticated revolt indicates that domestication itself is not identical to pacification, on the contrary, if work is to be replaced by ‘just living’ as the basis of the social relation and its systems of energy transfers, then domesticated existence must also give form to the infernal agitation that was once channelled into the labour process. At the end of work, immanence supplants alienation as the core structure of world production, but immanence doesn’t imply rest.

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#3 2019-01-19 13:21:29

Belote
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Registered: 2017-03-27
Posts: 1,970

Re: Uniforms and Chaos

[in reply] Yes, the beautiful sentiment of Zizek to the effect that the fascists aren’t violent enough. If only they could push their acting out, their abreaction, their transferences and resistances, their (ah yes) de-sublimations a little further, then they might cathect all those atavistic part-object attachments and thereby expropriate an authentic revolutionary self-theory more commensurable with grown up totality. But the question is not whether the yellow vests are fascist or not, because they certainly are. Whoever revolts against ‘taxes’ is not conscious of the wage relation, and thus exposes themselves as a petit bourgeois pipsqueak. Then, the real question is whether it is necessary to support them, and on the basis of recapitulation, is fascism a moment in emancipation... in other words, will something else break through, now they have got their foot in the door? Of course, we would say no, but for us, in our pursuit of ‘not-fascism’ and of not contributing anything, fascism and anti-fascism, revolt and conformity, identity versus identity, anti-populist populism countering populist anti-populism, is structually all one and the same.

By way of a way in, a sort of theoretical parable. Feudal society is characterised by the clear hierarchy of its force, the descent of violence follows the path of least resistance. Thus, in the peasant beating the dog, the donkey, the child, the wife we see a perfect reproduction of the violence done to him - each individual peasant sadist, as afflicted soul, only passes on, and communicates, by becoming the inflicting soul, the social relation. In feudal society, you learn your station by identifying the status of the person hitting you. The relationship of direct domination (in Foucault’s terminology, the regime of punishment) is defined by descending layers of overt and oppressive violence - nobody mistakes the blow of a cudgel for anything but a means of imposing the rule of the class of most powerful individuals.

Violence is totally transformed within capitalism, becoming dispersed, refracted, bent and splayed out in all directions by its mediation through representations - the violence of desublimation, of throwing off chains, is precisely the means by which capital expands its influence. In this way, the violence expressed in the idea stop HUMANITY WILL NOT BE HAPPY UNTIL THE LAST BUREAUCRAT IS HUNG WITH THE GUTS OF THE LAST CAPITALIST stop is the means by which social reproduction is effected stop stop. In this way, in the age of mechanical reproduction, any instance of a peasant beating a lord will be instantly transformed into a representation, and thereby set to work in the reproduction of the relations of domination in its phase of exploitation. Revolutionary violence also realises the procedures of power. The representation of the possibility of overthrowing lords extends bourgeois categories of rationalisation of production. The violence of capital’s expansion is thus represented in the violence of emancipation.

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