Alienist Broadsheet #8 (October 2018) download PDF


It was never a question of WHEN WILL THE REVOLUTION BEGIN? A revolution has been in progress for over two hundred years. The question is HOW HAS THIS REVOLUTION CONTINUED TO BE ABDUCTED, BEHIND THE SPECTACLE OF A FEW MOMENTARY “ERUPTIONS” – events left to yellow on the pages of history books? Decade after decade of pornographic commodification has transformed the “historical aura” of transgression & emancipation into a new form of impoverished labour. This production of self-alienation has entered a vicious circle which masquerades as the predominant “revolutionary thought” of today: dissociated to such a degree that it is capable not only of experiencing its own destruction as an aesthetic pleasure of the first order (Benjamin), but that it is capable of doing so repeatedly, ad infinitum.


It has been said that today the study of political economy is more closely related to paleoanthropology than to the “emancipation” of everyday life. One of these disciplines takes the Stone Age as its object of inquiry, the other inhabits it. Too often “revolutionary thought” likewise suffers from terminal anachronism. In the 50 years since 1968, the cybernetic Corporate-State Apparatus has taken Marx’s invocation to change the world & Rimbaud’s to change life far more literally & far more seriously than those romantic custodians of the holy relics who in half a century have barely produced one revolutionary carrot. Like true reactionaries they cling to the cycle of manufactured controversy, projecting a vague & opportune hopefulness against a meridian of despair. But revolution isn’t this travesty of alienation dressed-up as “protest movements,” distracted by the spectacle of endless “reform.” It’s as if the first thing that had to be forgotten is that reform, like election cycles & market adjustment, is code for SYSTEMIC ERROR.



In any society in which Power projects itself through a system of conspicuous consumption, complicity is the norm. But the system isn’t separate from the “individual” that complies. Compliance is already a matrix of false choices. To comply or not to comply: the illusion of autonomous action, an alibi against inaction, a death sentence. Yet complicity is the system. It’s an existential “reply” to a totalising demand: that the system be acknowledged as the sole determinant of everything that is the case. The possible world, no less. This isn’t a philosophical problem. Even its apparent forms of contradiction have been internalised to it: it produces simulacra of its own “negation” as a matter of course. Like neurotic symptoms they displace onto a mechanism of escalating catastrophe what can only be perceived in the form of the impossible. THE END OF HISTORY. THE END OF REASON. THE END OF CIVILISATION. THE END OF MAN. THE END OF THE WORLD. Yet corresponding to each of these ENDs – these zero-sum demands for all-or-nothing – is a secret pathology. For the Corporate-State Apparatus was born from the abduction & repression of a “revolutionary” impulse. The existence of this sublimated “revolution” is, however, still perceptible through an incidence of menace, at the moment when imminent danger concentrates our vision on the foundational logic of every system of Power that promotes the idea that all revolutions must fail. A logic that encapsulates both the possibility & fragility of Power’s concrete existence. Thus brought to view, its structures can then be critically threatened. Not to perform in the theatre of permitted pseudo-critique, but to directly intervene in the immune system of its counterrevolutionary “social body.” To turn upon itself its totalising feedback mechanism of global “mind-control.” To jam not only the signal but the entire transmissional apparatus.



The world doesn’t come with readymade political content. Other than in response to the terms of Power being more & more dictated in unison – in a simulation of World Order – there are no truly universal tactics. All guerrilla tactics are situational. A tactic cannot be indefinitely held in reserve: it is always defined by a window of opportunity, an emergent possibility, an event. While the ability to choose the occasion of engagement is essential above all, interminable deferment isn’t a strategic option (the “No Action Alternative”). Nor does inaction confer any advantage in the realm of tactical engagement as such, if the objective is merely to preserve the advantage of inaction. Nor does a failed action automatically confer an advantage upon the enemy, by exposing a tactic to discovery & co-option. Co-opted into the arsenal of the Corporate-State, a “surrendered” tactic does not necessarily cede anything, since neither the tactic itself nor the circumstances of its employment are transferable. Indeed, by virtue of the Corporate-State Apparatus’ compulsion to repeat, co-option introduces an element of useless non-knowledge into the enemy system, thereby contributing to the rate of increase in its overall entropy.



The tactics adopted by Alienist counter-semiotic practices (SEMIOTIX) are therefore neither abstractions nor simply actions but an entire complex of spatio-temporalities. Guerrilla SEMIOTIX are closely calculated yet never programmatic. A merely repeated action isn’t a repeated tactic: but the repetition of an action may in & of itself be a tactic (whether a non-compulsive, unpredictable repetition, producing surprise; or a predictable action, designed to trap the enemy in a predictable response). A tactic can’t be reduced to the sum of its individual actions, its repertoire. It must be understood, then, that the true objective of any tactical response by the Corporate-State Apparatus is thus not the neutralisation or capture of critical weaponry, but the capture of their logic (for example, the capitulation to a “theatre of engagement”: ballotbox, TV news, protest march, opinion poll, social media) thus allowing the exploitation of an entire tactical line of thought before it has even been articulated. Such logic-capture has provided the cybernetic Corporate-State Apparatus with the appearance of unworldly Power, like an alien entity against which there’s no defence & upon which every attack conveys ever-greater resilience. Yet such an appearance is precisely that: an intricately constructed mirror-effect, in which every action has its algorithmic double which, like the image in a mirror, seems to pre-empt it. This is no mere illusion, but the very foundation of real Power: the accumulated mass of surplus-value that – like the authoritarian spectacle in Lear – turns nothing into the reified force of no-thing.



In principle, tactical advantage is always limited against a brute force analytic response. A tactic by definition requires some element that is unknown or unpredictable to the adversary – yet the Corporate-State Apparatus has the capacity in principle to calculate & analyse to a depth that negates any but the most trivial element of surprise or socalled “psychological element.” In truth, the variables affecting the character & extent of the Corporate-State Apparatus’ response to a tactical action cannot be described as psychological, except where political (& not cybernetic) control is a determining factor. Even where a tactic may be designed simply to produce confusion by its apparent randomness, the Corporate-State Apparatus will define that randomness & compute its probabilities. Anticipating counter-tactical actions in advance is thus the most common “tactical value” in ideological guerrilla warfare. The Corporate-State Apparatus knows its vulnerabilities & exploits them as a weapon. But this knowledge, too, is situational & these exploits can themselves become unforeseen vulnerabilities. Such an “epiphany” – the way in which the Corporate-State Apparatus’ system of totalising control can be made to decentre itself into an entirely different, self-subversive configuration – is a fundamental tactical objective of Alienist SEMIOTIX.



How can it be possible any longer to be committed to “non-violent protest” in a world systematically dominated by a regime of TOTAL VIOLENCE? Engineers of mass slavery, genocide, chemical & nuclear war, industrial-scale disinformation, & a global political, economic & ecological subjection to the vicious circle of carbon-fuelled commodity irrationalism. The criminal insanity of the Corporate-State Apparatus is only too-well attested: what to do with this knowledge? In the face of unrestrained Corporate-State criminality, the belief in non-violent protest & ballot-box reformism is not only a pipedream but an attitude of collusion in a psychiatric Ponzi Scheme masquerading as a Social Contract. Political alarmism demands ever-more extravagant returns: greater austerity, greater concessions on civil rights, greater indemnities for corporate malfeasance, greater collateral for wars of thinly-veiled aggression. The ballotbox has always been used as a weapon of reactionary ideology by the Corporate-State Apparatus. “Fascism isn’t the contrary of democracy but its evolution in times of crisis” (Brecht). Nixon. Reagan. Bush. Trump. At the height of the Paris Uprising in ’68, De Gaulle, too, staged “elections”: the student & worker protests were immediately reduced to the lowest common denominator of organised parliamentary cretinism. At the height of the anti-war movement n the USA, Martin Luther King & Robert Kennedy were shot, the Chicago Democratic Convention was turned into a police riot, & the subsequent presidential “election” – the proverbial CALL-TO-ORDER – served no other purpose than to affirm the “silent majority.” Democracy’s DEAD HAND.



Ideological warfare is essentially language war. For this reason its area of operations goes beyond the territorial limits of conventional warfare, penetrating the very ontological conditions of “political being.” Ideological warfare emerges & grows in a signifying environment. It is pursued in the constant struggle to dominate that arena of political Power which overshadows all social relations & which situates the “social reality” in which meaning moves. It is precisely this arena in which guerrilla actions are judged to succeed or fail. Guerrilla warfare is “underground’ warfare. Going underground is about information control, it isn’t a place. A plunge into the unknown, an exploration of the inside of voice, the unmapped tunnels & grottoes of the glottis, oesophagus, stomach & lungs (Henri Chopin). If language is saturated by Power, it is a question of entering into zones of radical ambivalence & ambiguity. Zones of word-virus mutation. Amphibious zones that can’t be located on any map, that belong to no territory. Merely in order to exist, such zones represent the subversion of every form of permissibility, of its entire system of social significations. They are the very contrary of a “counterculture.” If they form a network of secret consensus, this is not in order to clandestinely advertise an intention, to call for adherents, to invite prestige. But how – it is asked – does an insurrection hide within a conspiranoiac system of mass industrialised surveillance? Within a language traversed by countless algorithms, dragnets & logorrhoeas? How does it evade the psychosis of Power, whose madness is that it is “everywhere”?



The possibility of general insurrection is too often represented as a dilemma: as if no such thing could ever succeed in existing openly, in plain sight, but only by remaining a secret from itself. But this is the realm of myth. Of a theatrical delusion. The seizing of Power in itself isn’t the problem: Power is always overthrown from “within.” Power believes in revolutions more than most “revolutionaries” do. Which means that it’s constantly reinstating & ramifying its structures – to a farsical degree. Power, all by itself, gets caught up in its own labyrinth, lost in the montage, the patchwork, the subroutines of subroutines, the cyclic redundancies, the crypto-architectures of deep-state memetics, paranormal data-noise & recursive shitpost amplification. The real problem of ideological guerrilla warfare is therefore the disabling of Power in its base of operations. To enact a strategy capable of seismic disturbance in the World Order while continuing to remain unverifiable at all times. Nothing that would ever manifest as Power’s doppelganger. Visible only through its perturbations. Like the blind underside of the Panopticon. Like an unconscious.



Subversion of Corporate-State Power heralds neither orgiastic nihilism nor abandonment to the gods of chaos. A system is defined by its organisational logic & it may come as a surprise to many that there are other logics than the logic of Corporate-State Power. “Chaos,” in any event, is nothing but the mystification of a call-to-order. And what is the call-to-order of a psychotic but the confirmation bias of its own delirium? A delirium whose totalising reflex could never, surely, have been mistaken for a rationale, let alone UNIVERSAL REASON? Yet these characteristics & this presumption indeed coincide in the self-validating system of Corporate-State Power, wherein a kind of bulimic convulsion (irrational consumption + a chronically infantile mania for waste-production) masquerades behind a succession of “external” crises as ORDER INCARNATE. In reality this “ORDER” is the DEAD HAND of an equilibrium forged between extremes bound by contradiction. In this, the Corporate-State Apparatus is the very epitome of entropy’s paradox. And it is through the multiplication of ambivalences internal to the very structure of its “social content” that the Corporate-State Apparatus produces the very means by which ideological guerrilla warfare may triumph over it.



The fundamental weakness of Power is that it must always draw a dividend, no matter what. Paradoxically, the greater the entropy in the Corporate-State system, the greater the dividend it insists on drawing. Guerrilla SEMIOTIX operate within the excess of this paradox: the magnified omission of its reflexive blind; the repeating interval of its “mirror of production”; its unrelenting urge to gratification. It is the proverbial DARK MATTER that escapes Power’s totalising impulse while increasingly weighing it down. Being what it is, Power will always attempt to exploit this DARK MATTER for its own clandestine ends, while nevertheless being drawn into a spiral of ever-increasing investment to prevent it invading the entire system. (Power is perversely parasitical.) Because Power desires most to act in secrecy while forever making a spectacle of itself, its zones of ambivalence are not only where subversion is able to hide in plain sight, but where the system itself is (almost by design) most vulnerable to it. Guerrilla SEMIOTIX engage a strategy of exploiting this vulnerability while refusing the seductions of open engagement – above all, the deceptive invitation to a coup-de-grâce. The history of “revolution” is indeed the history of a political theatre in which Power chooses the role of a magnificent corpse – playing dead so as to secretly ravish the masses in their necrophilic abandon. Impregnated with Power’s delirium, such “revolutions” give birth to their own alienation, thus closing the vicious circle, once again.





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