UNE AUTRE RÉVOLUTION EST POSSIBLE
The future of authoritarian techno-cybernetic control rests on cultural foundations: it is necessary to grasp that the Corporate-State has always had, as its ultimate objective, a global “cultural revolution.” That is to say, to establish its own terms not by force but by the production of a “collective subjectivity.” But culture isn’t the “civilian front” of the military-industrial complex, it is the entire battleground.
PUTTING THE WORLD IN PARENTHESES
The aim of insurrection must not only be the seizing of the means-of-production, but of the means-of-expenditure, by which social POSSIBILITY is both accumulated & dissipated in increasingly vertiginous cycles. The logic of expenditure is not the INVERSE of production, but its raison d’être. Contrary to a received wisdom mindlessly circulated in mass media, “rioting” & “looting” are therefore not a NEGATION of those “social values” upheld by consumer capitalism, but are the intimate attendants of conspicuous consumption itself; just as conspicuous consumption by capital – aped by the consumer classes – is but an hysterical sublimation of a recurring fantasy in which Power eroticises its own evisceration & laying waste at the hands of a spectral lumpenproletariat. Yet the potlatch of expenditure never exceeds the bounds of this sadomasochistic fantasy. The means-of-production/expenditure oscillate around the axis of Power’s symbolic negation & convulsive reconstitution in a movement that is in no respect contingent (even if it produces contingencies) but is entirely determined by the logic of Power itself. Moreover, it is by means of expenditure that Power defers for itself the pleasure of its own overcoming & determines in advance the recuperation of this fantastic insurrectionary force. The means-of-production of reality is thus, in a seemingly paradoxical tableau, indentured to the means-of-expenditure of reality. And it is here that the vulnerability of Power must be sought.
AN INVISIBLE SHADOW PROJECTED OVER THE SKY
We are confronted with a Rorschachian psychodiagnostics of emergent social/environmental “chaos” which reveals a system fully AT WORK globally & not a system in process of BREAKING DOWN. Every indication is of an insistent symmetricalization of Power that feeds off the production of its own accelerated entropy, in the form of pure expenditure. This relation of Power is dialectical only to the extent that its algorithmic movement of expenditure & recuperation represents a demystification of the dialectical form. Demystification because it is only what can be conceived within the dialectical relation that is ever subject to the claims of sublation in the first place – just as the “expenditure without reserve” of despotic Power remains bound in its entirety to the fantasy of its negation. It is for this reason that Power’s self-supersession is never an instrument of insurrection but merely its theatre: that moving tableau in which the passionate performance of unrestrained violence begets an aesthetic “pleasure” both at & of the limits of representation. The force of this signification of the otherwise unsignifiable is what propels expenditure in its means-of-production & thus Power, too, is propelled – projected in its “essence” – into a future it is otherwise impotent to create if not to consume.
PANDEMONIUM IN CRISIS
If the long disastrous cycle of neoliberalism is approaching its end as violently as it began, as Bifo & Vitrina Distópica Santiago tell us, this is because present conditions under which the supposedly definitive form society must take at the End-of-History are indistinguishable from a collective experience of madness, war & death. By now everyone should have learned the lesson that the logic of Power is the logic of sacrifice. Regimes of austerity are never regimes against expenditure, but of a heightened sacrificial mode of expenditure, which is why they attract to themselves the appointments of religiosity & of the sacred mission. For all the talk of building walls & closing borders, exclusion is never really the question: it is all a matter of enlarging the price “society” is willing to pay. The logic of expenditure is ambivalent about all else but its capacity for increase: whether current the spread of insurrectionary violence (Exarchia, Hong Kong, Santiago, Quito, Barcelona, Beirut, Port-au-Prince, Paris, Baghdad) indicates putative “revolutionary conditions” in a revolt AGAINST neoliberalism, or whether neoliberalism itself is entering a new phase catalysed by global catastrophism.
THE CREATION OF UNGOVERNABLE SITUATIONS
It is no secret to anyone that Corporate-State exceptionalism has exhausted its need for the bourgeois social contract. Its regimes of austerity have less to fear from those who have nothing, than from those who want nothing: a collapsing middle class that no longer desires aything that the Corporate-State has to offer – which has ceased to even to present demands to it & is prepared to welcome its abolishion – represents the greatest danger to a system that has gained most by exploiting middle class self-interest but which itself has ended up violently eroded the foundations of that very selfhood. If neoliberalism is a system that propagates by ever-increasing DISSIPATION, its rhetoric of “infrastructural development” is intended for the sole purpose of maximised its capacity for expenditure. A false dichotomy thus establishes itself in the mode of “critique” of neoliberalism, between the sensibility of a technocratic rationalism & a populist romanticism that veers one moment to the barricades & the next to the Panthéon.
INCOHERENCE IS A POSITIVE VALUE
The hypnotic force of the spectacle of Power’s apparent dissipation (“the night sky burning”) threatens to entrap every insurrectionary movement in an aesthetic delirium (“like moths to the flame”). Such delirium is nothing but the inverse of that asceticism of “practical reason” that demands of every insurrection that it act solely under the agency of a regime-in-waiting. The critics of insurrection thus speak in the language of a status quo that insists it represents the only possibility of a “transfer of power”; they are incapable of grasping that the forms of organisation necessary to a struggle arise from the struggle itself. But only a stone debates with an idiot! Nobody today can realistically expect “reasonable protest” (who would such protest appeal to? who would be its benevolent agent of reform?). When the rule of the day is mystification & betrayal by every means available, it is time to cease the charade of “Reason.” If there are those who believe that, for a future to exist, the present World Order & its spurious cartoonish rationale must simply be erased, who can fault them? If History is a trick of light, what concrete analysis of a concrete situation can militate for its “return”?
In a system where dissonance is sold as peace-of-mind, only the unpresentable has the force to disturb its state of general anaesthetic. A dissonance corresponding to the alienised “totality” of the possible, staged as an apocalyptic cinema of deferred gratification (ARBEIT MACHT FREI) yet whose images are instantly consumable. A dissonance, in fact, corresponding to the alienised “totality” of a COLLECTIVISED EXPERIENCE OF THE IMPOSSIBLE. But just as there is no collective “subject of History,” so there is no collective humanity to whom Power speaks in the private language of emancipation. L’HUMANITÉ N’EXISTE PAS! This false solidarity of a species is at best a metaphysical abstraction, at worst an alibi for the coming apocalypse wrought by the Corporate-State. It signifies the void of a total disappearance which does not wait upon the formalities of extinction for those who are swallowed by it to vanish as if from the face of the Earth. The extermination order always begins in the plural: death to the stereotype! (Power dreams of a Humanity with one neck. Who is there who will refuse to play the part?) Yet first one must believe in such a death, in order to risk death in defeating it. The odds are even only for those who already are (dead).
31 October 2019