Sunday, 16 April 2017

Why is nihilist communism opposed to anti-fascism?

Nihilist communism is not opposed to anything. Opposition assumes the capacity for force, which is absolutely absent from nihilist communism, as it is from all formations of the ultra-left. The absence of capacity is the defining characteristic of the ultraleft. Therefore, nihilist communism Is incapable of opposing anti-fascism but it does desire to escape its categories. In this sense, nihilist communism seeks to resist becoming implicated in all moral crusades and identifies anti-fascism as one of the most pernicious. As it already rejects involvement in state power, class domination and the abstraction of existence by capitalist expropriation, it argues that the question of anti-fascism may only appear as a step back into a compromise with existing conditions. 

Nihilist communism, after Wilhelm Reich, asks itself what in this world is not fascist? Certainly, it assumes that anti-fascism is always, if not already operationally fascistic, then on the cusp, as it seeks unconsciously for the perfect rationalisation for justifying its own fascistic measures. To be sure, fascism typically includes a leftist moment, soldier socialism, barrack room egalitarianism, and that is absent from actually existing, or environmentalised, fascism which is characterised by the process of ultra-instrumentalisation, a surplus mobilisation, of all existent functions. 

Historical fascism asked a question, and set out its problematic, at the point of emergence of the workers' movement's sudden inarticulacy. Actually existing fascism sets no such questions. But, what fascism really is is of less concern here than what anti-fascism is. Even so, it is appropriate to reset our own question: what in the world is not fascist? The ultra-nationalist Russian separatists fighting against the Ukraine are 'anti-fascist; the bombing of Iraq in 2003 was anti-fascist; the mass rape of German women in 1945 was anti-fascist;  the carpet bombing of Dresden was anti-fascist; the nuclear bombs dropped on Japan were anti-fascist. We might then ask ourselves, what in the world of mechanised horror is not anti-fascist?

Anti-fascism becomes operative as one more register of political activity, it too is designed to bury the bad news of its own mobilisation, it too wishes to be judged on its enemies and not on its complicities. As the state has its 'terrorists' as a figleaf pretext, so the left has its 'far right'. Anti-fascism demands acceptance of its exceptionality. It proposes that of all the social formations constrained by forces hidden to themselves, formations befogged by their delusions of subjective agency, of all these only anti-fascism is excepted - it alone secures the right to award itself its motivation. And, in a global context where so many programmes of extermination are implemented at so many levels of existence, against so many populations and so many sets of relations, and against so many species, it is plain bizarre that anti-fascists are so sensitised to marginal street manifestations of 'the far right'. 

The partial application of the designation 'fascist' is itself irrational to a degree that it is almost unexaminable - so many atrocities fail to register with, never mind mobilise, an 'anti-fascist' response that for integrity's sake we must further conclude that the sole political purpose of anti-fascism is to misdirect attention from any atrocity that is not directly attributable to 'fascists'.  Inevitably, as is the way of things, good people fight for bad causes, and those caught in the convolutions of anti-fascist ideology are amongst the best of us, and are no doubt motivated by the sincerest of available personal motives. Even so, even at its best, antifascism is constrained as a palliative, symptomatic, treatment for a pathology it is structured not to comprehend. It is impelled to manifest as yet another iteration of policing by populist appeal.

But nihilist communism is a form of anti-politics, it has already taken into consideration the futility of confronting, never mind arguing with, liberal and leftist ideological sacred cows. It serves no purpose to oppose anti-fascism politically, and thereby further populate the discursive field with yet more bifurcating specialisations. A hundred years of fascism is proof enough of the inadequacy of anti-fascism to its object. And no critique of anti-fascism will ever defuse the revenger's thrill in recognising the bad other; when the blood is up, and the hunt is on, nothing will prevent the inevitable outcome. Anti-fascism is the crusades, the last crusade, the one crusade without troubling ambiguity and tortuous self-questioning. The anti-fascist gives himself up, without reserve, to the last great true enthusiasm. Then, we must avoid the field of conflict and let the forces gathered there play out eternally. We must skulk in the undergrowth like little brown jobs, dunnocks perhaps, until the field itself collapses beneath a meteor or plague. 

But, as we 'give it up' and let it go, we should also take a last 'backward half look, over the shoulder' at an iconic, or at least for us 'telling', moment and consider what moves it when the obvious has been filtered out. A photograph circulated in the mass media captures the moment when a conventionally beautiful young woman (sometimes designated as 'brown', sometimes as 'Asian') under the supervision of a police officer casts a disdainful glance at a 'fascist' protester. Undoubtedly, even taking into consideration the police presence, the woman's intervention was courageous and selfless but that is of less concern here than the specifics of the anti-fascist use of the photograph, and what it tells of the image-repertoire constraining it.  

The woman's conventional beauty becomes a synonym of moral courage. She is apparently relatively tall and this also proves her right to exist. In contrast, the man she looks down upon is small, we are told he is 'runty', it is observed that he is poorly dressed and that he cannot grow a proper moustache, and as is usual in such images it is ironically observed that here stands an example of 'the master race'. In short, the woman is well made and conforms to bourgeois ideals of moral health, and the man conforms to bourgeois representations of the degeneracy of the undeserving poor. In the iconodulic representation of their confrontation, we begin to make out the movement of class hatred... anti-fascism is deployed here as a weapon of actually existing fascism to secure the rational ordering of its own ideological power. Under its gaze, the man appears badly made, he is typical of the good for nothing scum emerging from growing surplus populations, and therefore as a 'type', we are required to judge him as morally repugnent.  
      
 Anti-fascism operates as the exceptional framing through which we are asked to suspend our social explanation of dysfunction, and the manufacture of criminality; we are asked to abandon our comprehension of the processes by which irredeemable bastards, life's embodiment of unremitting failings, are formed. Instead, it is required that we adopt the state's gaze and judge this particular end-result as the cause of itself. Of all the socially conditioned ideological formations in the world, the fascist is the only one held responsible for its own existence. The figure of the fascist becomes the pretext for the left's suspension of its account of deprivation and the exertion of its right to expropriate punitive power. From the anti-fascist standpoint, there is is nothing to be said of 'fascists', the only available response is to drop bombs on them. In other contexts, type-profiling is repudiated as 'body shaming' and 'normalisation' but anti-fascism is an assumption of extraordinary powers...  over the bad other, it awards itself the right to use all available fascistic measures. Where fascists are registered as a 'type', a set of fixed and identifiable, categorised traits, then it seems only logical within the frame of its policing discourse that they should be liquidated as a type. All means of dehumanisation are legitimate under the exigent pressure of the state of exception.      
     
To be sure, the man in the photograph, like a lot of us, is relatively ill-made and physically articulates the impoverishment of his circumstances. It must be assumed that his failure in life is the reason he has attended a fascist demonstration. Damage and suffering, unprocessable loss and humiliation, the compulsion to repeat a return to types and orderings, all the character traits of Reich's 'little man' and of critical theory's 'authoritarian personality', are present in him. They are the traits that collectively act as the sine qua non of subjective fascism, this is what industrialisation and the trauma of industrialised war does to people. We learn without surprise for example that those voting Le Pen in the French presendential elections, once voted communist... and we also learn, again without surprise, that the leftist candidate Mélenchon is 'capturing' votes from Le Pen. The 'little men' thrown up by industrial democracy are ever-responsive to the most recent stimuli of ideology - as raw material for leftism and fascism they are qualitatively interchangeable. Nobody with a living soul will shed a tear for a punched fascist, or a fascist looked down upon with disdain, or a stabbed fascist or a summarily executed fascist but the question set by nihilist communism remains: what is it that constitutes subjective anti-fascism as an instrument of actually existing fascism? 
    
      














Saturday, 15 April 2017

Why does nihilist communism not speak the language of identity politics

Ideology is compliance with the totality as realised through an intolerance for its symptoms. Adaptation to the 'inexorable necessity' of the life-world's productive relations, and subjectively adjusting to the rules of survival on general terms as 'that's the way things are', inevitably triggers, via existing channels of specialisation, a compensatory instinct for reforming the life-world's details. The 'second nature' of the domesticated life-world no longer signifies as an object to consciousness but functions as its structure... 'changing the world' is a question subsumed by the difficulty in preserving a fragile 'complexity' perpetually under attack from all sides. The identity basis of reform assumes both that the generality of relations is beyond critique and that all problematics appear within the domain of institutional specialisations which must be approached through symptomatic treatments (every appropriate response is palliative). 

Adequacy is the capacity of an institution to contain whatever symptoms appear on its horizon within the specialisation of its domain. The problem of crime is contained within the criminal justice system; the problem of an other's weapons is contained militarily; the problems of individuation are contained medically; the problem of social bodies is contained governmentally. And within the general containments are further specialisations; in every sector are generated departmental equivalents to oncology, cardiology, respiratory, orthopaedics. And within every department, further specialisations develop: gastroenterology in the young, diabetic ophthalmology, SaLT for stroke victims. It is amongst proliferating departmental intersections that specified political interest groups appear that are structured as objects for institutional attention. 

The difficulty of transforming designated institutional identities into emancipatory projects is that the content, being reliant on information supplied by a departmentalised gaze (a refraction of a refraction), will always express a bias within its discourse towards reproducing its compartmentalisation and correspondingly will resist any efforts at placing itself within the generality. The compulsive refusal of what it dismisses as 'whataboutery' and its insistence on its own state of exception ensures any identity's proposed solutions to its own problematic will also function as a self-medicating, and symptomatic, treatment in its self-reproduction as the same.

The problematics of bureaucratically defined cohorts based on race, gender, physical and mental ability, age and so on may only appear as a long march of counter-adaptations to existing institutions. The solution to racism appears as anti-racism; the problem of sexism is addressed by anti-sexism... The attenuated flows of information available to identity formations ensures that every 'push back' must appear within the same constraints as that of the original categorising process - identity is always institutionally constrained. On its own terms, those who adopt fixed identity categories as a liberatory identity politics cannot know the 'motive' of what is constraining them. The logic of identity politics represents the force behind 'privilege' as fundamentally separate, alien and thus unknowable. The oppressed conjecture that the oppressor is driven by hatred, when hatred is only a later rationalisation of processive exploitation. 

From the perspective of black liberation, capitalism is constituted as racial hostility; from the perspective of woman's liberation, capitalism is constituted as misogyny. In operation, capitalism realises anti-racism and anti-sexism as much as racism and sexism. It realises religion and atheism, the USA and China, ISIS and Kurdish nationalism; the totality of capitalist relations contains all terms equally. Certainly, without emancipatory struggles, capitalism would have no interest in financing the expansion of the workforce along egalitarian lines, but the tension between concrete repressive instances and abstract equal  ri ghts is precisely the type of antagonistic reified relation that it sustains for exploitation. 
      Nihilist communism does not consider that the march of emancipation is not worth the effort but that its advance has everything to do with the perfected implementation of Enlightenment categories and not much to do with social emancipation from bureaucratic identities. Nihilist communism is not directly opposed to identity politics, it has no forces of oppostion, however it seeks to escape containment within identity's institutionalised conventions. Or, more accurately, if there were such personages as nihilist communists, they may become involved in specific campaigns according to their circumstances and in order to advance their personal interest, but they would not consider this involvement related to nihilist communism. There is an objective and insurmountable  separation between politically reformist campaigns and social revolution... this in itself is not an argument against reformist initiatives but only a recognition of their function.
         
The contradiction at the heart of capitalised relations is not located in bureaucratically defined identities but in the production of the world itself. The sale of labour power as a factor of production is the only point of convergence between actual human beings and their abstract potential for overthrowing the productive environment. Capitalism is not a citadel to be stormed from outside but will be brought to crisis only through the exacerbation of its own contradictions... and the only contradiction responsive to human intervention is the wage relation - where the commodity form coincides with a potential negating consiousness. The question of the potential for revolutionary agency should never have been set at the level of motivation, which finds its answer in those most oppressed, but should always be directed towards those with the latent capacity to effect it. Of course, under conditions now far beyond the programme of real domination, the question of motivation remains open. Even so, the only point at which an identity politics may make an intervention is by raising the cost of its own reproduction as a factor in production. In practice, this would involve any particularly constituted identity accepting its own subsumption within the universal class containing many other concrete identities but selling only one abstract commodity. 
               
        

Saturday, 8 April 2017

Why does nihilist communism object to activism?

The modern American attribution of 'nihilism' has almost nothing to do with the Russian nihilist milieu of the 19th Century. American nihilism is a malaise diagnosed in others from symptoms identified as indicative of chronic habituation to environmental stimuli. Russian nihilism is a 'conscious' form of being characterised by its repudiation of all given forms of attachment. American nihilism is reducible to the individual's embrace of conditioned immediacy at the expense of all else, whilst Russian nihilism supposes the rejection of the very concept of conditioning.

This distinction takes us so far and no further. In practice, American nihilism is defined and interpreted by media commentators and does not exist on its own terms. And the Russian nihilists, like good Proto-kleinians, in their attempts to effect a detachment from the bad objects of religion, family, state and class only succeeded in re-attaching themselves to the ideal object of 'material forces'.

Even so, the problematic of attachment is the entry point into the question of activism. Activism is a form of attachment to, or dependence on, the array of environmental cues that will trigger negative or hostile responses to 'bad' objects. If the object does not clearly communicate its bad character, then the activist is not sufficiently stimulated, then the array of negative affects are not triggered, then the metabolic process remains inactive, and so the system's energy is not satisfyingly discharged.

Recognition of the dependence of activism upon what it opposes, and the resultant closed dynamic of protest politics, is itself a basic condition of all communist awareness. Whilst protest politics is reliant for its mobilisation on the collateral energy of 'bad' objects, nihilist communism is impelled to disclose the complicity of 'good' objects in the reproduction of the whole. Therefore, staged denunciations of 'bad' objects may only appear at the expense of the repudiation of the whole.

The environment in which activism is operative is disclosed as constructed of representations. Activism (that is activism's reproduction as a component of existing relations) is not a direct response to an immediately present object but appears within a repertoire of of pre-programmed reactions to images of 'bad' objects. Activism responds to representations because the mode of indirect domination refuses to appear as itself, and passes unchallenged.

Protest is not organised against the conditions of domination but against the products and images of domination. Protesters are bound into the production of a life-world of surface level interlocking co-dependencies and cannot gain sufficient distance to strike at the mechanism that is sustaining them.

The protesters are so overwhelmed by the flood of bad objects that it is inconceivable to them to attack 'good objects'. They reject out of hand the idea of 'negation of the negation', and the possibility of an opposition to the opposition. To them, the war must always be fought now and gains defended in the present before any question of revolutionary transformation may be considered. The activist is horrified by reversal, of 'going backwards'. Even though activists are enmeshed in the symptomatic politics of representations, ciphers, images, they cleave to the discursive panoply of realism: practicality, achievable goals and incremental gains.

Just as others denounce them as extremists and dreamers, utopians and fanatics so they deploy the same terminology (now a convention of repressive consiousness) against those who refuse to be mobilised in their reformist campaigns. For reason of the Faustian bargain that must be agreed upon even before the question of realisation is reached, a bargain that is struck right at the beginning with the 'form' of what may be or may not be done, nihilist communism refuses even the possibility of victory and thus re-formulates the dead term: impossibilism. 

Perhaps, those who are caught up in the moment of their own righteousness think it is condescending to make predictions about the probable consumption of activists by their own 'movement'. And yet, it is also well known that most participants in activism at any given moment will cease to participate not much later on. The activists own reasoning for this is 'burn out' but the milieu's constancy of numbers over time suggests that a maturational process is a decisive factor. The young dominate the milieu and then later come to repudiate themselves and their politics as they were.


Self-disgust is an essential regulatory element of the protest milieu. Attachment to stimulation by 'bad' objects becomes destructive the moment the 'bad' object is replaced by its representations - the moment the bell rings but the meat powder is absent. Activism is cultivated self-stimulation to transports of outrage by representations of offensive objects, it is a condition that can only be maintained by adhering to perverse representations of in-group self-interest. Defending the rights to its ownership of its representations is the entirety of the activist project.

The activist is obliged by membership of the in-group to perpetually lie to themselves: complex rationalisations are generated to explain why atrocities perpetrated by X must bring everyone out onto the street but those committed by Y are to be dismissed as 'whatabouttery' or 'liberalism'. At some point, the lying and adherence to capering irrationality takes its toll on the best individuals and they disengage from all involvements. Just as activism conspires to effect a misdirection from the totality through its conditioned response to pre-determined 'bad' objects, so the totality of the activist figure (including its moments of weakness, turning away, giving up and self-disgust) must be considered in relation to its 'militant' highs.

The indirect form of domination results from the apparent separation between representations and the material production of the world. Domination now appears as a set of relations between representations but revealed power is wholly dependent on the hidden form of material production which, as a mechanism spinning gold from straw, quality from quantity, cannot appear directly or immediately to politicised consciousness. Just as the brain does not appear within the 'mind' emerging from it, so the apparatus of world production may not appear within the domain of representations.

Activism is constrained to respond to fetishes of power and not to power itself. It is objectively situated by forces which it may only represent as 'oppression', 'inequality', 'racism', 'imperialism', 'patriarchy', 'capitalism' which it dutifully re-circulates within the market of controversies. But domination is always otherwise than as it appears; the condition of the fetish is that power is not located in it but mis-represented, or part-represented, by it: 'patriarchy', 'privelege' and 'white supremacy' are attempts to describe certain distribution features as outcome patterns but operationally  the system of production equally supports potential representations of both sexism and anti-sexism, both racism and anti-racism, both imperialism and national liberation.
   
Subjectively, activism is a form of attachment that is sustained by the given form of belief. The activist fervently believes both in the reality of this injustice and the compensatory measures he or she takes against it. But belief itself, as a mode of attachment, is a relatively immature form of relation to the world... as Borges might have said: belief is a form of incomprehension, perhaps the worst. The credulous will later become incredulous and the believers, unbelievers. The path from illusion to disillusion is costly and triggers in the ex-believer feelings of self-repudiation... the activist's path out of activism involves the rejection of all that activism stands for, even its indisputable truths: something is wrong here; life should be otherwise. 

It is enough to conclude by reiterating nihilist communism's attempt to explore forms of attachment that become available after by-passing the rise and fall life-cycle of the activist. Above all, nihilist communism is a form of pessimistic continuation undertaken subsequent to the rejection of all terms in play - it begins from a decisive rejection of optimistic belief systems. It returns to the gambit of the Russian nihilists, what would it mean to sever attachments to the objects that only appear to believers? 

What would it mean to continue the project of communism even after belief in it has been abandoned as an immature form of attachment? What would it mean to not believe but still continue? If, from the outset, we did not adopt the activist mindset might we then continue with the truths 'something is wrong here; life should be otherwise' as a life-long endeavour,  and thus avoid the concomitant errors of activist self-deception? Is there an adult form of refusing the world?

Tuesday, 4 April 2017

Why does nihilist communism identify an 'essential proletariat'?

A hypothesis does not seek its own realisation but only the means to escape the internalised constraints of bad procedures. The decisive move in the formulation of a hypothesis, as with any art, is the formal exclusion of extraneous content. There is much to be said on the 'essential proletariat' but much of that is also extraneous. 

The plausibility of the 'essential proletariat' is less an issue within the text of nihilist communism than is the ongoing attachment to conventional mechanisms for social transformation amongst those refusing the present state of things. Why should those desiring social transformation locate the engine of transformation within the processes of that which they oppose? 

The 'essential proletariat' is hardly a hypothesis at all and is closer in form to a gambit. The purpose of the gambit option is to enforce radically other terms where the same pieces remain in the game.

In hypothosising 'the essential proletariat', nihilist communism places, amongst others, the following extraneous matters into brackets: 1. value and non-value producing labour; 2. the rising organic composition of capital and the progressive expulsion of labour; 3. necessary labour and unnecessary labour; 4. the transition from direct to indirect modes of domination; 5. the real as a threshold between the concrete and abstract; 6. the question of formal and real domination; 7. the tension between the realm of necessity and the realm of freedom; 8. class consciousness; 9. revolutionary consciousness; 10. solidarity; 11. the revolutionary subject; 12. subjective agency in general; 13. the dictatorship of the proletariat; 14. the dignity of labour and the labour republic; 15. Self-managed production; 16. the lower and higher phases of socialisation; 17. 'who's going to do the dirty work?' ...  In other words, nihilist communism seeks to leave out the entirety of the discourse of the marxist professors.

The 'essential proletariat' hypothesis is framed in terms of cessation not transformation. It proposes that there can by no transformation until there is cessation. It evaluates the predominant hypothesis of system immanent transformation as a paradox: those alterations accumulated within an outline are functions of the reproduction of the same, not of change. That which is left behind may not also be carried forward (the major theorem of historical materialism). Marxism's theses on historical accumulation overlay the general propositions of evolution by natural selection, which in turn reflect  bourgeois categories of expanding dominion. 

Just as the bourgeoisie seeks to maintain its hold on power through competitive innovation (the arms race of all terms) so Marxism seeks the objective conservation of fitting historical mutations under changing environmental conditions. However, Marxism has no effective power over environmental processes in order to secure which mutations are conserved and which are not.

With 'the essential proletariat', nihilist communism abandons the 'science' of history, and thus detaches itself from the ideology of realism... it has no interest in expropriating the existing apparatus and bending it to a better purpose where it conjectures that any designated better purpose is already expropriated by the apparatus, being one of its dream-products. That is to say, the 'essential proletariat' is a calculated gambit - a hypothesis made in bad faith.
  Nihilist Communism attempts to discover the most unlikely or outlandish outcome, a species-wide 'human community' given the containment of life-world processes, and thus human consciousness within the iron cage of production pour production. Every other theory of communism relies upon a pre-existing 'real movement' of humanisation which insists that the human species is really something  more, or even something else, than it actually is. Every other theory of social transformation presumes to asset an ideal human substance against historical form: a general will; a general desire; a general activity; a general capacity for world changing consciousness. Nihilist communism seeks to establish a theory of change for the better which also incorporates the sickness, the perversity, the vacillating pusillanimity of human beings. It begins not with their good but with men's capacity for evil. Above all, it strives not to express itself in conformity with that guillotine-happy, misanthropic 'love' of the People which drives so-called revolutionaries. It arrives at the theory of 'essential proletariat' as a structural defence, a sort of failsafe protection, against the traitorous villainy which has thus far constituted the 'revolutionary' activity of the communists.

The argument for the 'essential proletariat' must combine several propositions: 1. The world is literally a produced world; 2. Conscious efforts at redesigning the world end up, by way of unintended consequence, reproducing it as the same; 3. Every agency equally expresses the conditions of which it is a function; 4. Conscious agreement within populations on the precise values of in-group interest is delusory and unsustainable within an environment that generates perpetual differentiation as markets; 5. The question of transformation may only appear where the homeostatic equilibrium of environmental processes is punctuated.

Strategists for state power (and there are no other kind) calculate that any given modern population is always 3 days from 'anarchy' where life-world processes are suspended. In other words, under emergency conditions where the productive process has passed into a sate of interregnum, the subject population becomes radically divorced from what it was when constrained by productive relations. It is only under conditions of radical alienation from its host environment that an entity's exaptations come into play. And it is only through relations established via exaptations that an other environment may be adapted to and moulded into new forms.   

If the world is a produced world, then the cessation of production, rather than its transformation, is the only immediate alternative given that the revolutionising of the means of production is precisely the mechanism by which the same relations of production are maintained. If production of the produced world must be interrupted before any project of emancipation becomes realisable, then it is necessary to identify the most energy efficient and simplest means of effecting the interruption. If interruption of production and not transformation itself is the basis of any project of transformation, then the interruption must not itself behave as a function of reproduction (as for example, aberrant but contained behaviours such as war, capital flight, terrorism, natural disaster, popular unrest, leftist insurgency and so on).

If the employment of labour power is an essential component of production (appearing both as production's general principle and as a function within the realising process), then any interruption of its contribution is translated into an interruption of the apparatus as a whole.

If, for reasons of perpetual divergences in consciousness, and thus for reason of the elimination of the possibility of conscious practical activity, a general strike is out of the question, then the question of an interruption of the labour process is inseperable from the identification of that concrete labour, and those workers, essential to the ongoing production of the world. Or to put it another way, the essential proletariat is not a formation of 'the masses' but is that fleshy component of production which, by implementing a refusal of work, immediately interrupts the entire system.

The 'essential proletariat' is the most capitalised, and most integrated, fraction of the workforce. It is the fraction that is least likely to act against its conditions and yet, because its numbers are so small whilst its capacities for disruption of the 'whole' so great, the 'essential proletariat' gambit still seems a more likely circuit breaker than some potential mass movement.

Given, the higher chance of aberrant outcomes amongst smaller populations, it is to be hoped, as the proletariat is progressively essentialised by accumulating forces of production, that it will eventually be reduced to a single worker, whose work consists of pressing one essential button, and who is as subject to capricious whims as any other bored prince, wearied by the collective fate of unknown millions.
   


Thursday, 30 March 2017

Why does nihilist communism argue that the revolution in two stages

Like good neo-Kantians, we learnt from the cyberneticists that there are no determining forces in the life-world, only conditions of possibility. Whatever appears is not set on its journey by some 'cause' which decides its progress from origin to decay. Everything that is is maintained 'as it is' by the operation of its constraints (that is, the recursive sets of cycling inputs and system leaks which preserve outlines in steady state and dynamic equilibrium.)

The linear model of causation, as this is embraced politically, is a corollary of perfectibility in works. In history, 'progress'; in politics, 'reform'; in evolution, 'ascent'; in consciousness, 'enlightenment'. Such concepts retrieve themselves from available resources, and emerge over and over within patterns that tend to replicate ideals of 'the incremental', 'the improvable', and 'the hygienic'.

Marxism's causal account of history, modelling itself on Darwinism, is that of the self-cleansing form. As a structure emerges within history, it throws off the muck of ages, and becomes cleaner. The more hygienic the form, the greater its capacity for self-forming separation. The promethean narrative of causation is directed towards its escape from causation, and this is only conceivable within the framework of incrementalism, improvability and sanitation as assertion of the self-causing form. The proletariat as subject and object knows to wipe its feet on the threshold of history.

Nihilist communism does not adhere to the model of linear causation. It perceives that every member of the set will 'get up with fleas'. The totalised, net-form, relations that constitute the life-world ensure that all members equally express its relations. No individual, group or class escapes its containment by the life-world. No individual, group or class is sufficiently hygienic that it may look in from outside. No individual, group or class may speak or act against its world in complete confidence that it is not also replicating the values of that world at another velocity.

At this point, there is some recourse to some conception of  'crisis theory' within nihilist communism. If class war is the dynamic force of capitalist relations, and every engagement renews those relations, then 'collapse' rather than strategy would appear to constitute the most likely form of release. It follows that, any potential collapse of a net-form set of relations would depend upon the corruption or depletion of an essential component or resource.

The most unstable factor of production is 'labour'. Not only does labour have 'objective and 'subjective' features, it is component, raw material and end product of the productive apparatus (that is, it appears as several inputs at once). Even so, labour in revolt remains capable only of replicating 'labour' and 'production for need' as the basis of its counter-lifeworld. Nihilist communism proposed that as a factor of  the capitalist relation in crisis 'there will be workers' councils'. And yet, the function of 'workers' councils' defines the concept of crisis management - historically, soviets have succeeded only in maintaining the production of use-values during crisis. When the economy is refinanced and passes out of spasm, the workers' councils fade away in the glare of business as usual.

For reason of the homing instinct in revolutionaries, as they seek unprecendented rationalisations for returning to familiar forms (the revolutionary secret police; the revolutionary state bureaucrats; the revolutionary managers of production), a revolt against the form of the revolution becomes the necessary condition of escape. If the first phase of social revolution is the seizure of the produced world by one of its essential components, then the second phase involves not permitting that component its return to familiar conditions.

Nihilist communism conjectures that the first phase of revolution, if it is implemented by labour, will involve a relatively small number of workers (what it calls, 'the essential proletariat'). As production passes therapeutically into an induced coma, the second phase must then be commenced - this will be undertaken 'consciously' on a 'species' scale (perhaps the only moment in all of history where consciousness, or its absence, will prove decisive one way or the other). The 'species' revolt will be directed against the possibility of a return to production as life-world. The first phase of revolt is conditioned environmentally by productive relations and realises the ideal form of production. The second phase is 'over-conditioned' by multiple crisis forms and thereby wins at least the possibility of selecting its environmental conditions - that is to say, it wins the chance to become its environment.


 











No revolutionary subject. No veto on containment. All forms equally express their conditions.

Wednesday, 29 March 2017

Why does Nihilist Communism place itself outside the communist tradition

Communism now appears precisely as the practical and imperative refusal of every communist proposal: Not the party (neither formal nor historic); Not the class itself; Not historical materiality; Not the real movement; Not the dialectic; Not voluntarist measures taken; Not determinism; Not what is to be done; Not fully automated luxury communism; Not solidarity; Not class struggle; Not dictatorship of the proletariat; Not transitional stages; Not one no many yeses; Not value critique; Not autonomy; Not accelerating the means of production; Not communising measures; Not primitivism; Not human community; Not the network; Not the reading group; Not the brotherhood or secret society; Above all, not marxism. 
Communism is not a fetish. And nor is it a preference, belief or set of principles. Communism is not an expression of the 'workers' movement' but merely its representation. Communism cannot be established or maintained through conscious activity. Just as systems of education produce various unintended consequences (from outright illiteracy to the truncated gestures of instrumentalised existence) so the designed society inevitably degenerates into the disciplinary archipelago. 

It is a principle of marxism that form determines content... sobeit!  However, 'form' is not reducible either to institutionalised relations, nor to technical (that is reformable) structures. Human beings are also formally perverse; they are wretched; they are vile; they are aggressive; they are competitive; they are hostile (to themselves and everything else). No other animal requires communism to restrain it from annihilating its life-world. Then, for reason of the form of human perversity, which is the eternal spring of consciousness and therefore of revolt, it is futile to assume the emancipatory possibility of a structural agreement between populations (that is, contents) and institutions (that is, forms). Contrariwise! Populations (that is, forms) exist in a perpetual tumult in relation to institutions (that is, contents). 
   
'Communist' populations will, and must, exist in a state of tension with the institutions of 'communism'.  Every populace seeks to exceed and by-pass the rules of established relations, flowing round not through institutions. So, the tradition of communism, as a 'moving' set of 'communist' values is too narrow to contain the full history of human society. The perversity, the prejudice, the violence, the non-compliance, the inherent wretchedness of human beings must be 'built in' to communist relations, and realised or 'owned' and not simply denied or suppressed. 

Resilient social relations do not demand conform ist behaviours. Contrariwise! The function and goal of resilient social relations is to generate structural non-commensurability, even contradictions, both vertically and horizontally within populations. The length and the breadth of human history, and even the scale of its pre-history, must return as both form and content, as non-linear, self-interrupting, relations. Or your money back.

Even the most terrible moments of the past shall be acknowledged and incorportated. But the return of the repressed and the disavowed (the process of permissive de-sublimation) may not occur on its own terms. What comes back does not come back as an expression of its original  conditions but as 'communist' relations burning the brown fat of possibility that it laid down before hibernation. The tigers of the past leap into the clearing of the present with paper teeth and claws, the kraken wakes as a sigh, the plague as a sneeze. In short, the hard programmed set of permissions that structure resiliance as a set of relations will reverse the determinations expressed in Blake's Ghost of a flea:  vengeful spirits are made to appear as avatars for the mundane.    
 
For thousands more years the mighty ships tore across the emp ty wastes of space and finally dived screaming on to the first planet they came across—which happened to be the Earth—where due to a terrible miscalculation of scale the entire battle fleet was accidentally swallowed by a small dog.
HHGTTG
  
  
  

Saturday, 25 March 2017

Why something and not something?

Nihilist: in lurches and flashes I recognise both my disconnection from, and integration within, social production. I am in no position to contribute to, participate in, or take control over the processes that form me. I am in no position to prevent, slow down, or halt the environment that constrains and uses me. I am a character, not an actor. Sometimes, as in a dream, I become aware that my presence, my behaviour, my words are written and directed from elsewhere. Sometimes, I become sufficiently aware of the field of my determinations and I make inky scratches upon myself as a reminder of my vanities. The condition of my defeat, which is also a mode of minimal preservation, and which I permanently inhabit, appears as a frozen act of self-interruption, or a prolonged stay of execution. I am stopped here, at some border and I will not cross it. Nor will I turn back. I seem to have been waiting for a very long time for the world to close over me.

Communism: Not a belief; not a commitment; not a discipline. Only a reference to what caused me to arrive at this point a decade and a half ago. My source material is the unravelling contradictions expressed by the ultra-left in the decades from the 1950's to the 1990's. These contradictions continue to frame the self-conditioning, or subjective, component of my awareness. Communism now appears precisely as the practical and imperative refusal of every communist proposal: Not the party (neither formal nor historic); Not the class itself; Not historical materiality; Not the real movement; Not the dialectic; Not voluntarist measures taken; Not determinism; Not what is to be done; Not fully automated luxury communism; Not solidarity; Not class struggle; Not dictatorship of the proletariat; Not transitional stages; Not one no many yeses; Not value critique; Not autonomy; Not accelerating the means of production; Not communising measures; Not primitivism; Not human community; Not the network; Not the reading group; Not the brotherhood or secret society; Above all, not marxism. 

Why is nihilist communism opposed to anti-fascism?

Nihilist communism is not opposed to anything. Opposition assumes the capacity for force, which is absolutely absent from nihilist communism...