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.