cyclonopedia & protracted people's war
while following this book, or the conversation so far, a question may be beginning to appear in your darling heads - "well, blinkandwheeze, this is all very well and good. but how, if at all, does this pertain to the immortal science and shining path of marxism-leninism-mao tse tung thought?"
good and important question, comrades! but not an easy one to answer. i'll be circling it, i'm not very smart, so it will be unloading junk that i store in my brain. consider this a supplement to my previous post, if that was a how, this is a who, or maybe even a why. first, peter hallward marxplaining mister alain badiou:
The distinction of subject and object is thus nearly as absolute in Badiou's early work as in his later. In the early work, this distinction obtains above all in the (still dialectical) movement from the working class (as object) to the proletariat (as subject): the former is a function of "structural" relations and rivalries of place; the latter is the agent of unending "historical" displacement and struggle. Insofar as they are conditioned by their well-defined social and economic place, the working class are the mere object of history, not its subject or motor. As a class in the ordinary sociological sense, the workers lack any political "consistency"; they are confined within the specific "algebra" of place, within the inert isolation of the "object". As a unionized class the workers become capable of action, but of action confined to the cautious, subservient pursuit of an equilibrium within the existing structural arrangement of places. The workers become subject only when, guided by the party, they explode this arrangement. The subjective, or historical, "topology" of partisan antagonism explodes the static algebra of class. "In the proletariat, the working class has disappeared," writes Badiou. "Realized as vanishing cause, it consists in the party, whose existence has no other purpose than to suppress that which enabled this causality". Whereas every object stays in its place, every subject violates its place, "inasmuch as its essential virtue is to be disoriented. Subjectivation operates in the element of force whereby place ... finds itself altered". Before they erupt as masses, workers are classed as objects; subjectivation operates is then what purges class of its structural inertia. Mao's proletariat, the singular subject of history, "exists in purifying itself ". The proletariat is not that class which seeks an improvement of its place and, still less, that aims to usurp the place of the bourgeoisie; it is that force beyond class whose coming into existence destroys the very concept of place in general. The proletariat is the unique historical subject that overcomes and destroys its objective basis.
additionally, i keep thinking back to nick land's grotesquely reductive, violent, comic yet still suggestive thesis that islam is to negarestani what marxism is to bataille. but really, what is marxism to bataille? let's look at a slight abnormality, our friend writing in a very overtly political context, his popular front in the street -
We ask all those who, along with us, mean to pursue an action parallel to the one we see open before us how they wish to see the dictatorship of the working masses, how, first of all, they hope to realize the transformation of the defensive Popular Front into a Popular Front of combat.
As for us, we want to pose the question in a precise way. It seems to me personally that the only way to pose the question is the following: it is not really a question of knowing first of all what must be done, but what result must be envisioned. We know that the question of the takeover of power is now being posed. We know that, in all likelihood, the democratic regime, which struggles amidst mortal contradictions, cannot be saved.
The succession is open. We have many reasons to think that the Croix de Feu provide no response to the necessities resulting from the current situation- neither in their social content, the tenor of their program, nor in the personality of their chief. Their effective value seems to us in this respect to be situated far below that of the Italian Fascists or the German National Socialists.
The Popular Front in its present form is not, nor does it present itself, as an organized force within sight of taking power. It must thus be transformed, according to the plan of the socialist revolutionary Left, into a Popular Front of combat.
As for us, we say that this presupposes a renewal of political forms, a renewal possible in the present circumstances, when it seems that all revolutionary forces are called upon to fuse in an incandescent crucible. We are assured that insurrection is impossible for our adversaries. We believe that of the two hostile forces that will engage in the struggle for power, the fascists and the people, the force that gets the upper hand will be the one that shows itself most capable of dominating events and imposing an implacable power on its adversaries. What we demand is a coherent, disciplined organization, its entire will straining with enthusiasm toward popular power; this is the sense of responsibility that must devolve on those who tomorrow must be the masters, who must subordinate the system of production to human interests, who must impose silence, in their own country and at the same time throughout the world, on the nationalists' criminal and puerile passions.
the discipline, against puerile passions, becomes a foundation of a subjectivation towards negativity, the selfdestructive subject of an early badiou's mao. a negativity so often rejected in favor of the philosophy of life, life worship, whether in bataille himself, or bankrupt humanism, grossly romantic situationism, the deleuze-guattari virus, the multitude of negri & hardt. a negativity benjamin noys nobly, but desperately, attempts to reclaim - take a moment to read his poverty of vitalism. but in particular, look at a quotation from antonia birnbaum, a dismissal of what is essential in marx, this understanding of the revolutionary subject: 'the proletarian is nothing; it is this nothing contracted into the fury of negation'.
but how does this work? how does the living object, the working class, contract itself completely into a force of negation? how does this, escaping from the trap of vitalism, occur without, as noys draws attention to, an adolescent nihilism, a negation of 'reproductive futurism'? (noys also dismisses voluntary suicide, but isn't this what we expect of our revolutionary subject, the vanishing proletariat?)
so, let's look at cyclonopedia:
The inability to remember is usually associated with the paralytic symptoms of memory holes; in this case, the subject is not able to access the memory. If memory holes cause such accessibility problems for the subject, it is because they have been specifically designed for being accessed from the other side. In this sense, memory holes are accessible not for the subject and its integrated self but for that which is exterior to the subject and has no self (no one). If remembering is unrealistic and futile in terms of memory holes, then inversely memory holes are gates and access points; they conduct remembering and other modes of access towards a memory which belongs to the outside.
If memory holes are channels for trafficking data an retrieval from the other side, then each human or subjective attempt to recall involves an invocation of, or a stepping into the memories of, an outsider. Memory gaps, with their Space-Time lapses, function as a ( )hole complex through which nether entities seep through, rush toward our world; memory gaps are the instruments of their homecoming.
when the part-of-no-part reduces itself to nothingness, negarestani's no one, every event can be realized as an attack on bourgeois thought narratives, burrowing holes in bourgeois psychic domination. the negative event, the bourgeois memory hole, a zone of emergence.
back to bataille -
After February 16.
500,000 workers, defied by little cockroaches, invaded the streets and caused an immense uproar.
Comrades, who has the right to lay down the law?
This ALL-POWERFUL multitude, thus HUMAN OCEAN
Only this ocean of men in revolt can save the world from the nightmare of
impotence and carnage in which it sinks!
like a lovecraftian mass heralding the return of the Old Ones, a total sacrifice, a reduction to nothingness.
finally, cyclonopedia again:
They excavate tunnels in earth and lay their eggs within its pores; the larvae burrow through the earth's skin, migrating in the connective tissues, crust and strata, feeding on necrotic solids and surfaces. Burrowing sounds may be heard within the earth. Once they have finished infesting the earth's solid part, the larvae will cut breathing holes and press their headless tails against the surface for air. The larvae will continue to grow while boring out spinal cavities for the earth's body which will never be filled. As the larvae grow, they will enlarge the holes and come out of the ground.
maybe one day we will press our headless tails to the surface for air, maybe one day we can live, but for now, grab your miners hats with lights on them, so you can see in the dark, you're going digging
STOP WORSHIPING LIFE