After Politics: Post-Communist Nihilism in an Age of Dystopian Reflection

Hickman nails it…

“The evil ones are the faceless bureaucrats, plutocrats, and financiers in the EU that hide behind their universal rules of economics, justified that all parties involved signed up for such impassive and impersonal, mathematical and rational policies; and, if they cannot keep up their end of the stick, if they fall into a sinkhole of liquidation, if they cannot keep their house (politics and economics) in order then we can sit here impassively and apathetic to their plight: we are not responsible, you have done it to yourselves – but we can and will impose on you the harshest austerity because you owe us everything and we owe you nothing at all. This is the EU of today: an impersonal system that sucks the lifeblood out of Europe through austere measures that enforce a form of tax-slavery on the whole of the EU citizenry who have no voice in the matter at all. Without politics or a public forum one is bound to a tyrannical system of numbers and the masters of numbers.”

Contemporary resistance, even in its most technologically sophisticated manifestations, is not an exception to the rules governing the politics of resistance. It is engaged in defiant delegitimization of existing and potential domination but without any prospect of a final outcome in the guise of a revolutionary or reformist result or solution. As reciprocals, domination and defiance are engaged in a perpetual struggle in which resistance can never rest but must adopt a fresh posture with respect to a strengthened counter-resistance. The politics of resistance is disillusioned and without end, one that can claim a lifetime or a life for its pursuit of justice and that requires constant courage, fortitude and prudence. It accompanies the modern adventure of freedom and possibility, but in its ambivalent and ambiguous margins. Yet the defiant life is not negative, not just the reaction to the ruses of an eternally renewed effort to dominate nested within freedom itself, but one with its own necessities, its own affirmations and its own joy. (Caygill, On Resistance,  KL 4518)

“In other words the politics of resistance is the politics of everyday life. A Life in the Ruins of Capital. One that begins with each moment resisting the power-over us that capital has in our daily lives. Like the Zapatista communities we must come together outside the strictures of the organized State and rebuild our lives. We have no other choice now: this is our life in a world where the plutocracies have imprisoned us in a world of impersonal rationality based on economics. The resistance begins in despair but does not end in apathy, it’s despair that drives us onward toward solidarity and the goal of a life worth living.  In this sense it begins in an ethical stance toward earth and ourselves, knowing that our battle is for the future of our species and all non-human agents against those who seek our ultimate demise or enslavement.”

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Southern Nights

theroadlandscape

By rushing into sordid reformist compromises or pseudorevolutionary collective actions, those driven by an abstract desire for immediate effectiveness are in reality obeying the ruling laws of thought, adopting a perspective that can see nothing but the latest news. In this way delirium reappears in the camp that claims to be opposing it. A critique seeking to go beyond the spectacle must know how to wait.

– Guy Debord,  Society of the Spectacle

Do we know how to wait today? In our reactions to the economic problems we are facing are we acting too quickly, full of resentment and anger – allowing our deep emotional lives to fall prey to violent outbreaks that can only end in disaster? Are we playing into the hands of our enemies without even realizing it? Playing by their rules, and allowing them to have the upper hand in a game they themselves created to ensnare us?…

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