We want to understand the world in its historical particularity, how and why it has gotten to be the way that it is, and why that is insupportable. You, however, simply want to make sure that it goes on as long as possible. Regardless of the quality, regardless of the consequences, regardless of anything other than your collected capacity to declare that it's a nasty world out there, but at least we have our decency. At least we sit high enough to look out over the killing fields. At least we got here by legal measures. And how dare they. How dare they.
Ό,τι ως τώρα ήταν «κανονικό» έχει εξατμιστεί. Έχουμε εισέλθει στους μετακανονικούς καιρούς, την ενδιάμεση περίοδο όπου οι παλιές ορθοδοξίες έχουν πεθάνει, οι καινούργιες δεν έχουν ακόμη αναδυθεί και τίποτε δεν φαίνεται να έχει νόημα. Για να σχηματίσουμε μιαν άποψη για το άμεσο μέλλον, οφείλουμε να κατανοήσουμε τη σημασία αυτής της μεταβατικής περιόδου η οποία χαρακτηρίζεται από τρία C: πολυπλοκότητα (complexity), χάος (chaos) και αντιφάσεις (contradictions). Οι τρεις αυτές δυνάμεις ωθούν και συντηρούν τους μετακανονικούς καιρούς, οδηγώντας σε αβεβαιότητα και διαφορετικούς τύπους άγνοιας που καθιστούν την λήψη αποφάσεων προβληματική και αυξάνουν τους κινδύνους για τα άτομα, την κοινωνία και τον πλανήτη. Σύμφωνα με το άρθρο, οι μετακανονικοί καροί απαιτούν να εγκαταλείψουμε τις ιδέες «του ελέγχου και της διοίκησης» και να επαναστοχαστούμε πάνω στις έννοιες της προόδου, του εκσυγχρονισμού και της αποδοτικότητας. Ο δρόμος προς τα μπρος πρέπει να βασίζεται στις αρετές της ταπεινότητας, της μετριοφροσύνης και της υπευθυνότητας, οι οποίες είναι απαραίτητες για μια ζωή μέσα στην αβεβαιότητα, την πολυπλοκότητα και την άγνοια. Πρέπει να φανταστούμε τους εαυτούς μας έξω από τους μετακανονικούς καιρούς και μέσα σε νέα εποχή κανονικότητας – εξοπλισμένους με ηθική πυξίδα και ένα ευρύ φάσμα οραμάτων παρμένων από την πλούσια ποικιλία των ανθρώπινων κουλτουρών.
This paper explores an artwork - Black Shoals Stock Market Planetarium, by Lise Autogena and Joshua Portway - as a visual metaphor of the conditions of digital labour in the contemporary financial sphere. The experience of networked trading, the nature of the meta-commodity that is bought and sold, and the aesthetic of the ‘creative city’ that has grown up around the electronic exchanges are shown to cohere into the larger pattern of a predatory society, where ‘super-empowered individuals’ eat away the social framework that spawned their own increasingly precarious existence. Such is the destiny of the flexible personality. In conclusion, the paper inquires into the philosophical principles, scientific calculations and aesthetic figures that could chart another future.
Communisation and socialisation is not forming a contradiction. The contradiction remains that between capital and the proletariat. It does not become an internal contradiction within the proletariat. Even if there is a future total opposition between the two perspectives they are intertwined and both implicated in the contradiction capital–proletariat. The struggle of the proletariat against capital becomes the abolition of classes by the expropriation of capital. But this very action, in its opposition to capital, revives the affirmation of work when it is interrupted by the capitalist class (it is there that the gains exist that we have seen). This provisional and default affirmation of work advances a social state of which the future will be a social State, thus a counter-revolutionary form. The revolutionary movement must ceaselessly oppose itself to that which it has posed. The process of self-transformation into immediately social individuals can, in the struggle against capital and thus the capitalist class, also be a struggle against proletarians defending the proletarian condition. A struggle of communisation against socialisation.
The critique of class society finds the positive only in the classless society, in communism. The difficulty of conceiving of human emancipation has to do with the very idea of communism. In distinction to the pursuit of profit, seizure of the state, pursuit and preservation of political power, and economic value and human resource, it follows a completely different entelechy of human development. Communism means Commune, an association of the direct producers where each contributes according to her abilities, and where each receives according to her needs. In distinction to the second and third Internationals, which subscribed to naturalised conceptions of society and history, there is no universal historical law that leads human kind from some imagined historical beginning via capitalism to communism. If, however, history is not the consequence of either divine revelation or abstract historical laws, what is it? History does not make history. Neither is history on the side of the working class. History takes no sides: it can as easily be the history of barbarism as of socialism. History is made, and will be made. The future that will come will not result from some objective laws of historical development but will result from the struggles of today. The communist future is a future present. Its reality is the everyday struggle over the production and appropriation of surplus value.
Amid the resurgence of anti-capitalist movements across the globe, the centenary of Lenin’s What is to be Done? in 2002 has largely gone unnoticed. Leninism has fallen on hard times – and rightly so. It leaves a bitter taste of a revolution whose heroic struggle turned into a nightmare. The indifference to Leninism is understandable. What, however, is disturbing is the contemporary disinterest in the revolutionary project. What does anti-capitalism in its contemporary form of antiglobalization mean if it is not a practical critique of capitalism and what does it wish to achieve if its anti-capitalism fails to espouse the revolutionary project of human emancipation? Anti-capitalist indifference to revolution is a contradiction in terms. Rather then freeing the theory and practice of revolution from Leninism, its conception of revolutionary organization in the form of the party, and its idea of the state whose power is to be seized, as an instrument of revolution, remain uncontested. Revolution seems to mean Leninism, now appearing in moderated form as Trotskyism. Orthodox Marxism invests great energy in its attempt to incorporate the class struggle into preconceived conceptions of organization, seeking to render them manageable under the direction of the party. The management of class struggle belongs traditionally to the bourgeoisie who ‘concentrated in the form of the state’ (see Marx, 1973, p.108), depend on its containment and management in the form of abstract equality. The denial of humanity that is entailed in the subordination of the inequality in property to relations of abstract equality in the form of exchange relations, is mirrored in the Leninist conception of the workers state, where everybody is treated equally as an economic resource.
In Florian Schneider’s documentary Organizing the Unorganizables (2002), Raj Jayadev of the DE-BUG worker’s collective in Silicon Valley identifies the central problem of temporary labour as one of time. Jayadev recounts the story of ‘Edward’, a staff-writer for the Debug magazine: ‘My Mondays roll into my Tuesdays, and my Tuesdays roll into my Wednesdays without me knowing it. And I lose track of time and I lose hope with what tomorrow’s going to be’.
“Counting marketable achievements such as how many leaflets were distributed, or the quantity of funds raised, prevents us from reflecting on what changes have been achieved, or the strength of our resistance to corporates or government, or, more realistically, from analysing our effectiveness long- term in a struggle against power that isn’t meant to come with quarterly ‘successes.’
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