(dis ain’t me, this is a rehost from a long dead site – young democratic army.
i’m putting it up because i loved it dearly and i wanna link it to peeps. apologies to the author).
Is it stupidity to take seriously provocations which pretend to be unserious? To make an exemption to that which pretends to be unserious from criticism, is to concede the actual serious position behind such a pretense to the enemy.
Amidst the controversy surrounding the LD50 art gallery’s hosting of fascist pseudointellectuals – which has accrued outrage amongst the left, fascist ‘trolls’ pretending to be anti-fascists in all their cleverness have attempted to foment division by directing the momentum of this outrage against a certain number of left intellectuals.
One gives them too much credit, however, by simply ignoring their provocations. The divisions they seek to exasperate are real – and that they believe they are clever in attempting to stir this pot changes nothing. Whether fascists ‘want’ leftists to critique one and another, is irrelevant – that they believe they benefit from this only reflects their own cynical stupidity. The fascists, despite ‘trolling’, raise a point which the majority of leftists fail to answer: Where is the line drawn as it concerns #noplatforming? Is the left destined to cannibalizing itself in this way?
A Line to be Drawn
Whether or not the following post – “NO VOICE FOR FASCISM IN OUR INSTITUTIONS” (the page has been taken down and replaced with a carbon copy of the antifa page – the original post is no longer accessible) is serious or not, is a prank or not, must be entirely irrelevant to our assessment of its truth. Whether its author sincerely believes what they have written, or is mocking the petty bourgeois philistine-Left is entirely irrelevant to the tragic fact that it does indeed capture the existing sentiments of the philistine, folk-political Left, and it is not ridiculous to think that such a post could be taken seriously by the same activists who #noplatform actual fascists.
Why is it not ridiculous? Because the sentiments of such a post have real world precedents: First, let us speak nothing of the sewage that has come out of the petty bourgeois, specifically American Left against not only the past great thinkers of our tradition, but leading Left-intellectuals – actions have been taken against them. In the past year alone at Left Forum, Žižek was targeted by activists. That thinkers listed in the above piece of sewage can be targeted in the same vein that fascists are, that any idiot with the right arsenal of phrases can direct the same outrage against fascists toward the greatest thinkers of the Left, reflects the quite immediate crisis of the Left.
What does it mean that any idiot, anyone who thinks in a way remotely similar to the author of the above post has this power? A stupid fuck who has no familiarity whatsoever with any of the above mentioned thinkers possesses the power to attack and dismiss them only because they use the correct combination of phrases. The sorry truth is that this also reflects their own relationship to fascists – they succeed in #noplatforming them, but are entirely unfamiliar with how fascists think. And yet, we would not object to attacking fascists. Is this hypocrisy on our part? It is not, because we are for attacking fascists not because we don’t understand them, but because we understand them quite well.
When leftists attack actual fascists, they are entirely unable to comprehend the significance of their actions, that their justification is internally inconsistent does not change that they should not be opposed.
We have been privy to this internal stupidity for quite some time, but it does not get wrought out, it does not rear its ugly head until the transition is made from #noplatforming fascists to #noplatforming Žižek. It is here that we draw the line and cease to consider their actions as merely pedagogic, in the process of learning, but on the road to their doom. In such a transition it becomes evident that for the philistine folk-political activists, expelling thinkers expels their thought, that in #noplatforming fascists they believe they have succeeded in wishing away fascism in thought. It does not take a genius, however, to recognize: Those who believe the ideas of their enemies are insignificant, do not have enemies.
…A Great Misunderstanding
A true enemy is not one whose ideas you must ignore as a consequence of being an enemy, a true enemy is one who you fully and completely understand, and still remain opposed. This excess, of still opposing despite understanding – is all that matters. This alone is the trial of whether someone is truly an enemy or not – for if upon understanding the ideas of an enemy you become their friend, they were never your enemy and your hostility was but a misunderstanding. In the same way, the hostility of decolonial intellectuals, insofar as they are intellectuals, toward the rationality of fascism can only ever be a misunderstanding: In terms of what can be assessed as the level of conscious thought, little separates the Clintonite… I mean identitarian, ‘anarcho’, folk political left from the thinking of present day fascists.
It does not take an idiot to see that the abstract universalism identified with white males by decolonial ideologues is actually more generally the abstract figure of the Jew. Their aim is decolonization, the decolonization of their thoughts, of communities, of more generally life itself. “Very well!” The fascist will respond, “We want the same thing – only you identify the colonizers as White, while we identify them as the Jew!”
It does not end with ‘white nationalists’ either. It does not matter which pseudo-intellectual current of fascist thought one wishes to assess, what they all bear in common is a rabid rejection of the enlightenment, modernity and its universalism. It is not a coincidence either that attacks which proceed on the same basis of logic, which is that enlightenment universalism is only the particular universalism of a particular group – is central to all fascist thinking, not only of the present but for as long as fascism has existed. In his the Dark Enlightenment, Nick Land himself (central to the LD50 controversy) lays it out clearly and unambiguously:
Under this examination, what counts as Universal reason, determining the direction and meaning of modernity, is revealed as the minutely determined branch or sub-species of a cultic tradition, descended from ‘ranters’, ‘levelers’, and closely related variants of dissident, ultra-protestant fanaticism, and owing vanishingly little to the conclusions of logicians.
Ironically, then, the world’s regnant Universalist democratic-egalitarian faith is a particular or peculiar cult that has broken out, along identifiable historical and geographical pathways, with an epidemic virulence that is disguised as progressive global enlightenment.
And Curtis Yarvin:
[…] a received tradition I call Universalism, which is a nontheistic Christian sect. Some other current labels for this same tradition, more or less synonymous, are progressivism, multiculturalism, liberalism, humanism, leftism, political correctness, and the like. … Universalism is the dominant modern branch of Christianity on the Calvinist line, evolving from the English Dissenter or Puritan tradition through the Unitarian, Transcendentalist, and Progressive movements.
First we stress that the above two thinkers are in this instance not aberrations, in fact it would truly be a rarity to find a single fascist, not only in the 21st century but in all hitherto history which also did not rabidly attack and hold in contempt universalism. For the attack of universalism immanent to fascism is not simply an intellectual controversy but is actual in its rejection: It is rationality which is a departure from enlightenment universalism that is expressed practically as well. It is not simply enough to recognize that the shit-peddlers of the Left and the fascists are in form identical in their rationality, it is more fundamentally necessary to recognize that fascism is nothing more than the logical conclusion of the ruling rationality itself, the one which the shit peddling Left accepts uncritically.
Stupid fuck pseudoleftists think they are clever because they have identified that ideas which pretend to be universal are really an expression of the interests of cisgendered heterosexaul ably-bodied humanoid white males, they think they are catching people with their pants down when they say this, but in reality they are only shamelessly confessing their own capitulation to the rationality of the ruling order – that any expression of not only reason and thought, but of raw subjectivity itself – can only be the particular expression of a deeper pathology only reflects a profound surrendering to the ruling, specifically neoliberal order of history itself – the ceding of the ultimate fate of world history to unwilled and inhuman forces (i.e. ‘the free market’), since any attempt to assume this position willfully can only be the expression of meagerly human (i.e. and therefore a subdivision of humanity, etc.) interests.
The extent to which they attack the market itself is an extension of the ideology of markets. As Boris Groys, in The Communist Postscript puts it brilliantly:
It protests against the market because it thinks that the market homogenizes the heterogeneous and closes down openness with its finite, rational calculations. The left instead wishes to defend infinite heterogeneity, the infinite work of difference, the incalculable, the uneconomizable and radical otherness against the power of the market. […]Its reference to infinity entails that the anti-capitalist critique remains at best a mere critique – a critique that, for its part, thereby becomes infinite, repetitive and tautological. At worst, it changes such a critique into an apologia for the market. In the period of the feudal ancien régime, reference to the divine hierarchies that stretched heavenwards infinitely high above the worldly hierarchies was certainly critical with regard to those worldly hierarchies, for worldly power was thereby relativized. But at the same time, this reference was also an apologia, for worldly hierarchies could be interpreted quite simply as finite fragments of the infinite divine hierarchies, and thereby infinitely legitimated. The same thing occurs with reference to the infinite play of signifiers or the infinite work of difference. The finite market is criticized because it is finite.
Folk political ideologues attack white supremacy and patriarchy as the driving force of the world, but offer nothing in its stead, since precisely any semblance of willful intent behind the locomotion of history is itself a crime against god and nature. Their opposition to white supremacy and patriarchy is not simply that it elevates whites or males, but that it is an intrusion upon the otherwise natural flow of history (which is why they cannot conceive struggle outside of oppression, of being oppressed by an external and intruding force which impose on normality). When they speak of cis white males (or whatever you like), they feel a certain gratification in exposing a hairy, ugly animal-human element, they obsess over the raw immediacy that is the human meat bag before the true inhuman god of capital(this is also why disgusting philistine-left rhetoric is always including the phrases about bodies, it aestheticism and rabidly obsesses over humans in their excremental existence, precisely what you get when humanity is defanged of its irreducible subjectivity).
But they do not elevate those who are not white, and those who are not male to a level of humanity beyond this animal-humanity. For them it is a given that they too are meatbags, their problem begins and ends with the fact that the white male (for them) sees himself as more than this – the white male, in their view, makes pretense to the universal, to the abstract. “White male, sit down!” But they have no command to stand up (for themselves!). It is for them a given that those who are not white, or male, cannot do this, to them it is a given that they must exist as passive animals. Their own subjectivity is by nature inherently white (in animalizing other humans), their problem is that this whiteness embarassingly would dare to have a white face, and an ugly white body (also a dick).
Finally, those who possess that kernel of sincerity in identifying the opportunism, falseness and lickspittle philistinism that is largely present in specifically suburban white hipsters – cannot run out of hairs to turn out in that this endeavor fails utterly. Why? Any person who has experience ‘calling out’, let’s just say specifically white people, should be accustom to the abject futility of this – regardless of whether their intentions are justifiable or not. That is because ‘white people’ themselves have gone above and beyond in learning how to enjoy their guilt and self-deprecation. There is nothing subversive about the ‘callout’ culture of shaming, not because it is too harsh, but on the contrary because it does not touch the crucial sensitivities.
It fits perfectly well in the cycle of reproducing the opportunism, cowardice and falseness of petty bourgeois white hipsters, or idiot philistine men.
An entire economy of enjoyment has been structured around the enjoyment of guilt for white hipsters.
The folk-philistine ideologue condemns and disavows the enlightenment and Great French Revolution as ‘Eurocentric’ conveniently in an emerging neofeudal and multicentric epoch of world capitalism, an apprehension which is the product of the same neoliberal, and arguably protofascist rationality that pretends to the cynical truth of all things. The smug philistine techie trash who can only inevitably meet the achievements of the enlightenment as complications to their convenient, datamongering, stupid-fuck commonsensical disposition will prostitute every and all relics of the old (precolonial) world to wither those achievements into a forgotten irrelevance.
Thrown before us is the so-believed cold hard truth behind the scorching march of reason. How convenient for the postmodern philistine groveling sewage and filth to so casually consign the enlightenment thinking as antiquated and obsolete, what a chord this strikes in the ideologues of the ruling order. They think it derives from their own cynical cleverness, when it derives from their thoughtless cowardice as lickspittles of capital, it is the most shameless philistine conformism.
What better expression of this mentality than what is from Nick Land’s own words: Where the progressive enlightenment sees political ideals, the dark enlightenment sees appetites. Where we Marxists see universal reason, where we Marxists see the class struggle in theory – the Clintonite folk ideologues see the appetites of white males. Cartesian subjectivity, cynically, is rendered just as much a self-evident absurdity as the existence of a soul, and likewise, the Communist absolution of history just as much a self-evident absurdity as a heavenly afterlife.
Folk ideologues have no problem with the renunciation of the absolution of all history and have no problem surrendering to alien and inhuman powers, to the god of money, they can only continually express their disappointment that the inhuman must have human avatars, they have no problem with the reign of capital, their problem is that it needs meat-bag middlemen incarnated in white males. But what they have hitherto failed to understand (contrary to the view of their alleged enemy, Nick Land) – capital will never do away with this human element, because men and women alone are responsible for the sphere of the inhuman – in other words, the inhuman is only that word for that aspect of humanity not accepted as human, but offered to the void.
The tradition of Marxism, on the other hand, does not proceed in its criticism simply by dismissing thought as the thinking of the jouissance of the (class) enemy (though we always emphasize its presence in such thought) – Marxists do not simply attack raw jouissance, but exhume the various compromises, cowardice, and inconsistencies in how individuals relate to their enjoyment – why it is that class hatred is fueled by exposing the jouissance of the class enemy is precisely because the class enemy is not self-conscious in it, in all its moronic arrogance and filth. Surely the folk-political ideologues would say the same is true for white males, yet fall flat on their stupid fucking faces when confronted with the existence of actual white nationalists (i.e. self-conscious white males), who in most ways are in full agreement with them… In their disdain for white ‘cucks’ who won’t admit to their true interests.
For a Marxist, to claim a certain kind of thinking is the expression of white male interests (for example) is an obscenity – the stupidity here is thinking that there is a readymade fully constituted vantage point of interests whatsoever (called ‘white male’ in this case, or whatever the shit-peddling intersectional slot machine gives us) when in reality the realm of interest as such, for instance, the desire for profit – is imminently constituted by antagonism. So that even those who think they are acting in the interests of white supremacy fool themselves, fail to see the internal inconsistency of their position in relation to their own jouissance. This inconsistency, antagonism, is the realm of class struggle – the bourgeoisie do not act upon their interests self-consciously, to even recognize the existence of a bourgeoisie as a bourgeoisie is already an act of fundamental Communist partisanship.
So that, to call someone a bourgeois ideologue, for instance, is not to say that said person expresses the fully constituted interests of a group, but that said person has taken a side in the battle which is immanent to interest generally, or even human practice as such. Class is not simply an identity, it is not simply a construct or a prescribed role (like an estate), class in capitalism is precisely only class difference as such, class is the antagonism which shakes the foundation of identity itself, its contents are the fractured blowback of an irreducible point of failure.
The class struggle is exceptional to all other struggles precisely because it is the struggle at the level of history itself, i.e. the temporality of humanity as a whole, whereas identity politics takes as its presumption an external basis of guarantee for the movement of history – identity politics struggles within the parameters of the predominant teleiosis of history, the class struggle struggles at the level of the teleiosis itself. Identity politics complains to the captain of the ship about its arrangements – the class struggle is the struggle for the helm itself. The struggle against the bourgeoisie is not a struggle against a prescribed identity, but a struggle for the very domain of prescription itself. Identities are in the last and final instance scholastic, they are identified, the class struggle in the last and final instance is constitutive of the entire horizon of meaning and identification in the first place.
The only interests which are fully constituted and which can be pursued uncompromisingly are those of the proletariat, the class which is not a class, because the only means by which it can pursue its interests is self-consciously. The class-conscious proletariat only means those who have assumed their duty uncompromisingly.The class enemy cannot assume its interests as its own interests, but in the final instance the interests of progress, the nation, god or even themselves as egoists, but never those of a class.
Identities, on the other hand, cannot be assumed uncompromisingly because they remain narcissistically entangled in what they mean for the Other (i.e. what does an identity identify? Identified for whom? Before whom?) whereas the class antagonism, irreducible to identity, renders the Other contingent – the proletariat does not obsess over what it means for society because it struggles to transform society, it renders the very vantage point of the trial of identification as such – a battlefield to be won. It does not care about representation in the Oscars, because it seeks to raze the Oscars to the ground. It does not express its disappointment before god, rather it seeks the death of god.
On the other hand, Clintonite folk-political activists concede everything to the ruling order and obsess over recognition from it. That much can be discerned not simply in their obsessive language policing, but in their scholastic obsession over the definition of words, of scholastic questions of what is right and wrong (for god himself, we can only presume), of what is improper and proper. Rest assured they have this in common with fascists who do the same thing. In common with the fascists is the conception of all struggle as a struggle of – either identity or some kind of meta-identity (i.e. as one can see in Kevin Macdonald), but what remains untouched is the very temporal context (of capitalism!) from which identity is identified.
This brings us to another point of abject stupidity for the rationality of present day folk ideologues: They concede to, for instance, so-called white nationalists the benefit of allowing them to think they really are simply the self-conscious expression of ‘white supremacy’. In other words, they allow white nationalists to believe what they tell themselves they are – failing to exploit the contradictions and inconsistencies immanent to this identity. And so what one concedes to the other, one also concedes of themselves for the other. On what basis is white nationalism to be opposed, if this is conceded? From a different kind of nationalism? Surely not from the basis of any kind of universalism, which they themselves happily expose as veiling particular interests.
They can shout “we oppose [patriarchy, cisheteronormativity, white supremecy]” all they want, but what from what basis do they oppose these things? Is opposing these things instinctual and natural, or was this opposition ordained by god himself ? They cannot begin to question their beautiful soul mentality, that “I am such a good person – the reason resists me – a divine, saintly mystery!” They cannot ask these questions. For doing so would actually reveal the inconsistencies and contradictions immanent to the consumer-identities which strike good fortune on the intersectional slot machine. Their reactionary, petty bourgeois idealism is such that they fail to apprehend the difference between the identity of the individual and what they really are to the Other – they have reduced the question of race and sexuality to a question of identity – they see no difference in what the individual identifies as, and what they actually are, they fail to identify that element which resists its domestication in a mere identity – and this element is that of antagonism.
In the same way that they conceive struggle as between fully constituted identities, the petty bourgeoisie assumes its interests uncritically and whole, as egoistic interests to be opposed to others. The proletariat, on the other hand, can only accept its interests from the basis of criticism, it can only elect to pursue interests which are its own, only because they must make them their own. The proletariat does not proceed with any readymade or preexisting interests which it can pursue and accept uncritically… Because it proceeds from a basis of the failure of bourgeois interests generally. The class conscious proletarian cannot say: “As a proletarian…”, for it can accept no a priori basis of either reason or its activity.
The abject failure of identity politics is that in conceding to white nationalists a fully constituted identity, it can only allot it that respect which is like that between rival sportsman – Were you in the shoes of a rival sportsman, would you try to lose? Were you in their shoes, were you, by chance, born with white skin – would you not also be a white nationalist? By their own reasoning, it would not be a compromise to do this (but would be the full expression of your interests, as a white person). For those who are actually white among them, they sacrifice this temptation, in all their generosity, because they are such good, generous people. To reject the universality of reason, to believe superstitiously that there exists something which allows for differences in a priori subjectivity, is but a tiptoe away from the concession that would hold those differences as natural ones (i.e. ‘genetic’).
The political class struggle, contrary to identity politics, makes no a priori exceptions: To say ‘as a proletarian’ for instance to justify one’s thinking, is just as much an obscenity as to say ‘as a capitalist’ to do the same, for if one occupies the position that they do as a necessity and inevitability of something, there is no struggle here whatsoever. In the political class struggle, why it is a struggle is precisely because there is nothing inevitable about class difference, about the existence of classes – if class struggle proceeded on the basis of a struggle between different identities, it is would not be an antagonism but a dispute. The class struggle alone is universal because within every single individual, and equally, it is present.
For Marxists the class struggle is immanent to our own subjective dispositions as well, so that it is not simply certain kinds of thinking are merely the expression of particular interests – the entire horizon of reason (i.e. of different interests as such, for example) is imminently antagonistic – in other words, it is not simply that different ‘privileged identities’ have different interests – for Marxists the entire horizon from which these different identities are conceived in the first place is imminently antagonistic. Class consciousnesses – is only the scientific apprehension of this pure antagonism, or if you want, pure difference. It does not inaugurate it – it assumes and accentuates it.
From what basis do the folk ideologues proceed in their opposition to the ruling order? From a basis of fully constituted independence – it seeks to defend its hipster communities against the grain of the outside, it seeks to promote so-called social entrepreneurship, ethical entrepreneurship and worker cooperatives (or whatever you want). Let us go farther, it proceeds in its attacks on the fascists from a mere basis of self-defense. It does not occur to them that fascism emerges from the imminent failure of that which they are defending – they do not speak to this failure or posit a response to it outside of pathetic, pinch-faced pseudomoralizing – selectively dismissing it as the nefarious excess of cisheteropatriarchial white supremacy all along – as though what they identify as white supremacy is exceptional, is a transgression, rather than inexorably intertwined to even their own mental dispositions.
They dismiss our ideas as the ideas of white males (ignoring that among our thinkers there are those who are not white or male – but of course this doesn’t mean anything), moronically thinking that their commonsense-philistine identitarian conceptual apparatus exists as an a priori of the use of reason itself – but we attack them as petty bourgeois ideologues, scoundrels, and cowards, we recognize that the subjective position from which they proceed within their opposition to the ruling order reflects in thought the petty bourgeoisie in its actual existence. They kiss the toes of the Other to ascribe us an identity – and we in turn elect to head straight for the jugular of the prescriber.
The proliferation of fascist thinking today, far from the exception to what is permitted of the conscious use of reason insofar as it reproduces the ruling order, is actually its highest and most full expression. Fascism in the 21st century emerges in a dual but inexorably intertwined process – the disintegration of the prior form of capitalism, and with it the politico-ideological order, which we might call broadly democratic which was inaugurated following the Second World War.
This democratic order, however, was not a given of the victory over German fascism but was won, and had to actively be defended – both in Europe and the United States for the duration of the mid 20th century. It is therefore, broadly speaking ridiculous to think that there is a single time in which we can say this process began, but if we are to ascertain it on the basis of politically tactical significance, we can broadly speaking identify this process as beginning in the 1970s up to the present point. Fundamental transformations in world capitalism, broadly identified as the cybernetic revolution, which the international Left – both the ‘libertarian Left’ of Western Europe and the Soviet Union – failed to reconcile itself with – led to the emergence of a new rationality from which the politico-cultural foundations of the global order had to refashion itself from a newfound basis.
The basis of the antifascist democratic order as it had existed was overthrown, only because it is evident that it was inexorably linked to a specific epoch of capitalism. That is not to suggest, however, that its defeat was an inevitability of the succession of this epoch, just that these transformations inaugurated the necessity of a newfound struggle in accordance the newfound basis demanded by them. Indeed, the cybernetic revolution was not the first revolution in world capitalism which presented as a crisis of reason for the established Left, for this was also true for the emergence of imperialism in the late 19th, and early 20th century in the form of the first world war.
What survived of the antifascist democratic order was broadly speaking a compromise with these events – at the level of the establishment, so-called political correctness – and at the level of the Left – what is today called identity politics, a certain conceptual apparatus and rationality which is also the foundation of decolonial thought (And to clarify, we would not slander Fanon nor the anti-colonial struggles of the 20th century by prescribing decolonial philistines as their successors). Rather than recognize these developments as exceptional, the folk political ideologues, who fail to recognize the historical (i.e. that it was not a given, was a certain response to a problem) and therefore contingent nature of their own rationality – have elected to approach fascism as an exception to the norm.
What the emergence of fascism is actually a testament to is the fundamental failure of the way the Left has responded – both conceptually and practically – to the emergence of what we have before called Silicon Capitalism, the processual transformation from financialization to digitization, from finance to data. It is not an accident that the real incubation of fascism occurred in cyberspace, and even more specifically in the purest domains of virtuality (see GamerGate) – for these mediums confront us as a new form of capitalism.
Those who actually believe in the homeostasis of the ruling order, who believe in its false sense of guarantee, and who thus consequentially view fascism as its intruding excess – will deserve to be consumed by its doom. Fascism is only the form of this inevitable doom, no defense of any past achievements are possible unless they can proceed from an entirely newfound basis. Surely the folk-ideologues, with all their infantile notions of anarchism would superficially speaking agree entirely with this: they fool only themselves in denying their parasitic dependence on the predominant conceptual apparatus and sense of guarantee embodied by its rationality in their apprehension of fascism. To not see this one would either have to be a liar or an idiot.
There was once a time in which Curtis Yarvin said something notable: A good test for whether or not anything should continue to exist: if it didn’t exist, would anyone invent it? This is precisely what characterizes the present crisis of the ruling political order – owing to transformations in world capitalism, it has continued to exist based purely on its own inertia. Thinking which is dialectic allows one to see that all things will meet the conditions of their existence – the predominant rationality, or conceptual apparatus and with it the entire political order has met its conditions of existence, and it is slowly but surely starting to find that they no longer exist.
Transformations in world capitalism have demanded and still demand that all thinking of the Left must be reevaluated from a newfound basis, must be re-apprehended and re-assessed. The Left has not only failed this task, it has cowardly run away from it. The very notion of what it is to be human in the first place has been rendered contingent – the Left responds with the animalization of man, replaces the rights of man with the ethical treatment of animals. The Left has lagged behind these developments, lagged behind a real apprehension of history by its horns and has instead found parasitic comfort in the ruling politico-ideological establishment.
The spontaneously unbridled use of reason, i.e. spontaneous in the sense of within the confines of the rationality readily provided by Silicon capitalism – takes to its conclusion what we can today call fascism. Purely at the level of what can be assessed of conscious reason – the majority of self-proclaimed anti-fascists exist only through its repression. Thanks to them, what a sigh of relief the fascist feels in spewing their filth – which they take to be merely the unrestrained use of reason.
Political correctness alone is the countervailing force against this tendency, but only as a matter of content – in the strictly formal sense, for the significance of political correctness does not have to be what is politically correct, only that there now exists a certain means by which reality is contingently filtered to individuals. Indeed, fascists speak of a cathedral only because of how profoundly envious they are of it – it does not take a genius to understand that fascists have their own politically correct discourse, complete with an entire set of norms for the use of phrases (“We’re not fascists! We’re libertarian ethno-nationalists” – “We’re not racists! We believe in HBD”, etc.).
It does not take an idiot to see that fascist thinking squarely belongs to the realm of the discourse of the university. Fascists have nothing formally against the so-called ‘cathedral’ – this much is clear insofar as how desperately they attempt to mimic legitimacy otherwise only ordained in universities in innumerable pseudoscientific papers and journals. Fascists, more than anyone else, pretend to the facts, and science (i.e. as a noun) – in the realm of theoretical epistemology, fascist thinking is identical to the same anglophilistine positivism of the university.
How the Left has apprehended fascism, on the other hand, both in the domain of thought and practice – is fundamentally pathological. Instead of recognizing in fascism a certain universal crisis of reason, even of humanity as such that is not reducible to fascists but is everywhere and immanent to even their own thinking, it has only recognized an aberration of the normal going of things. The foundation in reality of the basis of guarantee in the becoming of history that has characterized the neoliberal order has been torn asunder by the forces of production – the Left, instead of seizing upon this opportunity, wishes to cling (along with the ruling establishment) to this precise sense of guarantee.
Because of this parasitic dependence upon the discourse of the university (I will remind readers that it was Lacan who authors this idea, decades before idiocy about the ‘cathedral’), and its various purely formal mechanisms, the folk political Left fails utterly and embarrassingly to distinguish the unbridled formal expression of certain ideas in institutions, from the unbridled use of reason itself.
The possibility of thought independent of the university discourse is for the folk philistines an impossibility, and precisely and the same way, formally expelling fascists from speaking at institutions is the equivalent of expelling not only their ideas from existence but the implications about the existing world order itself that their ideas are testament to. Of course, superficially, they will claim that they are testament what they believe to have known all along – that white supremacy is deeply pervasive in our society, or some other philistine platitude every scoundrel and their mother (the from Anderson Cooper to Mark Zuckerberg) will gladly admit to with no problem.
They are the first ones to say that, in fact, because central to the psychic disposition of the Clintonite folk ideologue is the enjoyment of (pseudo) moral disappointments, both with themselves, individuals and society, as testament to their beautiful soul impotency, i.e. that we are only human at the end of the day. Perhaps it is here that comparisons with Christian piety might be justified, although it allots far too much flattery to Christendom, for this enjoyment is still pagan in nature (i.e. immersed within consumerist idolatry). When they are themselves white, they love nothing more than their confessions: I didn’t realize it, but I still really am biased, I have a lot of work to do.
In the same way, they think that somewhere god is saying the same thing about the fascists, that their existence is testament to the fact that we still have a lot of work to do as a society, as we imagine them saying in their whiny, ugly pinch faced baby ass indignation. Only it hasn’t occurred to them that what should have been discarded is exactly the sense of guarantee they have that who ‘we’ are, and the standards of what ‘we’ ought to do is natural, instinctual and a given – they have taken for granted the ethical standards connotated with this ‘we’, and with it the very framework of what ‘we’ ought to do. The existence of fascism is above all testament to the fact that their god does not exist, that the view that ‘we have a lot of work to do’ is politically contingent, and thus, not a given.
The distance which they implicitly occupy in saying this depends on the illusion that everyone including god himself is in agreement that fascism is a transgression, is #problematic, that there actually exist solid parameters of the #conversation (vomit!). They will find out that soon enough the fascist rats will eventually have to be a part of the #conversation too.
The fundamental illusion of the folk-political ideologues is that the unique darkness (and not the same old ‘white supremacy’) which confronts them in the form of individual fascists, begins and ends with them as individuals. They believe that the unique evil only represented by individual fascist thinkers begins and ends with those thinkers in their individual existence – they fail to comprehend that as individuals intellectual fascists have only apprehended and taken to its final conclusion the conscious use of reason within the parameters of the rationality of the ruling order.
‘Free’ Speech and the Free Use of Reason
Their answer to this is the most outward, and shameless repression of (even their own) thought itself. They believe that by not thinking they have done away with undesirable consequences of thought when in reality they only do more to accelerate the realization of those consequences. By what metric, and within what formal apparatus do they proceed in the repression of thought? In the most base identification of certain kinds of thinking certain identities. The same undesirable consequences of conscious thought they believe they have avoided by its repression and ignorance, they reveal even more shamelessly, for we only have to ask ourselves:
What does the repression of thought presuppose? Thinking which posits itself as self-evidently above the contingent, merely human use of thought. For certainly the repression of thought demands its own kind of thinking. What kind of thinking? Thinking which pretends to abstract itself from worldly thought – that certain things are not up for debate (as they like to put it). But we ask: In their view, if ‘certain things’ are not up for debate necessarily means ‘certain things’ can exempt themselves from criticism, that is, if certain things are meant to have no contingent basis of existence, then what is their actual basis of existence?
If they (i.e. all the values of the Left which for them fascists transgress) have no contingent basis of existence, and thus can be exempt from criticism – then their basis of existence one way or another must derive from divine or natural (as opposed to human) premises. They have thus, without any complicated ‘ivory tower’ thinking whatsoever, lent themselves to the exact same conclusions as the fascists – namely, the view that the controversies of man can be conceived as controversies of god or nature. Can we speak to this god or nature? Can we negotiate with them? We cannot.
And since we cannot ask god, or nature themselves – we can only ascertain their will through what actually exists readily before us. Is it such a transgression, is it such a leap of faith – given these premises – to arrive at the conclusion that the injustices of the world too result from premises which escape meagerly human criticism (and are thus not injustices at all)? That the suffering of the damned of the world, that the prevailing cannibalism is a product of inevitable (non-contingent) forces, whether we conceive them as divine or natural? Is it such a transgression to only be consistent and admit that the power of white people derives from their natural abilities, given this philistine way of thinking?
One cannot pick and choose what is self-evidently true. If truth possesses such a degree of independence, one cannot pick and choose what is or is not true. Speaking purely at the level of conscious reason, to claim that bro, let’s not be racist, okay, it’s very simple and self-evident is just as true as the reverse – the view that the superiority of whites is simple and self-evident. The trash groveling academic Left wants to pick and choose where it wants to be the philistine. On the one hand, it is happy to abuse and prostitute an abundance of academic phraseology in the service of exploring the ‘deeper complexity’ of certain things, namely things which center around the internal inconsistency of the conceptual apparatus from which they conceive identity-relations. On the other hand, it wants to play the philistine in its pretense to the readymade and self-evident.
In its attempt to repress certain avenues of the conscious use of reason, and subject them to the trial of the metarational, it opens the space for exactly that which it pretends to close the door to – the same vantage point which is the vantage point of (pseudo)scientific racism, evolutionary psychology (i.e. thought which pretends to be non-contingent but innocuous neutral truths), et al. It is not that one must retreat into pseudomoralizing clowning (“How Orwellian of them!”) in order to see the moral bankruptcy of this approach – it is quite imminent, it is to itself internally inconsistent. It does not achieve what it claims to set out to achieve.
One cannot sincerely fashion themselves as an anti-fascist with an iota of honesty if their anti-fascism derives from a self-imposed ignorance. It is not possible to oppose fascism until one knows what they are opposing, until one is truly responsible for and privy to exactly what separates them – not simply as a matter of the contents of their thinking, but in their practical existence – from the fascists. We ask the simple question: How many of these left-hipsters would become fascists if they actually understood it? It is not difficult to see that the overwhelming majority would.
It is clear left-philistine ideologues are entirely unserious and lack any faith whatsoever in a world forever without fascism – because for them to even recognize how and why it is possible to be a fascist would be opening the doors to sympathy for it. The true idiocy of the left-philistines does not lie in any ‘Orwellian’ censorship, it lies in their inability to accept and be true to the contingency and partisanship of their own position. In their view, to accept this partisanship would mean to accept its ‘bias’, and thus, its untruth. It is not any zealous faith in anything which leads them to repress thinking identified with the impending darkness – but precisely and only a lack of it.
True faith to our historic cause would allow one – speaking purely at the level of their individual disposition – to directly bear witness to any and all kinds of thinking, to understand fully, completely and wholly its internal reasoning, to understand exactly how it justifies itself, in all its complexity and still remain faithful to our cause – in other words, true faith is to remain faithful while knowing and understanding entirely why and how one would have no faith. Those who cannot pass this trial, are scoundrels, liars and cowards who will turn their back on the antifascist struggle the minute it is convenient to.
Those who are faithful to the anti-fascist struggle recognize that destroying fascism is not only a matter of thought but also a practical matter. It does not need permission from god, or society – it requires no premises except our own imperative – everything else is purely a tactical and technical question. However, this is only real faith if this responsibility, this raw contingency is apprehended as such. One, in other words, must be self-conscious of the absence of any guarantee outside of the will of individuals.
The opposition to fascism cannot proceed on any other basis. Fascism can only be opposed, if one recognizes that fascism is a possible position to assume. But only in recognizing that fascism is an entirely possible, yet contingent position is the basis of fascism destroyed: To be a fascist relies on the presupposition that your position is not a contingent one, but an apprehension of ‘the facts’ readily made before you, or some other kind of superstition. Fascists are incapable of any kind of real, self-conscious faith – they must always pretend to an external guarantee. To understand precisely how fascists are responsible for their fascism, is by nature an anti-fascist act.
Marxists do not despise the left-philistines because they would dare oppose fascists in the spirit of engaged partisanship, we despise them because they are too cowardly to admit this: They fail to realize the contingency of their own position of real partisanship as the sole condition and arbiter of their opposition to fascism – they instead assume that the opposition to fascism is a given, is ordained by unknowable but certainly non-human forces. They fear so-called bias, because in their view – not ours – meager (‘bias’) humans will never be enough for truth, that the latter must exist at their expense.
We Marxists are not the ones who claim that all positions must be justified by a trans-societal consensus, or must be justified by the rationality of the ruling order, we are not the ones who claim that we must win god’s approval, but the left-philistines assuredly do.
To recognize the contingency of our partisan position, is also to recognize the contingent and partisan nature of silencing fascists. Precisely what is false is the view that silencing fascists is the equivalent to expelling the darkness represented by them from existence – but the sword cuts both ways: Neither is it true that silencing fascists must be conceived within the stupidity of such a view.
Silencing fascists must be assumed responsibly as a political act, whose significance is formal. What appears as a contradiction is the only consistent anti-fascist position: Indeed fascists should be #noplatformed, not because we refuse to understand them, but precisely because we do understand them. Every expression of thought possesses two distinguishable facets in their practical expression – its formal (political) significance, and its significance relation to universal reason.
Fascists should be silenced and attacked wherever they are, not because the dissemination of their ideas is dangerous, not because their ideas threaten our faith to the cause, – not because people cannot be trusted with such ideas, but because the significance of them is not reducible to its significance in relation to universal reason. We speak purely in terms of a quite formal (political) significance: The difference between ourselves and fascists is an irreducible impasse whose trial is practical rather than epistemological. Fascists cannot be debated not because this difference is not up for debate, but because it is not a matter of debate. The difference is crucial: We do not say it could otherwise be debated but we refuse to because it is immoral, we say that it does not concern debate, we say that debate alone could not make a difference.
Only the guilty blush, for the innocent are ashamed of nothing. We hide from nothing in refusing to debate fascists. Why we are not fascists is not a matter of debate, because the neutral spectator which is the arbiter of who is or is not right does not exist. Why we do not debate fascists is for the same reason that we do not get on our knees and ask god for his permission. If we accept that reason is truly contingent (deriving from no a priori premises), then it is contingent upon men and women, who alone are responsible for it – it is not reducible to them, but at the same time, it possesses no independence from them. Such is the rationality of the dialectic.
Take the Black Panthers for an example of this thinking: the question of whether blacks are natural inferiors to whites did not confront them as an epistemological dispute but a practical one – as black men and women, they elected to overthrow their alleged ‘natural superiors’. They did not have to debate about it – they elected to do it. They did not have to repress the idea, they could invalidate it in their own practice – they could refuse to submit to it. For nothing made such an idea necessary to accept. If someone tells me that I am a dog and should bark like one, why the fuck should I give a shit about debating them as to whether or not I will get on all fours and bark?
If black peoples are told they are the natural inferiors to whites, the Panthers did not give a fuck about debating about it – as black men and women, they refused to be inferiors. One is here reminded about Marx wrote on the Paris Commune:
When the Paris Commune took the management of the revolution in its own hands; when plain working men for the first time dared to infringe upon the governmental privilege of their “natural superiors,” and, under circumstances of unexampled difficulty, performed it at salaries the highest of which barely amounted to one-fifth of what, according to high scientific authority,(1) is the minimum required for a secretary to a certain metropolitan school-board – the old world writhed in convulsions of rage at the sight of the Red Flag, the symbol of the Republic of Labor, floating over the Hôtel de Ville.
Marx’s point is that just as the Black Panthers were, the Paris Commune was for the old world an impossibility, and for this reason their hearts were stricken with terror in its midst, and assuredly, the hearts of polite society today, liberals (as well as our ‘decolonial’ ideologues, who find it necessary to defang both the Panthers and Fanon) and fascists alike, are still traumatized by the memory of the Panthers.
We must proceed shamelessly in denying fascists the public expression of their existence as fascists, as a political act. Anti-fascists must ditch the cowardly and dishonest pseudo-humanitarian ideology of protecting sexual or ethnic minorities from the ideas of fascists – we must recognize that the formal significance of the expression of fascist ideas in public institutions is inexorably linked to the antifascist political struggle. The retreat into survivalism is entirely fake – is in tandem with the general millennial obsession with survivalism in fiction. If one is simply trying to survive, one does not need to think critically about the contents of what survives (I.e. “I don’t have time for that! I’m trying to survive here!”) – namely their own thinking dispositions. Here there is no middle in between. The struggle is either political or it is humanitarian (which is the highest expression of anti-humanism, the animalization of humanity). It cannot, is not and will not be both.
If the antifascist struggle is recognized as a contingent and political struggle, then any pretense to neutral space must be regarded as a lie – as antifascists, we have decidedly assumed a real position we are responsible for. By the same extension, we must hold public institutions responsible for their positions whether they want to assume this responsibility themselves or not. The aim must be to accentuate the polarization of society.
Insofar as the antifascist struggle can be apprehended as a political one, then fascists must be denied the public expression of their ideas only because those ideas exist within the context of their formal, political significance in this same struggle. What is necessary is the establishment of politically contingent formal standards. By formal, we of course, do not mean static laws or rules, or even written laws or rules whatsoever, but political standards. And surely, no one is clever for pointing out that all thinking is political, it only takes a degree of critical thinking to recognize that recognition (by society, or the arena of political struggle) of the political character of certain kinds thinking operates at a different pace.
In other words, all thinking is political, but it is necessary to distinguish whether this thinking would be political if it was actually assumed and recognized as relevant, – or whether it already is able to generate a political effect. The difference is crucial, because though all thinking is political, there is still a disparity between such thinking which if realized to its conclusion would be political, and thinking which has immediate political relevance (not simply popularity) by merit of its – for instance – dissemination, and public expression.
What is even more crucial is that the pacing of holding the public expression of ideas to such standards corresponds to the pacing of concrete political antagonism as it actually exists. There is no short abundance of scoundrels and reactionaries among the Left, there is no question that speaking at the level of their subjective dispositions little separates left-philistines from fascists. It takes, however, a special kind of idiocy to think that in concrete, practical terms – given the pacing of the political antagonism as it actually exists- that there is no difference between your typical self-proclaimed anarchist and a fascist and that they should be treated the same way. The separation between folk-philistines and fascists is a formal one.
Undoubtedly, left-philistines and folk ideologues should be (i.e. polemically, theoretically) attacked mercilessly, should be subject to the utmost criticism and even if necessary ridicule. But that does not mean they should be denied public expression of their ideas, it does not mean that they should be attacked because of the logical conclusion of their thinking – for the simple reason that they have not taken them to a conclusion (yet) that is sufficient enough to consider them identical with fascists. It does not mean they should be abused and assaulted. The difference between Marxists and these petty bourgeois ideologues, as it concerns the immediate practical struggle is a difference at the level of the free use of reason – it is not (yet) a formal (practical) difference in the wider political struggle.
By form, we do not mean organization, tactics, and so on – we mean a point of polarization that is sufficient enough to be politically significant (i..e at the level of society) so as to make them targets of mobilization.That would be pure stupidity! In the present stage of the political struggle, the only meaningful (formal) distinction within the Left can be epitomized by the difference between the insurgent proto-populist Left (Sanders, Corbyn, etc) and the establishment ‘Left’ (i.e. Clinton). Like the inter-left student clashes of the 1960’s, formal conflicts between radical leftists given this stage of development is a narcissistic and masturbatory exercise. The trial of which splinter of the left is victorious is its ability to become a movement of the broad masses. The struggle immanent to the Left before this is a struggle at the level of universal reason, i.e. is at best theoretical (or more generally philosophic).
Speaking purely at a formal level, even if the logical conclusion of an academic, or a speaker, is thinking which is inherently fascist -on the condition that they adhere to such formal standards they should be free to express their ideas. Of course, fascist thinkers would never be able to adhere to such standards, but the mental experiment is necessary so as to distinguish the formal expression of ideas and the free use of reason. The latter can only be infringed upon by individuals to themselves while the formal (public) expression of ideas can be fought with political force.
At the exact same time, and it is this which is crucial to understanding: these formal standards must be responsible to the free use of reason, internally, to those who create and enforce them, even though we recognize they are not identical. In other words – we need to know what we are doing. Just and as equally as much as the political struggle is for us responsible to our own use of conscious reason. We need to apprehend the tactical significance of denying racist, sexist, or fascist ideas expression. This presumes recognition of their immersion in a wider political struggle.
The tautological stupidity of left-philistines is that for them what amounts to formal rules (political correctness) are enough for themselves, that opposing racism, sexism, fascism, is self-evident. On the other hand the stupidity of the leftist defenders of ‘free speech’ is the exact opposite view – that the beginning and end of opposing these things is strictly a matter of the free use of reason (“If you oppose it, why don’t you just debate it?”). What both miss is the radical juncture in society between the formal expression of ideas and the free use of reason.
It is the task of Communists to bridge these two, but they will not be identical as soon as we want them to be – they will remain separate for as long as the prevailing social order persists. In addition, they cannot be bridged if they are not recognized as separate in the first place. One doesn’t seek to unite things which are already the same thing.
The principle task must be rendering contingent and politically responsible rules on the formal expression of ideas. If such rules cannot be enshrined in academic institutions, they must at the very least be enshrined into the mentality of political organizations and even anti-fascist organizations more generally. Rules of course, have a basis in universal reason but are not reducible to them.
How a law was justified is entirely irrelevant to the act of its enforcement. If you are arrested, the cop doesn’t need to justify to you why the law that you violated was justified. In a courtroom, he must only justify that you violated it. Of course, this is a profound expression of alienation, but recognizing this does not wish away the existence of formal rules any more than it does laws. Their overcoming is a process which must also take into account their present existence.
The maintaining of political standards at the expense of the ‘free speech’ of fascists is done not in spite of, but because of what must be a renewed endeavor of ruthless criticism. All criticism means is to hold things to their conditions of existence, to hold ideas to their conditions of justification – for the Communist self-criticism is perfectly correlative with the most unwavering commitment to the Communist struggle.
To proceed in refusing to debate fascists, and in disallowing them a right to publicly express their existence (as fascists) – one must do so with absolute and utmost faith in an alternative to fascism. Without this necessary faith, anti-fascist action amounts to nothing more than a bluff, it amounts to nothing more than buying time for its own sake. The problem is that existing anti-fascists do not have this faith whatsoever – the threat fascism poses to them is a threat to their own convictions. They are not threatened by fascism, they are tempted by it – and it is in their view that by silencing fascists they have silenced this temptation – silenced the possibility that they too might be corrupted by it.
Silencing fascists that proceeds on the basis of faith in an alternative to fascism, on the other hand, would be carried out with an understanding that such silencing is purely an expression of political power alone. We must know where we stand, and they know where they stand. All that is left is the political war. Disallowing fascists to speak publicly is not a sufficient excuse to ignore fascism in the realm of conscious reason – we must be perfectly self-conscious of what differentiates us from fascists, and thus we must endeavor to understand fascism even at the same time that we disallow to our highest capacity fascists the right to express their existence. Thinking which is fascist cannot be distinguished from thinking which is Communist until the former is understood. What separates us from fascists, is the same as what separates us from a choice that is within our own power. (What separates us from fascists is also what separates us from accepting fascism ourselves as individuals)
Absolutely nothing can be taken for granted. Nothing can be assumed as natural, comfortable, or a given. Nothing, absolutely nothing that can be identified can be exempt from criticism. Let every and all things show their teeth!
No leftist at this point should be mistaken in that as an extreme conclusion of the existing polarization of society, which in its extremity is a question for us of time alone, the only decision will be fascism or Communism. Every individual must confront this difference, and must elect to choose. This impasse, this conflict, will in time be transposed into a final confrontation, the internal-individual struggle will be transposed onto an external societal war.
We allot our attention to a zone of ambiguity in philosophic thinking, whose only line of demarcation lies in outwardly expressed formal political positions.
It is not unforeseeable, and indeed, it has already been true that left-philistines would identify #problematic left-wing philosophers who hold in common only the reality that all are placed squarely outside of the discourse of the university, are rogue academics who possess an existence independent of it. In the list of philosophers mentioned – what all possess in common is that one way or another, all refuse to be lickspittles to the academic establishments of the world. More revealingly, it is that more or less all of the aforementioned left-wing thinkers engage in what Žižek calls the public use of reason, namely their work is unfettered and uncorrupted by opportunistic careerism and lickspittle academic conformism.
In such a list, abject theoretical enemies become accomplices – Badiou and Žižek are indistinguishable from Deleuzians, et al. Despite strong suspicions that the post is a prank, this association is not without truth – there is a reason they are grouped together – they are, broadly, the last stand of philosophy against the tides of Anglo-technocratic philistinism in the sphere of the academy. All undermine the discourse of the university from within because all are sincerely philosophers. At one of the same time, this places them squarely opposed to the entire politico-ideological establishment only embodied by the university establishment, and by consequence, the source of guarantee for the activist left.
There is a simple reason for this: philosophy can only proceed on the basis of a problem immanent to reason itself. Technocratic thinking, on the other hand, proceeds not on the basis of a problem in reason, but problems that are readily made before reason – hence why they are technical problems. The triumph of anglo-technocratic philistinism in the university is, therefore, the triumph of the unquestioned rationality of the ruling order.
Why it is that what we might broadly call rogue left-academics are received with suspicion and contempt among toddler-activists, is because they call into question the entire ethical (politically correct) framework that which the latter proceed from as a given of their Disney stuffed upbringing. Rogue leftists recognize, more importantly, that it is doomed. That they do not necessarily transgress its rules is entirely irrelevant – what makes threatening is that they do not assume it as a given, they question the entire foundation of what infantile activists take for granted. The source of the general suspicion against them is thus that they operate at a level of conscious reason which spares too little. For the infantile left, it is quite simple: They fuck around where they don’t belong.
Because the aforementioned thinkers are philosophers, this places them squarely in proximity with the problem immanent to the rationality of society itself, and thus inevitably in a certain proximity with the abyss from which fascism (likewise) is wrought. Any philosopher who does not touch this thin line, any philosopher who does not tread on icy waters – is not a philosopher but a philistine lickspittle, and further a liar. Those who are afraid of engaging evil are afraid of engaging the evil that is at the same time within themselves (hidden and repressed by political correctness). The only crime philosophic work is guilty of is bringing this evil to light – yet the stupidity of the left-philistines is thinking that it is responsible for its existence itself.
They do not distinguish what is only testament to evil, and evil itself. In just in the same way as politically correct identity-mongers, they believe that all antagonism, everything of the outside that is – can be neutralized insofar as its mere representation is filtered to them. Like the child which believes the bogeyman will disappear if only they hide bellow their covers, the left-philistines believe that evil ceases to have a basis of existence if only that it goes unacknowledged. So that the aforementioned intellectuals would dare engage evil in thought, for them means that this evil can be reduced to them.
It is not difficult to see how this a desperate expression of the strive to repress antagonism: Antagonism can be discerned very simply in the fact that for those living in the outside, for the proletariat, evil is everywhere and all around them, is experienced even if they do not have the words to articulate it. However, it takes a unique kind of privilege to be able to avoid confrontation with evil, and its ensuing discomfort merely because it is within your capacity to avoid confrontation with its representation. At the very best, it requires one at least have the delusion that their experience of evil is only temporary, and that therefore its representation lends itself only to the inability to escape it (for instance, one might imagine that for many living in poverty in the Untied States, focusing on this poverty distracts from the individual road to achieving the American dream).
In either case, the function is clear: To neutralize confrontation with antagonism. Surely every Chinese bureaucrat, Silicon valley bloodsucker, or think-tank philistine is under the illusion that the extreme suffering present in the world is only temporary, that focusing too closely on it can only lend itself to reproducing it. Yet for Marxists, it is clear this suffering is the point of failure of this very same sense of guarantee – that there is something irreconcilably wrong with the world as it exists – a rash that for progress and development will not go away, if you will. If you want safety and comfort in matters of reason, one can fuck off to Buzzfeed. Any philosopher that does not touch and engage the doom which is immanent to society as reflected in thought, in reason, is not engaged in philosophic work but something else. Philosophy can only proceed on the basis of the general failure of the prevailing conscious reason.
What are the conditions of the experience of this failure, so much so that it necessitates thinking which is philosophic? In times of the absence of a Communist movement, the conditions of the failure of conscious reason is the imminent point of failure of society itself, which is the social antagonism (even if it is not recognized as such). Thus those who have taken philosophic thinking to its utmost heights – which include the aforementioned thinkers – today will largely and can only be identified with the Left. For the Left, the unbearability that generates the necessity of philosophy does not die with philosophy – the necessity of philosophic work can and will only be abandoned when it is transposed onto the work necessitated by a real movement, the movement that self-consciously assumes and accentuates the antagonism which is responsible for philosophy in practice – i.e. the movement wherein the problem of conscious reason is now self-consciously and practically apprehended as a problem of the rationality of society – what is called the class struggle.
Rightist philosophers, on the other hand, seek desperately to be done with philosophic work as quickly as there can prevail a newfound commonsense philistinism that renders the problem of philosophy no longer so unbearable to the use of conscious reason.
The question however arises: Why is it that fascist pseudointellectualism persists today? What developments at the level of history have lent themselves to so-called neoreaction or taking the ‘red pill’? It has nothing to do with their affinity for philosophy, and everything to do with an apprehension of the general failure, or inconsistency of the predominant registration of reality as offered by the ruling politically correct establishment. Very superficially, and crudely we can in short say: the emergence of silicon capitalism has outpaced the superstructure of the prior form of Wall-Street capitalism. We of course will not expend time going into details here – it is only necessary to understand that the emergence of fascist thought is reflective of the failure of what can be readily offered by the prevailing politico-ideological registration of reality.
There is not only a crisis of liberal democracy but also and at the same time a crisis of liberal-democratic consciousnesses whose putrescence has reaches such levels that what remains of it is little more than rule-mongering and language policing… Or what is today called political correctness. There is nothing difficult or painful whatsoever about becoming a fascist, given the readymade mental disposition found even in any hipster. Therein lies the secret of the so-called red pill. It has not occurred to these fascists that they have not taken any red pill – nor have they awoken from the matrix – what has happened is that we are entering a new matrix. In light of this, it is clear their thinking is perfectly passive.
Amidst all of the fascist pseudointellectuals and clowns, however, one among them can be said to be a philosopher. The elephant of the room, and also central to the LD50 controversy is Nick Land.
It would not be ridiculous to assume that there exist a great many left-philistines who proceed with the following logic: Land is a fascist. Land has influenced a great number of Left intellectuals. Therefore, the degree that which Land’s thinking (or thinking which originates with Land) is influential among them – is the degree that which they are influenced by fascism.
Yet this ignores entirely why, and how Land was led to the conclusions he came to. Only thinking which is dialectical would allow one to comprehend that precisely because of the radical and absolute (and we do not use this word lightly) difference there exists a degree of proximity between Land’s thinking and the thinking of the rogue-Leftists – including thinkers who may have never heard of Land at all, like Žižek.
There is a simple reason for this: Land’s thinking, which can trace its (prefascist) origins to the 1990s while he was a part of the infamous CCRU at the University of Warwick, is entirely given to that which he took as his object of thought – the external world, and by extension real developments in world capitalism. It is crucial to apprehend and engage with the writings and works of Land, only because by taking to its most extreme conclusions reason itself (by what it can afford in a strictly passive manner) – Land in a strict sense was able to take to its extreme conclusion the development of Silicon capitalism itself.
Land’s thinking could only ever be an embarrassment, a dirty secret for the ruling order rather than any kind of achievement. If it is our concern to kill the devil: Is it better that the devil is everywhere and at all times, and only as a semblance – hiding behind the innocuous and familiar – or is it better that he reveals himself in a single form, honestly, shamelessly and openly? Land’s achievement lies in the conscious apprehension of forces that proceed independently of their conscious apprehension. It is Land’s own stupidity that he could not see: Not only do such forces proceed independently of their conscious apprehension, they proceed only because they are not assumed subjectively, consciously, by the ‘meat puppets’ they are in possession of.
Land’s thinking strives for a subjective apprehension (or expression, as he might prefer) of reality, but falls short only because it does not assume this subjective apprehension… It does not go farther in taking as its conclusion historical self-consciousness, or as it was known for over a century, Communism. It makes no distinction between the conscious apprehension of reality and reality itself – it makes no distinction between the subjective assumption of the machinic processes and those forces in themselves. As ‘Left-Landians’ had already pointed out, what Land seeks to express in thought – the inhuman forces of capital – can only assume a worldly existence insofar as they are entangled in that which posits itself at their expense – god, nature, the family. Capitalism does not exist in spite of – but because of the bourgeois philistine sentimentalism which seeks to repress confrontation with it.
No one claims that the use of conscious reason is neutral. Indeed, thinking unique to Nick Land is radically evil, or more accurately it is testament to the radical evil only reflected in him. It is not possible, however, to grasp this evil if one only endeavors to abstract from it its immediate significance in relation to a readymade political correctness. It is not possible to grasp the radical evil of Land until one endeavors to grasp it on its own terms, until one can bear witness to the contingency (upon faith) of the very position from which it is judged. Far from arguing that the use of conscious reason is neutral, the point is on the contrary that the trial by which its nature is to be judged cannot proceed from a basis that pretends to be outside of it. Reason is not neutral, but the only trial of its partisanship is through its use.
One should not flatter Land by thinking that he as an individual can be held entirely accountable for the radical evil that is only reflected in his thought. For Land as a mere individual is not responsible for it – or more accurately he is no more responsible for it than anyone else. As far as being responsible for the evil reflected through his works, Land is no more guilty than any milkman.
What makes Land’s thinking necessary for any understanding of our present predicament, political or otherwise, is that it is the furthest expression as reflected in thought of present tendencies of world capitalism. In this strict sense, speaking at the level of Land’s thinking itself – it is Land’s thinking which is far worse than that of any self-proclaimed white supremacist. The semblance of evil that is to be found amongst all of the fascist rodents, all of the pluralistic political identities from ‘white nationalism’ to Duginism reaches its absolution in the thinking of Nick Land. What this means is that the difference between what is expressed in Land, and what is expressed in the Communists is the radical difference which present society can only oscillate around.
If one is able to grasp Land, then one is able to grasp with unprecedented clarity and strategic insight political controversies even as close in proximity as that which distinguishes Republicans from Democrats. Land is the unbridled embodiment of the essential locomotion of all existing reactionary tendencies – he only embodies it fully, and shamelessly, without any tiptoeing around, without any conformity to the worldly demands of circumstance. We know very well what we are up against. We can only wonder: Do the self-proclaimed anti-fascists? Do they really know what is at stake in the forthcoming struggle which brings this radical difference to its final conclusion? Are they really aware of its scope?
Land embodies a response to world-historical developments and their implications for humanity – before one can go about with a different response, one must own up to the responsibility of responding to them, instead of pretending they don’t exist, in the first place. That folk-anarchists actually believe they are up to the challenges provided by recent events can either only reflect their profound ignorance of their scope or a unique dishonesty. These challenges are not only ones of action, but challenge the entire horizon of meaning, the entire means by which individuals register and filter a relationship to the world.
Whichever position you assume with regard to Land, one only fools themselves if they think they can so easily ignore the problems raised by this thinker by dismissing him as a fascist.
To go from refusing to tolerate Land the public expression of ideas, to attacking those who engage the ideas of Land is unambiguously an expression of this criminal stupidity. It is one thing to refuse to tolerate Land and deny him the right to publicly express his ideas… For one can do this, while at the same time still engage in a serious confrontation with his thinking, serious in the sense of recognizing its evil. Let us not be mistaken here: The evil invested in Land’s thinking is infinitely greater than what can be afforded by typical accusations of ‘white supremacy’. Land has chosen a side, and it is clear where he stands. We have nothing against holding him responsible for this. Yet to think that this would be anything more than an immediate political act, would be anything more than what is akin to sending a message, is almost laughable were it not stupid.
The problem is that our side, the Left, is entirely clueless as to where it stands. It has succeeded only in responding to events but has seldom heralded them. The Left does not know what it wants. One thing, regardless of the future of the Left is clear: The existing Left has no chance. It will either reform itself on an entirely newfound basis, or it will cease to exist. It will dissolve and dissipate in the general wave of darkness and barbarism much like so many Leftist organizations turned ethno-religious sectarians in Eastern Europe, the Middle East, Asia and Africa – where at best all that has been retained of their history are their names.
The most disgusting barbarism of the Left of the present has consisted in their active complacency in the destruction of the public use of reason and rendering the use of reason itself, and by consequence knowledge – private. They attempt to render thought itself subordinate to their infantile (academy approved) identity-categories, so that whole achievements of past centuries can be dismissed as the expression of the interests of old white men, or whatever they like.
Remember that these infantile philistines have no familiarity with such achievements outside of the identity they have consigned to their authors. We Marxists should never forget Lenin on this matter, who wrote of Marx:
[…] Marx based his work on the firm foundation of the human knowledge acquired under capitalism. […] He critically reshaped everything that had been created by human society, without ignoring a single detail. He reconsidered, subjected to criticism, and verified on the working-class movement everything that human thinking had created, and therefrom formulated conclusions which people hemmed in by bourgeois limitations or bound by bourgeois prejudices could not draw.
The philistine Left and consigned the free and critical use of reason to the trash heaps, because it is incapable of distinguishing, in all their idealism, it from its formal significance. What work the lickspittle Left is doing for world capitalism. For centuries the forces of philistinism have striven to do away once and for all the restless itch posed to it by the achievements of philosophy – who would have thought that they would succeed in their endeavor in this way, by the hand of idiot pseudo-leftists.
The philistines cannot face up to the achievements of thought within the parameters of thought, so like the intellectual cowards they are – they attempt to dismiss the (critical) use of reason entirely on the basis of that which we are now supposed to accept predicates reason itself (I.e. identities). What they cannot face in thought, and by the critical use of reason, they wish to dismiss entirely, they wish to reduce to this or that phrase or word and afterwards consider the matter settled. Already we have seen a plethora of filth with regard to attacks on ‘devil’s advocates’ and alleged ‘contrarianism’… What is this if not the most shameless expression of self-righteous laziness and stupidity?
They openly hold in contempt the critical use of reason. “Why can’t you just shut up and not make things complicated?” – It doesn’t occur to them that this sword cuts both ways, and the enemy is far more skilled in wielding it. When they are told the same thing by the reactionaries, they have no short supply of pseudo-academic phraseology, they have an entire arsenal of pseudo-intellectual trash to pull out of their ass – yet they have the gall to attack playing the devil’s advocate. They believe that upon killing the advocate, the devil himself dies too. And where they attempt to direct their efforts against thinkers of the Left, against thinkers which have all formally assumed the anti-fascist position – their intellectual cowardice and moral bankruptcy is revealed in all its shamelessness and unambiguity.
As was already pointed out before, one of the obvious signs of the doomed nature of the existing left is the fact of how predictable they are:
[…] their protesting was so cliché’d, so unoriginal, so predictable to almost comedic degrees that any idiot who would want to infiltrate it could. […] what this predictability reveals is that the politico-ideological project epitomized by figures like Milo has already built itself from the rubble of the old conservative Left, the Left which hasn’t moved past the capturing the scattered debris of the counter-culture, the identitarian Left.
In the exact same way, why it is that it is difficult to distinguish mimicries of the existing Left from an ironic distance (which is what the ‘antifa’ post probably was), from this existing Left in its actual existence, is because the existing Left is already dead – which is to say, it is like Wile E. Coyote, its momentum persists only because it has not yet realized that it is dead.
This still however begs the question: Despite its obvious theoretical bankruptcy, despite the clear inconsistencies, and absurdities of its own self-image (which, if honestly accepted, would have to be the end of their activism), what is the locomotion of its momentum? Is it a ridiculous question to ask: Why does the truth of Wile E. Coyote’s doom actualize only when he realizes it?
We set ourselves to the task of answering: How is it that, despite its death at the level of conscious reason, the activist Left persists? Do we simply witness the last cries of a dying animal, is the left simply acting out in the face of its impending destruction? So the right presently contends itself with believing. Indeed, it is profoundly idiotic to deny that at the present rate, the Left is headed towards its own doom, but is its march one without resistance (not to be conflated with more recent connotations of this word)? Where we mark our point of departure with the reactionaries, with the so-called alt-right is that we recognize quite acutely that this doom is not an inevitability, that if the Left is doomed, it is responsible for it (and not, as the enemy would believe, the ‘crushing weight of reality’).
Which is to say there is indeed something immanent to the existing Left, more specifically the (so-called) antifascist Left which is irreducible to its own self-image, in other words, which is irreducible to its own stupidity – that there is an element of excess in it that is fundamentally clean and true. It is this excess, which always resists what the activist Left thinks it is doing, tells both itself and the world what it is doing, that is the locomotion of the existing Left – that permits the left to live despite being dead.
From it we can recognize that the Left truly does not know what it is doing – but alas, it is doing something (which it does not know) – that they fall short in staying true to an unknowable but detectable something. Far from flattering the petty bourgeois Left, the point is: What goodness it is responsible for, it does not understand – its genuine half-successes have hitherto been accidental.
No matter how entangled in opportunistic obfuscations, in petty bourgeois philistinism and even reaction, we can only recognize something authentic in the violence of the Left. Its authenticity lies not in the heads of the Left, but their hearts, something which exists at the expense of its idiotic conceptualization. No matter how bankrupt – both theoretically and even spiritually the existing antifascist Left is, and no matter how impotently it expresses it, it has elected to reject (at least a certain aspect of) the present unfolding of events. This pure rejection, if we can abstract it from the stupidity which is its context, is clean and true.
This aspect, however, is not some kind of inner-essence that is veiled behind layers of mystery – it is precisely the interiority of existing-leftist subjectivity that the root of petty bourgeois trash, cowardice and opportunism can be found. Quite on the contrary, the true locomotion of the existing Left is to be found outwardly, in what Leftists are able to conjure forth to the Earth independently of the sum-total of their individual wills. We call it Dābbat al-Arḍ, the Beast of the Earth of koranic mythology, the beast which heralds to the living their impending apocalypse.
In this myth, the beast is testament to a now unignorable truth, but only those who had hitherto believed in this truth, before it was unignorable, will be spared from the fate it promises. Everywhere that a street protest turns violent, everywhere in moments of sublime ecstasy where all individual differences, both in appearance and opinion, dissolve into a collective monster, everywhere where pure, horrific momentum outpaces the conscious dispositions of its constituents – there you will find the Beast of the Earth. In the sphere of popular imagination, one finds rather precise examples – such as the uprising depicted in The Dark Knight Rises, and even more generally in depictions of zombie apocalypse (where individual zombies are still wearing clothing, etc.)
Here points of trauma emergence, unbehest to the willful actors, which truly inspire fear into the enemy, which remind it of the dormant truth that its victory is not inevitable, that there is something – even if no one has given it a name or conscious expression – which outlives the Left in only its current, pathetic incarnation. No better proof of this is how quite spontaneously the right finds it necessary to attribute to this phenomena a mass organized conspiracy (i.e. By George Soros), it is necessary for them that individual protesters are paid – that they make such an impression that there must be a higher purposeful meaning behind them.
To attribute to such events that level of organization, of course, fails to respect that occurrences of the beast are only possible if those same leftists, within their current petty bourgeois dispositions, are not in control of them, occurrences of the beast are only possible by accident, where momentum builds off of what is only itself and at the expense of any hitherto respect for the ruling order. No individual leftist-activist, to say nothing of a George Soros, can even come close to consciously apprehending this beast in a way that is sufficient to willfully conjure it forth – for in such moments what is shaken, rendered contingent, is the basis of the use of conscious reason itself.
What is profoundly so terrifying about it for those who were not involved in it, is that it is an expression of the contingency of history itself – that such actions become phenomena, have come to alter actual historical events, from college campuses to city streets. For the reactionary, it is impossible that all of this is accidental and contingent, because for them history proceeds not on the basis of the activity of mere humans, but the inhuman, whether they call this nature or god – the superstitious sense of guarantee in the procession of history becomes disrupted by the appearance of the beast.
The beast reminds them of the traumatic possibility that, that which they have taken to be necessary, purposeful and meaningful outside of it – the law and order of society, its Babylons, normality as such – rests on a basis of sand, and is just as accidental and contingent. Within their psychic disposition, it is necessary that something is behind the activity of leftists, only because of their superstitious sense of guarantee that something purposeful is behind the unfolding of history itself. In every faint glimpse of those untapped and long dormant powers which take possession of the activist-leftist only accidentally, the enemy bears witness its own annihilation.
This is quite further corroborated in the fact that – no individual leftist can be accountable, corner them as individuals and they are just as clueless as anyone else about what is going on. Why it is that the cliche of the paid protester persists, is because each and every actual protester, and organizer is deep down just as clueless to what is going on – rumors of paid protesters has them, even for a mere second, checking both shoulders, “might it be true?”. The individual leftist can only shrug their shoulders: They are just as pathetic and impotent as the outside spectators in apprehending the meaning of what is only the consequence of their actions.
The right copes with its trauma only because it is allowed to forget the horror of the beast, it finds reassurance not when the Beast is conjured forth, but the morning afterwards where it remembers of this beast only the stupidity of its recollection among Leftists themselves, i.e. it finds reassurance in how Leftists themselves, whether they were individual constituents of this beast or not – tell themselves and the world their own conscious apprehension of its ultimate meaning.
The Left, as we have said before, is responsible for that which it does wish to take responsibility for, its actions have consequences which go beyond its scope of purposeful intent. The sword however slices both ways – since it does not make any distinction whatsoever, as it is with all pre-scientific activity, sometimes those consequences are favorable to the grander scheme of the victory over fascism – and often they are unfavorable. No superstition could be retained if it was not that, by happy chance, a sense of superstitious guarantee sometimes is corroborated by external events.
Breadcrumbs From the Ivory Tower
The locomotion of the Left is that which it wills accidentally, while its impotency and near futility is at the level of what it wills purposefully – in conscious thinking as well as the willful expression of this thinking (i.e. ‘praxis’, as is fashionable among the activists). One only need, for a second, evaluate the successes of so-called antifascist action in recent years (but especially following the recent American election) to see that any successes on their part whatsoever are entirely accidental. They result not from any kind of tactical insight, but how forces external to them react to them.
We are thus brought to the fundamental point concerning the alleged dichotomy between ‘ivory tower’ theorizing and so-called ‘real world’ actual action™is the high-point of abject dishonesty. The view that there is such a thing as ‘pure action’, divorced from any theoretical registration (the domain of ‘ivory tower’ theorizing) is actually only testament to the existence of pure stupidity. There is no such thing as ‘pure action’, there is no such thing as action which exists for its own sake – nor is this possible. The cowardly and dishonest left-philistines pretend to doing ‘real world’ things, and yet still insist upon trying to consciously reflect upon what they are doing – only, they do not want to assume responsibility for failing.
At the level of their own psychic disposition, there is always a surplus in excess of their ‘real world’ action – namely the ability to tell others that they do real world things. No left-activist today is simply engaged in what they are doing. The truth of their ‘real world action’ lies not in actions in and of themselves, but in their imaginary apprehension of their actions – in their self-image. The truth of the average leftist activist isn’t to be found on the street and on the ground. One needn’t waste their time there: Check their Facebook, and look at all the photos they take of themselves. As it concerns them as individuals, it is not enough that they simply partake in actions – these actions must possess a context in their infantile, petty bourgeois consumer-ego, or more accurately their identity.
What ivory tower theorizing above all undermines is the guarantee in this – in the idiotic conscious registration of their own real actions, which the left-philistines only don’t want to take responsibility for and defend as theoretical. They speak of ivory tower theorizing only because they do not find such theorizing necessary – they are quite comfortable with the problems raised by it and do not experience them as problems whatsoever.
That the effects of their actions can persist without them understanding them is the epitome of what the word accidental is supposed to mean – anyone who finds reassurance and guarantee in the inertia of accidents (many of which, which we ourselves have written about, have catastrophic consequences) is superstitious. They thus want to pick and choose when they want to utilize ‘ivory tower’ theorizing. Worse yet, if we are to be accused of living in an ‘ivory tower’, then the Left-philistines are regularly making back-and-forth trips between the ground and the Emperor’s palace.
And by Emperor’s palace, we of course refer to both the ruling academic and even media establishments. Left-philistines pretend to raze the ivory tower, but this is actually perfectly compatible with the prevailing attitude in practically every academic establishment in the world. There is nothing incompatible about folk politics, left-philistinism – and Clintonism, university discourse respectively. Their relationship is quite simply as follows: The former have faith and guarantee that the latter will do the necessary work at the heights of power. Left-philistines do not want this power for themselves for of course, bless their souls, they will not dirty their hands in this way.
The degree that which left-philistines are disappointed in establishments and ruling institutions is only the degree that which a spoiled brat is disappointed in their parents. As it concerns present orientations in the academy, they are quite closer than family.
The dirty game is thus that wherever they are disappointed by this establishment, they can superficially shake their heads and believe they were right all along about it, while still relying on it entirely. Much like how the pious Christian believes their faith is even more justified by the (inevitable) sins all around them, the left-philistine assumes the stance of the beautiful soul by a mere bluff: the pretense that it does not need those in power, which subsequently dulls every transgression by the latter. They derive their enjoyment (jouissance) not at the expense of, but because of the inevitability that their institutions, and even themselves, will let them down. “Come on guys, we need to do better.”
It does not take much first-hand experience to confirm this. So-called anarchists can be as ruthless as possible in taking advantage of powers external to them, yet because they are beautiful soul anarchists, they don’t have to be responsible for it. If anyone assumes a distance to reality in such a way that cowardly runs away from it, it is them, the folk-ideologues alone. To be a self-proclaimed anarchist is a gamble one cannot possibly lose: at the end of the day, one can always readily blame the nefarious excess of ‘cisheterowhitemaleclassstatistcolonialpatriarchalcapitalistablybodiedfirstworldbreathinghumannotdead’ supremacy. “Don’t look at me, I’ve been an intersectional anarchist all along!”
They elect to clownishly flail their arms around, viewing their own failure as the ultimate vindication of their convictions. It is like a child begging for a spanking from their parents – they want to see how far they can proceed before there emerges a new master to set them in their place (And what, really, will it take? A charming, politically correct Donald Trump?). They flail their arms around, recklessly, whining and crying to god about how he could do this to them – they are waiting for a new master that will make everything right.
They derive a sense of gratification, and even vindication in the distance THEY possess toward reality which absolves them of any complacency in it whatsoever. Left-philistines are as immersed in the discourse of the university as anyone else – that they do not concern themselves with ‘ivory tower’ theorizing is only because they not only view the problems posited by this theorizing as merely technical ones but proceed in allowing others to solve them for them. Leave that to the experts, we can hear them think to themselves, these lickspittle cowards.
The truth is that there is no longer an ivory tower in academia – nothing is more fashionable in academia itself then the cliche of the so-called ivory tower. It is because if the world of academia used to be an ivory tower, it today is reduced to occupying a floor on the Tower of Babylon. That is to say, the sentiment which posits ivory tower theorizing as removed from the needs of everyday life is only reflective of the onslaught of Anglo-technocratic philistinism in every major academic institution in the world, which strives to reduce all problems to merely technical ones. Yet what is lost is the ability to question the entire framework of technicality. Let us even proceed in assessing the meaning of calling painful philosophic work ‘ivory tower’ theorizing.
It is an ivory tower because it is said to be removed from reality. But if the aim is to transform reality, there actually must exist a certain distance toward it before it is grasped practically by its horns – one cannot succeed in transforming that which they cannot even conceive as something in the first place. The call to raze the ivory tower is above all else a call to submit to the prevailing commonsense philistinism, only because the folk ideologues are comfortable in submitting to it. They may pretend that in attacking the thinkers of the Left as removed ivory tower intellectuals they are acting on behalf of the damned of the world, they are in reality instruments of the ruling political and academic establishment which relates to so-called ivory tower theorizing like a person relates to an itchy pimple on the ass.
It is not difficult whatsoever to comprehend: If folk-ideologues freely admit that the work of various ‘ivory tower’ theorists is impractical, and is useless, does the sword not cut both ways? Does this not also entail that it is also useless for the rationality of the ruling order? For capital? The left-philistines pretend like they are confident in their actions which they accuse ivory tower theorizing useless for, but deep down they know very well they have no fucking idea what they are doing. The only source of guarantee they have is in that epitomized by the actual academic establishment – not only the powers which represent it but the ruling ideological apparatus which they are thoroughly immersed in.
If ivory tower theorizing is not useless and is to be attacked because it is useful – but reserved for a select few elites, this is all the more laughably stupid. If there is something useful in an ivory tower, how does it follow that the conclusion is to raze the tower, rather than seize what is produced by it? Furthermore to speak about ‘ivory tower theorizing’ specifically in relation to the aforementioned rogue left academics, is also fucking stupid: All of their works are freely available and online, and Zizek openly declares that he is indifferent toward torrenting his books. Practically all of the aforementioned thinkers developed their thinking not because of, but at the expense of what is readily provided by the academy – so much so that their works confront it as a transgression.
What is fashionable in the academy today, however, is identity-mongering and various opportunistic abuses of the past achievements of critical theory et al. Precisely the onslaught against specifically enlightenment, universalist thinking is what prevails in practically every academic institution today.
The present philistine-left is not free from ‘ivory tower’ theorizing, it merely contends itself with breadcrumbs from the ivory tower. It contends itself with regurgitating what is produced in the ‘ivory tower’, but only in such a way that the products of said theorizing are made to seem commonsensical and absolved from critical engagement. Intersectionality, privilege theory, decoloniality, not only all have their origin in ‘ivory tower’ theorizing, but entire academic environments today conform to them. The highest cliché of present events – specifically following Trump’s election is the student liberal turned anarchotoddler. Nothing makes this transition difficult whatsoever given the readymade dispositions derived from academia.
On the other hand, to come to the conclusions of most if not all the aforementioned thinkers – can only be achieved with a painful break with the readymade academic environment (and its subsequent diffusion to non-student hipsters), can only be pushed through at its expense.
Future of the Beast
The death of anything redeemable of the anti-fascist Left as it presently exists lies in its own propensity to compromise. No matter how it attempts to superficially justify itself, attacking thinkers such as Žižek is an expression of retreat, it compromises the momentum of the left and renders it unambiguously synonymous with the conscious stupidity of its individual constituents.
That he is attacked over his position on the refugee crisis (while making it clear that he is not only not opposed to allowing refugees in Europe, but considers it a matter of duty that Europe accept more), or even his comments with regard to the American election (which were entirely justified) is the point that reveals something imminently wrong with the Left as it presently exists that is without ambiguity.
We are thus brought to the final impasse of the Left today – the question of how to be true to the beast of its own making. The self-flaggarizing and cowardly Left will run away from the sight of its shadow, will scurry two steps back for every forward step it takes because what it lacks above all is faith in the cause of the Left, the cause which began at the outset of the storming of the Bastille.
Every contemporary upheaval has been thus far extinguished as soon as the necessity of apprehending momentum, or the beast by its horns fell upon the shoulders of the constituents. Only a fool would think that present waves of ‘anti-fascist action’ will be, at the present pace exempt from the same fate. The minute this momentum turns against precisely the only avenue of apprehending it, it will set itself apart from the Arab spring and Occupy in having been extinguished entirely by its own hand. Those who are sincere in their anti-fascism, those who – even if just for a faint second, have peered into the doom – will carry with them only the confidence and bravery of the impending struggle.
Those who are true to the beast of their own making will willingly cast aside everything for its sake. Those honest and true in their anti-fascism, those serious, will endure the trial of the anti-fascist struggle. They will not submit to the impending darkness, because it may meet them in the form of some smiling, politically correct scoundrel in the place of Trump – they will not submit to the impending darkness in the midst of the forthcoming compromise between the academic, media establishments and fascism – and a foreseeable compromise between folk-hipsterism and fascism. They will not abandon the anti-fascist struggle as soon as it becomes convenient and fashionable but will be true to it even if they run the risk of being alone in doing so.
Let us see how many anti-fascists endure what is to come. In time it will be clear that only the truest and bravest among the Left will endure – those who readily assume the mantle of responsibility of its historic cause, who do not cross their arms and wait to be convinced but readily put themselves at the helm of the struggle without condition.
We must put an end to the Left of #notmyrevolution. It is high time we turn our backs on those who think our historic cause owes them anything. It is high time we recognize that we owe not only it everything but must conjoin our fates with the damned of the world. To those who cannot afford to accept prevailing conditions as an option. Those who conjoin their fates with the damned of the world do not have a choice. The question of allegiance to the ideas of Communism is not a question of preference but confronts us as the only existing choice.
The petty bourgeois ideologues who pervade the left have no loyalty to the cause of the damned of the world. And believe they are doing those who do a favor by polluting the left. We don’t want them, and we don’t need them. Let them leave! Let them leave in droves! We do not need them. What have they done for the cause? What makes them think they are owed anything? What makes them think we exist for the sake of satisfying them? No one should flatter them to the point of being intimidated by them, or taking shit from them. We must not simply exit the vampire’s castle. We must kick the motherfucking vampires out. (Take even as an example the linked piece – the price Fisher paid for being polite in it was that the left-philistines tried to step all over him).
Since the 1990s, every scoundrel has come to believe they are doing our tradition a favor by staying true to it because it no longer possesses any legitimacy or power. Every scoundrel is allowed to drop their excrement in the common shitting-pot of explanations which posit to possess the panacea of what went wrong. The entire history of the left they disrespect and abuse, because they have secured an existence which is not in need of its memory. Every petty bourgeois scoundrel can have one foot in the Left, and one foot elsewhere. In all their moronic arrogance they are waiting for it to make an impression on them, to serve them. To buttress their career-oriented pursuits.
They not only demand it serves them, they demand it constantly proves and reminds them it is not the monster, the Stalin, the Robespierre it is remembered as by society – it demands the Left regularly on its knees like a dog to prove it has lost its fangs. Let them fuck off to their careers, to whatever future they have imagined is possible for them. Truly! We insist! Fuck off and do not come back.
Too often among leftists we hear phrases like “Well if that’s the case, you can keep your revolution!”, “You can keep your socialism!” – the only legitimate response to this is: “Leave or don’t, we don’t give a sorry fuck. No one is begging you to stay.” As if we are to be blackmailed by petty bourgeois hipsters who are nothing close to the tactical majority necessary for a renewed movement, to say nothing of them individually as (pseudo)intellectuals. As if the success of a future movement depends on whether it conforms to the whims of this particular type of person, the hipster philistine – which also comes at the expense of winning over the actual broad masses, who without our intervention whatsoever already hold them in a special kind of contempt.
It has become fashionable to forget that innumerable heroes of the past struggled to be worthy of this cause (and did not think the reverse) – without any source of legitimacy or guarantee invested in any worldly powers whatsoever. We ought to have more dignity than to tolerate such scoundrels amidst the proud history of the Left. Let them fuck off back wherever they came from. The future Left will need better people than that. That acceptance of the prevailing conditions can even be conceived as an option whatsoever by these petty bourgeois ideologues should be sufficient grounds to consider them entirely separate from us.
The Left which will survive the future, the Left that will prevail, is the Left which no longer fears dystopia. It is the Left which is willing to risk any and all things. It is the Left which recognizes only doom is certain. It is the Left which is no longer afraid of its past. It is the Left that readily assumes its existence as its own, and is responsible for that existence. It is the Left that has nothing to apologize for.
rehosted from young democratic army.