Tuesday, 24 March 2009

Imaginary Insurrections II

In an earlier post I fiddled with the idea that Gordon Brown had incorporated insurrection, an imaginary insurrection, into the supposedly endless progress of the State.

In Il fattore A (from Gli autonomi vol I) in which he discusses why Italy was so uniquely and profoundly affected by '68 - '77 Lanfranco Caminiti sketches this distinction.

On the one hand there is the US model, a sort of 'wild capitalism, of primitive accumulation, of the frontier, of mercenaries, where the turbines sweep everything away without regard, and where one can only resist by reforming a little here, a little there, and that at a very high price.'

And on the other there is the 'Soviet' version, in which inherent contradictions are gathered together at the highest level of generalisation, as 'the plan', thus completing 'an insurrectional leap without actually creating any insurrection, rather making itself the engine of development: worker democracy produces electrification.'

What Gordon Brown, who likes to save the bathwater from discarded babies, retains (at least rhetorically) is some notion of the State Capitalism of the former Soviet Union.

Anyway here is Badiou at the recent Birkbeck conference reasserting how refusal, which is against the State and its 'progress' also comes from within:

'We must create a political framework, something which is disassociated from the State, which is not ruling by the State itself' [...] we cannot live today outside capitalism. It's a nonsense, There is no place outside capitalism. So is it possible to create something like a political space by [...] an analysis of contemporary capitalism? I think this [...] is a necessity, but we cannot [...] create political places outside or at a distance from the State.'

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