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.'

A Wave that will bury you all?

We are those you believed had just dozed off. Those willing to do anything to gain a place in the world. That you thought were timid and afraid, who would put up with any sort of reform. Big babies, stay behinds, time wasters, inept. And yet here we are, surfing in the piazzas, in the schools, in the stations, in the universities. Surfing about the reforms, about the Education Minister, about the crisis, about the blackmail attempts, about our present and your future. We're surfing about anti-politics, because the only politics possible is our surf. We're surfing about the education programmes, about the training courses for the professions, about the little walls that separate different disciplines, about the high fences that separate different types of knowledge. About the misery of today, about the precarity of tomorrow. We've got our boards under our arms and we dwell in the folds of the wave.

(from L'esercito del Surf, the Army of the Surf, written by members of The Anomalous Wave)