On Irregularity: between Analysis and Desire
“Not merely the love of one person, but the animal instinct, the simple undifferentiated desire: that was the force that would tear the Party to pieces.” - George Orwell, 1984
Often when we feel calm reigning, we busy ourselves with the task of trying to draw up the analysis of the situation. We enter into that order of discussion that recites: the analysis of reality is missing, the study of what is happening around us is missing. And who would disagree with this principle? In attacking a world that horrifies us, knowing what creates the disgust is a rather wise matter. Oh yeah, wisdom, which rhymes with stale authority: eternal historical enemy of every leap into the void, of the taste for the unknown, of savouring the possibility of going beyond the outer wall of resignation.
The authoritative wise men, dedicating themselves to the post (post-industrial, post-modernity, post-capitalism, etc.) of everything, strive to find the central point of this meaningless existence. Affirming that there is no centre is completely impossible, unless one broadens one’s gaze to give life to a breach in the sterile mechanism that surrounds us. Today some say that production is the central point in the functioning of the world. Others assign this node to the technological apparatus. Finally, some say that communications, with its ensuing speed of information transmission, is the central axis of alienation. No one is wrong, all are right, partially. These three elements work together to forge the anaesthetic scalpel of minds, supporting each other to maintain the only world we know: that of oppression.
Knowledge is a product for sale, ready to be consumed according to its exchange value. Knowledge, devoted to scientific reality, becomes the power that unites individuals through the submission to fear. Many point us towards effectiveness to prevent and combat fear. Effectiveness is the technical paradigm that coincides with the production of needs and downgrades the creation of desires. Computerized anaesthesia, generalized misery and technological short-sightedness impact the routine of many living beings and reduce them to zombie-inhabitants. Technique is inseparable from the concept of profitability. It is responsible for subjugating individuals to the obligations of effectiveness and profit, turning desires into emancipatory needs. Or rather: into fake needs artificially classified, interconnected and represented as emancipatory.
Consequently, technology is not derealizing reality, it is reproducing it on the quantitative level and attuning it with exploitation. In the past and still today, work makes the exploited participate in their enslavement. Even unemployment participates in work, with the continual search for it by those who are excluded from the productive sphere. Today this also applies to communication and its speed, along with technology and its intrinsic abstraction. All reinforce this world.
The techno-democratic system is producing a quantitative reality where specialized knowledge and skills are locked up in a transcendental way in the laboratories. These structures and factories of the ruling order are in the hands of a few charlatans, apprentice techno-sorcerers who, as an inherent consequence, claim the world as their experimental laboratory. Submission becomes fulfilment, becoming the worst creation of the existing: participative servitude.
Nowadays what intoxicates minds is not the argumentation of analysis, but the firm belief in what works. This is why the only dialogue possible is democratic, between unequals, meaning between oppressors and oppressed, with consent replacing being in the world.
Power only dialogues with what it possesses. Democracy is an untouchable value, the supporting foundation of technological reality. The state, especially in the West, is the dominant form of social life. The dynamic of the market is based on the satisfaction of needs. They make the mercantile paradigm function, and this fictitious balance tends to eliminate diversity. The complete eradication of the creative difference would make all the elements homogeneous and the mega-machine would function perfectly. Doesn’t this recall the Orwellian environment of 1984 and the paradigm of acceptance of the system in Huxley’s Brave New World?
Technology, production and speed of communication are not things in themselves, structures reproducing the ruling order. They are social relationships, mechanical activities carried out by the world’s inhabitants. Habitual and unreflective; they prevent even merely thinking about grasping our lives in order to destroy the social order that is taking more and more away from us.
Habit and the continual reproduction of the existing train us in the impossibility of imagining something else and thus giving life to potentially dangerous desires. The power of this world is based on the tendency of these relations to reproduce the ruling order, under the blackmail of sacrifice. This doesn’t only reinforce command, but expands it and perpetuates it in time. The thing that is command intrinsically feeds obedience. But is there anything exciting in seeing and feeling the inability to express our desires? Can surviving in a world of disasters ever be able to make us grasp the absurdity of life’s authenticity? We live in a society that feeds on catastrophes, which serve the ruling order in expanding its power. The threat of disaster is a perfect alibi for justifying a technologically controlled world, along with the predatory power of its experts and its guardians.
The media, armed wing of the thought police, proclaim continuous terror for all. They chant the mantra that only the state and its functionaries (uniformed and not) can guarantee the adornment of security. This is how the oppressors convince many to accept police control and even to monitor themselves. The unreserved securing of privileges produces the possibility of civil war. But where can we find the possibility of rebellion, which transforms itself into insurrection, meaning the rupture of the social conventions of the ruling order? Dragged into the necessity of survival we no longer even know how to imagine a life made of passions and adventures.
“The nature of rebellion is imaginary in a world that dreams of getting rid of it” - Stanislas Rodanski, Lettre au Soleil Noir
The objectivity of what we see is not there. What we mean by reality is a fragment of something that cannot be completely accomplished before our eyes. What is there in an inescapable way is its interpretation: it is the language we give each other, the expression of relationships in their concreteness. And we alone decide whether to stagnate in its presumed truthfulness or to incite to move beyond it. Nothing is neutral when we take our thoughts into our own hands. The mutation of meaning through consensus throws water on what is fire. Analysis that seeks consensus is itself afraid of rebellion, mutilating the potent incommunicability of desire, making the construction of language itself divine. Some seem to say that one can analyse without desire, but one cannot desire without analysing. The difference between analysis and an idea is precisely in the force of desiring utopia. If causes are found in analysis, the idea wants to destroy all that it recognizes as causes, since they sustain the force of reason of this world.
The idea is a thought that moves one to act. It challenges its concreteness by giving itself to the quality of its possibilities, struggling with its temptation toward realization. If one doesn’t have the glimmer of an idea, one remains entangled in the mechanisms of opinion, meaning induced thoughts that are realized in their democratization.
Interpretation and desire give life-blood to a subversive idea. To have an opinion it is enough to keep running your mouth. This is why ideas are rocks to throw against every form of authority, while opinions make this world completely debatable, ruled by the intrinsic order of technologically armed democracy.
The ruling language of an epoch, in this instance democratic dialogue, corresponds to the construction of social relationships necessary for the ruling order of the same epoch. Anyone who is outside of this language is thought of as a stranger. How can contempt for society stir up this strangeness? How can the barbarians destroy the polis and break with the community of the agora in its dual sense of the city centre and the market?
“Our social structure, meaning with this rough formula the whole of Europe currently affected by the pressure of the migrants, would not withstand the impact of the arrival of millions of people. A collapse doesn’t require the arrival of tens of millions, four or five million would be sufficient. In that case it would no longer be a question of building walls or voting in more or less permissive or repressive laws. It would be the collapse of a social concept that cannot tolerate the eventuality of slaughtering two or three million on our coasts in order to accept only a couple million of them. We are not prepared for such an eventuality. No one can predict what will have to be done. What will the revolutionaries with their mouths full of words while only inflicting little pinpricks on the body of the governing whale do when these forebearers of humanity arrive at the gates, the gates of our so-called civilization, and set about destroying it? Will they contribute to the more than welcome destruction? Will they do everything possible to prevent the reconstitution of a new power under a new symbol and some strange coloured flag on the ruins of the magnificent temple of collapsed Christianity? Who can tell?” - AMB, Le lunghe ombre oltre il muro, in Negazine, Issue 1, 2017
Perhaps this is where our dreams will play out, where joy and sorrow will be at stake. The storm of primordial chaos will not bring any certainty, but choice. With all due respect to the beautiful souls who adhere to the sun of the future. Only a different life can give rise to different thoughts. It is in encounter, in the conspiracy against this world, that we can weave subversive plots. Here are the bad passions to drive out the demons that smoulder in us. We have to see that the rejection of political manipulations also begins with a different way of communicating. Without being afraid of a possible inability to communicate desire, so as not to leave the totality of our words to the analysis of this or that. To disrupt ourselves and the world in which we feel like strangers, we need a desertion. We need to allow us to abandon ourselves to something totally different, to make a clean sweep of this consensual reality. We need to sow doubt.
The epoch of passivity has always needed leaders and experts. As someone said, those who cry that it is not time for rebellion reveal to us in advance which society they are working for. Acting out of pleasure goes hand in hand with the eradication of politics and the lighting of the fuse that unleashes the passions and desires of the dark forest of the self, ripping to bits the opinion of effectiveness. Attacking when everyone else is waiting for the so-called decisive analysis is what puts the refusal of this world into the spark of a dawn as magnificent as possible.
“True life is elsewhere. We are not in the world.” - Arthur Rimbaud, Illuminations
One basic aspect of the creation of other worlds would have to speak of sabotage, spreading knowledge and desires for experimenting with revolt among subversives, writing about what happens, without the mediation of any of the collaborators of those in power. Not to fall into the litany of the already-said, but to make the practices of rupture reproducible by anyone. Then it is necessary to experiment with informality, becoming accomplices on the basis of affinity. Without a name to assert, without a group to propagate, but with the creative solitude of an insurrectionary project to carry out.
Words cannot be shaky steps that only resonate with themselves. They will not find their salvation in analysis, but in one’s own singularity and in the desire to destroy all that submerges it. Affirming that we are strangers in the world, refractory to every order, is also understanding that our interpretation is fighting with something to come. As an old philosopher said, the moment is eternity. The thought police want to transform us into individuals without a shred of desire. But if we want to be poets of an idea that doesn’t give a damn about gods, laws and regulations, we should give ourselves to the disorder of dreams that can interrupt the world, or at least to try provoking various blackouts. No refined and well-done analysis will ever be able to upset the minds that burn on the earth. No more than the misfortune of knowing – desiring the disorganization of all the senses – that life is elsewhere. The reciprocity of certain relationships is necessary to make the boundaries between destruction and creation disappear. Because destruction is the creation of an inaccessible path toward the unknown.
The certainty of the gaze that only focuses on effectiveness is linked, in an indissoluble way, to the technological reality that does not only construct oppressive control outside the individual, but also on the interior. It’s so invasive (although most individuals do not feel it), it literally changes our way of feeling and imagining. Against this persuasion we can oppose the uncertainty of freedom, without dying of security. Some anarchists between the 19th and the 20th century dedicated themselves to propaganda of the deed. And if today other subversives were to dedicate themselves to the poetry of acting, what would happen?