Consequences — On revolutionary despair

A nihilist is a person who does not bow down to any authority, who does not accept any principle on faith, however much that principle may be revered.
-Arkady

  1. There is not a liberating vision for humanity. Every so-called revolutionary at best fails and at worst establishes yet another fiefdom. The rhetoric of liberation makes for great bedtime stories, keeps starry-eyed dreamers warm at night, and should be seen for exactly what it is. Charlatans either believe that they speak for the oppressed and that the weight of their opinion is greater because they summon the power of representation, or that they are the first ones to come up with the ideas that they have.
  2. The idea of a singular, recursive, or iterative approach to positive social change works better in a classroom than in lived experience. The kind of social science that results from these explorations resembles a secular monotheism. As an organization of society, or a modeling of the transformation of society, apocalypse has a long track record and it is entirely reactionary. This is to say that whether called an insurrection, a revolution, a singularity, or a collapse, a similar thing is intended: more of the same.
  3. Is the quiet misery of daily life preferable to a reactionary rupture? The lesson of the German Revolution (1918-1919) is the lesson of historical Anarchism: glorious failure. Whether it is France, Spain, Germany, or Russia the story of social revolution has not been one of triumph. Instead, and at best, it has been a set of stories about moments worth living.
  4. How many lives are we willing to sacrifice for our moment? Shall we stack them for barricades? Fill the trenches with them after the tanks roll in? Use their blood to write the history books that tell of our glorious time?
  5. Nechayev did not tell us how to be good people. His concept of an army, or even a secret society, of revolutionary supermen is laughable, but perhaps the reason for laughter isn’t immediately clear. Lenin was clear how much the Catechism influenced his thought. It was The Prince for the revolutionary set. The Catechism provides a moral roadmap, an action plan that has demonstratable results. List your human targets in order of their crimes, harden yourself, and eliminate these targets in order. The greatest criminals are the first eliminated.
  6. Psychology has made the role of superman an embarrassing one. The social milieu of radicalism only allows room for sensitive inhuman success stories. Broken people are highly favored as long as they are broken along the lines of survival and politeness. The Nechayevs of today fade out of sight after no greater crimes than petty larceny and broken hearts. The Machiavellis implement simple strategies to make sure the supermen stay occupied with irrelevancies.
  7. Revolutionary strategy is a failure from the perspective of providing a mechanism to get from here to there. This is not to say that there is not the possibility of wide social transformation but that to the extent that it follows the lead of the glorious losers (anarchists), Nechys, or Micheals of the past it will fail in succeeding either on its own terms or on the terms of being a liberated social change.
  8. This is not to say that we are free or satisfied. We are at an impasse. This impasse is one part frustration at the rhetoric of transition available to us (without words it is hard to understand where one is or where others are), another part anger at the grinding death of a denatured daily life and another part ennui at the futility of our social or political power. Without the ability to control our own life, political action, and social relationships, our vivid imagination lay fallow. There is nothing to eat here but a gray paste that keeps us alive. But for what?
  9. This problem extends to the west generally. We understand that past formulations are out of date. We lack for new ones.
  10. New efforts are being made but they are orthogonal to the approach of the humanist West. They are, to put it gently, more severe than the values and theory of modernity allow for. They are, ultimately, goal-less. These are actions that are interpreted by others but move so rapidly as to be entirely chased by the mullahs, fatwas, and analysts. These new efforts are the language of the disenfranchised humanity. There is no hope. There are only casualties.
  11. The suicide bomber is the muse of our time. They do not inspire us to sing of freedom, justice, and dignity but of consequence.
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One Response to Consequences — On revolutionary despair

  1. Isiah says:

    What is this garbage? This is just really embarrassing and so detached from any sort of concrete reality it is laughable.

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