📚 node [[to our friends invisible committee]]
📕 text contributed by @ryan

To Our Friends | Invisible Committee

Second pamphlet put out by the [[Invisible Committee]].

Notes

The insurrections have come, finally

The Invisible Committee believes that the insurrections that they wrote about in their previous piece are finally coming to pass.

The insurrections have come, but not the revolution.

We might inquire, for example, as to what remains of leftism among revolutionaries and whether it disposes them not only to defeat but also to a nearly general hostility. A certain way of asserting a moral superiority which they haven’t earned is doubtless a quirk inherited from the left. As is the presumed ability to decree the right way to live—the way that is truly progressive, enlightened, modern, correct, deconstructed, and undefiled. A claim to which anyone coming under its summary banishment among the reactionaries-conservatives-obscurantists-narrowminds-bumpkins-fogies will respond with thoughts of murder. Far from creating a distance, the heated rivalry of revolutionaries with the left only keeps us moored to its ground. We should cast off!

The IC believes that we, as leftists, have lost sight of [[revolution]] as a process.

Like any advertising slogan, the catchphrase “We are the [[99%]]” owes its effectiveness not to what it says but to what it doesn’t say. What it doesn’t say is the identity of the powerful 1%. What characterizes the 1% is not their wealth—in the United States the wealthy are far more than 1%—it’s not their celebrity—they tend to be discreet, and nowadays who doesn’t have a right to their fifteen minutes of fame? What characterizes the 1% is that they are organized. They even organize in order to organize the lives of others. The truth of this slogan is quite cruel, and it’s that the number doesn’t matter: one can be 99% and still be completely dominated. Conversely, the collective lootings of Tottenham are a sufficient demonstration that one ceases to be poor as soon as one begins to get organized. There is a considerable difference between a mass of poor people and a mass of poor people determined to act together.

[[Organizing]] has never meant affiliation with the same organization. Organizing is acting in accordance with a common perception, at whatever level that may be.

Merry Crisis and Happy New Fear

1. Crisis Is a Mode of Government

IC claims that [[crises]] are produced intentionally, citing the Greek debt crisis.

Crisis, for the IC, is a means of “creative destruction” for capital.

2. The Real Catastrophe Is Existential and Metaphysical.

The IC asserts again that [[civilization]], such that it is, is already dead.

It’s plain to see that the real living dead are the petty bourgeois of the American suburbs.

The root of “the catastrophe”, for the IC, is “Western man’s incredible estrangement [[[alienation]]] from the world, an estrangement that demands, for example, that he become the master and possessor of nature…”

In reality, the end of civilization has been clinically established for a century, and countersigned by events. Expatiating on the matter is now nothing but a means of distraction. But it’s a distraction from the catastrophe there in front of us, and that has been there for a long time, from the catastrophe that we are, the catastrophe that the West is. That catastrophe is existential, affective, and metaphysical first of all. It resides in Western man’s incredible estrangement from the world, an estrangement that demands, for example, that he become the master and possessor of nature—one only seeks to possess what one fears. It’s not for nothing that he has placed so many screens between himself and the world. By cutting himself off from what exists, Western man has made it into this desolate expanse, this dreary, hostile, mechanical, absurd nothingness which he must ceaselessly devastate, through his labor, his cancerous activism, his shallow hysterical agitation. Relentlessly driven from euphoria to stupor and from stupor to euphoria, he tries to remedy his absence from the world through a whole accumulation of expertise, prostheses, and relations, a whole technological hardware store that is ultimately disappointing. He’s more and more visibly that overequipped existentialist who can’t stop engineering everything, recreating everything, unable as he is to bear a reality that is completely beyond him. As that moron, Camus, blandly admitted, “For a man, understanding the world means reducing it to the human, stamping it with his seal.” He tries humbly to re-enchant his divorce from existence, from himself, from “other people”—that hell!—by calling it his “freedom,” when it’s not by resorting to dismal parties, stupid entertainments, or heavy drug use. Life is effectively, affectively, absent for him, because life repels him. Deep down, it nausetes him. He’s managed to protect himself from everything reality contains that is unstable, irreducible, palpable, corporal, weighty, hot, or fatiguing by projecting it onto the ideal, visual, distant, and digitized plane of the Internet, where there’s no friction or tears, no death or odors.

On the one hand, the [[iPhone]] concentrates all the possible accesses to the world and to others in a single object. It is the lamp and the camera, the mason’s level and the musician’s recording device, the TV and the compass, the tourist guide and the means of communication; on the other, it is the prosthesis that bars any openness to what is there and places me in a regime of constant, convenient semi-presence, retaining a part of my being-there in its grip. They’ve even launched a smartphone app designed to remedy the fact that “our 24/7 connection to the digital world disconnects us from the real world around us.” It is brightly called the GPS for the Soul.

The IC belives that revolutionaries should “place the earth at the center” of our politics, of our movement.

3. The Apocalypse Disappoints

Refs

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