Are obstacles to communication obstacles to communism? (or, things to bear in mind while we formulate our 'revolutionary' stance)

If we press the question of redundancy to work for us, for our projects, we first get something static and paradoxical like this:
    1. the relationship of the individual units (ie capitalist firms) expresses the 'law' (ie the market).
    1a. therefore, there is no law without the relationship (the law is derived from the relation).
    2. the relationship of the individual units is structured by the law.
    2a. therefore, without the law there can be no relationship (the relation is derived from the law).
It is into this paradox of chicken and egg that we must theoretically introduce a dynamic of pattern breakdown and repatterning (is it a mistake to call that 'history' [because of the implied teleology]?); of negligible, sufficient and surplus patterning; of different speeds and levels of breakdown/repatterning.

There is always, always, a contemporaneous urge to turn away as one turns towards others. This is the nature of 'organisation', it induces a kind of vertigo most others who organise become desensitised at the 'inception' moment but I think the giddiness of accepting a specific form must remain central to our project. We are now at a juncture where some sort of definable 'anti-political' communist tendency is really beginning to take shape within our relations... a series of chaotic intuitive waves are now finding a pattern. It is a structural process that I call 'earthen cup'. Should others be excluded? Yes they will be. How will others become involved? It is a matter, I think, of refusing recruitment (a quantatitive process) but instead focusing on developing real relations, this will include a focus on the pressures inherent in 'organising'. Such pressures are nothing to do with us but belong to 'the pre-human'. So there is a journal, so there are books, so there will be a forum, this is how 'things' begin to express social relations (there is intent of course but other pressures are also present). At such moments it is inevitable that those involved will prefer the 'pre-history' of the chaotic waves than the crappiness of what they are capable of I feel the same. All definition is a matter of exclusion and we are all regretful about what has been excluded when we look upon our works because what is not here is as human as what has been included. What is more, what has been excluded must be included as much as any other part of our chosen trajectory, it is a matter of setting communst terms. It is our limits which cause exclusions. I think it is important that we maintain a critical attitude to our own relations and projects but in the end we also have to 'do' something. ... it becomes a real project if it includes real feelings.

The fundamental figure I am sculpting at the moment is 'the moment we abandon communist principles', it is not a matter of either departure or destination but of the moment that one ceases to see one's activity as a matter of putting a set of ideas or principles into practice. Camatte is the great 'leaver', it is this walking away and the nature of socialisation in general that 'anti-politics' expresses. It is never 'to' another place, it is just leaving. The paradox of not being a communist, i.e. getting off the hook of expressing capitalist values as communist principles is that there can be no communism until there is communism, no revolution until there is revolution. The communisng acts cannot be grounded in principles but in communist reality... How is it possible to keep that at the forefront of our thoughts, as we rush to defend our projects and who we are? It is the world we must leave but the world is present in the principle of leaving it.
Frere Dupont

Theory is always a zoom lense, praxis is not a yellow brick road

Theory? Or is it "the one truth"? The one truth is god, or for aetheists, Gut, the grand unified theory: Law & Nature. As with all theories of everything, once so set in stone, it must be discarded as false, because the universe itself is not set in stone. Life proceeds, but not toward an end. The end is what it flees from. If making sense of the world seems overwhelming, indeed, driving us to madness, we never seem to stop talking about it, formulating plans to make it better, simpler, less oppressive. Might it be that our categories by which we communicate and assess our condition are not up to the task, are in need of review, that we need continual adjustments to our lense, set somewhere between telephoto and wide angle?

Weather is not a scary topic. But impending changes of pattern always produce stress. And it is not the change which is scary, but our ability or preparedness to confront it, to behave, to do. Capitalism is no different. As Harry Harrison says, "Speed never hurt anybody - it's the sudden stop at the end. It's not how much change that signals danger, but how fast it's changing....". Much the same can be said for bullshit and other toxic waste. The mere application of a label, even posting a stop-sign, does nothing to reduce the oncoming danger it is, infact, often misread as a personal invitation: "A monster that is given a name is reduced to being a pet" (- Cornelius).

I'm working on a modified-virus metaphor which can rectify that other paradox between "the great man" theory of history, which is obviously false, and Margarette Mead's affirmation, which states that no change has ever occurred except from a small handful of people (a corollary might be the historical fluke which changes the course of history itself). This makes some sense if we dispense with teleology. The individualists, avant guardists and revolutionary collectivists are all arguing around the point of conscious personal agency. The modified-virus metaphor allows for "passive activists". Think Typhoid Mary. She was no great man! Without the john-wayne complex and Mary herself, typhus would have found another from which to spread its message, tell its story. Typhus is a muse, a shade or trace of past communications you were not invited to. Typhus is just hearsay, the iteration or rearrangement of found estrangements.

What we need is not "do nothing, it'll all come together", but a new way of thinking, which is only possible with a new way of relating. I'm calling this process "communication". If it is true that "there is nothing new under the sun", we need to re-evaluate what we already have. That 'the chicken is only the egg's way of producing another egg' is just as right and just as wrong as is its inversion. The common thinking is that if we can answer that question (of chickens and eggs), we can start the revolution.

I'm stumbling through a new perspective on an old interest. I'm finding there is something more than the mere practicality of languaging, and this "mode" does not seem to mind paradox. That is possible if we don't look at communication as merely an utilitarian sharing of representations ("information exchange"). It does not dispense with cybernetics or aesthetics, but neither of those is sufficient on its own to capture it. I can't, for the moment, get out of Freud's idea of the unconscious, despite my disbelief. I think that is where we process noise, recognize patterns, as well as become distracted. We do not always establish mental niches at a conscious level. Consciousness and agency may be highly overrated. I think that is also where our own language is trying to tell us something, for example, on the relation between communism, communication and community. Might that relation be an equivalence?

For the moment, Asger Jorn and Benedetto Croce are trying to help me out.

For the moment, all I can do is voice schizophrenic-like mumblings.

As anthropocentric, and in fact ethnocentric as he comes across (and this is a perfectly reasonable perspective considering that the time and place was early 20th century Euroamerica) Benedetto Croce's definition of communication, or shared (is this redundant? ...to express demands an externalization!) "aesthetic expression":

...is not centered on the sharing of information (representations) but perspectives, impressions. Heidegger's word for the process is "extasis". This 'level' of communication presents us novel patterns. It can produce an aesthetic, giddy, gnostic, altered state: "Ectasy". What does one say who has received an impression? "I'm impressed!"

It is not telepathy, but there is a merging nonetheless. Obviously, we cannot become or reproduce the other, nor change them.

It is not a matter of beauty or ugliness, although we may be attracted or repulsed. It all comes together, it all falls apart. When it comes together, we are talking about resonance of pattern, not agreement of detail. Of course, when it falls apart, we are talking dissonance. The pattern itself is rejected because we have no niche prepared for it. We cannot even see those details we may agree upon, our bullshit detector advises retreat. When constructing a foundation, a form will hold the wet cement in shape until it hardens, it sets. Our competitive subroutines (sub-liminal "habits", also forms of a sort) tell us to fight. Even without these subroutines, we may (in fact, will) still fall apart, because no moment can be indefinitely prolonged, existence melts away without its container-forms (and we call this "logic", "coherence"). With resonance, we've created a bond, but it is not rigid. There is memory of pattern. If we become too separated, we suffer separation anxiety, at least until the details get in the way. So again,

It is not about the sharing of details. When details become power points, authority is born: communication ends, whether we are or are not still engaged in "discourse". We have cut our ties. At some point, violence is not uncalled for. Were you just talking to a vampire out to suck you dry, to do you in? How soon we forget that uniqueness is found in the details. Details are also potential viri, subject to modification (detournement), but never confinement or containment. Confinement of detail is the expression of power, but that is an illusion. Rigid forms are powerful boxes, but, like bubbles, they can burst. The antonym of containment is "revelation". A revelation is never a matter of detail, but of pattern or its modification.

It is not impersonal. As a for(u)m (agora) itself, it prevents agoraphobia. It is "inviting".

It is not about truth. Only the dead are free of categories and their presumptive power, that they are freeform only states that they are free of forms, unconstrained. Only from the dead is to be found truth, but it is not a truth of death ("the great beyond"), but of life ("the here and now"). Our logic derives from categorical and catalytic assessments ("pronouncements" is most often a more accurate term). Logic offers proofs, but not of those forms from which it is spawned, rather the possibility of those form's own demise, or falsity. Otherwise, logic is only a justification. Science can be nothing other than the world interrupting us, joining into our conversation. Logic & science give us proof of death, but not of void. It is said the universe is a great vaccuum, but this is only another way of saying "something", not "nothing". That something is this: "without content, the form of universe itself must disappear in a puff of logic". This also says "the universe wants us", in fact, "needs us". Just as all pies need fillings, the reverse also follows: "soggy pies eventually leak", but, as Dave Brown says, "all bleeding eventually stops".

It is not a matter of first impressions and last impressions, attraction-repulsion, love-hate. All impressions are lasting, if only at an unconscious, or even partial level. Consciousness tells us "they are fading". This I call "viral contamination", possibly in dormancy. Others call it repressed memory. Still others call it an undeveloped kernel. We may come to regret our disconnection with another when a receptive niche has finally opened up. For that matter, informational detail itself has no practical use value unless we have already prepared a hospitable nest in which it can lie. A niche or nest is an established (already impressed) pattern, a form awaiting content. As established as that nest is, it may not be accessible (conscious) until it receives more content. It is an empirical, not a merely rational process (it may be, in fact, not rational at all!). It is passionate when well received. One can also say without fear of invoking paradox, it is not received without some degree of attached passion.

It is not about right-think and wrong-think, -track, -path, -goal or any other functional category because...

It has no purpose.

It is not about the distribution of gifts. That is an economic (practical, functional) change. Even so, the reception of a gift may be "profitable". It is about sharing, a mutual endeavor. So yes, there is an exchange, but only of points-of-view, perspectives. There is no duty to reciprocate, reciprocity is only an effect or emergent recognized by someone standing at a third position. One may talk to oneself here and now, but never share, except with that individual you were yesterday. We call this "thinking". With others, we may want to receive, but that itself might take more effort than we had anticipated. The mere gift is only a lecture. This is also the difference between the welfare state and communism. So as well,

It is not about progress. Economics (utilitarianism) brings progress. It is timeless.

It is not productive, although this does not discount the fact that there may be profound consequences. We may, as a result, even change direction. It can occur between two people sharing the same speech environment (space-time) as well as between a long dead artist or author and the living onlooker of the former's creation. It can occur between one who has more than enough and one who is hungry for more. This, I'd call "sublime". Croce says that word is only a quantifier, so has no place here.

It is not useful, therefore, it can neither produce nor exchange intellectual property. Both argument and agreement are irrelevant. It produces (if we can use that word) adjustments. The adjustment may be useful, but use-value is not a prerequisite of communication. It gets us out of our own boxes, so long as our partner is not also trapped in the same box. What is exchanged can only be another's (the other's) shoes. Didn't Heidegger also call this "openness to being"?

Then what's the point in living?

This question has resulted in more depressive episodes than any other. It is the grand question of utilitarianism and unless we are despicable beings, our personal answer always comes up short. We're none of us good enough. We all want, by any means necessary, more. There is, however, a point to coping, struggle and survival. The point of these is living. Life itself is pointless! I will leave it to you to imagine what all this has to do with communism. Personally, I always look to that famous barbarian, Popeye the Sailor, for inspiration, at home in any port, but always armed with a can of spinach just in case.

Or am I being idealistic & overly romantic?

 


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