Scientism, Mysticism And Language

Jaque Camette wrote

“Communism is not a new mode of production; it is the affirmation of a new community. It is a question of being, of life, if only because there is a fundamental displacement: from generated activity to the living being who produced it. Until now men and women have been alienated by this production. They will not gain mastery over production, but will create new relations among themselves which will determine an entirely different activity

Which is, uh, interesting. Camette was at one time a rather orthodox Bordigaist but went to create his own approach. The standard Marxian approach is that communism a mode of production and that more or less as humans exist they will produce themselves along with their material conditions. Now, what a statement like the quote above appealing to many people is that it disavows any connection between a world and present process of production with its factories, call-centers and shopping malls. And we-modern-communists certainly do not aim to self-manage this order or to build anything similar to the former Soviet Union.

At the same time, describing a communist society as involving only a return to a static community misses the way in which a communism community would involve a continuous process of self-transformation. A communist community will not be a static entity but a process of people consciously transforming their entire conditions of existence – we would not just satisfy our desires but understand and change the circumstances that give rise to our desires (a simplistic example would be creating a cuisine which could make healthy food also the most desirable food).

But this language question also relates to the question of how we communicate. What I would claim is our best communication strategy is to state our position literally and succinctly without “softening” it for one or another audience. It is appropriate to make our explanations shorter to be understanable but we shouldn’t worry too much about the sense of the terms we use since we will always offend someone. The thing is that modern ideology uses both the justification of scietism and the justification of touchy-feelly new age irrationalist mysticism.  We should never pander to ideologies which say “how I feel is more important than any logical argument about subject X”.

Indeed,  the present regime of alienate labour is quite able to extract and  sell as a commodity, any fragment of human activity – and thus any pure quality separate from collective process of change. Thus this society can glorify mindless on one hand while making gestures of longing for the loss of a pure primitive community distinct from the real messiness that real communities.


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