The tediousness of the modern media critic derives from his or her need for a regular production schedule – the need to create new commentary on a regular basis. What is objectionable about the modern world is sadly uniform. Any deep, effective critique of a given film, say, would apply equally to many others. So a modern critic may begin sparklingly new. But they are doomed to either dully repeat their initial critique or grope for arbitrary and false distinctions between the uniformly mediocre celebrities and the cultural commodities of the present order.
Using the term “privilege” for “not being fucked over X way” is dumb. The privilege of nut being electro-shocked each day – oh, I feel so grateful.
This kind of language is deleterious to the basic approach we should have, communicating that nearly everyone will benefit from the end of this system even though the system exploits people in a multitude of different and unequal fashions.
Still, I wouldn’t describe this as a normative approach. We aren’t here to say what objectively should be but rather we’re here to put forward our subjective position, our class position.
For us, capital (or whatever one calls the present order) is not something with which we want the least identification. The unity of every expert, every “policy-maker”, the state and the private sector, and so on, is total and palpable in the present era.
Believing in a “Keynesian turn” or some kind of turn that would even moderately change the overall landscape of the spectacle-commodity *terrain*, even merely a “real possibility”, requires a kind of psychic “self-harm” that is exactly the sort of self-stupification which puts a person’s brain at the service of the bureaucracy at large.
I think one can trace a roughly unified periodization of history among the “standard” communization tendencies (Dauve, TC, the Situationists and even the “classic” communist left):
1. The representation of the working class becomes an enemy of the working class as it exists (the Stalinist counter-revolution, failure of the old workers’ movement, etc, details varies by tendency)
2. The represent of the working class just vanishes completely ’cause capital no longer needs it and it no longer reflects most people’s reality.
—> With the point that stage 1 is the most important and stage 2 is just a natural corollary (it’s pretty simple – now that unions serve only, only capital, why does capital need unions, well, it clearly has decided it doesn’t).
I think Endnotes 3 basically combines the two stages and emphasizes the second. What this seems to bring them to is a “what people identify with is what the movement is” position. This is not the “history as mistake” since it gives materialist explanations for people’s identification with the different threads of history. But I feel it’s hardly better than “history as mistake” because it is saying all political movements, including the original workers’ movement, were just a matter of what identity was most credible. What it misses is that classes are categories of not just capitalist society but also of “the movement of history”. The proletariat begins, to one degree or another as those who individually have nothing to lose but their chains and becomes those who collectively have this existence. This class is a matter of “life conditions” and not “identification”.
[Quick reposted from Facebook]