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<nettime> Return of the F-scale - and How to Respond
Alexander Bard on Mon, 29 Feb 2016 11:13:34 +0100 (CET)

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<nettime> Return of the F-scale - and How to Respond

Well, while ageering 100% with Brian's excellent analysis, sorry for having
said this all along, but in a time when any revolutionary outburst in the
streets is either crushed by military inteligence within weeks (from
Tiananmen Square to Tahrir Square) or, even worse, turned into a t-shirt on
some instagram snap shots within three days, and then deservedly ignored
and forgotten about for its narcissistic naivety (most likely with an
"Occupy" prefix and some commercial plaza suffix), the only possible as
well as necessary response to the current predicament is, take a deep
breath, a s-p-i-r-i-t-u-a-l revolution.

Simon Critchley argues for this in his "The Faith of The Faithless", Robert
Mangabeira Unger argues for this in his "The Religion of The Future", I and
Jan Söderqvist argue for this, with a digital twist that ought to be of
special interest to Nettime members (yes I happily advice and support
Wikileaks, Snowden, the Pirates et al), in our book "Syntheism - Creating
God in The Internet Age". Maybe if and when Slavoj Zizek really takes his
fascination with St Paul seriously in his otherwise excellent hybridisation
of Hegel and Lacan will leftist folks finally start to listen.

To summarise the Critchley-Unger-Bard stance: If you really want to kick a
global empire out of its tracks -  especially with its current rapid
hypercapitalist descent into elected autoritarianism, the Freudian mortido
is a mighty beast to kill - you need to go all the way back to the first
rather than just the tragically missed 20th century for inspiration. No
matter how many encrypted twitter channels you make available and Lenin
speech podiums you raise, street protests will only look more and more like
compulsive repetitive behaviour, as if sponsored by H&M, than real change.

That is unless they are accompanied with a new radically leftist spiritual
approach to politics. Because other approach is not just doomed to fail
(due to its lack of utopian drive) but is also nothing more than
Nietzsche's despised slave mentality in its own authoritarian form, as
Julia Kristeva so rightly has pointed out when attacking the current
pointless leftist obsession with banal identity politics (Zizek basically
says the same thing, Kristeva as a more couragoeus woman only so ore
bluntly). Empty dystopianism (as in constantly shouting "resistance"
against evering and everybody) does not work, never worked, never will
work. Merely grunting is too easy, too lazy, too naive. Utopianism requires
a master mentality to begin with. And the work which that in turn requires.
Monastries prior to molotov cocktails.

So, will you listen? I know you all hate to go there with your Marxist
blindfolds and nation-state anti-globalist nostalgia, but the unnameable
word here is "spirituality" and its exercise is called - tah dah -
political theology. Because what we are witnessing here is merely the death
of the latest of the gods, the communist utopia. Donald Trump is
consequently just the finale, or the beginning of the finale, of what
started in 1989. We need to provide people with a new utopia and we have to
move quickly to do so. S-p-i-r-i-t-u-a-l-i-t-y, folks! Feel free to begin
with the above reading list. Then at least I am all open for discussion.
Why not as a Google Hangout Session at The New Centre for Research &
Practice in early April? We could arrange that. It's a start. That is, if
you're seriously interested in solving this megapuzzle. Or else, we can all
just sit and grunt ourselves into oblivion on a mailing list. The choice is

Best intentions, for all, seriously
Alexander Bard

2016-02-28 15:59 GMT+01:00 Geert Lovink <geert {AT} desk.nl>:

> This is so true, so goddamned true, Brian.


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