un heimlich on Fri, 24 Dec 2010 17:01:37 +0100 (CET)

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<nettime> I’ll be synthetic

and almost telegraphic, because I have many things to say and little

1. Let?s have a look at the landscape at the end of the year 2010.
The Obama hope has dissolved, and the European crisis has broken out.
A new Logic has been installed at the heart of the European life,
since the financial crisis of Greece: Angela Merkel, Nicholas Sarkozy
and Jean-Claude Trichet resolved that European society has to
sacrifice its current levels of life, public school system, its
civility, in order to pay the debts accumulated by the financial
elite. A sort of directorate has taken hold of the Union reasserting
the failed dogmas of Neoliberal monetarism: reduction of labor cost,
cuts in social spending, school?s privatization, impoverishment of
daily life. 

Casting the shadow of a long lasting recession on the future of the
last generation, Europe is now a blackmail.  But if the horizon is
darkening, unpredictable events are happening, disquieting and
exhilarating at the same time, on the European scene. I see the
horsemen of apocalypse and I like that sound.

2.  Wikileaks has shown the infinite potency of collective networked

The event orchestrated  by Assange is the unleashing of the general
intellect?s creative force. We already knew that diplomats are paid to
lie, and the military are paid for killing civilians. The lesson of
Wikileaks is not so much in the contents of the disclosures, but in
the activation of solidarity, complicity and independent collaboration
between cognitarians: programmers, hardware technicians, journalists
working together and sharing the same goal: destabilize totalitarian
power.  From this lesson a new generation of rebels will find the way
towards autonomy, and self-organization of the general intellect.

3. Rebellion is spreading in the cities of Europe, from London to Rome
to Athens, but street riots is not the only language of this movement.
What is at stake in the mass riots of December? Rebels know very well
they are not staging a military fight against police and the State.
They don?t care that much about police and State.  They are looking
for recomposition of the social body and re-activation of the erotic
body of the general intellect. 

During the last ten years precarization isolation and competition in
the labor market have caused dissociation of the networked collective
intelligence from the social body of the cognitariat.  Simultaneously
the acceleration of the Infosphere (intensification of the rhythm of
cognitive exploitation) has stressed the social Psychosphere,
provoking loneliness, panic, depression, dis-empathy.  In the street
riots cognitarians are looking for empathic rhythm.  Bodily
sensibility and desire want to flow again. The first generation that
learned more words from a machine than from the mother is going to the
streets to recompose their body.

4. General intellect is looking for a body

The student?s struggles are not a sudden outburst, but the beginning
of a long lasting process that will mark the next decade, a European
insurrection of sort.  Insurrection means raising up, and also full
deployment of the potencies of the actor. The actor entering the
historical scene is the General intellect in subjectivation. The full
deployment of the potencies of the General intellect falls beyond the
sphere of Capitalism, and implies the re-activation of sensibility.
Sensibility, the ability to understand what cannot be verbalized, has
been jeopardized in the process of precarization and fractalization of
time. In order to re-activate sensibility, art and therapy and
political action have to gather.

Therapy has been reduced to re-adaptation of the depressed mind to the
normalcy of mental exploitation. Prozac, Ritalin, cocaine, and
competition have produced bipolar effects in the economy: irrational
exuberance of the markets, financial panic, and also in the social
Psychosphere: massive depression, crises of panic, epidemic suicide.

5. The fusion of art and activism has emphasized gesture?s
ineffectuality. The no global movement of the past decade was a purely
ethical movement, devoid of political effects, and unable to stop the
devastating trends of capitalist deregulation. Art-ivism has
internalized ineffectuality and the transformation of action in pure
denunciation. At its best, Art has been phenomenology of mental
suffering: Think of artists like Lisa Athila, Jonathan Franzen,
Melinda July, Gus Van Sant, Kim Ki Duk who have been able to express
the fragmented social body and the frantic perception of time induced
by precarity.

Psychic suffering is the main field of contact between art and social
action, as the general intellect is looking for a body.  The rebels of
today are first of all performing a self-therapeutic and poetical
action. They are recomposing the empathy of the bodies, rediscovering
a common sphere of sensibility.

6. Cynicism is over.  At the heart of the present insurrection there
is also a strong ethical motivation. I think of ethics in
materialistic terms (hedonistic and sensuous) as self respect and self

The conceptual sphere of Aesthetics is redefining the very sphere of

Mass Cynicism, that according to Sloterdjike was the prevailing
sentiment of post-68, now is over, as it is not paying anymore. The
cynical class has lost its glamour. Kids are seeing those in power in
politics finance and military, as they are: ugly, disgusting,
repugnant. It?s an aesthetic judgment, first of all. We don?t want to
be like them, because we want to be pleasurable for ourselves.

Ethical choice is based on self-pleasure: not in some universal
values, but in the pleasure of singularity.

7. After Europe

The financial has devastated the body and the soul of the European
society, so now Europe is a corpse, a zombie. The movement is here to
invent a new Europe, emancipated from the dogmas of competition and

Europe will be reborn thanks to the emergence of the social and erotic
body of the general intellect. Thanks to the insurrection of the
movement?s sensuous intelligence, Europe is going to be place of
solidarity and of beauty.

December 19, 2010

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