Vincent Gaulin on Sat, 5 Jan 2019 16:19:57 +0100 (CET)

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Re: <nettime> Foundations for "Anthropocene Socialist" Movement

On Fri, Jan 4, 2019 at 10:59 PM Brian Holmes <> wrote:

The fact is, so far at least, every investment of social desire on an *outside* results in the immediate incorporation of that outside as an object for the mainstream techniques of social control. So why not desire an *inside*? Why not consider the core systems of contemporary society as the best arena in which to act? Why not go where the design power is? Why not desire taking over the state itself? 

I don’t really understand what the inside/outside thing means, but I do have some serious convictions surrounding the difficulty of taking on “big powers” of design and state order, namely that the public has a huge gun held to their heads, one that reads “starvation”. And then into their backs is a knife called “status”, which is much more symbolic than literal, but immensely powerful nonetheless. (Somewhat humorously, now, I recall as I changed my major in undergrad from Architecture to Fine Art, going from “getting pats on the back to being put on the prayer list.”) The weight of these duel pressures is instantaneously felt—a truly maddening, oppressive, and often depressive force. Our “one last chance” has to remedy the fact of the material and social consequences of deviance. 

Where is the strike fund? What do we eat? What provisions will allow rest and recovery, and replace the old hierarchies of necessary social bearings?

In this addendum of questions, I am reminded of certain critiques within Occupy calling for a revolution of “industriousness” who’s material, logistical, temporic, and symbolic chains substantiate revolutions wherever they spread. While deeply compelled by this idea, I’ve often tried to imagine the locations and conversations that might hoist a principled protest onto the scale of an operative state. Where is the actual site of the surplus that intellectuals, protestors, activists, caretakers and laborers draw upon while renovating the new socialist state? How many socialist-convinced farmers would it take to establish the autonomy of an anthropocene socialist campaign organization? How many miners/scavengers, engineers, and electricians must be converted in building a wind or solar field large enough to charge a coop of socialists’ computers? 

Brian, you have argued for the merits of a party structure in orchestrating the “state-change” we require. While “Anthropocene Socialists” has a certain abstract charm, who might be more convinced by the “Brick and Mortar” Party? The Democratic League of Food, Green Energy, and Conservationist Cooperatives? The International Union of Networked Farm and Care Workers? Trade Workers for a Dignified Minimalism? Machinists for Collective Advantage? Democratic Alliance of Therapists, Listeners, Ombudsmen, and the Faculty for Reconciliation?

In order to effectively understand where the rubber meets the road, we have to meet, connect with interpersonally, and ultimately offer both a real and socially valuable (symbolic/superstructural) autonomy to the people who already have their hands in the existing pieces of processes that will be reorganized and added together to form a better state (or *inside* as you put it). 
G. Vincent Gaulin

211 Keese St.
Pendleton, SC
m. 864-247-8207
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