Brian Holmes on Tue, 28 May 2013 19:30:59 +0200 (CEST)

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Re: <nettime> Driverless cars, pilotless planes -- will there be jobs left for a human beings / intellectuality

Hello Frederic!

On 05/28/2013 08:46 AM, frederic neyrat wrote:

I was thinking about your expression, "constituent forces": they
already exist, they already work, they already produce, and they can
do that until the "end". So, for me, the real problem is not only to
know where is the constituent power, the center of the value, etc, not
only the battle around the production of the value, but also: how to
pass from immanent constitution to political change.

Yes, that is exactly what I meant. I think the question has become imperative everywhere, in the face of the clear capitalist agenda to complete the neoliberal restructuring of the 1980-2008 period by totally destroying all redistribution programs and all other barriers to accumulation. In Spain, leftists are talking very pragmatically about destitution-constitution, and by that they mean an actual political constitution to replace the one inherited from the so-called "transition to democracy" of the 1970s. The destitution part is well underway: historic lows in the polls for BOTH mainstream parties, highly active and popular social movements, new national organizing capacities as shown in the May 15 movement and also in last summer's encirclement of the parliament. The tactical question is how to go on mobilizing in ways that do not unleash full state repression. The strategic question is, how to constitute another system?

The failure of the whole thought linked with post-operaism is the belief
in the fact that political change will automatically (sic) follow the
power of the general intellect. It failed.

I quite agree and said so years ago in my text "Recapturing Subversion." By the way, Maurizio Lazzarato has taken the same road, claiming that if the left cannot create new organizations on the scale of the former communist party, we won't achieve anything. I think he's right. The question is what form these organizations should take.

Last political Springs were not ecological; nobody cares about ecology
anylonger; climate change is going one; the Russians left their basis in
North Pole last week, kind of The Day Before Tomorrow. When everything is
immanent, everything follows the way be which things are produced. I do
not call for a Transcendence, but for this minimum amount of separation
without which we will continue to constitute and produce the same way.
That is to say: we have to rethink intellectuality as something neither
immanent (Virno) nor transcendent (say Sartre).

It seems to me that intellectuality needs to be made objective and tangible in the form of organizing process directed programatically toward goals, but also punctuated by regular moments of critical assessment, including the revocation of ineffective representatives. Above all, the new forms should be carefully structured so that the larger scales of organization do not squash the smaller ones. Capital's program is obvious: there is no internal critique and largest scale trumps everything. The Left needs an ecosocial program, for sure. Without it, let's face it, we simply don't exist. The old autonomist iea of a gradual transition to communism through the expansion of immaterial labor has been made defunct by history. Let's forget it and move onward.

best, Brian


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