Alexander Bard on Fri, 26 Oct 2018 14:28:22 +0200 (CEST)

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Re: <nettime> Identity and difference

Sure thing, dear David!
And I do not for one second doubt the sincerity of the members of these communities.
But where are they now? And if they are still around, what unites and strengthens them? A shared vision forward for all? Or an external abject that comfortably unites them as an excuse to not take the next step forward but rather comfortably enjoy the nostalgia of past achievements?
I see a lot more power coming out of young men following Jordan Peterson and young women following Camille Paglia these days. They just don't know how Marxist they actually are when they side with and understand the masses against the elites. That's where I'm heading. The Syntheist Node in Stockholm has tons of that forward-thinking and awareness of the end for a new grand narrative.
I spoke about Syntheism to a bunch of lovely ex-squatters in Holland three years ago. They loved the conversation. Then they smoked tons of weed and did nothing.
However the tantric people I build a new advanced whorehouse outside Amsterdam with are real doers. To me they are also the new genuine left. Talk is cheap, action is everything.
And a return to Marx is much much needed to get us out of the identitarian deadlock.
Best intentions
Alexander Bard
PS: And no, Deluezianism is not an identity, it is an ideological set of opinions which I'm happen to dump if somebody shows me something better; being gay, woman, black, can not be dumped, so are identities, but sub-categories to class and not first categories as Rousseauians would claim...

Den fre 26 okt. 2018 kl 14:05 skrev David Garcia <>:
In his book the Digital Condition Felix Stalder introduces the term ‘communal formation’ to describe a political subject that
has emerged’is emerging from the collapse of the traditional frameworks (family-church-trade-union-political party-secure employment) 
that once served to provide ballast and orientation. They have (if I understand Felix correctly) have some relationship to ‘communities of
practice’ which are formations fused in the pragmatic heat of ‘doing'.. Amsterdam’s squatters of the 90s one of many examples .. I don’t think 
that these formations can be dismissed as narcisistic.. they are a distinctive political subject + many such as civil rights folks, feminists, stone-wallers, 
AIDS activists, pre-date the internet by decades..
On 26 Oct 2018, at 12:34, Alexander Bard <> wrote:

Absolutely correct, dear David, I could not agree more. But there are tons of misplaced good intentions involved in this.
Identity politics has exploded because of the internet's hidden deceitful promise that all children were finally going to get their spot in the limelight. Which of course never happened because we all have attention constraints. And being drowned in mediocre floods of cat and baby pictures (95% of Instagram postings are completely ignored, blogs peaked already in 2006), why is the audience to blame when the flood of junk was so mediocre to begin with? No wonder people turn to Netflix these days. It was all 99% fake news like media always produced tons of fake news. Better then to have quality amusement to death to make it more enjoyable.
So it is wrong to call this a desire for recognition (what an infantile desire to begin with) but rather a desire for attention that became an obsession with the distorted supernova called the Cartesian Self. Just when individualism died and became an underclass phenomenon (the shift toward dividualism was the successful use of the Internet of course, the netocratic one).
Class was lost in all this. And as a Deleuzian I then have to decide whether I go down the drain with Rosseauian identity politics or ally myself with the real Marxist class struggle. Deleuzians can not escape and stay in between any longer. Those are my ten cents. I see class as heroic tribe so I stay the course and work on developing stories about the Heroic Tribe, which today is to celebrate and lift people up toward the Cultural Engineer who is the true proletarian of the the 21st century. Which means I also ally with the masses against the (academic and financial) elites. Self-pity is a dead end. No wonder Jordan Peterson is huge these days.
Postmodernism was meant as a CRITIQUE. That was the Frankfurt School's intentions all along. Not meant to kill modernism and replace it.
When that shift happened, when postmodernism killed modernism and became the de facto ideology of Western Academia, we also lost Marx to Rousseau. It's the shift from Lenin to Stalin again for all I care.
And here is the blind spot. Postmodernism essentially claims that "all grand narratives are dangerous narratives, therefore there must not be any grand narrative." Well, stupid, you just created a rand narrative with that statement and the most dangerous one of them all, the Rousseuian one. Unless stopped, PoMo will undoubtedly lead to slaughter. It always did in the past, so why not now?
Attention-seeking belongs to daycare centers and kindergardens. When prevalent among grown-up people it should be called its proper name, narcissism and/or infantilization.
Not that I don't desire variety and diversity like every other decent human being. But I seek it and I don't need it thrown in my face from pathological cry-bullies.
Back to Marx! Meanwhile, prepare for Trump round 2. "The Left" has learned nothing but lost its roots. Next Bolsonaro in Brazil. I'm spending this winter in Rio.
Alexander Bard

Den fre 26 okt. 2018 kl 10:51 skrev David Garcia <>:
The emphasis on class and class struggle as the universal category often seems to
operate differently to the cultural politics of an expanding, fluid multiplicity of struggles
around identity and the demands to have specific identities recognised and respected.
Sometimes called the politics of recognition.

There has been a longstanding suspiscion in these identitarian movements   
of the so called 'grand narratives' based on -universal categories, principles or experiences.
A suspicion based on a history which sees adoption of these universals as subsuming or
marginalising the specifities of community and community solidarity on which these
movements depend for their heft.

This is a fault-line goes back to the enlightenment’s unquestioned belief in ‘reason’ as the universal
solvent for all injustice. Whose limitations we might recognise in David Cameron’s infamous mode of
address when chiding Angela Eagle in UK parliament in 2011 with the words “calm down dear”..

On 26 Oct 2018, at 06:32, Patrice Riemens <> wrote:

> In a French philosophy class 50 yrs ago this thread would have provided a fantastic 'baccalaureat' exam subject, since it encapsulates the no 1 issue of French philosphy, as expressed in the title Vincent Descombes' awesome overview of the same: Le Meme et l'Autre (The One and the Other) being the question whether there is an identity between identity and difference, or a ... difference.
> It also epitomize the emptinesss of discussions of identity, this time illustrated by a member of Bilwet's famous, but totally vacuous phrase "rather a complex identity than an identity complex", completely overlooking that the latter is a consequence of the former, not its opposite.
> Alterity is just as bad a carrier of progress as identity.
> This being said: The Winter Is Coming ...
> Cheers all the same, p+2D!
> On 2018-10-26 01:36, Johnatan Petterson wrote:
>> i have seen isabelle stengers in brussels in 1994 who was dissing
>> "economy" as the "real enemy" of movements
>> she was connected with.
>> the leftish dream of labor never became aesthetic or economic, one
>> does not contradict the other.
>> on what basis would economy and aesthetic contradict one another?
>> economy seems in ari's post like metric.
>> spinoza seemed opposed to metric (measurement) in his quest for
>> aesthetic freedom.
>> how would you plug metrics into the aesthetic (creative) understanding
>> ?
>> Le ven. 26 oct. 2018 à 01:07, Alice Yang <> a
>> écrit :
>>> Identity politics _is_ class struggle. The nostalgic leftish dream
>>> of labor became aesthetic because it did not include women and the
>>> racially oppressed.
>>> On Thu, Oct 25, 2018 at 6:47 PM ari <> wrote:
>>>> The primacy of identity has transmorphed class struggle into
>>>> ressentiment politics. Generation identity is the bastard child
>>>> of the
>>>> failed alterglobalisation movement. If at a time when poverty is
>>>> the
>>>> source of wealth you insist on denying the economy matters, you
>>>> sure
>>>> inhabit culture, but it's a culture of denial.
>>> --
>>> Alice
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