[Marxism] petit bourgeois putschist jacquerie

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Tue Mar 28 11:46:46 MST 2006

mardi, mars 28, 2006
You're A Taxi

Well, Viacom and Newscorp and AOL-Time Warner propaganda really works: 
perhaps the marketing genius was to publish cultish instructions, in book 
form, on how to dress it up as something other than the least objectionable 
program, something less trashy, something upscale, exclooosive and half 
literate, to sell adults on the droning theme of brainless sensationalist 
canned cocaculture designed for adolescents; Matrix, Aon Flux, Fight Club, 
V for Vendetta: the message is the neoliberal mantra: freedom inheres in 
desolation [John Pistelli], Capital is the kewlest role model, the heroic 
and only admirable agent on earth, the commons can never be recaptured, 
what's left of it cannot and ought not be defended, humanity's true place 
is in the ruined, uranium poisoned wild between the fences, foraging for 
garbage on the margins of corporate estates, an endless adventure.

The sickest bit, this cherished, class specific canard: "no limited company 
asked to be born either." Gee, err, yes, they all do ask to be 'born'. And 
even pay to be born. And pay to remain 'alive', every year. It's just a 
legal convention for capitalists to arrange their assets, for pity's sake, 
not actually a new life form, not actually capable of deeds apart from 
human decisions. We can pierce the veil, and ought to far more often, and 
if we can, once and for all.

Once upon a time this was known as petit bourgeois putschist jacquerie; now 
it's radical theory; nothing has changed however in the content and 
direction of petit bourgeois discursive rebellion: rebranded, repackaged, 
updated, new and improved, stripped of the hokey racial-tribalism that 
marked it as sooooo 30s, streamlined, low fat, wheat free, faux-globalized, 
but nonetheless recognizeable as the same aestheticized politics, the same 
dazzling depth-less spectacle, the same idealist flight to the realm of the 

How many Hollywood movies could this serve as poster copy for over the past 
ten years?:

     The event will never arrive until every dream of carrying some 
political booty back to the land of the 'real' is renounced; until we reach 
a universal affirmation of something beyond the picket line, beyond 
unemployment - unemployability, vagrancy, precarity, the reversibility of 
futility and unconditional joy, the positivity of anguish. Refusal of the 
wage-labourer as fetishised ideal in favour of the vagrant, the vagabond.

Many. The cartoon dilemma, the action picture trade off: wage slavery or a 
feral life. Soulless paper pusher or breathless fugitive. Flush toilets 
unimaginable except in capitalism. A hoary old fiction it is, too. 
Sontag-ian: tribalism or hermitage: the world imagined as Auschwitz.

How creepy is this? The tantrum of squealing obstinacy as model for radical 
thought; the bullshit artistry of movie-free spirit speechmaking as style 
guideline. How many are they, lining up to say they don't need no stinkin' 
badges, you can tell a cocaKapo by the way he wears his id chip?




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