[Marxism] Joy and the labour of the negative | Richard Seymour on Patreon

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Fri May 10 06:57:25 MDT 2019

The answer, from the perspective of 'radical happiness', is to reanimate 
lost histories of collective, communal ecstasy. Barbara Ehrenreich gives 
us the religious and Dyonisian roots of carnival, rock and dance. Segal 
connects utopias, alternative ways of living, from early socialists and 
feminists, Surrealists, soixant-huitards and Indignados, to moments of 
collective joy in which the utopia is briefly, autopoietically animated. 
The Acid Corbynites reprise Sixties counterculture, acid and the rave 
scene, in which consciousness was altered, bent out of its habitual 
grooves, and "raised".

These moments, in which flare up ancient ecstasies and future utopias, 
are moments of self-forgetting elation. It is not so much that 
participants in festivals, protests, carnivals and churches are happy, 
though they might be, so much as that they stop worrying about whether 
they are happy or not. St John of the Cross, a practitioner of what 
Coventry Patmore called the 'science of ultimates', speaks of his 
consciousness-raising ravishment thus: "All ceased, and I was not,/ 
Leaving my cares and shame/ Among the lilies, and forgetting them."

full: https://www.patreon.com/posts/joy-and-labour-26703163

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