The Cumming Insurrection, Fragments of a Reading

Bureaucratic methods of control and organization can no longer justify existence as political institutions due to the rising level of their unsustainable practice: embezzling the resources of a community for private use, spending scandals, scandals of a more delinquent nature (i.e. scandals of violence), and / or scandals of a more deviant nature (i.e. scandals of sexuality). The managers of society need ousting by the union of the community.

The ideological background that permeates our subjective experience: the mixture of government propaganda, the numerous commercial advertising campaigns, the consumer market of excess (rather than a consummate market of necessity), the pseudo-fabricated news media, and the false-conscious charitable religious movements, produce a general intellectual vacuousness that affects us exactly like a “rhythm.” The associations between “rhythm,” “sound and hearing” should not be easily dismissed. It is impossible to ignore “noise” and the various institutions that subjugate our attention are as irrepressible as a clap of thunder, constant chatter, or the buzz of a hoard-swarm of flying insects. The “rhythm” these institutions emit constantly assault our consciousness and thus infect our subjectivity; one can only escape and resist the influence of the various institutional bureaucracies for so long before one is, in some way or another, identified within the system (political, commercial, market, media, or religious) as a “participant.” Indeed, how can our “voluntary participation and consent” be a matter of choice when, in order to have any social existence at all, the various systems pre-emptively coerce us into establishing an identity, not within a social network of peers but within a penal network of suspicion.

There is no longer action: only activity remains. To “take action” now means to perform (an) activity—it is the appearance of being active without the decision of action being made. The “performance of (an) activity” is participation in “the social,” participating in “events”—this is precisely any change that could be prompted through direct action is instead bureaucratized into a system of corruption otherwise known as politics. What is the social? And what are events? Within the horizon of contemporary mass culture, the “social” is more and more difficult to identify as an actually existing entity—events are even more so. The social does not exist outside of mass culture; ever since “mass” entered culture, it has permeated the social. “Mass events” are events that can only be experienced second-hand—filtered through the media of mass technology.

Everything becomes much brighter when the universe is no longer one of meaning: the stars go out, one by one, and the constellations vanish with them. Perhaps this is what it means to have discovered all the names of God, to exhaust all the possibilities of God—to give god a meaning is the death of God. Hence the fact that once God is dead nothing is permitted; of course, anything can be done. Simply nothing meaningful because the universe of meaning is replaced by an accidental and unintentional universe, a universe of abstract “energies and flows,” of “multiple worlds and parallel realities.”

So, in formal-mass ideology the “intensity of sharing” is relatively weak, at least politically and, generally, economically. Elected officials are as distant from their constituents as burnt-out stars. There is no mystery as to why voter turnouts are so low or why populations will methodically vote against their own interests: it is total boredom with irony. Institutionalized democracy no longer produces even the appearance of change in terms of expanding the rights of its citizens by liberating their time in order to produce value. In fact, institutionalized democracy combined with (postmodern or late) capitalism systematically threatens and violates the rights of its own citizens as well as taking away the most basic rights of people in another “territory.”

Formally, we all “belong” in the nation but are not “included” within it, in any meaningful sense of the term. The excluding factor lies in the fact that one’s identity determines one’s advantages and status within the nation; what is seen is the particular “content” of one’s identity, not the form that surrounds it. The form of identity is common; the way in which an identity is performed is particular.

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