July 2, 2007

"We were there in '68 (they were?), and we can tell you it was stupid; there's no point doing it again." This is all they have to sell: the bitterness of '68. In this sense, then, they are a perfect fit for the current electoral grid, whatever their political orientations. Everything is filtered through this grid: Marxism, Maoism, Socialism, etc., and not because actual struggles have revealed new enemies, new problems, or new solutions. It is simply because THE revolution must be declared impossible - everywhere, and for all time. This explains why those concepts which were beginning to function in a very differentiated way (powers, resistances, desires, even 'the plebe') are once again globalised, amassed in the insipid unity of Power, THE Law, the State, etc.. This also explains why the thinking subject has made a comeback: the only possibility for revolution, as far as the New Philosophers are concerned, is the pure act of the thinker who thinks revolution is impossible.

"What I find really disgusting is that the New Philosophers are writing a martyrology: the Gulag and the victims of history. They live off corpses. They have discovered the witness-function, which perfectly compliments the author -and thinker-function....But there never would have been any victims if the victims had thought or spoken like our New Philosophers. The victims had to live and think in a totally different way to provide the material that so moves the New Philosophers, who weep in their name, think in their name, and give us moral lessons in their name. Those who risk their life most often think in terms of life, not death, not bitterness, and not morbid vanity. Resistance fighters are usually in love with life. No one was ever put in prison for powerlessness and pessimism - on the contrary! From the perspective of the New Philosophers, the victims were dupes, because they didn't grasp what the New Philosophers have grasped. If I belonged to an association, I would bring a complaint against the New Philosophers: they show just a little too much contempt for the inmates of the Gulag."


André Dias said...

andy, long time no see. i've been sleepwalking for a while... i just wanted to offer you another quotation from the guy:

At first sight these terms appear dead to us. They make up part of the great discussions of Scholasticism, but the great metaphysical disputes always hide something else: people are never burned or tortured over ideological questions, even less over metaphysical ones. I would like for us to try to feel what was very concretely in question in these stories which were presented under an abstract form [...]

perhaps an harsh statement. one which can be very hard to understand. the word 'politics' will surely appear somewhere along the way of comprehension. (it's from my favorite Deleuze seminar)

Andy Rector said...

andré! Very lovely to hear from you...
your seminar selection expands (enormously!) exactly on that which struck me as profound and true about the quote I posted: the affect of those who act and those who enforce the impossibility of action. Vanity is decisive, hurtful, "in fashion", the opposite of inflammatory. And yet people are burned...