AGAINST VOWS OF CHASTITY, FOR A PROLETARIAN WORLD (WIDE WEB)
In a bureaucratic society, how do we maintain our interest, from where do we derive pleasure? …in a society whose institutions, even the family, serve only to corrupt our capacity for love / when it is only within its empty spaces that we can find poetry, our thoughts in-between / even our forms of language serve to reappropriate our lives, our struggles to pull out, as capitalism tries to suck us back in. For a book, you need only the staples.
In the heterotopic spaces we have our experiences, our thoughts, existential, as struggles against a neoliberal society which both creates and takes away any contexts within which we may want to associate. Those formats, shapes, we’ve tried to create for ourselves, taken away, privatized and institutionalized, as struggles against our self-organization, a framing of our freedoms in which we become, again, under control. The machine of education creates its own students, as subjects, under control. Now we don’t see our teachers anymore, we see only education, we see the internet, a tube which privatizes our self-educations as a means of giving it back to us.
Whether or not we use, we remain under control. We give more of ourselves, more information, more possibilities of appearance, to exploit, with the only hope that we become illegible / an illegibility that can inspire each other, an expansion of our social imaginations, for an imagined society.
It is not the advertisements which we must block, it is not what the advertisements are able to do or not do to us, with us, for us, as us; but rather the unanswered questions of a society of totality – a totality of society – of all those for whom advertisements persist, of that which remains unblocked, for them, for us.
For us to slow down, to create a space, unblocked, which then expands… how do we live within a society, but retain our interests, to not become impotent, to become unblocked? What do we do with a power that is nuclear, a revolution which must exist in a time and space not just virtual, but nuclear? A military power which is nuclear, where the power itself is access, where its main virtue is that it is not ours.
Those virtues, those moments, those countries which we’ve called the Arab Spring, in 2011, all those seasons, in 2010, in all those places we couldn’t quite locate… where the power remains… where the revolutionary situation remains, but it is control which gains strength, as the situation loses its revolutionary character.
It is these points of access that are the limits of our non-capitalist community – a commons that is simply beneath those satellites outside, above earth. Are we then forced to destroy those privacies we are unable to access? A resource the proletariat is unable to profane is a resource that simply cannot be.
A series of communications with the aliens, virtual, archaic, dots, beeps, symbols, signals sent out, like a call, found, understood, the imaginations, archaic – this is what is typical of a bureaucracy. This is the internet, the connection of the machine to the cosmos. To create those codes sent around becomes the life we call science fictions / as our reality is infected with a new presence, a surveillance manipulated, controlled.
When such a flight was conceived, airplanes, aliens, were a dream, but a dream smarter than these tiny devices we use to send our informations to space, with all of their imaginary legibility.
It is not the heterotopic spaces we will lose, but rather the experience of those spaces. As a child, our memories of being in the street, water flowing, its colors, movements, it is this that we lose. This is the autonomy of the territory which is in existential threat.
The critique of social media includes within it a critique of the social, a moral argument, elitist, judging the ways in which we socialize, communicate, live. Capitalism itself is a form of both creating and controlling the sphere within which we’re able to live, as a totality, in its forms of ownership, extraction of value, exploitation. To criticize those that live within capital–all of us–for being exploited, for producing value, for being owned, is to blame the victim. It becomes a form of foreclosing the possibilities within which we can socialize, communicate, live, a totality within which we cannot escape. We need to live, we will live the ways we can, until we can live the ways we want. We will struggle against capital, not simply struggle within it.
Life itself is something we produce–its substance, its content–through our labor. The world wide web is simply a receptacle, an index, an archive, for the lives we produce, the lives we are able to produce. We necessarily reproduce capital, as capital produces us. But to critique capital, to reject capital, to destroy capital, is not to simply be against ourselves, as a form of self-destruction, suicide, wherein what ceases to exist is not capital, but rather us.
We now live within a certain pace, a pace that evolves, shifts, as we are able to, as we feel we can keep up, until we stop. Our capacities for the production of ourselves exist within capital, but also despite it.
The ways in which we find to articulate ourselves, to announce ourselves, to represent ourselves, is our sociability, within capital, but despite it. It will not be just our sociability which destroys capitalism, so it should not be our sociability which we critique as a step towards non-capitalism.
The creativities we produce, just by being alive, just by having to exist, is not to be vulgarized, moralized, as capitalist production, reproduction, but rather the beauty of our survival, the romance of our being together as a social body which finds its own joys, pleasures, within but despite capital. To take away our lives as if it will take away capital is like encouraging an eating disorder as a way to stop factory farming. No matter how skinny, emaciated we consider it is worth becoming, the factory farms will remain, only our health will not.
The internet is a space of appearance, a platform on which, from which, we can self-organize. But self-organization requires us not to hate our selves, as those selves we have been will be part of the selves we wish to become. Our self-organization networked, within but despite capitalism, will not in itself create a new life, but rather the possibility for one, a potentiality. That self-organization will necessarily have to confront capital, not flee it, in order to destroy it.
Those spaces we use, those things we use, we share, as a form of visibility, appearance, is our communication, sociability, our social network, which we see virtualized on the internet, materially.
The internet will not be non-capitalist, for as long as capitalism exists, as long as it dominates, non-capitalism will be a fantasy in the minds of those within it. We fantasize to stay alive, just as capitalism does, it’s just that our fantasies must be more wild, more uncontrollable, than capital can predict, foresee, anticipate. We can become a virus within capital, become contagious, as we become wildly against it. We exist within capital until we are able to destroy it / until we get to the point where those forces of control are fleeing from us, rather than the other way around. This is the point, the space, of the urban commune, a reappropriation, a profanation of that which is sacred, from which those who fear us must flee.
The choice is not ours to make, as individuals, but rather as those dispossessed by capital, as those controlled by the state – as a class, necessarily, wherein there is no choice, but rather action.
Capitalism does not choose its forms of evolution, but rather evolves as it must – it uses our ways of living to extract value. But it is not simply new ways of living that will devalue capital. Value itself will have to be destroyed, abolished, without destroying our lives. Indeed, it was capital itself that destroyed its old forms of society, as it ran through its possibilities to exploit.
The internet has indeed created unforeseen possibilities of communication, information, knowledge, all to be accessed, shared, instantly, wherever we may be. If we consider these processes, results, to be non-capitalist, then to preclude our possibility of engagement because we disapprove of their carriers, owners, forms of property relations, remains simply a moral argument, almost religious, a set of principles which lack an analysis of capital, the classes which it produces, whose struggles will necessarily be its undoing.
To criticize the inventions of capital is to criticize invention itself, as all human activity within capital is, if you will, capitalistic. This vulgar totalization forecloses imagination, and its religious undercurrents impose their own austerity as a non-solution to our miseries.
That capital necessarily privatizes, commercializes, commodifies, legalizes, pacifies, centralizes, territorializes should be no surprise to us, like the frog who asks the scorpion why it was stung, “because it is my nature.” Our lives will necessarily be privatized, commercialized, commodified, legalized, pacified, centralized, territorialized, as long as capital exists – this is its nature, so it becomes indeed our nature as well. It can not be escaped, only destroyed.
Capital and the state are among those forces that produce our desires, but it is not our desires for which we should be ashamed. That which brings us joy and pleasure is not what is to be abolished, but rather that which capitalizes from them which should be destroyed.
There is not some point of origin during which our joys, pleasures, desires, dreams, were natural, pure, good, whole, nor is there some moment in time in which we became perverse, deviant. It is indeed capitalism which must be seen as the perversion, not ourselves. It is not our responsibility to be pure, good, whole, nor to justify our joys, pleasures, desires to some would-be governor of our mores. It is rather our responsibility to destroy capitalism, as that which makes us feel ashamed.
We can not become professional chasers, creators, of the pure, good, as some religious cult, away from the blasphemers, heathens, heretics, infidels, sinners, unbelievers. Why would we be interested in a common with those for whom we have contempt, with those whose habits which disgust us, their ways of life we can neither comprehend nor accept.
To destroy our sociability is to destroy ourselves, to punish ourselves simply for being alive, at a certain time, in a certain place.
To attack our landlords, we do not burn our own houses down, rather we attack the relationship within which one of us is owner, the other consumer. We do not ourselves want to buy our own house as some act of autonomy, an autonomy legitimized by the state. Rather we move to attack the legitimacy of ownership itself.
The methods of control have in some ways become more impenetrable, obscure, secret, but their fundamentals remain consistent: crude forms of property relations, with the exchange and exploitation they necessitate. Class society remains. Some of the specificities of class war may have been different before we were born, before the internet was born, but it is not a matter of our return to the ancient specifics, but rather winning the present war.
If the move towards autonomy is to be seen as a form of self-organization, it must also function as a form of confrontation. Where the proletariat becomes a virus which destroys as it grows, where the self-realization of the proletariat as virus becomes its self-transcendence.
In March of 2012 there were 140 million Twitter users. Please visit twitter.com/internetunwork for more information.