We have been building agents of the past for the last decade. The militant, cadre, and professional revolutionary (call this the MCP) no longer matter. A new social type has been fighting to come into existence and the current forms of organization are antithetical to this new type. Keeping this in mind the singularity, the schizo, the nomad, the cyborg, and the wolf are just some new subjectivities which I am messing with which perhaps can transcend the standard MCP. And instead of parties, groups, organizations, we should form collectives or packs (like wolf packs, thanks to Thousand Plateaus for the wolf pack).
In practice I have also seen the MCP subject become a fetish in organizations. What the MCP does becomes its own ideal, a mystical measuring stick… Some one asked me a while ago with it means to be a communist militant in this period. I have discussed this with people for so many years, but this time around, I was stunned at the question. And I had no honest response. All I could say is that I do not know. That in this period, we are trying to figure that out. But the figuring out needs to begin from the concrete experiences of our time; not from some magical past.
Our reference point for what it means to be a communist militant is either from books or from talking to older 68ers…
Singularities of this generation objectively come from specific upsurges of class struggle. While the highpoints of class struggle like Seattle 99, anti-war, Palestine Solidarity struggle are the places they come from, by the characteristics of the United States, singularities experience brutally low levels of class struggle for most of their experience. Those who are interested in staying singularities and intellectually sharp, end up studying the past. This is especially the case with revolutionary organizations. When class struggle is the not the basis for their organic unity, the tradition of dead revolutions and revolutionaries is what holds groups together. This makes a lot of sense considering the objective circumstances, but it creates as many problems as it solves.
If the categories are supposed to have some relationship to the objective world, the development of revolutionaries through categories via the Russian Revolution, German revolution, national liberation of any given country, are mostly antiquated The past has less and less to teach us then we might think. I am not arguing for throwing this stuff out. I do not want to be put in that box. I am arguing for rethinking what are 2014 singularities . What categories we need to think about the world, how do we stay close to the class, how do we help modern singularities grow etc.? To some extent this is a discussion about what should 2014 singularities read in shaping their own cognitive tools.
One day, I will write down what 1968 meant for the United States. The Black revolutionaries and most revolutionaries in the US went into the Leninist direction, ie the New Communist movement. That meant 1968 was put under the spontaneous upsurges of the class as defined by What is to Be Done by Lenin. This is the poorest analysis possible that experience can be given. Meanwhile in France and Italy a flowering of theory and insights occurred.
I would argue Mid Night Notes, Negri, Hardt, Kathi Weekes and many others are central to the shaping of modern singularities Why and what does that mean? These people kept their categories moving. They accept the proletariat as it exists and do not impose categories upon them. They moved most dynamically with the revolution in value and the revolution in subjectivities.
Developing modern singularities is the most challenging task we face today. It means developing a historically informed theory and subjectivities which can grasp and understand the proletariat, oneself, and capital. Perhaps this is what End Notes means by a consciousness of capital. And what do we see with the Illuminati theories, but a consciousness of capital. Regardless, the main point I am driving home, is that if we take Loren’s arguments in Remaking of the American Working Class, we stand upon a world that is fundamentally different from the past.
The 2014 singularity embraces permanent change. The 2014 singularity knows no boundary between psychology, sexuality, militancy, history, theory, philosophy etc etc. The 2014 singularity has not attachment to organizational forms. The 2014 singularity uses the new technologies in their own organizing. The 2014 singularity refuses to be an ascetic. At best the 2014 singularity is an athletic or artistic ascetic.
Perhaps the new syllabus of the 2014 singularity is the 3 volumes of capital, Grundrisse, Remaking, and from there JFT, SouB, (post) Operaismo, and the American scene of the late 1960s to the present.
I have been thinking what this would mean about race. Maybe starting with Fanon’s BSWM, and jumping to Paul Gilroy’s Against Race, Black Atlantic, Wilderson’s IncogNegro, Richard Wright’s White Man listen, Michelle Wallace’s Black Macho, Loic Wacquant’s Punishing the Poor. Rub Nietzsche AGAINST Hegel in the Black Liberation tradition. That trajectory. Are we helping the growth of scholars or fighting singularities Again, the singularities need to be smart, but, we are not ‘scholars’ in the school sense. We are fighter singularities in my opinion.
Perhaps what I feel personally, is that I have done my job/ played my small role to preserve the marxist tradition in the last decade. I now want to smash the museum I helped erect (perhaps only in my own mind) because museums are not what I have ever intended to build. But I generally think small groups tend to build museums–it is generally their nature.
Look at all the so called groups of the last decade which proclaimed to be vanguards. They developed singularities which could not relate to the exploding movements. Why is that the case that is happens almost 100% of the time.
Ultimately I have met no organization that helps the nourishment of 2014 singularities. Revolutionary organization of the current period actually build people as if it was still Russia 1917. At best they help develop people as if it is 1968. Perhaps that is why so many revolutionaries do not join organizations. It is too cheap to simply say they are anti-organizational. I would instead ask the question of what do they see when they look at BOC, US, AS etc. I do not think they see an organization fit for 2014. I think they see dinosaurs, because we have been in the business of building museums of dinosaurs.
So in this light not joining revolutionary organizations makes a lot of sense. We are teaching people about a world that no longer exists. We are talking about Newtonian-physics and it is 2014.
I also want to be clear that I do not mean to have such an emphasis on what we read to nourish 2014 singularities. I should be mistaken for more reading of the right stuff automatically = 2014 singularity. Certain social and political experiences are needed, struggles, etc. Without experience in class struggle, you cannot come out of nowhere to become a modern singularity. Then there are just the intangible personal factors. Millions of black men went through the experiences of Richard Wright, but only one of them became Richard Wright. That is the myst of history and how politics work. At a certain molecular level, there is no scientific explanation I think. It is simply the unknown. Other dimensions.
But regardless, what the result of the 2014 singularity might entail, is how you see the world, how you relate to the world, how you live in the world. All of these general points have relationships with your engagement in class struggle and any given organizational form you end up building.
I do not think there is a recipe for the 2014 singularity. We cannot build anyone. So when I say develop and occasionally build, it is a hangover from an old method of thinking , and does not reflect the content of what I am thinking. Nourish is a better word; provide nourishment.
Only historical forces and movement develops the 2014 singularity. That is the greatest nursery of that arche-type. The question is, do we build organizations which nourish these folks, or do we build organizations which put them back in 1917.