"My friends," he would instruct us, "if our nationhood has indeed been ‘born,’ as they assure us nowadays in the newspapers, it is still sitting at school, in some German Peterschule,32 over a German book, grinding out its eternal German lesson, and its German teacher makes it go on its knees when necessary. All praise to the German teacher; but most likely nothing has happened, and nothing of the sort has been born, and everything is still going on as before, that is, by the grace of God. In my opinion, that should be enough for Russia, pour notre sainte Russie.vi Besides, all these panslavisms and nationhoods—it’s all too old to be new. Nationhood, if you like, has never appeared among us otherwise than as a gentlemen’s clubroom fancy—a Moscow one at that! To be sure, I’m not talking about Igor’s time.33 And, finally, it all comes of idleness. With us everything comes of idleness, even what is fine and good. It all comes of our dear, cultivated, whimsical, gentlemanly idleness. I’ve been repeating it for thirty thousand years. We are unable to live by our own labor. And what is all this fuss nowadays about some public opinion being ‘born’—did it just drop from the sky, suddenly, for no rhyme or reason? Don’t they understand that in order to acquire an opinion what is needed first of all is labor, one’s own labor, one’s own initiative and experience! Nothing can ever be acquired gratis. If we labor, we shall have our own opinion. And since we shall never labor, those who have been working for us all along will have the opinion instead—that is, Europe again, the Germans again, our teachers from two hundred years back. Besides, Russia is too great a misunderstanding for us to resolve ourselves, without the Germans and without labor. For twenty years now I’ve been ringing the alarm and calling to labor! I’ve given my life to this call, and—madman—I believed! Now I no longer believe, but I still ring and shall go on ringing to the end, to my grave; I shall pull on the rope until the bells ring for my funeral!"
"There are rifts and rifts," wrote Pisarev of the rift between dreams and reality. "My dream may run ahead of the natural march of events or may fly off at a tangent in a direction in which no natural march of events will ever proceed. In the first case my dream will not cause any harm; it may even support and augment the energy of the working men…. There is nothing in such dreams that would distort or paralyse labour-power. On the contrary, if man were completely deprived of the ability to dream in this way, if he could not from time to time run ahead and mentally conceive, in an entire and completed picture, the product to which his hands are only just beginning to lend shape, then I cannot at all imagine what stimulus there would be to induce man to undertake and complete extensive and strenuous work in the sphere of art, science, and practical endeavour….
The rift between dreams and reality causes no harm if only the person dreaming believes seriously in his dream, if he attentively observes life, compares his observations with his castles in the air, and if, generally speaking, he works conscientiously for the achievement of his fantasies. If there is some connection between dreams and life then all is well.” Of this kind of dreaming there is unfortunately too little in our movement. And the people most responsible for this are those who boast of their sober views, their “closeness” to the “concrete”, the representatives of legal criticism and of illegal “tail-ism”.
Lenin also quoted the following from Pisarev: “Break, beat up everything, beat and destroy! Everything that’s being broken is rubbish and has no right to life! What survives is good”
The impel of the perverse is the dictatorship of meaning without meaning.
Your post-post-ironic slapstick recuperation as grace-mining will not save you.
Your undenunciation will not undenounce you.
Your materialising distance from materialism will not save you.
Be the biological abstraction you already are in the world!
A knife must cut well, certainly. However, Aristotle’s formulation isolates the object into reduced practicality: the object becomes its end form, its contoured logic outside of itself becomes the dead object. One should ask, what is it that makes the knife cut well? It is not simply fine steel, but also the geometry of the blade, the length, height, thickness, the material in its annealing and quenching, the grind, the handle shape, the grip of the scales, and perhaps even the aesthetics. And perhaps even more than this, the knife cuts well due to the immaterial outside of the blade, in the gathering of materials, in the skill of the user passed down from generation to generation. Aristotle’s formulation neglects a hard truth, the average man with a master’s knife can never impart the skill of the master knifecrafter with a dull and rusty blade. Form follows function or function follows form, this is perhaps the common perception of the theory of non-contradiction, and Aristotle heat treats non-contradiction of the knife in its definition of cutting well. But this is an anti-form, an unfinished setting together of the parts of form and function with the image in one’s head of the object’s process. Yes, it cuts well. But what does it cut well? No single knife cuts all things well. Slicing through wood, skinning an animal, cutting a human, or chopping up food all require different attributes of a knife. And the variance of knives supposes the variance of a culture using them. People who speak most of knives rarely use them, the ‘knife which cuts well’ tends to be a fictitious object.
This is demonstrated quite clearly in the prepping and bushcraft communities where individuals buy and review more knives than they ever use. A person receives a knife and immediately films themselves opening up the box, providing the world with an instant review of the object. It’s a good knife. How do I know? It cuts well. And how could it not? It’s a knife. Abstraction of the object preforms a realism of another object. Much more significant than the use of the object or its exchange is the valorisation of the object, or the object in process. A culture of immediate discarding of objects implies exchange, and an increasing rate of exchange, but also sacrifice. The object without purpose is an object at the mercy of a user without ethics for the object. The human is not fetishising the object, rather he is self-fetishising into the object for its lack of use. Fictitious objects arrive as a surrogate of our death, the mourning of the object’s loss before we could take to losing it in activity. There are only nine tokens because there are really eleven. The surplus creates our fictitious need for activity and the fictitious object drives activity into abstraction.
Yes, the knife cuts well. But is it lost? My men are doing everything, I must do nothing. Ensure none of this accumulation escapes my burial mound. Yes, the knife cuts well. But does it block out the sun?
Value in unused objects arises in fictionalisation, in cultish adventures, in sworn paths of one’s own redemption. The king exiles himself as he is the pretty burl on the knife’s scales. In use he is hidden, and in unuse he becomes something else entirely. The beauty of the burl is a world of its own, neither with meaning nor without, and this only comes out in unuse, in contemplation without exchange. Unuse-value and nonexchange-value are the only true forms of value, the only form of wealth - wealth as power. A truly beautiful object compels one to sit, to do nothing, to watch the world within the object. This world is beyond that formal substance, that void in the fetish, the commodity, the abstract labour of enjoyment. The object in process is destroyed in use-value and exchange-value. The rate of use and exchange increases as the king is called to return from his chambers, to venture into the sun to discuss war and how it might be overcome. In exchange of forms of value is the non-contradiction of value, The One, Third-Value. The king must not step from his chamber otherwise the absolute value of the world unto him shall be lost.
This is what fascism understood of democracy and capital, its runaway economisation destroyed all value, it was the negation of value to impossibilise the object, instantaneous degeneration of the object was a death beyond death. Fascism sought the reinstitution of value, its runaway was against capital, not of it. What fascism was responding to was false wealth, the negative wealth of value without power - death of the world. Fascism then was the reactive realism of democracy, the making of its death into a material object. Materialism against materialism. The reinstitution of the classic aesthetic was the last effort of a world approaching death, of a world in need of real value and not the formality of degeneration. Fascism attempted to reconstruct a world which could put beyond use all value. A single form of value to rule them all.
In the absence of fascism democracy has initiated its real movement towards a single value-form, a third form of value to rule them all. Crypto-democratic use and fascist use are two inversions of each other, they both seek progression towards the non-contradiction of value. Use-value is simply the neglect of objects, and the non-contradiction of use-value is the neglect of all objects. What Aristotle introduced is far more significant than Marx’s bastardisation of objects in use-value and exchange-value, he introduced the self-valorisation of objects, a doubled fetishisation whereby the human cuts himself into the object and becomes his own well-forming process. In a sense, Aristotle impelled into realism the Ring of Gyges - to become a stone-human was not to limit oneself, it was to become absolute. Theology of use-value appears at the end of materialism as an eschatology after the end of the world. I am become the destroyer of the world, death.
Eschatological-value is the realism of objects in process, and the non-contradiction in this process is to do nothing. To become the absolute contradiction, and so eternal value. There is an outside form outside of value, a production that organises exchange in itself. A mortar and pestle of value and virtue. We are stone. We move as stone as we lumber, we move the objects to escape our own petrification. We lumber as a form of petrification. The outside gazes into us, as the abyss also gazes into itself. The stone lumbering after the end of the world could care less of value, this is why there is so little of it. There is no surplus value, only surplus disintegration of it. Value in material is but the third stone-form of a stone world as it comes to fall apart, as the temple self-valorises into its own collapsed and hollowed out substructure. The fractured stones beneath it now a liquid and the golems sinking in, panicking in their own lunacy. They starve in the soul, but it is a graceful famine of material. And thus fall in to the dictatorship of meaning without meaning. We are stones. We wash the stones. We set the stones to float.
There is no self-valorisation. Only self-fetishisation. Beyond use and exchange there is the eternal grace of the Black Material. Self-flagellation needs the desire of self-victimisation. Here you are speechless and without form. You are The One, the black hand of Cap-tal.
Monism in process. The drab value of tokens washed away through the encryption of time. G-d in process.
Burl makes the most beautiful wood, yet it will destroy your tools and create a hinge within the cramped space of the void.
Deep Blue Square
A collaboration between Emile9000, Camat Li(n)e, and Frere DARPAnt.