SWILL: Forging Ahead, The Manus Attempt To Develop Siftology

23 Feb


A Rational Departure


To: sworg-talk@scenewash.org
Date: 23 Feb 2001 03:07:35 +0000


Article 8: By concentrating upon a specific technology of social control, the SI neglected to offer the People something they wanted (material incentive). All sticks need their carrots and the human race votes with its hooves. Taking some inspiration from the AAA in this matter, it is vital to provide a philosophy which strives to provide OPEN SPACES and an expanding horizon for people to live IN, (Lefebvre's contributions are important here). A PRO-TECHNOLOGICAL stance is essential, but in contrast to this necessity so-called situationists and their lackeys are more often detractors from such material innovations.

Rebunk: The use of technology must be founded on two related considerations. First of all, technology should neither be fetishized as the solution to all problems (as in the example of cyberpunk) nor demonized as the root of all problems (as in the example of primitivism). Rather it should be seen in the sense of tekhne, as prosthesis, as a tool used by humans and thus a tool whose use will always be at the mercy of human desires.

I like the way you express this and I'll try to find some way to make a use of it even though I think it skids from my intention.

There are two senses in which I am PRO technologics. First (and most important since primary) that criticism and praxis must itself become technological and scientific, NOT ideological and moralistic. This is really about a method for changing the way one thinks—for eliminating historical detritus from one's pre-existing habits of thought and categories of judgement. Other post or neo situationistic currents—such as Baudrillard—are NOT scientific, they are instead literary and moralizing. This is fine, but it is not enough not only from the point of view of praxis, but from the point of view of CORRECT THINKING and especially for correcting the thinking of others. Deconstruction is much closer to what we have in mind, but the attempt to remove the thinker from the thought (or was it the other way round?) was a misconception tending to abstraction. Matthew Manus' attempt to develop siftology is, I would say, the exact converse of abstractive deconstruction—being instead an attempt to LOCATE things with precision or to locate precisely THINGS. (perhaps I haven't phrased that well, but the definition is poignant nonetheless). My point here is not merely that we ought to think rationally, but that rational thought is all but impossible in this world and yet to promote it is in fact THE REVOLUTION ITSELF (because to be able to think rationally is itself to be in a liberated local situation and to the extent that others are capable of attaining rational thought—to be in a free world.). THis is NOT to confuse rational thought with the object of revolution, that is of ultimate human desire—it is merely to note the fact that they are inextricably woven together.

Post-situationism can neither be condemnation nor apotheosis, but continuation: not perpetuation, but a critique that understands that the interpretation and transformation of the world can only be accomplished in the same movement.
The second sense in which I am pro-technic is far more simple. Technology may realize desire. Technology is needed in order to create the SPACE (in whatever dimension one can conceive it) which is in fact intrinsic in the human instinct—the essence of our desires themselves. This contrasts neatly with part A because I am talking here about something quite irrational—something which always needs to go beyond the known and inevitable. Without this aspiration, this PROMISE, then wherever the shorter term complexities of human volition may briefly point, there can ultimately be no human enthusiasm for real change, no endurance in a cause which does not offer "Ultimate" LIBERATION—a promised land for the future race to live in. We need these carrots alright—it is the need for carrots which allows the commodity phase of capitalism to come into existence in the first place. By failing to understand the human desire for the fruits of commodity production we fail to take the initiative away from capitalism.

Reeb dit: Secondly, science and technology tend toward such a level of specialization that their practitioners often have very little knowledge of real human motivations, and their products and even the very development of these products is placed under the direction of their academic, commercial or bureaucratic masters. Technology cannot be considered separately from the transformation in human behavior that we seek.

Absolutely. A very important point which the article needs to express more clearly. Of course this is exactly what is so good about the AAA.

Article 9: Prior to dissolution, the SI specifically pointed out the necessity for its own transcendence and further development. The mumbo jumbo that the
word "situationism" is impossible was instigated by this directive. Nevertheless, what passes to day as situationist is precisely this gallerified exhibit of a dead past. The only authentic situationism is POST situationism—this fact is implicit from the very beginning, in the directive to adapt dynamically and perpetually to circumstances, ideas and opportunities.

Reeb dit: Situationism can only refer to the IDEOLOGY that arose in the wake of the SI's dissolution. It is that ideology which clings to outdated practices and assumptions rather than to a specific theoretical methodology, that is to say that it prefers endless degraded repetitions of a once radical critique to the practice of the development of that critique. Post-situationism can neither be condemnation nor apotheosis, but continuation: not perpetuation, but a critique that understands that the interpretation and transformation of the world can only be accomplished in the same movement.

Bloody great matey. We'll stick that bit in fer sure. Okay any more? any more?

PS. Me rash has subsided somewhat but I honestly dont think my poor old john is ever going to be quite the same again. No erectile disfunction you understand—which just adds insult to injury : A sex-change looks like the only real way-out. I expected better things from all that emu oil—maybe them was Texas emus and not real ozzy emus.



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