Posts Tagged ‘By any means necessary’

SWILL: Failings Of The First International


23 Feb

morality-looking

The Morality of Looking

samplex

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

BEGIN ANOTHER SWILL, THIS ONE WON'T LAST FOREVER

Rebunk: What I was trying to do was prime those kiddies for the sworg perspective.

Am I correct in thinking that Spud eliminated the REVIEW command from nothingness' listserv? Methinks that far from being kiddies the list principally consists of insincere old gits like the aptly self-apellated "m.e.". If nothingness is ever going to make either a useful forum ever again or a useful meeting place then it will require repopulation (and therefore a massacre of incumbent diseased entities). But to that our attention some other time...

Rebunk: This does not endear me any less to the project of actually CONTINUING the situationist method as it developed before during and after the SI's existence (and not resting happily and absolutely on its conclusions) as opposed to REJECTING the SI altogether in terms of cigars and hairstyles in order to promote my shitty new record.

This too seems to raise another unresolved issue. Here's a dead un-PC point of view for you, Reebm but in my opinion (now) Malcolm Maclaren is the most (only) noteworthy situationist since the doors closed on the old SI. Without Maclaren there would have been no 1980s situationist revival, no reprint of the R.O.E.L. and so on. Punk basically was situationism—albeit stripped of its privileged intellectual kultural trappings, and no one more consciously tried to ensure that fact than the much loathed Maclaren. But Maclaren poses two clear problems—First, that he was shamelessly capitalist; Second—that he was a showman and manipulator and thereby challenges the simplistic black hats/white hats definition of spectacle and situation (as does everything which captures our imagination if you see what I mean).

These endless twistings of meaning and attitudes are not a phenomenon "tacked on" to the real world, they ARE the real world (Phenomenology)—and as such they cannot be eliminated or judged in the black and white moralistic terms which have been inherited from the SI (as from the contemporary worldview in general).
Now I suspect that my answer to these two challenges are still not wholeheartedly (or not at all) your own. Namely, that....

First we have to live in the REAL world, the world as it actually is, in which power is necessary in order to determine the nature of our present and future that power is invested in money, and therefore that enterprise and remuneration are necessary to further revolution or change in general (personal or collective). Yes, money might even lead to capital—and yes, capital might even lead to advantageous circumstances given appropriate responses to opportunity. In other words BAMN as we used to say By Any Means Necessary. This is more than a cheap opportunism—it is an ethical principle because as I have so often tried to argue, all moralities are necessarily SPECTACULAR and the aspiration for some inverted kind of revolutionary morality is FATAL to real integrity. We cannot even reluctantly reconcile ourselves to the world as it is even this is a SICKNESS : we should not be in the business of judging the world except in terms of appropriate activity to desirable possible consequences. Or in yet more words—it is time we treated history as a TECHNOLOGICAL not a theological problem, and if that is to be the case these taboos must be banished along with our fetishes.

Second—l;as I have also argued perhaps fruitlessly, the distinction between SPECTACLE and SITUATION as originally intended by the SI is clearly UNTENABLE. From a philosophic point of view I guess this is the most obvious reason why its fairly absurd to talk about being "situationist", (but then absurd is okay : I can live with absurd—just a technical observation). Likewise, and for the same essential reason, the distinction between recuperation and detournement is equally in error. The manipulation of images and ideas, far from being a mere manifestation of a certain phase of capitalism, is in fact FUNDAMENTALLY HUMAN—it has always being going on, it will continue to go on indefinitely. It can only be judged, (which is to restate the point made above) in terms of whether the said manipulation (charm, hex, hypnotic spell, suggestion, spin) furthers or does not further a better ensuing situation/scenario. These endless twistings of meaning and attitudes are not a phenomenon "tacked on" to the real world, they ARE the real world (Phenomenology)—and as such they cannot be eliminated or judged in the black and white moralistic terms which have been inherited from the SI (as from the contemporary worldview in general).

This idea requires an entirely different mode of consciousness—we must teach ourselves to OBSERVE the actual transmission of this karma, of the way a certain phenomenon or event or quality turns a persons mind to left or to right (or often in many directions at once). So far as I'm concerned that is what this project IS ALL ABOUT and it is not possible to proceed so long as we are to be subjected to a historically transmitted ethos about immutable GOOD and EVIL...
Naturally I am not refuting materialism here —because they are extrusions of material necessities, but of material necessities which will continue to exist with or without a revolution. GamePlay, and not an abstract political philosophy, will determine right from wrong in these matters.

It follows from this (or at least, it may certainly follow in principle, and whether it follows or not depends solely upon tactical considerations in any particular context) that it may indeed be for the BEST if Debordianism gets free advertising as a result of someone seeking to recycle Debord to advertise their shitty new record. In most cases (though this cannot by any means be an absolute statement) all publicity is good publicity and this virginal desire to avoid being sullied with the sins of the world show a positively CHRISTIAN mind-structure where instead there should be a dextrous determination to ride the perpetual flux of KARMA—of good and bad consequences of phenomenae which are ALWAYS a mix of good and evil. This idea requires an entirely different mode of consciousness—we must teach ourselves to OBSERVE the actual transmission of this karma, of the way a certain phenomenon or event or quality turns a persons mind to left or to right (or often in many directions at once). So far as I'm concerned that is what this project IS ALL ABOUT and it is not possible to proceed so long as we are to be subjected to a historically transmitted ethos about immutable GOOD and EVIL...

—kubhlai

S A M P L E X

"Ignorance and virtue suck on the same straw. Souls grow on bones, but die beneath bankers' hours.""


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