by Arran James
Interview with Mark Fisher (aka K-Punk) at Occupy Times. The best bits:
I think those involved in the riots [in London back in the summer of 2011] were largely exactly the kind of people I was just talking about – those for whom ‘politics’ means absolutely nothing. I’m not saying that the riots weren’t ‘political’, that they were an inexplicable upsurge of criminality, as the right did. The riots were political, but in a negative sense – they were a massive symptom of a failure of politics, an expression of discontent which lacked political goals or strategy. These are the signs of a system verging on collapse; people took part because they felt radically excluded. The invisible wall that prevents people from acting like this had collapsed – there was so little on offer that there was almost no incentive not to riot. It’s to be hoped that the discontent that exploded so powerfully, and, in many cases so tragically, in the riots, can be harnessed…
…But we have to remember that the police aren’t the enemy, they are the servants of the enemy, and if all of our energy is taken up struggling against them, then they are doing their job for their masters very effectively. Ultimately, it must be far better if the servants are turned against their masters…
…his is the objective irony of capital: nothing sells better than anti-capitalism. Or, even more bleakly, late capitalism’s culture is anti-capitalist.
Full article here.
Yet for all this the organisation of rage isn’t taken seriously. People say that Occupy lacks demands, that it lacks any design or goal, even that it lacks ambition. It’s the temporary autonomous zone’s new clothes. We’re in the same island as before. Occupy is indeed anemic. It was the rioters who were full of vigor. We live in a time of collapse. The old is fragmenting, coming apart and being left behind. Historically, we are now in the interstice. New demands, goals, ambitions…these will be formulated only by the agents that accelerate the collapse of this moribund mode of civilization, agents who are it;s ultimate product. Around us the world is a catacomb of corpses…and one does not articulate demands to a corpse.
Why continue to care about politics at all in the wake of its failure and in the dawning of a consciousness that admits little in the way of existential optimism? Because we go on living and as long as that is the case we will find ourselves enmeshed in one politics or another. It is not a question of deciding, it is not undecidable…it’s already decided.