Catastrophic antipolitics

by Arran James

In Baudrillard’s catastrophic vision I see a new way of thinking subjectivity: a
reversal of the energetic subjectivation that animates the revolutionary theories
of the 20th century, and the opening of an implosive theory of subversion,
based on depression and exhaustion.

In the activist view exhaustion is seen as the inability of the social body to
escape the vicious destiny that capitalism has prepared: deactivation of the
social energies that once upon a time animated democracy and political
struggle. But exhaustion could also become the beginning of a slow movement
towards a “wu wei” civilization, based on the withdrawal, and frugal
expectations of life and consumption. Radicalism could abandon the mode of
activism, and adopt the mode of passivity. A radical passivity would definitely
threaten the ethos of relentless productivity that neoliberal politics has
imposed.

-Franco Berardi, After the Future (p.107). 2012.
The mother of all the bubbles, the work bubble, would finally deflate. We have
been working too much during the last three or four centuries, and
outrageously too much during the last thirty years. The current depression
could be the beginning of a massive abandonment of competition, consumerist
drive, and of dependence on work. Actually, if we think of the geopolitical
struggle of the first decade – the struggle between Western domination and
jihadist Islam – we recognize that the most powerful weapon has been suicide.
9/11 is the most impressive act of this suicidal war, but thousands of people
have killed themselves in order to destroy American military hegemony. And
they won, forcing the western world into the bunker of paranoid security, and
defeating the hyper-technological armies of the West both in Iraq, and in
Afghanistan.

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