Thursday, September 10, 2015

touchy topics

Those of us that are tired of the identity politics game tend to suppose that its easy peasy to distance oneself from purported behavior. But this is experientially false because people tend to impose structures onto us, assuming that since one is white, one is racist, for instance; or that since one identifies as male, one is sexist. And if not actually so, more than likely potentially so. Two problems already arise: what does it mean to be white? and what does it mean to be racist? One way of painting the (performative) picture in today's world is to note that the all-amerikkkan family is quintessentially white and quintessentially racist given a general failure to understand the way the world works, how wealth accrues through exploitation, theft of preliminary capital, etc., and that the defense of these values and actualities produces borders, and a keeping out those that have had their lives stolen for the possibility of being performatively white. Built into this concept of being performatively white is being-heteronormative, or what's the same, being reproductive of the same (shitty, one dimensional) future. The domestic family is a machine of a larger machine, named Gender in Baeden 2, that produces the experience of alienation, distancing the other, even to the point of dejection, among a whole host of other divisive features--but most importantly--the separation of self from oneself through capture and recombination.

The entire apparatus of privilege theory functions in a similar way; that is to say, functions to distance oneself from oneself by way of capturing bodies into its functional (socialist) future. The only question then is how it is that the desired world, the utopia of a completed revolution, fails to look like the world that we hate? If domestication keeps us in place, what of the world that would do the same, and yet, nevertheless, call itself transformatively radical? 

Ask yourself: is privilege good or bad? If it is bad--say, because it is predicated on a wholesale dismissal of non-humyn peoples, or because it fails to have a healthy relationship with the land (gelassenheit)--why should one that has it, give it away, rather than destroy it? Because it will always be projected? And if it is meant to be shared because it is only bad in its form, and yet good, if equalized, how can we overlook the privileging of the humyn, the production of Agamben's anthropological machine? (Agamben says that whenever a distinction is posited between humyns and animals, it follows that those that do not fit (rectudio) become excess to be destroyed, like those animals that fall under the privative term and are, as such, destroyed. Here, it's easy to paint the picture: those that do not work, those that cannot, those that hate the white bread of the state (hell); these are so many failures of futures that suck. And yet, even as failures, these are still captured by privilege.) So, through all this we have to ask ourselves always: Is privilege good or bad? And if we say always, without question and equivocation, bad, it will always be obvious that those that would make us do something with it, fail to understand what they are talking about.

Perhaps a vanguardist temporary state is necessary to force the state to "wither away"; and so, mutadis mutandis, privilege must be adopted ironically, until it withers away--until it is meaningless. But I thought that was what we are doing when we render our bodies uncaptured, monstrous? Perhaps privilege association is always a lacking in reference when it comes to us. And this is the ultimate root about why we think identity politics is forever insufficiently anti-politics.