Wednesday, November 23, 2016

I can do better

Critics of reform tend to suppose that the one advocating for reform hasn't thought about the ends in play. Post-structuralism and nihilism suppose that the end is present already; that everything visible is just waiting to be recuperated according to the machinations of state-nihilism. Reformists disagree, supposing that the end is (or could be) in no ones' hands--that history is yet unwritten; that sometimes--it seems anyway--one can beat back the state, as though the state could regress, as though it were possible to force it to give ground--as though it didn't have a number of cards up its sleeves, willing bargaining chips... And on and on it goes.

I've mentioned before that there is something curious about the logic of better and best; both are structured according to The Good; and the claim here is that better is (or could be) on the way to the best, because, evidently, the things that we anarchists want, are non-repugnant with a future world that we could stomach, presumably, minimally, No State, No Marxists, No Anarchist Leaders; in short, the death of all collective hierarchy. So then while it is obvious that getting trans washrooms installed, or, even more curious, the replacement of gender biased washrooms for gender neutral washrooms, seems ridiculously reformist--because in no way is the state giving ground here that would make its functioning impossible--such a reality links up what we envision in the world to come, namely, a consequentialist world in which individuality is abandoned to flourish because everyone is abandoned by everyone else. Many of us have already abandoned the projects of the collectivists to be left alone to make ourselves abandoned, to make ourselves invisible, in stark contrast to the militant visible milieu. 

The best demands that we do better. It is therefore problematic to suppose that the better is the best. We can never then say, pragmatically, that we have done enough. But what is this collective pipe-dream of the best? The world in which all individualities are abandoned? What of the many that cannot imagine a world without commodity? Or a world without the state? Or a world without the possibility of trading work for further excrement? The many cannot abandon the shit show that we live in, and would die defending it against us--those that would see it destroyed.

If then there is no best because it is unlikely, because anarchists shouldn't (pragmatically) be utopian dreamers, if we are deflationary about revolutionary hope, then it would seem that all there is, is the better. But what is better? What is this reformism? More exacting language is required here.

In the first place, the act of destruction, while not itself recuperable, often leads to further repression, unless the act can be ignored by leviathan. But if the act of destruction leads to repression, then what of the idea that one has merely provided an opportunity for the state to reform itself? Isn't one then a reformer? Here it should be objected that one is ignoring the fact that the term reform means more than mere re-form, or, a reiteration of a form to matter. But that is precisely what re-form comes to! If democracy is just diluted fascism, it would seem that there is a whole host of virtual possibilities that only bolster the power of the state--which just means the possibility of its destruction to be pushed further and further away. The difference here that is of value, of course, is that in the moment that leviathan becomes ugly, becomes fascist, such a hidden face, revealed, goes against its posturing of peaceful reform. Following tightened measures, comes the peace that merely waits to unleash ugliness for (ultimately) "beautiful" one-dimensionality.

I said above that the act of destruction and the act of reform are like two differences that end the same; this is ultimately because we are too weak to produce The Conditions for Permanent Revolt, for Continuous Visible Individual Insurrection. But if we drop the sense of best, that attenuates better, we might focus on what is better, what we mean by re-forming ourselves in abandonment to the Re-forms of the state and its anarchist allies.