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I don’t normally frequent the anarcho-syndicalist enclaves of the blogosphere, but my curiosity was piqued by the ongoing saga of the “Tarnac 9” , whose penchant for absurdism combined with neo-Benedictinism is at least somewhat endearing.

As it happens, the now-released ‘pre-terrorists’ have a support committee in the United States active enough to throw up the occasional blog post. Read the below, taken from this post (H/t Nicola Karras), and marvel as they manage to hit many of the themes that recur on this very different blog:

Today the West is the GI who dashes into Fallujah on an M1 Abrams tank, listening to heavy metal at top volume. It’s the tourist lost on the Mongolian plains, mocked by all, who clutches his credit card as his only lifeline. It’s the CEO who swears by the game Go. It’s the young girl who chases happiness in clothes, guys, and moisturizing creams. It’s the Swiss human rights activist who travels to the four corners of the earth to show solidarity with all the world’s rebels – provided they’ve been defeated. It’s the Spaniard who couldn’t care less about political freedom once he’s been granted sexual freedom. It’s the art lover who wants us to be awestruck before the “modern genius” of a century of artists, from surrealism to Viennese actionism, all competing to see who could best spit in the face of civilization. It’s the cyberneticist who’s found a realistic theory of consciousness in Buddhism and the quantum physicist who’s hoping that dabbling in Hindu metaphysics will inspire new scientific discoveries.

The West is a civilization that has survived all the prophecies of its collapse with a singular stratagem. Just as the bourgeoisie had to deny itself as a class in order to permit the bourgeoisification of society as a whole, from the worker to the baron; just as capital had to sacrifice itself as a wage relation in order to impose itself as a social relation – becoming cultural capital and health capital in addition to finance capital; just as Christianity had to sacrifice itself as a religion in order to survive as an affective structure – as a vague injunction to humility, compassion, and weakness; so the West has sacrificed itself as a particular civilization in order to impose itself as a universal culture . The operation can be summarized like this: an entity in its death throws sacrifices itself as a content in order to survive as a form.

The fragmented individual survives as a form thanks to the “spiritual” technologies of counseling. Patriarchy survives by attributing to women all the worst attributes of men: willfulness, self-control, insensitivity. A disintegrated society survives by propagating an epidemic of sociability and entertainment. So it goes with all the great, outmoded fictions of the West maintaining themselves through artifices that contradict these fictions point by point.

There is no “clash of civilizations.” There is a clinically dead civilization kept alive by all sorts of life-support machines that spread a peculiar plague into the planet’s atmosphere. At this point it can no longer believe in a single one of its own “values”, and any affirmation of them is considered an impudent act, a provocation that should and must be taken apart, deconstructed , and returned to a state of doubt. Today Western imperialism is the imperialism of relativism, of the “it all depends on your point of view”; it’s the eye-rolling or the wounded indignation at anyone who’s stupid, primitive, or presumptuous enough to still believe in something, to affirm anything at all. You can see the dogmatism of constant questioning give its complicit wink of the eye everywhere in the universities and among the literary intelligentsias. No critique is too radical among postmodernist thinkers, as long as it maintains this total absence of certitude. A century ago, scandal was identified with any particularly unruly and raucous negation, while today it’s found in any affirmation that fails to tremble.

No social order can securely found itself on the principle that nothing is true.

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