Re: Racist murders in Buffalo: A warning to be taken seriously
Yes, of course. I understand the meaning of Bonapartism ( I think), but, as Marx famously states at the beginning of The 18th Brumaire, such revolutionary moments occur
. . . the first time as tragedy, the second time as farce. Caussidière for Danton, Louis Blanc for Robespierre, the Montagne of 1848 to 1851 for the Montagne of 1793 to 1795, the nephew for the uncle. And the same caricature occurs in the circumstances of the second edition of the Eighteenth Brumaire.So in our American Empire--particularly given the fact that the European history of the 19th century is continuous with the deadly farce of worldwide imperialism as it finds its way on to the increasingly chaotic stage of the 21st--how many layers of farce piled upon farce can the historical fabric of society tolerate before no more irony is possible and the cognition of reality itself--as expressed in all the departments of human culture writ large, including science and history, simply collapses--as indeed it does in the weird science of Trumpism and the ecstatic rebellion of the manufactured idiots who now carry Maggie Thatcher's "no such thing as society," in all deadly seriousness, to an unbelievably literal extreme.
How can one recognize the farce in our culture when it has passed the point where the thing it parodies can no longer be identified--when people see nothing strange in a head of state declaring in all seriousness that the Continental Army defeated the Royal Air Force in a pitched battle, thus winning "freedom" for "the American people"?
I want to suggest that there is in effect a kind of mycelium of governance in society--a vast catalog of standards, procedures, processes, products, working assumptions, and the nearly limitless catalogue of factual knowledge required to keep the whole thing going--with regard to which personages, movements, institutions, and parties are merely the fruiting bodies necessary to reproduction. This infrastructure perhaps is itself capable of decay and extinction. Perhaps it's that decay in part that manifests itself in the sinister clownishness that has always pervaded at least American public life, and that now has changed so much that it has become a qualitatively new and dangerous phenomenon.
There is perhaps a tendency on the part of some leftists to assume that something solid, powerful, and coherent must underly all changes of government. But what if that is not necessarily true--if the capitalist class do not unerringly judge what is in their interests and "fascists" can no longer be relied upon to act rationally in pursuit of their policies, which, however monstrous, still cohere powerfully at the level of policy?
Nazism was a misbegotten hash of ill-assorted half-baked theories, fake folklore, superstition, grotesque pseudoreligious hobby-horses, phenomenology, and fantasy--but it supported a set of policies that, while monstrous, made sense as policy and therefore allowed concerted action by the terrorist state. Can a farcical reiteration do as much--even a farcical repetition, post-Nazism, of Bonapartism?
I entirely accept that the Buffalo shooter was acting on the basis of a kind of neofascist ideology, both conscious and--I'd suggest--unconscious. But how could those behind that presumptive ideology take the likes of that shooter and weld them into a coherent governing force? Terror is with us in such acts--but what is its final political character given the anarchic nature of its manifestation? Can there be farcical mass murder? What are the political limits of the hyper-ironic farce that surrounds us every day?
You may not want my support after that outburst, but you still have it. This is all meant in a good spirit.