Monday, 8 September 2008

quick thoughts on the decisional character of recurrence

I've been thinking about this over-riding theme with Benjamin and Nihilism lately, is that it comes down to a choice: passive nihilism or active nihlism. in the ER chapter, as we see, the choice is between passive acceptance or even reactivity towards ER (Blanqui) or active affirmation. The choice is driven by the possibilities opened up by affirmation. With aesthetics, it becomes a little more weighted. Passive/reactive nihilism stagnates aesthetics, whereas Active nihilism active reshapes the criteria of aesthetic experience. For Benjamin, it's quite simple. Passive nihilism leads to Fascism, active nihilism leads to communism (lower case/non-soviet/communard communism). The choice manifests itself again in history. Do we grasp the dialectical image as it flits by, affirming return, passing, and transitivity? Or do we sell ourselves out to the propaganda of progress? Which leads us to politics. What is the status of the political choice in all this? The question becomes one of what form the political decision can take in this space. I can offer up some ideas of what it won't be: revisionist history, progressivism, the inevitability of the proletariat. In a way I feel it could very easily link up with what Alex is doing (that's probably because i've been talking to him about our projects every day). But i think the conclusion/afterword should talk about the new space this line of reasoning raises: questions of praxis that could be addressed by transverality and group subjectivity (he's working on Sartre, Guattari, and Badiou on the group).

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