Archive for September, 2005|Monthly archive page

The Sinking of New Orleans

1. As if..

Capital’s identity and contradiction, identity in contradiction, in relations of production– private property, ownership, profit– and means of social production– improved methods of transportation, communication, circulation– endows it with an “as if” personality. Capital’s agents and owners act as if every action ensuring private property and profit is also an action to better social development, improve infrastructure, a greater good for the greater whole.

The as if personality, the as if class cares for nothing but appropriates everything. The as if class pretends that development, progress, is inherent in the aggrandizement of wage-labor, imminent in poverty. The as if class creates the personality that pretends, poses, imposes. It recreates itself through the reproduction of pretenders, posers, impostors, charlatans, failures, fuck-ups, greeters and calls them entrepreneurs.

2. Less Than Zero

At beginning and end, and every point between, the maintenance of bourgeois property and of the as if class requires denial and disavowal of reality. Responsibility is replaced by surprise, by shock, by real and feigned ignorance. The ideological alibis of the ruling class’ agents change from the DC Watergate “I don’t recall. I don’t recollect,” to the New Orleans Floodgate of “We didn’t know. Who would have guessed?”

Accounting and accountability are screens for the destruction of assets; screens onto which the destruction of assets is projected as progress, growth, development, expansion–as creativity, creation, as intelligent design.

With the disavowal of reality, “loss of affect” is transformed from a highly subjective description of an emotional state to a historical necessity, a prerequisite for the accumulation and protection of bourgeois property. The bourgeoisie selects as its agents, its perfect representatives, not murderous psychopaths governed by a personal need to kill, to destroy; but rather compliant, facile, sociopaths governing by the larger class need to allow, potentiate, accelerate the murder and destruction inherent in capital’s compressed identity. We get a government not of Ted Bundy’s, but matchmakers for Ted Bundy; a government of dating services, chat rooms, for Ted Bundy capitalism.

3. As ifers…

The agents of the bourgeoisie pretend to be responsible; pretend to listen to “neutral,” “objective,” “scientific” assessments of danger, natural and social; they act as if preparations have been made; they pose as competent, deliberative, organized, capable. “Shock” follows exposure of incompetence, ignorance, failure. And the follow up to shock is a “mobilization” that only carries through to the bitterest of ends the prior destructive passivity.

The government is on vacation; the government acts as if it is monitoring the situation; the government acts as if it has been briefed; the government acts as if surprised; the government. acts as if shocked, appalled, sympathetic, remorseful, grieving, sorrowful. The government acts as if it will shorten its vacation; the government acts as if it is mobilizing; the government acts as if has assumed command and control; the government acts as if it will provide, will restore, will rebuild. The government is a government of by and for as ifers.

Rice needs another pair of shoes to govern effectively, as if that befits a secretary of state; Bush acts as if… Rumsfeld acts as if… Cheney acts as if…Brown acts as if….Chertoff…acts as if…

Meanwhile the destruction of the hurricane is furthered by neglect. Then the destruction of the hurricane is capitalized, literally, by deportation, forced expulsion, of the population; the letting of contracts without bid, without control, without command.

More as if is organized and distributed as the government, executive and legislative, vows to investigate, to probe, to determine, to assign, to determine, to rectify… As if the government is capable of anything more than as if..

Meanwhile, the as if government has a vision for the future of an as if New Orleans; and that vision is Nigeria, or Sucumbios in Ecuador, or, and at best, Santa Cruz in Bolivia enclaves of, by and for extraction capitalism

Response and opposition to as if begins with opposition to the invasion and occupation of the city by the military, by the mercenaries, by the contractors.

S. Artesian 91105

address all comments to: sartesian@earthlink.net

This material may be freely reproduced provided the source is credited.


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