Elements of PUNK philosophy
Power corrupts. Fixed power -- Stable, durable, “perfect” power, imagined to bring “harmony” -- transforms corruption into architecture, for an established despotism. It will not be enough for “true democracy” to be deployed against the State; it cannot suffice for it to be anarchy. “True democracy” not only must deconstruct the State but must deconstruct every state, every posited stability or every installed institution, even the “most perfect” among them. “True democracy” is an-archy, the permanent combat against all the supposedly “best” and firmly established institutions, the permanent combat against the marvelous and supposedly eternal utopias. Including the “anarchist institutions”.
The only way to proceed, if one is not to see every dream turned into a nightmare, is to prevent any “stoppage”, any established stability, any phantasmagoria of a realizable harmony.
The militant of an-archy or PUNK anarchism is one who engages fearlessly in the movement of destitution of institutions, a movement that has to be ceaselessly recommenced, without halt or end.
NO FUTURE: every harmonious millenial Empire that one would attempt to realize, then to stabilize, leads down a path of corruption: any Empire will be catastrophic.
The historical movement of secularization of negative
Considered as an introduction to monism-with-duality.
The “secularization” of negative theology is carried out via the following steps:
God is not this or that;
God is NOT; God is dead;
God is the NOT, the NOTHING, the VOID;
There is no God;
The NOT, the NOTHING, the VOID is the “formula”
of the beyond;
The beyond, attributed to God, who is NOT, is conceived as outside;
The outside is not a theological hypothesis, but a scientific
hypothesis, a hypothesis necessary for explaining a series of real phenomena, this reality not being explainable “in itself” (through absolute immanence).
[This hypothesis is analogous to the Newtonian hypothesis of gravitation, whose theological provenance and anti-theological slant are well-known.]
The phenomena, the world, the institutions, the structures, and the systems, the Eco-Nomy, etc., require, in order to be explained “scientifically”, based on the critique of empirical observations or empiricist modelings (in the econometric style) AND by appealing to a theoretical construction (a “speculative” one, see the new speculative realism), hence require adding an “outside-the-world” to reality. The analytical complex of world (event/being) and outside-the-world preserves the discursive, apophatic structure of negative theology. However, this discursive structure is in no way “theological”. It does not call upon the God hypothesis, which it can do without. Or if it does call on the hypothesis of “God”, it’s in positing that “God” is NOT. It appeals to a hypothesis in the style of Newtonian physics: in order to be explained, “theorized”, phenomenal, observable, modelizable movements (à la Galileo) in the mechanical or statistical manner require that one POSTULATE (or posit axiomatically) “forces” that are invisible but actively real.
Newton had already understood that the “theological” structure of this postulation (or axiomatizaton) had nothing “theological” about it – the invisible forces did not refer to any god, but referred “only to themselves” (in a radical immanence, which requires postulating an outside of observable or modelizable phenomena in order to explain those phenomena).
After a two-centuries long series of “adjustments”, from Newtonian physics to quantum physics – but the historical movement of science has no end – we arrive at the schema of monism-with-duality. The explication of economic, social, and political phenomena (the latter being what interests here) requires TWO axioms: adding an “outside”, named the REAL, to the visible, formalizable, pre-conceptualizable, and questionable phenomena of REALITY.
The theory organizing the discursive system with TWO axioms can be called monism-with-duality, with a non-dualist (non-commutative) duality that can be called (by reference to Hegel, whose specter goads us) a closed dialectic. The historical movement of negative theology, let’s say since Plato and his dualism (reread the great classical work by Simone Pétrement), then the Neoplatonists and the massive introduction of the apophatic, the gnostic debates, etc., leads, in a continuous displacement (a chaotic history) of more than TWO millenia, a displacement that can be theorized, after the fact, as a “surpassing” of Hegelianism and the dualist dialectic that goes from the TWO to the ONE (Hegel with Plato). This displacement causes the gnostic position to be reformulated, through generalization and secularization, into a duality: the One will always be divided in TWO. A general formula of war. If, consequently, “war” is a possible name for the REAL, we can say: antagonism is the “source” of all reality (a source to be theorized in terms of monism-with-duality). A return to the Presocratics, so dear to Heidegger. Heraclitus: war is the father of all things. Heraclitus called the thoughts of men child’s play.
Let me repeat one point. The outside, the Real posited axiomatically, is a scientific hypothesis necessary for explaining observable social-political phenomena. Or, to say it differently, it is the difficulties, errors, impasses, contradictions, hidden hypotheses, etc., of the empiricist or positivist explanations --which postulate that there only exists the plane of reality, without an outside – that requires adding the Real to reality.
That is why it first took us twenty years of critical analysis of the economic (considered as the prototype of all positivist social science) to arrive at a complete analysis. Once again, while following the path of Lacan, from the symbolic to the Real. The critical analysis of empiricist (or empirico-deductive) scientific explanations is a necessary step. And this critique (deployed like the critical analysis of Frankfurt) is the contemporary form of the apophatic.
To follow the vocabulary of Badiou, we “suture” philosophy to social science – more exactly to critical science. And, in passing, we reduce Badiou’s “four conditions” -- science, politics, art, love – to TWO, science and politics. Science as an art, Paul Feyerabend, our analysis of the Groendieck revolution; read this text like a “philosophical poem” or a Presocratic poem. And note that this definition, à la Feyerabend, enables us to separate “science” (of the Real/realized duality of radical immanence from “technoscience” (of absolute immanence or lifeless ontology). Politics as “knowledge” (through confrontation) of the impossible, or of the possible and the impossible intertwined, and hence “knowledge” of the ambiguity, the ambivalence, the confrontation of the central question of “corruption”. If you like, politics is the “unveiling” (in the Heideggerian sense, the “uprising”) of chaos and corruption. And so politics is the “knowledge” of the world as an erratic historial formation (of domination). This politics needing to be “dualized”, in a revolutionary or subversive manner, into the Real, becoming a policing and a “force for order” once realized.
And to conclude, “love”, so cherished by Badiou, “Love” must be radically deconstructed as a machinery-machination of religious power. Lovers take note!
Translated by Robert Hurley