Social Justice or Social War?*
Other means of War in the Time of Depoliticized Life
Monday, October 19, 8PM at New York University, New York, NY
Kimmel Center Room 912 (60 Washington Square South)
Monday, November 2, 7:30PM at Ohio State University, Columbus, OH
Hagerty Hall room 180 (1775 College Rd)
*“Social Justice or Social War?” defines a rudimentary theory of social war. It posits civil war as an underlining condition to life and the modern state as a development intended to police and conceal this. In the time where all states have lost their imaginary force of attraction, we propose that social justice is an auxiliary mechanism to “defend society.” Social war, on the other hand, is opposed to social justice as a different discourse of revolutionary change—one which has a different concept of history.
Although the talk will contribute to a refining of these terms and their deployment, it will ultimately lack a specific conclusive direction. It will hastily engage with far too many concepts but has been said to be “surprisingly coherent.” Its surprising coherence is more than likely the result of the length of the talk and/or the performativity, which was inseparable from the talk given at the University of Wisconsin on September 11. Rather, “Social Justice or Social War?” will engage with concepts, figures, historical events as devices which we will put to use to compose atonal rhythms. These rhythms, when examined, will help us collectively write a strategy. Everything before this is conjecture—of which the IEF willfully contributes.
A few more notes regarding the IEF's intellectual exercises in impotence
The gesture of the lecture cannot be separated from the discourse it happens within. Whereas the IEF has located this gesture's site of taking-place in the university, it must be noted that many of us who are taken by the IEF and by the practices of insurrection are not the loyal subjects of academia. Our less than scholarly practices follow suit. On the other hand, the gesture of the lecture, because it is the taking-place of a discourse, reveals a world within which partisans take the practice of thought and its exposition seriously (even if that means we take being irresponsible incredibly seriously). Which means: performativity can communicate thus as thus, not just thus as that. We're like, being the communism/violence we want to see in the world, or whatever.
What is concealed by the gesture of the lecture? Because it happens within multiple discourses, the grammar of critical theory may conceal the fact of civil war. Someone in Wisconsin asked, “How, after we have sort of exploded, do we not return to normal? I mean, after the chairs which caught flight have landed; and after this room, which has been torn apart, is no longer becoming torn apart; and our bodies are not encountering each others with a joyful violence. We seem to return to performing our normal roles: You as the speaker, and I among my peers as the listener? How can we stretch it out?” Can the lecture ever be profaned in such a way that is no longer recognizable as such? The lecture, the study group, the journal of strategy always also occupy a position in the economic production of intellect. Willfully practicing stupidity, and attempting to wash our hands clean of this, will not contest that position. Likewise, occupying that position—even the wrong-ass way—may do little to contest it. Like other positions one can have within capitalism, intellectual production is work. The lecture, through the framework of the speaker/listeners, conceals the way in which voyeurs are engaged in this collective process of intellectual production. However, only a practice which leaves none of these roles intact could collectively generate intellect without value. Which is to say, only once thought's potentiality for a consistency of practices is revealed (not necessarily, “realized”) can intellectual value be attacked at the point of production.
In the past, marxists had posed the process of “socialization” as a way making labor a social entity. Such a process occurs in conjunction with a progressive concept of history where the proletariat becoming a dictatorship of its class makes private entities social. The anti-globalization movement's avant-garde sought to achieve such a process within the intellectual and artistic spheres of the economy through its emphasis on reclaiming social space. At its more honest moments it would speak of “autonomy,” but there is no autonomy within global capitalism, as the self-managed factories of Argentina demonstrate. If such spheres of the economy are going to be profaned, they must become unrecognizable and be redeemed of re-semblance. Communization in this regard immediately imposes a destruction of the faculties to generate value. It is no coincidence that the university, a factory of intellectual production, refers to its material spaces and its authoritative positions as “faculties.”
Aggressive survival practices cannot be discounted. Whereas our backsides are caressed firmly by the specters of the past generating an urgent need for negation of the present, the IEF in its erotic practices and its practices of war understands the virtues of privation. We are delighted by all the headlines which make the bourgeoisie tremble and all the events where shit goes to pieces. However, we also understand the need to extend our practices by holding positions which translate into being able to share material solidarities. If any of the colleges we speak at do not immediately become occupied in that New School sort of way, no matter. We're also occupying them in another sort of way.
We'll see you on the many roads of impotenza.
-Liam Sionnach | IEF | Oct. 09 | The Dirty