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k-punk
20-01-2005, 11:12 PM
... so Ccru wrote in its piece <a href=http://www.ccru.net/swarm1/1_swarm.htm> 'Swarmachines' </a>, as performed in the Hacienda at the Situationist Conference in 1995.

It is a reasoned antipathy to debate that has led to my hesitation about posting here over the past few weeks.

According to postmodern opinionism, there is no distinction to be drawn between argument and debate. Those who claim that it is possible to argue impersonally - that, in fact, argument MUST be impersonal - protest too much, so the opinionists would have us believe. Really, they are just rationalizing their own predilections, or else they are concealing such predilections behind a veil of impersonality.

There is no accident that this doctrine, which enjoys near ubiquitious support in the academy, the houses of parliament and amongst teenagers, has come to the fore at a time in which politics has all but been evacuated from public life. Opinionism is a systemically-cultivated (anti)political program which produces a simulacrum of the political - the increasingly threadbare and shabbily unconvincing spectacle of mediatized debate - as a distraction from the fact that politics has been supplanted by administration.

In spite of himself, naturally, Blair has done many favours to Anti-Capital, but perhaps chief amongst them is his long, slow destruction of any credibility that Kapitalist-Parliamentarianism might once have enjoyed. Hard to remember now, but in 97, Blair's messianism limited itself to British 'politics' (it did not yet, at least publicly, embrace ze vorld..); he promised to clean it up, restore vision where there was only short term instrumentalism. To say that exactly the opposite has happened scarcely gets near Blair's achievement in reducing parliament to a postmodern sideshow with dwindling audiences. It couldn't be clearer that the theatrical struggle between two groups of bourgeois lawyers is pure baboonery, nothing more. An unseemly mammalian conflict for Alpha-status.

Debates are an exchange of animal noises. Technically, there is no difference between an opinion and a grunt.

One of the things we must thank Badiou for is his insistence that politics cannot be about dying monkey flesh yakking. Paradoxically, what is unique about human beings is their capacity to distance themselves, through thought, from the biophysical substrate that makes such thought possible. What could be further from the conssnsus bio-miserablism played out as dreary parliamentary point-scoring or dressed up in the pious sub-theological clothing of the pathos of being-towards-death?

The opposition between argument and rhetoric is of course far from new. But what is new is the subsumption of the former within the latter. (Or perhaps not: perhaps times of 'apparently triumphant' conservativsm are always facilitated by this equivocation. Sophistry is an indispensable (anti)political weapon, after all.)

The powers that be have succeeded in lowering the bar so much that if you cite thinking and behaving rationally and ethically as a GOAL, you will be howled down by a chorus of depressed-enraged monkeys for getting ahead of yourself, being arrogant, setting yourself up as x or y. This is already a great triumph for Anthropol. That's it, ease back into your armchair, switch on the games console, crack open the six pack, because hey, what's the point, everyone's as bad as everyone else, we're all tortured monkeys in hell, all we can do is numb the pain - and anyone who says or thinks anything different is either deluded or dogmatic, or both. The endemic depression amongst westerners is a direct consequence of this obligatory relativistic organic-reductionism. No God, no politics, no cause, nothing bigger than our selves - which have expanded to envelop the cosmos at precisely the same time that they have been evacuated of even the pretence of substantive content. Nothing worth striving for except keeping our burrows clean and providing more meat puppets for the merry go round.

In what superficially looks like an irony, it is only under utterly artifiical Kapital, with its ruthless destruction of the Sacred, that humanity is reduced to the porcine level of organisms snouting for satiation. It was not in an always illusory state of nature that humanity was an animal pursuing the satisfaction of 'needs'; it only in desacralized Kapital that this can happen.

The role of 'religion', the role of politics, has always been to provide an escape route from reproducer animality (no accident that it is only under capitalism that having a child becomes a 'right'). To break out of the animal cage that we are born into is far from easy. But even the thought that such an escape is possible is immediately an exhilarating Gnostic flash amidst the dulling black sun of lethargo-carnality.

kooky
21-01-2005, 12:37 AM
Very poor. You really must stop projecting.

sufi
21-01-2005, 12:57 AM
yay k-punk !! :D

luka
21-01-2005, 01:00 AM
i'll try my hardest not to grunt. i'm very confused though. what response are you hoping for? that's a self-contained essay, i don't see how it is supposed to open up discussion. do you not think it would be better suited to kpunk than dissensus?

i am pleased to see you back though, it's just this seems designed to give you an excuse to go away again in that it is a deliberate attmept to bait people, it's self-fufilling prophcey, yes, people will hurl insults at you, it's fairly inevitable, it's already started with that kooky boy/girl. why not apply badiouian rationalism to say, the american power thread, or the iraqi election thread? join in rather than preach from on high. i realy really don't want to sound antagonistic here, i just want you here being productive rather than as a bear to baited.

Grievous Angel
21-01-2005, 09:20 AM
I think you're your own grand narrative, Mark :).

Rachel Verinder
21-01-2005, 09:49 AM
The thing is: to behave rationally and ethically would necessarily presuppose rationale and ethics having been determined by someone, somewhere, on the grounds of opinions, if not opinionism - still, what was the history of 17th-century England/Scotland but an animalistic tussle between two grunting camps of pre-post modern opinionism; the warm irrationality of Catholicism/Popery and the cold rationalism of Protestantism, both purposely misunderstood by their respective progenitors at the time for the purpose of - well, enabling them to insert fewer noses into bigger troughs?

On a(n im?)personal level I can only say that I've made too many mistakes getting into unprofitable "debates" on the blogosphere over the last 12 months - an unstable mind inevitably ends up projecting its instability onto everyone else, and I profoundly regret letting that side of things have an unchallenged run of the life of my mind - and find it infinitely more fulfilling simply to ensure that my idea of rational and ethical living is properly propagated in the places where it matters. That way one also tends to reach, and hopefully touch, a greater number of people.

It's a weary old pun, but better courtly love than Courtney Love...

Hope you're well, Mark.

scottdisco
22-01-2005, 03:10 PM
i was always told that debating is something students do, whereas those without a university background argue... ;)

jvm
23-01-2005, 12:31 PM
KP provides no criteria for distinuishing opinion from argument. A possible indication is the fact that if I opine, no matter what points I muster, I cannot be surprised by my conclusion. The conclusion is known from the outset, and this is the point of the exercise. (Like a government consultation process.) Whereas if an argument has its own coherence I can follow it through in directions I may not have expected or even like.

jvm
23-01-2005, 01:13 PM
that's a self-contained essay, i don't see how it is supposed to open up discussion.

Strikes me that one positive aspect of closing the comments boxes is that it takes things back to the early days of blogs, where people were much more likely to produce longer, thoughtful responses to posts on their own sites.
Question: does a too-early collectivization of argument make it impossible for a consistency to develop?

Loki
26-01-2005, 02:23 PM
....i am pleased to see you back though, it's just this seems designed to give you an excuse to go away again in that it is a deliberate attmept to bait people, it's self-fufilling prophcey, yes, people will hurl insults at you...


just struck me that the human bear bait that is K-Punk has an ally in John McCririck... he too seemed defined by opposition. On Big Brother he only truly seemed happy in the midst of an argument (not a discussion - these seemed exempt from BB somehow) and he seemed especially happy when people were hurling abuse at him, thus giving him an excuse to rage and then retire, alone with his thoughts (after all, on a programme designed around interaction what other excuse could he muster to get a few minutes peace?)

The weird thing with McCririck was that he was <em>most</em> unsettled whenever anyone praised him, as if that was damaging somehow to his sense of self / purpose etc... cod-Psych, I know, but isn't there maybe a few similarities between him and K-Punk?

Equally, while many seem to regard K Punk removing his comments boxes (and indeed this holds for all bloggers with no comments) as a sign of arrogance and <em>he</em> apparently removed them due to abuse / trolls etc (i could have been a troll, I guess) may I suggest, instead, that he and the other commentless bloggers might have removed them because of the awful potentialities of praise?

luka
26-01-2005, 02:38 PM
the difference is whenever i've met mark in the flesh he's the least argumentative person ever, it's impossible to lure him into a fight! you can try and try and it won't fall for it! although craner did say last time he saw mark, mark and all his mates started chanting 'dickhead' at him in unison becasue he didn't think north korea was the ideal model for a state! heh! that sounded like a funny night.

one of the reasons i stopped blogging was praise though to be honest, it's creepy and icky. i'm not sure mark is adverse to praise. are you mark? i know am.

luka
26-01-2005, 02:45 PM
so yeah mark, very nice humble bloke, i like him, i think he's like those boys though who when they're sober they're all quiet and shy and nice and when they've had a few beers they turn into monsters, only with mark it's the internet, plug him in and he wants to fight everyone!

oliver craner on the other hand, he always wants to fight, in person and on the internet. don't let himmention iraq, ever!

actually though, thinking about it even more, mark never argues with anyone, cos it's idiot distraction, heh, he never rises to the bait, he winds people up, that's his thing, but he won't argue with them, he says his thing, gets up peoples noses then moves on. like he won't fight craner on politics, he wouldn't fight you and effay and eden when you were trying to get him to fight, he never answers my antagonistic questions, heh! all very disappointing for people like me who love a bit of bad feeling every now and then.

mexican
28-01-2005, 04:32 AM
when he says 'idiot' doesn't he mean you Luka?

Loki
28-01-2005, 09:19 AM
(k-Punk)won't fight craner on politics, he wouldn't fight you and effay and eden when you were trying to get him to fight, he never answers my antagonistic questions, heh! all very disappointing for people like me who love a bit of bad feeling every now and then.

i guess he's read Ballard's Super-Cannes and is resisting the antogonistic/aggression impulse that did for those fellows.....

or maybe it's just a surreptitious device to force people into the uncomfortable position of talking about someone when you suspect they're in the wings, listening to everything....

luka
28-01-2005, 11:29 AM
mexican, yeah probably but it doesn't count if he doesn't say so outright, it's all part of his evil plan to declare the internet an independent state and install a communist government, with mark in the lenin role. it's bold, its audacious, its so crazy it might just work.

originaldrum
31-01-2005, 09:21 PM
one of the reasons i stopped blogging was praise .

that is so funny you should say that man, when i started reading your blog, i thought it would have an audience of about two! i had no idea that anyone else was reading, honestly, in fact that goes for a lot of other blogs i have read/still read...

i'm pretty sure i would have sent an email along the lines of "keep up the good work", that sounds like something i would do, had i known it was just another nail in the coffin, (keep in mind that i didn't think anyone else was reading) , i might have reassessed….

ambrose
21-02-2005, 06:33 PM
"Paradoxically, what is unique about human beings is their capacity to distance themselves, through thought, from the biophysical substrate that makes such thought possible"

thought is over rated. why is it unique? i just buried my goldfish. that guy/girl has been dieing for a few days in front of my eyes. i wager it was having a far greater and more meaningful period of reflection in those few days than i have ever had.

anyway, debate. its fun (for some), its irritating, its fruitless and sort of fruitful. the end, by ambrose white aged 4 1/2