MONEY/MONEY/MONEY/MONEY

         MONEY/MONEY/MONEY/MONEY

 

Gianfranco Sanguinetti on Jean-Marie Apostolides assisted by Alex Renoir's stickers /Transitional stages from capitalism to where? / A bridge from UBI to the End of Money announcing a realistic Utopia or gateway to the gradual abolition of Human Beings.........???

 

  Sadly, this speculative drift beginning with Gianfranco Sanguinetti points to a simple question; why were so many of the remarkably gifted individuals attracted to the totalising broad outlines of the situationist critique from the well-off usually characterised by having a fair amount of inherited wealth to play with though invariably a wealth hidden from plain daylight? This meant that others - far fewer in number - who were similarly attracted and who hadn't been born into privilege were going to experience as time went by, a lot of psychological discomfort in what became fairly quickly something of a rich kids club, even tending to feeling ashamed of poor upbringings despite the fact that the bottom line of all concerned was belief in an all encompassing social revolution predicated on the abolition of money. In short our common rebellion was a profound subjective rejection of the totality of capitalist alienation impinging on an unliveable daily life and, needless to say in the late 1960s there was no discussion of value inextricably inseparable with the existence of money, as after all capitalism's economic crisis had been solved hadn't it? And the hunt was on "for the last proletarian" wasn't it? In a number of instances a badly misplaced resentment of this vanguard revolutionary elite and their well camouflaged wallets had unfortunate outcomes and for those without 'proper' upbringings a mad dash for dosh and status really did prove to be their undoing as they not only lost all theoretical acumen but their very authenticity into the bargain.

 Finally though it was historical events which matter most and certainly the economic crisis of the 1970s quickly brought that into sharp relief. Once times really, really did change as the limits of post Second World War Keynesianism was brutally eclipsed by neo-liberalism, traditional elitism characterised in the UK by the grotesque public school system, made a startling, snotty-nosed comeback as those who had the money called the shots often reinforced by high flown academic careerism broadening the base of inherited wealth. Little did we realise that an age of social glaciations was kicking in. As for others of our ilk - seemingly so pure and uncorrupted by trashy careerism- why they were conveniently able to quietly fallback on the trust funds of the 1% famed for their highly protected secrecy, immune from public scrutiny. This was recently highlighted by the plight-cum -performance of the former British PM David Cameron 'honestly' explaining in response to the Panama Papers hack that despite some vague trust fund hovering somewhere in the background he was more or less poverty stricken and could somebody give him a few pennies for his bus fare back home? Thankfully, nowadays, late in the neo-liberal cycle, nobody but nobody is remotely conned by these false fronts and cover-ups. For sure, individuals we still know who belong to this still situationist charmed charmed circle and who don't remotely spout Cameron's nonsense, are still up to all the tricks cleverly able to turn offspring into financial derivatives meaning the money supply from impersonal off-shore accounts is still there to be siphoned-off when needs be..... and always but always, ever ready to call those at a much sharper end liars who are only capable of writing incoherent, inconsequential drivel. .... like what we have here!

 On a general social level, as if to reinforce these growing monetary obsessions - almost haplessly it seems - an ever more subtle and morphing recuperation meant that anti-art leaflets and what have you have slowly taken on the mantle of neo-artistic commodities commanding outrageously spiralling prices as vast sums are offered by old time traditional university institutions and the like vying for situationist archives. Thus Debord's widow, Alice Becker Ho, acquired the name tag, Alice Becker Whore after selling personal regalia and what have you for well over a million quid. Gianfranco Sanguinetti, born a rich man in any case, also jumped on the bandwagon vastly improving his already lucrative assets. Others since have jumped on the same riketty bandwagon and it's all shameful. Beyond this craziness an atmosphere full of denunciation, paranoia and nastiness, implied it was probably best to walk away from this milieu forever and forever. Yet, surely what was left here was still too good to walk away from like that? Moreover, as Tweedledum and Tweedledee we were also accused of selling revolutionary regalia become aesthetically totemic to the Tate Gallery in 2008 for the really quite miserly sum of 4 to 5 thousand pounds; an action taken to help out a poor cockney working class family who were in financial trouble. Originally, all this was clearly explained on the RAP web but the information was later withdrawn as it caused offence to the family involved. This means we live forever with the consequences of our actions deemed guilty as initially charged, as if our other crimes related to bad schooling, bad writing, etc, hasn't been enough to destroy what capabilities we ever had rather like those musings in Alice in Wonderland where "misery becomes like a writing desk."

 

The lid off and not a pretty sight........

  But enough of this sanctimonious holier-than-thou. Seriously could we have been bought off at any time? Shit Yes!! We were still young cum the defeat of the revolutionary hopes of the late 1960s and feeling so shattered after such intense revolutionary fervour if somebody had given us loads of dosh would we have taken it? Shit, Yes!! Would we also have gone for recuperation? Shit, with an even bigger yes!! Having tasted the gall of thrown out big time from most of the family (excepting a lovely Mam), career expectation, etc, along with an ever-extending black list amongst other trivia, we were unlike those who tepidly played with rebellion involving little risk and thus couldn't become Prof's of Revolution. (However - let it be said - some such Prof''s were to become quite good like Anselm Jappe, even though personally it would have been impossible to have gotten along with him)... Shit, madness loomed!! Psychologically this was experienced as if fire was searing through frying brains spilling down sulphurous nostrils "where [you] smelt of burning that's for sure" (Rimbaud). A smell so acrid that no broad was going to look at you and as for hopes of future wairns taking them delightfully by the hands on sun-drenched seafronts, well Shit forget about that too!! The situation we faced quickly became brutally simple: get the fuck out and stay out! Thankfully that psycho-somatic psychosis was only fleeting, replaced slowly but surely with something like a long term smouldering tiger-anger. Economically having come from nothing those still vivid memories from the railway / mining community we'd hailed from underpinned by a basic but inventive 'bad' schooling which you looked back on as quite glorious was an ambience we could never leave behind, nor wanted to. Indeed that need to relive "though on a higher level the best moments of childhood" extolled by the Surrealists returned big time along too with all those rich background childhood landscapes of contempt becoming the basis decades later of autonomous eco-revolutionary praxis. Concomitantly, almost inevitably, we became less and less interested in money beyond basic survival as the loathing grew of the aspirants and the rich especially those with hidden dollarios of inherited wealth though never forgetting the creepy-crawly careerists. Shit, Yes!!

 Beyond all the above point /counterpoint delirium lies one irreducible fact: we had individually gone too far down a road where no turning back was possible and in the heart –or rather that twisted up gut – nothing physically was geared to making apologies for errant behaviour. Thus recuperative steps were waylaid by a body wracked with psychosomatic distraction that couldn't be cured through shameful compromise. All that remained willy-nilly was to proceed down the long winding road of negation stumbling into collective building gangs on odd-ball sites which quickly proved to be life-savers recognising your own blasted self in fellow nutters whose masques had also slipped awry. Life was then occasionally reconstituted in passionate craic that became truly unforgetable.

More generally – and this pertains to almost everybody regardless of age and gender who is reasonably healthy – it's  still necessary to engage in some project with a coherent enough praxis which, if authentic enough, will keep you well edgy constantly sabotaging the status quo. Empty absolute 'revolutionary' purisms of endless computer terminal comment are usually neither here nor there and nothing more than ultra radical facades one can conveniently hide behind; a mask fronting a dreary, conformist daily existence susceptible to money-making obsessions little different from endemic passive clicktivism which means sweet fuck all.....

 

                                                    But first read the following from Gianfranco Sanguinetti:

                                     http://cipmarseille.com/cahierdurefuge/sanguinetti-eng/book.swf

 

                                                        ************

We have presumed here that the writings, interventions and general life style of Gianfranco Sanguinetti are sufficiently well known and appreciated so there is no need to make some garbled perfunctory introduction. Therefore if you don't know anything about this guy refer to the Internet commentariat and pick up on some of the truth among the vast amounts of bullshit on him.....It should go without saying that we've always had a great regard- even if it's a critical regard- for the guy

However, before proceeding we need to make a cautious open-ended query: we would suggest the Sanguinetti PDF text reproduced above must be put in context, namely, in relation to a few rather unsavoury relatively recent incidents (c/f  http://www.notbored.org/court-of-venice.pdf. plus take a look at,   http://www.notbored.org/azimi.pdf.  Regarding the aforementioned "unsavoury incidents", Wayne Spencer perceptively and amusingly in late 2015 wrote the following:

........"Did you hear about Sanguinetti's spat with an artist exhibiting at the Venice Biennale. The artist apparently reproduced Sanguinetti's archives in their entirety. It is easy to see how one could be royally pissed off at having one's material reduced into an object of aesthetic contemplation in a gallery. It would also be entirely appropriate to take direct action to put an end to the offending display. It seems, however, that Sanguinetti has instead made a legal complaint on what are effectively copyright grounds.".....

......"Unfortunately for Sanguinetti, his case was heard by a judge [an Italian woman] with a sense of humour and irony. You have to laugh!".........
"That article [ http://www.notbored.org/azimi.pdf] also reveals that Sanguinetti sold his archive to Yale University's Beinecke Library for the princely sum of 650,000 Euros! I am not myself so much bothered by the money. It is more that he has so happily colluded with Beinecke's busy recuperation of the situationists.".......

 It's probably a fair bet that Sanguinetti has felt pretty devastated – and rightly so - by this criticism having since made moves to counter these unfortunate lapses. Perhaps It can be said that in attempting to repair his "tarnished credentials" (W Spencer) Gianfranco Sanguinetti in MONEY, SEX AND POWER [read the above] has come up with something rather good despite laxity concerning a sufficiently hard-edged critique of art e.g. a somewhat fulsome praise of Banksy, etc. Memorably, Sanguinetti says that for all of us who wish to oppose present day intolerable conditions, the powers-that-be want us to follow the example of Walter Benjamin and off our crappy excuse for life. Too true, suggesting Gianfranco has been feeling pretty suicidal too! As for suicide we would add that if you actively remain a radical in a truly relevant way, the powers that be WANT YOU DEAD whether 8 or 80 years old cos' there ain't no compassion coming from that quarter.

 Furthermore, his latter day reassessment of state-manipulated terrorism is again well put no matter what reservations one may have in considering specifics, never forgetting that Sanguinetti was one of the first intrepid explorers' back in the early 1970s to go where few had previously travelled regarding this ever more brutally burning tactic deployed by reaction world-wide.

 After reading the above PDF why not dwell somewhat on some of the best quotes from MONEY, SEX AND POWER On a sham biography of Guy Debord. Prague 31st December2015 as Sanguinetti skims through the 500 pages of Debord le Naufrageur (Debord the Wrecker) written by the execrable Jean-Marie Apostolides. It's a fascinating read containing more than a few juicy side swipes at political correctness, gender studies, and the hideous repressive, madly bizarre PC neo-Puritanism of these intolerable times.

 

 So let's roll with a few quotes......

"Our age is the first in world history to claim as its sole enemies those that it manufactures itself, on its own terms and for its spectacular purposes. Projecting all its characteristics infamy and brutality onto these stimulated foes, it claims to oppose them resolutely; for as long as it needs to convince the electorate, it even pretends to take up arms against such fake enemies, which it portrays as evil and to which it lends the features of an Osama bin Laden or an Islamic State.
If it is to combat only artificial, stage-managed enemies, our world must work diligently to conceal and permanently destroy so much of the memory of its real confirmed enemies of old and to preserve the new century from any risk of undesirable contagion from them."

"Nor is it only authentic opponents that must be destroyed, but also all those who may have existed earlier, whose memory and model have to be erased, demolished or besmirched. Every tendency to revolt and desire for change among younger generations must be thwarted and struck down and all precedents for them and the very memory of these precedents smothered. Any conceivable emulation has to be forestalled. All Walter Benjamin's driven to suicide. Lists of subversives drawn up. Genuine rebellions, along with genuine rebels crushed once and for all, eliminated denounced, smeared and pilloried in view of the absolute need to highlight only deliberately fabricated and fetishised adversaries."

The book is "ignominious or morally disreputable"

"What could be more anti-historical than to view the last century in general or the radically, conflict-ridden situation that motivated us in particular, in the sinister light of "political correctness" or "gender studies".

"It is true that the wind has changed: the Terror has begun. And, for them, the time of cowardice will never end".

"In short, everything missing from the professor's life is likewise missing from his book..."

"One has to wonder just what, with teachers like this, the academy has become. One racket among others, one that obliges students to go into debt and turn into downtrodden slaves on the threshold of their adult life?"

*******************
 

 Stickers by Alexis Renoir

The following anti Jean-Marie Apostilides stickers were largely produced before the recent 2016 uprising in France and were forwarded to us with the following comment: "I [Alex Renoir] made the stickers with some "détournements" of Francis Picabia, René Daumal, Jacques Rigaut, Louis Scutenaire, René Magritte, Stéphane Mallarmé, Friedrich von Schiller, Isidore Ducasse..." Unfortunately because of this complex mix of suggestion-cum-frisson we were unable to produce satisfactory translations even though two or three stickers were easy and straightforward enough such as "Jean-Marie is a cop" / "We'll have to give Apostolides a kick up the arse" / "Apostolides is an old cunt", etc....... if anyone can come up with something really good for those stickers that are a lot more complex we'd be more than grateful.....

 

                            sang1     sang2

 

                          sang3           sang4

           sang5             sang6

 

        sang7     sang8

 

                sang9     sang10

 

          sang11    sang13

 

                sang14     sang15

 

BUT WHO DA FUK IS THIS GUY?

 In the UK few people know about Jean-Marie Apostolides, a hip academic French born lecturer and professor (what else?) now more or less based in the United States ensconced in the top slots of Harvard and Stanford University. In truth he is a smart arse post-modernist recuperator who has never ventured outside the hallowed and hollowed–out confines of Higher Educaty Land as Richard 'Irish' Bell of King Mob referred to that miserable institution. Apostilidos excuse for a life has never involved the muck and mess of the sharp end, never either having led a subversive, everyday life inseparable from a teeming brain of explosive, emancipatory concepts. This guy who reckons he's suffered (c/f the novel L'Audience) though never having got the sack or dismissed without pay for work done, etc and never having been in other real trouble with ubiquitous authority nor hunted down for misdeeds.

Nonetheless, cleverly, Apostolides on the straight and narrow has played with a 'subversive' posturing held at arm's length, carving out a substantial career parasitizing on aspects of the Situationists and the previous Lettrist International having produced biographies of psychogeographer Ivan Chtcheglov as well as Debord. During the 1990s he also translated into French the manifestoes of Theodore Kaczynski, the American known as the Unibomber, though most likely this publication did indeed have quite a salutary impact on the last days of the Encyclopedie de Nuisances' groupuscule.

For an operator like Apostolides art was never dead as like a performing magician he constantly played within the paradigms of arts' death throes – now you see it, now you don't – producing a bit of theatre here (doffing his cap towards spectator involvement perhaps a la Artaud?) and a novel or film, there. And then to add to his totalising banal profile something of a 'profound' sociological treatise Heroisme et Victimisation was also deemed necessary. So it goes on and on and on. ...Basically, all really dire stuff!
Apostolidos is also a figure who could never be found (so far) in the ever-enduring stuff shirt recesses of the UK's university system never having overcome its retard stasis expounded decades ago by Perry Anderson in Components of the National Culture. 'Our' academics like Andrew Hussey, scared of their own shadow – and who has incidentally also written a biography on Debord [The Game of War] pale into insignificance besides the 'daring' Apostolides. The obsequious Hussey even felt threatened by those nasty striking French workers who in 2015 tore suits off management dudes leaving them naked and humiliated. Mon Dieu! Whatever next? Terrible!

 

As for Olde Englande....(Or is the UK today just an off-shore vehicle that governments' throughout the world, requiring added traditional image prestige, have bought into?)

  In comparison to a still much more clued-in France, all we get is yet another university New Left Review oriented dreary Leninist update though ever more discreetly masked. It would appear Essex University is the biggest culprit. Yes, that old Gramsci / hegemony saw is back everywhere among paid-up scribblers. As for those who have the temerity to throw themselves into the thick of things, not quite knowing whither they are going, why they are then characterised and stigmatised as limited "folk politicos" lacking that essential 'new party' Podemos-like dimension which for sure will usher in social utopia. What a joke. And what is "hegemony"? Well it's about the subtleties of capturing strategic positions; a further nuancing of that 40 year old throwback of the Euro-Communist "long march through the institutions". As for the profound concept of "recuperation", these academics still have no idea what it implies as the two are in any case inseparable; "War of Position" essentially masking the fact that position takes you.

 On other levels it's rather more complex? Hasn't a trad English carapace been severely dented even if in an ever so polite way where there's no room for promo advertising inclined, sensationalism on the lines of Apostolides Debord: The Wrecker? Hasn't a rather academic obfuscation playing the game of stultified neo-leftist imprecision sadly grown tentacles worldwide?.... And isn't the main culprit again Essex University where in the Centre for Theoretical Studies (aka, The Essex School of Discourse Analysis) Ernesto Laclau and Chantal Mouffe have performed a major role deploying devious notions around post-structuralism and especially the ins and outs of the aforementioned 'hegemony' derived from Antonio Gramsci? As theoretical head of the Italian Communist party during much of Mussolini's fascist regime Gramsci had an influence that became ever more intense in post second world war reconstruction even many years after his death.It is well known that Laclau has been instrumental in nuancing many populist parties making up the 20 year old Pink Tide as proclaimed by Prof' Noam Chomsky in Latin America (and now on the wane as it was neither one thing or another). In a way hegemony fits well with the behind closed doors, wheeler-dealing associated with "Perfidious Albion" because it is based on tactics infiltrating old-time power structures essential to capitalism in the naive hope of bending them to popular will at the same time as making a buck or three...but leading to what? The abolition of commoditization and money? No way!

This kind of devious conceptualisation seems to be the basis of almost everything discussed in Essex University hallowed lecture theatres. Thus Chantal Mouffe applies 'hegemony' to the dire straits aesthetics has fallen into implying that art is kind of dead because "blurred" by advertising and ultra-commoditization, though nonetheless also of the opinion there's still elbow room for creative artistic intervention suggesting that say, the urban reoccupation of space evinced in Reclaim the Streets protests of the late 1990s must be placed within the framework of a "war of position" (in this instance claimed by aesthetics) which "to be successful, linkage with traditional forms of political intervention like parties and trade-unions cannot be avoided." Total breaks are therefore declared unrealistic, even counter-productive. In short, a new world simply isn't possible! Of course this obfuscation doesn't stop within the realm of Little England but is now everywhere throughout the world. It's therefore hardly surprising after decades of all pervasive counter revolution that the recent imaginative breakthrough of Nuit Debout in France so far has shown few signs of a revolutionary critique of art. One slogan said: "Artists, you shits, get political" when it would have been better to say, "Get a relevant critique of political economy" even if it doesn't sound snappy!!  (C/f ON THE SPOT REPORTS about Nuit Debout and Strikes plus France in Flames? )

 And surely at the core of a relevant critique of political economy is the essential and utterly inescapable transition towards a moneyless society whereby every body's basic essential needs – food, clothing, healthcare, heat and shelter - are reasonably well fulfilled. We thus arrive at the vexed question of UBI (Universal Basic Income): its relevance; its irrelevance, its utopianism; its impossibility...How can this spread globally – which one assumes it must do and rapidly –in a hellishly materially uneven world - if it is to stand any chance of success? However before going into UBI, perhaps Robert Kurz was beginning to pose some of this conundrum in his last work before he died in 2012: Money without Value. Plans to Transform the Critique of Political Economy? Unfortunately we in the English speaking world know so little about Kurz apart from a few exemplary translations on the Libcom.org web and those done by Chronos Publications. This surely still has everything to do with the over-arching reach of Leninism and its various off-shoots via Verso's publishing outfit which makes darned sure nothing of Kurz sees the light of day.

 Today - paraphrasing to some degree Kurz - the crisis is no longer the cycle of boom & bust predicated on the bourgeois notion that all movement in capital accumulation is cyclical and transient which simply refuses to recognise the paradigm has shifted seeing that capitalism is rapidly reaching the end of its inner limitations as the mode of production becomes exhausted amidst an astounding display of production for production's sake as the essential value inherent in every commodity relentlessly decreases. The world is thus internally colonised as nature in its entirety is slowly eliminated while only the shadow of value remains through simulation of an age of plenty amidst the incessant promotion of re-imagined future profits which will never arrive. Consequently debt can only grow and grow reaching the point of final denouement.....

  But what in the immediate, sensory nitty-gritty of everyday life characterises these increasingly impossible times? Well, for a start worldwide rampant inflation albeit so far confined to financial capital markets at the apex of a command and control economy administered by the state in tandem with central bank dictators, which in reality is a laughable parody of state capitalist sovietisation in neo-liberal guise. In practise this means asset inflation involving sky high property prices within an equally rigged sky high stock market extolling the virtues of endless "creativity" which is also linked to sky high art valuations promoted through lavish 'taster' coffee table art books having even taken into account the situationist experiment morphing into the ultra-commodified. Essentially it's an economy for plutocrats as all fresh 'democratic' capital sourcing dries up or is parked off-shore devoid of necessary functioning circulation. This is what has evolved since the financial crisis was initially precipitated by the American sub-prime debacle in 2007-8. It now means there can be no more "trickle-down effect" re the infamous catchphrase of early neo-liberalism in the 1980s which once held some clout (e.g. buying your own council house). Even though rapidly found wanting, nonetheless the phrase amazingly still remains as the only possible solution to the increasingly empty pockets of a ransacked working class followed on closely by a more and more destitute middle class, as all previous sops along with "trickle-down" economics peter into black holes of nothingness.

  Today money is increasingly divorced from value morphing into fiat or confetti currency; a progression that has accelerated ever since the western world came off the gold standard in the early 1970s. But was this event that startling in itself as surely the 20th century was packed full of concepts about bending the law of value from a state dominated Bolshevism through to the American New Deal onwards to the Marshall Plan and post second world war reconstruction. Following the economic crises cum melting pot of the 1970s a subsequent extemporising neo-liberalism under the whopping lie it was anti-state what with its myriad Minsky Moments and financial bubbles was merely just another value bending variant though one proving perhaps to be more terminal as far as a viable future for capitalism is concerned. Within our present dire straits, it means how long can the world's central banks Quantative Easing (QE) programme go on for? Surely, as the left Austrians say it's a conundrum that is impossible to escape from; or to put it bluntly, it's not possible to taper even a simple ponzi scheme never mind a giant one.

 Yet at this tasking moment, this hellish crossroad, hopes for salvation have appeared through the notion of a Peoples' QE proposed by Corbyn and Co along with practical remedies that could supersede a seriously dysfunctional economy that has absolutely nothing in common with what vaguely could be described as "classical capitalism" as say experienced throughout the 19th century though less so in the 20th century. Today we have the beginnings of organised "Positive Money" demonstrations promoting the ideas of "Contrarian" economists such as Prof' Steve Keen at Kingston University, London; "Positive" implying that money could be printed to stimulate the "real economy" of "real people" more or less inhabiting the bottom end of this excuse for a society. In this slow-ish but still developing Great Depression Part 2, the panacea of a Debt Jubilee gets traction with the on-going bankruptcy of all banks suggesting that the financial system must be nationalised. Measures like "Helicopter Money" will be instigated skilfully directed into peoples' bank accounts which will then somehow get the economy out of slow growth and possible stagflation assisted most likely by loan guarantees backed up by a newly re-socialised state. Miracle achieved!

 Sounds good don't it just yet nothing here implies the necessary end game pointing towards the supercession of the capitalist mode of production somewhat akin to the old invigorating potlatch potlatch primitive histories involving gift and destruction elaborated by Marcel Mauss and Georges Bataille that fascinated the Lettrists and early Situationists? Sadly no. Rather it belongs if you like to the more 'extreme' moments of the Austrian School of Economics essentially part and parcel of Schumpeter's notion of "creative destruction" whereby a Debt Jubilee (A panacea also proposed by academic anarchists such as David Graeber) means a properly functioning capitalism can finally take-off once again via a renewed gold standard. Indeed the notion of "Helicopter Money" was also formulated by that other doyen of the Austrian School, Milton Friedman.

At this hellish crossroads too, UBI arrives though just how long this interim state can go on for is anybody's guess. Somewhat seemingly apocalyptic books have recently been published notably People Get Ready: The Fight Against a Jobless Economy and a Citizenless Democracy by the Americans, Robert McChesney and John Nichols, and from the UK there's Inventing the Future by Nick Srnicek and Alex Williams. The two books are however pitched at opposite ends of the same UBI spectrum: People Get Ready proposing for the American public a new social democratic welfare state the likes of which we've never known ram-packed with an endless list of free services as [most likely] a prelude to the end of money per se; the other book, a paean of praise for UBI which McChesney and Nichols see as a further neo-liberal con behind which fall-backs like Medicaid and unemployment benefit will be abolished ensuring even greater pauperisation for the mass of the population. In reality both books are often laughably naive. Inventing the Future is yet another Verso farce making tentative, rather mealy-mouthed suggestions about automation cum UBI which the authors say "will not break us out of capitalism, but [promises] to break us out of neo-liberalism" seeing in UBI "a project that must be carried out over the long term, decades rather than years, cultural shifts rather than electoral cycles" whatever da fuk dat means. Also consider the following: "Our first demand is for full automation. Using the latest technological developments, such an economy would aim to liberate humanity from the drudgery of work while simultaneously providing increasing amounts of wealth." This is madness in relation to the gradual disappearance of value and no amount of hipster, small business sub-creativity can reverse that, so considering on top of all this, the authors' predilection for populist state capitalist governments a la the Chavistas or Brazilian workers' parties would such formations have the staying power to last 40 or 50 year with no reactionary populist backlash? Needless to say Srnicek is another university lecturer hegemony type who basically dislikes unfettered emancipatory direct action and a guy who specifically links classic situationist subversion to un-clued in, put-down "folk politics".

To move to a moneyless reality must surely be a reasonably speedy transitional process not withstanding all the logistical difficulties involved: the backwardness, the possible impasse and grotesque snarl-ups, even hellish bottlenecks, etc.Certainly, in no way will it be an easy task; the continuing food supply, all necessary medical back-up, etc; and looming over all the reality of global warming and the destruction of nature now on the brink of runaway which no matter what cannot be put right overnight.

On the other hand UBI and automation is so prescient that once individuals get together to discuss these subjects  things start to quickly happen and groups like the UKs, NO JOBS BLOC are kick-started. Words start to flow becoming a lot less mealy-mouthed than academic spieling with placards on demos going street: "ALL WORK AND NO PLAY MAKES ME FUCKING ANGRY. FULL AUTOMATION NOW" or there's a NO JOBS BLOC placard detourning Motown hits: "Work –Huh. What is it good for? Absolutely Nothing!" And the logo for NO JOBS is surely influenced by the Dialectical Butterflies website.Well possibly (and without being  bigheaded) because it's also part of a general ambience; the butterfly as suitable metaphor for a 'miracle' natural science transformation which also might possibly suggest a miraculous revolutionary transformation.

 

                                     dialecticalbutterflies

 

However UBI still largely remains on the margins and was prominent in discussions in the Nuit Debout assemblies throughout France in the spring and early summer of 2016, (c/f ON THE SPOT REPORTS about Nuit Debout and Strikes plus France in Flames?) But what were the nitty-gritty of these discussions and how profound? Maybe it wasn't much more than surface, the first fumbling of practical insight? The former 1968 'radical' Daniel Cohn Bendit (radical always has to be put in commas with this creep) is for UBI whilst despising Nuit Debout sarcastically commenting "we must stop dreaming" vis Annie le Brun's inspirational "reve generale" which was a catchphrase for a movement on which other ideas could be hung.. Still what can you expect from an MEP who is now a highly paid EU lobbyist for Amazon, Google, Yahoo and Microsoft, etc. But UBI is not stopping here; indeed the concept is now slowly getting discussed everywhere despite the fact that in the late spring of 2016, Switzerland for the second time voted down UBI by a massive majority. This means the concept is now grabbing the attention of the elites, the in-charge psychotics, the robocrats and even those in waiting among the plethora of new social democratic parties (pretending they are anything but revamped old social democracy) springing up everywhere from Syriza's bullshit in Greece, to Morena in Mexico. In the UK Corbyn's second in command, John McDonnell backs UBI and a now neo-liberal newspaper like The Observer reckons the recent hack of the Panama Papers proves that the USA can afford UBI no doubt well aware that Duke University in North Carolina has produced detailed graphs and audits of how it all can be done within the paradigms of that old shibboleth, eternal capitalism!

But what does all this mean in the age of fiat money aided and abetted by Wall St / EU printing presses. The Radical Assembly in London goes further suggesting we can use UBI as a transitional demand one that "gives us something to work around." Is UBI possibly a sufficiently temporary basis that could provide some basic security giving people enough grounding and possibly renewed confidence generally to collectively then hit back against the mountain of shit? Also, as a welcome by-product, UBI could possibly undermine a ubiquitous, complex racism amongst those at the real sharp end suffering from devastating traumas, barely existing, surviving in a state of real fear amounting to the permanently terrified, though ever ready to pointlessly pick on friends and neighbours. (This psychological malaise means the impact of terrorism, ISIS or otherwise - random or state manipulated -has worked wonders in maintaining an increasingly horrendous system on a world level).

But how and in what way and are there any UBI experiments that have had a positive, reassuring outcome? Well there have been various local experiments in India and Namibia but any real subversive evaluation of their outcome is sadly lacking. Recently UBI has arrived in Europe and is now practised in a limited way in six cities in Holland including the conurbation of Utrecht. More interestingly the Danish city of Odense has become another focal point for UBI. It seems along with an artist mayor, Troels Anderson, a former curator of the Moderna Museet in Stockholm and now in his late 70s - has 'taken over' the city turning it into a hip psychogeographic experience under the motto "Life is play". Cars are virtually banned, cycling and walking is everywhere, plus a disappearing old industrial base has morphed into modern robotics factories, etc – obviously with the idea of massive automation in the offing. Indeed, it sounds like a Debordist dream though something essential missing and the ambience is dull as basically it's a hub of 'creative' (ugh) entrepreneurial hipster capitalism.

Furthermore there's an interesting aside to all this: We had some kind of relationship with Troels Anderson – via Icteric - in the mid 1960s in Newcastle. The port of Esbjerg in Denmark was merely a few miles across the North Sea and Scandinavia in general has always had a big impact on that part of these islands – Geordieland where we were born. Then it was about exhibitions organised by Ron Hunt related mainly to Russian Constructivism especially in the Moderna Musett in Stockholm though there was a drift as Troels Anderson gradually took on board a recuperated situationism. It was however all very distant and somewhat formal and one could hardly call the relationship egalitarian or comradely. Troels incidentally nicked an original tape spool we had of an early film by Debord, Howlings in Favour of De Sade though truth to tell, none of us could be bothered to ask for it back.......which he would most likely have returned. Elsewhere the fall-out from Icteric continues unabated as Corbyn and the Momentum Movement within the Labour party begin to engage with the subject of UBI, a subject that is to be discussed within some cultural reorientation conference in Liverpool in Sept 2016 entitled A World Transformed. Most likely the title was proposed by deputy leader John McDonnell who is somewhat acquainted with the RAP web and the history elaborated therein and it's certainly not stretching things to suggest the origins are in the above mentioned exhibition which took place under the slogan Transform the World and was organised by Ron Hunt during the last days of Icteric.

 

**************************

 A transitional Stage OR gateway to the end of the world as we know it ?

For sure, a 'normal functioning' capitalism is over and out, dead in the water, kaput and the mother of all economic crashes is inevitable though whether it will have a good outcome keeps us all well freaked out......Contrarians are well aware this could have catastrophic results in the meantime before [they hope] a functioning capitalism will be restored. They never once realise that labour and value, commodity and money are not neutral categories that emancipatory forces can seize hold of and control but must be swept aside.

All this defies the obvious implying after a billions-wide collective nervous breakdown of 'the people' due to an almost total banking collapse we can - and will - slowly get back to a healthy capitalist economy of yesteryear wilfully ignoring that the internal structures of capitalist reproduction are as Marx prophetically outlined in The Grundrisse, etc, reaching towards total impasse as value becomes more and more insubstantial with automation on a truly massive scale becoming the number one reality.

True, The Contrarians are hardly happy with their prognosis even though they avoid a real critique of political economy. Nonetheless they do recognise we are well and truly into some kind of endgame which may have horrific consequences; an endgame without escape loopholes as the Masters of the Universe inflate away the world's major currencies implying that any country on this dire planet could provide the detonator for an incipient financial crisis through the now unprecedented debt over-hang of fiat currencies. Worldwide we have never been on the edge of such a precipice.

Unfortunately the mass of the population are so ill-prepared drowning in tsunamis upon tsunamis of mass media / social media sheer trivial bullshit. In reality there's so little real thinking taking place never mind any relevant praxis. Those with some kind of pertinent analysis are marginalised like never before; unheard, unseen! Yet there's enough who tremble every day recoiling in fear recognising the dangers of a nuclear 3rd World War, set beside a 10 million (at least) pandemic of suicides in this perfect storm involving on a mass scale bail-ins and looting to assist in the preservation of the financial elite. Barbarism is indeed already with us and can only increase.

Sadly too, almost no one today can point to the beyond of money essential to the supercession of the capitalist mode of production even if vague as to how this can be achieved in a situation where the reign of an increasing pathological passivity becomes ever more intense as youth are lost in an Internet second life desert of generalised autism which is truly frightening and growing exponentially. Fundamentally it requires the mass of the people world-wide get off their arses, albeit in many subtly different ways depending on inclination, health, etc, and vigorously hit back – almost without let up – creating for the first time on earth a truly human community beyond the grim facts of commodity production, wage labour and the state. Pathetically as a dim substitute for rational action we have the constant activity of sport, sport, sport along with active end of art, as part and parcel of 'active' entertainment generally - all of which means jack shit.

On a wall near the railway stn in Mirfield, West Yorks someone has put up in big capital letters, an excellent DON'T RUN comment alongside more trad style situ-like slogans of yesteryear obviously inspired by the 2015 republication of the early 1970s The Writing on The Wall suggesting the person is young searching for more relative critiques and in a bout of exasperation puts up something heading in the right direction. If so, nice try!

For sure keeping fit within a regime of dominant passivity buttressed through a plethora of contaminated, unhealthy foodstuffs is essential but re-direction of activity that is truly meaningful is even more essential. Despite work disappearing as robotics take over, in one vast arena involving farming and the environment in general, a hands-on, organically sensitive renewed manual effort must become common place worldwide if homo sapiens is to survive in any meaningful way. Instead of a plethora of sport and meaningless keep fit routines activity needs to be channelled into sensitive, knowing but clandestine autonomous urban wilding, well distanced from hierachised, monetarised greenwash rackets; an activity you can embark on today despite present unfavourable conditions. In a future society free of commoditisation, money and value it will be the most essential, on-going activity.

With the gig economy we have arrived at a ground zero existing well over one hundred years ago to the aestheticization of Victorian conditions of employment whereby modern work practises are perceived by hip employers as ever-renewed performance dance routines. In this bizarre, skewed, vast reappearance of the past it's hardly surprising there's also a return to those better moments of opposition from a century or more ago, to a basic bread 'n' butter neo-anarcho syndicalism along with neo-labouring parties except symbols of the shovel and pick have been replaced with the thumb and finger of the Iphone. And is the return of an organised neo rank 'n' file anarcho-syndicalism based on an utterly done down precariat like Voices of the World taking on super exploitative Internet giants signs of more general breakthrough? It's too early to say but if they remain stuck too much in a glorious past it will become a hindrance. Alas, the excellent example of the Spanish revolution of1936-8 is no longer relevant despite the fact many local collectives managed briefly to abolish money but is hardly an example relevant to the steps needed to be taken today to achieve similar admirable ends. Now liberation from money and every other imposed alienation must cross borders almost in an instance if it is to stand any chance of success. BUT HOW DO WE DO THIS IS BECOMING ONE OF THE GREAT UNKNOWNS WHICH WE MUST TAKE PRACTICAL STEPS TO EVEN BEGIN TO RESOLVE?

But what if this intensifying reification is biting so deep that a world uprising bringing about true human community is out of the question as no matter what, automation will advance and advance as robotics and artificial intelligence become ascendant. Moreover, it really won't matter if nature is destroyed in its entirety as the sixth extinction becomes hard barren fact. Maybe it will arrive in an infinitely subtle way set within the worst barbarism ever experienced as the surplus human population dies out or is eliminated in many a diabolically ingenious way. And yet against all the odds, robots maybe could acquire a smattering of human sensitivity despite existing in a totally fucked end of the Anthropocene whereby capitalism along with humans and most sentient nature has ceased to exist. Value will have gone although algorithm will probably remain in an even more superior form and maybe an empty form of subversion as shadow without substance or relevance will become part of this strange, unknown, electronic, quantum, rocky and barren landscape; a subversion that has been thwarted, its unrealised past and potential becoming something perhaps like Gruppe Spur's 1960's Cosmonauts of the Future replete with obviously unknowable outcomes that were inconceivable way back then and with diabolical outcomes. Money won't exist because there's no longer either fixed or variable capital, dead labour or living labour, yet something lives on in a form of technological collective subconscious even though Madame no longer plays a piano in the Alps. And this phantasm construction of a time - when time as we know it will have been abolished - is also perhaps meaningless speculation and whimsy, or rather a wild add-on to Gunther Anders, The Obsolescence of Human Beings...........


And does this mean....... Good Night All!