Translation of Anomie/Bonhomie into Serbo-Croatian
We're pleased to announce Howard Slater's book, Anomie/Bonhomie & Other Writings, published by Mute Books, has been translated into Serbo-Croatian with a new cover, additional material and preface/afterword by kuda.org. The book is translated and published by Kuda.org and the Grupa za konceptualnu politiku. Below are two texts, the first forming an afterword to the book, the second - written by the Grupa za konceptualnu politiku (group for conceptual politics) - was read at the launch in Novi Sad
Anomija/Bonomija i drugi tekstovi
Download a PDF of the book: http://www.kuda.org/sites/kuda/files/Anomija-Bonomija-knjiga.pdf
What does the act of translation and publishing of a lesser-known writer (pardon?) mean in the usual circles circuiting our scene and in its leading discourses? Is it important to mention that at all, or is it more reasonable to let the network machine give its image of busy rustling gears? If so, and it is so, then for what reasons? What would mean to introduce into the field, by translation, and then to be, a ‘minor writer’, i.e. not to be a writer from other writers? Does by translating, in fact, a foreign language in the mother tongue is being formed and in what way? What does it mean to translate in that case? To translate concepts/notions rather than words? Not to forget the goal of this work which is not consonance of the original and its translation. To locate why some place is a place of im-possible production. To translate and introduce the practice, whose poet/writer/theorist knows that he is simultaneously (its) the gears, the mechanic, the operator, and the victim, and from there to enter into one prescriptive, which always means not only description of the situation, but also a decision, break, jump; break, jump, decision. The practice of translation as a micro-politics: a practical-conceptual and theoretical-conceptual practice.
Located on a rocker(s) between theoretical, scientific (analytical) discourse and subjectivity in politics, political-theoretically we would insist on “questioning of production relations”, when it comes to any kind of production – material, theoretical, artistic, of translating, i.e., on “questioning of our own practice”. To insist on the analytical autonomy of instances, to move-apart of any impact, occupation, from the inside and out. So we would say, when it comes to the artistic production, groping the borders of our own thoughts, that: what provides a break from the political norm in the field of politics is a politics of the artist that recognizes his/hers own relations of production and opposes it to the politics which is localized in the artistic field, which supports that relation. First of all, by opposing the political of the state, which was by its function of reproduction in terms of being a carrier of ideological and repressive apparatus, present in all relations of production in which arts as a practice is being realized too. It is a political break with the political norms in art through the break with the artistic norms which are supported by that political system. Etc. etc. Why insist on the (analytical) autonomy of instances? Insisting on, the necessity of, the autonomy of art so there would no longer be art as an institutionalized and separated practice. For the abolition of the division of labour, here and now.
Analysis of the field and theoretical insight is one and the same, but could they break specific production relations and change a given situation? More specifically, the question of place of politics is being posed. We've already had to take a step further and say that politics, political practice, one that is opposed to the politics of the state, must belong to the order of thinking. Below that one we can go no further. But then what about theoretical class analysis? Do we leave it to the science, science that neither no longer dwells at the university nor in research institutions, while at the same time its epigones flow into alternative fields of theoretical production? That is where we start from when we say that questioning our own production relations is a condition and a limit of that very production. We are locating ourselves on, so to speak, the border between thinking of theoretical class analysis and the production of nondialectized subjectivity, weighing affectivity – its harnessing and its emancipatory potential.
Then, is it not that ‘questioning of our own production,’ dictates a consciousness about conditions of that production (class consciousness), a ‘thinking of the real’ and circulation of scientific and political concepts ([vanishing] class [extinction of] the state, as concepts of political consciousness)? On the one hand, there is the objective consciousness as a product of the material conditions of production. That is the false consciousness that is truthful consciousness of one false movement. Consciousness of the apparent objective movement recorded at the enchanted surface. On the other hand, there is consciousness that belongs to the order of the subjective as a view of the world, at best, as a consciousness that reveals antagonism of the reality, by confining political and prescriptive space. But that subjective space of consciousness has its object-allies: consciousness specifies and circumscribed by the class objects; consciousness which leads to the party in politics and to the state in history. Consciousness as desubjectivizing-objective-objectality. The problem is that of “about” in the consciousness of something, by which the relation of subjective and objective; of thought and its object, is still not left behind; while political consciousness makes no space for thinking of politics and to politics as thinking.
We've heard about taking control over the reproduction of the labour force, through the care for the public services, through unions, through changing of laws by renewing them, through the state. But, the state cannot be a sphere in which politics in interiority is realized. If this is the case, emphasizing the taking control over, then we have reproduction of reproduction – doubling, and not repeating. Scientific extracurricular discourse, and not thoughtability of thinking. What is then left? ‘Taking control’ over the ‘production of subjectivity’, digging deep into affectivity/affects? The starting point would be: Politics in the order of thinking. And what about affectivity, whether it belongs to the modality of thinking?
A hiding/tannery that awaits those who are bringing their own skin into the market, going skittishly, resisting, unlike significantly smiled capitalists, which the first one follow. Behind them there is none? Strike, union, and then those who advocate taking over of control, who with their litanies capture a proletariat into identity-determinations, overdetermining them by their own ideology; propagate their own subjectification into proletariat (by this, the concept of comradeship is being discharged, lost in importance, because its only realization – is colloquial utilization) and make the workers, those people, the masters of the world ... and yet they are wrong. Behind them are already flushing secretaries, clerks, professional politicians, all modern sultans for whom they pave the way to power. Often those who are realizing the description of the labour issues are those that the way is being paved for. A conveyor-belt of social mobility and maturation. Into? Institutions, holders of defensive self-preservation of individual and instigators of passion for the function. Such descriptions of real social situations/relations belongs to the domain of representations, and not in the destruction of the structure which requires deliberate lack of descriptive social criticism. And prescription. How to break the petrified and hardening image of oneself?
The intellectual work of the keepers-of-secret-of-knowledge assaults manual labour and simultaneously dominates both the intellectual and manual labour by building political and ideological structure of production relations. As the pair productive/non-productive labour can not be reduced to the division of intellectual/manual labour because they are operating on a different plane, so expropriation of the means of production is not an equivalent to dispossession of knowledge. labour of disjunction. And vice versa. Synthesis. Tight-synthesis-of-disjunction. ‘Dirty hands’ and ‘clean hands’ – does that really have nothing to do with the division of intellectual and manual labour. ‘Sterile hands’ and the head disturbed with ‘the secret of knowledge’ which reproduces ideological relations and subordinates by control and supervision. All this is called the ‘politicization’ of key issues. And then everyone are being double recuperated – the self is being recuperated by non-questioning of their own production relations and historical subject of struggles is being objectified/ objectalized by the desire to join the total production worker. Knowledge that is intellectualizing, that serves the separation by dispossession. Knowledge that renders intellectual and manual labour, dispossesses, disjoins by educating and paternalizing. Knowledge that forces us to ‘talk nice’ and to respond to the polis; knowledge that forces us to ‘write respectably and reverently’ and to respond to the academy. What if we would say that there is no single thing there to know in order to demand equality?
Expropriation of knowledge and reproduction of domination-subordination. We would like a non-knowledge, apart from the competitive knowledge at the left, and that knowledge produces competitive isolation of connectivity and like-ing; delirium of desire to belong and fear of (self-) isolation. What kind of knowledge is that which does not contain its own critique? Knowledge which is subdued to political and ideological conditions of its constitution, so that those conditions are again and again reproduced, without reaching the limit of those conditions which then is being broken through. Limit of analysis and theory of politics? Maybe. But certainly the limit of competitive mastering over concepts and of limiting thoughts by endless accumulation of concepts; suspension of affectivity as a form of thinking. We didn’t feel emancipated by knowledge of our condition: workers enquiries and empirical litanies of oppression made us more worried; a worried that made us depressed. Simply or extremely complicated, there should not be change in what we think, but the way we look at our thinking. Thinking of thinking. We refer to the terrible pressure on the flow of thought that [must be] thought.
What is this ‘organization’ that does not contain in itself its own critique? ‘Organization’ which is subdued to political and ideological conditions of its constitution, so that those conditions are again and again reproduced, without reaching the limit of those conditions which then is being broken through. Groupusqul, ourganization certainly not. An organization that we are interested in does not deal with ‘the question of the organization’ in that as it is focused on those practices that are committed to the relation-between and which go beyond the hardening of individual identity. ‘Organization’ as super-ego and the place of pseudo-collectivity. There was always something bigger than the group and its works, something wider and more ventilated than the individual possession of knowledge. Something about a group that is away from entrepreneurship; from practice based on goals and of achieving them; from responding to the invitations coming from polis, academia, instituted-logical-knowledge; from ideology dictated this- or that-high monthly income, or lack of the same; from the inner (moral) discipline/ironing. But, something about a group that is approaching to affectivity as what immediately precedes any differentiation (inside and outside [by surplus value, by subsumption-production of the subject by capital]).
And so we come to the form. Of writing. Of uttering. In an academic environment which is marked by the siege over alternative political, theoretical and practical organization. Subsumption of alternative scene and taking over of academic patterns – with its production relations and form of the writing. Academic form of text/lecture becomes accepted and common, and also, and in that way, from the extra-academic field there is coming contribution of reproduction of the overall system. Scientism which formulates the situation (and not that possible) – etatistic discourse. Then it all dilutes in the newspaper articles. To be understandable – to whom? To be understandable in theoretical production which requires referral patterns, understanding and abandoning the previous theoretical work, and then saturation is not possible, rather only an admission of defeat and anti-production of indisposition. What does it mean to break with this form? ‘Affective’ writing, returning to his old texts that are not regarded as outdated (as opposed to their abandonment); writing poetry without formality, poetry of self-exiled and banished; vibration of intensities of the language. Affectivity of affectivity. This is not doubling but repetition. Affectivity in interiority. The autonomy of affect.
Here’s an example/Here we’ve had one example.
The university and the academy are today’s political and conceptual super-ego
by Grupa za konceptualnu politiku
Something was abandoned. It's not overcame – if anything at all is possible and necessary to overcome. It, therefore overcoming, always means return to the known – but then as to the knowledge, and then finally it's considered real. But our question is addressed to possible. Prescriptive. To prescribe – ascrible and rekindle forward. 'Forward' is not the direction of progress. Progress with the direction is linear and problematic. It divides into phases and introduces order. 'Forward' as everyone on his/her side? Absolutely, though to be ones-self is not so much of a work.
Abandoned is an insights that people are recuperated, and not the ideas. But that with people has never been easy.
Scientific discourse becomes something else by becoming journalism and teaching program. The curriculum becomes something else by becoming scientific discourse. All that or both by becoming politics again becomes something else, and vice versa. Neither here nor there. But hybridity does not automatically mean something good. Especially if it's neitherenortherability. And what would be any Good at all, especially if it is One? Disqualification of freedom of creativity is not our problem. We are interested in production, and therefore in material one. Exploitation rests upon it, and everything else is a mere division of the manual and intellectual labor and it amuses staff appliances that are amused exclusively about themselves. This one is not painless, but it is not the first if we stick to the determination in the last instance and overdetermination, by which an expressive totality is broken at the order of totalization which is our first problem. The problem and the enemy, because sooner or later, it is completed in totality and in One as in God as Father, in Father and in Daddy, in Mommy too.1
Moms and dads, uncles and aunts. Godfathers, godmothers and mistresses. Misters too. The machine of justice, but also machine of knowledge, university and academy, to put it bluntly, establishes the first meaning of what we talk about, and that not only with its acts, its offices, its books, its symbols, its topography, but also with its personnel (teachers, assistants, bailiffs), its women – let's add to this men too – who are adjacent to the porno books of the law, its accused and its students compelled to trial and who make up an interdeterminate material.2The first meaning is still meaning and is therefore in the order of signifying while the production of which we are thinking still evades. Today, when anyone who holds to emancipation and to politics-from-the-left wants to be the worker (is there politics from the right?), are not quite precise when they argue that by desiring, and thus blocking every excursion to the objective interests of the working class. But the thing with this class is different in that subjective or in interiority. It, therefore subjective, what we call the representation and ideology, and in which a thinking could only happen – by prescription and decision, by courage, or more precise by exposure of exposing to a danger – it, therefore subjective, can not think of its politics under the patronage of class analysts. It's all over its head and far away from classism as much as the Chinese factories in which blood of workers is still flowing, is away from the dream of support of cognitariat harnessed by the capitalist machine. The fact that China is in the neighborhood does not help. All the same, the real subsumption does not create the working class. Even that is not enough. Especially if it is approached from the point of exchange. We are, as we said, interested in the production and therefore material one, and then only, and in it, the real subsumption. The place of struggle is not in the physical space, but it's not in the concept too – and that is the limit for the conceptual politics.
Therefore, we are on the brink of the incident – and that means of exclusion. The emerging party rejects and divides as it seeks to divide labor. It is exclusive and personnel oriented. The people are being elected and the wheat from the chaff is being separated. But you do not need to pray for company and for menbetweening. On the contrary. So the mistakes of Yugoslav Surrealists shouldn't be repeated. One has to wonder, and we are actually surprised. Awkwardly, but surprised. At least it is certain that the problem is not deduced and that it's not an answer to the previously posed question which paves the way for it. Structures are only appearing in that way.
Today is the umpteenth time and in terms of art, the stand is on the side of propaganda and socialist realism – on the side of the Party. Autonomy of art is treated in the objectivists way, meaning pandurian-like-way and in the hybrid way as described above – a hybrid because agit-propaganda is no longer science, neither the theory of art, nor art. We are quite convinced that then it does not lead to politics. Politics like art is a thought and it is not a knowledge. Places of politics are places of names that are not already assigned but thought materialistically.
But it will be told to us that politics is not a stake. Socialism is, and it is today invoked, it was therefore by simptomal testimony of its dissidents – liberals and democrats let's say – abolishing politics in its declarative program of abolishing the state while at the same time build it faster and in more modern way than the Moderna itself, from which it thought it departs. May that be said at the Left today at all? It's not the right time it would be told to us. Now, when they are all around us ... But around us is who? Who is around us? The same who surrounds us we become ourselves and that is justified by tactical reasoning. To publish in the 'New Serbian Political Thought' is yet another step in the long march through the institutions, and that is, therefore march(fuck)-off!, it's been prolonged and when it comes to travel through the radical theories. Prolonged until arrestment and popularization, which is nothing but teaching-preaching. Deacons are opening the doors to their fathers, and these in return open the channels, but not a line of flight, but on the contrary – the channels of social mobility to which sinecures are assigned. Around us and in us is the state, silent and vigorous order which tailors our perceptions, thoughts and emotions. The content of the concept is determined by production relation, and not at all by genus proximum et differentia specifica. Vassalage and poltroonery, cowardice and treason. But what we're saying? All themselves romantic screams swiped by draft, which does not escape the critical adequate ventilation. Objectivist around us does not miss. Romanticism and voluntarism of frustrated and soon aggressive one is not a good ally. Anger and bitterness take us back in low – low of return. So we, you see, from that are feeling vomiting. Who's afraid of mooseries yet! The defense of the lost is the defense of the weakness. Ended is not here to be defended, but that through thinking of thinking which has thinking it, meant being left of the past and begin anew the thinking elsewhere – of that on which the question of decision is lying. Flight for us is not just a search for weapons, but also its invention. Should something be said about understanding too? We interrupt associative sequencing and refuse to understand and interpret. To explain we also do not intend to do.
Totalizing paranoia of academic criticism frustrates critics which invokes and disciplines. The words are being chosen: it's being named and positions are named. Curses are considered inappropriate. What an insight! But even with the poetry situation didn't get better: Davičo's call to switch from poetry to cursing was deprived of its outgrowth on barren soil of universities' asceticism and sad, deadly serious, asceticism which is by the university's language and practice tailored according to its own desires. And to humor has been rung out at the periphery. But there so is mocking, that with the sycophancy and fear flattens each problematization generously recommending new and ever newer themes and literature – all the more extensive – though it is clear that this alone will never play (any music).
Teachers are giving birth to teachers, not quite as a horse is giving birth to a horse because the axes are in question.4 You start to play and here they are. Coaches with the judges. Students with their clergymen who panting and cuts to their necks waiting for the moment when the exhausted collapse. Until then, old-men will have their own readers and ‘writers of the same writer,’ multiplied as long as power and time of schooling spans. To getting old in the school-bench, by playing of ‘teachers and students’, ‘dads and moms’, and then the ‘merchants’ too. Indians do not exist. Starvation is a decisive moment of this technique of reproduction of violence and submission which learns to listen to both sides. Yield to know how to rule. Not cheerful doctrine at all.
Politics? To be visible, accumulate symbolic capital, to sell it in exchange for a salary. Nothing else but the Castle. Entering the Castle and meeting of reasonable expectations. You must navigate and not live. Capitalparlamentary and university landing on the ground of society that no one calls any more civilian, is what has always been: the strengthening of the state. Strengthening in a way of weakening. Deregulation reprieves subsumption of staff (which in any case, neither of itself, is not leading to the proletariat), which is left to think whatever it wants if it obeys the tempo and rhythm of the production of power. That's why it can not be the material production, and then either the production itself, but what has been already called antiproduction which takes place, which is being realized, with allencompassing commodification. But this dialectics is still untrained and stinks of paradox. To strengthen by weakening! But, paradoxical is very refusal to take an insight in proliferation of the state institutions which clearly show their structure – the structure of production relations which reproduce – and which is extended by the famous real subsumption. But the real one is, do not forget, in material production. And this one, subsumption of cognitariat, just expands what was once called bureaucracy.
The technocratic affair is over. The very bureaucracy was touched by it, until finally it is freed of need for a metaphorical ‘rationalization’. Kafka showed mechanism of bureaucratic ensemble and with technical machines we no longer have to have anything and dimming the horizon of objective interests of the working class. Objectivity of those interests should be shown in all its conceptuality in order to be left in the name of struggle. Nepotism and dysfunctionality are regimes of labor which bring into light sociability of technocratic rationality which has imagined to have a deal with the things themselves. Relationships among things are relations among people. Menbetweenings in the last instance. And it's not an illusion, it should be an insight. The illusion is a situation in which we experience the relations between people as relations between things and when we scientify our own thinking and in that way reproduce empiricist attitude/cornerstone of every idealism. For us materialism is not empiricism, and then neither science. Materialism is subjectivity, because that that we think stands to indistinction in its irreducibility to the knowledge. Thus it is not Hegel's known, it is unknown and knowable. The known, as always, is the thing of acquaintances and old, and then well-networked, acquaintances.
Tail to tail, a bevy of prey. Political instead of politics, institutions and "visibility" instead of struggle. Spectacle. State personnel inhabit a society that no longer needs to be defended. It has showed itself: relations of production which reproduce in the function of exploitation. It is the state, and in this we see the contribution of socialism. That has been put forward to light by capitalism. However, the military-industrial complex is still there; bureaucratized as demonstrated to us by Kafka: inhabited by families and gangs, servants and clients who adhere to the position which is assigned to them in the division of pray, willing to wait for their moment. As that cannot be a moment of revolt, but of governmentality, it is clear from the principles of their scholastics.
1 Totalization is reproduction of fundamental contradiction which is prescriptive because the struggle is a fundament of that about which any objectalists scientific cultivation is about, and it is not the same as practice. Isn't it after all practice that which puts to test any tuning? Something is practical when it plays. Militant, however, not. That's exactly the difference between prescriptive and descriptive which seeks its practice.
2 Deleuze-Guattarian Kafka
4 Claude Levi-Strauss.