Month: January 2019

Every hour is amateur hourEvery hour is amateur hour

“It might perhaps be possible to set afoot an enquiry into the mentality of the ‘average parent’ and to accumulate observations made in certain homogeneous and comparable situations, such for example as those in trains, especially on Sunday evenings after a day’s outing. How can one fail to be struck on such occasions by the psychological inanity of what goes on: the efforts which the parents make to catch their children in wrong-doing instead of anticipating catastrophes and preventing the child by some little artifice or other from taking up a line of conduct which his pride is sure to make him stick to; the multiplicity of orders that are given (the ‘average parent’ is like an unintelligent government that is content to accumulate laws in spite of the contradictions and the ever-increasing mental confusion which this accumulation leads to); the pleasure taken in inflicting punishments; the pleasure taken in using authority, and the sort of sadism which one sees so often in perfectly respectable folk, whose motto is that ‘the child’s will must be broken’, or that he must be ‘made to feel a stronger will than his’. Such a form of education leads to that perpetual state of tension which is the appanage of so many families, and which the parents responsible for it attribute, needless to say, to the inborn wickedness of the child and to original sin. But frequent and legitimate in many respects as is the child’s revolt against such methods, he is nevertheless inwardly defeated in the majority of cases. Unable to distinguish precisely between what is good in his parents and what is open to criticism, incapable, owing to the ‘ambivalence’ of his feelings towards them, of criticizing his parents objectively, the child ends in moments of attachment by inwardly admitting their right to the authority they wield over him. Even when grown up, he will be unable, except in very rare cases, to break loose from the affective schemas acquired in this way, and will be as stupid with his own children as his parents were with him.” – Jean Piaget, The Moral Judgment of the Child (trans. Marjorie Gabain)

Immoral majority rulesImmoral majority rules

“The majority of parents are poor psychologists and give their children the most questionable of moral trainings. It is perhaps in this domain that one realizes most keenly how immoral it can be to believe too much in morality, and how much more precious is a little humanity than all the rules in the world.” – Jean Piaget, The Moral Judgment of the Child (trans. Marjorie Gabain)

A living worldA living world

“Until the age of 7-8 there does not exist for the child a single purely mechanical law of nature. If clouds move swiftly when the wind is blowing, this is not only because of a necessary connection between the movement of the wind and that of the clouds; it is also and primarily because the clouds ‘must’ hurry along to bring us rain, or night, etc. If the moon shines only by night and the sun only by day, it is not merely because of the material arrangements ensuring this regularity; it is primarily because the sun ‘is not allowed’ to walk about at night, because the heavenly bodies are not masters of their destiny but are subject like all living beings to rules binding upon their wills. If boats remain afloat on the water while stones sink to the bottom, this does not happen merely for reasons relating to their weight; it is because things have to be so in virtue of the World-Order. In short, the universe is permeated with moral rules; physical regularity is not dissociated from moral obligation and social rule.” – Jean Piaget, The Moral Judgment of the Child (trans. Marjorie Gabain)

Sweet thangSweet thang

“The Young-Girl is happy to speak of her childhood with emotion, in order to give the impression that she has not gotten over it, that at bottom, she is still naive. Like all whores, she dreams of candor. But unlike whores, she insists that we believe her, and that we believe her sincerely. Her infantilism, which is ultimately just a childlike fundamentalism, makes her the wiliest vector of general infantilization.” – Tiqqun, Preliminary Materials For a Theory of the Young-Girl (emphases in original)

Do you call that equitableDo you call that equitable

“If one man strikes another a blow, that other has a right to defend himself, and to strike a blow in his defence; but he has no right to revenge himself; and if, when all the danger is past, he strikes a blow not necessary for his defence, he commits an assault and a battery. It is a common error to suppose that one person has a right to strike another who has struck him, in order to revenge himself.” – Justice Coleridge, Regina v. Driscoll

In her ribbons and her bowsIn her ribbons and her bows

“The Young-Girl appears as the product and the principal outcome of the formidable surplus crisis of capitalistic modernity. She is the proof and the support of the limitless pursuit of the process of valorization when the process of accumulation proves limited (by the limits of the planet itself, ecological catastrophe, or social implosion).” – Tiqqun, Preliminary Materials For a Theory of the Young-Girl

The new gods, same as the old godsThe new gods, same as the old gods

“By investing young people and women with an absurd symbolic surplus value, by making them the exclusive carriers of the two new kinds of esoteric knowledge proper to the new social order—consumption and seduction—Spectacle has effectively emancipated the slaves of the past, but it has emancipated them as slaves.” – Tiqqun, Preliminary Materials For a Theory of the Young-Girl (emphasis in original)

Will it go round in circlesWill it go round in circles

“Progress is not an illusion, it happens, but it is slow and invariably disappointing. There is always a new tyrant waiting to take over from the old—generally not quite so bad, but still a tyrant. Consequently two viewpoints are always tenable. The one, how can you improve human nature until you have changed the system? The other, what is the use of changing the system before you have improved human nature? They appeal to different individuals, and they probably show a tendency to alternate in point of time. The moralist and the revolutionary are constantly undermining one another.” – George Orwell, “Charles Dickens”

Same as it ever wasSame as it ever was

“When hatred of Hitler became a major emotion in America, it was interesting to see how promptly ‘anti-Fascism’ was adapted to pornographic purposes by the editors of the Yank Mags. One magazine which I have in front of me is given up to a long, complete story, ‘When Hell Came to America’, in which the agents of a ‘blood-maddened European dictator’ are trying to conquer the U.S.A. with death-rays and invisible aeroplanes. There is the frankest appeal to sadism, scenes in which the Nazis tie bombs to women’s backs and fling them off heights to watch them blown to pieces in mid-air, others in which they tie naked girls together by their hair and prod them with knives to make them dance, etc., etc. The editor comments solemnly on all this, and uses it as a plea for tightening up restrictions against immigrants.” – George Orwell, “Boys’ Weeklies and Frank Richards’s Reply” (1940)

All the players are on the fieldAll the players are on the field

“There is an adult in every child and a child in every adult. The difference in nature reduces itself to this. There exist in the child certain attitudes and beliefs which intellectual development will more and more tend to eliminate: there are others which will acquire more and more importance. The latter are not simply derived from the former but are partly antagonistic to them. The two sets of phenomena are to be met both in the child and in the adult, but one set predominates in the one, the other in the other. It is, we may say, simply a question of the proportions in which they are mixed; so long as we remember that every difference of proportion is also a difference of general quality, for the spirit is one and undivided.” – Jean Piaget, The Moral Judgment of the Child (trans. Marjorie Gabain)

Don’t look twice, it’s all rightDon’t look twice, it’s all right

“The most superficial observation is sufficient to show that in the main the legal sense is far less developed in little girls than in boys. We did not succeed in finding a single collective game played by girls in which there were as many rules and, above all, as fine and consistent an organization and codification of these rules as in the game of marbles. A significant example in this connection is the game of ‘Marelle’ (Engl., Hop-scotch) (also called ‘la Semaine’ or ‘le Ciel’) which consists in hopping on one leg and kicking a stone through various sections drawn on the ground representing the days of the week or anything else one likes. The few rules embodied in this game (not to put the other foot down, to make the pebble go into the right square with one kick, not to let the pebble stop on a boundary line, permission to rest in a special section called Heaven, etc.) show well enough how possible it would have been to complicate the game by constructing new rules on these initial data. Instead of which girls, though they are very fond of this game and play it much oftener than boys, have applied all their ingenuity in inventing new figures. For the game of Marelle exists in a multitude of forms; the sections drawn in chalk on the pavement succeed one another in a straight line, in parallel lines, in the shape of a spiral, a circle, an oval, of the pipe of a stove, etc. But each game in itself is very simple and never presents the splendid codification and complicated jurisprudence of the game of marbles. As to the game of marbles itself, the few little girls who take any interest in it seem more concerned with achieving dexterity at the game than with the legal structure of this social institution.” – Jean Piaget, The Moral Judgment of the Child (trans. Marjorie Gabain)

A people of lawsA people of laws

“The acquisition and practice of the rules of a game follow very simple and very natural laws, the stages of which may be defined as follows: 1) Simple individual regularity; 2) Imitation of seniors with egocentrism; 3) Cooperation; 4) Interest in rules for their own sake.” – Jean Piaget, The Moral Judgment of the Child (trans. Marjorie Gabain)

The iron heel of freedomThe iron heel of freedom

“The formal domination of Capital has become more and more real. Consumer society now seeks out its best supporters from among the marginalized elements of traditional society—women and youth first, followed by homosexuals and immigrants. To those who were minorities yesterday, and who had therefore been the most foreign, the most spontaneously hostile to consumer society, not having yet been bent to the dominant norms of integration, the latter ends up looking like emancipation.” – Tiqqun, Preliminary Materials For a Theory of the Young-Girl (emphases in original)

Everything’s for sale and you’re brokeEverything’s for sale and you’re broke

“At the beginning of the 1920s, capitalism realized that it could no longer maintain itself as the exploitation of human labor if it did not also colonize everything that is beyond the strict sphere of production. Faced with the challenge from socialism, capital too would have to socialize. It had to create its own culture, its own leisure, medicine, urbanism, sentimental education and its own more, as well as a disposition toward their perpetual renewal. This was the Fordist compromise, the Welfare-State, family planning: social-democratic capitalism. For a somewhat limited submission to labor, since workers still distinguished themselves from their work, we have today substituted integration through subjective and existential conformity, that is, fundamentally, through consumption.” – Tiqqun, Preliminary Materials For a Theory of the Young-Girl (emphasis in original)

Instant karma’s come and got youInstant karma’s come and got you

“If the imperial perspective had a slogan it would be ‘All Power To The Apparatuses!’ It is true that in the coming insurrection it will most often suffice to liquidate the apparatuses sustaining enemies in order to break them, enemies that in times past would have had to be shot. At bottom, the slogan has less to do with cybernetic utopianism that with imperial pragmatism: the fictions of metaphysics, these grand barren constructions which now compel neither faith nor admiration, are no longer able to unify the debris of universal disintegration. Under Empire, the old Institutions are deteriorating one after the other in a cascade of apparatuses. What is happening, and what is the truly imperial mission, is the concerted demolition of each Institution into a multiplicity of apparatuses, into an arborescence of relative and unpredictable norms. The educational system, for example, no longer bothers to present itself as a coherent order. It is now but a hodgepodge of classes, schedules, subjects, buildings, departments, programs, and projects that are so many apparatuses meant to keep bodies immobilized. With the imperial extinction of every event comes the world-wide, managed dissemination of apparatuses. Many voices can now be heard lamenting such a dreadful age. Some denounce a pervasive ‘loss of meaning,’ while others, the optimists, swear every morning to ‘give meaning’ to this or that misery only, invariably, to fail. All, in fact, agree to want meaning without wanting the event. They seem not to notice that apparatuses are by nature hostile to meaning, whose absence it is their job to maintain.” – Tiqqun, This Is not a Program (emphasis in original)

Neither body nor soul, it was the oneNeither body nor soul, it was the one

“The West’s dualism has long consisted in establishing two antagonistic entities: the divine and the worldly, subject and object, reason and madness, soul and flesh, good and evil, life and death, being and nothingness, etc., etc. The latter established, civilization developed as the struggle of one against the other. This was an exceedingly costly way of going about things. Empire clearly proceeds differently. It still deals in these dualities, but it no longer believes in them. In fact, it merely uses each couple of classical metaphysics with the purpose of maintaining order, that is: as a binary machine. By apparatus, one should therefore understand a space polarized by a false antimony such that everything that passes through it and happens within it is reducible to one or the other of its terms. In this regard, the most immense apparatus ever created was obviously the East-West geostrategic macro-apparatus, which opposed term for term the ‘socialist bloc’ and the ‘capitalist bloc.’ Every rebellion, every alterity that happened to appear anywhere either had to pledge allegiance to one of these two sides or would find itself unwittingly thrown into the official enemy camp of the power it challenged.” – Tiqqun, This Is not a Program (emphases in original)

Every eight secondsEvery eight seconds

“The immediate affirmation of a need or desire—in so far as it implies a certain knowledge of oneself—ethically contravenes imperial pacification; and it no longer has the justification of militancy. Militancy and its critique are both in different ways compatible with Empire; one as a form of work, the other as a form of powerlessness.” – Tiqqun, This Is not a Program

Down tools, walkDown tools, walk

“Of the entire putrid legacy of the workers’ movement nothing stinks as much as the culture, and now the cult, of work. It is this culture and this culture alone, with its intolerable ethical blindness and its professional self-hatred, that one hears groaning with each new layoff, with each new proof that work is finished.” – Tiqqun, This Is not a Program (emphasis in original)

The ontic telos of needThe ontic telos of need

“The logic of the present situation is no longer of an economic but of an ethico-political kind. Work is the linchpin of the citizen factory. As such, it is indeed necessary, as necessary as nuclear reactors, city planning, the police, or television. One has to work because one has to feel one’s existence, at least in part, as foreign to oneself.” – Tiqqun, This Is not a Program (emphases in original)

Nice work, if you can get itNice work, if you can get it

“No one believes in work anymore, but for this very reason faith in its necessity has become all the more insistent. And for those not put off by the total degradation of work into a pure means of domestication, this faith most often turns into fanaticism. It is true that one cannot be a professor, a social worker, a ticket agent, or security guard without certain subjective after effects. That they now call work what until recently was called leisure—‘video game testers’ are payed to play the whole day; ‘artists’ to play the buffoon in public; a growing number of incompetents whom they name psychoanalysts, fortune-tellers, ‘coaches,’ or simply psychologists get handsomely paid for listening to others whine—doesn’t seem enough to corrode this unalloyed faith. It even seems that the more work loses its ethical substance, the more tyrannical the idol of work becomes. The less self-evident the value and necessity of work, the more its slaves feel the need to assert its eternal nature.” – Tiqqun, This Is not a Program (emphases in original)