Published March 31, 2019
The actionable politics are not the politics of ideology, policy or economy. Ideas do not matter as much as we like to think. Will is the politics of action. Will subjugates all ideology, all policy and action. Genius ideologies, shrewd policy, sound economics can all be defeated by imbecilic ideology, self sabotaging policy, and voodoo economics if the latter is backed by vigorous and willful action, and the former is backed only by rhetoric and dialectics. Reality is constructed in practice — fantasy is built in theory.
“Весь вопрос—кто кого опередит”
Essential question: who overcomes whom?
But the laconic form: “кто кого?” Doesn’t really translate neatly as “who whom?” Rather, it is “who subjects whom?” This remains the fundamental question of politics around the world in 2019, as much as it did in 1919. The battles of ideas and conflicts of ideology are spooks. We have never left the primitive battlefields of apes vying for dominance. A man may be right fundamentally that 2+2=4, but the man holding the gun to his head affectuates the universe where 2+2=5. The gunman has subjected the truth teller. The gunman is he who has overcome.
It is in consideration of Lenin that we should raise the fundamental critique against the western left and right. Without a revolutionary will which stirs revolutionary action, adherence and affection for the theories of revolution remains merely a bourgeois affectation. A bureaucrat who casts his vote for Bernie, and another from the same office who casts his vote for Trump, may be theoretically ideologically opposed, but practically they are indistinguishable as the will both exercise is in the enforcement and legitimization of the pre-existing dialectic. Whoever wins, the Trump voter has not overcome the Bernie voter, or vice versa, rather, both have been overcome by the prevailing dialectic of the state, which continues holding all the cards over both without substantial change in position of either.
Those who commit acts of terror, or criminal intimidation, upon the machinery of the pre-existing dialectic, are engaging in politics of the will. But make no mistake — mere terror against established power, or its manifestations, does not in itself imply the presence revolutionary or transformative will. Enemies of the dialectic often times only serve to strengthen it — like the bourgeois academic Marxist who rhetorically opposes capitalism, practically strengthens it. It is precisely this that is the danger of false revolutionary consciousness, ie. Action on the basis of revolutionary theory does not in fact concretize the theory, but the conditions under which the theory was developed in the first place. In essence, what is affirmed is not the ideology, but the pre-existing reality from which the ideology was born.
Indeed, perhaps truly revolutionary action is in ideological unconsciousness, or ideological apathy: willful action toward concrete goals, without ideological, but with material, or even egotistical justification. There was no theory under which the American or the French revolution occurred – people didn’t like taxes and people didn’t like hunger, and that’s that. The revolution occurred, and theories – Lockeian liberty, Roussean populism, what have you, were merely post hoc rationalizations used to justify revolutionary action after the fact.
Who subjects whom? The active subjects the passive. The will subjects the purpose. It is rhyme (that is, rhythmic, purposeful action, flow) which subjects the reason (the rational justification for the action).
Those who will bring about communism, if it is in fact, an inevitability, will not be known or even seen as communists — communists in fact are completely unnecessary to communism as such. The primary agents of fascism will not be its proponents. Ideologues are often frustrators, not enablers of ideologies.