Critiques of nihilist communism?

392 posts / 0 new
Last post
RedHughs
Offline
Joined: 25-11-06
May 7 2012 19:22

1) The comments concerning nihcom went a bit deeper than a just one line slag-offs. They weren't article length but it should be obvious most of us aren't so concerned with nihcom that we want to write articles. If *you* the nihcom deserves more substantial analysis, get up and write a substantial defense of it.

2) The Bob Black article exists. If you really need to have see it, I'm sure you could write or even email Anarchy Magazine and they'd tell you how to get a print copy. I'll admit that I often ignore stuff that's off the net but in situations where I care, I'll pony up and buy a printed copy. You seem to care enough to complain about the subject not getting the attention it deserves.

3) Like many philosophico/ideological mumblings today, nihcom has the "Samuel Johnson-Apocryphal" condition. That is "their writings are both good and original but what is original is not good and what is good is not original. Read the Situationists, Radical anthropology, Gilles Dauve, Nietzsche, Lewis Mumford, Castoriadis, etc. It's not so much that any of these writers are the best but that the interesting ideas nihcom use aren't as original as they might seem at first blush and the main original thing they've got, wrapping the thing up in "in-activism" and a kind of passive-aggressive intervention plan towards "ordinary communists" is a kind of pathological despair trip. I think communists should keep in mind that the "ordinary left" is effectively part of the overall capitalist system. But this is argument is abstract enough that it simply shocks people and unless you are somewhat grounded, you can then be swept up in all manner of directions.

Quote:
The left is the leftwing of capital therefore:

A) We must become rightists
B) We must become death metalers
C) We must become avant guard artists
D) We must engage in communist agitation that refuses the left, attacks both the dominant system and the left but doesn't make the left a fetish for our attack since the left is mere part of the system.
E) We must engage in cannibalistic cult-style murders of leftists, refuse all organization and language, and rub myrrh on our bodies.

You might think think the answers obvious but like I say, without grounding things aren't as obvious.

And I have pretty good reason to believe the nihcom folks are reading this right now. And having been back-and-forth with these things with them as much as they're willing to go, I feel pretty sure they just interested in answering any of the problems I'm raising.

4) Another way you could put this modern nihilism revival is as something like street theater against the left. IE, the nihilist positions' crude negation of leftist ideas might well be loud enough to get the attention of modern leftists where the distinctions in the more sophisticated anti-state communist positions get lost. True, you'll get the attention of leftists for a minute but you won't anything else - leftists aren't leftists because of their material situation but because of capitalism's dynamic and so no matter how aware of alternative perspectives they are, the true died-in-the-wool leftist is going to be more attached to their reformation-of-capitalism-which-really-is-capitalism. So the thing about the "nihilism" as theatrical-intervention-thing is that, like primitivism or other unhinged positions, it can kind of draw in, not leftists but psychologically traumatized individuals caught up dualistic/moralistic reasoning (Communism is good, leftists must be bad. Bad things must be attacked, ruthlessly).

doam
Offline
Joined: 3-05-12
May 8 2012 03:59

1) Not much deeper. Here's a quick summary of the beginning:
Juan Conatz: "I haven't read the book"
jameswalsh: "Doesn't sound any fun"
Hieronymous: "Big Lebowski gif"
Zeronowhere: "nothing to critique"
RedHughs: "I have considerable contempt" "some people like them and I can see why" but "they aren't original" "Nihcom is a cleverage packaging of ideas. But I congratulate someone for producing such a clever packaging if it serves a purpose I'm sympathetic with."

There was some more after that and some of it got a little deeper. You are correct though, my original post mostly concerned the thread's opening. That said, it still doesn't seem like a "strong" critique was offered.

I did not mean to suggest I deserved anything, nor that I was a "nihcom." I was merely hoping and waiting for the critique and feel no need to write a defense on my own when one a. it doesn't seem needed and b. is not something I am really into.

My own nihilism is more of a despair at our future which I think is somewhat different than what is found in Nihilist Communism.

2) I am certain the Bob Black article exists and I have no difficulty in buying something in print. I was just hoping you would tell me the issue since you have read it, but yes, I will just write to them in ask.

3) Thank you for the reading suggestions. I do not really understand what you mean by the argument being "abstracted" but it is a side issue so if you don't want to explain it fine.

4) This is very confusing for me: "leftists aren't leftists because of their material situation but because of capitalism's dynamic" but I understand the end of the paragraph, I think. The leaders of Nihilist Communism prey on the sick and traumatized. Are they getting rich off all the people they convert or just attention? If they aren't getting something then why are they doing it?

Maybe if they are reading this they can explain.

radicalgraffiti
Offline
Joined: 4-11-07
May 8 2012 11:32

I've read a little of the nihilist communism stuff, but i never get vary far because the bit that they are right about are not vary original and the rest is just getting stuff vary wrong, so it just annoys me and i give up on it.

lettersjournal
Offline
Joined: 12-12-11
May 8 2012 14:52

Has anyone commenting here actually read the book Nihilist Communism?

KriegPhilosophy's picture
KriegPhilosophy
Offline
Joined: 10-10-10
May 8 2012 14:56
lettersjournal wrote:
Has anyone commenting here actually read the book Nihilist Communism?

yes.

Melancholy of Resistance's picture
Melancholy of R...
Offline
Joined: 2-11-11
May 8 2012 15:23
lettersjournal wrote:
Has anyone commenting here actually read the book Nihilist Communism?

Yes, which you would know if you had read through the previous pages.

petey
Offline
Joined: 13-10-05
May 8 2012 15:24
lettersjournal wrote:
Has anyone commenting here actually read the book Nihilist Communism?

yes, some of it.

soc's picture
soc
Offline
Joined: 21-04-11
May 8 2012 16:07

We had talk about it so long, that I think it worth to copy the conclusion over here from the Monsieur Dupont: Nihilist Communism.

Monsieur Dupont wrote:
A recap of our perspective

(1) We do not think there is any role for class 'consciousness', that is the leadership of the working class by politically motivated groups in the revolution.

(2) We think pro-revolutionaries do have a role but it is not generally the role they award to themselves (for example, waving flags, masking their faces, travelling to international cities, exhibiting the most extreme gestures in the parade of gestures that are political demonstrations); we see one of our tasks as to inhibit those who would lead the revolution, especially those who are closest to us and claim not to want to lead; other tasks we have set ourselves are the creation of tools, tactics and perspectives for use by others in various critical events, for which we claim no intellectual property rights.

(3) Our concept of the revolution involves the working class engaging in a struggle that goes no further than maintaining its own interest. We advocate the struggle of self-interest because it cannot fail, we think if it is followed through to its end it will in itself bring capital down because this struggle is situated within production and the ownership of production is the basis of capitalist existence; if this direct struggle is not side-tracked by political mediations it will discover everything Monsieur Dupont has attempted to articulate over months and years in five minutes and many times over in many places of the world. The proletariat is organised by capital, in every place, its situation is always, everywhere, the same; in direct struggle it will always uncover the same truths, therefore any further organisation would be superfluous and potentially exploitative.

(4) Our mechanical schemes are not nineteenth century as some have argued, they are much older than that. We think the revolution will be in two stages, the first will involve the destruction of the capitalist system by the working class as it seizes production (which it might do without even formulating a desire to do so. Many factories will be occupied because many other factories are occupied - we oppose to the 'consciousness' model, the virus model, to 'intent’ we oppose infection - finally, objectively, always mechanistic even if in every instance there are many motivations and beliefs in play), the second stage of revolution will involve the participation of all humanity in its becoming human.

No way out

It was not our intention to promote alternatives to the consciousness-raising model but we have met with such (wilful) incomprehension and misinterpretation that we should conclude, for the sake of good form, by stating our continued support for pro-revolutionary positions and actions. It is absurd that we should have to make this declaration, we should not be participating as we do if we were against revolution. Vaguely, our intention is to talk to those who are able listen to us, we hope to influence only those who are already pro-revolutionary, it is our hope that if we can connect with anyone then our influence will help to curtail the mystifications that activists and experts promote. The specifics of any particular action are dependent on ability to act and the situation itself, this can be addressed in correspondence between interested groups and individuals, we have no set formula as such and we are prepared, much to the annoyance of activists, to condone the strategy of doing nothing and disengagement

From what I see, the point of antagonism here is the role of the revolutionaries. I think these statements are good to start with, to see that nihilist communism is not a simple justification of wanking instead of revolution but to critique the role of activism.

As a side note, these books should be on torrent rather than mediafire. How about a libcom torrent tracker?

flaneur's picture
flaneur
Offline
Joined: 25-02-09
May 8 2012 18:17

What soc said, but who's going to listen when you can point out for the 10th time that it's not very original, like that means anything.

Torrent tracker would be handy too, or forcibly take over onebigtorrent and prim all of the shit on there.

RedHughs
Offline
Joined: 25-11-06
May 8 2012 19:08

You're pissed that people don't take Nihcom seriously but you haven't given us any reason to Nihcom seriously. You also haven't responded any of the more detailed arguments I or others have made here.

The Nihcomists are basically setting "here", reading this stuff in front of their computers like us and they've been debating with the rest of this non-collective for a while.

But I have yet to see anything like a "human being explanation" for how their practice is anything but an exercise in morality.

Sure, Nihcom is a critique of activism but it's a shitty one.

I'd summarize the postmodernist jibe as "we're against 'world-historical narratives" and we cover the fact that such opposition is itself a 'world-historical narrative' with a lot of verbiage and subterfuge..." Nihcom involves the postmodern "algorithm" started using the initial conditions of mechanical Marxism.

If you read the MD passage quoted by Soc, you should note that the ideas only seem sane as antidotes to the obsessive fixations of leftists. Sure, the idea that one or another leftist operation will just spread like a virus to "average people" involves a total divorce from how the world works. But the idea that capitalist relations would be challenged by workers taking over factories unconsciously is just as absurd. I apologize for saying something sensible rather a making theatrically demented gesture but activity and consciousness will have increase together. That will be a complex, hard road. The vast majority today, not leftists, are immersed in a variety of ideological illusions. A communist revolt will involve a process of people clarifying their understanding of the world to the extent that they have some ability to act in the world - the Occupy Movement is a small and naturally pathetic step in that direction.

A simple way to put this also is that communists should oppose all stagisms. We should not care whether those stagisms are Scientistic schemes of Stalinisms, the Moralist obfuscations of Postmodern Identities politicians, or whatever Nihcom is (it presents itself as somewhere between Avant Guard Gesture and humble giving up of ambitions). And don't think we need to make a deep reading of either Stalinist, Postmodernist or Nihcomists to reach this conclusion.

madlib's picture
madlib
Offline
Joined: 31-08-08
May 8 2012 20:05

T@L version—there are download options at the top for various printer settings and devices.

http://theanarchistlibrary.org/HTML/Monsieur_Dupont__Nihilist_Communism.html

madlib's picture
madlib
Offline
Joined: 31-08-08
May 8 2012 20:25

Gdmt… Black's review starts at page 18.

Fullscreen (kinda sucks): http://www.scribd.com/doc/92891673/AJODA-Paper-Less-Dpi-Singles#fullscreen

Not fullscreen (maybe sucks less): http://www.scribd.com/doc/92891673/AJODA-Paper-Less-Dpi-Singles

RedHughs
Offline
Joined: 25-11-06
May 8 2012 21:18
Quote:
What soc said, but who's going to listen when you can point out for the 10th time that it's not very original, like that means anything.

The point isn't that everything has to be original, I'm fine with being totally unoriginal.

The thing with MD is:

A) The lean on the critique of activism, as the thing that everyone needs to hear. IE, aside from the critique of activism, they aren't saying that much.

B) They put it in obscure terms when it already been put in fairly plain terms.

One might indeed superficially come to the conclusion that the critique of activism is exactly what "everyone" needs to hear. Most of the "pro-revolutionaries" that are visible really are just leftists with a gloss of communization theory. It is true as per the MD thesis above that an important task of communists will be to stand in the way of ostensible communists taking over a movement.
So why do I still say trying to hammer the critique of the left into the thick skulls of leftists is unpleasant detour? Because whatever kind of leftist your talking about, even pseudo-communist leftists, they're leftist because of social/material circumstances and not because of "mistakes". Essentially, MD treats the working class absolutely, crudely materially determined while it treats the left as absolutely idea-determined (this is my argument specific to MD and its something they and their support never, ever, ever address despite having spent massive time here).

RedHughs
Offline
Joined: 25-11-06
May 8 2012 21:27
doam wrote:
"leftists aren't leftists because of their material situation but because of capitalism's dynamic" but I understand the end of the paragraph, I think. The leaders of Nihilist Communism prey on the sick and traumatized. Are they getting rich off all the people they convert or just attention? If they aren't getting something then why are they doing it?

Darn, the earlier quote is typo on my part. It should read: "leftists aren't leftists because of their mistakes but because of capitalism's dynamic (ie, because of their material situation considered in a generalized sense)"

In general, I think one should talk about material situations determining things "in aggregate", on average. I wouldn't try to predict exactly the motivations and actions of either single capitalist, a single workers, a single leftist or a single Nihlist communist. The capitalist reproduces it's material circumstances and ideologies on average, not with some absolute and mechanical precision. For that reason, while I could speculate on what drives the nihcommunists, I won't.

lettersjournal
Offline
Joined: 12-12-11
May 8 2012 21:38
Quote:
But I have yet to see anything like a "human being explanation" for how their practice is anything but an exercise in morality.

I'm not sure what practice is implied by Nihilist Communism other than the disbanding of organizations, which is the same practice encouraged by Camatte and others. As a proposal, it seems sensible to me.

I think morality is a good thing, but I am not sure it is a moral book. This may be its greatest weakness. It does not deal adequately with the moral and ethical problems that arise from the propositions.

Quote:
Essentially, MD treats the working class absolutely, crudely materially determined while it treats the left as absolutely idea-determined (this is my argument specific to MD and its something they and their support never, ever, ever address despite having spent massive time here).

I think so, yes. The MD treatment of pro-revolutionary consciousness is that it can appear everywhere except where it is needed (ie. at the site of essential production). So, the proletarian qua proletarian is materially determined and defined entirely by material position, while the leftist qua leftist (even if he has a proletarian job) is defined by consciousness.

MD's stuff does not strike me as postmodern. Can you cite passages or something?

Quote:
We must engage in cannibalistic cult-style murders of leftists, refuse all organization and language, and rub myrrh on our bodies.

Two of those sound better than anything else on the list. I'll go choice E.

RedHughs
Offline
Joined: 25-11-06
May 8 2012 23:50
lettersjournal wrote:
I think morality is a good thing, but I am not sure it is a moral book. This may be its greatest weakness. It does not deal adequately with the moral and ethical problems that arise from the propositions.

This is a fairly large distinction between our viewpoints then.

Quote:
Quote:
Essentially, MD treats the working class absolutely, crudely materially determined while it treats the left as absolutely idea-determined (this is my argument specific to MD and its something they and their support never, ever, ever address despite having spent massive time here).

I think so, yes. The MD treatment of pro-revolutionary consciousness is that it can appear everywhere except where it is needed (ie. at the site of essential production). So, the proletarian qua proletarian is materially determined and defined entirely by material position, while the leftist qua leftist (even if he has a proletarian job) is defined by consciousness.

So this is not contradictory why? Because "we believe in nothing, Lebowski" or what??

I mean, our fine posters are seeking a critique of Nihcom. But why should one engage in a long, substantive critique of nihcom when it seems a short critique can be made based on simple, easily summarized contradictions?

bzfgt
Offline
Joined: 25-02-09
May 9 2012 04:27

I don't think the appearance of pro-rev consciousness in the left is the same thing as saying the left is determined by ideas...

doam
Offline
Joined: 3-05-12
May 9 2012 04:33
Quote:
Quote:
Quote:
Essentially, MD treats the working class absolutely, crudely materially determined while it treats the left as absolutely idea-determined (this is my argument specific to MD and its something they and their support never, ever, ever address despite having spent massive time here).

I think so, yes. The MD treatment of pro-revolutionary consciousness is that it can appear everywhere except where it is needed (ie. at the site of essential production). So, the proletarian qua proletarian is materially determined and defined entirely by material position, while the leftist qua leftist (even if he has a proletarian job) is defined by consciousness.

So this is not contradictory why?

This seems like a fair enough question: Why is the proletarian qua proletarian materially determined and defined entirely by material while the leftist qua leftist is defined by consciousness?

It seems to me that this is just the nature of the terms. Someone who is a leftist is a leftist by virtue of their ideas, they are "defined by consciousness", while someone who is a proletarian is a proletarian in virtue of their material position and their status as proletarian is determined by material.

A rich leftist cannot think themselves into being proletarian any more than someone poor can think themselves into being rich.

What is left out here is what determines the leftist. The proletarian is defined and determined by material and the leftist is defined by ideas, but what makes the leftist?

RedHughs
Offline
Joined: 25-11-06
May 9 2012 05:13

OK,

So if that was a fair question, then we can presume you're dropping the "no one has provided a real critique" stuff, right?

Anyway, when I said "determined by", I meant and (I believe MD essentially says), have their behavior determined by and there's nothing in your answers concerning why the behavior of leftists would be determined purely by their ideas and the behavior of workers would be determined entirely by their physical material conditions.

ocelot's picture
ocelot
Offline
Joined: 15-11-09
May 9 2012 10:12
Quote:
Essentially, MD treats the working class absolutely, crudely materially determined while it treats the left as absolutely idea-determined (this is my argument specific to MD and its something they and their support never, ever, ever address despite having spent massive time here).

Is this not just a return to the enlightenment/romantic trope of "noble savage" versus civilized man depraved by modernist ideology and culture? The proletariat as noble savage? The leftist as "inauthentic" degenerate?

Quote:
(1) We do not think there is any role for class 'consciousness', that is the leadership of the working class by politically motivated groups in the revolution.

Overall to me they seem just an extreme version of the councillist inversion of the orthodox problematic of class and consciousness. According to the latter "capitalism creates its own gravediggers" in the shape of the proletariat, who should be increasingly forged by the relations of capitalist production (once these reach the stage of becoming a fetter on the forces of production - aka the stage of "over-ripeness" or "decline") into having the requisite class consciousness to throw off the shackles of capitalism. The fact that the actually-existing consciousness of the real "class in itself" never quite seems to match up the consciousness they "should" have, then requires an explanation in the orthodox problematic - one provided by "false consciousness". For the Kautskyist of Leninist versions of orthodoxy, the roots of this false consciousness are to be found in the famous fetishism of the commodity, i.e. are systemic and inescapable. The solution then, is the "scientific" discovery of the correct interests of the proletariat through the work of specialists, which are then transmitted to the class "from the outside" by means of the Marxist workers party.

The Manichaen inversion of this by the councillists, is that the notion of the proletariat needing an injection of "correct consciousness" from the outside, is the source of Kauskyite and Leninist error. That, conversely, the correct revolutionary consciousness arises spontaneously within the class, as a result of its struggle against bosses and the state, and that the consciousness that "professional revolutionaries" attempt to inject from the outside, is the true source of "false consciousness". I say Manichean, because in this case, the "poison" of false consciousness is not a systemic effect, but the work of evil-doers - those evil leftists, ever seeking to suppress, dominate and parasite on the spontaneous, natural self-development of the proletariat.

But this inversion is not an overcoming, it remains trapped within the orthodox problematic, notwithstanding having reversed one of its polarities. It remains indistinguishable from the perspective of Monatte and the revolutionary syndicalists, that Malatesta so efficiently dissected at the Amsterdam Congress of 1907.

Quote:
The basic error of Monatte and of all revolutionary syndicalists, in my opinion, derives from an overly simplistic conception of the class struggle. It is a conception whereby the economic interests of all workers – of the working class – are held to be equal [solidaires - in solidarity with each other, complementary], whereby it is enough for workers to set about defending their own particular interests in order for the interests of the whole proletariat against the bosses to be defended.

The reality is very different, in my view. The workers, like the bourgeoisie, like everyone, are subject to the law of universal competition that derives from the system of private property and that will only be extinguished together with that system.

NB here we dispense with notions of "false consciousness" or the veil of "fetishism" and address the realities of competitive forces - a quite different starting point from the orthodox problematic.

doam
Offline
Joined: 3-05-12
May 9 2012 14:52
RedHughs wrote:
OK,

So if that was a fair question, then we can presume you're dropping the "no one has provided a real critique" stuff, right?

Look, this whole thread started when KriegPhilosophy said: "Does anyone have any strong critiques they are willing to share?" From the responses he initially received it was clear that the answer was no. Either no one had a strong critique or no one was willing to share one. You can get pissy with me for pointing it out but read the thread because that's what happened.

RedHughs wrote:
Anyway, when I said "determined by", I meant and (I believe MD essentially says), have their behavior determined by and there's nothing in your answers concerning why the behavior of leftists would be determined purely by their ideas and the behavior of workers would be determined entirely by their physical material conditions.

You are correct. My answer did not explain why ideas would determine the behavior of leftists. In fact I asked the question "what makes a leftist?" at the end. "Making a leftist" and "determining the behavior" of a leftist seem to be getting at same thing to me.

If we look at what lettersjournal said

lettersjournal wrote:
So, the proletarian qua proletarian is materially determined and defined entirely by material position, while the leftist qua leftist (even if he has a proletarian job) is defined by consciousness.

we find that there was no mention of what determines a leftist, only what defines one. Perhaps this is also what bzfgt is getting at in his comment when he writes:

bzfgt wrote:
I don't think the appearance of pro-rev consciousness in the left is the same thing as saying the left is determined by ideas...

You, RedHughs, are arguing against/pointing out a contradiction that doesn't exist. It hasn't been said by anyone (at least not here).

So, again, I pose it as a question: what determines/makes a leftist according to nihilist communist thought?

bzfgt
Offline
Joined: 25-02-09
May 9 2012 15:27

You got it, Doam. According to n/c thought leftists are as materially determined as anyone. The impotence of their ideas is emphasized.

Hieronymous's picture
Hieronymous
Offline
Joined: 27-07-07
May 10 2012 05:29
lettersjournal wrote:
Has anyone commenting here actually read the book Nihilist Communism?

Yes, actually I have. But then I realized that it was kinda like a Cliff Notes' version of The Big Lebowski, in some parts almost verbatim. Made me feel like the NiCom crowd were up to some "funny business."

Frankly, I prefer the original. Red Hughes is right on that account.

doam
Offline
Joined: 3-05-12
May 9 2012 23:11

RedHughs,

I would like to quickly say that I fear you and I got off on the wrong foot. I am a new poster here and don't want to start off by coming off as combative. So I apologize for any tone. As far as I am concerned you and I and n/c people are all on the same team, even if we disagree. It seems you have had some bad experiences with n/c and I hope that we can interact well without either of us bringing past experiences to the table. I am not any of those people and we don't know each other.

bzfgt,

The question for me, if that is the case, is what changed the leftist? Did their consciousness get raised or is it from biological or environmental (which sounds close to material) conditions?

Melancholy of Resistance's picture
Melancholy of R...
Offline
Joined: 2-11-11
May 9 2012 23:39
Hieronymous wrote:
Yes, actually I have. But then I realized that it was kinda like a Cliff Notes' version of The Big Lebowski, in some parts almost verbatim. Made me feel like the NiCom crowd we up to some "funny business.

You either lying to be 'funny' or read another book.

Kras's picture
Kras
Offline
Joined: 19-08-11
May 10 2012 03:39

Class fetishism of lifestyle revolutionaries in times inadequate to effective activism. MDs take Marx seriously and try to point out that the material factors define when and how the revolution will occur. If someone wants to hold on to outdated views just because he feels good with his self-image, fine. No wonder no one likes authors. But they are not plain nihilistic, they just thorn down all those self-sustaining illusions of doing something in over-indoctrinated individuals. What they propose? If you take your mission seriously: go and infiltrate essential branches of industry. Material base lies at the base of the capitalist system. Otherwise you can push capitalism to reforms by flying your flag to gain higher wages. If you have things necessary to enjoy your life then you should! As pointed out earlier:

Melancholy of Resistance wrote:
At least the not doing anything option leaves you time to enjoy life outside.

I would say that in a globalised world revolution will come from the Third World. I see no other way around. Yeah, I can fight for workers' rights but often people don't want you to get involved. Should I spend my life fighting for rising wages by 5-10%, one company at a time? Should I dedicate my life to constant "take the stand" philosophy? Despite the Leftist rhetoric, material base defines it, and the truth is that most of us are living in well-off countries. We are happy that police usually don't shoot at us, that we are rarely jailed and that we walk with generally full stomach. Sorry for harsh language, but even bumps and junkies get their fix often enough to sustain their addictions.

Being a revolutionary is motivated either on emotional or material level. If it's the former then many such motivated comrades will move on, seeking higher salaries to feed their families, to use their potential in more subtle politics, etc. If it's the latter, then you are stuck among people who are badly motivated and generally okay with things as they are.

The beautiful Span of 1936. When I think about it my heart starts to race. But material base defines it and it was for the awful material conditions that brought people to their revolutionary determinism.

DMs don't say that you shouldn't do nothing. It's an misinterpretation that is derived from high emotional attachment of many revolutionaries. It's just straight-in-your-face reality.

If you really want revolution, then either wait or infiltrate some important places where you can make some real troubles. Workplace conflicts rise from time to time and you can try to radicalise people but trust me: without wide-spread poverty they couldn't care less. They want to go back to their families and live normal lives.

You don't need to agitate people. When the time is right, they will come to you by themselves. You will be astonished how many "ordinary people" already know so much.

That's how I understand the Nihilist Communism although I really hate Marxist materialism!

RedHughs
Offline
Joined: 25-11-06
May 10 2012 04:49

Buzzy and Doam: If you read the exchange twixt me and Letters, the situation seems to be agreement with this:

In Nihcom, the importence of leftist ideas is emphasized but as Letters says, in Nihcom one falls within the leftist determinative-category through one's ideas whereas one falls within the proletarian determinative-category if one has a working class job - except if one in the leftist category.

IE, while leftist ideas are impotent according to Nihcom, having leftist ideas determines what your behavior is going to be (be a detriment to an unconscious negation of capital), whereas otherwise having a proletarian or middle class job determines what you are going do (engage in an unconscious negation of capital or not). So, I think I am pointing out a pretty definite contradiction.

Also, I agree with Ocelot's post above - his point about Nihcom being a crude version of council communism and it treating the industrial working class as stereotyped noble savages is cogent (and yes I know the Nihcom authors are immense in the industrial working class, doesn't change the situation). I mean, Nihcom's approach seems to involve nothing but cartoonish caricatures. These constructs are fine foils to the left's own cartoonish caricatures but I can't see them having anything to do with reality outside the leftist bubble.

And Kras, yeah, sure one can "respect" Nihcom for taking these ideas "seriously" when one isn't concerned with any of these approaches making any sense - they take a variety of indeed illogical strands of Marxian thought and follow these to their final absurdity. If I didn't want to spend my time making a coherent analysis of capital and its negation, I might take some ridiculous stand to call attention to myself or perhaps listen to death metal or something. And if they didn't aim to confuse their shit with communism, I wouldn't bother them about their hobby (But fyi, I don't think they're encouraging people to "infiltrate the working class", just the opposite).

I mean, the Nihcomers are correct in that at the least the most extreme leftist, Maoist and Trotskyist say, will wind up being a detriment to a revolution situation through their rigid adherence to their ideology. Given the Nihcomers similar fixation on their illogical ideology, I can't help expecting them to also being a similar detriment.

RedHughs
Offline
Joined: 25-11-06
May 10 2012 05:14

Another way to put it. It does feel like nihcom is a product of a deep unhappiness with both the world and with the left. Which naturally I can understand.

I'm sorry that they feel a need express this unhappiness through rigid, unexplained, and illogical categories (not to mention moralistic). I'm sorry because it implies that there really can't be any dialog beyond that.

Yeah, wish I could do something about all that. The world built by capital sucks and we're in it. I'm sorry...

Hieronymous's picture
Hieronymous
Offline
Joined: 27-07-07
May 10 2012 08:01
Melancholy of Resistance wrote:
Hieronymous wrote:
Yes, actually I have. But then I realized that it was kinda like a Cliff Notes' version of The Big Lebowski, in some parts almost verbatim. Made me feel like the NiCom crowd were up to some "funny business.

You either lying to be 'funny' or read another book.


Well, that's just like, your opinion, man.

Tarwater's picture
Tarwater
Offline
Joined: 29-12-08
May 10 2012 08:40

Hieronymous:

I appreciate your posts on other threads, but you are really ruining this for me. Could you please stop?

Thanks

-Rick

(the thread and the movie)