An attempt to analyze how the material conditions of existence explain the reactionary psychology that prevails in the working class insofar as it is crushed as a class and reproduces exploitation.
It is in praxis that we create that in which our senses, abilities, thoughts, potentialities and desires are discovered and enjoyed.
In other words: it is through changing our material conditions of existence that we create and find ourselves and our relationships with others - our potentialities/desires and our associations.
But when our conditions of existence are private (ie private property), we are forced, in order to exist, to transforming these conditions as something separate, alienated – capital. Praxis becomes an insipid and abstract effort (wage labor), submitted to the endless end of capital, which is to accumulate indefinitely as a private, hostile power.
Because we are separated from our material conditions of existence (which have become capital), we produce and find our senses, abilities, thoughts, potentialities and desires so that they acquire the appearance of being something separate, something purely immaterial, unconditioned, given. The matter that we are (desires, thoughts, sensations, etc.) and the matter around us (including other people) seem to be dissociated, while in fact they are gathered behind us by capital.
Since we are thus deprived of the material possibility of understanding ourselves as praxis (that is, our individuality as the active confluence of our conditions of existence), we tend to attribute to individuals an unconditionality that tends to lead to paranoia, rancor , competition, authoritarianism and the search for "guilty" for everything.
This reactionary mentality prevails during the perpetuation of capital, for it is inherent in the alienation of the population from its material conditions, that is, inherent in the perpetuation of the inert proletariat, who sees herself as "middle class", a mass of buyers and sellers, pseudo-owners who believe they are protected by the State.
The desire removed from its material conditions, and incapable of producing its own material and social world, passively invests the libido in anything presented by capital: the homeland, the family, the objects of consumption, the salary, the soccer team, the post of boss, the automobile, the "race", the "entrepreneurship", the elite squad, the army. It is the "middle class" way of believing that it is as proprietor as the capitalists and also the way to distinguish themselves as "superior" to foreigners, minorities, and those who earn less or who are in absolute poverty.
All this leads the "middle class" to tend to manifest their desires actively only as a chronic pathological hatred, a hatred that is always in search of something to justify itself (moralism). A minimal disturbance, and behold they are excreting their sado-masochistic libido defending torture, the death penalty, the gas chambers, the dismissal of the workmate and the eviction of the neighbor who did not pay the rent of the house. They are hard followers of the doctrine of free choice, free will, the doctrine of the absolute blame of who they suppose to have the unconditionally "bad" soul.
The "middle class" tends to think that behind all appearances we are all "motherfuckers", ferocious beasts whose interrelations will always fall into mutual murder, rape, and cannibalism if there is no police officer controlling every point on the planet where one person finds another. The "middle class", imagining that everyone is a monster beforehand, thinks that the best thing to do is to always tread on others and stay "on top". All this in the name of the defense of the immaculate family, the protection of their supposed most precious private property, the children, against the dog-eat-dog world, reason why they idolize the repression of the state or defend any band that imposes the terror in the name of some supposed "order".
The so-called middle class seems more capitalist than capitalists, more repressive than the state, more obedient than the boss's command, more adept at coercion of competition than the market itself. But all this sick exaggeration is an imaginary compensation of the fact that its "members" have no means of production, no private property, no capital, but only fictitious properties: car that after a short time is worth nothing more, a job that will soon be lost, a house that wears out every day, objects of consumption that become totally undesirable after fashion is over, children who grow up and live their own lives, not to speak of fictions in the literal sense of the word, as the nation. In the absence of the revolutionary perspective of taking the conditions of existence in a world social revolution, they have no other choice but to cling to these pathological fictions to keep their libido alive and not commit suicide.
How can we respond to all this? Of course, the psychotherapy we stand for consists of investing the desire in the production of our conditions of existence, that is, the practical and material affirmation of our desires in free association with others, which implies the abolition of private property of the means of production (abolition capital, money, state, etc.) by the community of freely associated individuals on a world scale.
Unfortunately, we must recognize that our psychotherapeutic proposition also seems to be a desire removed from its material conditions, and it is therefore fictitious, since this taking of the conditions of existence has not occurred until now. But our contradiction may express the contradiction of the very conditions of existence that capital produced and tend to surpass capital itself - these conditions converge in our communist individuality and allow us to uphold what we stand for as something worth living and fighting for.
humanaesfera, March 2012
(Translated by humanaesfera. The original article in Portuguese: "Classe média": moralismo paranóico repressivo masoquista)
- Society of the spectacle (Guy Debord)
- The economic and philosophic manuscripts of 1844 (Karl Marx)
- The German Ideology (Marx & Engels)
- Of the Role of the Passions (Charles Fourier)
- Anti-Oedipus: Capitalism and schizophrenia (Gille Deleuze and Felix Guttari)
- Autonomy and daily life - Spinoza and Kant's imperative: "Treat others and yourself as ends, never as means" (humanaesfera)