Saturday, May 7, 2011

How many Parliamentarians does it take to screw together an industrial restoration?

Out of the "amorphous," "uncertain" Libyan rebellion rises a road-map towards parliamentary government. More opportunity to elucidate my own apocalyptic Marxist heresy.

Note how in the early days of the rebellion, the media was unable to articulate the "character" or "direction" of Gaddhafi's antagonists. It defied their paradigms. Some on "the left," including conventional Marxists, made a big deal of the early use of the pre-Gaddhafi monarchist flag (which has pretty much been adopted, it seems, now that the rebellion's leadership is developing into a "legitimate" institution). There are complaints that the leaders of the rebellion are too pro-Western, in bed with the imperialists, making deals with the devils, etc. etc. And clearly this is true. And clearly there are times when people's movements are all-to-eager to compromise, even when they have the upper hand (*cough*Wisconsin*cough*).

Other times, there just isn't the higher-level thinking prevalent enough to make and stick to reasoned, virtuous choices. (Funny, how in that photo, I can't make out a single black person, despite gathering outside a black President's home in a city that roughly half black.) You can argue all you want with people about the things they ought to know better about. It isn't that people are immutably evil. It's simply that sometimes they are just too engaged in the habit of ego to be good. Their capacity isn't any generally less.

Anyway, I digress; points about individual egoism is only circumstantial to Libyan "leaders" and their promise to make a conventional parliamentary government. In my experiences with "politicized" folks (approximately meaning in this context "folks who have become passionate about the socialization of enmity enough to 'do something' about it") most people gravitate towards (or rattle around between) one of three positions when it comes to leadership (perhaps more acutely "management" - so-called "leaders" whose function is to mystify through a process called "government"):

  1. High respect, and/or apologism for perceived bad policy. This is how liberals in the U.S. usually treat Democrats and how conservatives in the US treat Republicans.
  2. Moderate respect, and/or criticism or even hostility towards perceived bad policy. This is how liberals and conservatives in the U.S. generally feel towards their opposing parties; how conventional Marxists think of parliamentary politicians on the whole. This latter point is because, in my experience, conventional Marxists can't imagine an imminent reality that isn't governed by parliamentary procedure but they do want the formation of their own Party (a "working class" party) to take the helm of it (functionally restoring the industrialist paradigm).
  3. Nil respect and/or apathy and/or hostility towards leadership's existence and whatever institutions support them/enact their policies. Superficially, the whole gamut of anarchism fits in here - but I think there is room for something else, a creative anti-Parliamentarianism, an antagonistic philosophy that combs the social ruins of bureaucracy in decline and recombines the fluid constitution of what we once conceived of as concrete institutions.
The rebellion against Ghaddafi's eccentric, chaos-chronistic tyranny (unpacking it: this green-flagged government ostensibly linked "outdated" [the scare quotes of bourgeois perspective] tribal government with "advanced" [and the scare quotes of Vanguardist perspective! Look Ma, no hands!] people's council governments - by arbitrating past and future modes via cult of personality a la Stalinism or "third-world socialism") ... the rebellion against Ghaddafi's eccentric, chaos-chronistic tyranny ought to reveal to us the interstices between "forms" of "government."

The question that comes to mind: if a people can voluntarily enter into a war against a hated tyrant, "how much" government do they need? What is the purpose of "government" as we know it - "rule of law," as many Western politicians claim, or the negotiated slavery of populations, organized into classes, to an industrial mode of production? A mode of production whose harried, unresting, replicative logic extends beyond the control of any singular class or class alliance. A mode of production which blindly and mindlessly pillages the living and the dead and all the "useful" things of nature and leaves swaths of ruins and polluted wastelands in its wake?

an interim government would immediately take over to provide day-to-day governance and keep order, the Associated Press news agency reports.

It would comprise members from the NTC, technocrats from the Gaddafi regime, senior military and intelligence officers and a supreme court judge, he said.

A constitution would be drawn up and put to a referendum, followed a few months later by parliamentary and presidential elections.

What we see in Libya is a habitual surrender of the vital forces of rebellion to the industrial mode of government, which domesticates the human animal in order to turn the gears of the earth's mal-apportionment. Their instinct is to destroy that which oppresses them, but in doing so their only choices has been an alliance with the devil they don't know (yet).

But, precisely because of the unusual historic balance of powers that I described in my last post, more of that interstitial space has been revealed than might normally appear in "simple" (perhaps better explained as "previous") civil war scenarios. To glance a moment at our own Civil War (because I assume our readers are most familiar with that), the South adopted the old Articles of Confederation without batting an eye. Hell, it was a handful of property owners who went to the state governments to instigate secession - it wasn't a people's movement at all until the ruling powers capitalized on regional patriotism. It simply went from being states in the United States to being a Confederacy without a struggle for form in between. Those rulers had cohesion as an organized class.

These people, in a Libyan refugee camp across the border in Tunisia, are not represented by any "real" (parliamentary) government and might never be.

The Libyan rebels have slipped, however temporarily, through the cracks of the industrial mode, and these cracks are widening. There is very much a chance the "22-nation contact group" working with the transitional government can foster a parliamentary government and bring the rebellion under control, declare a revolution "complete," and integrate them all some way into the current world order. But as resources become scarce, as labor becomes redundant and what industrialization has deemed "work" becomes "scarce" and commodities, environments, modes of living become antagonistic to the survival of our species, more of these interstitial gaps will yawn open with less opportunity for "appropriate" re-incorporation.

Who will build the new infrastructure for millennial capitalism's catastrophic zones? Where will they get the resources? Who will pay for it? And who will benefit? Worse yet - how, in light of peak oil and capitalism's sociopathic waste of resources - how can it possibly be sustainable?

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