The Purge

Last night I had occasion to meet some interesting and energetic students that have found themselves drawn to the coming insurrection. They were each brash, proud, and defiant: in a word, dangerous. I couldn’t help but wonder, though, how long they would be able to maintain their smiles and dangerous energy in the often-toxic environment of the radical fringe. Don’t get me wrong; toxicity can be a sign of vigorous health, as it demonstrates that even those with a gift for atrophy have yet to give up the will to fight.

 

That being said, though, the wall that we are up against has been demolished and conquered many times in our past, but only with the critical and violent participation of smiling, energetic, brash, proud, and defiant young people. And the true toxicity of the radical fringe more often than not stems from the effort of tired, redundant, cautious, hyper-organized, makers of mass media influenced grievance-lists to keep hold of the wheel of what must ultimately become a runaway freight train. These scared list makers, as they have done in every revolutionary milieu since a man first decided that he would no longer submit, must hold the violent actors in check, using the same methodological thought policing and behavioral prohibitioning as the mainstream enemies of the radical fringe.

 

Moralistic orthodoxy and static analyses reliant upon a soft, quiet, democratic milieu are demanded by the list makers, while the young – the arditi, Futurists, freikorps, sans-culottes – seek the thrill of violently and aggressively throwing off the humility, timidity, and bodily poverty that is demanded of them. At the very least, then, we can say that the critical and violent young people among us seek to become a force that will one day be purged from whatever victorious nation is to be created by the list makers. They wish to fight without obeying, which is what the list makers, those men of the State, cannot abide.

 

“In every [State] it is a matter of obeying and nothing else.”[1] It is perhaps too simplistic to say that this critique of the State is precisely what maintains the links between the fringe’s list makers and their mainstream “state-sponsored” counterparts, but a quick glance at the American, French, Confederate, Soviet, Fascist, and Cuban revolutions, will demonstrate three clear trends: that the ends of the State are the same ends of the ruling apparatuses of the revolutionaries; that those rulers are able to impose their orthodoxies and ideas upon the revolutionary environment only because that ecosystem was given life by the critical and violent; and that once the ruling ideas and orthodoxies can be securely policed, the critical and violent are then purged from the revolution.

 

The critical and the violent – the most radical and dangerous element of the revolution – have been seen to move the power of acting so far beyond the obligation to obey that they become too dangerous even for the fringe.

 

What excites us the most in this future scenario is when thinking itself moves beyond the obedience and orthodoxy demanded by the ruling apparatuses. When the guerrillas – the critical and violent fighters – take over the revolution – when they set in motion the fabulation of a new people, when they, in other words, set in motion the machinery of the counter-revolutionary purge that will surely be their demise – they make knowable the stasis and cowardice demanded by all regimes, none more so than the narratives that have organized their very bodies. Each of their violent acts demonstrate that Ideals, The Truth, merit, good, and evil have more to do with obedience – and disobedience – than with divinity and the cogito; and that the State they are working to destroy still lurks in their every thought.

 

They demonstrate that the demand for calm discourse and rational analysis, while being the singular condition of engaging in bourgeois politics, is more importantly the symptom of thought being stripped of its agile, aggressive, and most dangerous capacities: the tortoise beating the hare! But in this light, the State has always served this purpose: the organization of instincts and thinking into institutional settings that allow the governing powers of Truth, habit, morality, and now opinion to flourish at the expense of the destructive vitality that promises the creation of life anew.[2] These powers, so skillfully erected in our minds, become the very bases of brain functioning: rationality can certainly be shown to be the tool of the democratic and “State-sponsored” morality du jour.

 

And thus, the true becoming-revolution that is ultimately manifested in the vortex of the francotirador is part and parcel of the critical and violent undercutting of our own State-sponsored minds and brains. While the State seeks above all to assure a minimum of chaos and variance – we are governed against them from within – the critical and violent young fighters demand just that. They demand a derelict moment, a void, an interval of chaos between thinking and acting. “Let the grievance-list makers have their social clubs,” they say, “in which new orthodoxies and Ideals can be pasted onto the tablets of the State that we fight to destroy. We instead, wish to fight and then be purged, in the name of the chaos that no State can abide.”

[1] Gilles Deleuze, Spinoza: Practical Philosophy, pg. 3

[2] Gregg Lambert, In Search of a New Image of Thought: Gilles Deleuze and Philosophical Expressionism, pgs. 187-191

1 Comment
  1. Mark,

    Would love your take on the current state of the Alt-Right. I see it as the beginning of…something…no idea what yet. But it does hold promise in that once a man goes down the rabbit hole of rejecting the most pivotal orthodoxies of society, there is no going back. The problem that I see, and that I experience firsthand as a youngish 31 year old professional, is a total compartmentalization of life: a radical set of ideals that play out in my head, but then going about my day to day as a productive member of the soul-crushing slave class of mid level corporate America.
    Since we aren’t at the point of literal rebellion (yet), all we can do is engage in the most profound acts of spiritual revolution in our own lives through cultivation of an iron Will that resists the categories of thought that we have been fed from birth.
    Glad to see you putting up new content. I return to your essays on Nietzsche often.

    Ryan

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