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Communisation and Its Vicissitudes, London, March 18, 2012

Communisation and its Vicissitudes
London, March 18, 2012

Endnotes and Blaumachen are holding a discussion on communisation with
a presentation of the journal Sic (International Journal for
Communisation)
.

Next Sunday (18/3) 6pm at Colorama (52-56 Lancaster Street, London SE1).

We will also talk about:
- Communisation and politics
- Struggles in Greece

Please join us and distribute to all those you think will be interested.

Some information about Sic & Communisation

Sic aims to be the locus for an unfolding of the problematic of
communisation. It comes from the encounter of individuals involved in
various projects in different countries: among these are the journals
Endnotes, published in the UK and the US, Blaumachen in Greece,
Théorie Communiste in France, Riff-Raff in Sweden, and certain more or
less informal theoretical groups in the US (New York and San
Francisco). Each of these projects will continue to exist on their
own. Also participating are various individuals in France, Germany,
and elsewhere, who are involved in other activities and who locate
themselves broadly within the theoretical approach taken here.

Communisation
In the course of the revolutionary struggle, the abolition of the
division of labour, of the State, of exchange, of any kind of
property; the extension of a situation in which everything is freely
available as the unification of human activity, that is to say the
abolition of classes, of both public and private spheres – these are
all ‘measures’ for the abolition of capital, imposed by the very needs
of the struggle against the capitalist class. The revolution is
communisation; communism is not its project or result.

One does not abolish capital for communism but by communism, or more
specifically, by its production. Indeed communist measures must be
differentiated from communism; they are not embryos of communism,
rather they are its production. Communisation is not a period of
transition, but rather, revolution itself is the communist production
of communism. The struggle against capital is what differentiates
communist measures and communism. The content of revolutionary
activity is always the mediation of the abolition of capital by the
proletariat in its relation to capital. This activity does not
constitute an alternative in competition with the reproduction of the
capitalist mode of production, but rather the latter’s internal
contradiction and its overcoming.

In the late 1960s and early 1970s, a whole historical period entered
into crisis and came to an end – the period in which the revolution
was conceived in different ways, both theoretically and practically,
as the affirmation of the proletariat, its elevation to the position
of ruling class, the liberation of labour, and the institution of a
period of transition. The concept of communisation appeared in the
midst of this crisis.

During the crisis, the critique of all the mediations of the existence
of the proletariat within the capitalist mode of production (mass
parties, unions, parliamentarism), of organisational forms such as the
party-form or the vanguard, of ideologies such as leninism, of
practices such as militantism in all its variations – all this
appeared irrelevant if revolution was no longer to be an affirmation
of the class, whether it be workers’ autonomy or the generalisation of
workers’ councils. It is the proletariat’s struggle as a class that
has become the problem, i.e. has become its own limit. This is how the
class struggle signals and produces the revolution as communisation in
the form of its overcoming.

In the contradictory course of the capitalist mode of production since
the 1970s the affirmation of the proletariat and the liberation of
labour have lost all meaning and content. There is no longer a
worker’s identity facing capital and confirmed by it. The
revolutionary dynamic of contemporary struggles consists in the active
denial – against capital – of the proletarian condition, even within
ephemeral, limited bursts of self-management or self-organisation. The
proletariat’s struggle against capital contains its contradiction with
its own nature as a class of capital.

The abolition of capital, i.e. the revolution and the production of
communism, is immediately the abolition of all classes and therefore
of the proletariat. This occurs through the communisation of society,
which is abolished as a community separated from its elements.
Proletarians abolish capital by the production of a community
immediate to its elements. In this way they transform their relations
into immediate relations between individuals – between singular
individuals that are no longer the embodiment of a social category,
including the supposedly natural categories of the social sexes of
woman and man. Revolutionary practice is the coincidence of the
changing of circumstances and of human activity, i.e. self-
transformation.

A problematic

This minimal approach of communisation constitutes neither a
definition, nor a platform, but exposes a problematic.

The problematic of a theory, here the theory of revolution as
communisation, does not limit itself to a list of themes or objects
conceived by theory; neither is it the synthesis of all the elements
which are thought. It is the content of theory, its way of thinking,
with regards to all possible productions of this theory:

• the analysis of the current crisis and of the class struggles
intrinsic to it;
• the historicity of revolution and communism;
• the periodisation of the capitalist mode of production and the
question of the restructuring of the mode of production after the
crisis at the end of the 1960s and the beginning of the 1970s;
• the analysis of the gender relation within the problematic of the
present class struggle and communisation;
• the definition of communism as goal but also as movement abolishing
the present state of things;
• a theory of the abolition of capital as a theory of the production
of communism;
• the reworking of the theory of the value-form (to the extent that
the revolution is not the affirmation of the proletariat and the
liberation of labour).
By definition no list of subjects coming under a problematic can be
exhaustive.