The language of power has become wildly reformist. Whereas previously it would show nothing but happiness everywhere in window displays and sold everywhere at the most attractive price, it now slams the ubiquitous failings of the system. Society’s owners have suddenly discovered that everything in it must be changed without delay: education as well as town planing, the way work is experienced as well as the horizons for technological development. In short, this world has lost the confidence of all its governments; they therefore propose to dissolve it and set up another one. They wish only to draw our attention to the fact that they are more qualified than revolutionaries to engineer a turnaround requiring so much experience and such considerable means, for possess them they do, and accustomed to them they certainly are. Ready then to dispense largesse come computers with their mission to program the qualitative, along with pollution managers whose self-entrusted paramount task is to lead the struggle against a pollution problem which is of their own making. But modern capitalism already presented itself earlier, in the face of the revolution’s past failures, as a reformism which had succeeded. It professed to have been the architect of the commodity’s particular freedom and happiness. It would one day finish the job liberating its wage slaves, if not from wage slavery itself, then at least from the copious remnants of those extreme hardships and inequalities that its formative period had bequeathed -or, more precisely, from whichever particular hardships capitalism itself judged it should recognise as such. Nowadays it promises to liberate them too from all the new perils and vexations which it is in the very act of producing on a vast scale, as the essential feature of the most modern commodity understood in its fullest sense; furthermore, the same fast-expanding production, so highly vaunted up to now as the ultimate corrective for everything, will have to turn itself around while remaining under the exclusive control of the same bosses. The collapse of the old world appears fully in the current ludicrous language of decomposed domination.
The Real Split in the SI, thesis 11
“Gentlemen”, he said,
I don’t need your organization,
I’ve shined your shoes,
I’ve moved your mountains
and marked your cards.
But your Eden is burning,
so get ready for elimination…”