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04 July, 2016

Futurism and the State - Cutting the Throat of We All (deals with the devil of history)

Something doesn't sit right with us concerning the Futurist Manifesto. Its the same that others have found troubling, the 9th, which we will now quote:

9 .We will glorify war—the world’s only hygiene—militarism, patriotism, the destructive gesture of freedom-bringers, beautiful ideas worth dying for, and scorn for woman.

Yet the reason that it doesn't sit well with us, isn't for the same reasons that it doesn't sit well for others. Well if it is a shared reason, its something we feel is worth repeating. Yes, we see this glorification of war as problematic but not entirely, yet it is this issue we find undermining their very purpose. This glorification of war as the worlds singular hygiene becomes problematic in its manifestation. It becomes problematic for the same reason that Futurism was at odds with some of Italian Fascism. Why? Because of the reality of who controls the violence. This call for militarism and patriotism undermines the destructive gesture of freedom-bringers and beautiful ideas worth dying for, because it is bound and tethered it to the past, to the very history they seek to break from becoming modern. As they embrace the machine, fusing man and his mechanical creations, man's electric heart beating to a love of what? Not women but country!? No beautiful ideas worth dying for. Not relics of the past and dusty kept men (and women we would add, we would even say sexual biology has nothing to do per-say with being a Man in this figuration, all can be Men). Ah, and this brings us to The State. For unless all truly falls into the chaos of anarchy or a communist withering of the state, then there will not be these freedom-brings and beautiful ideas worth dying for. Because love of country, patriotism are a matter of nations and state (not merely the people, who comprise the nation), of birth-right, of language (heritage of a mother tongue) it a matter of the past, it preserves the museum and libraries. It smooths the striated discrete and abrupt moments, events, in history. It creates a mythical story and a straight narrative from past to present, really imagined as being. And this line is the line the military man must toe, not for his individualism but as a pack animal, bounded together for the state, the very twigs to be scarified as kindling for other men's desire. Death, not life is served. The Futurists call for living men.

They seek to bring back the danger, the vitality, they see in a romantification of war. Yet things aren't like that. As long as the State exists, as long as the Nation continues as a State, their gesture was doom to be in its service. The notion that national-war leads to great health is a perversion of Nietzsche great-health, for he understood that the nation is enmeshed with its history and its past, these libraries of relics that no long speak of life, but smell of death and decay. We get that the idea was to prune the dead leaves, to cull the heard and make it fit again, we admire the vitality of life sought. But the war they might imagine, a war that is more than simple a military battle, its a spirit of which to approach life, doomed by their very opportunism and use of realpolitik. They seem to miss or in the zeal occult the reality that past is not dead, but can live and lives like a distant friend. Just like Nietzsche writing to future friends. By their aligning with the state, with fascism, they cut a deal and their own throats. They cut short the freedom-bringers, the beautiful ideas worth dying for, for the glory of the One. This vision of the One, mythic would subsume and ruin the vital. And so, let us never make that mistake again. For the holder of legitimized violence is the state, but truly what is legitimization, but mutual recognition among 'brothers', friends, equals even (that band of brothers that says We*). This mutual recognition is how regimes of power are created, and sustained, and yet, there is also the self-authorization. That is, one or a group as one self-authorizes and does because they can. Legitimate or not, they do. That very power of violence can also be used against the very State that would attempt to monopolize this violence, forcing one recognize it, consent to its power, as if you ever had a choice. Power  gives choices, because power set the conditions for the very choices you are allowed. So, we must learn the lessons and not make the same mistakes and same deals that trade away our beautiful ideas. We must not sell selves and our souls, our very creations and creativity. For cashing in can also be cashing out. And the true inspired beauty of what could of been, turns into a commercialized version thereof, devoid of potency, little resplendence and resemblance, trite and empty, filler without nourishment it should have become.  

*on this we Futurism could pair will with our contemporary understanding of communism as explicated by Alain Badiou, see Logic of Worlds, and Metapholitics for more information.