Trash Community #4

I. On Suffering

I’ve spent some weeks writing and re-writing what I intended as a kind of declaration for my vision of the Trash Community project. I’ve written a lot, most of which I’ve thrown in the figurative bin. What has been difficult about writing this kind of thing is that we are stuck here in a catch-22. The difficulty of figuring out what a Trash Community might look like lies in the fact that it is the Trash Community itself which was supposed to provide the direction for answering this question.

The Speculative Non-Buddhism project has been, in part, an attempt to slap the complacent smirk of idealism off the face of Western Buddhism. I would like the Trash Community to address the next step in this process: once we’ve become disillusioned enough to wipe the shit-eating grin of transcendence off our faces, how do we proceed? How do we stay committed to materialism; that is to say, to human existence, rather than the non-human existence always so cherished, but never attained, by capitalist spiritualism?

I propose that the Trash Community should be an exploration of the following fundamental question: How can we become less indifferent and oblivious to the suffering that exists all around us?

This is, of course, a question on which Buddhism has had a lot to say. But Buddhism has been mostly in the business of obscuring this question by transcendentalizing it—and it is here that I part ways with Buddhism, while retaining the right to make use of its conceptual arsenal.

Again, this simple question: How can we become less indifferent and oblivious to the suffering that exists all around us? It is so easy, so tempting, to take this question as the point of departure into idealism. And so, to be perfectly clear, I am speaking here of material suffering, which is the only kind of suffering there is. Therefore, I have no interest in wasting time discussing idealist answers to this question. The distinction between “spiritual” and “material” is hereby abolished. We are, first and foremost, creatures living in the Real. We are material creatures. What we call “spiritual,” what we so wish to delusionally think of as over and above the socio-material reality of human existence, is in fact what is most deeply human, which is to say the most deeply social and, hence, the most deeply material.

The attitude toward suffering employed by Western Buddhism is to assert that suffering is an illusion that must be “seen through” via meditative introspection. In the Trash Community, we will reject this absurd notion and assert the opposite: suffering is real; it is material, ideological, social; and it must be acted upon materially, ideologically, socially.

II. On Desire

What are the operational desires that motivate a practice community? The prevailing desire motivating Western Buddhist sanghas is the desire to become a non-human:

X-buddhist typology cynically belies fear of the human of flesh and blood, and thus fashions in its place fantastic constructions of enlightened mutants.

What if we abandoned the project of becoming enlightened mutants? Is such a thing possible?

Maybe, maybe not. The desire to surpass our humanity is not merely an x-buddhist problem; this desire is the raison d’etre of human activity itself. Humans have, from the start of our history as humans, been engaged in the struggle against nature and against ourselves. Historical and technological development has been the attempt to overcome humanity and its limitations. Western Buddhism, in its marriage with capitalist individualism, has taken this activity, which has always been (and must always be) a collective activity, and made it appear as an individual one. Thus, x-buddhist “community” has taken on the function of not much more than supporting the individual’s quest for enlightened mutation, for overcoming a humanity which, quite frankly, is not hers to overcome.

We must, first and foremost, make this desire to overcome humanity—which is to say socio-material humanity, the only kind of humanity there is—explicit, wherever it may arise. We must resist the promise of non-humanity, of enlightened mutation, recognizing that overcoming the limitations of humanity has always been, and will always be, a socio-material project carried out collectively.

III. On Masters

There does not yet exist a liberated society, and therefore, there does not yet exist a single liberated human being.

The desire to become a non-human leads, naturally, to the search for an existing non-human who possesses the infinite wisdom and compassion to lead us to non-humanity.

Glenn Wallis observes in Trash Theory #1:

In x-buddhism, the teacher [the One-Supposed-To-Know] is the commanding figure who occupies the center of the practice community.

Is it possible to “once and for all negate this figure from our quest, from our image of thought, from our practice”?

Once we have made explicit the desire for non-humanity, and the sacrificial tendency that is born of this desire, we can declare a vigilance toward making this tendency explicit, in the act of crucifying the very idea of the One-Supposed-To-Know.

One of the difficulties in our Buddhist-Marxist retreat was the absence of leadership. Leadership is tricky. It is true that people have expertise, that some are more well-read or experienced in a given area. However, we are all equally human, which is to say we are all equally fucked when it comes to being a part of the collective suffering that is socio-material human reality. Therefore, there is no master who possesses the way out, be it through spiritual giftedness or some sort of extraordinary meditative talent.

A Trash Community, contra the prevailing image of Western Buddhism, shall operate on the presumption that there are no Masters.

What does this mean in practice? No one of us can say. The objective of Trash Community is to discover the answer to this question, not in the form of a transcendent knowledge which its members will have thus possessed and marked with a price to sell qua Masters, but within practice itself, practiced by humans who have resolved to abandon the fantasy of becoming non-humans.

IV. On Hierarchy & Institution

Hierarchies are celestial. In hell all are equal.

Nicolás Gómez Dávila

There is only one social class in a Trash Community: those of us who recognize that we are in hell. None of us have the answer—least of all those of us who, like myself, have spent years chasing the devilish dragon that is the idealist promise of Western Buddhism, to dizzying disappointment. As such, we want to hear what everyone has to say, as long as we have agreed that we are in hell, and that there is no enlightened Master, no special class of spiritualists, who can save us and lead us to the Promised Land.

Moreover, The Trash Community shall be anti-institutional. What is the function of an institution? It is to take a social fact which is all but self-evident and establish it within some bureaucratic system, the function of which is to ensure that it is not questioned, to manufacture it as self-evident (the “rights of man,” bourgeois “freedom,” and so on).

The Trash Community is anti-institutional, because the principle of materiality, that our suffering is socially and materially constituted, is actually self-evident. This is a truth that does not need to be institutionalized—only remembered. That’s not to say that it is hard to forget. In fact, that is the question that should be returned to again and again: How do we stop forgetting?

V. On Practice

The big question that pumps through the veins of Trash Community is that of practice. I want to define the practice of Trash Community as an engagement with the question I raised in (I): How can we become less indifferent and oblivious to the suffering that exists all around us? I also want this practice to follow from an acknowledgement that what we all mean by “suffering” is material, social, historical. There is no atman that suffers, and as such there is no atman upon which to operate via meditation. There are only social, material, historical relations—these are precisely what must be operated on. Can we begin from this presumption?

The practice, then, is taking general—what the x-buddhist wants to call “existential”—suffering, and materialising, socializing, historicizing it. Instead of the idealization of suffering, which has been the practice of most of Western Buddhism, the practice for the Trash Community is making the material, social, and historical reality of our suffering explicit, and not obscuring it with idealist theories of suffering, be they x-buddhistic, existentialist, or so on.

What, precisely, does this practice look like, particularly in relation to the usage of Buddhist thought? In the context of making use of Buddhist thought material as practice, I have here in mind the Marxian conception of practice, particularly Louis Althusser’s notion of practice, by which he means “any process of transformation of a determinate given raw material into a determinate product, a transformation affected by a determinate human labor, using determinate means of production.” We must examine here each element in this definition. The “determinate raw material” is, of course, Buddhist thought material. The “transformation” is Buddhist thought material fashioned in a determinate way into a “determinate product,” a product which may take on a variety of forms.

The emphasis on form is of some importance; it forces us to consider what is meant by the “determinate means of production.” The means of production available in any given society allow for particular forms of cultural material to be produced. Walter Benjamin, in emphasizing the question of the position of literature within the means of production of a particular stage in the historical development of society, breaks with what had been, in some instances of Marxist literary criticism, an exclusionary emphasis on the role of content over that of form. Terry Eagleton, in Marxism and Literary Criticism, explains that

What Benjamin means by this is that art, like any other form of production, depends upon certain techniques of production–certain modes of painting, publishing, theatrical presentation and so on. These techniques are part of the productive forces of art, the stage of development of artistic production; and they involve a set of social relations between the artistic producer and his audience (57).

Benjamin is, of course, referring to the production of art, but in our age, I would argue, his insights can be applied to all forms of cultural production, including the production of Buddhist material which I am referring to as practice. Let us consider this statement with respect to the practice of the production of Western Buddhist material. The most common form in which Western Buddhist material has been produced—the book—is one entirely dictated in our society by the logic of capital that grinds the gears of the publishing industrial complex, whereas newer forms have emerged—in the case of Western Buddhism in particular, blogs, podcasts, and so on—that, though constrained in the last instance by the dictates of the logic of commodity production and consumption, nonetheless constitute forms which may to a certain extent be alienated from it.

Thus, what I have in mind when it comes to practice, as defined above, is in part an expansion of the forms in which Buddhist material is produced. The literary or artistic producer, Benjamin argues, does not exist in a social vacuum, fashioning her product out of the mist of of her own imagination. Rather, she starts not only with the raw cultural material necessary for the transformation of that material into a product which has not existed before her labor, but also with a particular means of production which she relies upon for her labor to be possible, these means of production being determined by the particular stage of the development of a society and preceding her very existence as either artist or human being. Furthermore, these means of production, and in turn the possible forms in which cultural material is produced, also produce certain social relationships between creator and consumer, artist and audience, and so on.

Revolutionary art therefore consists not only in producing cultural material with a particular content or “message,” but also in changing the very forms and forces of production within which such content is fashioned:

For Benjamin, the revolutionary artist should not uncritically accept the existing forces of artistic production, but should develop and revolutionize those forces. In doing so he creates new social relations between artist and audience; he overcomes the contradiction which limits artistic forces potentially available to everyone to the private property of a few, cinema, radio, photography, musical recording: the revolutionary artist’s task is to develop these new media, as well as to transform the older modes of artistic production (57).

For us, then, revolutionary Buddhist practice—by which I mean practice aimed at the reduction of suffering by transforming existing reality into something other—must consist in the first place of the transformation of Buddhist thought material into a “determinate product” which is radical both in content and form. It must be capable in this process of producing, moreover, new kinds of social relationships which differ from those produced by the dominant forms of Western Buddhist thought material currently on display in the spiritual marketplace.

The function of the Trash Community is thus to facilitate this kind of practice:

“the transformation of a determinate given raw material [Buddhist thought material] into a determinate product [a product that enables us to become less oblivious and indifferent to the suffering all around us], a transformation affected by a determinate human labor [philosophical (or non-philosophical) and dialectical thinking, writing, speaking, painting, acting… whatever] using determinate means of production [the tools necessary to create content within such or other forms].”

VI. On Format

Finally, given the above, let us set out what the format of our meetings might be. I want to keep this open to a variety of views, while at the same time setting certain non-negotiable limitations, such as what I’ve said so far.

In keeping with (III) and (IV), anyone can lead a group discussion on any topic, provided it addresses the fundamental question posed above and adheres to a strictly materialist conception of suffering, or at the very least is, in principle, committed and sympathetic to such a conception. The kind of practice briefly outlined above is difficult. Because of the material conditions of our societies, it is extremely difficult to imagine that our suffering might be anything other than a personal, atomistic phenomenon that can be understood and changed individually through some sort of “spiritual” practice. It would be absurd to expect us all to always be aware of this, and this is precisely why we need a practice that addresses this problem.

In the past, we’ve had people suggest texts, and facilitate discussions based on these texts. I would like this format to continue, with the following addition: it must be made clear how the text relates to the question that I proposed to be the object of the Trash Community project, and this relation can be one of obscuring it or making it clearer (either is welcome, as long as the nature of the relationship is made explicit). I also want to emphasize the practical aspect of the project, so that the result of these gatherings is the production of new Buddhist thought material.

It may be useful, as well, to dedicate a portion (a half hour, one hour?) of the gatherings to a “meta”-discussion on the project itself, its format, so as to resist institutionalizing what I say here, and keep open the possibility of some creative mutation.

Conclusion

I would like to call for a Trash Community gathering to discuss these six articles, so that it can be clarified, critiqued, revised, expanded, and agreed upon. Is there any interest out there in the kind of project I outline here?

Please join us on Sunday, September 29, 3:00-5:00pm EST for the next Trash Community gathering. Tune in using the following Zoom link: https://psu.zoom.us/j/353731061

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15 thoughts on “Trash Community #4

  1. Good stuff, Chaim. It reflects some of my views, but even those I would probably state in different language. For instance, I’m not enamored of the repeated use of the word ‘suffering’ as the raison d’être of the group. I am willing to accept this provisionally as “Chaim’s Declaration of Trash Community as it pertains to Chaim.” It does not necessarily reflect my views of the Trash Community or those of the Trash Community as a whole, although I also do not speak for ‘the whole’. Which for me is the problem here: does Chaim speak for the whole of the Trash Community or does he speak only for himself and his role in it? Can any one of us construct a ‘declaration’ of the whole? Who can legitimately speak for the Trash Community?

    Another approach is for the rest of us to offer edits and addendum to reflect differences of points of view, but that means those differing points of view are constrained first and foremost by Chaim’s original declaration. I’m not willing to take that position as ‘next in line.’ An example of this is “In keeping with (III) and (IV), anyone can lead a group discussion on any topic, provided it addresses the fundamental question posed above and adheres to a *strictly materialist conception of suffering*, or at the very least is, in principle, committed and sympathetic to such a conception.” Now, I’m a materialist but I don’t agree with this principle or rule of participation. (1) This is too restrictive and authoritarian i.e rule-bound; (2) people have different understandings of what is ‘materialist’. I consider ideology to be a major cause of materialist suffering, but Chaim (following T. Pepper) insists that ‘the right kind of buddho-marxist ideology’ is ipso facto buddho-marxist liberation.

    Along those lines, I am not willing to bracket off “Karl Marx” and the “Marxists” as beyond interrogation and critique, thereby becoming “the teacher [the One-Supposed-To-Know]…the commanding figure who occupies the center of the practice community.” Karl Marx and his various Marxist offspring have become just that for generations of ‘faithful’ Marxists; the Communist Manifesto (and other Marxist tomes e.g. ‘Das Kapital’) is for them the unquestionable and infallible ‘bible’ of Marxism. For example: “In the context of making use of Buddhist thought material as practice, I have here in mind the *Marxian* conception of practice, particularly *Louis Althusser’s* notion of practice, by which he means “any process of transformation of a determinate given raw material into a determinate product, a transformation affected by a determinate human labor, using determinate means of production.” Why isn’t Marx himself the suspect and target of investigation as [the One-Supposed-To-Know] (likewise Althusser)? Why is the ‘notion of practice’ limited to “transformation of a determinate given raw material into a determinate product…?” I find this completely antithetical to my notion of ‘practice’. It’s not the language I would use or the way I experience it. I could elaborate further but this is getting long enough already and I think the issue of practice by itself needs a full discussion, not just a short comment.

    I could go on, but you know…to reiterate I accept this provisionally as “Chaim’s Declaration of the Trash Community as it pertains to Chaim” but not to me, my views of the problem of x-Buddhism, my role in the community, and so forth.

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  2. I missed this part:
    Conclusion
    I would like to call for a Trash Community gathering to discuss these six articles, so that it can be clarified, critiqued, revised, expanded, and agreed upon. Is there any interest out there in the kind of project I outline here?

    No, I have no interest in doing anything to “clarify, critique, revise, expand” or agree upon anything. It’s fine the way it is as it reflects YOUR views of the group. As for whether it reflects MY views of the group, I reject it in total.

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  3. Shaun:

    Yes, you are free to write a “declaration” such as this one. What I’ve written here is precisely “Chaim’s declaration as it pertains to Chaim.” I am expressing here that my interest lies in tackling the material basis of suffering, and becoming less deluded about it. If your interest lies elsewhere, that is fine with me, but this is what I am interested in, and I am seeking a community which is equally committed to such a project. If you are not interested in this project, then I am not oppressing anyone into joining. If you are afraid of me somehow tainting the Trash Community with Marxism, that’s fine, but then we are committed to different things, and if it is simply the name “Trash Community” which you are attached to, then take the title and start something else.

    I am really unable to grasp why you are so terrified of Marxism and of ideology. As long as you see all ideology as oppressive and authoritarian, we cannot engage in ideology together, which is what I am interested in. The fact is that we cannot escape ideology. It is a question of choosing which kinds of ideologies we want to engage in, not of escaping it. The ideology I would like to engage in is a practice that helps us to clarify the material basis of suffering. If that’s not an ideology you want to participate in, because you think that this is somehow oppressive, then I’m not sure what to say. A community needs to have some shared understanding, and most importantly a common ideology. Otherwise it will not go anywhere. Perhaps you can clarify precisely which ideology you do wish to engage in, so that we needn’t talk past each other.

    Furthermore, I am not particularly attached to this notion of practice that I quote here either. I am fully open to and interested in hearing what you mean by practice. There is no ‘line’ here in which you have to stand, with myself in the front on some kind of throne, dictating all. This is your own projection, and not at all what I have in mind. It is of course the case that I can only but speak for myself, and make explicit the kind of ideology that I wish to engage in. How you see this as authoritarian is beyond me.

    Again, it is precisely a matter of clarifying what it is that each of us are interested in when it comes to this project. If it turns out that we are all interested in different kinds of ideologies, or that some of us wish to escape ideology altogether and reproduce an irrational fear of Marxism, then this needs to be made explicit so that neither of us wastes our time. This is what I am trying to do here.

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  4. 1. “and if it is simply the name “Trash Community” which you are attached to, then take the title and start something else.” No, I never liked the name Trash Community. It wasn’t my idea, it was Glenn’s; but I don’t think titles and names are worth quibbling over so I just let it go. So—Keep it.

    2. “I am really unable to grasp why you are so terrified of Marxism and of ideology.” I’m not terrified of Marxism, or even afraid of it. I’m a Sociologist, and I use Marxist analysis all the time. It’s one of the three foundational theories of Sociology and has long history within many theoretical traditions of Sociology. What I’m against is Marxist authoritarianism, Marxist ideology that is imposed as a constraint on what can be thought and what can be said and how it can be discussed. Worse are explicit rules about what can be said, what can be practiced, how it constitutes the group, its operation and mission. What you’re proposing is not just an ‘idea’ or ideology; what you’re proposing is a form of Governance, which is Marxist Fascism.

    3. Even worse than that is the imposition of Buddho-Marxist authoritarianism, which combines Buddhist authoritarianism with Marxist authoritarianism. I escaped authoritarian Buddho-fascism on the Right, and I’m not going to get caught up with Buddho-Marxist fascism on the Left. I’m an Anarchist Muthafuka and I won’t tolerate this kind of ideological authoritarianism. I won’t tolerate that kind of rigid, ideological rule-making about what I can say or can’t say or how I can say it.

    4. “As long as you see all ideology as oppressive and authoritarian, we cannot engage in ideology together, which is what I am interested in.” “Together”? Really? You’ve made it very clear from all your blog posts and your comments exactly what kind of ideology you espouse, to which you are obviously deeply committed, and you are not going to budge on your core beliefs (aka ‘ideologies’) when confronted with an alternative. So I will be forced either to adjust my ideological commitment to yours or face a stand-off, because I’m not going back up from my anarchist position. I’ve walked away from authoritarian communities before and I’ll gladly walk away from this one and never look back.

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  5. Insisting that we should engage in reality is not “authoritarianism.” What an absurd position to hold. It is perfectly fine if someone doesn’t want to engage in reality. I have no interest in forcing people to do so. I, personally, happen to really want to engage in reality, and so I am placing constraints on the kind of interactions I wish to have.

    The kind of attitude you are promoting here keeps arising in history, whenever it is necessary to suppress scientific truths. On the one hand, reality is “oppressive” and “authoritarian,” and so any insistence that we face reality is fascist and totalitarian. On the other hand, those who wish to engage in reality are required to cater to every reactionary desire to avoid talking about the truth.

    If your free anarchist world consists of people’s right to engage in idealist delusion, that is fine with me. I’m just not interested. If anarchism to you means that discourse should not be constrained by reality, I am exercising my right to tell you that this is a childish position, and I have no interest in considering it. It is not authoritarian to insist that people grow up and accept that there are truths about the world, truths that we can know through scientific investigation.

    If you think that gravity is oppressive, or that scientists are authoritarian for insisting that things don’t fall to the ground because of magic, but that there are real material explanations for the phenomena we see in the world—if this is your position, then you would be considered an imbecile. A physics professor is not “oppressive” for insisting that her students understand the scientific basis of gravity, and discouraging metaphysical explanations. And yet, when it comes to social reality, any insistence that society can and should be understood as it is, in its material basis, in a scientific rather than an ideological manner, suddenly this is oppressive?

    What I am interested in, again, is a community where we can discuss the material basis of human suffering. And to do so requires a Marxist analysis of capitalism, because the Marxist analysis of capitalism is a scientific one, whereas idealist theories of suffering are ideological, and serve only in reproducing class relations. If you think it is oppressive to prefer science over pseudoscience, then our intentions on how to act in the world are simply incompatible. Anyone is free to engage in whatever reactionary ideology you want. I’m just not interested.

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  6. Again, “I’m a Sociologist, and I use Marxist analysis all the time. It’s one of the three foundational theories of Sociology and has long history within many theoretical traditions of Sociology. What I’m against is Marxist authoritarianism, Marxist ideology that is imposed as a constraint on what can be thought and what can be said and how it can be discussed.”

    Yes, Marxist analysis yields a certain useful ‘cut’ on reality, but it’s not the only useful analysis. There’s also philosophical analysis, such as Laruelle’s ‘non-philosophy’ which Glenn applied with incredible skill to deconstruct and rip out the guts of x-Buddhism. Laruelle’s non-philosophy is not based in the main on Marxism, but it’s quite useful. I don’t see you calling Glenn’s work ‘childish’, because it’s not Marxist. Obviously it has a lot of value as a system of critique.

    More on Laruelle and Marxism: Introduction to Non-Marxism: “For those hoping that Laruelle’s non-Marxism will offer illuminating readings of texts by Marx himself or somehow re-invigorate either Marxist theory or the effectivity of its practice and its power to transform the world, some considerable disappointment may lie in wait. Laruelle begins from the perspective of Marxism’s failure, a failure which is at once its historical failure as a political project and its philosophical failure to embrace or pursue some of its most radical insights to their full extent. The historical failure of Marxism is taken as a given by Laruelle and not discussed in any detail from a strictly historical perspective. Most important in relation to Marxism’s philosophical failure is its conception of materialism on the one hand and, on the other, its inability to embrace the full radicality of the relation between the infrastructure and superstructure according to the determination in the last instance of the latter by the former. For Laruelle, there remains in Marxism ‘a constitutive remainder of philosophical sufficiency’ (32) which must be suspended if the radicality of its insight is to be fully realized and if its desire to break with philosophy as interpretation and representation is to be fulfilled.”
    https://ndpr.nd.edu/news/introduction-to-non-marxism/

    The upshot of this passage is that Marxism, applied in a totalistic fashion, suffers from the same kind of ‘sufficiency’ delusions as Buddhism. It claims to be an explanation of everything, and a sufficient and totalizing argument for itself. This is what Glenn derived from applying Laruelle’s non-philosophy to Buddhism, producing Non-Buddhism.

    To be brief, Laruelle claimed that Marxism was a failure. I guess you never read that part.

    I’m tired of being told what to think and what not to think. I’m tired of being told what I can say and how I should say it. That’s why I left Buddhism and that’s why I’m not getting involved with your particular version of Buddho-Marxist Sufficiency.

    BTW, I agree with you that Buddhism tries to ‘transcendentalize’ suffering: there is no transcendence. Transcendence is a delusion. We don’t transcend anything. So we agree on that much.

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    1. Chaim, Shaun is making a lot of sense. Anyone claiming to have “the truth” is very likely to do more harm than good. For the sake of the material suffering of others it would be good if you understood Shaun.

      Shaun, is post-anarchism something that interests you?

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      1. Mark:

        Yes, Roemer, in claiming to have measured the speed of light and thus to have “the truth” that light travels at a finite speed, was surely being authoritarian and oppressive, and we all should have been a little bit suspicious of him. Do you not realize how stupid this argument is?

        It is such a basic mistake to confuse the Marx’s scientific analysis of capitalism and ostensibly Marxist ideology such as the Soviet Union, and this is probably where this terror at Marxist “authoritarianism” arises, when any insistence that we prefer the truth over delusion is made. It really is such a rudimentary distinction, and I am just tired of having to make it over and over to people who are unable to distinguish between ideology and science. I’m done arguing against the postmodern idiocy that there is no such thing as truth, that we cannot possibly study human social formations scientifically, and that any attempt to do so is authoritarian and oppressive.

        For those who want to start with the premise of reality, and move on from there, you are welcome join. If you want to continue swimming around in postmodern or Foucaultian delusion, please do so elsewhere.

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      2. Chaim, I can’t reply to your comment below so I’ll reply here. You are misunderstanding Shaun, and now me. There is no claim about there being no truth within a specific paradigm. If you had the slightest idea about the state of contemporary physics you would be aware of how ridiculous your hopes of having an ideology grounded in science are.

        Do you realize how stupid you appear when you write something stupid and attribute it to someone who has not made that claim? Nobody, except those who are delusional, are going to engage in a “practise” with someone behaving as you are behaving.

        You are playing a game of god->buddha->marx and it is a shame to see the potential of non-buddhism being undone by your desire to have a simple answer to complex questions.

        Even the CIA has enough sense to leverage Foucault. You are taking a pee shooter into a gun fight if you think your desperate moves to save modernity with grounded theory are going to make the slightest difference. Read Laruelle on Marx, as Shaun suggests.

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      3. @Mark Yes I’m interested in post-anarchism, but I’ve been more involved with theory and application. of Autonomism, which is a more recent outgrowth of both Marxism and anarchism–briefly, a form of Marxist Anarchism. This debate between Chaim and myself reflects almost a hundred years of ongoing debate between marxists and anarchists. It’s not going to end any time soon.

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      4. @Shaun Autonomism is a new one for me, interesting too. It reminds me of some recent efforts to put in place participative democracy at the local level of government (no party alignment, user driven design). Your name on this blog links to engagedbuddhism.net which is offline. I did find some articles you’ve published, but are you blogging somewhere?

        I wonder what the dynamics are like within autonomism projects, I suspect there is still a lot of tribal and ego driven behavior, because the “subjects” are joining with their cultural baggage. Perhaps the hope is to develop a sense of communalism stronger than individualism?

        The SNB project is interesting in part because it might lead to practises for reconstructing the subject. That might allow for alternative views to traditional western essentialism. Post-anarchism has some of that flavor too. I guess Autonomism (like Marxism and Anarchism) is run through with humanism, which is potentially problematic given some of the global challenges. Non-Philosophy is useful in imagining decision points that run through the history of western philosophy, I think those insights need to be integrated into a SNB related practise.

        I don’t see the binary thinking that Chaim is performing as participating in a debate with you. You both seem to be talking past each other. It is a challenging exercise to see if words can crack that nut. To me it seems that you understand Chaim, but Chaim does not understand you. I can also sympathise with Chaim as I feel like I’ve been where he is and it was a frustrating period. The practise that seems to kick one into another paradigm is some large failure, it is like watching a train crash in slow motion.

        Perhaps you would present more about autonomisme with SNB at a Trash Community meeting, that might provide me enough motivation to actually attend one.

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