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..MaoZedong:theMarxistLordofMisrule .......... ...........

SlavojZizek

OneofthemostdevioustrapswhichlurkforMarxisttheoristsisthe searchforthemomentoftheFall,whenthingstookthewrongturn inthehistoryofMarxism:wasitalreadythelateEngelswithhis morepositivistevolutionaryunderstandingofhistorical materialism?WasittherevisionismANDtheorthodoxyofthe SecondInternational?WasitLenin?[1]OrwasitMarxhimselfinhis latework,afterheabandonedhisyouthfulhumanism(assome "humanistMarxists"claimeddecadesago)?Thisentiretopichasto berejected:thereisnooppositionhere,theFallistobeinscribedinto theveryorigins.(Toputitevenmorepointedly,suchasearchforthe intruderwhoinfectedtheoriginalmodelandsetinmotionmits degenerationcannotbutreproducethelogicofantiSemitism.)What thismeansisthat,evenifor,rather,especiallyifonesubmitsthe Marxistpasttoaruthlesscritique,onehasfirsttoacknowledgeitas "one'sown",takingfullresponsibilityforit,nottocomfortablyget ridofthe"bad"turnofthethingsbywayofattributingittoaforeign intruder(the"bad"EngelswhowastoostupidtounderstandMarx's dialectics,the"bad"Leninwhodidn'tgetthecoreofMarx'stheory, the"bad"Stalinwhospoilsthenobleplansofthe"good"Lenin,etc.). Thefirstthingtodoisthentofullyendorsethedisplacementinthe historyofMarxismconcentratedintwogreatpassages(or,rather, violentcuts):thepassagefromMarxtoLenin,aswellasthepassage fromLenintoMao.Ineachcasethereisadisplacementofthe originalconstellation:fromthemostforwardcountry(asexpectedby Marx)toarelativelybackwardcountrytherevolution"tookplacein awrongcountry";fromworkersto(poor)peasantsasthemain revolutionaryagent,etc.InthesamewayasChristneededPaul's "betrayal"inorderforChristianitytoemergeasauniversalChurch (recallthat,amongthe12apostles,PauloccupiestheplaceofJudas

thetraitor,replacinghim!),MarxneededLenin's"betrayal"inorder toenactthefirstMarxistrevolution:itisaninnernecessityofthe "original"teachingtosubmittoandsurvivethis"betrayal,"tosurvive thisviolentactofbeingtornoutofone'soriginalcontextandthrown intoaforeignlandscapewhereithastoreinventitselfonlyinthis way,universalityisborn. So,aproposthesecondviolenttransposition,thatofMao,itistoo shorteithertocondemnhisreinventionofMarxismastheoretically "inadequate,"asaregressionwithregardtoMarx'sstandards(itis easytoshowthatpeasantslackthesubstancelessproletarian subjectivity),butitisnolesstooshorttoblurtheviolenceofthecut andtoacceptMao'sreinventionasalogicalcontinuationor "application"ofMarxism(relying,asisusuallythecase,onthe simplemetaphoricexpansionofclassstruggle:"today'spredominant classstruggleisnolongerbetweencapitalistsandproletariatineach country,itshiftedtotheThirdversustheFirstWorld,bourgeois versusproletariannations").TheachievementofMaoishere tremendous:hisnamestandsforthepoliticalmobilizationofthe hundredsofmillionsofanonymousThirdWorldpopulationwhose choresprovidetheinvisible"substance,"background,ofhistorical developmentthemobilizationofallthosewhichevensuchapoetof "otherness"asLevinasdismissedas"yellowperil"see,fromwhatis arguablyhisweirdesttext,"TheRussoChineseDebateandthe Dialectic"(1960),acommentontheSovietChineseconflict: Theyellowperil!Itisnotracial,itisspiritual.Itdoesnotinvolve inferiorvalues;itinvolvesaradicalstrangeness,astrangertothe weightofitspast,fromwheretheredoesnotfilteranyfamiliarvoice orinflection,alunarorMartianpast.[2] DoesthisnotrecallHeidegger'sinsistence,throughoutthe1930s,that themaintaskofWesternthoughttodayistodefendtheGreek breakthrough,thefoundinggestureofthe"West,"theovercomingof theprephilosophical,mythical,"Asiatic"universe,tostruggle againsttherenewed"Asiatic"threatthegreatestoppositeofthe Westis"themythicalingeneralandtheAsiaticinparticular?"[3]Itis THISAsiatic"radicalstrangeness"whichismobilized,politicized,by MaoZedong'sCommunistmovement.InhisPhenomenologyofSpirit, Hegelintroduceshisnotoriousnotionofwomankindas"the

everlastingironyofthecommunity":womankind"changesby intriguetheuniversalendofthegovernmentintoaprivateend, transformsitsuniversalactivityintoaworkofsomeparticular individual,andpervertstheuniversalpropertyofthestateintoa possessionandornamentforthefamily."[4]Incontrasttothemale ambition,awomanwantspowerinordertopromoteherown narrowfamilyinterestsor,evenworse,herpersonalcaprice, incapableassheisofperceivingtheuniversaldimensionofstate politics.HowarewenottorecallF.W.J.Schelling'sclaimthat"the sameprinciplecarriesandholdsusinitsineffectivenesswhich wouldconsumeanddestroyusinitseffectiveness."[5]Apower which,whenitiskeptatitsproperplace,canbebenignand pacifying,turnsintoitsradicalopposite,intothemostdestructive fury,themomentitintervenesatahigherlevel,thelevelwhichisnot itsown:THESAMEfemininitywhich,withintheclosecircleof familylife,istheverypowerofprotectivelove,turnsintoobscene frenzywhendisplayedatthelevelofpublicandstateaffairs...In short,itisOKforawomantoprotestthepublicstatepoweron behalfoftherightsoffamilyandkinship;butwoetoasocietyin whichwomenendeavordirectlytoinfluencedecisionsconcerning theaffairsofstate,manipulatingtheirweakmalepartners,effectively emasculatingthem...Istherenotsomethingsimilarintheterror arousedbytheprospectoftheawakeningoftheanonymousAsian crowd?TheyareOKiftheyprotesttheirfateandallowustohelp them(throughlargescalehumanitarianactions...),buttodirectly "empowers"themselves,tothehorrorofsympathizingliberalswho arealwaysreadytosupporttherevoltofthepooranddispossessed, onconditionthatitisdonewithpropermanners...? GeorgiM.Derluguian'sBourdieu'sSecretAdmirerintheCaucasus[6] tellstheextraordinarystoryofMusaShanibfromAbkhazia,the leadingintellectualofthisturbulentregionwhoseincrediblecareer passedfromSovietdissidentintellectualthroughdemocraticpolitical reformerandMuslimfundamentalistwarleaderuptorespected professorofphilosophy,hisentirecareermarkedbythestrange admirationforPierreBourdieu'sthought.Therearetwowaysto approachsuchafigure.Thefirstreactionistodismissitaslocal eccentricity,totreatitwithbenevolentirony"whatastrangechoice, BourdieuwhoknowswhatthisfolkloricguyseesinBourdieu...". Thesecondreactionistodirectlyasserttheuniversalscopeoftheory

"seehowuniversaltheoryis:everyintellectualfromParisto ChecheniaandAbkhaziacandebatehistheories..."Thetruetask,of course,istoavoidboththeseoptionsandtoasserttheuniversalityof atheoryastheresultofahardtheoreticalworkandstruggle,a strugglethatisnotexternaltotheory:thepointisnot(only)that Shanibhadtodoalotofworktobreaktheconstraintsofhislocal contextandpenetrateBourdieuthisappropriationofBourdieuby anAbkhazianintellectualalsoaffectsthesubstanceofthetheory itself,transposingitintoadifferentuniverse.Didmutatismutandis LeninnotdosomethingsimilarwithMarx?TheshiftofMaowith regardtoLeninANDStalinconcernstherelationshipbetweenthe workingclassandpeasants:bothLeninandStalinweredeeply distrustfultowardsthepeasants,theysawasoneofthemaintasksof theSovietpowertobreaktheinertiaofthepeasants,theirsubstantial attachmenttoland,to"proletarize"themandthusfullyexposethem tothedynamicsofmodernizationinclearcontrasttoMaowho,in hiscriticalnotesonStalin'sEconomicProblemsofSocialismintheUSSR (from1958)remarkedthat"Stalin'spointofview/.../isalmost altogetherwrong.Thebasicerrorismistrustofthepeasants."The theoreticalandpoliticalconsequencesofthisshiftareproperly shattering:theyimplynolessthanathoroughreworkingofMarx's Hegeliannotionofproletarianpositionasthepositionof "substancelesssubjectivity,"ofthosewhoarereducedtotheabyssof theirsubjectivity. AsiswellknownamongthosewhostillrememberMarxism,the ambiguouscentralpointofitstheoreticaledificeconcernsitspremise thatcapitalismitselfcreatestheconditionsforitsselfovercoming throughproletarianrevolutionhowarewetoreadthis?Isittobe readinalinearevolutionaryway:revolutionshouldtakeplacewhen capitalismfullydevelopsallitspotentialsandexhaustsallits possibilities,themythicpointatwhichitconfrontsitscentral antagonism("contradiction")atitspurest,initsnakedform?Andisit enoughtoaddthe"subjective"aspectandtoemphasizethatthe workingclassshouldnotjustsitandwaitforthe"ripemoment,"but to"educate"itselfthroughlongstruggle?Asisalsowellknown, Lenin'stheoryofthe"weakestlinkofthechain"isakindof compromisesolution:althoughitacceptsthatthefirstrevolutioncan takeplacenotinthemostdevelopedcountry,butinacountryin whichantagonismsofthecapitalistdevelopmentaremost

aggravated,evenifitislessdeveloped(Russia,whichcombined concentratedmoderncapitalistindustrialislandswithagrarian backwardnessandpredemocraticauthoritariangovernment),itstill perceivedOctoberRevolutionasariskybreakthroughwhichcan onlysucceedifitwillbesoonaccompaniedbyalargescaleWestern Europeanrevolution(alleyeswerefocusedonGermanyinthis respect).Theradicalabandonmentofthismodeloccurredonlywith Mao,forwhomtheproletarianrevolutionshouldtakeplaceinthe lessdevelopedpartoftheworld,amongthelargecrowdsofthe ThirdWorldimpoverishedpeasants,workersandeven"patriotic bourgeoisie,"whoareexposedtotheaftershocksofthecapitalist globalization,organizingtheirrageanddespair.Inatotalreversal (perversioneven)oftheMarx'smodel,theclassstruggleisthus reformulatedasthestrugglebetweentheFirstWorld"bourgeois nations"andtheThirdWorld"proletariannations."Theparadoxhere isproperlydialectical,perhapsintheultimateapplicationofMao's teachingoncontradictions:itsveryunderdevelopment(andthus "unripeness"fortherevolution)makesacountry"ripe"forthe revolution.Since,however,such"unripe"economicconditionsdo notallowtheconstructionofproperlypostcapitalistsocialism,the necessarycorrelateistheassertionofthe"primacyofpoliticsover economy":thevictoriousrevolutionarysubjectdoesn'tactasan instrumentofeconomicnecessity,liberatingitspotentialswhose furtherdevelopmentisthwartedbycapitalistcontradictions;itis ratheravoluntaristagentwhichactsAGAINST"spontaneous" economicnecessity,enforcingitsvisiononrealitythrough revolutionaryterror. Oneshouldbearinmindherethefundamentallessonofthe Hegelian"concreteuniversality":theuniversalnecessityisnota teleologicalforcewhich,operativefromtheoutset,pullsthestrings andrunstheprocess,guaranteeingitshappyoutcome;onthe contrary,thisuniversalnecessityisalwaysretroactive,itemergesout oftheradicalcontingencyoftheprocessandsignalthemomentof thecontingency'sselfAufhebung.Oneshouldthussaythat,oncethe (contingent)passagefromLeninismtoMaoismtookplace,itcannot butappearas"necessary,"i.e.,onecan(re)constructthe"inner necessity"ofMaoismasthenext"stage"ofthedevelopmentof Marxism.Inordertograspthisreversalofcontingencyinto necessity,oneshouldleavebehindthestandardlinearhistoricaltime

structuredastherealizationofpossibilities(atthetemporalmoment X,therearemultiplepossibledirectionshistorycantake,andwhat actuallytakesplaceistherealizationofoneofthepossibilities):what thislineartimeisunabletograspistheparadoxofacontingent actualemergencywhichretroactivelycreatesitsownpossibility:only whenthethingtakesplace,wecan"see"howitwaspossible.The ratherboringdebateabouttheoriginsofMaoism(orStalinism) oscillatesaroundthreemainoptions:(1)the"hard"antiCommunists andthe"hard"partisansofStalinismclaimthatthereisadirect immanentlogicwhichleadsfromMarxtoLeninandfromLeninto Stalin(andthenfromStalintoMao);(2)the"soft"criticsclaimthat theStalinist(or,priortoit,Leninist)turnisoneofthehistorical possibilitiespresentinMarx'stheoreticaledificeitcouldhave turnedotherwise,yettheStalinistcatastropheisnonetheless inscribedasanoptionintotheoriginaltheoryitself;(3)finally,the defendersofthepurityofthe"originalteachingofMarx"dismiss Stalinism(oralreadyLeninism)asasimpledistortion,betrayal, insistingontheradicalbreakbetweenthetwo:LeninandStalin simply"kidnapped"Marx'stheoryanduseditforpurposestotallyat oddswithMarx.Oneshouldrejectallthreeversionsasbasedonthe sameunderlyinglinearhistoricistnotionoftime,andoptforthe fourthversion,beyondthefalsequestion"towhatextentwasMarx responsiblefortheStalinistcatastrophe":Marxisfullyresponsible, butretroactively,i.e.,thesameholdsforStalinasforKafkain Borges'sfamousformulation:theybothcreatedtheirown predecessors. THISisthemovementof"concreteuniversality,"thisradical "transubstantiation"throughwhichtheoriginaltheoryhasto reinventitselfinanewcontext:onlybywayofsurvivingthis transplantcanitemergeaseffectivelyuniversal.And,ofcourse,the pointisnotthatwearedealingherethepseudoHegelianprocessof "alienation"and"desalienation,"ofhowtheoriginaltheoryis "alienated"andthenhastoincorporatetheforeigncontext,re appropriateit,subordinateittoitself:whatsuchapseudoHegelian notionmissesisthewaythisviolenttransplantintoaforeigncontext radicallyaffectstheoriginaltheoryitself,sothat,whenthistheory "returnstoitselfinitsotherness"(reinventsitselfintheforeign context),itsverysubstancechangesandyetthisshiftisnotjustthe reactiontoanexternalshock,itremainsaninherenttransformation

ofthesametheoryontheovercomingofcapitalism.Thisishow capitalismisa"concreteuniversality":itisnotthequestionof isolatingwhatallparticularformsofcapitalismhaveincommon, theirshareduniversalfeatures,butofgraspingthismatrixasa positiveforceinitself,assomethingwhichallactualparticularforms trytocounteract,tocontainitsdestructiveeffects. Themostreliablesignofcapitalism'sideologicaltriumphisthe virtualdisappearanceoftheveryterminthelast2or3decades:from the1980s,"virtuallynoone,withtheexceptionofafewallegedly archaicMarxists(an'endangeredspecies'),referredtocapitalismany longer.Thetermwassimplystruckfromthevocabularyof politicians,tradeunionists,writersandjournalistsnottomention socialscientists,whohadconsignedittohistoricaloblivion."[7]So whatabouttheupsurgeoftheantiglobalizationmovementinthe lastyears?Doesitnotclearlycontradictthisdiagnostic?No:aclose lookquicklyshowshowthismovementalsosuccumbsto"the temptationtotransformacritiqueofcapitalismitself(centeredon economicmechanisms,formsofworkorganization,andprofit extraction)intoacritiqueof'imperialism'."[8]Inthisway,whenone talksabout"globalizationanditsagents,"theenemyisexternalized (usuallyintheformofvulgarantiAmericanism).Fromthis perspective,wherethemaintasktodayistofight"theAmerican empire,"anyallyisgoodifitisantiAmerican,andsotheunbridled Chinese"Communist"capitalism,violentIslamicantimodernists,as wellastheobsceneLukashenkoregimeinBelarus(seeChavez'visit toBelarusinJuly2006),mayappearasprogressiveantiglobalist comradesinarms...Whatwehavehereisthusanotherversionofthe illfamednotionof"alternatemodernity":insteadofthecritiqueof capitalismassuch,ofconfrontingitsbasicmechanism,wegetthe critiqueoftheimperialist"excess,"withthe(silent)notionof mobilizingcapitalistmechanismswithinanother,more "progressive,"frame. ThisishowoneshouldapproachwhatisarguablyMao'scentral contributiontoMarxistphilosophy,hiselaborationsonthenotionof contradiction:oneshouldnotdismissthemasaworthless philosophicalregression(which,asonecaneasilydemonstrate,relies onavaguenotionof"contradiction"whichsimplymeans"struggleof oppositetendencies").ThemainthesisofhisgreattextOn

Contradictiononthetwofacetsofcontradictions,"theprincipaland thenonprincipalcontradictionsinaprocess,andtheprincipaland thenonprincipalaspectsofacontradiction,"deservesaclose reading.Mao'sreproachtothe"dogmaticMarxists"isthatthey"do notunderstandthatitispreciselyintheparticularityofcontradiction thattheuniversalityofcontradictionresides": Forinstance,incapitalistsocietythetwoforcesincontradiction,the proletariatandthebourgeoisie,formtheprincipalcontradiction.The othercontradictions,suchasthosebetweentheremnantfeudalclass andthebourgeoisie,betweenthepeasantpettybourgeoisieantthe bourgeoisie,betweentheproletariatandthepeasantpetty bourgeoisie,betweenthenonmonopolycapitalistsandthe monopolycapitalists,betweenbourgeoisdemocracyandbourgeois fascism,amongthecapitalistcountriesandbetweenimperialismand thecolonies,arealldeterminedorinfluencedbythisprincipal contradiction. Whenimperialismlaunchesawarofaggressionagainstsucha country,allitsvariousclasses,exceptforsometraitors,can temporarilyuniteinanationalwaragainstimperialism.Atsucha time,thecontradictionbetweenimperialismandthecountry concernedbecomestheprincipalcontradiction,whileallthe contradictionsamongthevariousclasseswithinthecountry (includingwhatwastheprincipalcontradiction,betweenthefeudal systemandthegreatmassesofthepeople)aretemporarilyrelegated toasecondaryandsubordinateposition. ThisisMao'skeypoint:theprincipal(universal)contradictiondoes notoverlapwiththecontradictionwhichshouldbetreatedas dominantinaparticularsituationtheuniversaldimensionliterally residesinthisparticularcontradiction.Ineachconcretesituation,a different"particular"contradictionisthepredominantone,inthe precisesensethat,inordertowinthefightfortheresolutionofthe principalcontradiction,oneshouldtreataparticularcontradictionas thepredominantone,towhichallotherstrugglesshouldbe subordinated.InChinaundertheJapaneseoccupation,thepatriotic unityagainsttheJapanesewasthepredominantthingifCommunists wantedtowintheclassstruggleanydirectfocusingonclass struggleinTHESEconditionswentagainstclassstruggleitself. (Therein,perhaps,residesthemainfeatureof"dogmatic

opportunism":toinsistonthecentralityoftheprincipalcontradiction atawrongmoment.)Thefurtherkeypointconcernstheprincipal ASPECTofacontradiction;forexample,withregardtothe contradictionbetweentheproductiveforcesandtherelationsof production, theproductiveforces,practiceandtheeconomicbasegenerallyplay theprincipalanddecisiverole;whoeverdeniesthisisnota materialist.Butitmustalsobeadmittedthatincertainconditions, suchaspectsastherelationsofproduction,theoryandthe superstructureinturnmanifestthemselvesintheprincipaland decisiverole.Whenitisimpossiblefortheproductiveforcesto developwithoutachangeintherelationsofproduction,thenthe changeintherelationsofproductionplaystheprincipalanddecisive role. Thepoliticalstakesofthisdebatearedecisive:Mao'saimistoassert thekeyrole,inthepoliticalstruggle,ofwhattheMarxisttradition usuallyreferstoasthe"subjectivefactor"theory,superstructure. Thisiswhat,accordingtoMao,Stalinneglected:"Stalin'sEconomic ProblemsofSocialismintheUSSRfromfirsttolastsaysnothingabout thesuperstructure.Itisnotconcernedwithpeople;itconsiders things,notpeople./...//Itspeaks/onlyoftheproductionrelations, notofthesuperstructurenorpolitics,northeroleofthepeople. Communismcannotbereachedunlessthereisacommunist movement." AlainBadiou,atrueMaoisthere,appliesthistotoday'sconstellation, avoidingthefocusontheanticapitaliststruggle,evenridiculingits mainformtoday(theantiglobalizationmovement),anddefiningthe emancipatorystruggleinstrictlypoliticalterms,asthestruggle against(liberal)democracy,today'spredominantideologicopolitical form?"TodaytheenemyisnotcalledEmpireorCapital.It'scalled Democracy."[9]What,today,preventstheradicalquestioningof capitalismitselfispreciselythebeliefinthedemocraticformofthe struggleagainstcapitalism.Lenin'sstanceagainst"economism"as wellasagainst"pure"politicsiscrucialtoday,aproposofthesplit attitudetowardseconomyin(whatremainsof)theLeft:ontheone hand,the"purepoliticians"whoabandoneconomyasthesiteof struggleandintervention;ontheotherhand,the"economists,"

fascinatedbythefunctioningoftoday'sglobaleconomy,who precludeanypossibilityofapoliticalinterventionproper.With regardtothissplit,today,morethanever,weshouldreturntoLenin: yes,economyisthekeydomain,thebattlewillbedecidedthere,one hastobreakthespelloftheglobalcapitalismBUTtheintervention shouldbeproperlyPOLITICAL,noteconomic.Today,when everyoneis"anticapitalist,"uptotheHollywood"sociocritical" conspiracymovies(fromTheEnemyoftheStatetoTheInsider)in whichtheenemyarethebigcorporationswiththeirruthlesspursuit ofprofit,thesignifier"anticapitalism"haslostitssubversivesting. Whatoneshouldproblematizeistheselfevidentoppositeofthis "anticapitalism":thetrustinthedemocraticsubstanceofthehonest Americanstobreakuptheconspiracy.THISisthehardkernelof today'sglobalcapitalistuniverse,itstrueMasterSignifier: democracy.[10]Mao'sfurtherelaborationonthenotionof contradictioninhis"OntheCorrectHandlingofContradictions AmongthePeople"(1957)alsocannotbereducedtoitsbestknown feature,therathercommonsensepointofdistinguishingbetweenthe antagonisticandthenonantagonisticcontradictions: Thecontradictionsbetweenourselvesandtheenemyareantagonistic contradictions.Withintheranksofthepeople,thecontradictions amongtheworkingpeoplearenonantagonistic,whilethose betweentheexploitedandtheexploitingclasseshaveanon antagonisticaswellasanantagonisticaspect./.../underthepeople's democraticdictatorshiptwodifferentmethods,onedictatorialand theotherdemocratic,shouldbeusedtoresolvethetwotypesof contradictionswhichdifferinnaturethosebetweenourselvesand theenemyandthoseamongthepeople. Oneshouldalwaysreadthisdistinctiontogetherwithitsmore "ominous"supplement,awarningthatthetwoaspectsmayoverlap: "Inordinarycircumstances,contradictionsamongthepeoplearenot antagonistic.Butiftheyarenothandledproperly,orifwerelaxour vigilanceandlowerourguard,antagonismmayarise."The democraticdialogue,thepeacefulcoexistenceofdifferent orientationsamongtheworkingclass,isnotsomethingsimplygiven, anaturalstateofthings,itissomethinggainedandsustainedby vigilanceandstruggle.Here,also,strugglehaspriorityoverunity: theveryspaceofunityhastobewonthroughstruggle.

Sowhatarewetodowiththeseelaborations?Oneshouldbevery preciseindiagnosing,attheveryabstractleveloftheory,whereMao wasrightandwherehewaswrong.Maowasrightinrejectingthe standardnotionof"dialecticalsynthesis"asthe"reconciliation"ofthe opposites,asahigherunitywhichencompassestheirstruggle;he waswronginformulatingthisrejection,thisinsistenceonthe priorityofstruggle,division,overeverysynthesisorunity,inthe termsofageneralcosmologyontologyofthe"eternalstruggleof opposites"thisiswhyhegotcaughtinthesimplistic,properlynon dialectical,notionofthe"badinfinity"ofstruggle.Moclearly regressesheretoprimitivepagan"wisdoms"onhoweverycreature, everydeterminateformoflife,soonerorlatermeetsitsend:"One thingdestroysanother,thingsemerge,develop,andaredestroyed, everywhereislikethis.Ifthingsarenotdestroyedbyothers,then theydestroythemselves."OneshouldgiveMaohisdueatthislevel: hegoestotheendinthisdirection,applyingthisprinciplenotonly toCommunismitselfseethefollowingpassage,inwhichMao accomplishesagiganticontological"leapforward"fromthedivision ofatomicnucleusintoprotons,antiprotons,etc.,totheinevitable divisionofCommunismintostages: Idon'tbelievethatcommunismwillnotbedividedintostages,and thattherewillbenoqualitativechanges.Leninsaidthatallthings canbedivided.Hegavetheatomasanexample,andsaidthatnot onlycantheatombedivided,buttheelectron,too,canbedivided. Formerly,however,itwasheldthatitcouldnotbedivided;the branchofsciencedevotedtosplittingtheatomicnucleusisstillvery young,onlytwentyorthirtyyearsold.Inrecentdecades,the scientistshaveresolvedtheatomicnucleusintoitsconstituents,such asprotons,antiprotons,neutrons,antineutrons,mesonsandanti mesons. Hegoesevenastepfurtherandmovesbeyondhumanityitself, forecasting,inaprotoNietzscheanway,the"overcoming"ofman. Thelifeofdialecticsisthecontinuousmovementtowardopposites. Mankindwillalsofinallymeetitsdoom.Whenthetheologianstalk aboutdoomsday,theyarepessimisticandterrifypeople.Wesaythe endofmankindissomethingwhichwillproducesomethingmore advancedthanmankind.Mankindisstillinitsinfancy.

and,evenmore,theriseof(some)animalsthemselves(whatwe considertodayasexclusivelyhuman)levelofconsciousness: Inthefuture,animalswillcontinuetodevelop.Idon'tbelievethat menalonearecapableofhavingtwohands.Can'thorses,cows, sheepevolve?Canonlymonkeysevolve?Andcanitbe,moreover, thatofallthemonkeysonlyonespeciescanevolve,andalltheothers areincapableofevolving?Inamillionyears,tenmillionyears,will horses,cowsandsheepstillbethesameasthosetoday?Ithinkthey willcontinuetochange.Horses,cows,sheep,andinsectswillall change. Twothingsshouldbeaddedtothis"cosmicperspective";first,one shouldrememberthatMaoisheretalkingtotheinnercircleofparty ideologists.Thisiswhataccountsforthetoneofsharingasecretnot toberenderedpublic,asifMaoisdivulginghis"secretteaching" and,effectively,Mao'sspeculationscloselyechothesocalled"bio cosmism,"thestrangecombinationofvulgarmaterialismand Gnosticspiritualitywhichformedoccultshadowideology,the obscenesecretteaching,oftheSovietMarxism.Repressedoutofthe publicsightinthecentralperiodoftheSovietstate,biocosmismwas openlypropagatedonlyinthefirstandinthelasttwodecadesofthe Sovietrule;itsmainthesesare:thegoalsofreligion(collective paradise,overcomingofallsuffering,fullindividualimmortality, resurrectionofthedead,victoryovertimeanddeath,conquestof spacefarbeyondthesolarsystem)canberealizedinterrestriallife throughthedevelopmentofmodernscienceandtechnology.Inthe future,notonlywillsexualdifferencebeabolished,withtheriseof chasteposthumansreproducingthemselvesthroughdirectbio technicalreproduction;itwillalsobepossibletoresurrectallthe deadofthepast(establishingtheirbiologicalformulathroughtheir remainsandthenreengenderingthematthattime,DNAwasnot yetknown...),thusevenerasingallpastinjustices,"undoing"past sufferinganddestruction.InthisbrightbiopoliticalCommunist future,notonlyhumans,butalsoanimals,alllivingbeing,will participateinadirectlycollectivizedReasonofthecosmos... WhateveronecanholdagainstLenin'sruthlesscritiqueofMaxim Gorky'sthe"constructionofGod(bogograditelk'stvo),"thedirect deificationofman,oneshouldbearinmindthatGorkyhimself collaboratedwithbiocosmists.Itisinterestingtonoteresemblances

betweenthis"biocosmism"andtoday'stechnognosis.Second,this "cosmicperspective"isforMaonotjustanirrelevantphilosophical caveat;ithaspreciseethicopoliticalconsequences.WhenMaohigh handedlydismissesthethreatoftheatomicbomb,heisnotdown playingthescopeofthedangerheisfullyawarethatnuclearwar mayledtotheextinctionofhumanityassuch,so,tojustifyhis defiance,hehastoadoptthe"cosmicperspective"fromwhichthe endoflifeonEarth"wouldhardlymeananythingtotheuniverseas awhole": TheUnitedStatescannotannihilatetheChinesenationwithitssmall stackofatombombs.EveniftheU.S.atombombsweresopowerful that,whendroppedonChina,theywouldmakeaholerightthrough theearth,orevenblowitup,thatwouldhardlymeananythingtothe universeasawhole,thoughitmightbeamajoreventforthesolar system. This"cosmicperspective"alsogroundsMao'sdismissiveattitude towardsthehumancostsofeconomicandpoliticalendeavors.Ifone istobelieveMao'slatestbiography,[11]hecausedthegreatest famineinhistorybyexportingfoodtoRussiatobuynuclearand armsindustries:38millionpeoplewerestarvedandslavedrivento deathin195861.Maoknewexactlywhatwashappening,saying: "halfofChinamaywellhavetodie."Thisisinstrumentalattitudeat itsmostradical:killingaspartofaruthlessattempttorealizegoal, reducingpeopletodisposablemeansandwhatoneshouldbearin mindisthattheNaziholocaustwasNOTthesame:thekillingofthe Jewsnotpartofarationalstrategy,butaselfgoal,ameticulously planned"irrational"excess(recallthedeportationofthelastJews fromGreekislandsin1944,justbeforetheGermanretreat,orthe massiveuseoftrainsfortransportingJewsinsteadofwarmaterials in1944).ThisiswhyHeideggeriswrongwhenhereducesholocaust totheindustrialproductionofcorpses:itwasNOTthat,Stalinist Communismwasthat.[12] Theconceptualconsequenceofthis"badinfinity"thatpertainsto vulgarevolutionismisMao'sconsistentrejectionofthe"negationof negation"asauniversaldialecticallaw.Inexplicitpolemicsagainst Engels(and,incidentally,followingStalinwho,inhis"OnDialectical

andHistoricalMaterialism,"alsodoesn'tmention"negationof negation"amongthe"fourmainfeaturesofMarxistdialectics"): Engelstalkedaboutthethreecategories,butasformeIdon'tbelieve intwoofthosecategories.(Theunityofoppositesisthemostbasic law,thetransformationofqualityandquantityintooneanotheris theunityoftheoppositesqualityandquantity,andthenegationof thenegationdoesnotexistatall.)/.../Thereisnosuchthingasthe negationofthenegation.Affirmation,negation,affirmation,negation inthedevelopmentofthings,everylinkinthechainofeventsisboth affirmationandnegation.Slaveholdingsocietynegatedprimitive society,butwithreferencetofeudalsocietyitconstituted,inturn,the affirmation.Feudalsocietyconstitutedthenegationinrelationto slaveholdingsocietybutitwasinturntheaffirmationwithreference tocapitalistsociety.Capitalistsocietywasthenegationinrelationto feudalsociety,butitis,inturn,theaffirmationinrelationtosocialist society. Alongtheselines,Maoscathinglydismissesthecategoryof "dialecticalsynthesis"oftheopposites,promotinghisownversionof "negativedialectics"everysynthesisisforhimultimatelywhat AdornoinhiscritiqueofLukacscallederpressteVersoehnung enforcedreconciliationatbestamomentarypauseintheongoing struggle,whichoccursnotwhentheoppositesareunited,butwhen onesidesimplywinsovertheother: Whatissynthesis?Youhaveallwitnessedhowthetwoopposites, theKuomintangandtheCommunistParty,weresynthesizedonthe mainland.Thesynthesistookplacelikethis:theirarmiescame,and wedevouredthem,weatethembitebybite./.../Onethingeating another,bigfisheatinglittlefish,thisissynthesis.Ithasneverbeen putlikethisinbooks.Ihaveneverputitthiswayinmybookseither. Forhispart,YangHsienchenbelievesthattwocombineintoone, andthatsynthesisistheindissolubletiebetweentwoopposites. Whatindissolubletiesarethereinthisworld?Thingsmaybetied, butintheendtheymustbesevered.Thereisnothingwhichcannot besevered. (Note,again,thetoneofsharingasecretnottoberenderedpublic, thecruelrealisticlessonthatunderminesthehappypublic optimism...)Thiswasatthecoreofthefamousdebate,inthelate

1950s,abouttheOneandtheTwo(aretheTwounitedintoOne,oris theOnedividedintoTwo?):"Inanygiventhing,theunityof oppositesisconditional,temporaryandtransitory,andhence relative,whereasthestruggleofoppositesisabsolute."Thisbringsus towhatoneistemptedtocallMao'sethicopoliticalinjunctionto paraphrasethelastwordsofBeckett'sL'innomable:"inthesilenceyou don'tknow,youmustgoonsevering,Ican'tgoon,I'llgoon severing."[13]Thisinjunctionshouldbelocatedintoitsproper philosophicallineage.Thereare,roughlyspeaking,two philosophicalapproachestoanantagonisticconstellationof either/or:eitheroneoptsforonepoleagainsttheother(Good againstEvil,freedomagainstoppression,moralityagainsthedonism, etc.),oroneadoptsa"deeper"attitudeofemphasizingthecomplicity oftheopposites,andofadvocatingapropermeasureortheunity. AlthoughHegel'sdialecticseemsaversionofthesecondapproach (the"synthesis"ofopposites),heoptsforanunheardofTHIRD version:thewaytoresolvethedeadlockisneithertoengageoneself infightingforthe"good"sideagainstthe"bad"one,norintryingto bringthemtogetherinabalanced"synthesis,"butinoptingforthe BADsideoftheinitialeither/or.Ofcourse,this"choiceoftheworst" fails,butinthisfailure,itunderminestheentirefieldofthe alternativeandthusenablesustoovercomeitsterms. ThefirstonetoproposesuchamatrixofdivisionswasGorgias.His OnNature,ortheNonexistent(thetextsurvivedonlyinsummary forminSextusEmpiricus,andAristotle'sOnMelissus,Xeonphanes, andGorgias)canbesummedupinthreepropositions:(a)Nothing exists;(b)Ifanythingexisted,itcouldnotbeknown;(c)Ifanything didexit,andcouldbeknown,itcouldnotbecommunicatedto others.IfthereeverwasaclearcaseoftheFreudianlogicofthe borrowedkettle(providingmutuallyexclusivereasons),thisisit:(1) Nothingexists.(2)Whatexists,cannotbeknown.(3)Whatweknow, cannotbecommunicatedtoothers...Butmoreinterestingisthe repeated"diagonal"modeofdivisionofgenreintospecies:Things existornot.Iftheyexist,theycanbeknownornot.Iftheycanbe known,theycanbecommunicatedtoothersornot.Surprisingly,we findthesameprogressivedifferentiationattheoppositeendofthe historyofWesternphilosophy,intheXXthcenturysophistscalled "dialecticalmaterialism."InStalin's"OnDialecticalandHistorical Materialism,"whenthefourfeaturesofdialecticsareenumerated:

TheprincipalfeaturesoftheMarxistdialecticalmethodareas follows: Contrarytometaphysics,dialecticsdoesnotregardnatureasan accidentalagglomerationofthings,ofphenomena,unconnected with,isolatedfrom,andindependentof,eachother,butasa connectedandintegralwhole/.../. Contrarytometaphysics,dialecticsholdsthatnatureisnotastateof restandimmobility,stagnationandimmutability,butastateof continuousmovementandchange,ofcontinuousrenewaland development/.../. Contrarytometaphysics,dialecticsdoesnotregardtheprocessof developmentasasimpleprocessofgrowth,wherequantitative changesdonotleadtoqualitativechanges,butasadevelopment whichpassesfrominsignificantandimperceptiblequantitative changestoopen'fundamentalchanges'toqualitativechanges;a developmentinwhichthequalitativechangesoccurnotgradually, butrapidlyandabruptly,takingtheformofaleapfromonestateto another/.../. Contrarytometaphysics,dialecticsholdsthatinternalcontradictions areinherentinallthingsandphenomenaofnature,fortheyallhave theirnegativeandpositivesides,apastandafuture,something dyingawayandsomethingdeveloping;andthatthestruggle betweentheseopposites/.../constitutestheinternalcontentofthe processofdevelopment. First,natureisnotaconglomerateofdispersedphenomena,buta connectedwhole.Then,thisWholeisnotimmobile,butinconstant movementandchange.Then,thischangeisnotonlyagradual quantitativedrifting,butinvolvesqualitativejumpsandruptures. Finally,thisqualitativedevelopmentisnotamatterofharmonious deployment,butispropelledbythestruggleoftheopposites...The trickhereisthatweareeffectivelyNOTdealingmerelywiththe Platonicdieresis,gradualsubdivisionofagenusintospeciesand thenspeciesintosubspecies:theunderlyingpremiseisthatthis "diagonal"processofdivisionisreallyvertical,i.e.,thatweare dealingwiththedifferentaspectsoftheSAMEdivision.Toputitin Stalinistjargon:animmobileWholeisnotreallyaWhole,butjusta conglomerateofelements;developmentwhichdoesnotinvolve qualitativejumpsisnotreallyadevelopment,butjustanimmobile steppingatthesameplace;aqualitativechangewhichdoesnot

involvestruggleoftheoppositesisnotreallyachange,butjusta quantitativemonotonousmovement...Or,toputitinmoreominous terms:thosewhoadvocatequalitativechangewithoutstruggleofthe oppositesREALLYopposechangeandadvocatethecontinuationof thesame;thosewhoadvocatechangewithoutqualitativejumps REALLYopposechangeandadvocateimmobility...thepolitical aspectofthislogicisclearlydiscernible:"thosewhoadvocatethe transformationofcapitalismintosocialismwithoutclassstruggle REALLYrejectsocialismandwantcapitalismtocontinue,"etc. TherearetwofamousquipsofStalinwhicharebothgroundedin thislogic.WhenStalinansweredthequestion"Whichdeviationis worse,theRightistortheLeftistone?"by"Theyarebothworse!",the underlyingpremiseisthattheLeftistdeviationisREALLY ("objectively,"asStalinistslikedtoputit)notleftistatall,buta concealedRightistone!WhenStalinwrote,inareportonaparty congress,thatthedelegates,withthemajorityofvotes,unanimously approvedtheCCresolution,theunderlyingpremiseis,again,that therewasreallynominoritywithintheparty:thosewhovoted againsttherebyexcludedthemselvesfromtheparty...Inallthese cases,thegenusrepeatedlyoverlaps(fullycoincides)withoneofits species.ThisisalsowhatallowsStalintoreadhistoryretroactively, sothatthings"becomeclear"retroactively:itwasnotthatTrotsky wasfirstfightingfortherevolutionwithLeninandStalinandthen, atacertainstage,optedforadifferentstrategythantheone advocatedbyStalin;thislastopposition(Trotsky/Stalin)"makesit clear"how,"objectively,"Trotskywasagainstrevolutionallthetime back. WefindthesameprocedureintheclassificatoryimpassetheStalinist ideologistsandpoliticalactivistsfacedintheirstrugglefor collectivizationintheyears19281933.Intheirattempttoaccountfor theirefforttocrushthepeasants'resistancein"scientific"Marxist terms,theydividedpeasantsintothreecategories(classes):thepoor peasants(nolandorminimalland,workingforothers),naturalallies oftheworkers;theautonomousmiddlepeasants,oscillatingbetween theexploitedandexploiters;therichpeasants,"kulaks"(employing otherworkers,lendingthemmoneyorseeds,etc.),theexploiting "classenemy"which,assuch,hastobe"liquidated."However,in practice,thisclassificationbecamemoreandmoreblurredand

inoperative:inthegeneralizedpoverty,clearcriterianolonger applied,andothertwocategoriesoftenjoinedkulaksintheir resistancetoforcedcollectivization.Anadditionalcategorywasthus introduced,thatofasubkulak,apeasantwho,although,withregard tohiseconomicsituation,wastopoortobeconsideredakulak proper,nonethelesssharedthekulak"counterrevolutionary" attitude.Subkulakwasthus atermwithoutanyrealsocialcontentevenbyStaliniststandards, butmerelyratherunconvincinglymasqueradingassuch.Aswas officiallystated,'bykulakwemeanthecarrierofcertainpolitical tendencieswhicharemostfrequentlydiscernibleinthesubkulak, maleandfemale.'Bythismeans,anypeasantwhateverwasliableto dekulakisation;andthesubkulaknotionwaswidelyemployed, enlargingthecategoryofvictimsgreatlybeyondtheofficialestimate ofkulaksproperevenatitsmoststrained.[14] Nowonderthattheofficialideologistsandeconomistsfinally renouncedtheveryefforttoprovidean"objective"definitionofkulak: "ThegroundsgiveninoneSovietcommentarethat'theoldattitudes ofakulakhavealmostdisappeared,andthenewonesdonotlend themselvestorecognition.'"[15]Theartofidentifyingakulakwas thusnolongeramatterofobjectivesocialanalysis;itbecamethe matterofacomplex"hermeneuticsofsuspicion,"ofidentifyingone's "truepoliticalattitudes"hiddenbeneathdeceivingpublic proclamations,sothatPravdahadtoconcedethat"eventhebest activistsoftencannotspotthekulak."[16] Whatallthispointstowardsisthedialecticalmediationofthe "subjective"and"objective"dimension:subkulaknolongerdesignates an"objective"socialcategory;itdesignatesthepointatwhich objectivesocialanalysisbreaksdownandsubjectivepoliticalattitude directlyinscribesitselfintothe"objective"orderinLacanese, subkulakisthepointofsubjectivizationofthe"objective"chainpoor peasantmiddlepeasantkulak.Itisnotan"objective"subcategory (orsubdivision)oftheclassofkulaks,butsimplythenameforthe kulaksubjectivepoliticalattitudethisaccountsfortheparadoxthat, althoughitappearsasasubdivisionoftheclassofkulaks,subkulaksis aspeciesthatoverflowsitsowngenus(thatofkulaks),since subkulaksarealsotobefoundamongmiddleandevenpoorfarmers.

Inshort,subkulaknamespoliticaldivisionassuch,theEnemywhose presencetraversestheENTIREsocialbodyofpeasants,whichiswhy hecanbefoundeverywhere,inallthreepeasantclasses.Thisbrings usbacktotheprocedureofStalinistdieresis:subkulaknamesthe excessiveelementthattraversesallclasses,theoutgrowthwhichhas tobeeliminated. And,togobacktoGorgias,oneshouldreadhisargumentationinthe sameway.ItmayappearthatGorgiasproceedsinthreeconsequent divisions:first,thingseitherexistornot;then,iftheyexist,theycan beknownornot;then,iftheycanbeknown,wecancommunicate thisknowledgetoothersornot.However,thetruthofthisgradual subdivisionisagaintherepetitionofoneandthesamelineof division:ifwecannotcommunicatesomethingtoothers,itmeans thatwe"really"donotknowitourselves;ifwecannotknow something,itmeansthatit"really"doesnotexistinitself.Thereisa truthinthislogic:asalreadyParmenides,Gorgias'steacherand reference,putit,thinking(knowing)isthesameasbeing,and thinking(knowing)itselfisrootedinlanguage(communication) "Thelimitsofmylanguagearethelimitofmyworld." ThelessonofHegel(andLacan)isherethatoneshouldturnthis dieresisaround:wecanonlyspeakaboutthingsthatDON'Texist (JeremyBenthamwasonthetraceofthisinhistheoryoffictions) or,moremodestlyandprecisely,speech(presup)posesalack/holein thepositiveorderofbeing.Sonotonlywecanthinkaboutnon existingthings(whichiswhyreligionisconsubstantialwith"human nature,"itseternaltemptation);wecanalsotalkwithoutthinking notonlyinthevulgarsenseofjustinconsistentlybabbling,butinthe Freudiansenseof"sayingmorethanweintended,"ofproducinga symptomaticslipofthetongue.Soitisnotthatevenifweknow something,wecannotcommunicateittootherswecan communicatetoothersthingswedon'tknow(or,moreprecisely,to paraphraseDonaldRumsfeld,thingswedon'tknowweknow,since, forLacan,theunconsciousasunebvueisunsavoirquinesesaitpas). ThisiswhytheHegelLacanianpositionisneitherthatofPlatonor thatofhissophistopponents:againstPlato,oneshouldassertthatwe notonlycantalkaboutthingsthatwedonotunderstandthink,but thatweultimatelytalkonlyaboutthem,aboutfictions.And,against sophists,oneshouldassertthatthisinnowaydevaluestruth,since,

asLacanputit,truthhasthestructureofafiction. SowheredoesMaofallshorthere?Inthewayheopposesthis injunctiontosevere,todivide,todialecticalsynthesis.WhenMao mockinglyrefersto"synthesizing"asthedestructionoftheenemyor hissubordination,hismistakeresidesinthisverymockingattitude hedoesn'tseethatthisISthetrueHegeliansynthesis...thatistosay, whatistheHegelian"negationofnegation"?First,theoldorderis negatedwithinitsownideologicopoliticalform;then,thisformitself hastobenegated.Thosewhooscillate,thosewhoafraidtomakethe secondstepofovercomingthisformitself,arethosewho(torepeat Robespierre)wanta"revolutionwithoutrevolution"andLenin displaysallthestrengthofhis"hermeneuticsofsuspicion"in discerningthedifferentformsofthisretreat.Thetruevictory(the true"negationofnegation")occurswhentheenemytalksyour language.Inthissense,atruevictoryisavictoryindefeat:itoccurs whenone'sspecificmessageisacceptedasauniversalground,even bytheenemy.(Say,inthecaseofrationalscienceversusbelief,the truevictoryofsciencetakesplacewhenthechurchstartstodefend itselfinthelanguageofscience.)Or,incontemporarypoliticsofthe UnitedKingdom,asmanyaperspicuouscommentatorobserved,the Thatcherrevolutionwasinitselfchaotic,impulsive,markedby unpredictablecontingencies,anditwasonlythe"ThirdWay"Blairite governmentwhowasabletoinstitutionalizeit,tostabilizeitinto newinstitutionalforms,or,toputitinHegelese,toraise(whatfirst appearedas)acontingency,ahistoricalaccident,intonecessity.In thissense,BlairrepeatedThatcherism,elevatingitintoaconcept,in thesamewaythat,forHegel,AugustusrepeatedCaesar, transformingsublatinga(contingent)personalnameintoaconcept, atitle.ThatcherwasnotaThatcherite,shewasjustherselfitwas onlyBlair(morethanJohnMajor)whotrulyformedThatcherismas anotion.Thedialecticalironyofhistoryisthatonlya(nominal) ideologicopoliticalenemycandothistoyou,canelevateyouintoa concepttheempiricalinstigatorhastobeknockedoff(JuliusCaesar hadtobemurdered,Thatcherhadtobeignominouslydeposed). Thereisasurprisinglessonofthelastdecades,thelessonoftheWest EuropeanThirdWaysocialdemocracy,butalsothelessonofthe ChineseCommunistspresidingoverwhatisarguablythemost explosivedevelopmentofcapitalismintheentirehistory:wecando

itbetter.RecalltheclassicalMarxistaccountoftheovercomingof capitalism:capitalismunleashedthebreathtakingdynamicsofself enhancingproductivityincapitalism,"allthingssolidmeltintothin air,"capitalismisthegreatestrevolutionizerintheentirehistoryof humanity;ontheotherhand,thiscapitalistdynamicsispropelledby itsowninnerobstacleorantagonismtheultimatelimitofcapitalism (ofthecapitalistselfpropellingproductivity)istheCapitalitself,i.e. thecapitalistincessantdevelopmentandrevolutionizingofitsown materialconditions,themaddanceofitsunconditionalspiralof productivity,isultimatelynothingbutadesperateflightforwardto escapeitsowndebilitatinginherentcontradiction...Marx's fundamentalmistakewasheretoconclude,fromtheseinsights,that anew,highersocialorder(Communism)ispossible,anorderthat wouldnotonlymaintain,butevenraisetoahigherdegreeand effectivelyfullyreleasethepotentialoftheselfincreasingspiralof productivitywhich,incapitalism,onaccountofitsinherent obstacle/contradiction,isagainandagainthwartedbysocially destructiveeconomiccrises.Inshort,whatMarxoverlookedisthat, toputitinthestandardDerrideanterms,thisinherent obstacle/antagonismasthe"conditionofimpossibility"ofthefull deploymentoftheproductiveforcesissimultaneouslyits"condition ofpossibility":ifweabolishtheobstacle,theinherentcontradiction ofcapitalism,wedonotgetthefullyunleasheddrivetoproductivity finallydeliveredofitsimpediment,butwelosepreciselythis productivitythatseemedtobegeneratedandsimultaneously thwartedbycapitalismifwetakeawaytheobstacle,thevery potentialthwartedbythisobstacledissipates...Anditisasifthis logicof"obstacleasapositivecondition"whichunderliedthefailure ofthesocialistattemptstoovercomecapitalism,isnowreturning withavengeanceincapitalismitself:capitalismcanfullythrivenot intheunencumberedreignofthemarket,butonlywhenanobstacle (theminimalWelfareStateinterventions,uptothedirectpolitical ruleoftheCommunistParty,asisthecaseinChina)constraintsits unimpededreign. So,ironically,THISisthe"synthesis"ofcapitalismandCommunism inMao'ssense:inauniquekindofthepoeticjusticeofhistory,itwas capitalismwhich"synthetized"theMaoistCommunism.Thekey newsfromChinainthelastyearsistheemergenceoflargescale workersmovement,protestingtheworkconditionswhicharethe

priceforChinarapidlybecomingtheworld'sforemost manufacturingplace,andthebrutalwaytheauthoritiescracked downonitanewproof,ifoneisstillneeded,thatChinaistoday theidealcapitaliststate:freedomforthecapital,withthestatedoing the"dirtyjob"ofcontrollingtheworkers.Chinaastheemerging superpoweroftheXXIthcenturythusseemstoembodyanewkind ofcapitalism:disregardforecologicalconsequences,disregardfor workers'rights,everythingsubordinatedtotheruthlessdriveto developandbecomethenewsuperpower.Thebigqustionis:what willtheChinesedowithregardtothebiogeneticrevolution?Isitnot asafewagerthattheywillthrowthemselvesintounconstrained geneticmanipulationsofplants,animalsandhumans,bypassingall ourWesternmoralprejudicesandlimitations? ThisistheultimatepriceforMao'stheoreticalmistakeofrejection "negationofnegation,"ofhisfailuretograsphow"negationof negation"isnotacompromisebetweenapositionanditstooradical negation,but,onthecontrary,theonlytruenegation.[17]Anditis becauseMaoisunabletotheoreticallyformulatethisselfrelating negationofformitselfthathegetscaughtinthe"badinfinity"of endlessnegating,scissionsintotwo,subdivision...InHegelese,Mao's dialecticremainsatthelevelofUnderstanding,offixednotional oppositions;itisunabletoformulatetheproperlydialecticalself relatingofnotionaldeterminations.Itisthis"seriousmistake"(touse aStalinistterm)whichledMao,whenhewascourageousenoughto drawalltheconsequencesfromhisstances,toreachaproperly nonsensicalconclusionthat,inordertoinvigorateclassstruggle,one shoulddirectlyopenupthefieldtotheenemy: Letthemgoinforcapitalism.Societyisverycomplex.Ifoneonly goesinforsocialismandnotforcapitalism,isn'tthattoosimple? Wouldn'twethenlacktheunityofopposites,andbemerelyone sided?Letthemdoit.Letthemattackusmadly,demonstrateinthe streets,takeuparmstorebelIapproveallofthesethings.Societyis verycomplex,thereisnotasinglecommune,asinglehsien,asingle departmentoftheCentralCommittee,inwhichonecannotdivide intotwo. ThisnotionofdialecticsprovidesthebasicmatrixofMao'spolitics, itsrepeatedoscillationbetween"liberal"opennessandthenthe"hard

line"purge:first,allowtheproverbial"hundredflowerstoblossom," sothattheenemieswillactualizeandfullyexpresstheirreactionary hiddentendencies;then,onceeveryone'struepositionsareclearly articulated,engageinaruthlessstruggle.Again,whatMaofailstodo hereistoproceedtotheproperlyHegelian"identityofthe opposites,"andtorecognizeintheforcetheRevolutionisfighting andtryingtoannihilateitsownessence,asisthecasein G.K.Chesterton'sTheManWhoWasThursday,inwhichthesecret policechieforganizingthesearchfortheanarchistleaderandthis mysteriousleaderattheendappeartobeoneandthesameperson (Godhimself,incidentally).AnddidMaohimselfultimatelynotplay asimilarrole,aroleofsecularGodwhoisatthesametimethe greatestrebelagainsthimself?WhatthisChestertonianidentityof thegoodLordwiththeanarchistRebelenactsisthelogicofthesocial carnivalbroughttotheextremeofselfreflexion:anarchistoutbursts arenotatransgressionoftheLawandOrder;inoursocieties, anarchismalreadyISinpowerwearingthemaskofLawandOrder ourJusticeisthetravestyofJustice,thespectacleofLawandorderis anobscenecarnivalthepointmadeclearbythearguablygreatest politicalpoeminEnglish,"TheMaskofAnarchy"byPercyShelley, whichdescribestheobsceneparadeofthefiguresofpower: AndmanymoreDestructionsplayed Inthisghastlymasquerade, Alldisguised,eventotheeyes, LikeBishops,lawyers,peers,orspies. LastcameAnarchy:herode Onawhitehorse,splashedwithblood; Hewaspaleeventothelips, LikeDeathintheApocalypse. Andheworeakinglycrown; Andinhisgraspasceptreshone; OnhisbrowthismarkIsaw 'IAMGOD,ANDKING,ANDLAW! Thisidentityisdifficulttoassume,evenincinema.AlthoughVfor Vendettawaspraised(bynoneotherthanToniNegri,amongothers) and,evenmore,criticizedforits"radical"proterrorist,even

stance,itdoesnotgototheend:itshirksfromdrawingthe consequencesfromtheparallelsbetweenSutlerandV,the totalitariandictatorandtheanarchistterroristrebel.The"Norsefire" partyis,welearn,theinstigatoroftheterroritisfightingbutwhat aboutthefurtheridentityofSutlerandV?Inbothcases,weneversee theliveface(exceptthescaredSutlerattheveryend,whenheis abouttodie):SutlerweseeonlyonTVscreens,andVisaspecialist inmanipulatingthescreen.Furthermore,V'sdeadbodyisplacedon thetrainwiththeexplosives,inakindofVikingfuneralstrangely evokingthenameoftherulingparty:Norsefire.SowhenEveyis imprisonedandtorturedbyVinordertolearntoovercomefearand befree,isthisnotparalleltowhatSutlerdoestotheentireEnglish poipulation,terrorizingthemsothattheygetfreeandrebel?Thisis thelessonthatthefilmfailstodraw:theChestertonianlessonofthe ultimateIDENTITYbetweenVandSutler. AndisnotthisHegelianChestertonianshiftfromthecriminal transgressionofLawandOrdertoLawandOrderitselfasthe highestcriminaltransgressiondirectlyenactedbyMaohimself?This iswhy,whilesettinginmotionandsecretlypullingthestringsofthe selfdestructivecarnival,Maononethelessremainedexemptedfrom itsshifts:atnomomentwasthereeveraseriousthreatthatStalin(or Mao)himselfshouldberitualisticallydeposed,treatedas"yesterday aking,todayabeggar"hewasnotthetraditionalMaster,butthe "LordofMisrule": IntheEuropeanMiddleAgesitwascustomaryforgreathouseholds tochoosea'LordofMisrule.'Thepersonchosenwasexpectedto presideovertherevelsthatbrieflyreversedorparodiedthe conventionalsocialandeconomichierarchies./.../Whenthebrief reignofmisrulewasover,thecustomaryorderofthingswouldbe restored:theLordsofMisrulewouldgobacktotheirmenial occupations,whiletheirsocialsuperiorsresumedtheirwonted status./.../sometimestheideaofLordofMisrulewouldspillover fromtherealmofreveltotherealmofpolitics./.../theapprentices tookoverfromtheirguildmastersforarecklessdayortwo,/.../ genderroleswerereversedforadayasthewomentookoverthe tasksandairsnormallyassociatedonlywithmen./Chinese philosophersalsolovedtheparadoxesofstatusreversed,theways thatwitorshamecoulddeflatepretensionandleadtosuddenshifts

ofinsight./.../ItwasMao'sterribleaccomplishmenttoseizeonsuch insightsfromearlierChinesephilosophers,combinethemwith elementsdrawnfromWesternsocialistthought,andtousebothin tandemtoprolongthelimitedconceptofmisruleintoalongdrawn outadventureinupheaval.ToMao,theformerlordsandmasters shouldneverbeallowedtoreturn;hefelttheywerenothisbetters, andthatsocietywasliberatedbytheirremoval.Healsothoughtthe customaryorderofthingsshouldneverberestored.[18] Is,however,sucha"terribleaccomplishment"nottheelementary gestureofeverytruerevolutionary?Whyrevolutionatall,ifwedo notthinkthat"thecustomaryorderofthingsshouldneverbe restored?"WhatMaodoesistodeprivethetransgressionofits ritualized,ludiccharacterbywayoftakingitseriously:revolutionis notjustatemporarysafetyvalve,acarnivalesqueexplosiondestined tobefollowedbyasoberingmorningafter.Hisproblemwas preciselythelackofthe"negationofnegation,"thefailureofthe attemptstotransposerevolutionarynegativityintoatrulynew positiveOrder:alltemporarystabilizationsoftherevolution amountedtosomanyrestorationsoftheoldOrder,sothattheonly waytokeeptherevolutionalivewasthe"spuriousinfinity"of endlesslyrepeatednegationwhichreacheditsapexintheGreat CulturalRevolution.InhisLogiquesdesmondes,Badiouelaborated twosubjectiveattitudesofcounteringanevent:the"reactivesubject" andthe"obscuresubject."[19]Insofarasoneisreadytoassumethe riskofobscenelydesignatingthereintroductionofcapitalisminto Chinaakindofevent,onecanclaimthattheCulturalRevolutionand theRevisionismidentifiedbythename"DengHsiaoPing"stand, respectively,fortheobscureandthereactivesubject:Deng orchestratedthereintegrationofcapitalismintothenewCommunist China,whiletheCulturalRevolutionaimedatitstotalannihilation andwasassuchpreciselywhatBadioucallsundsastreobscur. BadiouhimselfconcedesthatthefinalresultoftheCultural Revolutionwasanegativeone: itallbeganwhen,between1966and1968,saturatingintherealthe previoushypotheses,theRedGuardisthighschoolpupilsand students,andthentheworkersofShanghai,prescribedforthe decadestocometheaffirmativerealizationofthisbeginning,of whichtheythemselves,sincetheirfuryremainedcaughtintowhat

theywereraisingagainst,exploredonlythefaceofpurenegation. [20] Oneshouldmakeastepfurtherhere:whatiftheCulturalRevolution was"negative"notonlyinthesenseofclearingupthespaceand openingupthewayforanewbeginning,butnegativeinitself, negativeasanindexoftheIMPOTENCEtogeneratetheNew?In thisprecisesense,thereeffectivelyISaparallelbetweentheCultural RevolutionandtheStalinistpurgesattheirdecisivemoment,when Stalinmadeariskymoveofdirectlyappealingtothelowerrank andfilemembersthemselves,solicitingthemtoarticulatetheir complaintagainstthearbitraryruleofthelocalPartybosses(amove similartotheCulturalRevolution)theirfuryattheregime,unable toexpressitselfdirectly,explodedallthemoreviciouslyagainstthe personalizedsubstitutetargets.Sincetheuppernomenklaturaatthe sametimeretaineditsexecutivepoweralsointhepurges themselves,thissetinmotionaproperlycarnivalesqueself destructiveviciouscycleinwhichvirtuallyeveryonewasthreatened. Anotheraspectofthespiralingviciouscyclewerethevery fluctuationsofthedirectivesfromthetopastothethoroughnessof thepurges:thetopdemandedharshmeasures,whileatthesame timewarningagainstexcesses,sotheexecutorswereputinan untenablepositionultimately,whatevertheydidwaswrong.If theydidnotarrestenoughtraitorsanddiscoverenoughconspiracies, theywereconsideredlenientandsupportingcounterrevolution;so, underthispressure,inordertomeetthequota,asitwere,theyhad tofabricateevidenceandinventplotstherebyexposingthemselves tothecriticismthattheyarethemselvessaboteurs,destroying thousandsofhonestCommunistsonbehalfoftheforeignpowers... Stalin'sstrategyofaddressingdirectlythepartymasses,coopting theirantibureucraticattitudes,wasthusveryrisky: Thisnotonlythreatenedtoopenelitepoliticstopublicscrutinybut alsoriskeddiscreditingtheentireBolshevikregime,ofwhichStalin himselfwasapart./.../Finally,in1937,Stalinbrokealltherulesof thegameindeed,destroyedthegamecompletelyandunleasheda terrorofallagainstall.[21] Onecandiscernverypreciselythesuperegodimensionofthese events:thisveryviolenceinflictedbytheCommunistPoweronits

ownmembersbearswitnesstotheradicalselfcontradictionofthe regime,i.e.tothefactthat,attheoriginsoftheregime,therewasan "authentic"revolutionaryprojectincessantpurgeswerenecessary notonlytoerasethetracesoftheregime'sownorigins,butalsoasa kindof"returnoftherepressed,"areminderoftheradicalnegativity attheheartoftheregime.TheStalinistpurgesofhighPartyechelons reliedonthisfundamentalbetrayal:theaccusedwereeffectively guiltyinsofarasthey,asthemembersofthenewnomenklatura, betrayedtheRevolution.TheStalinistterroristhusnotsimplythe betrayaloftheRevolution,i.e.theattempttoerasethetracesofthe authenticrevolutionarypast;itratherbearswitnesstoakindof"imp ofperversity"whichcompelsthepostrevolutionaryneworderto (re)inscribeitsbetrayaloftheRevolutionwithinitself,to"reflect"it or"remark"itintheguiseofarbitraryarrestsandkillingswhich threatenedallmembersofthenomenklaturaasinpsychoanalysis, theStalinistconfessionofguiltconcealsthetrueguilt.(Asiswell known,StalinwiselyrecruitedintotheNKVDpeopleoflowersocial originswhowerethusabletoactouttheirhatredofthenomenklatura byarrestingandtorturinghighapparatchiks.)Thisinherenttension betweenthestabilityoftheruleofthenewnomenklaturaandthe perverted"returnoftherepressed"intheguiseoftherepeated purgesoftheranksofthenomenklaturaisattheveryheartofthe Stalinistphenomenon:purgesaretheveryforminwhichthe betrayedrevolutionaryheritagesurvivesandhauntstheregime... ThisbringsusbacktothecentralweaknessofMao'sthoughtand politics.Manyacommentatorhasmadeironicremarksaboutthe apparentstylisticclumsinessofthetitlesofSovietCommunistbooks andarticles,suchastheirtautologicalcharacter,inthesenseofthe repeateduseofthesameword(likerevolutionarydynamicsinthe earlystagesoftheRussianrevolution,oreconomiccontradictions inthedevelopmentoftheSovieteconomy).However,whatifthis tautologypointstowardstheawarenessofthelogicofbetrayalbest renderedbytheclassicreproachofRobespierretotheDantonist opportunists:"Whatyouwantisarevolutionwithoutrevolution?" Thetautologicalrepetitionthussignalstheurgetorepeatthe negation,torelateittoitselfthetruerevolutionisrevolutionwith revolution,arevolutionwhich,initscourse,revolutionizesitsown startingpresuppositions.Hegelhadapresentimentofthisnecessity whenhewrote,"Itisamodernfollytoalteracorruptethicalsystem,

itsconstitutionandlegislation,withoutchangingthereligion,to havearevolutionwithoutareformation."[22]Hetherebyannounced thenecessityoftheCulturalRevolutionastheconditionofthe successfulsocialrevolution.Whatthismeansisthattheproblem withhithertorevolutionaryattemptswasnotthattheyweretoo extreme,butthattheywerenotradicalenough,thattheydidnot questiontheirownpresuppositions.Inawonderfulessayon Chevengur,Platonov'sgreatpeasantUtopiawrittenin1927and1928 (justpriortoforcedcollectivization),FredricJamesondescribesthe twomomentsoftherevolutionaryprocess.Itbeginswiththegesture ofradicalnegativity: thisfirstmomentofworldreduction,ofthedestructionoftheidols andthesweepingawayofanoldworldinviolenceandpain,isitself thepreconditionforthereconstructionofsomethingelse.Afirst momentofabsoluteimmanenceisnecessary,theblankslateof absolutepeasantimmanenceorignorance,beforenewand undreamedofsensationsandfeelingscancomeintobeing.[23] Thenfollowsthesecondstage,theinventionofanewlifenotonly theconstructionofthenewsocialrealityinwhichourutopian dreamswouldberealized,butthe(re)constructionofthesedreams themselves: aprocessthatitwouldbetoosimpleandmisleadingtocall reconstructionorUtopianconstruction,sinceineffectitinvolvesthe veryefforttofindawaytobeginimaginingUtopiatobeginwith. PerhapsinamoreWesternkindofpsychoanalyticlanguage/.../we mightthinkofthenewonsetoftheUtopianprocessasakindof desiringtodesire,alearningtodesire,theinventionofthedesire calledUtopiainthefirstplace,alongwithnewrulesforthe fantasizingordaydreamingofsuchathingasetofnarrative protocolswithnoprecedentinourpreviousliteraryinstitutions.[24] Thereferencetopsychoanalysisisherecrucialandveryprecise:ina radicalrevolution,peoplenotonly"realizetheirold(emancipatory, etc.)dreams";rather,theyhavetoreinventtheirverymodesof dreaming.Isthisnottheexactformulaofthelinkbetweendeath driveandsublimation?ThereinresidesthenecessityoftheCultural RevolutionclearlygraspedbyMao:asHerbertMarcuseputitin anotherwonderfulcircularformulafromthesameepoch,freedom

(fromideologicalconstraints,fromthepredominantmodeof dreaming)istheconditionofliberation,i.e.,ifweonlychangereality inordertorealizeourdreams,anddonotchangethesedreams themselves,wesoonerorlaterregresstooldreality.Thereisa Hegelian"positingofpresuppositions"atworkhere:thehardwork ofliberationretroactivelyformsitsoiwnpresupposition. ItisONLYthisreferencetowhathappensAFTERtherevolution,to the"morningafter,"thatallowsustodistinguishbetweenlibertarian patheticoutburstsandtruerevolutionaryupheavals:theseupheavals losetheirenergywhenonehastoapproachtheprosaicworkof socialreconstructionatthispoint,lethargysetsin.Incontrasttoit, recalltheimmensecreativityoftheJacobinsjustpriortotheirfall,the numerousproposalsaboutnewcivicreligion,abouthowtosustain thedignityofoldpeople,andsoon.Thereinalsoresidestheinterest ofreadingthereportsaboutdailylifeintheSovietUnionintheearly 1920s,withtheenthusiasticurgetoinventnewrulesforquotidian existence:howdoesonegetmarried?Whatarethenewrulesof courting?Howdoesonecelebrateabirthday?Howdoesoneget buried?...[25] Atthispoint,theCulturalRevolutionmiserablyfailed.Itisdifficult tomisstheironyofthefactthatBadiou,whoadamantlyopposesthe notionofactasnegative,locatesthehistoricalsignificanceofthe MaoistCulturalRevolutionpreciselyinthenegativegestureof signaling"theendofthepartyStateasthecentralproductionof revolutionarypoliticalactivity"itisherethatheshouldhavebeen consequentanddenytheeventalstatusoftheCulturalRevolution: farfrombeinganEvent,itwasratherasupremedisplayofwhat Badioulikestorefertoasthe"morbiddeathdrive."Destroyingold monumentswasnotatruenegationofthepast,itwasratheran impotentpassagebearingwitnesstothefailuretogetridofthepast. So,inaway,thereisakindofpoeticjusticeinthefactthatthefinal resultofMao'sCulturalRevolutionistoday'sunheardofexplosion ofcapitalistdynamicsinChina.Thatistosay,withthefull deploymentofcapitalism,especiallytoday's"latecapitalism,"itisthe predominant"normal"lifeitselfwhich,inaway,gets"carnivalized," withitsconstantselfrevolutionizing,withitsreversals,crises, reinventions.BrianMassumiformulatedclearlythisdeadlock,which

isbasedonthefactthattoday'scapitalismalreadyovercamethelogic oftotalizingnormalityandadoptedthelogicoftheerraticexcess: themorevaried,andevenerratic,thebetter.Normalcystartstolose itshold.Theregularitiesstarttoloosen.Thislooseningofnormalcyis partofcapitalism'sdynamic.It'snotasimpleliberation.It's capitalism'sownformofpower.It'snolongerdisciplinary institutionalpowerthatdefineseverything,it'scapitalism'spowerto producevarietybecausemarketsgetsaturated.Producevarietyand youproduceanichemarket.Theoddestofaffectivetendenciesare okayaslongastheypay.Capitalismstartsintensifyingor diversifyingaffect,butonlyinordertoextractsurplusvalue.It hijacksaffectinordertointensifyprofitpotential.Itliterallyvalorises affect.Thecapitalistlogicofsurplusvalueproductionstartstotake overtherelationalfieldthatisalsothedomainofpoliticalecology, theethicalfieldofresistancetoidentityandpredictablepaths.It's verytroublingandconfusing,becauseitseemstomethatthere's beenacertainkindofconvergencebetweenthedynamicofcapitalist powerandthedynamicofresistance.[26] ThereISthus,beyondallcheapjibesandsuperficialanalogies,a profoundstructuralhomologybetweentheMaoistpermanentself revolutionizing,thepermanentstruggleagainsttheossificationof Statestructures,andtheinherentdynamicsofcapitalism.Oneis temptedtoparaphrasehereBrecht,his"Whatistherobbingofa bankcomparedtothefoundingofanewbank?",yetagain:whatare theviolentanddestructiveoutburstsofaRedGuardistcaughtinthe CulturalRevolutioncomparedtothetrueCulturalRevolution,the permanentdissolutionofalllifeformsnecessitatedbythecapitalist reproduction?Itisthereignoftoday'sglobalcapitalismwhichisthe trueLordofMisrule.Nowonder,then,that,inordertocurbthe excessofsocialdisintegrationcausedbythecapitalistexplosion, Chineseofficialsnotcelebratereligionsandtraditionalideologies whichsustainsocialstability,fromBuddhismtoConfucianism,i.e., theveryideologiesthatwerethetargetoftheCulturalRevolution.In April2006,YeXiaowen,China'stopreligiousofficial,toldtheXinhua NewsAgencythat"religionisoneoftheimportantforcesfrom whichChinadrawsstrength,"andhesingledoutBuddhismforits 'uniqueroleinpromotingaharmonioussociety,"theofficialformula forcombiningeconomicexpansionwithsocialdevelopmentand

care;thesameweek,ChinahostedtheWorldBuddhistForum.[27] Theroleofreligionastheforceofstabilityagainstthecapitalist dynamicsisthusofficiallysanctionedwhatisbotheringChinese authoritiesinthecaseofsectslikeFalunGongismerelytheir independencefromthestatecontrol.(Thisiswhyoneshouldalso rejecttheargumentthatCulturalRevolutionstrengthenedsocialist attitudesamongthepeopleandthushelpedtocurbtheworst disintegrativeexcessesoftoday'scapitalistdevelopment:quiteonthe contrary,byunderminingtraditionalstabilizingideologieslike Confucianism,itrenderedthepeopleallthemorevulnerabletothe destabilizingeffectsofcapitalism.) Thiscapitalistreappropriationoftherevolutionarydynamicsisnot withoutitscomicsideeffects.Itwasrecentlymadepublicthat,in ordertoconceptualizetheIDFurbanwarfareagainstthe Palestinians,theIDFmilitaryacademiessystematicallyreferto DeleuzeandGuattari,especiallytoThousandPlateaux,usingitas "operationaltheory"thecatchwordsusedare"FormlessRival Entities","FractalManoeuvre","Velocityvs.Rhythms","TheWahabi WarMachine","PostmodernAnarchists","NomadicTerrorists".One ofthekeydistinctionstheyrelyonistheonebetween"smooth"and "striated"space,whichreflecttheorganizationalconceptsofthe"war machine"andthe"stateapparatus".TheIDFnowoftenusestheterm "tosmoothoutspace"whentheywanttorefertooperationinaspace asifithadnoborders.Palestinianareasarethoughtofas"striated"in thesensethattheyareenclosedbyfences,walls,ditches,roadblocks andsoon: TheattackconductedbyunitsoftheIDFonthecityofNablusin April2002wasdescribedbyitscommander,BrigadierGeneralAviv Kokhavi,as"inversegeometry",whichheexplainedas"the reorganizationoftheurbansyntaxbymeansofaseriesofmicro tacticalactions".Duringthebattlesoldiersmovedwithinthecity acrosshundredsofmetresofovergroundtunnelscarvedoutthrough adenseandcontiguousurbanstructure.Althoughseveralthousand soldiersandPalestinianguerrillasweremanoeuvringsimultaneously inthecity,theywereso"saturated"intotheurbanfabricthatvery fewwouldhavebeenvisiblefromtheair.Furthermore,theyused noneofthecity'sstreets,roads,alleysorcourtyards,oranyofthe externaldoors,internalstairwellsandwindows,butmoved

horizontallythroughwallsandverticallythroughholesblastedin ceilingsandfloors.Thisformofmovement,describedbythemilitary as"infestation",seekstoredefineinsideasoutside,anddomestic interiorsasthoroughfares.TheIDF'sstrategyof"walkingthrough walls"involvesaconceptionofthecityasnotjustthesitebutalsothe verymediumofwarfare"aflexible,almostliquidmediumthatis forevercontingentandinflux.[28] Sowhatdoesitfollowfromallthis?Not,ofcourse,thenonsensical accusationofDeleuzeandGuattariastheoristsofmilitaristic colonizationbuttheconclusionthattheconceptualmachine articulatedbyDeleuzeandGuattari,farfrombeingsimply "subversive,"alsofitsthe(military,economic,andideologico political)operationalmodeoftoday'scapitalism.How,then,arewe torevolutionizeanorderwhoseveryprincipleisconstantself revolutionizing?This,perhaps,isTHEquestiontoday,andthisisthe wayoneshouldREPEATMao,reinventinghismessagetothe hundredsofmillionsoftheanonymousdowntrodden,asimpleand touchingmessageofcourage:"Bignessisnothingtobeafraidof.The bigwillbeoverthrownbythesmall.Thesmallwillbecomebig."The samemessageofcouragesustainsalsoMao's(in)famousstance towardsanewatomicworldwar: Westandfirmlyforpeaceandagainstwar.Butiftheimperialists insistonunleashinganotherwar,weshouldnotbeafraidofit.Our attitudeonthisquestionisthesameasourattitudetowardsany disturbance:first,weareagainstit;second,wearenotafraidofit. TheFirstWorldWarwasfollowedbythebirthoftheSovietUnion withapopulationof200million.TheSecondWorldWarwas followedbytheemergenceofthesocialistcampwithacombined populationof900million.Iftheimperialistsinsistonlaunchinga thirdworldwar,itiscertainthatseveralhundredmillionmorewill turntosocialism,andthentherewillnotbemuchroomleftonearth fortheimperialists. Itisalltooeasytodismisstheselinesasemptyposturingofaleader readytosacrificemillionsforhispoliticalgoals(theextensionad absurdumofMao'sruthlessdecisiontostarvetensofmillionstodeath inthelate1950s)theothersideofthisdismissiveattitudeisthe basicmessage:"weshouldnotbeafraid."Isthisnottheonlycorrect

attitudeaproposwar:"first,weareagainstit;second,wearenot afraidofit"?Thereisdefinitelysomethingterrifyingaboutthis attitudehowever,thisterrorisnothinglessthantheconditionof freedom. Notes: [1]Alongtheselines,someWesternMarxistsattributedStalinismto Russia'sbelongingtothesphereofthe"Asiaticmodeofproduction," seeingitasanewformof"Orientaldespotism"theironybeingthat, fortraditionalRussians,theexactoppositehold:"Itwasalwaysa WesternfancytoseeLeninandStalinas'Oriental'despots.Thegreat Russiantyrantsintheeighteenthandthetwentiethcenturywere Westernizers."(LesleyChamberlain,ThePhilosophySteamer,London: AtlanticBooks2006,p.270) [2]EmmanuelLevinas,Lesimprvusdel'histoire,FataMorgana1994, p.172. [3]MartinHeidegger,Schelling'sTreatiseonHumanFreedom,Athens: OhioUniversityPress1985,p.146. [4]G.W.F.Hegel,PhenomenologyofSpirit,Oxford:OxfordUniversity Press1977,p.288. [5]F.W.J.Schelling,DieWeltalter.Fragmente.IndenUrfassungenvon 1811und1813,ed.ManfredSchroeter,Munich:Biederstein1979,p. 13. [6]GeorgiM.Derluguian,Bourdieu'sSecretAdmirerintheCaucasus, Chicago:TheUniversityofChicagoPress2005. [7]LucBoltanskiandEveChiapello,TheNewSpiritofCapitalism, London:Verso,2005. [8]op.cit. [9]AlainBadiou,"Prefazioneall'edizioneitaliana",inMetapolitica, Napoli:Cronopio,2002.

[10]AndarethelateststatementsofToniNegriandMichaelHardt notakindofunexpectedconfirmationofthisBadiou'sinsight? Followingaparadoxicalnecessity,theirvery(focusingon)anti capitalismledthemtoacknowledgetherevolutionaryforceof capitalism,sothat,astheyputitrecently,onenolongerneedsto fightcapitalism,becausecapitalismisalreadyinitselfgenerating communistpotentialsthe"becomingcommunistofcapitalism,"to putitinDeleuzianterms... [11]JungChangandJonHalliday,Mao:TheUnknownStory,New York:Knopf2005. [12]HeideggerisalsowronginhislettertoMarcuse,comparing holocausttothe19467deportationofGermansfromEasternEurope HerbertMarcusewasrightinhisreply:thedifferencebetweenthe fateofJewsandtheEasternEuropeanGermanswas,atthatmoment, thethinlinethatseparatedbarbarismfromcivilization. [13]SamuelBeckett,Trilogy,London:CalderPublications2003,p. 418. [14]RobertConquest,TheHarvestofSorrow,NewYork:Oxford UniversityPress1986,p.119. [15]Conquest,op.cit.,p.120. [16]Ibid [17]Nowonder,then,that,whenhedescribesthedemocratic methodofresolvingcontradictionsamongthepeople,"MaoHASto evokehisownversionof,precisely,"negationofnegation,"inthe guiseoftheformula"unitycriticismunity":"startingfromthedesire forunity,resolvingcontradictionsthroughcriticismorstruggle,and arrivingatanewunityonanewbasis.Inourexperiencethisisthe correctmethodofresolvingcontradictionsamongthepeople." [18]JonathanSpence,Mao,London:Weidenfeld&Nicolson1999,p. xiixiv. [19]AlainBadiou,Logiquesdesmondes,Paris:ditionsduSenil2006,

p.6270. [20]Badiou,op.cit.,p.543544. [21]Ibid [22]G.W.F.Hegel,EnzyklopaediederphilosophischenWissenschaften, Hamburg1959,p.436. [23]FredricJameson,TheSeedsofTime,NewYork:Columbia UniversityPress1994,p.89. [24]Jameson,op.cit.,p.90. [25]WasCheGuevara'swithdrawalfromallofficialfunctions,even fromCubancitizenship,in1965,inordertodedicatehimselfto worldrevolutionthissuicidalgestureofcuttingthelinkswiththe institutionaluniversereallyanACT?Or,wasitanescapefromthe impossibletaskofthepositiveconstructionofsocialism,from remainingfaithfultotheCONSEQUENCESoftherevolution, namely,animplicitadmissionoffailure? [26]BrianMassumi,"NavigatingMovements,"inHope,ed.Mary Zournazi,NewYork:Routledge2002,p.224. [27]Seethereport"RenewedFaith,"Time,May82006,p.3435. [28]EyalWeizman,"IsraeliMilitaryUsingPostStructuralismas 'OperationalTheory',"availableonlineatwww.frieze.com.
SlavojZizek'sBibliography SlavojZizek'sChronology