The culture industry perpetually cheats its consumers of what it perpetually promises. The promissory note which, with its plots and staging, it draws on pleasure is endless prolonged; the promise, which is actually all the spectacle consists of, is illusory: all it actually confirms is that the real point will never be reached, that the diner must be satisfied with the menu… . There is no erotic situation which, while insinuating and exciting, does not fail to indicate unmistakably that things can never go that far.
Many draw back when faced with affinity. It is, in fact, a lot easier and less demanding to sign up for something, be it an organization, a permanent assembly or a scene, and take up and reproduce formal characteristics, rather than embarking upon a long and never-ending search for comrades with whom to share ideas, analysis and eventual projects. Because affinity is exactly this: a reciprocal knowledge between comrades, shared analysis that leads to prospects of action. Affinity is therefore directed, on one hand, toward theoretical deepening and, on the other, towards intervention in social conflictuality.
Affinity is radically situated on the qualitative plane. It aspires to the sharing of ideas and methods, and it does not have infinite growth as its goal. For some comrades, on of the main, often camouflaged preoccupations still seems to be the number. How many are we? What should we do to be more? From the polarization on such a question and from the assessment that today we warren’s many, and given by the fact that may others do not share our ideas (no, also not unconsciously), derives the conclusion that we should, to grow numerically, avoid putting too big an emphasis on certain ideas. These days it is rare to still find those who will try to sell you a membership card to some revolutionary organization, destined to quantitatively grow and aspiring to represent always more exploited; but there are many who think that the best way to get to know others consists of organizing “consensual” activities such as self-organized bars, workshops, concerts, etc. Surely such activities can have their role, but when we face the topic of affinity we are talking about something else. Affinity is not the same thing as friendship. Of course the two are not mutually exclusive, but it is not because we share certain analysis that we sleep together, and vice versa. In the same way, just because we listen to the same music it doesn’t mean we want to struggle in the same way against domination.
The search for affinity occurs on an interpersonal level. It is not a collective event, a group affair, where it is always easier to follow than to think for oneself. The deepening of affinity is clearly a matter of thought and action, but in the end affinity is not the result of carrying out an action together, but rather a starting point from which to then pass to action. OK, this is obvious, some might say, but then this would mean that I will not meet many people who could be good comrades, because in some way I would confine myself to affinity. It is true that the search and the deepening of affinity require a lot of time and energy, and that therefore it is not possible to generalize it to all comrades. The anarchic movement of a country, of a city or even a neighborhood cannot become one big affinity group. It is not about enlarging different affinity groups with more comrades, but to make possible the multiplication of autonomous affinity groups. The search, the elaboration and the deepening of affinity leads to small groups of comrades that know each other, share analysis and pass together to action.
Nothing is Finished, essays from anti-prison struggles in Belgium.
I now know that there exists another punctum (another “stigmatum”) than the “detail.” This new punctum, which is no longer of form but of intensity, is Time, the lacerating emphasis of the noeme ("that-has-been"), its pure representation.
In 1865, young Lewis Payne tried to assassinate Secretary of State W.H. Seward. Alexander Gardner photographed him in his cell, where he was waiting to be hanged. The photograph is handsome, as is the boy: that is the studium. But the punctum is: he is going to die. I read at the same time: this will be and this has been; I observe with horror an anterior future of which death is the stake. By giving me to the absolute past of the pose (aorist), the photograph tells me death in the future. What points me, pricks me, is the discovery of this equivalence. In front of the photograph of my mother as a child, I tell myself: she is going to die: I shudder, like Winnicott’s psychotic patient, over a catastrophe that has already occurred. Whether or not the subject is already dead, every photograph is this catastrophe.
If we think of tactics as the art of assembling men and weapons in order to win battles, and of strategy as the art of assembling battles in order to win wars, then logistics could be defined as the art of assembling war and the agricultural, economic, and industrial resources that make it possible. If a war machine could be said to have a body, then tactics would represent the muscles and the strategy the brain, while logistics would be the machine’s digestive and circulatory systems: the procurement and supply networks that distribute resources throughout an army’s body.
—Manuel De Landa, War in the Age of Intelligent Machines
The time is out of joint. The world is going badly. It is worn but its wear no longer counts. Old age or youth—one no longer counts in that way. The world has more than one age. We lack the measure of the measure. We no longer realize the wear, we no longer take account of it as of a single age in the progress of history. Neither maturation, nor crisis, nor even agony. Something else. What is happening is happening to age itself, it strikes a blow at the teleological order of history. What is coming, in which the untimely appears, is happening to time but it does not happen in time. Contretemps. The time is out of joint.