The Real Movement

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Category: communization

Shorter John Cunningham …

“I have no fucking idea”:

Apparatuses reproduce a more uneven terrain of struggle that includes but can’t be reduced to production as a site of contestation, corresponding to the everyday and potentially blocking insurrection. This aporia will only be resolved through a praxis that disables the entire reproductive cycle of capital and what that would be remains an open question.
Make Total Destroy, John Cunningham

This took 18 pages to say.

More later.

Has Toscano ever actually read Capital?

Continued from here

The abolition of wage labor in 20th century socialism

I think it’s a mistake to think communization theory offers anything new to replace the old strategy of the Communist Manifesto. The idea communists gathered around Marx and Engels in the middle of the 19th century were not committed to the idea of immediately abolishing wage slavery is silly.

This is all communization means.

Is Toscano seriously trying to argue that the men and women who produced and adopted the Manifesto did not fully intend to immediately put an end to the buying and selling of labor power if they successfully gained state power?

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Can Communization Work as a Strategy? Alberto Toscano is skeptical

In this critique of British cultural critic, social theorist, philosopher and translator, Alberto Toscano’s essay, Now or Never, I am examining his various reservations with communization theory.

For the purpose of this critique, I assume that communization means the direct and immediate abolition of wage labor by the proletarians is all that is required to realize a fully communist society. Although many communizers may not hold to this view, I do not feel bound by their lack of recognition of the implications of their own theory.

In the course of answering Toscano’s reservation I hope to show why my definition of communization, as the direct and immediate abolition of wage labor, is the only rational reading of communization theory.

This post is a bit long, so I will divide it into two parts.


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A brief hiatus while I translate Alberto Toscano’s Newspeak into Ebonics

In my last post, I argued that communization is identical with the immediate abolition of wage labor. Alberto Toscano, however, has defined communization as “intransitive, anti-strategic varieties of communism.”

I am sure he has good reasons for this definition. I hope to find out what the phrase means at some point.

But I thought this argument was funny:

“Even if we accept that all transitional strategies are doomed, this does not in any way suggest that intransitive, anti-strategic varieties of communism have any better chances of dislocating the domination of the value-form – far from it.”

What I find so funny about this argument can be seen if we substitute the phrase, “intransitive, anti-strategic varieties of communism”, by the much less vague phrase, “immediate abolition of wage labor”, so that the statement now reads as follows:

“Even if we accept that all transitional strategies are doomed, this does not in any way suggest that the immediate abolition of wage labor has any better chances of dislocating the domination of the value-form – far from it.”

Without in any way suggesting either that all transitional strategies are doomed or that we can immediately abolish wage labor, I want to ask if there is any reason to believe the domination of the value-form can survive the abolition wage labor?

What is the value-form? Money, right? Specifically, fascist state fiat currency. Can someone tell me how money outlasts the abolition of wages? If wage labor is abolished — i.e., if wages are no longer being paid out — what role does money …uh, the value-form now play?


Okay. I’ll get back to work trying to figure out what the fuck Toscano is saying.

Communization is identical with the immediate abolition of wage labor: A reply to Leon de Mattis, et al

I am continuing with my examination of a series of essays on communization published by Clever Monkey in the book, Communization and its discontents. The book presents the idea of communization through the lens of writers who, allegedly, embrace the idea.

The essays raise several questions regarding communization, the answers to which should cause anyone reading them to take pause.

Where do we begin communizing society?

We begin, of course, with an idea of communism.

What does the term communism mean?

It means a society without classes, property or the state; a society characterized by the principle, “to each according to need.”

Simple enough, right? Why then does the idea of communization cause so much confusion among communists? The reason may be found in the answer to a third question:

Is communization possible?

We don’t know.


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How Theorie Communiste tried to rebrand 20th century socialism

I have been reading a lot of communization literature of late. I am impressed by the implications of the argument for communization, but if you have been keeping up with my blog, you know I am terribly disappointed.

Here is what I have learned from the Communization School so far:

  • In Clever Monkey’s opinion, it appears communizers have no idea who is doing the communizing, nor exactly any idea of what it is they are trying to communize.
  • From Theorie Communiste, I have learned that communizers have been unable to explain how communization differs from what we used to call socialism.
  • The Endnotes collective insists communization is not on the agenda at this time, despite arguing that the proletariat is superfluous to the production of material wealth.

This last point is very important, in my opinion. Both Theorie Communiste and the Endnotes collective argue that communization is not a call to immediately communize anything.

Let me focus in on this critical defect in the argument of both the Endnotes collective and Theorie Communiste (TC).


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Really? On Endnotes’ “Communization for Dummies”

I have been reading Clever Monkey’s 2009 anthology of writings from the communization school, Communization and its Discontents. The first essay in the anthology, “What are we to do?”, is provided by the Endnotes collective.

The essay appears to be a polemic against another collective that is more or less grouped around the journal, Tiqqun. But it seems to me to be nothing more than an failed attempt to leverage communization in much the same way Mason, Srnicek and Williams tried to hijack accelerationism.

Perhaps, I am wrong, but let me continue and you be the judge.


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Communization or Accelerationism — or both?

On the surface, I can’t imagine two more irreconcilable ideas than communization and accelerationism. While communization has often been labeled an extreme ultra-Left variant of communism, accelerationism has been called the very grammar of neoliberalism by no less than the person who coined the term, Ben Noys.

I think there are reasons to say this view may be wrong. Far from being opposites, in my opinion, the two extremist radical variants of communism are  ideal complements to one another.

To understand why, let’s look at each idea in turn.


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Don’t Jump, Go Faster: A reply to our invisible friends

I am in the middle of reading clever monkey’s take on communization from an introduction to an anthology he edited in 2012: “Communization and its discontents”. Clever Monkey is my pet name for Ben Noys, the writer who coined the term “accelerationism”. In this tract, consisting of a collection of writing from the communisation school, it is quite bizarre to find the abolition of wage labor is never mentioned until page 221 of a 282 page pdf. In fact, the term wage labor itself appears in the book perhaps a dozen times out of perhaps 100,000 words. The related term, labor power, is mentioned about two dozen times.

What sort of communism is this that never speaks of wage labor, labor power or abolition of wage slavery?


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Theorie Communiste on Socialization versus Communization: What happened to wage labor?

If you follow me on Mastodon () then you know I have been spending a lot of time reading and re-reading this declaration by Theorie Comuniste: “The suspended step of communisation: communisation vs socialisation”.

Having spent a lot of time over the last two weeks reading it, I have come to the conclusion that the document fails to make the case for communization. The essay attempts (and fails) to draw the line between simple socialization of the social means of production and communization. Both ‘-ations’ pretty much seem to consist of the same thing.

Which is a big problem for me.

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