Liberation and Melancholy


Liberation cannot be achieved in any mode of production, whether that be communism, socialism, capitalism, feudalism, etc. The question one must ask in the face of proclamations that say otherwise is “what are we being liberated from?”. In capitalism, we are liberated from the more rigid political structure of feudalism. In socialism, we are liberated from the more rigid economic structure of capitalism. In communism, the scars of capitalist society fade away, and we are liberated completely from the conditions of capitalism. But, these are all modes of production. We never escape production or accumulation. When Lyotard argues that every political economy is within the libidinal economy, we note that the libidinal economy is this overarching “meta-structure” of every mode of production. This is the type of thinking we must have when we think about liberation. WE WILL NEVER BE LIBERATED UNLESS WE ESCAPE FROM THE META-STRUCTURE THAT IS ‘MODE OF PRODUCTION’ AND ENTER INTO THE META-STRUCTURE THAT IS ‘MODE OF EXPENDITURE’.

The subject is a barrier to liberation and this is a sad reality. We will never be free because if we are then freedom disappears and is found nowhere. Anyone that preaches liberation to you, anyone who proclaims that they do not fall into the traps that those other revolutionaries necessarily falls into the trap of reproducing those servile and domesticating structures that prevent liberation. This latter statement finds its truth in the fact that anyone who claims to liberate you is liberating the subject from something that is not the subject. So, when Marx and Engels shout that one has nothing to lose but their chains, we laugh. We laugh because in reality, one has nothing to lose but themselves.

A concept which I’m sure isn’t new but, to my knowledge, has yet to be named is the ‘commodity social form’. Now this is obviously a play on the concept of the ‘commodity form’. Essentially, in our present-day capitalist society, society organizes itself as a homogeneous body which reproduces the structures of capitalism. The subject itself is subsumed within the commodity social form because the subject is social, it arises from dialectical recognition. So, we must follow Landstriecher in his call for the destruction of society and social roles. But, we must go farther than him because he still sees the desiring and unique individual subject as revolutionary. We must shatter this form of social organization, we must shatter all social organization, we must shatter ourselves if we want liberation.

How sweet terror is, not a single line, or a ray of morning sunlight fails to contain the sweetness of anguish. - Georges Bataille