# LITERATURE /// The vision of Western Culture in The Coming Insurrection

I realize I never wrote an article per say about The Coming Insurrection (I only posted the video of Glenn Beck achieving a diatribe against it without having read it…). Instead, I will regularly publish some excerpts from it either from the first part, which is a very sharp satire of our current society or from the second part which is a organizational manifesto.
It is probably not by chance that the book has been published in France and in the U.S. by what are probably the best publishers, La Fabrique and the MIT Press.
You can find the two full texts (French and English) online but the format of the book and its straight forwardness really make you want to buy a bunch of them and distribute them around you…
“Today the West is the GI who dashes into Fallujah on an M1 Abrams tank, listening to heavy metal at top volume. It’s the tourist lost on the Mongolian plains, mocked by all, who clutches his credit card as his only lifeline. It’s the CEO who swears by the game Go. It’s the young girlchchases who chases happiness in clothes, guys, and moisturizing creams. It’s the Swiss human rights activist who travels to the four corners of the earth to show solidarity with all the world’s rebels – provided they’ve been defeated. It’s the Spaniard who couldn’t care less about political freedom once he’s been granted sexual freedom. It’s the art lover who wants us to be awestruck before the “modern genius” of a century of artists, from surrealism to Viennese actionism, all competing to see who could best spit in the face of civilization. It’s the cyberneticist who’s found a realistic theory of consciousness in Buddhism and the quantum physicist who’s hoping that dabbling in Hindu metaphysics will inspire new scientific discoveries.

The West is a civilization that has survived all the prophecies of its collapse with a singular stratagem. Just as the bourgeoisie had to deny itself as a class in order to permit the bourgeoisification of society as a whole, from the worker to the baron; just as capital had to sacrifice itself as a wage relation in order to impose itself as a social relation – becoming cultural capital and health capital in addition to finance capital; just as Christianity had to sacrifice itself as a religion in order to survive as an affective structure – as a vague injunction to humility, compassion, and weakness; so the West has sacrificed itself as a particular civilization in order to impose itself as a universal culture. The operation can be summarized like this: an entity in its death throws sacrifices itself as a content in order to survive as a form.”

The Invisible Committee. The Coming Insurrection. MIT Press. 2009

original text:

“L’Occident, aujourd’hui, c’est un GI qui fonce sur Falloudja à bord d’un char Abraham M1 en écoutant du hard rock à plein tube. C’est un touriste perdu au milieu des plaines de la Mongolie, moqué de tous et qui serre sa Carte Bleue comme son unique planche de salut. C’est un manager qui ne jure que par le jeu de go. C’est une jeune fille qui cherche son bonheur parmi les fringues, les mecs et les crèmes hydratantes. C’est un militant suisse des droits de l’homme qui se rend aux quatre coins de la planète, solidaire de toutes les révoltes pourvu qu’elles soient défaites. C’est un Espagnol qui se fout pas mal de la liberté politique depuis qu’on lui a garanti la liberté sexuelle. C’est un amateur d’art qui offre à l’admiration médusée, et comme dernière expression de génie moderne, un siècle d’artistes qui, du surréalisme à l’actionisme viennois, rivalisent du crachat le mieux ajusté à la face de la civilisation. C’est enfin un cybernéticien qui a trouvé dans le bouddhisme une théorie réaliste de la conscience et un physicien des particules qui est allé chercher dans la métaphysique hindouiste l’inspiration de ses dernières trouvailles.
L’Occident, c’est cette civilisation qui a survécu à toutes les prophéties sur son effondrement par un singulier stratagème. Comme la bourgeoisie a dû se nier en tant que classe pour permettre l’embourgeoisement de la société, de l’ouvrier au baron. Comme le capital a dû se sacrifier en tant que rapport salarial pour s’imposer comme rapport social, devenant ainsi capital culturel et capital santé autant que capital financier. Comme le christianisme a dû se sacrifier en tant que religion pour se survivre comme structure affective, comme injonction diffuse à l’humilité, à la compassion et à l’impuissance, l’Occident s’est sacrifié en tant que civilisation particulière pour s’imposer comme culture universelle. L’opération se résume ainsi: une entité à l’agonie se sacrifie comme contenu pour se survivre en tant que forme.”
Le Comite Invisible. L’insurrection qui vient. La Fabrique 2009
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2 Comments on “# LITERATURE /// The vision of Western Culture in The Coming Insurrection

  1. Pingback: # POLITICS /// What is a People: Butler, Badiou, Bourdieu, Rancière, Khiari & Didi-Huberman for La Fabrique | The Funambulist