Saturday, February 10, 2018

The End of History

Communism differs from all previous movements in that it overturns the basis of all earlier relations of production and intercourse, and for the first time consciously treats all natural premises as the creatures of men, strips them of their natural character and subjugates them to the power of individuals united. Its organization is, therefore, essentially economic, the material production of the conditions of this unity; it turns existing conditions in to conditions of unity. The reality, which communism is creating, is precisely the real basis for rendering it impossible that anything should exist independently of individuals, in so far as things are only a product of the preceding intercourse of individuals themselves.   -- Karl Marx, The German Ideology

  "The end of history" . . . theoretical, ephemeral, abstract . . . reads like a hipster intellectual riff, a thing imposed: to impress, to establish authority, to get laid, whatever. But history itself is a thing imposed, "a story told by winners", as they say, and please note that the existence of "winners" implies there are also "losers" who are on the bottom of that equation.

  We have so many histories: great seismic movements, the fiats of supermen, gods propelling the fate of nations, grand cataclysmic accidents. These histories present as natural law, leitmotif, the mask of object, transcendent authority . . . of course, the very existence of "histories" as opposed to "history" gives lie to objective fact. History is indeed "a story told by winners", and the winners are always changing.

  We have been forced to consume weaponized books of history as part of our socialization from the time we were tots. The histories of these books propose to align us under a structure imposed from without, to indoctrinate us with a parade of events properly arranged under the banner of those who would control us . . . of course they propose this as sacred law, and of course they erase our individuality by mobbing us in with a greater whole, a whole consecrated by the "rulers of the universe", those who write our histories. And these histories are consecrated by . . . whom?

  So many histories are written as erasure of the individual. Our current American reality-film directors would have you believe that communism is the great erasure of the individual, but is there anything that more completely annihilates the individual than a script imposed from above? We are cast as actors in some immense cosmic film, where even the most humanistic of histories casts us as bit players, puppets whose strings are expertly manipulated by the GREAT MEN of the history. Communism, on the other hand, "overturns the basis of all earlier relations of production and intercourse, and for the first time consciously treats all natural premises as the creatures of men, strips them of their natural character and subjugates them to the power of individuals united." Communism focuses on the relations between individuals, and the material conditions which dictate those relations. So, while there indeed may be great actors, they are not great because of some power of divinity, will, blood, genetics, talent, etc.; they are great actors by way of the material conditions which put them in position to be great actors. They are great actors because they have been ordained by a set of relations that puts them there. They are great actors because they are members of the class that enjoys the privilege of rule. Communist history is the history of groups of individuals organized by the world around them, and the relations that these groups have with each other. Stripped of all externally imposed structures, Communist history is the history of class struggle. And when that struggle ends, so ends history:
This subsuming of individuals under definite classes cannot be abolished until a class has taken shape, which has no longer any particular class interest to assert against the ruling class. -- Marx, TGI
When culture sheds the detritus of the previous ages, when the individual breaks the shackles of history that restrain them, when their class no longer is at war - indeed, when their class dissolves because the relations of the previous age have disappeared - then history too has ended.

  This then is the equality that a Marxist desires: not the crass capitalist-materialist equality where if one person has a Mercedes and a pool, then everyone has to have a Mercedes and a pool . . . rather, it is when no class holds dominion over another, when no individual lords over another. It is this dissolution of class that is the end of history.

  There is nothing ephemeral or abstract about the end of history . . . our American Dream Overlords know this, and insist that we have already reached this particular historical cul-de-sac by pointing at the extinction, in our American culture, of class and privilege . . . but of course, we know better. America's "classless, privilege-free culture" is one of the most transparent of myths. And even if the vaunted "class mobility" did exist here, class mobility is not equality; the erasure of class, the end of history, is the only measure of true equality. When there is no struggle, when artificial scarcity - the motor of capitalism - is shown for the lie that it is, when we finally have moved beyond class, when history finally is at an end, that is when full communism has arrived, that is when we will be equal and free.

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