When Francis Fujiyama declared definitively that history was over the bombers were already on route too Baghdad. Their bomb bays full of shock and awe. But as we reached the fab butt of the century nobody doubted he was right. The Berlin Wall was just a tourist attraction, the Iron curtain so rusted that the Soviet Masses had only to sneeze and the whole edifice of the “Evil”Empire vanished into thin air. The revolution of 1917 was replaced, slow-by-slow, by the hegemony of the Market, by Liberal democracy, by egotistical calculation, by the triumphant logic of cold cash payment.
By 1991 ‘the liberated people’ were at the trough of freedom stuffing themselves with all those things, a free people must have. Soap operas, social-insecurity, credit cards, redundancy, mortgages, poverty and debt, the propaganda was advertising and its speech the endless nomenclature of real politics and real estate agents, those shock troops of a New World Order. All the talk was of house prices, house prices, house prices.
By the end of the century the people (well everyone except the oligarchs and the flatterers who held Yeltsin’s bottle of vodka) were spewing their guts up as their first crisis of Capital, left even the most optimistic refuseniks begging in the streets of Rostov, left to selling their daughters to the people smugglers, to be traded across borders and sold to the brothels at the end of the World. The forces of progress held the line until progress was finally abolished.
The dreams of game theorists and nuclear planners became the policy and practice of Thatcher and Reagan. Free choice was the order the day, solidarity, service, duty, mere slogans in the Post Modern, Post Moral reality. The highest values had devalued themselves, only the bottom line, only money mattered.
Adorno signaled the retreat, the meaningless of Art in face of horror. There can be no poetry after Auschwitz. The so called Left intelligentsia, castrated by the brute fact of the final solution, of Stalin’s purges, of the reality of the international, crushed under tracks of soviet tanks on the streets of Hungry in 56 and Prague in 68. Were by now being seduced by the financial possibilities of going short in derivatives, of going long in commodities, of hedging risk by investing in oil futures. They prayed at the alter of divine algorithms, of the credit default swaps. They were seduced by the pure rationality of the Dow Jones, the Ftse 100 index, of Nasdaq. These new oracles of Delphi praised Capitalism, as if it were the shadow of God on earth. Communism like some latter day Lucifer fell permanently from grace. Deleted from history and CNN.
The street fighting men, the proletarians, the radicals, the artists, the bohemians, flushed their grams of speed down the toilet, the spirit of the 1970’s was dead, the dynamic of opposition decayed. They drowned their irrelevance, in the chemical oil-slick of choice.
MDMA, was raised to the godhead, this skinny low-fat, cal-free, diluted, sterilized, circumcised, faux vision of the Dionysian urge, this watered down liberation through psychopharmacology, his plastic God of intoxication, made to order after the Health and Safety Executive had regulated the irrational and turned the strong Soma of Bacchus into a discourse, fit for the viewing public, the BBC, academic debating societies, and the readers of the letters pages of the Daily Mail.
This was the cutting, puking, gagging, moll rat sign of the Times. This was the era when even a echo-head, vallette of an idea, could be taken seriously, and what was this new idea? Post- Modernism. The philosophical negation of high-born modernism, of the enlightenment project left to waste away in the alleyways behind the office blocks of the Now. Where once was a city is now a desert and they call that place peace.
It is accomplished.
In the boots of the cars of a derelict generation, meaning gagged and bound, was on the way to the killing fields east of the Absurd. The dialectical materialists shell shocked by the bursting of their ideals, turned their backs on party discipline, on the plan, on any talk of progress, the decrees of politburo functionaries, the songs of trade unionists on May day, fell on deaf ears. Instead a generation fell in love with the moment, finding amid tatters of the broken dreams of the 20th century, nothing else upon which they could fall in love with. They danced to a digital dirge as they wept without knowing it, eyes closed and swaying side to side to the relentless bpm of German industrial Techno.
If asked what was the purpose of life, what was the good? what was society, what was the economy actually for? all they could say was “Is the answer Nietzsche?” Then with a shrug of the shoulders added “Oh I just don’t think about it” And they carried on dancing to Goa psychedelic trance.
No one noticed that beneath their feet, under the broken glass, under spilled beer, the dog ends and the spit, under the detritus of the 20th century, under the floor boards of the slaughter houses of proxy wars, wrapped in the air-tight winding sheet of public relations lay the beheaded, bloated corpses of equality, fraternity and liberty. “Oh we just don’t think about it” They said popping into their mouths another bitter little pill. But there were others.
35.000 feet over the city of New York and they danced to a different tune.
A group of young passionate men that a few years earlier would have been Prime recruits to the Berkeley or Ox-bridge campus cadres those whose Marxism was Fuelled by hash, L.S.D and free-love. These young men, in jumbo jets above the city of New York were Human all too Human, they were full of absolutes, ideas, ideals, and had an overwhelming capacity to get things done. Whilst their peers back in London were setting up another squat party somewhere in Hackney, or maybe Berlin, or even Paris, these young men were carrying death to Manhattan.
We Just Don’t Think About It
On September 11, 2001, history woke up from its dogmatic slumbers kicking and screaming.
The shock that was sown over the ruined cities Of Iraq was reaped on the T.V. screens around the globe, endlessly in exquisite detail, over and over, through the 24 hour news cycle, these men gathered a dark harvest from the streets of New–York City. We watched the planes crash into the Twin Towers and we didn’t know if it was art, act of war or the Apocalypse Now. Then finally we understood it was all of them at once.
In Washington, the President’s first order committed America’s sons to a war without end. Their mothers, wives, sisters, had seen it all before and knew what was coming. They could still remember the body count and broken bodies blasted to bits in the paddy fields of Vietnam.
They said “ Once the killing starts, it’s hard to draw the line.” In front of the news cameras they kissed the flag and supported the president and the pentagon but later when the lights had been turn away, they walked home alone , these women without men and by Grand Central Station, they laid down and wept.
In the basement clubs the dancers closed their eyes and said nothing, they danced so they didn’t have to think about it. In the colleges and art schools, the cultural theorists, the hired critics, the public intellectuals all drunk on Nietzsche, high on Foucault declared the enlightenment project terminated. Objective reality was just a name for naked will to power! Truth was Tyranny. The Real was Imaginary.
Meanwhile in Helmand Province, the only “post” the infantry got was post traumatic stress disorder. The marines died not relatively not symbolically, not as sign or as simulation, theirs and guts were blown out not virtually but because they followed their order to the letter.
The Liberals gave up on the New York Times and groped in the dark for meaning but found nothing. The feminists who bestrode the 1970’s like amazons of old, now gave birth daughters schooled in mass communications and social networks, in advertising and were puking up their curries in the toilets of white suburbia, in search of a new aesthetic the beauty of invisibility, the abyss of the size “0” dress. And in the basement clubs they kept on dancing. No-one offered an opinion or even cared as the planes hit, as long as the MDMA kept flowing, as long as the D.J. on the Titanic of their (Hyper–Reality) spun right the tunes. But there were others.
Not the last of the bohemians, reading in their bedsits, the doomed manifestos of The Red Army Faction or the banal scribbles of professors bored to the point of nihilism. These new forces were born in front of the T.V. screens they were spellbound by the sheer audacity of their hate. In the dirt and dust blood and death of New York. These others knew what had to be done. They wanted to create A Revolution In Desire.
That revolution still in it’s infancy they have called Khroma. And those that unite for it’s aims are the Khroma Brigades.
Poets, philosopher, painters, the unemployed, the worker, craftsmen, creators, soldiers, scientists, theorists, athletes, you men, women, children from the city to the sea.
What is the point of your freedom when you don’t do anything with it?
You Kings and Queen’s of Infinite Space It is time to create a new way of Being. So far we have only, Painted,Represented, Abstracted, Expressed, Minimized, Rationalized, Poetized, Deconstructed, Analysed, and finally Dismissed, the World as unreal and relative. You have interpenetrated the World but the point is, and will always be to change it.