"An investigation of political acts" is deciphered between the poles of transcendental experience and urban guerrilla. In his search for evidence as part of his large-scale search for life, David Cooper, like Frantz Fanon and others long before him, sees himself referred to the infra-structures of base and the superstructure: the total of the eligible freedoms (p. 149). The dialectic implicit in this existentialist point of view would be a materialistic one, insofar as it does not attach itself to the unity, nor to the contradictory moments of contradictions, but is non-space (ou-topia), is direction against dialectics as mask of all the permitted rules of the game.
Transcendental experience involves the experience of death in life that becomes part of the fullness of being, death whose exemplary, metaphysical and biological individuation [Verbesonderung] is overcome by practicing in the ecstatic anticipation of transcendental experience. Ecstatic states mediated through meditation, spontaneous experiences and borderline situations, chemical-biological changes through drugs such as LSD etc., courses of disease such as TB, epilepsy etc., orgasmic actions of the senses, not just of the sexual realm, are vehicles and channels used so as to transform individuals and collectives in a revolutionary way in direction of an overall change of all the dimensions of humanly possible life.
He who kills himself has already made the experience of the nullity of the transcendentals (in terms of Kant). But only who follows the terror to the limit, dies the only death worth dying (p. 148 ff.).
Guerrilla is understood as solidarity with the people, aiming not only at their future liberation, but "at the very present accompaniment of the people in their very present travail", through people’s courts and people's prisons and the lawyers, doctors, and guards operating within them (p. 148).
Guerrilla is the ultimate test of ecstasy. The latter – unlike the Far-Eastern-world-escapist one – is supposed to change all individual and social conditions as "the deployment of power in a social entity or between social entities." Like this, for example, politics becomes an index of the deployment of power, "an activity that involves the disorganisation-reorganisation of a person, bits of a person or groups or collectives of people, aimed at some new chosen end" (p. 13).
Who has read "The Death of the Family" with commitment, i.e. who has re-traced, always in view of oneself, the putrefaction processes of bourgeois society, this grammar of dying, will be able to comprehend the "grammar of living" as a constructive answer to that overly emotionalised criticism (Cooper about himself), all the more as he is asked to see the political problem in establishing, within the experience of life, a sufficient closeness to death in all its shapes so that he may enter the complex revolutionary strategies with a clear consciousness, instead of continuing to follow the bad habit of consenting to our oppression in class and national terms, to genocide and to the now near final loss of our mind.
This strategic scheme doesn’t spend more time than absolutely necessary for a prior understanding in dealing with the techniques for the unmasking of (false) consciousness, (continuously disrupted) communication, language (the medium of the masses), and normality (that quintessence of sclerosis and madness for the sake of adaptation). Consciousness has been replaced by awareness, say intuition, by which that political act is meant that is the most extreme violence against death, as, after the overcoming of the basic forms of perception of space, time, causality, etc. (see Kant) in ecstatic experience, it (the political act) senses, feels and becomes aware of the physical body now only as a being in the center of alignment (orientation) towards the revolutionary goal. "To kill death is the most political act of all".
The mass-media as such, language and communication, are replaced by the masses themselves as the true medium expressing a recovered enthusiasm, whose body language reduces that of the mass-media to meaningless signals, proving them to be liars.
Normality, as "normal behavior", that constantly trained sclerosis, falls out of that frame only insofar as it represents a tactic that the strategy may use, for example, when it comes to avoid forced clinicisation (invalidation).
The solution of this strategic task stands and falls with the development of the ability to be acquainted in advance with the most important structural laws and contradictions of every kind in the collective. If the laws for collectives of this orientation are ignored, the group dynamics inevitably peter out sooner or later, in the worst case, even in psychoanalytically veiled pernicketiness. If the moments of the central contradiction inherent in each collective between micro- and macro-political acts (see below) are escalating, and if the critical transition point (μ-shift, Cooper) is not mastered, then the result is the one-sidedness and dominance of one moment over and ‘at the expense of the other’. The result is failure and decay of collective collaboration, be it in trivialities be it in unconnected activism.
Micropolitical acts are violence in connection with myocardial infarct, peptic ulcer, products of the mind such as dreams, views, fantasmas. Violence against the "entrails", which according to all rules of the politics of property are employed by the concerned ones and given in payment, traded and tricked as in a kind of ‘internal’ transplantation market. The field of micro-politics extends as far as to the "entrails" of the internal relationships with all well-known contact persons of daily dealings. It is characterised by bourgeois-family role play as an excellent training ground in bureaucratic-fascist irresponsibility and ends in the transference analysis and other models of analysis in so-called therapeutic group situations – wriggling in the network of fixations and personal prehistory.
The structural law of these micro-political acts of violence (and of their dissolution) in the spiralling internal system consists in the acquisition of experience between "A experiencing B and vice versa, and A experiencing B experiencing him, and experiencing B’s experience of A’s experience, that is A experiencing him, and so on". In other words, what do the participants know about each other, what does the one person think what the other thinks of him, how does he or she conceive of the other’s understanding, how does this act influence the modification of the interrelations, etc.
Thus a plain infinite progress [schlecht-unendlicher Progress] of negation and rebuilding with regard to experience, which at the most breaks against macro-politics, untenably sloshes back into itself, and does not make any activity of resistance beyond the limits of an extremely myopic space possible.
As a consequence, the divide-and-rule principle of bourgeois mind colonisation – here between micro- and macro politics – would once again be restored.
Whereas in the collectivity of large groups (macro-political orientation) – think of party formations, trade unions, etc. – prevails the structural law of what one could call reactive serialisation (forming a series in response to the lowest common denominator). If one knows the other, then the resulting experience processes nevertheless remain external to the whole, unless micro-groups solidly interconnected with each other and capable of effecting a break-free transformation are formed within the collectivity of large groups.
Whether it is about instutionalised collectives with fixed statutes and the according barriers to be overcome, or rather about spontaneous collectives, in which the acquisition of experience of all members among themselves is achieved with a view to an objective that liberates effective action, it is always crucial to avoid the break between emancipation and revolutionary socialism, the break grounded in the given conditions. All efforts are aimed at the creation of the "anonymous" collective of the several hundred "Nameless".
In view of the political claim, it is not unimportant to emphasise that the class antagonism, which otherwise is considered to be a central starting point for political acts, in Cooper is just another formation of macro politics, followed by geopolitics and cosmopolitics. The latter, just as all categories in general, by the way, even if they are psychoanalytical in nature (in future there must neither be "treated" nor "taught"; regression is not a defense mechanism, but a constituens for the necessary acquisition of experience on the way to the recovery of life etc.), cosmopolitics namely, has, against the background of transcendental experience, much more to do with techniques for mastering archetypal phantasms than with the goals of today´s rulers to bring the outer space under their control, because it is about developing a counter-strategy against this "madness".
For the same applies to the relationship to the cosmos as it does to the "entrails": it is either therapy or violence.
The idea that, for example, communes could in principle be considered as a means of revolutionary strategy is emphatically rejected (p. 123), not least because of the experiences made by the author also in the Third World. The commune as such does not even bring it to the "elucidation of inner life".
Conversely, where revolutionary activism is of central importance, the aspects of micro-politics (often denounced as "all the private crap") should not be neglected, all the more so as the condition of the transcendental meditation, crucial for activism, should not escalate in any case into the last stages of elucidation, but should in any case be subordinated to the "revolutionary imperative". However, the unity whose reflex and expression is supposed to be the action, can only have the micro-politically developed acts of experience as the contents of reconquered life, and not its dissolution in an anonymous "cosmic" self (in other words, in the by the worldwide oppression aspired for autocracy of the disembodied mind [koerperloser Gedanke].
By localising his political standpoint right where death and illness are being reduced to tendentially overcome moments in the process of revolutionary communisation [Vergesellschaftung], Cooper is equidistant from conservative, liberal, and fascist positions (the truth of Fascism – however liberal etc. disguised it may be – is the elimination of despair, pain and frailness by eliminating their carriers in the interest of the capitalist process of producing surplus value).
Therefore, there is no reason why one should follow his distancing from the essential elements of Marxist philosophy, which he consistently seeks to replace with contents from the bag of tricks of millennia-old yoga practices that have remained socially sterile to this day, instead of uncovering – in the form of further developing of this philosophy in direction of the transcendentals (Alfred Sohn-Rethel), of the transcending (from Jean-Paul Sartre to Ernst Bloch), and last but not least of armed practice of any kind whatsoever (Fanon) – adit entrances that are suitable (and which would sorely need) to be opened against the objectivity of the subject, which is ultimately always fully occupied with the individual dissolution of the boundaries.
With mass impact and every day, the transcendentals that are dislocating our experience are transcended and cemented in every money-mediated act of exchange: the exchange value (equivalent) abstractificates (Sohn-Rethel) and posits, affirms the basic forms of experience, forcing us in the "definite nothingness" of the value-form, the universal source point of the formation of an experience that may be capable of capitalising both the quanta of action (Planck) with the properties of space, time, matter, energy and their relationships, but restricts social being to a process of continued shrinkage along the guideline of illness.
Whether transcendental meditation and the return demanded by the revolutionary imperative are ultimately just an offshoot, a reproductive thought-act with regard to what we always do anyway by merely acting – at the same time being acted upon [handelnd-behandelnd]?
Whether the so difficult a change, the shift between micro- and macro-politics (μ-shift, Cooper) would not be better superseded in the immanence of the active mediation and the re-versing appropriation of the medical-military potential of violence, than in the essentially neutral, tactical objective: urban guerrilla and especially in the form of the "several hundred Nameless", no matter how versed they are in all the tricks of meditation and death experience?
What should get those masses who are (nota bene) medically totally anesthetised to experience the extremely increased sensibility of the revolutionaries even only as an accompaniment, as long as Iatrocracy continues to exist unabatedly?
To look up in the "Grammar of Living" is, in the present state of this foreign language (alienation language), absolutely crucial for the survival of any collective relying on self-control and self-organisation.
From: SPK-Documentation Part 3, 1st edition 1977
MFE Greece, MFE craencStw
Patients’ Front / Socialist Patients’ Collective, PF/SPK(H), 25.09.2019