The Organic Composition of Big Mama
A century and a half after Marx’s Capital, a synthetic idea of post-revolutionary society remains to be completed. We note a disconnect between Marx’s brilliant dialectical analysis of the commodity and the prophesized post-revolutionary world where people are once and for all free of domination. Unlike Marx’s analysis of the commodity, his vision of communism is untenable because it lacks an adequate social ontology and rational conceptual structure: in short, it represents what can best be described of as an atopia. We detect what amounts to an Oedipal fantasy in the theory of communist association in which the famous general intellect is taken back from Father Capital such that liberated subjects enjoy the immediacy of perverse enjoyments offered up by the repossessed means of survival, the new Machine Mother that hums along in the background. Lost are the mediating particularities of callings and specializations necessary for life in a modern world. Primitivism, anarchism, and neoliberalism exhibit a similar atopic structure, in which callings and even jobs are negated, while the latter embodies a new transcendental logic that can summarized as an X –– anti-X –– non-X dialectic. We point to an augmented Marxist political imaginary that incorporates mediating structures of particularity and higher sublations of labour and social enjoyment.
This article is published as Krier, Dan and Mark P. Worrell. “The Organic Composition of the Big Mother.” Continental Thought & Theory, 1 (4), p. 636-652.