Justin Clemens | Just Come Now

from Bertolt Brecht | Arbeitsjournal 1938-45



What’s Communism Now now that the ‘revolutionary creed’
[‘croyance’: footnote this! — J.-C. Milner, Relire la Révolution (2016)]
i.e. that there were at least three (or four) (how many?!)
successful REVOLUTIONS in MODERNITY [all caps.], viz.,
(surely there were more? Cuba? Vietnam?
are we taking the Communards seriously enuf
(all that Communal Luxury à la Kristin Ross)? and
what about ‘The English Revolution’ (1641-1660)
as elaborated by Christopher Hill? or even
‘The Glorious Revolution of 1688-9’ which Steven
Pincus calls The First Modern Revolution?
has definitively ‘fallen into’ desuetude
— do we — we — ?! — have a full and proper grasp
(x-)comrade of the definition of the definition of?
Well, the argument depends on the demonstration
that the ONLY modern revolution imperceptibly
overturns Polybius’s paideia concerning anacyclosis,
that is, of the circuit of monarchy→aristocracy→democracy→
and their degenerate doublures tyranny→oligarchy→ochlocracy→
by Saint-Just the Angel of Death of the Reign of Terror —
who carried his head like a sacred host (Desmoulins)
in unconscious allusion to Dante’s Bertran de Born¹    —
and who, unlike his own incorruptible semblable Max Robstone
(who carried a volume of Rousseau with him at all times),
made of what was priorly simply interstitial governmental liquefaction
(dissolution-to-reëestablishment) an end in itself (sort of),
the becoming-infinite of violent transition as transcendental metastability,
VIVE LA REVOLUTION! — not the settlement of state seizure
so the subsequent scare-quote successes of Lenin and Mao turn out to be
precisely not-revolutionary in the very senses usually taken as legit
and the early instances turn out to be merely mixed models
meaning (will we ever think outside the Hexagon?) the cut perishes
as outrageous singular experimentation with its proselytizers)
has fully flailed in the fleeking face of
excrescent technocapitalist globalization
in which — I say! — vast dystopian sci-fi non-states
like Alibaba and Amazon and Facebook and Goo-
Gle and Twitter and WeChat, etcetera (eh, c’est l’era!)
are squatting with their vast electronic buttocks
unseemingly poised over the seven point five billion
— 7,500,000,000, right? — I had not thought
Life had UNDONE SO MANY, but, well, there you are,
ejecting an excrementious-electronicist-accelerationist hail
of earth-exterminating acids so that (prop. 1):
the only contemporary expression of communism
is rapacious self-interest [the squeaky gate
gets the oil, or, perhaps, the oleaginous squeaks
gape to harvest the swill of u.s. oil, soz, us all] because:
Brecht: petroleum resists the five-act structure
[thanks for this quote Lara Stevens Anti-War Theatre]
and well indeed it does, its enthusiasts [overcome
by undialectical Schwärmerei] fracking the earth to
an utterly unexpurgated emolument
(or do I mean: denouement?) on Cloud 9,
and — jeezus — why why why does ‘does this
even have to be said’ even have to be said? —

the more you
give the more
they take

those telecharged turbotic terroroids of our non de terre
[ecocidal nobiliary particles entailing:
petrologism revokes communist strictures]
[exactly like Freud sez of the superego that vile blackmailer],

they give too much
to take


they spend it all
but do not pay

so that (prop. 2), the only contemporary
expression of communism is rapacious
self-interest, cos when you finally get:
how rational it is to spend every micro-
second further subdividing the mi-cru- [half-baked?]
sec-ond-ines [dry wave nymphs?] for the pure
purposeless purposes of pleasure and profit:

i) and how everybody ought to be
doing the same as though sadistic, stupid and suicidal;
ii) and because nobody can, should, or will help

but the unlimited vision of you;

iii) and oh do go on….;
iv) and because poetry vitiates possibility;
it is clear that in our neoliberal eden,

fraud and force are choice’s busted
knuckles: false choice (‘tween this and that commodity)
and forced choice (eat this shit or starve),
these, our Cast-Tar and Poll-Lux, our Dioscuri,
at least are better than the sweat strains of
‘Primitive Accumulation’ (rape-theft-murder-enslavement)
which I fear is why even diehards no longer believe
in the labour theory of value at this ‘moment’
(would you prefer I used the word ‘conjuncture’
at this conjuncture for theoretical reasons?)
for OMG it is the time of the final expropriation
— of the representational capacities of human beings
— of the reproductive capacities of human beings
— of the resistant capacities of human beings
so that land-body-word are all enclosed by
the absolute and infinite reterritorialization
effected by the goon squads of Corporate IT IP
(‘Information Technology Intellectual Property’)
or iTIP for short, because, to ‘invoke’ the French
psychoanalyst Jacky Lack at this disjuncture,
‘Because you’re worth id [Es]!’ with May Be Lean
[or is it Law Real or some other purveyor of
authentically made-up cosmologies?],
surfing high on the spume of the Kondratieff waves
till the coming dump on the bleaching reef.
And that is why boys and girls and non-binary post-human objectiles
the redless-white-and-blue English rag today
known only to its own posterior as THE GUARDIAN
is still publishing [‘online’] think-pieces by Impeccable
Old Socialists with a turn of phrase and such grabs
as: How Lenin’s love of literature shaped the Russian Revolution
Oh yes! — with pull-quotes — Oh yes I said yes! yes! I — such as:
‘The father of the Soviet Union was also a Latin buff’
(where ‘buff’ doesn’t mean, like, buff, but whatevs),
and a legion of log-rolling left-leaning litterateurs
with names like Lukacs or Caudwell or Williams
or James or Benjamin or Adorno or Gramsci or Fanon
or Macherey or Jameson or Karatani or Žižek or Roy
“in solemn troops and sweet societies” (J.M.)
do shriek and in their shrieking move
to swipe the tindr frever from 16C40FAE-AE24-42B6-ADD5-5014494A5399_4_5005_c
so that (prop. 3) the only contemporary
expression of communism is rapacious
[For the minutes: Ali Alizadeh has here raised
an objection to prop. 3: Communism is not
revolutionary belief nor excitement nor any form
of self-interest nor reënchantment of world but
“the boring management of a meagre economy”]
— tho now there is no new no now
no nothing to express no no self to interest
no nothing but this rapacity (rapaciousness?) and no no
and no, no ‘I’ ‘said,’ no no I said, no no no, I said            no




¹ That reactionary maddy Ezra Pound thought that he, Ezra, had caused both World Wars through his recitations of Sestina: Altaforte, a poem written in the persona of the aforementioned Bertran.



Ruth Jennison / Julian Murphet
Communism and Poetry 
Writing Against Capital
palgrave macmillan

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