Berardi as Fatalist or Prophet?

“The general intellect takes the form of an ocean, an infinite sprawl of depersonalized fragments of bio-time: capital picks up and recombines the digitalized fragments of work-time.”

       – Running Along the Disaster: A Conversation with Franco “Bifo” Berardi 

There comes a point in his latest interview that Berardi is asked: Are there new forms of resistance coming out of these new movements?

Berardi’s answer: “Resistance is futile, as the mutation is transforming everything in the deep fabric of subjectivity. Obviously, people will struggle for survival, and you can call it resistance. Small islands of temporary social autonomy will resist, but the conditions for social solidarity have been cancelled by the pervading precarity. We should stop deceiving ourselves: the only resistance to global financial capitalism for the time being is the identitarian force of localism, identity, and fascism.”

Was Berardi a fatalist and pessimist all along, or is this a sudden turn toward the dark side of an idealist whose eyes have been opened onto hell for the first and last time? Or, maybe, a hardened realist who has finally had enough of the false uprisings and bourgeois children of the rich playing at revolution rather than revolting? Maybe our academics will have another conference to discuss this, too? When he says mutation I’m almost tempted to think he’s been reading Nick Land or the alien infestations of the future have already infected him and now are using his vocal chords to relay the borg message of “Resistance is Futile.”

He even admits: “Actually, only Assange and Snowden have managed to provoke a crisis in this totalitarian semiosphere. Judging solely from the effects, hacking is proving to be more effective than Occupy.”

Escape? Autonomy of the Brain? Absolute Contamination and the Motor Development and its Critique? Of Disaster and Collapse?

“The year 1968 inaugurated an age of conflict, decomposition, and fragmentation in the internal life of the general intellect. But it also inaugurated an age of autonomous cooperation. Aspects of the good life were created in the cultural underground, as well as in some spheres of the larger cultural landscape. … Autonomous cooperation always has to be seen in light of its rich ambiguity. On the one hand, it offers the possibility of exiting the capitalist form. On the other hand, it experiments with new forms of production that capital will exploit tomorrow. Autonomy is not about achieving purity. It is absolute contamination; it is the motor of development and the critique of this development itself. Werun on the dynamic of disaster in many ways: from the point of view of the environmental catastrophe, the point of view of the proliferation of wars, of the dramatic impoverishment of daily life, and so on. But autonomy is always running on the dynamic of disaster. And is always trying to create possibilities for escaping. … Financial abstraction takes over the imagination, but at the borders you can see the profile of the emerging identitarian counter-abstraction, that is, the return of the aggressive identitarian body. The next move is escape. But we are not just escaping from the capitalist trap. We are simultaneously taking part in the evolution of the brain. The new game will be the fight for the autonomy of the brain. “


Read the interview on e-flux: Running Along the Disaster: A Conversation with Franco “Bifo” Berardi

thanks dmf for posting it first 🙂 here!

3 thoughts on “Berardi as Fatalist or Prophet?

    • Yea I liked her biting satiric bent: “The financial class governs as it always did, just with fancier technology, like Lords of the Rings meets Fruit Ninja, an app that the prime minister, David Cameron, according to one aide, spends a “crazy, scary” amount of time playing.”


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s