What is work but acceptance of death? The contradiction is too great. Procreation, the work of survival, are but submission to the reality that we will not last and must pass on our dying to the next generation. And the next. And the next.
Survival—that robs us of the impossible, of the intensity of living that is our truest desire.
The contradiction is too great.
Look at those who are charged with ordering our lives for survival. The managers of survival. The Lords of Work. See how power accrues to them, and as it increases, reveals the master they serve, how more and more they are about Death’s work, till all our work paves the roads of war, genocide, and in the end—the suicide of our species.
What we cannot have, neither can we live without. In music, art, poetry—that which we cannot have, we can know, and not know; we can taste and feel and hear–if only in its absence–the impossible that is our true being.
It’s no accident, where utility and work and survival have become as gods, that the managers have become masters of war, that they rip music and art from our children, from our schools—that they turn artists into instruments of profit, turn art to their own ends–as propaganda, as anesthesia.
If we are to dream of revolution, let us dream the impossible—nothing less will set us free. Nothing less will restore us to our true Being.
All that we have to do to sustain ourselves, denies us the Impossible Ecstatic Object of our desires. The paradox, that to sustain ourselves, we must reconcile ourselves to death and deny ourselves that which grants us the fullness of the illusion of immortality.
I’m perfectly serious when I say that the more power we have to sustain ourselves–which is, of course, power over nature, the more we (or those institutions and managers of sustaining power), become unconscious servants of death–possessed.
Their fear of the arts, and need to control and own them, the policing and punishment of erotic and ecstatic pleasures–these things are no accident. Economic, ideological and social theory are grossly inadequate to explain these historical patterns. Capitalism is itself less cause than symptom of deeper forces.