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Nihil - Page 12

[9] It would seem ridiculous to sentence oneself to yet another term of "ressentiment"; bad enough to risk promoting it by the very act of considering it. Perhaps only a masocritic would subject himself to the humiliation of doing so. And yet in the stupid underground the logics of recuperation and "ressentiment" are turned, so to speak, on their heads. Everyone there knows all about recuperation and it makes no difference. One can display the most stringent self-criticism about the impossibility of revolt and the next day proclaim the subversive effects of noise, as if one were Russolo himself, Russolo in the first place. The stupid underground is marked by the simultaneous critical understanding of the fatality of recuperation and a general indifference to the fact; it ignores what it knows, and knows it. It acts as though it forgets, until it virtually forgets, what it always recalls. It responds to every critical reminder, even those it throws at itself, with a "So what, fuck you."But this very feigned stupidity, this posture of indifference to its own persistent critical knowledge, is the trace of another trajectory. For if the euphoria of punk nihilism is entirely the nihilism of the commodity, by this same means, at certain unpredictable moments, it represents the possibility of nihilism turned loose, driven suicidally mad, "ressentiment" pushed to the brink of the reactive and becoming force. Inane energy, brute energy, energy without reason, without support, even when it is caught up in what otherwise poses as a critical project. This is not to say that the euphoric frenzy of the punk or skinhead is the sign of something new and vital: the energy released by the stupid underground is never anything more than an effect of its very morbidity. It is marketed as novelty, but that is not its truth. Nor will it ever constitute a base for opposition: it cannot be yoked to any program of reform, nor serve any longer the heroic myth of transgression. It is merely a symptom of order itself. Everything has been recuperated, but what is recuperated and put to death returns, returns ferociously, and it is the return of its most immanent dead that most threatens every form of order. The repressed does not come back as a living being but as the ghost it always was, and not to free us but to haunt us. It returns as repetition; when we see it in the mirror, as our mirror, we pretend not to recognize it. The fury of the punk or skinhead is the fury of this stupid repetition, and it is far more destructive than the most brilliant modernist invention. It ruins

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