Ambiguity is the signature characteristic of human beings, more or less, yes and no, maybe? That should be perfectly clear to all, or most, or many.... or at least some?
But there's a moment, a point, maybe an event where the conflicts, the mutual oppositions, are rendered as a loss of recognition of conflicts and mutual oppositions. And then we move from ambiguity to pathology. That point embodies an actual disavowal of reality. Distance, reflection, synthesis, become detachment, dis-affection, loss. We get the reconciliation of the irreconcilable as type of moving, ambulatory, pathology. Nothing is changed; transformed; overcome in the process. Rather the ambulatory pathology recapitulates the terms of its own origin- the loss of meaning, of affect-- with every step. We walk and talk as if we're making sense, or as if there's sense to be made, when all that is produced is dissonance.
Like the Left Forum.
In between bottles, I perused the ten pages of the Left Forum's schedule of panels, panelists and topics. This is no easy task, I assure you, and I do not recommend it to you, unless you have access to various palliatives, as I do, some of which I carry with me in a very chic hip flask with a spill proof screw top (available at Astor Wines).
Thus fortified, I paged forward and backward astounded by what I read-- something I should at least be somewhat thankful for to the Left Forum, as my ability to be astounded has somewhat weakened with age.
Like for example, the Left Forum has scheduled a panel discussion entitled: "In the Eye of the Storm: Haiti, Battle for National Sovereignty." Alvaro Garcia Linera is not listed as a participant on this panel,but that was probably just an oversight. So here's the moment when ambiguity, conflict becomes reconciled and resolved through a loss of reality, a disavowal the actual conditions of human existence.
Haiti has been subjected to centuries of exploitation, destruction, occupation... all those things so essential to nation-building. So now the Left Forum has a nation-builder give its closing keynote address, while the army from his nation occupies Haiti. Meanwhile, the Left Forum proposes and sponsors a panel that thinks the issue in Haiti is....national sovereignty. Good-bye reality; good-bye history.
The struggle in Haiti, the struggle of the producers in Haiti, has never been a struggle for national sovereignty. The struggle in Haiti has failed precisely because it has been cast by those agencies engaged in maintaining the exploitation of Haiti as an issue of national sovereignty and not the emancipation of the labor of the producers. The latest iteration of the pathology, this pathology that ambulates through and against history, is embodied in the presence of the officials of the Bolivian government who embody the presence of the United Nations, an international committee of nation-builders if there ever was one.
But wait, there's more. Pathology-creep is a veritable mission of the Left Forum. There's a panel based on "Taking Socialism Seriously," which panel could not of course find any organization or journal to sponsor it. Delicious, no?
There's a panel called "2,3 Many Transitions to Socialism in Latin America" which has as a panelist another official of the Bolivian government who might, or might not, speak on the importance of military aid from the advanced capitalist network in securing one or more of those "transitions."
It gets even better: In a double-reverse twist that would surely tickle the funnybone of every ultra-leftist, the Left Forum is sponsoring a panel entitled "Are the Situationist Ideas Still Relevant?" which of course the very existence of the panel proves, since we can now enjoy the dissonance of a panel on situationist ideas. Everything is spectacle.
And finally, or not, there's a panel with a very special panelist, one Grover Furr-- a Stalinist with a purpose, who believes he has significant evidence that Trotsky, and other oppositionists to Stalin, were indeed agents of Imperial Japan, and Nazi Germany.
So totally appropriate, why I can't believe the Left Forum passed on the chance to have Furr give its closing keynote. Maybe next year......yes and no.
June 3, 2013