ZJW

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Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 289 total)
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  • in reply to: Mattick Jnr and inflation #250487
    ZJW
    Participant

    I wonder what Michael Schauerte thinks about this.

    in reply to: New Music Thread #250464
    ZJW
    Participant

    About drone music:

    Bret Schneider: ‘Hearing in the Present Tense: On La Monte Young’s Orphic Revolution’ (Feb 2024):

    https://caesuramag.org/posts/hearing-in-the-present-tense-bret-schneider

    Quickly too high-brow for me, but starts intelligibly enough:

    ‘In the years between my 2008 essay on drone music & today, little has changed in the art form. As if frozen in time, my argument then stands still—that drone music has not developed as an art form since Young’s Dream Houses, & has mostly been barbarized into a muddy ambience and cheap theatrics. This may come as a surprise to many who’ve witnessed the growth of ambient & experimental music through cottage industries & into the mainstream. And yet, contrary to lazy conflations, ambient music is not drone. In many ways, the innocuous background character of ambient is counter to the clarified, ecstatic, & acute beauty of drone as Young conceived & practiced it, which sharpened instead of convoluted listening perception. Not to mention that the continuation of classical or ancient practices of modal music, north indian raga, & organum that drone’s partly founded upon, is more often than not subject to barbarization instead of fulfillment, as often happens elsewhere in contemporary art’s interpretation of history. With the recent death of Catherine Christer Hennix, there are now scant few musicians in the world who comprehend and can transmit the true conceptual significance of dronal form, let alone its tricky implementation in practice.’

    […]

    ‘The original idea of drone music in the dream houses—aka “composite sound waveform environments”—was that the listener be exposed to novel harmonies constructed with sine waves that are tangible as physical standing waves. It would serve at least a double purpose—the standing waves create a palpable sensory experience as the listener mixes parts of a massive vertical chord via their own bodily movement through differing wavelengths, while the subjectively evocative musical harmonies prevented it from being merely a science fair experiment. But Young had also stated that in order to achieve a “drone state of mind,” the tonality needed to be constructed with rational number relationships (just intonation) so that the ear has constant reference to truly repeating waveforms that reinforce pitch relationships in a way compatible with auditory perception. While this is potentially the absolute zenith of rationalization of art & reified music—a music constructed on ratios is literally rationalized music—the resulting “paradisiacal” listening experience kept “living music,” and what Adorno called the “wakeful ear” alive, paradoxically pointing beyond the calculated mode of music perfected by e.g. Stockhausen and the mid-century avant-garde, as well as commercially rationalized culture elsewhere.’

    ‘“Paradisiacal” listening’, eh?

    in reply to: ‘The “Belt and Road” is mostly a mirage.’ #250432
    ZJW
    Participant

    The ‘surplus population’ notion (neither industrial reserve army nor lumpens) plays a role in the controversy Internationalist Perspective is having over its Gaza leaflet: https://internationalistperspective.org/a-debate-on-the-ip-leaflet-on-gaza .

    (As for the mentioned Emilio Minassian, here in last month’s Field Notes is the mentioned interview with him: https://brooklynrail.org/2023/12/field-notes/Gaza-An-Extreme-Militarization-of-the-Class-War )

    in reply to: Anarchist puts case for contesting elections #250405
    ZJW
    Participant

    Stirner recommended as’philosophical teacher of the proletariat’, and ‘The Unique and its Property’ [aka The Ego and its Own] as ‘a book that should be in the hand of every thinking worker’.

    Recommended by an anarchist? No. By a German social-democrat in 1897:

    https://jacobin.com/2024/02/max-stirner-proletariat-philosophy-duncker

    • This reply was modified 2 weeks, 5 days ago by ZJW.
    ZJW
    Participant

    ALB wrote:

    ‘We are going to publish a clarification in the November Socialist Standard.’

    Was there? I don’t recall seeing it.

    in reply to: Anti-Zionism is not anti-semitic #249793
    ZJW
    Participant

    Israeli Jewish MP who is backing South Africa at the ICJ (and supports neither Ukraine nor Russia in *that* war):

    https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2024/1/11/who-is-israeli-mp-ofer-cassif-why-is-he-backing-south-africa-at-the-icj

    • This reply was modified 1 month, 2 weeks ago by ZJW.
    in reply to: New Music Thread #249613
    ZJW
    Participant

    Question to you at #249528, YMS. Last sentence of first paragraph.

    in reply to: Two ex-socialists go funny #249532
    ZJW
    Participant

    Likewise Michael Heinrich in his book ‘An Introduction to the Three Volumes of Karl Marx’s Capital’, from the chapter ‘The Fetishism of Social Relations in Bourgeois Society’:

    [In copy-pasting this I have used asterisks where the text used italics]

    ‘In the Preface to the first edition of Capital, Marx writes that he doesn’t “by any means depict the capitalist and the landowner in rosy colours,” *but that his depiction deals with individuals* “only in so far as they are the personifications of economic categories,” and therefore the point cannot be to “make the individual responsible for relations whose creature he socially remains, however much he may subjectively raise himself above them” (Capital, 1:92). As shown above (see section 4.2 or 5.2), economic actors follow a rationality that is imposed upon them by the economic relations. Thus the constant attempts by capitalists to raise the level of valorization (in the normal case) does not result from an “excessive addiction to profit” on the part of the individual capitalist; it is competition that forces such behavior upon individual capitalists on pain of economic ruin. Everybody, including those who profit from the operation of capitalism, is part of a gigantic wheelwork. Capitalism turns out to be an anonymous machine, without any foreman who steers the machine or can be made responsible for the destruction wrought by the machine. If one wishes to put an end to such destruction, it is not sufficient to criticize capitalists. Rather, capitalist structures in their entirety must be abolished. With the “personification of things and the reification of the relations of production” (Capital, 3:969), capitalism as a whole seems to be largely immune to criticism. Since the capitalist machine appears to be nothing other than the most advanced manifestation of the process of social fife (that social form-determinations can no longer be distinguished from their material content is precisely what is expressed by *the trinity formula*), society cannot extricate itself from this machine. The subjugation to allegedly unavoidable “objective necessities” is, so it would seem, impossible to escape; one must simply come to terms with the situation.

    In light of the impositions of capitalism—its crisis-prone development, often catastrophic in its effects upon individual lives, its constant railing into question all living conditions and circumstances—there occur time and time again forms of a blinkered negation of fetishism: “guilty” parties are sought behind the anonymous capitalist machinery that can be made responsible for the misery. Attempts are made to influence their actions; in extreme cases, they are supposed to atone for the misdeeds attributed to them. Thus, in the various capitalist societies, a personalization of fetishistic relations can be observed time and time again. […]

    It is seldom the case that capitalists as a whole are made responsible for particular miseries. It is too conspicuous that capitalists are also often the ones being driven, having to obey the “demands of the market” if they don’t want to go under. This appears to be the case for small and medium capitalists, whereas large corporations and “monopolies” are alleged to have the power of eluding such demands, or being able to create them in the first place. As a result, a distinction is made between the good capitalism of the small capitalists and the bad, unscrupulous, exploitative capitalism of the big capitalists. The latter are then regarded as pulling the strings in the background. Another variant of personalization is the reference to “the banks” (or possibly “the speculators”), which by means of credit and stock ownership control a large number of enterprises and are therefore the secret masterminds of the economy. Here, a good, industrial-productive capital is contrasted to an evil, money-hungry financial capital. These acts of personalization are based upon quite real differences: the competitive situation and the room for maneuvering of a small business is usually much different than that of a large business; between banks and industrial enterprises there are often considerable differences of interest concerning many questions. There are also plenty of examples of the bosses of large businesses and banks attempting to exploit their positions of power. Yet even big businesses and large banks cannot permanently extricate themselves from the coercive laws of an economic system mediated by value. Often, big businesses, banks, and speculators are accused of being motivated solely by the quest for profit, but that’s always the case in capitalism for every capitalist, large or small.

    […]

    The terms *personification* and *personalization* need to be precisely distinguished. Personification can refer to the fact that a person merely obeys the logic of a thing, such as the capitalist being a personification of capital (in German: *Personifikation*). Personification can also refer to a thing having properties of a person attributed to it, such as capital appearing to be a self-active subject (in German: *Personifizierung*). Personalization is the reduction of social structures to the conscious activity of individuals.’

    • This reply was modified 1 month, 4 weeks ago by ZJW.
    in reply to: Two ex-socialists go funny #249531
    ZJW
    Participant

    Re ALB’s ‘Not only capitalist firms but governments too are subject to the “logic of capital” enforced through market competition which dictates that priority must be given to profits and the conditions for profit-making.’ —

    here is how the group Chuǎng put the matter some years back:

    ‘In an attempt to cleave down to the heart of such dynamics, there is always a risk of attributing more agency to presidents, chairmen and assorted billionaires than is deserved. The reality is that decisions made at the helms of states or corporations are always decisions made in response to material limits confronted by complex political and economic systems. The ruling class is a designator for a non-homogenous array of individuals who hold decision-making positions within these citadels of political-economic power, for whom the continuation of the status quo is of the utmost priority. But these individuals sit in highly structured positions, beholden to the built-in demands of shareholders (for higher profit) and political constituencies (for minimal levels stability and prosperity, not so much the requirement that things get better but simply that they don’t get too bad too fast). There is thus no real malicious intent behind such decisions, nor is there the ability for such holders of power to truly transform or break free from the system itself. They are chained to it just as we all are, though they find themselves chained to its top.

    The entire process is, therefore, one of contingent adaptations, rather than ruling class conspiracy. Its product is not that of a hidden, scheming council of elites, but simply the result of the continual experimentation through which different factions of the ruling class attempted to resolve the budding crisis and failed, their efforts then replaced by new, untested possibilities put forward by new leaders generating new outcomes that had to be dealt with in turn. The process is one of continual transformation in response to the local manifestations of the global decline in profitability. “Neoliberalism” is therefore not a fully conscious, casually malicious political program, as some authors would have it,[7] but simply a term attributed to a loose consensus that formed around numerous local solutions to the crisis that seemed to overcome short-term limits at the time.’

    in reply to: Two ex-socialists go funny #249530
    ZJW
    Participant

    In 2017 I showed the following to a friend:

    1) Buick: ‘No need to compare Apples and Oranges: The Case Against Economic Calculation’

    2) Cox: ‘The “Economic Calculation” Controversy: Unravelling of a Myth’

    He replied as follows:

    ‘I imagine that the socialist calculation debate can be relegated to the dustbin of history. Items 1 and 2 on your list seem pretty right, as far as it goes, but the solutions proposed seem mostly no longer relevant, except maybe for a very brief transitional stage.

    After the revolution —

    Computational devices will have been subject to a multi-year redesign process purging them of functions and modalities that reflect their origins under the reign of Capital. Since fundamental values such as “efficiency”—probably the single most highly-prized value of the likes of Mises and Hayek, and the one capitalist virtue most widely internalized among the populace at large—will have been subject to rigorous critique and reformation—the redesign of I.T. will proceed from very different political foundations. Those elements of capitalist-era I.T. that had anarcho-communist elements in their deeper structures— distributed computing and other decentered modes of coordination, plus the anti-authoritarian possibilities inherent in algorithms themselves—would be greatly advanced. Algorithms which now exist to channel consumer behavior and limit choice would be rebuilt, allowing for an emergence of the kind of systemwide “knowledge” that Hayek et al claimed was only possible through price (although Hayek was open to the possibility that there could theoretically be a form of general systemic knowledge other than price). In the short term, this technology would allow for the kind of organization of production along the lines of item 1 below. In the long-term though, I.T. technology would have been designed to evolve according to the needs of emergent communes/soviets/ as well as planet-scale mutual aid/repair initiatives. There is no coordination/non-coordination problem that isn’t solvable even given current technology and with a different political-economic system that would produce a new and better set of motivations for technological improvements, the nature of “calculation” itself would be completely different. ‘

    in reply to: New Music Thread #249528
    ZJW
    Participant

    YMS-

    Drone is an acquired taste, I figure, and I haven’t, so listen to it only once in a blue moon, and just the same very limited range of stuff over and over without exploring further. That being so, I’d never heard of Eliane Radigue. She seems to have put out an awful lot of material over a long period of time. What are one or two pieces by her you’d recommend for the to-be-initiated?

    That Coil Time Machines is nice.

    • This reply was modified 1 month, 4 weeks ago by ZJW.
    in reply to: New Music Thread #249527
    ZJW
    Participant

    Now from a band — Horse Lords — that style themselves marxists or radicals of some sort. This quote is from a review of their music:

    ‘May ’68 surfaces again on the new album via “dead time,” the notion of human consciousness numbed by the capitalist enterprise that was part of a Situationists’ slogan during that spring. That cheeky Marxism is reinforced by the outright “Communist Manifesto” allusion ‘All That is Solid.’ […] That Horse Lords obliquely incorporates such thoughts into its music begs the question: Can instrumental music convey political ideas?’

    Here is their ‘Wildcat Strike’. A bit boring at the start; by the end it isn’t.

    (Musically it is both microtonal and in just intonation. (Though with my bad hearing I can never tell the difference between just intonation and equal temperament.))

    https://horselords.bandcamp.com/track/wildcat-strike

    If you want more, all their music is on bandcamp.

    in reply to: Two ex-socialists go funny #249495
    ZJW
    Participant

    DJP –

    Yes, I have read it twice. Once directly before posting the url, and then a second time after a seven day holiday from internet.

    With many caveats, I think it is well worth reading, yes; and fully agree with ALB’s: ”This is the sort of discussion — and the sort of people we should be discussing with’ […]’.

    My caveats: there much in it that is unnecessary, tedious, pretentiously literary, and even downright foolish (the humor). But these exasperating formal impediments to content-targeted reading are not homogeneous across the article: there are entire paragraphs, even whole sections (say, that between ‘Localities’ to ‘Motor of History’ ) that are unmarred.

    As for flavor-of-the-month marxologist Søren Mau, whom you mention: on the basis of what is written about him in this article, I would conclude that he is an idiot, and it is difficult to imagine what useful ‘breakthroughs’ he has arrived at in his the-newest-interpretation of Marx. Still, I might download his book and take a look.

    You say the Standard ought to review Mau’s book. If only the SPGB had the same policy that the WSPUS had, non-party members would not be barred from contributing to the party organ, and you could write the review yourself.

    But never mind about hot-new-thing Søren Mau for the moment. First and foremost, what the Socialist Standard ought to review is this article itself. (If for no other reason than because this is the way to bring it to the attention of those party members who do not deign to read this forum … or this thread of this forum or whatever.)

    PS: Nick Chavez himself has reviewed Mau’s book, positively: https://shorturl.at/tEINW . But from his description I can hardly agree with his concluding sentence, that ‘Every communist should have a copy of this book’.

    in reply to: New Music Thread #249487
    ZJW
    Participant

    At #249337 YMS wrote:

    ‘My own collection of atonal drone music might not make the cut of most people’s definition of music.’

    Do you mean such as the following two links, YMS? What are some items in your collection?

    1) https://christopherotto.bandcamp.com/track/beat13b2

    2) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bapAGrWpaLw

    • This reply was modified 2 months ago by ZJW.
    • This reply was modified 2 months ago by ZJW.
    in reply to: Two ex-socialists go funny #249321
    ZJW
    Participant

    Titled ‘Forest and Factory: the Science and the Fiction of Communism’, here is a new contribution — having appeared just days ago — on the topic of production under socialism. Section headings are these:

    Tangibilities
    The Fundamental Principles of Communism
    Localities
    Association and Deliberation
    The Ecosystem of Industry
    Planned and Planetary Limits
    The Motor of History
    Construction and Conclusion

    (Some readers *might* want to start not from the beginning but from section ‘Planned and Planetary Limits’.)

    Forest and Factory: the Science and the Fiction of Communism

    Well?

    (Robbo in particular should comment on it, since this area is his specialty.)

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 289 total)