Manifesto of Total Negation

New progressive revolutionary movements must squarely target capitalism and its political guardian, the state. The gap between societies and states has grown impossible to overcome by any form of representative democracy, and direct democracy can only be accomplished via the destruction of the state altogether. Thus, the historical model of progressive revolution that should inspire us is the Anarchist Revolution in Spain from 1936 to 1939, rather than the October Revolution of 1917 in Russia or even the 1968 Student Revolution in Paris.

Direct democracy through libertarian communism should be the practice of a perpetual revolution until historically-constructed forms of social, political, economic, racial, and male domination are undone. Until direct democracy takes shape in a neutralized and universally sustained form of libertarian communism, the revolution has to continue. Any slowing-down of its momentum or compromise with the regressive forces of the bourgeoisie and their alliances in political and religious institutions could effectively amount to the downfall of the revolution. Revolutionaries should not fear the total negation of the existing state of affairs. In a world built on centuries of oppression, domination, and exploitation, no realistic hope for equality is possible. Therefore, the first step must be towards re-gaining the will to utopia. The revolutionary action, then, should concentrate on providing the material conditions for making the egalitarian utopia a popular dream. Then, the popular dream will provide the revolution with the necessary historical force sufficient for its perpetuation.

Conservatism is first and foremost an inability to reject the reality and dream of a new one. By the same token, progressive revolutionary thought is measured by the magnitude of its negating power, and thus its will to utopia. Since it is thought, its actualization is inherent in its potential philosophical scope. That is to say, progressive revolutionary thought should shatter the existing limits of the possible, and by virtue of doing so and to the degree it succeeds, it will extend and expand the horizons of potentiality. From there, what cannot be perceived now will become a matter of realization, followed by actualization. The first step of thought-liberation will provide more conditions for the will to utopia.

We cannot know what exactly the alternative world should look like until we liberate our language of thought and re-create new conditions for dreaming (that is, until we destroy the ideologically de-charged and normalized linguistic components of the dominant discourse, and construct new and creative grounds for imagination). With every step of total negation, another peak on the new horizon will become visible to the eyes of the revolutionary mind, and with that another limit of the possible will be overcome in favor of the revolutionary actualization of utopia. Today’s revolutionary struggle, therefore, is a struggle for the will to utopia. Revolutionary actions, on that account, are actions of total negation. One does not need to know what is right in order to reject what is wrong.


About Saladdin Ahmed

Saladdin Ahmed is a post-nihilist philosopher who has declared full independence.
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One Response to Manifesto of Total Negation

  1. The Fool says:

    I have recently discovered similar logic, wonderful to see the understanding somewhere else. Many people find it confusing that I can positively reference Hobbes, Adorno, Voegelin,Tocqueville, and Nisbet in the same breath. The word “libertarian” is not easy for “leftists” to hear. But “libertarian” thinking is necessary for understanding the state and becoming wholly the enemy of the state. Democracy is really a fetish for most in the West, they speak of it as if it is already what they live, but in fact democracy has never been realized other than in its most banal form: the rule of the (mass culture) majority. I have rejected the whole notion of democracy as it seems to be a force for some minority to decide through discourse how ‘society’ shall be. But there is a difference between a democracy and democratic interactions.
    Currently I am disillusioned by the idea of progress and ‘the good society’ which I regard as myths. Although I have also been defending Utopian thinking, thank goodness for Russel Jacoby whose so helpful in debunking anti-Utopian myths. I have rather fallen down into the ranks of Hobbes, without the religion, into the notion of ‘natural order’. In many ways this is because so many of the left, even the real ones, continue to speak as if the state is the vehicle with which democracy can be used to achieve a social order. I have yet to reconcile anything that I see on the left, despite agreeing with much of it, with my anti-state militancy. Unlike Hobbes though, I actually understand human nature based on actual science not pop science so I understand human beings as both rational and irrational, intelligent and stupid, ‘good’ (compassionate, sharing, etc) and ‘bad’. But I still think of a natural order taking these traits in mind rather than the usual libertarian of only the ‘bad’. I understand the logic of progress, I suppose I am in a reactionary phase due to realizing that ‘democracy’, ‘progress’, and ‘freedom’ as they are popularly, and sometimes ‘fringely’, understood are myths or farces. In particular my ‘Utopian’ thinking takes the form of centralizing the family and its relations to other families as ‘society’. Far from reactionary “family values” (homosexuality/eroticsm is available to all people, gender ambiguous roles should be an appreciated [not merely tolerated] and necessary part of society, and the form gendered behavior takes is not biologically determined) in terms of the capitalist nuclear family but resembling more the kinships of the pre-modern world. It seems to me reasonable because the affectivity and interactions we experience as babies creates the underpinnings of who we develop into, and such interactions create the individual’s history and place in the world. Obviously this is my ‘formula’ against nihilism and romanticizes the family. But I find individualism itself largely a farce, though even Jacoby says in ‘Social Amnesia’ the family is a place of psychological and sometimes physical refuge from the influence of society. Of course, not in mass culture as he points out as he criticizes the anti-family politics of the left.
    The question of how values and social roles are constructed under a purely democratic process of choice is one that does not get a lot of serious attention. It is like all important libertarian ideas left fully to the conservative-libertarians to flag up and challenge: tainted by association with conservative libertarians. D.H Lawrence recognized the importance of social roles and blamed industrialization for their destruction. In particular he saw the destruction of traditional gender roles as leading to a society of alienated individuals exploiting each other where only sado-masochistic sex was possible. In many ways he was correct as the sex sold to the mass culture is brutal and phallo-centric, not to mention juvenile. It’s one thing to accept the plasticity of man, something Hobbes and such libertarians dismiss as nonsense, but something else entirely to figure out how to live with that.

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