EXCERPT FROM TEXT ”MY BODY THE CAPITALIST”
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One thing that has kept on bothering me is the upsetting fact that capitalism is feeding on and misusing the fact that I work. It takes my labor, my art and my life and makes it nasty. When our labor is overwork and self-destructive, the life of every try for changing anything or making anything of importance is simply sucked out by capitalism-the-vampire. In this situation we are left with either accepting capitalism (trying to make ourselves comfortable in its slimy rough couch, passive, except for the active ignoring of all the people we are suffocating), or actively working for its good, for its peak, for its continuous existence, while existing in the more and more blind belief that we are working to destroy it. This can be exemplified by looking at the mis-use of the demonstrations taking place across Europe and North America during the 1960’s – both by romanticizing them (creating value through commercial and normative, sellable ideals), and through the political usage of the activists’ demands. Corporate Social Responsibility was created as an answer to the activists’ demand that the big companies should take responsibility. CSR has since then been used as an empty promise which, in practice, does more to prevent workers from demonstrating again than actually taking responsibility for their employees (Boss, 2017).
I need to know which body can work against our neoliberalist society. Even before I start to answer the question, I catch myself performing post-fordist over-laboring: Assuming that I, as an individual, is responsible for everything, a thought that quickly falls into the ugly pit of the positive-psychology-like logics where every thought and action is reflected in reality, where I manifest the future world in every instant. With this dark view, it seem evident that the vampire’s skill for swallowing any act of resistance, or just any act in general, makes capitalism simply a unifying name for (all) things as they are. And then my golden thread, the only reassuring notion I can find, is the speculation; what else did it swallow?
Silvia Federici writes in her book, Caliban and the Witch (2004), about the bodies needed to be killed in the early stages of capitalism in order to produce labor-power; the witch being one of these resistant bodies. Federici writes that today, witchcraft is again practiced actively, something that could be referred back to the will and need to fight and re-claim woman-hood and pre-capitalist knowledge, but which Federici explains as being possible merely because witchcraft is no longer a threat to the system: “The mechanizations of the body is so constitutive of the individual that, at least in industrialized countries, giving space to the belief in occult forces does not jeopardize the regulation of social behavior” (p.143). Having this view on the world – that even seemingly radical ways of living are simply existing because they are not a threat – becomes both evident and extremely upsetting.
This is when flipping the image becomes useful. For if the witch, and in that case, the outsider, the revolutionary, the anti-capitalist ideologies and the bigger and bigger demonstrations (and more evidently, the innovator, the collaborators and the over-working artist) are all part of the capitalist body, then what can these parts accomplish? If the vampire’s tool is to swallow, could we then start to question the potential of the contents of its body? It seems logical that the only thing that’s big and strong enough to kill capitalism is capitalism itself.