The Leaderless Organization: Democracy Out of Necessity in Resistance

There is problem of relationship to authority that is addressed improperly by the intellectual.  The problem is many fold, but all relates to the ability to neutralize charismatic figures within resistance movements.  A leader can be humiliated through their sexuality, a leader can be exposed as criminal, can be the subject of tabloid reporting.  A leader can be dissected publicly.  There motivations can be assigned by a narrative.  This systemic correction is a product of state agencies and media’s ability to find out information about individuals which can be used to divert understandings of situations away from the substantial claims of an organization.,  Instead, they have a person that can be envisioned as responsible for the actions of the group.

In this we see the modern and postmodern generational divide.  Those who have existed exclusively in the postmodern context do not thirst for central authority; they despise it.  But more than just this underlying sentiment, which is present in all discourse, there lies something else.  A way of curtailing authority.  The hidden anonymity of the disposable multitude.  One person can be tortured, humiliated, dissected.   One person can betray the interest of a group.

The American media outlets that exist to serve this function, that of the scaffolds and executioners, do not either have the format to do so, nor the attention of the demographics necessary to witness such an event.  The medium is limited, and the message must fit into the parameters of the sixty second sentence.  Instead what we see is vague explanations of motivations which surely can not encapsulate these new non-organization organizations.  What we see in this is a perverse dream of the anarchists come alive, but through the productive methods of the Internet.  The Internet was promised to change the way we do everything, and it has done so.  No longer is there an effective blackballing of the McCarthy era.  Those dismissed by the “mainstream” become Internet spectacles. An irrepressible urge appears in our consciousness, and it appears through the ventricles of this new media.

There was no media blackout that television and news agencies could put in place to block the effects of Tahrir Square.  It was the start of a resistance movement that would not stop.  It was the start of a resistance movement that could not stop.  The assassinations and castrations of leadership left this disposable multitude to organize differently.  There was no leader to bargain with.  There was not an effective system of repression.  The state structures used for repression depend on internal structures withing resistance movements to exploit.  To work within.  To repress themselves effectively.  The lack of leadership, caused by late capitalism’s repressive apparatuses had caused a change within these movements.  Their organizational structure was a constant flux.  No longer could a handful of undercover police officers identify a handful of leaders to arrest, discredit, or at the very least bargain with.  The failure of the concept of leadership had been identified and removed.

But this resistance is neither purely digital or purely physical.  It exists in constant flux between hopeful radicals and Internet pirates.  It exists within a realm of that which is possible on a cellular phone, a commodity designed for communication through capitalist production.  This new media, the Internet, was an inversion of the old media, still the death rattles of this old functions of the media echo in the new media, and in the consciousness of it’s u.  The tired race class and gender representations come with them.  But in this they wear out faster and faster.  Copypasta will ruin everything.  And everything must come to ruin in order.

In this we find ourselves, as lone subjects, isolated in chairs experiencing the spectacle of revolution:  no participation required.  Well, until it’s your turn to sit in a park and scream.  You too can be part of the spectacle.  Late capitalism has come to a breaking point with its apparatuses for reproducing their narratives.  Their truths must compete on the artificial markets that were hastily constructed by opportunistic businesses working in tandem with state agencies, trying to contain this new imaginary space as fast as it could be constructed.  It has outsourced the most important function in media:  it has crowd sourced the news.  It no longer has a way to construct the narratives.  Huffington Post can be owned by whomever has the capital to assert control over it, yet its content can not be monitored.  Wikipedia can be edited by anyone, but anyone editing must answer to the disposable multitude.  There is a different sort of information order emerging, and it is not suited for repressing information:  this information could be purely epistemological or be packed with ontological claims.  To the vast body of information, larger than any that has ever existed, this information is reposited and reproduced a million fold.  This sort of historical momentum is not to be trifled with, can not be bargained with, and can not be dissected.  There can be no show trial.  They can not accuse it of perverse sexual acts.  They can not bring it into the fold.  They can not have it work within the democratic party.

The failure of the new media to address the demand for unfettered information leads to a system of information production unlike the system that  was in place to produce “news”.  This new system is that of a system of networks beyond a model of comprehension.  Analogies would fall shorter than to provide meaning.  Instead we can look at particulars of these systems and speak in limited ways about what they indicate of the whole.

The new communication and the new resistance are in the response to specific conditions of production and specific relationships developing to protect production.

The distinction between the security state apparatus and media is not there to be made. To understand the functioning of said apparatus, you must understand that through observation, the media constructs around your interests that are performed through your actions. Clicking on things, on links on the Internet, indicates an interest, and that interest is tracked by state apparatuses that “tailor” your experience to match the ideology that you yourself have demonstrated by your performance of actions. This demonstration is the interest of the state in so much as it allows for marketing to be targeted towards you, and identifies aberrant behavior which can be in turn addressed by enforcement agencies. The distinctions between these media and security apparatuses are purely bourgeois distinctions. To the subjects participating it is a unified phenomena.

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