Why and when is Neoliberals-Anonymous Anonymous (& B(z)loomitude) important for someone like you?
by James Hazel
Why is it important for us to name this malaise, time and time again and offer market-modelled solutions to it? Of the so-called exhaustive, managerial, and administrative depression which afflicts many of us at this late stage in history on the resolutions of the macro, micro, the biome, and the waste – the significations in, for, and against. Mark Fisher d(r)ea(ri)ly articulates this omni-directional pressure as a type of capitalist realism (a diary entry on the way to the end-ward). Dead-set, there are symptoms here, ones that pain.
Community is probs not the salvation in the forms that it takes under the commodification of relations; this is just another iteration of more work – for me, you, and the big-man upstairs. We actually-really need to get to a point of being-and-doing-nothing in the sense – to over-throw and storm-the-gates of the symbolic values that form the burning fuel-load for our transport, logistics, supply-chains, necro-extractions, and ongoing, (un)payable debts. No more essays, no more exhibitions, no more treatises, no more brochures, no more leaflets, no more poems, no more awards, no more chosen-few to manage the absent, or the aspirational. These embolden the rust and the phlegm around the edges of the pipes that over-heat this place.
It is even necessary to even try and grasp at the amorphous the structures that, like thick brackish water, threaten to submerge the prec(ar)ious body at any given time? Whose tiring tides drain the muscles of welfare and glucose? Sequestrating the living’s right to oxygen and nourishment. That coerced the hermit’s day-dream to find a purpose, until they were creakingly pushed off the precipiced edged. Or should we put our backs into it, and lean our energy elsewhere? This is not a program, nor a manifest ideology. Not a congrats ‘you’ve made it’ – now let’s write about this disaster from your h(e)aven, coveted in the putrid hills of multiple inheritances. Bougie disruptionz from this particular node (whatever side of politics) is just one of many aggrandisements. Come on, man?
B(z)loomitude (or Neoliberals-anonymous Anonymous, or just bloom anonymous) is not a solution to the hollowing-out and dissolving of the localities within, and around late-capitalist subjects - but it is an admitting we’re all in this together (however flawed, tired, boxed-in/out etc.). This is an alkaline to the meanness (a word that indexes much of the default praxis of the affluent). But despite that, our nervous systems still find those (un)familiar chords which have the potential to modulate the post-tonal stagnancy of just-bloom (a noun, a dead thing, a concept by Tiqqun to say it’s all over) towards a development beyond the beautiful sounds of middle-management (which is essentially what success in any career-axis is). Indeed, it’s where our trauma’d Cinderella narratives sweep up our million broken particles by the singing (over and under taxed) windows. We yearn for the agency to wave the wand for ourselves (and maybe an ‘other,’ once we are truly expansive, and there is a little remainder… a little excess left over). Too little, and too bloody late.
Maybe NAA (Neoliberals-anonymous Anomalous) is an edgy adolescent provocation, or an anti-self help guide? It’s certainly not clever or studied enough to be an inversion of strong-man rules-for-life (who has the time to watch Jordan Peterson crying about Christ during prime-time news interviews?). One thing’s for true: Capitalism is the original self-improvement program (next to Judeo-Christianity). It wants us to believe that if we effectively do more of what we did in the distantly-remembered yet perpetually-erased past … then things will magically improve for the better. This temporal conflict is why we never get anywhere, why we never get the help we need! It is an erratic and unpredictable tempo governed by the mad spinning sextant of the Majority subject (as Braidotti describes) – an actor nauseatingly trying to maintain its violent interests, at any cost under the guise of what’s good for the gander. We really can’t afford this particular dance at this particular club anymore – despite how glamorous or edgy we think it looks. The line out-front and in-side made us feel far too ugly and hairy anyway.
Let’s jog our memories from a place of mutual disappointment and say this isn’t a good or bad thing. Of course, things are going to go wrong and rotten considering the state of the environment and our socialites in the Anthropocene/ Capitalocene (just a real stretched out horror for those who are told time and time again, to find that silver-lining in the mouldy, out-of-date grain). But why are we so quick to blame the individual for their woes, to generate hermeneutic suspicion towards those who are scared, paralysed and confused (and justifiably so)? This is the worst of self-help (trying to find insidious, and individuated pathologies at the root of our disease) Agency is a fucking joke right here, right now. Vulnerability isn’t a weakness – lest it is made into an exhibition program.
Loss ain’t a pathology: it carves neural-desire paths of affirmation and/or refusal (I just don’t want to go back there again etc. etc). The cake is not edible, it’s the retired display option. Avoidance and misaligned attachment keeps us safe and warm within the laundry for the time being (and hold us together long enough to get through all of this shit). But neoliberalism is nasty like that – it’s waiting to grow engorged on the moisture and the tears, when we’re clearly trying too hard here to manage our addiction to competition and esteem. As a houso with PTSD, I gotta be wary of these rewards, or I may lose my footing all together.
The works I have made this past three years (some scattered here, on this spread) are addressed to certain points, obsessions, fixtures, people and ideas in my(our) thinking around what it means to be reflexively working-class in circulation in a world of words and resources (white, middle-class colonial-professionalism); they emerge from disappointments, in my own limitations, my damaged memories, mental illnesses, ailing technical abilities, and speed to keep up-to-date before I am resigned to a carer’s role for my sick, and poor parents. But maybe these little works offer something for you in the fragments – in their incompleteness, their inadequacies? Yes! These are not bad depending on where your salivations and starvations begin and end, but when is it enough to demand the real-deal and not the coupon, the food voucher, the unemployment benefits?
Neoliberals-Anonymous welcomes conjurings, spells, speculations, invocations, derealisations, idealisations, accelerations; to locate out place within a particular terrain of coming-to-terms with the powers higher and lower than ourselves (and deciding which direction in the vertical axis we’re prepared to embrace in the long term). This is a big deal for us: so add to NAA, critique it, make it more of a failed-thing – trouble the imperial navigation of one flight path over another.
Time is always running out for poor people to make good. But in this late-stage, similar depletions are being drained, like so much abdominal fluid, from the middle too. Our wounds are induced from above and below (not transcendentally so, but definitely in the shin splints or the cortisol-panics). Sure, obscurity is the aim here. Not nihilism. Just not spectacle - rather a simple embrace of what Anna Tsing calls patchy times and places (which is just times and spaces lol). Totality was never really a thing anyway. Life finds its b(z)loomitudes in the cracks which we felt were filled but which were just vessels – of the tangles of gold-green moss spanning the bricks of the cop-shop at Gosford station (knowing the undoing long before we do). Keep coming back.
The operative term is jogging (anti-modern memory, as some important thinkers might say) not running (our mouths off, a sentiment other might salvage). There are no special or carefully selected people here (despite this provisional mode of address on this particular platform). Only one of many, many small picket line before the interminable collapse.