The Era of Pure Guilt

Men don’t have the option of not fighting; the only choice they have is which side they’re on.  Neutrality has nothing neutral about it; it is indeed the bloodiest side there is to take.  

Bloom, both when he’s the one that shoots the bullets and when he’s one that succumbs to them, is certainly innocent.  After all, isn’t it true that Bloom is but dependence itself on the central farce?  Did he choose to live in this world, whose perpetuation is the result of an autonomous social totality that appears ever more extraterrestrial to him every day?  How could he do otherwise, stray Lilliputian confronting the Leviathan of the commodity? All he can do is speak the language of the spectacular occupier, eat from the hand of Biopower, and participate in his own way in the production and reproduction of its horrors. 

This is how Bloom would like to be able to be understood: as a foreigner, as something external to himself.  But in this defense, he only tacitly admits that he himself is that fraction of himself that sees to it that the rest of his being will remain alienated.

It matters little that Bloom can’t be held responsible for any of his acts: he remains nonetheless responsible for his own irresponsibility, which he is at every instant given the opportunity to declare himself against. Since he has consented, negatively at least, to being no more than the predicate of his own existence, he is an objective part of domination, and his innocence is itself pure guilt.  

The man of total nihilism, the man of “what’s the point?” who cries on the shoulder of the man of “what can I do about it?” is indeed quite mistaken to believe himself free of fault just because he hasn’t done anything and because so many others are in the same situation he’s in.

The Spectacle, in so regularly admitting that the murderer was “an ordinary man,” a “student like any other,” is suggesting that the men of our times all participate equally in the unappealable crime that our times really are.  But it refuses to recognize this as a metaphysical fact: as the case of the gas-chamber operators in Auschwitz shows, the fear of responsibility is not only stronger than conscience, it is in certain circumstances even stronger than the fear of death.

In a world of slaves without masters, in a world of collaborators, in a world dominated by a veritable tyranny of servitude, the simplest surrealist act is governed by none other than the ancient duty of tyrannicide.  

Homo Sacer [sacred/accursed man]

One day or another the bombs will drop, and people will finally believe what they’d always refused to admit; that words have a metaphysical sense to them.

Brice Parain, The Trouble with Choice

The possessed of nothingness begin by drawing the consequences from their Bloom condition.  And thus they expose the dizzying vertigo of it: Bloom is sacer, in the sense of the word used by Giorgio Agamben; that is, a creature that has no rights, who cannot be judged or condemned by men, but who anyone may kill without being considered to have committed a crime.  Bloom is sacer to the exact extent that he knows himself to be possessed by bare life, to the extent that, like a Muselmann in the concentration camps, he is the simple witness to his own becoming-inhuman.  

Insignificance and anyonymity, separation and foreignness - these are not the poetic circumstances that the melancholic penchant of certain subjectivities may tend to exaggerate them as: the scope of the existential situation they characterize – Bloom – is total, and it is exceedingly political.

Anyone that has no community is sacer.

Being nothing, remaining outside all recognition, or presenting oneself as a pure, non-political individuality, is enough to make any man at all a being whose disappearance is uninscribable.  However inexhaustible the obituary eulogies may be – eternal regrets, etc. – such a death is trivial, indifferent, and only concerns he who disappears; meaning, that is - in keeping with good logic - nobody.  Analogous to his entirely private life, Bloom’s death is such a non-event that anybody can eliminate him.  That’s why the expostulations of those who, sobs in their voices, lament the fact that Kip Kinkel’s victims “didn’t deserve to die” are inadmissible, because they didn’t deserve to live, either; they were outside the sphere of deservingness.  To they extent that they found themselves in the hands of Biopower, they were already the living dead, at the mercy of any sovereign decision-making, whether that of the State or of a murderer.  Hannah Arendt:

Being reduced to nothing anymore but a simple specimen of an animal species called Mankind; this is what happens to those who’ve lost all distinct political qualities, and who have become human beings and that alone… The loss of the Rights of Man takes place at the moment when a person becomes just a human being in general – without profession, citizenship, opinion, or any acts by which he identifies himself and specifies himself – and appears as differentiated only in a general way, representing no more than his own and absolutely unique individuality, which, in the absence of a common world where it might express itself and upon which it might act, loses all meaning.” (Imperialism)

Bloom’s exile has a metaphysical status to it; that is, it is effective in all domains.  And that metaphysical status expresses his real situation, in light of which his legal situation has no truth to it.  The fact that he can be shot down like a dog by a stranger without the slightest justification, or - parallel to that and conversely - that he is capable of murdering “innocents” without the slightest remorse, is a reality that no jurisdiction whatsoever is capable of dealing with.  Only weak and superstitious minds could give themselves up to believing that a verdict of life in prison or some orderly trial could suffice to sweep those facts into the limbo of null and void-ness.  At the most, domination is free to attest to the Bloom condition, for instance by declaring an only slightly-disguised state of exception, as the United States did with its 1996 adoption of a so-called “anti-terrorist” law which allows the arrest of “suspects” on the basis of secret information, without any count of indictment or any limit to its duration.  There’s a certain physical risk to being metaphysically nil.  Doubtless it was in anticipation of the truly glorious possibilities that such nullity was to give rise to that Unesco adopted the oh-so highly consequential “Universal Declaration of Animal Rights” on October 15th, 1978, which stipulates in article 3: “1 – No animal should be subjected to mistreatment or to acts of cruelty.  2 – If it is necessary to kill an animal, it should be carried out in a manner that is instantaneous, painless, and does not cause it fear.  3 – Dead animals must be treated with decency.”

“Tu non sei morta, ma se’ismarrita 

Anima nostra che si ti lamenti.”

[you are not dead, but merely lost, 

o ever-lamenting soul of ours.]

Dante, Convivio [Banquet]

That Bloom’s kindness still expresses itself here and there in acts of murder is a sign that the dividing line is near but has not yet been crossed.

In zones governed by nihilism in its final stage, where the ends are still lacking though the means abound, kindness is a mystical possession.  There, the desire for an unconditional freedom gives rise to singular formations, and gives words a value full of paradoxes.  Lukacs: “Kindness is savage and pitiless, it is blind and daring, In the soul of a kind person all psychological content is erased, all causes and effects.  Their soul is a blank slate upon which fate writes its absurd commandments.  And said commandments are carried out blindly, in a reckless and pitiless manner.  And that this impossibility becomes an act, that this blindness becomes illumination, that this cruelty is transformed into kindness – that’s the real miracle, that’s true grace.  (On Mental Poverty)

But at the same time as these eruptions bear witness to an impossibility, they also, in their proliferation, announce a speedup of the flow of time.  The universal disturbance, which tends to subordinate itself under ever greater quantities of ever more minute activities, brings to a glowing intensity in each man his need to make his choice.  Already those for whom this necessity means annihilation speak of apocalypse, while the vast majority content themselves with living under it all in the swampy pleasures of the last days.  

Only those who understand the meaning they themselves will give to the catastrophe will remain calm and retain the precision of their movements.  

In the magnitude and the way in which a given mind gives itself over to panic, one can recognize its station, the ranks it falls in.  And this is a mark that is valid not only ethically and metaphysically but also in praxis, and in time.


But the world that we’re born into is a world at war, all the dazzle of which comes from its sharp division into friends and enemies.  Naming the front lines in that war is part of crossing the line, but that’s not enough to really do it.  Only combat can really cross the line.  Not so much because it gives rise to such grandeur, but more because it is the deepest experience of community, the one that permanently mingles with annihilation and only measures itself in extreme proximity to risk.  Living together in the heart of the desert, with the same resolution to never reconcile ourselves with it; that’s the proof, that’s the light.



Theory is not 

about thought,

A certain quantity of coagulated, 




is a state,

a state of shock.

A Theory of Bloom,

Where Bloom is not the object of theory, where theory is but the most familiar activity, the spontaneous penchant of an essentially theoretical creature,

of a Bloom.

Theory is WITHOUT END.


the need



The weariness of speech

What’s the way out of Bloom?

The Assumption of Bloom,

for instance.

- You can only really liberate yourself from anything by reappropriating the thing you’re liberating yourself from. – 

What does the assumption of Bloom mean?

Making use of the metaphysical situation defined by Bloom, the exercise of the self as a prankster.

Not fighting against the dominant schizoid state, against our schizoid state, 

but starting from there, and making use of it as a pure power of subjectivation and desubjectivation, as an aptitude for experimentation.  

Breaking with the old anxiety of “who am I really?” to the benefit of a real understanding of my situation and the use of it that I could possibly make.

Not just surviving in the constant imminence of a miraculous departure, 

not forcing ourselves to believe in the jobs we do, the lies we tell,

but starting from there, to enter into contact with other agents of the Invisible Committee – through Tiqqun for example – and silently coordinate a truly elegant act of sabotage. 

To detach from our detachment through a conscious, strategic practice of self-splitting.


The Invisible Committee:

an openly secret society,

a public conspiracy,

an instance of anonymous subjectivation, 

whose name is everywhere and headquarters nowhere,

the experimental-revolutionary polarity of the Imaginary Party

The Invisible Committee: not a revolutionary organization, but a higher level of reality,

a metaphysical territory of secession with all the magnitude of a whole world of its own, 

the playing area where positive creation alone can accomplish the great emigration of the economy from the world.


All the elsewheres that we could have fled to have been liquidated;

we can only desert the situation inwardly,

by reclaiming our fundamental non-belonging to the biopolitical fabric with a participation 

on a more intimate, 

and thus unattributable level,

in the strategic community of the Invisible Committee,

where an infiltration of society on all levels is being plotted.

This desertion is 

a metamorphosis.

The Invisible Committee – the concrete space where our attacks, our writings, our acts, our words, our gatherings, our events circulate: 

our desertion –

transfigures the totality of what we’d accepted as a trade-off,

of what we’d endured as our “alienations,”

into a infiltration strategy.

The Other ceases to possess us:

and indeed, 

possession itself is reversed

and becomes gentle.

We will conceal our act

within a relationship

that our powers have not yet attained to.



the practice of freedom,

the practice of idleness,

opposing the design of 

a process of emancipation separate 

from the existence of men,

and sending back to their desks all the learned plans and projects of liberation.

A kind of Contestation

whose authority

and methods are not

in any way distinct

from experience.

Taking the possibilities that my situation contains all the way.

Revolutionary experimentation,

collective-revolutionary experimentation,

revolutionary-experimental collectivity carrying out the assumption of finiteness, separation and exposedness as the ecstatic coordinates of existence.

The life of he who 

knows that his appearance and his essence are identical to one another, but not identical to him,

cannot be in the world without remembering that he is not of this world,

cannot accommodate himself to a community which would be a simple amusement of his solitude in the face of death,

-dancing, in total precision, to the death with time, which kills you – 



words and gestures:

that’s the common home of the placeless.  

The bond between those that cannot be reduced to the lie of belonging, to a certain plot of land, a certain birthplace.  

A journey into dispersion and exile,


that acts upon

our essential separation.

“Once we’ve spoken, to remain as close as possible in line with what we’d said, so that everything won’t be effectively up in the air, with our words on the one side and ourselves on the other, and with the remorse of separations.”

This text is a pact.

The protocol for an experimentation now open

among deserters.

Without anyone noticing,

Break ranks.


changed May 27, 2010