Time and Ideology

It is especially important to dispense with the febrile notion of ideology as false consciousness, as if there were a state of consciousness that is not false. The only state of consciousness which is pure is the dream, and representations of this purity in memory and recall immediately contaminate, and are immediately ruptured from it. Metaphor to be taken literally is one of the few worthwhile entry points into language. Analogy is a tool, fragmented compass or divider on a deserted ship. The spirit and act of revolution requires the walking out on ideology. Gravity is pervasive but aeroplanes fly, except when they land or crash to earth. Ideology is  idolism, idealism, fetishism, but it is also a packet of crisps – full or empty – and a particular moment during 1815 at a particular place.

Mind leads mind, mind follows willingly: conversation. Time is “agreed between” so that there is no consciousness of time as an issue to be negotiated. Time becomes aware when contention arises. Singularly, the individual’s being on their own, in “free time”, untaken, evokes strong awareness of time. Boredom is the commonest attribution, time drags, something drags – is it through’ it drags? Time though is a hypostasis, not an entity. Time is empty. Time does not exist. It does not drag.

Doing, acting, are often very intensely and precisely in the pleasure of time, its excitement, for it is the metaphor for co-ordinated action, often very complex microactions. Awareness of time ‘moving’ quickly or slowly in relation to the action is an attribute of the action, not of something outside it. Such judgments about time are post hoc, and are not perceived as part of the action, except when beating the clock is the frame of reference. Usually, aware of time is unpleasant. Activity fills time so activity is sought. Awareness of time is often negative. Negativity propels, motivates more than goals.

Existential perspectives – mortality, being and nothingness, suicide 0 enter the picture as elaborate games to fill time. They are not part of an individual’s consciousness, nothing ‘alongside’, meta, ever is. Where not only my mind but my body too are taken by need – to labour, survive, build, fight – there is integrity since mind and body, themselves material, are led by materiality. There is a Tolstoyan idyll, true, but this is ideal idolism, ideological idleness, mere semantic fairy tale. In the most actual culture of ‘nature’ there is always dsruption and disjunction, disaster, aging, sickness, tribalism, familialism, power. In urban culture the rupture is constantly reinforced and reproduced so that mind becomes a representation of an ideal state that does not exist. The body always comes to collect its rent.

Ideology offers a promise of filling time, which is its power, a promise that time will never be empty, that the future will be full and make possible what is impossible for an animal to achieve: the valorisation of the mind and civilization is, of course, the most pernicious ongoing lie ever sold.

Mind leads mind, and time slips from consciousness; mind seems spaceless, without proportion or ration, dimension, differentiation, field and foreground, perspective. Mind is valorised precisely for its being disembodied (not in its workings or energy but in its relative autonomy). It is the holy ghost of old. The sentimental secular replacement for the holy ghost is found in the popular science titbits of superstrings, matter as energy, gravity and time interacting: all very appealing stuff as superstitiously attractive to a scientifically illiterate culture as any religious superstition ever made its appeal. Not surprisingly, the secular and religious unashamedly overlap, so it is not unusual for a Catholic Priest to write little books about quantum physics.

Ideology, by enabling communion, joint action, joyous interaction, timeless activity, the emptying of the void, ellides all awareness of the power structures that structure its existence (analogically, the body), ensuring the perpetual conservative stasis of history. Like death and the chemical possibility of life, ideology is undifferetiated, unreifiable. It cannot be qualified by value adjectives. It is, as ideas are. To represent ideology as a specific is to present an empty signifier – notwithstanding that ideology is itself empty.. All actions occur within ideology that is always outside itself. Every human mind is interpellated by ideology and implicated in all ideological narratives, that is all narratives, narratives as inevitable as the cellular reproduction of neural syntax.

Time when it is represented becomes always ‘something else’, something that acts as co-ordinates for mapping narratives which fill emptiness. Time is empty, ideology is empty: there is nothing to fill. The concord of agreement signified by complex  naming are free-floating and unattached to time, which does not exist except as a pure dream which cannot be represented except falsely and obliquely from the other side of dreaming. (The unconscious mind is not “structured like a language’). What, at the level of concord is called ideology or time or narrative is empty. Political action, art, value-making are all empty activities. Thus, the totality of human activity in its emptiness as signifier does indeed represent the emptiness of ideology: an empty mirror reflecting an empty mirror.

If dreams were to be found a status analogous to their not fitting into language it would have to be in violence, terror and the erotic.

Only through the preservation of an amazement at being and the armour of knowing history (which should be the only human discipline since all others are subsumed by it) may the constraints of time, ideology and biology be overcome. Only thus exists the moment of all revolution.


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