The work on this review begins too late, the deadline has already passed, and the writer’s work discipline leaves much to be desired: lying in bed too long, drank and smoked too long in the evening, unfocused, distracted by social media, Daydreaming, and yearning. The beginning of the text travels. Notes fly around in pockets, are challenging to read, crumple, and tend to disappear. The author usually does not feel that way. Otherwise, she is diligent and punctual, but the temporary inefficiency (is she temporary, or did I get infected, more on this later …) leads directly to the center of Luise Meier’s book: MRX Machine. Because it’s about the strike, the refusal,
Gilles Dellze “Inspirations from Philosophy”
MRX machine is not meant to be a text, not a description of a computer. Already in the first sentence is cleared up with this mistaken belief. Instead, the MRX machine is what happens when the reader and the text are coupled and an uncontrollable functioning of that tandem, that reader-text machine, occurs.
This machine concept is based on the French philosopher Gilles Deleuze. At Deleuze, the machine depicts a pictorial system that just works, is productive and can be expanded with the help of connections. The MRX machine, however, is unique and above all say goodbye to the blind functioning and production of the Deleuzian machine: The MRX machine is broken, hence the “MRX,” in which a letter is missing, but whether it was initially a Marx or a Marx machine remains intentionally unclear. The difficulties in writing the review are already to be understood as the successful non-functioning of the reader-text review author machine.
Even though Luise Meier frees herself from productivity, which is at the center of Deleuzian thought, the book repeatedly reveals concepts and pictures based on Deleuze. But one does not have to be trained in its complicated philosophy in order to understand: If in the introduction it is said that the proletariat is a black hole for the MRX machine, then it is clear – a black hole is something to fall into it can be a source of confusion for some, a danger to others, a way for others to enter or flee. A black hole is a mistake in the system and at the same time, a door to something else.
No enlightenment – but Ideology criticism
Now, when the text connects with the reader and the MRX machine starts bumping, then, as the blurb already reveals, it’s about waste and a call to disrupt the normal, capitalist operating process. How this regular operation works, what its century-old mastery techniques and tricks are, and where there are still loopholes to escape from, is analyzed by the MRX machine on nearly 200 rapidly written (and by no means dysfunctional) pages.
Luise Meier takes a wild ride past various linkages of left theory to society: It’s about Max Weber’s religion, about Silvia Federici or Valerie Solanas about patriarchy, about Malcolm X and Cedric J.
Robinson about Black Marxism, colonialism and racism, and with Marx and the otherwise poorly read Alfred Sohn-Rethel about capitalist value production. Always with the question in the background, how the individuals in all the existing contradictions and power relations become subjects – how they can be resistant, but also how they stabilize the structure that suppresses them at the same time by their actions.
The overarching theme of the book could be understood as an ideology critique trained on Marx – that is, criticism of a necessarily false consciousness in the society. This “false consciousness” obscures the contradictions and exploitation mechanisms of capitalism and leads to the fact that the exploitative structures are partially produced by the exploited. However, Luise Meier does not pursue a strategy of enlightenment in this critique of ideology. Because of the belief that people only need to know what they are doing and then everything would be different has long since become obsolete.
Marx’s phrase “you do not know it, but you do it,” with which he describes the false consciousness of the people, can be replaced by the more pessimistic “you know it, but they do it anyway.” Therefore, the MRX machine is not only about enlightening and exposing hidden social mechanisms, but it is also or more importantly about obscuration, scratches on a lens, fogged lenses, wild fidgeting and tumbling, an acceptance of non-functioning as a revolutionary force. Individuals appear here “as part of the machine, as possessed, as contaminated and infected” (p. 194), which should best infect even more people with laziness and non-work: Fuck-up and Unwork, two terms, the Meier playful yet serious from Valerie Solanas’ radical feminist SCUM manifesto.
To wild tripping and tumbling, to accepting non-functioning as a revolutionary force. Individuals appear here “as part of the machine, as possessed, as contaminated and infected” (p. 194), which should best infect even more people with laziness and non-work: Fuck-up and Unwork, two terms, the Meier playful yet serious from Valerie Solanas’ radical feminist SCUM manifesto. To wild tripping and tumbling, to accepting non-functioning as a revolutionary force.
Individuals appear here “as part of the machine, as possessed, as contaminated and infected” (p. 194), which should best infect even more people with laziness and non-work: Fuck-up and Unwork, two terms, the Meier playful yet serious from Valerie Solanas’ radical feminist SCUM manifesto.
Arrange and rule
The capitalist economy lives in Luise Meier’s analysis that it is tilled by functioning people. Domination manifests itself by adopting strategies of order and working in various areas of life. Meier finds many examples, some of them surprising.
These include, for example, the overlapping of techniques of division of labor in Taylorism and National Socialism: in both, work steps are precisely analyzed by a planning authority and then divided so that they run as efficiently as possible and the individual workers, soldiers or civil servants have little or no relation to the entire work process or the product, be it a car or a genocide.
Uncovering these continuities from the Nazis into our current world of work and administration is one of the exciting discoveries in “MRX Machine.” There is also a lot of room for the well-known question: will the progress of technology save us? Here Luise Meier points to the close interweaving of technical development and military necessities:
“Before the possibility of one person having a free telephone conversation with another with a global reach, there was the possibility of more efficiently issuing, distributing, and enforcing the call-up order.” (Pp. 64f.)
Communication technology is thus also part of the regulatory and registration techniques that stabilize society. These regimes dress up the contradictory and, above all, suffering world with a layer of smoothness and perfection, which, when it comes to “MRX machine,” is scratched off with long, dirty fingernails.
The point is not that “below” this “wrong” layer is a correct, but that the cratered, verschorfte and newly glued together surface is desirable, held together by safety pins, as the punks already fool it. So this is about criticism, but not about finding a truth. The machine goes beyond A wild functioning, which is based on dysfunctioning:
“A secret connection between the late, chaotic, rioters, bums and dyslexics. MRX Machine has adopted the metal and punk tactics of developing its profile as a countermovement to the defensive patterns and fear fantasies of the ruling ideology. “(P. 12)
Here is the connection of the book to the so-called “New Class Policy.” The creation of a new “class” of the “belated, chaotic, rioters, bums and dyslexics” as a positive reference provides a new clue to criticism and politics that lies beyond the boundaries of an old-fashioned “working class” and beyond the limits of identity politics. Beyond the barriers of class, race, and gender, people can and should gather.
It is not about vacation and relaxation, not well-dosed hedonism, to be able to work better again later. The barking stands for a conscious non-functioning – a disruption in the operation. The fun of bumbling is more of a side effect. If and how well this strategy “works” should not be evaluated, not to put the book back in the utility scheme it criticizes. So if the capitalist and patriarchal ideal are smooth, active, and clean, then we should be rough, ineffective, and dirty – because that’s the ruling fears of the ruling class.
One solution is not the over-identification with the functioning of technology, as it was most recently in accelerationism (a young theory flow that works with a positive reference to technique and acceleration, founded by the “Manifesto for an Acceleration Policy” by Nick Srnicek and Alex Williams), but in a sisterhood with the mistake – a motive that Luise Meier populated with exciting and pictorial references, such as the “remnants of tobacco ash on the dirty dishes” (p. 18), The Russian spies found spying on Marx and Engels and were disgusted by them. A high on the dirt, the laziness, and the late review! The infection took place.