"Inertia of the Real" / by Jorge Bañales

Landover Mall, Landover, Maryland by Jorge E. Bañales

Landover Mall, Landover, Maryland by Jorge E. Bañales

From “The Pervert’s Guide to Ideology”:


“What we see here in Mojave Desert at resting place for abandoned planes is the other side of capitalist dynamics. Capitalism is all the time in crisis. This is precisely why it appears almost indestructible. Crisis is not its obstacle. It is what pushes it forwards towards self-revolutionising permanent, extended self-reproduction – always new products. The other invisible side of it is waste, tremendous amount of waste.

We shouldn’t react to these heaps of waste by trying to somehow get rid of it. Maybe the first thing to do is to accept this waste. To accept that there are things out there that serve nothing. To break out of this eternal cycle of functioning.

The German philosopher Walter Benjamin said something very big. He said that we experience history, ‘what does it mean for us to be historical beings’, not when we are engaged in things, when things move, only when we see this, again, rest waste of culture being half retaken by nature, at that point we get an intuition of what history means.

Maybe this also accounts for the redemptic value of post-catastrophic movies like I Am Legend and so on. We see the devastated human environment, half empty factories, machines falling apart, half empty stores. What we experience at this moment, the psychoanalytic term for it would have been the ‘inertia of the real’; this mute presence beyond meaning.”